Judah Zundel Biedermann waited seven years for the moment he would fill his father’s shoes — his father being the late Lelov Rebbe of Beitar Illit. This week, at the tender age of 19 and a half, he celebrated that happiest day of his life.
With family, friends and acquaintances watching, Biedermann married his loved one at an events hall in central Israel. And with his wedding, he also became the world’s youngest Hassidic Rebbe.
Judah Zundel is the eldest son of Rabbi Shimon Natan Neta Biderman — the Lelov Rebbe of Beitar Illit in Gush Etzion, some 6 miles south of Jerusalem. The Rebbe died seven years ago, with his son only 12. Judah was nicknamed the “yanuka,” or youngster, which is the title usually given the heir apparent of a Rebbe who isn’t yet of age to take over.
Three years after his father’s passing, when he was 15, Judah oversaw with authority the memorial get together marking the date, and the chareidi press was delighted in the young man’s ability to fit in his father’s shoes. His hassidim reported that he presided over the “Tish” like a real Rebbe, noting that the only thing preventing him from getting the job officially, was the fact that he was not yet married.
After the wedding this week, and through the first year of his marriage, the new Lelov Rebbe will live in Bnei Brak, with short weekend hops to Betar Illit, his father’s city.
The Beitar Illit Levov court is relatively small, comprising only a few dozen families, but they all share an admiration for their new spiritual leader.