The Wonder Rabbi of Sadagora
I came upon a mention of Sadagora Chasidim in one of the stories. It is a dynasty I was not familiar with, and so I went to my friend Google to find out more about them.
It turns out that the Rabbi who founded the dynasty, Rabbi Israel Friedman, was quite a controversial figure. You see, he seemed to be quite fond of material things. Visitors to his court were likely to find him sitting on a throne dressed in a gold-embroidered hat and the fine outfits of a nobleman. Here are some pictures of his residence.
This really bothers me because it seems so removed from the feel of Chasidism, the original message that the Baal Shem Tov was spreading. One of the key points in the Torah deals with the fact that the Israelites insist on building idols to worship. What I can't figure out is who is more at fault, the people for setting a "false god" or the Rabbi for allowing them to do it.