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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Grand Rebbe Attacks Settlers, Compares Israeli Media to Nazis

The Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe sees no difference between Nazi depictions of Jews as contaminators of German blood and the Israeli Media view of Haredim as freeloaders.

Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Halberstam, the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, spoke in Beit Shemesh against the conspiracy of secular and religious Zionists to "uproot the Torah."

Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Halberstam, the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, spoke in Beit Shemesh against the conspiracy of secular and religious Zionists to "uproot the Torah."
Photo Credit: A. Blick / Kikar Hashabt

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Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Halberstam, the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe of Borough Park, in Israel for a family event, used a class in Chumash Rashi that was attended by thousands at the Dushinsky beit midras in Beit Shemesh to attack the “harsh decrees against the Torah world and the yeshivas, as well as the incitement within the secular public against the Haredi public,” Kikar Hashabt reports.

The rebbe quoted his father, the Shefa Chaim, who wrote that “The articles espousing hatred and lies against Torah scholars and the kolel students in the secular papers are not different in the least from the hatred articles published by the Nazis in the pre-Holocaust days.”

Rabbi Haberstam’s utter inability to see the difference between Nazi depictions of Jews as contaminators of German blood and the Israeli Media’s view of Haredim as freeloaders seemed to mark the next stage in the conflict between the Haredi yeshiva world and the State of Israel. Moreover, in his litany of complaints about the shortcomings of non-Haredi Israel, he lumped together left and right, secular and religious, and even… Israeli and Palestinian:

“Our right to exist in Eretz Israel is based only on the merit of the Torah scholars. Those who have relied on ‘my power and the strength of my hand’ have long since become a mockery, when it’s been proven visibly that they don’t have any power at all,” the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe said.

He gave an example: “You can see it when you arrive at the Tomb of Rachel, you must enter a tunnel reminiscent of the entrance to the Auschwitz camp, or, for example, when the Ishmaelites are insolently disturbing with the sound of their prayers the residents of the holy city and no one protests.”

It appears the Rebbe is quick to pepper his conversation with Holocaust imageries, even if on occasion it is difficult whether he is urging the Israeli authorities to use some earthly force to deal with the insolence of those noisy Muslims, or is he urging them to pray harder so the noisy Muslims would stop.

But there was no doubt that his favorite target were the non-Haredi Israelis closest to the Jewish faith a la Sanz-Klausenberger, namely the Religious Zionists, whom the Grand Rebbe accused of sanctifying Eretz Israel, for which mitzva they are willing to uproot many other mitzvahs.

“The root of destruction emanates from an absence of faith and of the diminishing of the self before the teachings of our sages and of the righteous of the generations. They (the Religious Zionists) think that we must adjust the Torah according to the needs of the time, and, according to their corrupt opinion, for the sake of settling Eretz Israel we should uproot all the 613 mitzvahs of the Torah. Now it turns out they have no interest in upholding the Torah, and they’ve become partners with the endeavor of uprooting the Torah.”

“Clearly,” the Rebbe added, “all the talk about the military draft are just a cover-up of their true purpose which is the uprooting of Torah and turning the children of Israel away from the faith, as we can see from their destructive insistence to ruin the education of the younger lambs, young schoolchildren, by integrating exterior studies and street terminology into our camp, breaking through the walls of the sanctity of the nation of Israel, and their entire purpose is that the name Israel would no longer be remembered.”

The Rebbe suggested that the conspiracy to annihilate Haredi Judaism comes out of a fear of the unprecedented growth of the Haredi community, and a jealousy about Haredi achievements and prosperity.

Apparently, the statistics about the Haredi community living, by and large, below the poverty line in Israel, have not reached the good Rebbe. but he did promise that the “faithful Jewry” in the U.S. and around the world “are standing by your side and empathizes with you as one, with prayers and supplications, and anything you may need.”

Cash would be nice, I suppose.

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About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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66 Responses to “Grand Rebbe Attacks Settlers, Compares Israeli Media to Nazis”

  1. isn't that the "other" rebbe?

  2. stupid title for giullible brainless idiots

  3. Lisa Kamins says:

    this is very sad. I see very big Rabbanim speaking loshon horah and motze sham rah about their fellow Jews to the media. may this is all part of the time before Moshiach comes. I can not come up with a better explanation, as these Rabbanim should know not to speak this way.

  4. Myriam Obadia says:

    The only war between Jews is the one those Rabbanim are waging on all the Jews who aren't following their dicktats blindly, no matter how far from the actual Torah said diktats are. I wish the media would do us all a favor and quit giving free advertizement to their lashon harah and promotion of gratuitous hatred. Once they realizes that no one is paying attention to their grandstanding circus, they will quiet down and all the Israelis will be able to regain sight of the fact that we are Jews, we are one Nation, and we actually have plenty of love for one another.

  5. Dan Silagi says:

    There is a difference. The Nazis were lying, while the Israeli media are not. Haredim ARE freeloaders, schnorrers, lazy do-nothing bums who want secular and dati Leumi Jews to do all the heavy lifting (including fighting) for them, while they, the Haredim, sit on their fat tochuses and tell everyone else what to do and how to behave.

    If any black-hatted streimelhead has a problem with my comment, they can look me up and I'll explain it to them up close and personal.

  6. Bear Klein says:

    The Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe sounds how would I put it like a desperate lost man. Too bad people follow him. Jews should look for what they have in common not what is different about various groups of Jews. We are one small people in the world with real enemies and do not need to be finding stupid reasons to hate each other.

  7. Anonymous says:

    RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG.What really happened in Bergen Belsen? This:

    [T]he Satmar Rebbe survived Bergen-Belsen because he and his entourage were passengers on Kasztner's Train (more here), the Zionist-organized rescue of almost 1800 Hungarian Jews negotiated with Adolph Eichmann, the Nazi in charge of the Final Solution.

    Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum The train was diverted to Bergen-Belsen by Adolph Eichmann and its passengers were held there as Eichmann waited to see if the Jewish Agency could come up with additional ransom meant to save other Jews.

    The Kasztner hostages – who had marginally better conditions than other prisoners – were released on Eichmann's orders, 318 after about one month and the remainder after close to five months. All were taken to safety in Switzerland.

    After the War, when Kaszter was libeled and the government of Israel sued in support of Kasztner, The Satmar Rebbe was asked to testify on Kaszter's behalf. The Satmar Rebbe allegedly replied, "I was saved by God, not by Zionists."

    The Rebbe – who had ordered his hasidim to stay in Hungary and who steadfastly refused to believe the Nazis would harm Hungary's anti-Zionist Jews, fled Nazi-controlled Europe with the help of the Zionists he so vilified, leaving his followers to burn in Auschwitz.

  8. Eli Benmord says:

    BS"D This is so sad to see & hear Rabbonims talk like that we are all Jewish it is actually scary why so much hatred (Rahamana Lehatzlan) B"Sorot Tovot to all.

  9. Gideon Yavin says:

    A. A very twisted version of what happened. Read a bit of impartial history and you will see how you have been lied to. B. The Halacha is that, when necessary to choose, you save the Talmidei Chachamim first so that they can ensure the continuation of the Torah teaching.

  10. Torah is sweet and clearly reveals that so-called "grand Rabbis" can also show off their stupidity and ignorance. No one is above Torah. We do not need human beings, rabbis or otherwise to interpret G-d's word as if they were G-d incarnate. We already saw what that did for us years ago.

  11. Gideon Yavin says:

    The Israeli media are deceitful lairs. I was at the Bet Shemesh stand off and I saw on officially appointed spokesman on behalf of the Chareidi leadership condemn all forms of violence and intimidation in front of the state TV Crew. He made a very clear statement in Hebrew. The comment was never aired because it might reduce the amount of hate. Anybody who calls the Chareidim such names is clearly out of touch with my community and providing is proof of the unfortunate truth spoken by the Rebbe.

  12. Gideon Yavin says:

    Unfortunately the words of the Rebbe are true. What we need here is more introspection by the media and readership and less defiant, chutzpah and regurgitation of what the media is telling you. We are facing another Rosh Hashana which might find us guilty like in 1936.

  13. Insulting and offensive Mr Yanover.

  14. The Grand Rebbe’s remarks just confirm that stupidity is not limited to certain ill-intended revisionists on the extreme Right or Left. – When privileges run out for a group or an individual some are not kindly tempted towards the source freewheeling.

  15. Ron Mech says:

    Anyone who ventures into the area of comparing Jewish institutes, people, the media to anything to do with the Nazi era is doing a very foolish thing. This is particularly so because the enemies of the Jewish people and Jewish State love to do this regularly. As Jews we should do better and particularly someone in the Rebbe's position, he should know not to do this!

  16. Phyllis Dreazen says:

    Mr. Yanover, such snide sniping is beneath you, especially during Elul.

  17. Anonymous says:

    tell that to my family that was murdered.RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

  18. Dan Silagi says:

    So the haredim are somehow superior to other Jews; they can save their own tochuses while other Jews are exterminated?? That's about the most vile thing I've read!

    If that's what it actually says in the Talmidei Chachamim, then it should be doused with gasoline and burned. Take your halaicha and shove it, Gideon.

  19. Beryl Cohen says:


  20. Gideon Yavin – you are whitewashing the ugly behavior of a man who never showed any remorse for his behavior, and who falsely blamed the very people who had rescued him for the fact that his own advice to his followers trapped them into a Europe which was an extermination machine. Rather than confront his guilt and blame his own actions, the Satmar Rebbe blamed others. He chose the path of a coward, and for that he deserved not to sleep well at night. Shame on him.

  21. Cathy Sherman says:

    Is Torah just for studying or is it to teach you how to DO? Many of us religious Zionists made aliyah so we could do the mitzvot where they were intended to be done, in Eretz Israel. Hashem gave us Israel to live in, not to criticize it or the people living in it.

  22. Dan Silagi says:

    By your twisted and perverted "logic," the Halaicha would say that had there been any Talmidei Chachamim on the Titanic, they would have been entitled to the best seats on the lifeboats, kicking "less holy" Jews and Gentiles out if necessary. You are disgusting and a disgrace to Judaism, Gideon, as was the Satmar Rebbe.

  23. Dan Silagi – please calm down and do not always seek to escalate another person's foolish comments. We obviously lack sufficient leadership both in the religious community as well as among the secular community of Jews. Neither group is as vile as you imagine. We are all Jews and all are brothers. But some religious people have never accepted that sometimes Hashem uses non-religious Jews to accomplish His will, even His salvation. A thoughtful acknowledgement in both directions would go far to cementing the boiling over pots here. What choice is God left with when His children bar the windows and lock the doors to help? That is what happened in Europe, and only one man ever admitted this attitude was wrong: HaRav Yisaschar Shlomo Teichtal. Read his book and you will cry, it is so beautiful. Hebrew original, written in the attic of the main synagogue of Hungary before the Nazis came and took away the Jews of Budapest in 1943. Its subject is an emotionally charged apology for the antizionist rhetoric and a scriptural defense of the settlement of the Land of Israel that is absolutely compelling.

  24. nothing can be comparable to what the nazis did. if people want to live in israel and be safe , they should all share the responsibility of protecting the country.

  25. Dan Silagi says:

    The Satmar Hasidim were (and are) pretty vile. As a secular Jew, I have about as much in common with them as I do with Martians. I do, however, greatly admire your comment and may take you up on reading Teichtal's book, if there's an English translation of it.

  26. Tim Upham says:

    The Grand Rebbe is being overly hysterical in his rhetoric, but he has a point.

  27. Isn't it a mitsvah to help people be independent in means as per the Rambam. If so, then the Haredim should no longer receive any funding after 18 years old .

  28. Dan Silagi says:

    Actually, plenty can be comparable to what the Nazis did (the USSR, Pol Pot, the Turks in 1913, etc.) but the Dati Leumi and secular Israelis aren't among thm.

  29. Yossi Kluger says:

    Is it? Do you know this guy's history?

  30. Leah Urso says:

    The hatred of the Haredim in the press and by the religious zionists is real and does remind one of nazi hate speech. Just the word "freeloaders" alone is hate speech. The lack of respect shown toward the Torah scholars

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