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My Machberes

The 33rd Satmar Yahrzeit

On Tuesday, August 14, Satmar chassidim commemorated the 33rd yahrzeit of Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, zt”l (1886-1979), revered Satmar Rebbe and author of Divrei Yoel.

On that day, only men were permitted into the Kiryas Yoel cemetery. The same restriction applied the preceding evening. On Monday, August 13, the cemetery was open exclusively for ladies from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Men marking the yahrzeit on Monday of a close relative buried in the cemetery came before or after the restricted period. (Inside the ohel, ladies are restricted from entering the men’s side at all times, even if the chamber is empty.)

After the passing of Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, zt”l (1914-2006), late Satmar Rebbe and successor to the Divrei Yoel, the previously monolithic Satmar community effectively became divided. Elder son Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe headquartered in Kiryas Yoel, and Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe headquartered in Williamsburg, lead the two halves of Satmar, each of which is independent and immense.

Rabbi Aaron’s following in Williamsburg is quite large. He occupies the important pulpit his venerated great-uncle, the Divrei Yoel, founding Satmar Rebbe, established in the 1970s.

In addition to their presence in Kiryas Yoel, followers of Rabbi Aaron maintain an expanding and entirely separate school system along with a number of shuls in Williamsburg that function under his leadership. Both rebbes have widespread followings – in Boro Park, Monsey, Kiryas Yoel, Lakewood, Montreal, Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, and elsewhere.

Rabbi Zalman Leib, Satmar Rebbe residing in Williamsburg, occupies the pulpit originally established by the Divrei Yoel upon his arrival in America in 1947. The successor to that pulpit upon the passing of the Divrei Yoel was his nephew, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, zt”l (1914-2006), late Satmar Rebbe and author of Beirach Moshe. Rabbi Zalman Leib’s following in Kiryas Yoel is considerable and they too have established a growing school system and string of shuls there.

The Asifa and Satmar

The two brothers visited the ohel at different times and held separate yahrzeit commemorative meals. Rabbi Aaron delivered a fiery address in which he proclaimed fealty to every directive of the Divrei Yoel.

The controversy within Satmar with regard to the Asifa – the rally on the dangers of the Internet held at New York’s Citi Field in May – went public when it was reported that Rabbi Aaron not attend while Rabbi Zalman Leib did.

Rabbi Aaron declined to participate because some of the speeches were in English. Rabbi Aaron conducts himself in strict adherence to the psak din resolutions adopted at Michalowitz in 5626 (1865) that separated Hungarian Orthodoxy from other streams of Judaism. The psak din was ratified by the overwhelming majority of Hungarian Orthodox rabbis and was exactingly adhered to by the Divrei Yoel.

Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe

One of the tenets adopted at Michalowitz was the prohibition of rabbis speaking publicly in shuls or at Jewish forums in languages other than Yiddish. Rabbi Zalman Leib, together with other leading chassidishe rabbis, felt the enormous threat to Yiddishkeit posed by unrestricted use of the Internet demands that Orthodox Jews unite to fight it. Among the chassidishe rebbes who participated in and encouraged attendance at the Asifa were the Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe, the Skulener Rebbe of Boro Park and the Pshevorsker Rebbe of Antwerp.

The Daf Yomi Siyum and Satmar

Though agreeing with the importance of the Asifa and its message, many within Satmar, particularly followers of Rabbi Aaron, vigorously faulted Satmar’s participation. If people were permitted to attend the Asifa, they feared, many would feel they could likewise attend the Daf Yomi Siyum HaShas. They felt Satmar must adhere to its principles of separation. They noted that the Kasho Rebbe directed his students and followers to step away from the seating area during the English speeches and that Rabbi Todrus Silber, Yavushna Rav, left his seat during speeches in English, returning only when speakers spoke in Yiddish. They also pointed out that Rabbi Shlomo Leib Weinberger, Satmar Dayan, put his hands over his ears during the English speeches.

The opponents of compromise point to the Siyum HaShas as “proof” that compromise is a slippery slope bringing G-d-fearing Jews to Zionism. They say the invitation to Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau, chief rabbi of Tel Aviv and former chief rabbi of Israel, is proof of that. The Vishnitzer Rebbe instructed his followers not to attend the Daf Yomi Siyum because of the honor given to the chief rabbi – this despite Rabbi Lau’s being descended from Vishnitzer chassidim and from relatives of Rabbi Meir Shapiro, zt”l, the originator of Daf Yomi.

Rabbi Aaron, at the Divrei Yoel Yahrzeit meal, restated Satmar principles against any compromise, against any home Internet use, against unrestricted business use of the Internet, and against unfiltered use of cellular phones.

Munkatcher Chassunah

Preparations are underway for the Munkatcher wedding that will be held on Sunday, September 3. Chaim Elazar Horowitz will marry Sarah Ruchel, daughter of Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Krausz, Udvarer Rav. The chassan is the eldest son of Rabbi Yosef Horowitz, Munkatcher Rosh Yeshiva and son-in-law of the Munkatcher Rebbe. Rabbi Yosef is the son of Rabbi Alter Yechezkel Horowitz, zt”l (1930-1994), beloved Boro Park Vienner Dayan.

The kabbalas panim will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Munkatcher Beis Medrash for men and in the Sefardishe Shul for ladies. The chuppah will be held at the Munkatcher Beis Medrash.

Rabbi Moshe Leib Rabinovich, Munkatcher Rebbe

Shabbos Sheva Berachos will take place in Williamsburg and will include the participation of the chassidishe rebbe grandfathers. The Munkatcher Rebbe has not conducted a Shabbos in Williamsburg in more than ten years. The Rebbe’s visit is generating great attention. Arrangements are being made to accommodate the thousands of chassidim that will converge to be with their rebbes for the celebration on Shabbos. The Sheva Berachos meals will be served in the Imperial Hall while a separate venue, the Rose Castle, has been chosen for tefillas and tisch, which are expected to draw larger crowds. A telephone number (347-581-0869) has been designated for the arrangement of accommodations for guests.

Friday night Shabbos Sheva Berachos will be hosted by the kallah’s father at the Imperial Hall and will be led by the Verdainer Rebbe. Simultaneously, the Munkatcher Rebbe will be conducting his tisch at the Rose Castle. The Shabbos noon meal will have everyone together at the Imperial. Sholosh Seudos will be held in the Udvarer Beis Medrash. The Munkatcher Rebbe, whose minhag is not to have Sheva Berachos at Shalosh Seudos, will be at the Rose Castle.

The Udvarer Rav is the son-in-law of Rabbi Yosef Leifer, Verdaner Rebbe in Flatbush and author of Divrei Torah; son of Rabbi Aaron Moshe Leifer, zt”l Hy”d (d. 1944) Grossverdaner Rebbe and author of Vayakhel Moshe; son of Rabbi Yesochor Dov Bertcha Leifer, zt”l (1845-1906), Nadvorna Rebbe in Satmar and author of Lekutei Yesochor; son of Rabbi Mordechai Leifer, zt”l (1824-1894), Nadvorner Rebbe and author of Maamar Mordechai; son of Rabbi Yesochor Bertche Leifer, zt”l (d. 1848), founding Nadvorner Rebbe and author of Sisrei Torah.

The Verdaner Rebbe is the son-in-law of Rabbi Yitzchok Isaac Rosenbaum, zt”l (1908-2000), Zuchka Rebbe; son of Rabbi Isomor Rosenbaum, zt”l (1886-1973), Nadvorner Rebbe, and son-in-law of Rabbi Noson Dovid Hollander, zt”l (d. 1838), Amasna Rav. Rabbi Isomor, who became a rebbe at the age of 15 in the city of Chernowitz, was the son of Rabbi Meir Rosenbaum, zt”l (1852-1908), Kretchnifer Rebbe and the only son authorized by his father to write kamayos (amulets). Rabbi Meir was the son of Rabbi Mordechai, zt”l (1824-1895), Nadvorner Rebbe and author of Tiferes Mordechai; son of Rabbi Yesochor Bertche Leifer, zt”l (d. 1848), founding Nadvorner Rebbe and author of Mamar Mordechai.

The kallah’s father is the son of Rabbi Sholom Krausz, zt”l (1915-2010), Udvarer Rav and author of Divrei Sholom. The kallah’s father served as Udvarer Dayan and as right-hand to his father. The Divrei Sholom was the son of Rabbi Shmuel Dovid Krausz, zt”l (d. 1935), Udvary Rav; son of Rabbi Sholom Krausz, zt”l, Legemihali Rav; son-in-law of Rabbi Yehoshua Boruch Reinitz, zt”l (1823-1912), Chetovitzer Rav and author of Michtav Harishon Vehasheni; son of Rabbi Noson Feitel Reinitz, zt”l (d. 1862), Mahder Rav and author of Divrei Ranaf; son of Rabbi Avrohom Reinitz zt”l, Wiskerchiner Rav. Rabbi Yehoshua Boruch was a son-in-law of Rabbi Asher Anshel Jungreis, zt”l (1806-1873), revered Chenger Rav and author of Menuchas Asher.

Rabbi Sholom married Rebbetzin Hentchie Miriam a”h, daughter of Rabbi Yisroel Avrohom Alter Landau, zt”l (18-1942), Edeliener Rav and author of Beis Yisroel, who was married to Rebbetzin Rochel, a”h Hy”d (d. 1944), daughter of Rabbi Yeshayele Steiner, zt”l (1852-1925), greatly adored Keresturer Rebbe. After the passing of his father in1935, the young Rabbi Sholom was appointed as successor. This appointment was assisted by the personal intervention of Rabbi Sholom Eliezer Halberstam, zt”l Hy”d (1862-1944), Ratzferter Rebbe.

Verpelet Beis Hillel Chassunah

On Wednesday, August 22, Avohom Shlomo Lebovich will marry the daughter of Rabbi Naphtali Tannenbaum, Rav of Beis Medrash Ayeles Hashachar Verpelet In Kiryas Yoel. The chassan is the son of Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Lebovitz, Rosh Yeshiva Woodbridge, NY; son of Rabbi Yitzchok Lebowitz, Woodbridge Rav. Rabbi Yaakov Moshe is the son-in-law of Rabbi Eliezer Chaim Blum, Kasho Rebbe.

The aufruf was celebrated at the Kasho Beis Medrash in Monsey. The chassunah will take place at the Ateres Meir Zvi Hall in Kiryas Yoel. Shabbos Sheva Berachos, Shabbos Shoftim, will be held at the Verpeleter Beis Medrash in Kiryas Yoel. Sunday evening Sheva Berachos will have the participation of the Woodrige Yeshiva in the Beis Rochel Hall in Monsey.

The kallah is the granddaughter of Rabbi Sholom Dov Tannenbaum, zt”l (1918-1991), Mildower Rav; son of Rabbi Moshe Tannenbaum, zt”l Hy”d (1886-1944), Mildower Rav and author of Masios Moshe; son of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Tannenbaum, zt”l Hy”d (1849-1944), Torna Rebbe, author of Shaeris Menachem, and honorary president of the Vaad Horabbonim of Czechoslovakia. Rabbi Moshe was the son-in-law of Rabbi Mayer Tannenbaum, zt”l (1854-1928), Putnaker Rav and author of Imrei Meir and Ginzei Meir.

Rabbi Menachem Mendel and Rabbi Mayer were both sons of Rabbi Yaakov Tannenbaum, zt”l (1832-1896), Putnaker Rav and author of Nihari Afarsemon. Rabbi Menachem Mendel was the son-in-law of Rabbi Shraga Zvi Tannenbaum, zt”l (1826-1897), Chahter Rav and author of Nita Sorek. Rabbi Shraga Zvi and Rabbi Yaakov were sons of Rabbi Zev Wolf Tannenbaum, zt”l (1787-1872), Verpleleter Rav, author of Rechovos Hanohor and Ayeles Hahachar, and patriarch of the Tannenbaum rabbinic dynasty. Of historical note, the Nita Sorek was the son-in-law of Rabbi Avrohom Yaakov Roze, zt”l (d. 1873), first Kasho Rav.

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