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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Satmar’

Will Observant Judaism of the Future Look Like Satmar?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

A friend of mine (by way of the internet – I never met him personally) once told me never to predict the future based on linear projections. That was a very wise observation.

One of the things that many people seem to believe is that the exponential rate of growth of the Charedi community is so vastly greater than the growth of any other segment – that ultimately the future will be theirs. Meaning that the rest of Orthodoxy will either be absorbed by them, or will become so small in comparison that it will become either irrelevant, or extinct altogether.

I am one of those people. The Charedim have won. By their growth and sheer determination they are the wave of the future. But I have a modified version of that prediction. Moderate Charedim will populate the the new mainstream majority. It will also contain those I have called RWMO (right wing Modern Orthodox). And evolve into a sociological demographic I call the New Centrists. Rabbi Berel Wein was first made note of this phenomenon. And it is already in progress.

In brief  what is happening is that both communities have adopted modalities of the other. So that even if our Hashkafos are somewhat different, our lifestyles are not. Moderate Charedim and RWMO are both generally are well educated in Limudei Kodesh and Limudei Chol. Both generally have solid careers where many are professionals.

We are both Koveiah Itim (establish fixed times for Torah study); Daven in the same Shuls; send our children to similar – and occasionally the same schools; are very often good friends, trust each other’s Kashrus; and our families  interact socially each other. It is not that uncommon to find a Chavrusa  beween a moderate Charedi and a RWMO learning together at night in a community Kollel. Our differing Hashkafos are not a divisive issue socially. The extremes on both the right and left may continue to exist, but in my view will at best be marginalized.

Nothing new here.  I have mentioned all this before. Many times. But what I have not mentioned in this context is another demographic that is perhaps the fastest growing demographic of all. One that has absolutely nothing to do with the above phenomenon.  The exponential growth of Satmar and like minded Chasidim. Does that mean that I believe that Satmar is the wave of the future… that eventually they will overtake the rest of Orthodoxy by their sheer population size?  Based on linear projections, one might say that will indeed happen. But I don’t think so, despite their continuing and phenomenally rapid growth.

Currently Satmar Chasidim live in their own world and prefer to keep it that way. The same is true of other Chasidic sects like Skvere.  They will not ‘assimilate’ into any new grouping.  Their values are not the same as the New Centrists at all. They live in a world apart from the rest of observant Jewry.

They are not well educated in Limudei Chol. And although they do work, they generally do not work as professionals. They do not attend colleges and universities. They work at jobs that often do not pay a living wage. Certainly not for a family of 12 or 13 is which is a very common family size. So a great many of them live in poverty…. isolated from the rest of the world.

While it is true that there are some very wealthy Satmar type Chasidim in trades like the diamond industry, construction, and other businesses (like the wildly successful B&H) – they are the exception and not the rule.  Most Satmar Chasidim barely eke out a living and more often than not have to be aided by free loan societies.

There is an article in the Forward by a Frimet Goldberger. She was raised in the world of Satmar. Ms. Goldberger describes  Satmar Chasidim as not only living isolated lives, but as living very religiously demanding lives. More than any other religious demographic. Lives that are stricter now than at any time in the history of Satmar. They have taken upon themselves Chumros that that did not even exist during the life of their founding Rebbe, Rav Yoel Teitelbaum. And he was pretty Machmir  requiring the rejection of the outside world in its totality.

His purpose was to insulate his Chasidim form the slightest taint of non Jewish culture.  His method was to not only live in a tightly knit neighborhood  – but to be as different from the rest of the world as possible. That would make it virtually impossible to see any commonlaity and thereby assimilate.  That – combined with their extreme Tznius measures makes them culturally incompatible with –  not only the secular world, but even   the moderate Charedi world. Not to mention the Modern Orthodox world.

Here is how Ms. Goldbeger describes it:

(The Satmar Rebbe) had railed against married women growing their hair underneath the turbans and wigs. After his death, most Hasidic women finally adhered to this rule – many out of fear of the severe ramifications of defiance. It is now the acceptable practice in Satmar to expel children from school if their mothers do not shave their heads. The Satmar Rebbe also decried the thin stockings and uncovered sheitels worn in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Now, most Satmar women wear thick, seamed stockings.

The latest Chumra is the blurring out faces of little girls in their photos. Which did not exist when the Satmar Rebbe was alive. She calls such radicalization alarming and not to be ignored.

In my view, all of these factors are the reason that we should not project a victory for the Satmar way of life. This lifestyle is not the wave of the future. Despite their rapid exponential growth. Insuring the isolation that has kept this demographic together and intact, is no longer possible. The internet has just about assured that. Especially now that one can access it in the palm of one hand.  Bans of technological advances like I-phones no matter how harsh the consequences simply are probably honored more in the breach than in adherence.

I am not saying that young people will drop out in significant numbers. Although going OTD  is a growing problem for them like it is for every other religious demographic. But I do think that they will gradually see what the rest of the even Frum world has to offer and many will seek it out. The poverty and strictures particular to this community will accelerate that process. They will see that it is possible to be religious and not be as isolated as they have been in the past. Modernity will catch up to them. Their increasing poverty that their current lifestyle practically guarantees them will motivate many of them to try another way.

They will see a growing new Centrism and realize that there other legitimate ways to practice Judaism. I am not saying that they will all eventually become new Centrists. Although not likley – it is not out of the realm of possibility once they start seeking to better their lives materially. More likely is a scenario to create their own version of a centrist society – rebelling against that part of their culture that keeps them poor – by seeking a better education and pulling back a bit on their radically different appearances… like the insistence that all their married women must save their heads.

I can’t predict the future. But what I think I can predict is that this demographic is not the wave of the future as they are currently constructed.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

Harry Maryles

Satmar Sets up ‘Draft Refugee’ Panel to Send Yeshiva Youth to US

Monday, April 15th, 2013

The anti-Zionist Satmar community in Israel and the United States has set up an emergency “Draft Refugee Committee to save Satmar teenagers from the calamity of having to serve the State of Israel, which Satmar denies, or serve time in a Zionist jail.

A possible draft of Haredi religious youth probably won’t begin for several years, but Satmar is not taking any chances, according to the Hebrew-language website B’Chadrei Haderim.

The Ministerial Committee for Equalizing the Draft met Sunday and is expected to come up with recommendations in less than two months to tackle the problem of hundreds of thousands Haredi  and Arab youth who do not serve in the army or do national service.

There also is another group, almost never mentioned, of upscale spoiled leftist urban dwellers who  do not serve, but they do not have the support system that Satmar provides.

The Draft Refugees Committee, which sounds like something out of World War II, has already published a U.S. phone number for Israeli Satmar youth to phone and receive free advice and help. Confidentiality assured.

So call 718-302-6720 right away, press number 7, and be the first on your Satmar block to really  be independent and flee Israel before it is too late and the gates of Zionism trap you.

One question: What happens is the flight of Satmar youth hastens the Messiah, the condition for Satmar to recognize the State of Israel?

Maybe they should buy a round-trip ticket.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Hit-and-Run Killer of Satmar Couple Charged with Manslaughter

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Julio Acevedo, the driver of a car in an accident that killed Satmar Chassidim Nachman Glauber and his pregnant wife Raizy in Brooklyn was charged with manslaughter.

Brooklyn prosecutors announced a second-degree manslaughter charge against Acevedo, 44, on Tuesday. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment.

Acevedo earlier had been indicted on charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Prosecutors say Acevedo was speeding through the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at nearly 70 miles per hour when the BMW he was driving plowed into a livery cab that was taking the Glaubers, both 21, to the hospital early on March 3.

Raizy Glauber first child briefly survived an emergency C-section before dying. The Glaubers were killed instantly.

Acevedo fled the scene of the accident and was apprehended several days later in Pennsylvania.

According to reports, Acevedo was imprisoned for a decade for first-degree manslaughter, robbery and drug possession. In February he was arrested for drunken driving, but a judge did not suspend his license.


At The Shtiebel in Brooklyn and the Mitzvah of Eretz Yisrael

Thursday, March 14th, 2013


Yishai presents a portion of the talk he gave at The Shtiebel in Brooklyn during his winter 2013 North American speaking tour. He talks about the mitzvah of Eretz Yisrael and how important it is for all Jews to realize the difference they can make by taking small steps such as purchasing Israeli wine on Shabbat or making a commitment to visit Israel for one week a year.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Suspect in Williamsburg Lethal Hit and Run to Surrender

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Julio Acevedo, 44, suspected of fleeing the scene of the crash that killed Satmar hasidic couple Nathan and Raizy Glauber and their unborn baby in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, told the Daily News on Tuesday that he was planning to surrender, even as police continued their search for him.

Acevedo said that he was speeding away from a gunman who was trying to shoot at him early Sunday when the accident with the car service carrying the Glaubers happened.

He said he fled the scene because he was afraid of being killed by his pursuers, and didn’t know the couple had been killed until he saw it in newspapers.

“My heart goes out to them,” Acevedo told the Daily News on the phone. “I didn’t know they died until I saw the news.”

The friend who arranged the call to the newspaper, Derrick Hamilton, told AP that Acevedo is “meeting with a lawyer right now, they are going to arrange how to turn himself in.”

Police say Acevedo was driving a BMW going at least 60 mph when he crashed the car carrying Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21. They died Sunday, and their premature son died Monday. The car service was near a stop sign, and it’s not clear whether the driver stopped, since he was rushing the couple to the hospital, after Raizel had been complaining that she could not feel her unborn baby’s movements.

The Daily News pointed out that Acevedo was arrested last month on a charge of driving while under the influence.

He served close to 10 years in prison in the 1990s for the manslaughter shooting of the original “50 Cent,” whose nickname was taken up by the rapper Curtis Jackson.

Jewish Press Staff

Satmar Couple Killed in Motzei Shabbat Car Crash; Unborn Baby Survives (Video)

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

A hit-and-run driver killed a 21-year-old Satmar couple around midnight Sunday as they rushed to the hospital because of a problem in the mother’s seventh month of pregnancy, and the  baby was delivered but in serious condition.

Based on image by James Keivom/New York Daily News

Based on image by James Keivom/New York Daily News

Doctors said the baby, “Tinok ben Raizel.” probably will survive. Already termed a “miracle baby,” he will be named after his father, according to friends of the family.

The tragedy has stunned the Satmar community in Williamsburg, where Nachman and Raizel Glauber were expecting their first child. Raizel complained that she could not feel her unborn baby’s movements, and the couple hired a cab to rush them to the hospital.

They never arrived alive.

A BMW crashed into the taxi and fled the scene, leaving the couple dead and the cab driver injured but in stable condition.

The impact of the crash threw Raizel out of the vehicle. Rescue workers had to cut open the cab in order to extricate the father, and only afterwards did they notice the mother lying under a parked tractor trailer. Medics rushed her to the hospital, where doctors delivered the baby boy from the womb of the mother, who was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

The young Glaubers were buried Sunday afternoon.

Police are searching for the hit-and-run driver.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Is Consent for Metzitza B’Peh Really about Banning Circumcision?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The welfare of Klal Yisroel will be upheld. This is how I see the new regulation requiring informed consent before performing Metzitza B’Peh (MbP).

For those not up to speed about this ritual procedure – it involves suctioning off the blood by mouth from a circumcision wound. The Gemarah, in its description of the very important Mitzvah of Bris Milah, explains the procedure for that in relative detail.

As has always been the case throughout Jewish history, the rabbis understood that the Torah always put the health of the individual above just about all else. So they mandated what was a safety feature of the bris – the suctioning of the blood (metzitza) off the wound so that it would not become a source of infection. In fact that is clearly how metzitza is stated in the Gemarah. As a safety precaution.

So according to the Gemarah even though it does not invalidate the actual bris if metzizah is not done, it is nonetheless a Halachic requirement to do so.

The Gemarah does not describe the method of suction one must use. It just says “metzitza” – suction. Historically the most efficient method was to simply suction it off quickly by mouth. For thousands of years that is how every bris was done. Until the 19th century. At that time many of the greatest poskim of the era allowed alternative methods of suctioning after there were some deaths attributed to a possibly infected mohel.

But that did not stop the hardcore traditionalists from insisting that doing so by mouth was not only preferable but required! Those who argued saying that there were legitimate poskim who permitted non-oral suction methods were rebuffed with claims that these poskim never intended their kulos (leniencies) to be permanent.

They insist that MbP is an integral part of the bris. Here is the way the Forward put it in the name of one of the most prominent mohalim, Rabbi Avrohom Cohn who heads the American Board of Ritual Circumcision and who is in the forefront of fighting this new regulation:

[T]he ultra-Orthodox minority who do use metzitzah b’peh, including members of Cohn’s group, avow that this technique must be part of the circumcision ritual in order to fulfill divine commandments set out in the Torah and the Talmud. Personally I don’t know how they can make that claim. If there were ever circumcisions done without MbP, they would be invalid by this definition. Which would make those poskim guilty of being machti es haRabim (causing the public to sin). Besides – what would those poskim gain by omitting MbP? Why bother doing it at all?! If MbP is integral then there was no point to doing a bris! Furthermore they are casting aspersions on every circumcision that does not do MbP.

Nonetheless they feel that any interference with that practice violates their right to practice their religion as they see fit. Even New York city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygene (DOHMH) requirement to sign an informed consent form stating they have been made aware of the possible risk of infection to the child.

One may ask, “What is the big deal?” “Let them sign the forms and they can do what they want!” That’s how I feel about it. But they feel they cannot sign a document that would in effect be saying that Halacha as they understand it is dangerous to your health.

They claim is that there is no danger to a child that has MbP. That’s the way it has been done for millennia. And that there is no poof that the few babies that died were because of infections transferred by mouth from the mohel. And that even if it were proven in one or 2 cases – the statistical probability of it happening is negligible considering the tens of thousands of times each year MbP was done without incident.

The Department of Health obviously disagrees and points to studies that have show a strong likelihood of several babies being infected by a mohel with the herpes virus. From the Forward:

More recent DOHMH studies have revealed 12 area infants who have contracted herpes after circumcision. with two of the infants dying soon after.

And since herpes can be asymptomatic, the risks are real, small though they may be. Hence the regulation. Which carries financial penalties if not followed.

Harry Maryles

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/is-consent-for-metzitza-bpeh-really-about-banning-circumcision/2013/02/06/

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