Photo Credit: A. Blick / Kikar Hashabt
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 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.



  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.


  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Student of Bilam, is not real rabbi, let alone "Grand". Hakaoras Hatov, acknowledgement of good, requires everyone who receives govt funding to be greatful. Comparisons to Nazi's are simply odious and contemptible. Halberstam has a lot to do teshuva for thus year.

  21. "So where are "…Senior Internet Editor Yori Yanover [who] has been a working journalist since age 17," this report? Because the Grand Rabbi used over the top language in his comments, (a legitimate news story). Why the snarky disrespectful comments peppered throughout the article? I get it, Mr. Yanover doesn't agree with Rabbi Halberstam, I don't either. But when I took journalism classes (I was an editor of a Jewish community newspaper and a radio newsman for many years) This story would have received an "F." Keep the commentary separate and kosher, even if you disagree with the remarks. Otherwise I must conclude you hold your readers in contempt.

  22. Let them B^tch all they want. Their haskaffa is coming to a close at least in Israel. The one's in Kiryat Yoel and such can remain the way they are, they are not needed and they don't matter. Those in Israel will achieve more freedom, be in financial and better yet freedom to think on their own and that pisses some people off. Good and too bad.

  23. The Rabbi's should read the Torah more and stop adding to it with their own rules that God didn't command. The Levites took up weapons to defend their king from Athaliah who would have killed him and made a end of King David line. They like the power they have but don't want certain Jews to fight for their nation and that isn't Gods will at all. I have read many papers from Israel and watch the news and they seem pretty fair minded to me. Wearing black and having a beard don't make one Jew better then another and they need to wake up as they are still blind.

  24. The slurs and sarcasm in this article are an indication that the author is emotionally against the Rabbi but does not have real evidence to support his point of view.

    Some of the comments indicate that the commenters have not read the book PERFIDY by Ben Hecht. Whether one agrees with it or not – it should be read.

    The army would not know what to do with Haredim 'soldiers.' It is the politicians who want to get them into the army. And the Rabbi is correct in that it would be a threat to the density of Torah observance that the Haredim have been so persistent in defending.

    It seems to me the Haredim bring in a lot of fresh money into the economy. They export the good feeling of supporting scholars who are studying Torah in Eretz Yisroel. It is a successful industry. The fundraisers work as hard as any business men in any other industry.

  25. Its a more complicated situation to say the least. Their are real Torah Scholars and their are others unworthy of the title (which is an understatement). BUT some of these people are themselves causing more problems even unto themselves.

  26. Aliza BasMenachem · Thank you for the lavish talking points. As it happens, the army today is moving towards a more technology-based operation, and the Haredim have the brain power to excel in that area. Today many Haredim excel as programmers, for instance.

    Haredim don't bring in enough money to support this rapidly growing community, and it has to develop resources such as having jobs (70% don't) to survive.

  27. What on earth is Mr. Yanover's agenda in sensationalising an eminent leader's words, we wonder. Myopic in the extreme. When the international community questions Israel's right to exist (as it regularly does), where do Israeli politicians turn to for help? The writings of Herzl or the poetry and teachings of medieval rabbis? For example, check out Yitshal Shamir's speech at the Madrid Conference in October 1991.

  28. Yori, you missed my point completely. Labeling an entire sector of people negatively is the tactic used by all hate groups. People must be judged as individuals. This is the essence of Judaism. Each person has value and a special mission in thjis world given by our Creator.

  29. Beryl Cohen Gosh Beryl, if only the problem was confined to the State of Israel. Commenting on the Tone is not entering the debate by the way. Regarding your other point all I can do is quote the late Chief Rabbi Lord Jacobovitz. He often commented directly about politics and events in Israel and received the same sniffy, "if you don't live here shut up" response. He rather gently pointed out that in London he must travel with an armed body guard as his life is threatened directly as a result of the politics and events in Israel. That, he claimed, gave him the right to comment. I actually believe that all jews where ever they live are affected by other Jews. The idea is a fundamental of Judaism. Oh and when I did apply to make Aliyah to Israel we were rejected because we were too poor. Plus ca Change. How are you by the way?

  30. Leah Urso – but people also behave as groups, and statistics inevitably lump people of similar social strata together. Just because we comment on a group doesn't mean we hate them. we can't have a discussion of social trends and phenomena using strictly anecdotal, individual examples. At some point we extrapolate trends, traits, behaviors. It's ok to generalize, it doesn't mean you hate the group about which you're making general comments. We only need to be careful not to express our prejudices but instead rely on facts.

  31. Dan Silagi – Now, that's hate speech. And you're as wrong as can possibly be. because while you're sitting in your comfortable living room, writing comments, hundreds and even thousands of Satmar chassidim are running services for the sick arund the globe. They provide kosher food to anyone who asks, they rent apartments near hospitals so families can stay and visit their loved ones. They are a powerhouse of charity.

    I disagree with them on Zionism, but I do with you as well. Calling them "vile" simply derails the conversation and only an apology from you will do to get it back on track.

  32. Gideon Yavin – I believe you about the anti-violence statement. But the story about the Rebbe came from a Haredi outfit, and was repeated in several Haredi sources. I also verified it with a Haredi journalist friend and colleague. He said it.

  33. If I were referring to Lubavitchers, you'd have a valid point. Lubavitchers believe in outreach, so they don't go around as a general rule insulting secular Jews. That's not the way to get them on their (the Lubavitcher's) side. But Satmar and Edah Haredit, which is largely comprised of Satmars, are a different story. Any Jew who refuses to defend his country, and demands that others do the heavy lifting forthem, while telling them how to act, is vile. Unspeakably so.

  34. Yori Yanover I agree with your article, and I agree with your distinction between news vs. opinion.

    However, your point is undermined by the presentation of your article by the Jewish Press … simply check the URL. "… com/news/breaking-news/grand-rebbe …"

    To have a separation, there needs to be a … well, umm … a separation.

  35. Dressed in splender Silk robe, and hats, leather shoes and the youth hidden so they do not have serve border guard duty, he should serve an example and build Eretz Yisrael instead of waiting for direct deposits in his air conditioned mansion while Jews starve and die. He blames the media for exposing him as a fraud and not as a valueless leader of snorrers doing nothing for Judaism other than neing an embarrasment and freelauders to the Jewish faith.

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