A view into the World of Meoh Sheorim 



Satmar is the world's largest chassidic movement. It originates from the city of Satu Mare in Romania (then Hungary), and was founded and is led by the Teitelbaum family. It is well known for its strong opposition to all forms of Zionism, though this is most definitely not its only objective.

Satmar traditionally plays a very major role in the Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada and in the Edah HaChareidis in Jerusalem.

The number of followers is estimated as being between 100,000 and 120,000 people.

Satmar: Teitelbaum rabbinical dynasty

The first Satmar Rebbe who was known as such was preceded by the Yismach Moshe, the Yetev Lev and the Kedushas Yom Tov, who are nowadays also considered to 'retroactivally' have been part of Satmar. For a detailed description of the Satmar - Teitelbaum rabbinical dynasty, click here. For a biography of the first Satmar Rebbe, HaRav Joel Teitelbaum זצ"ל, see the link below.

In recent years, Satmar split into two parts, led by two rivaling brothers, both of whom claim to be the new Satmar Rebbe. Thus, two Satmar groups have come into existence: Satmar-Aharon, also known as Satmar-Kiryas Joel and Satmar-Zalman Leib, also known as Satmar-Williamsburg. 

  • HaRav Joel Teitelbaum זצ"ל, the author of Divrei Yoel, Vayoel Moshe, Al HaGeuloh VeAl HaTemuroh, Dibros Kodesh
    • HaRav Moshe Teitelbaum זצ"ל, the author of Beirach Moshe
      • HaRav Aharon Teitelbaum שליט"א, Satmar Rebbe of Kiryas Joel
      • HaRav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum שליט"א, Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg

Both Rav Aharon and Rav Zalman Leib have a following numbering in the tens of thousands. The split of Satmar in two sections is worldwide: some Satmar communities affiliate with Rav Aharon, others with Rav Zalman Leib. In some places, such as Jerusalem, where there are multiple Satmar synagogues, different synagogues affiliate with each brother.

Rav Joel Teitelbaum, the first Satmar Rebbe, is still widely referred to as 'the Satmar Rebbe / Rov', even 28 years after his passing.

Satmar media

There are two weekly newspapers circulating in the Satmar world: Der Yid, founded tens of years ago and currently under the control of Rav Zalman Leib, and Der Blatt, founded in 2000 and under control of Rav Aharon. Both papers are written in Yiddish and are primarily sold in New York. The type of Americanized Yiddish these papers use includes words such as "road," "car," and "highway."

Satmar and Zionism

Satmar has always been strongly opposed to Zionism. The Satmar Rebbe, Rav Joel Teitelbaum זצ"ל, published several books against Zionism, such as Vayoel Moshe, Al HaGeuloh VeAl HaTemuroh, and parts of Divrei Yoel and Dibros Kodesh. In Satmar and affiliated groups, these books are considered to be holy, nearly equal to the Torah itself. Satmar considers Zionism to be a type of heresy and apostasy which defiles the entire world, causes wars - including the Second World War, and including the Holocaust -, and leading to Jews being killed, and preventing the coming of the Messiah. The Satmar Rebbe wrote that the Zionist state must and will be dismantled before the coming of the Messiah.

In recent years, the 'Natrina' organization was founded, with the objective of spreading authentic Jewish anti-Zionism to both the Orthodox Jewish world and the outside non (Orthodox-) Jewish world. Natrina runs websites in English and Hebrew, publishes pamphlets in Yiddish (which are also published on the website) and spreads a weekly Torah commentary sheet around synagogues in the United States. It also publicizes books outlining Jewish anti-Zionism in Satmar style.

Satmar in the Holy Land

Satmar has three synagogues in Jerusalem: one in Meah Shearim on Rechov Yoel (Beis Medrash Ohel Rochel), one in Geulah (Beis Medrash Beirach Moshe), and one in Ezras Torah (Beis Medrash Vayoel Moshe). The main Talmud Torah (boys' school) is located opposite the Ezras Torah synagogue.

There are also Satmar communities in Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet, Bnei Brak, and Elad.

Illustrations of Satmar

There are many videos on YouTube and Google Video wich provide an informative look into the size of Satmar.

External links

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