Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Satmar Rebbe - Kanoi And Ish Chesed

There was a certain Israeli journalist who had extremely anti religious viewpoints. He would say that he hates all religious people, with one exception - the Satmar Rebbe.


One time, his wife became ill and deperately needed an operation in the US. The problem was that he didn't have the money to pay for the operation. He was told to go to the Satmar Rebbe who was known for his extreme generosity [he wouldn't go to sleep at night if he had any extra money - he made sure to give it all away]. He obviously felt very uncomfortable doing that because of his stridently anti religious viewpoints and the publicity he gave them.

Nevertheless, he was desperate so when he arrived in the US, he went to the Rebbe and told him the situation. The Rebbe promptly gave him enough money to cover the operation, the recovery process and their stay in the US.

When he was on his way back to Israel, he first stopped by the Rebbe to thank him. The Rebbe said צא מכאן עוכר ישראל - Get out of here, you disgusting Jew.

Havdala. The Rebbe made a separation between doing chesed for a Jew and relating to a Jew when the chesed is no longer necessary. He felt that his job was to "rock" the guy, so he did so. But that had nothing to do with the chesed he was more than happy to do on his behalf.

[לדעת בארץ דרכך עמ' 158]


There was once a tzadik and Baal Chesed named R' Avraham Shulman. Among other acts of chesed, he would accompany sick people to the US for medical treatment. One time, he accompanied a certain Rov to the US and went to the Satmar Rebbe to receive a bracha. The Rebbe said "You don't have any Rebbes in Eretz Yisrael that you come to me for a bracha?" He instead gave him 500 dollars to help with the medical expenses.

R' Shulman left but started feeling guilty. He hadn't told the Rebbe that this Rov was a dayan whose salary was paid by Medinas Yisroel רח"ל. If the Rebbe had known that maybe he would not have given the money. So he went back in and told him the truth.

"What are you talking about", said the Rebbe, "I help every Jew, even non-religious Jews...." He then gave him another 100 dollars. [Chasdei Avraham P. 82]

Again - Havdala between chesed and differences in hashkafa.


The Satmar Rebbe was an outspoken opponent of Agudas Yisrael. He didn't like that fact that they were members of the כנסת המינים - that heretical governmental body of evil doers and scoffers [in the Rebbe's mind. I personally vote...:-)]. Rav Aharon Kotler was an outspoken supporter of the Aguda. They had a serious difference of opinion and they were both fire and brimstone people so it got heavy.

Yet, when Rav Aharon died, it was the Rebbe who tearfully eulogized him, mourning the loss of a great and unreplacable leader. 

[לדעת בארץ דרכך]


ומענין לענין A story I once heard [it is only approximately and I don't have the source but ניכרים דברי אמת] - Someone once came to the Satmar Rebbe in a wheelchair, claimed he didn't have legs, told a sob story and asked for money. The Rebbe gave him a huge sum [I think it was 20k]. After the man left the Rebbe's room, he walked out of his wheelchair, healthier than ever... The people who observed this came into the Rebbe and cried that the man was a fake - he was really healthy. They wanted the Rebbe to get his money back and give it to the guy.

The Rebbe said "BARUCH HASHEM!!! He is really healthy. He has legs. BARUCH HASHEM!!"

זכותו יגן עלינו....



Satmar. Yichhhh! They hate the State of Israel. They hate Jews.


I was once in Williamsburg [the Satmar stronghold] and there were some men there selling tickets to fly to Washington to protest publicly against Israel [I surprisingly didn't buy a ticket:-)]. OYYY YOY YOOOY!

So listen to a story: One of the biggest Secular Zionists in Israel desperately needed money right away for an operation for his sick child. He was in New York and he was told that the only person who could help him was the Satmar Rebbe. He didn't want to go because he said that if they find out who I am they will give me "special" treatment. But they told him that Satmar is your only chance. So he went and the Rebbe knew who he was yet received him with tremendous sweetness. He told the Rebbe about his situation and the Rebbe asked him how much he needed. He said "20,000 dollars". The Rebbe said to his gabbai - give me the checkbook. He wrote out a check. No more questions asked.

[After posting I received the following email from A.Y.B. whom I thank -

Regarding the Satmar story you posted, the Rebbe gave him the money on the condition that he come back before he went back to Israel, he had to come back to the Rebbe. When he was ready to go back to Israel, he went back to the Rebbe and thought the Rebbe was going to lash out at him for writing such terrible things about him (the man was a journalist who wrote scathing reports about the Rebbe). The Rebbe said to him, I know it must have been hard being away from your family and work while you were in America. The Rebbe handed him another envelope, containing $10,000, to help get him back on his feet and help make ends meet.]

Sweetest friends - go to hospitals in New York and Israel and see who is giving out food and visiting the patients. Satmar. And to ALL Jewish patients without regard to their level of observance. So their detractors would do better if they would better spend the time they belittle Satmar going to hospitals and visiting the sick and would thereby contribute much more to the world than they do by spewing hatred.

Am I a Satmar Chossid? No. But I am a chossid of some Satmar Chassidim...