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LAST WEEK we saw the Satmar Rebbe helping everyone regardless of affiliation.

THIS WEEK we see why the Rebbes day of liberation should be celebrated by all of Klal Yisrael.

The Satmar Rebbe Doesnt Belong Exclusively to Satmar


Marking the day the SatMar rebbe waS liberated

Rabbi Frankel at the lectern, Satmar Rebbe Rav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum right (gold bekeshe)

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By RABBi HERTz FRAnkEl

tanding this past Motzei Shabbos as the guest speaker of the evening in front of thousands upon thousands of Satmar chassidim in the Williamsburg armory, where they had come to celebrate the Rebbes liberation from the Nazis, my primary thought was that this celebration doesnt belong solely to Satmar, but to all of Klal Yisrael. The Satmar Rebbe was the savior of the entire Torah, and one of the leading gedolim of the Jewish nation. The Satmar kehilla does indeed lay claim to the Rebbe, yet he is not exclusively theirs. All of Klal Yisrael should rejoice on Kuf-Alef Kislev. Let me try to explain the Rebbes farreaching influence by way of illustration. In 1950, one of the prominent yeshivas in America held a fundraising dinner. Yet the roshei yeshiva, all respectable talmidei chachamim, had to leave before it was over. Do you know why? Because after the meal there was mixed dancing. Today, this sounds very far-fetched. Mixed dancing at the fundraising dinner of a noted yeshiva? But, unfortunately, back then this was commonplace. In the 40s and 50s the rebbetzins of many roshei yeshiva did not cover their hair with a sheitel. Not, chas veshalom, because they werent frum, but this is how it was in America. Then the Rebbe arrived, and he made a revolution. Even people who never met him were influenced by him and his stringencies. The same held true with respect to Zionism. It used to be that someone who said he was an anti-Zionist was ostracized. Today, the Rebbes philosophy is so renowned, accepted, and understood.

The crowd in the Williamsburg Armory

I spoke for 32 minutes, yet hardly touched upon the Rebbes greatness. If not for two very tall, husky fellows who stood behind the podium, and sent me a message that due to the evenings lineup of distinguished speakers my time was up, I could have gone on and on.
How did the Rebbe do it? This is a question that nagged at me as I delivered my speech. He sat within the four cubits of his room and hardly ever left it. Occasionally, he asked me or someone else to drive him somewhere. Yet he took America and turned it upside down. Yiddishkeit suddenly started blossoming in this heretofore barren country. He revolutionized Yiddishkeit not only in America, but around the globe. How did the Rebbe do it? I honestly dont know. But if I had to venture a guess, I would say that he succeeded because he did not have a single ulterior motive. Everything he undertook was solely for the sake of Heaven. This level of sincerity reverberated throughout the world. Every person and place was influenced by his singular spirituality and holiness. I spoke for 32 minutes, yet hardly touched upon the Rebbes greatness. If not for two very tall, husky fellows who stood behind the podium, and sent me a message that due to the evenings lineup of distinguished speakers my time was up, I
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The crowd in the Crown Heights Armory

could have gone on and on. One of the things I relayed half-jokingly, which I believe the audience appreciated, was that when I first met the Rebbe he tested me for an hour and a half. Only then did he offer me a job. He didnt test me, though, in the four volumes of the Shulchan Aruch, but in the fifthhe primarily wanted to know whether I was a mensch. I hope, I believe, he found me acceptable. My personal estimate of the crowd was that there were between six and seven thousand people present in the Williamsburg armory, under the leadership

of the Satmar Rebbe, Rav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum. I was told that there was approximately the same number of people gathered in the armory in Crown Heights, under the leadership of the Satmar Rebbe, Rav Aharon Teitelbaum. My final exhilarating thought that evening was Am Yisrael Chai. These may be Zionistic words, but I could find no better words to express my feelings. Klal Yisrael the chassidic and Orthodox community has continuity. There are four generations of Satmar chassidim, who received their chinuch in the Satmar school system in

America, who are shomrei Torah and mitzvos on account of the Rebbe and continue his legacy. This, along with all of Klal Yisrael, will grow and perpetuate itself, iyh, until the coming of Moshiach.

the Principal is a series by rabbi hertz Frankel, who is the english principal of torah Veyirah school for boys and bais rochel school for girls, a position he has held since 1959. when not running the schools, he was acting as Secretary of State for the Satmar rebbe, rav yoel teitelbaum, ztl.

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Satmar Rebbe Rav Aharon Teitelbaum addressing the assembled

Satmar Rebbe Rav Aharon Teitelbaum addressing the assembled