When the Rebbe Was Menachem Avel the Satmar Rov

By Hershel Rosenbluh for Anash.org

Satmar Chassdim and many Jews all over the world are commemorating the 40th yahrtzeit of the Satmar Rov, Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, who passed way on the 26th of Av, 5739/1979.

The Rebbe and the Satmar Rov met on two occasions, neither of which was joyous. The first occasion was when the Satmar Rov was sitting shiva for his only surviving daughter, Chaya Roiza Teitelbaum, who passed away on 14 Cheshvan 5714/1953. The Rebbe traveled to Williamsburg to be menachem avel the Satmar Rov.

The Satmar Rov asked the Rebbe – among other things – why Nittel is “observed” by Jews according to the secular calendar. The Rebbe responded, that since the concept of not learning on Nittel is so not to give chayus on that day, the sensible thing to do would be go according to when non-Jews observe it. And so is the minhag Chabad.

When Rebbetzin Chana passed away on Vov Tishrei 5725/1964, the Satmar Rov came to Crown Heights to be menachem avel the Rebbe. Part of what was then discussed was the question whether an avel can go to the mikveh on Erev Yom Kippur.

In later years the Rebbe once said that he and the Satmar Rov were always on good terms, that it was others that caused the strife between them.

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