Machberes: Inside The Chassidish And Yeshivish World
By Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
This week, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe, is scheduled to leave from his home in Kiryas Yoel to arrive in Israel. The scheduled events include being greeted by leaders of Satmar communities in Israel, and Shacharis joined by students of the Satmar Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Immediately after Shacharis, the Rebbe intends to conduct a lechayim tisch and address the yeshiva students. At the tisch, the Rebbe plans to begin the writing of a new sefer Torah dedicated to the memory of Yeshaya Kaufman, z’l, the 15-year-old student of the yeshiva who collapsed and passed away on January 22, 2014.
The Rebbe plans to enter Jerusalem and lead a chanukas habayis inauguration event of the elementary Satmar Yeshiva in Jerusalem. A festive meal is planned at 1 Rechov Beis Yitzchok, at the corner of Rechov Kablan, in Har Nof. Forenches (standing bleachers) for students and young men will line both sides of the hall. A special entrance and a special section would be reserved for ladies. Later that evening, the Rebbe plans on participating in the celebration marking the opening of the new Kollel Shomrei Hachomos mikvah, donated by Meir Zelig Lispler in memory of his father-in-law, Leizer Ber Deutsch, z’l.
Shacharis on Thursday morning will be led by the Rebbe in the Satmar Beis Medrash on Rechov Yonah, joined by students of the yeshiva there. At the conclusion of Shacharis, the Rebbe will deliver words of encouragement to the yeshiva students. The Rebbe plans to then proceed to the yeshiva and affix a mezuzah on a first-floor door in the newly renovated building.
Late Thursday afternoon, the Rebbe plans on joining the wedding of his great-nephew, Zev Meisels, who is marrying Miriam Aidel Halberstam. The chasan is the son of Rabbi Chaim Zvi Meisels, Satmar rosh yeshiva in Bnei Brak and son of Rabbi Dovid Dov Berish Meisels, Boro Park Satmar Rav; son of Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Meisels, zt’l (1904–1974), Weitzener Rav and author of Mekadshei Hashem. Rabbi Dovid Dov Berish Meisels is a son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, zt’l (1914–2006), late Satmar Rebbe and author of Beirach Moshe. Rabbi Dovid Dov Berish Meisels was married to Rebbetzin Chaya (Chaiki), a’h (1947–1993), daughter and oldest child of the Beirach Moshe, buried immediately outside of the ohel in Kiryas Yoel. Rabbi Chaim Zvi is a son-in-law of Rabbi Yisroel Hager, Vizhnitzer Rebbe; son of Rabbi Yehoshua Moshe Hager, zt’l (1916–2012), late Vizhnitzer Rebbe and author of Yeshuas Moshe. Thus, as the son of the Beirach Moshe and the son-in-law of the Yeshuas Moshe, the present Satmar Rebbe is twice a great-uncle of the chasan.
The kallah is the daughter of Rabbi Sinai Halberstam, rav of the Shikun Gimmel neighborhood of Bnei Brak; son of Rabbi Chacham Zvi Halberstam, zt’l, 1932–1972, author of Toldos Hamagid Mikoznitz who died in an automobile accident on the way to supervise the baking of matzos; son of Rabbi Yaakov Halberstam, zt’l (1902–1967), anointed Chokova Rebbe at the age of 21 and immigrated to Jerusalem in 1935; son of Rabbi Sinai Halberstam, zt’l (1870–1941), Zmigroder Rebbe who died in exile in Siberia and lost six sons in the Holocaust; son of Rabbi Boruch Halberstam, zt’l (1829–1906), Gorlitzer Rebbe; son of Rabbi Chaim Halberstam, zt’l (1797–1876), revered Sanzer Rebbe and author of Divrei Chaim.
After the Holocaust, the first to visit the hallowed ground where the Divrei Chaim was buried was Rabbi Yaakov Halberstam, Chokova Rebbe. Together with his son, Rabbi Chacham Zvi, he identified the exact resting place of the Divrei Chaim and those around him who were in an ohel (mausoleum) as well as those buried immediately outside the ohel. The Chokova Rebbe, at great effort and expense, had the ohel reconstructed in the middle of the night so as not to arouse official opposition.
The kabbolas panim of the wedding is scheduled to be held in the Satmar Beis Medrash in Bnei Brak. The chuppah will take place directly in front of the beis medrash and the wedding meal will be served in the nearby huge Ganei Ha’atzulah hall in Petach Tikvah. The Satmar Rebbe’s colorful participation would be a highlight of the mitzvah tantz.
Shacharis on Friday morning, erev Shabbos Vayakheil, will be led by the Rebbe in the beis medrash of the Kiryas Yoel neighborhood. The Rebbe and entourage plan then to go to the airport and welcome those that were at the gravesite of Rabbi Elimelech Weisblum, zt’l (1717–1787), Lijensker Rebbe and revered author of Noam Elimelech, whose yahrzeit of Adar 21 is on that day. The Shabbos sheva berachos, tefillos, and tisch, are to be grandly celebrated in the main beis medrash of the Kiryas Yoel neighborhood, chassidim together with rejoicing family members. Friday night, immediately after the meal, the Rebbe is to conduct his tisch in the attached ballroom, followed by spirited mitzvah dancing.
On Motzaei Shabbos, a majestic torch-lit hachnasas sefer Torah is planned to resonate throughout the streets of the Kiryas Yoel neighborhood, with song and dance. The new sefer Torah will be ceremoniously placed into the Aron Hakodesh of the main beis medrash by the Rebbe. A melaveh malkah will be joined by chassidim from all parts of Israel.
Sunday morning will mark 20 years since the Rebbe, then Kiryas Yoel Rav, established the Bnei Brak Satmar Chevra Tehillim. The Chevra Tehillim incorporates several different schedules of Tehillim recital, including the complete recital of all 150 chapters of Tehillim by children early every Shabbos morning before Shacharis. The children that participated in the very first Shabbos morning recital 20 years ago are to lead in Sunday’s celebration. The Rebbe will share appropriate divrei Torah.
That morning, the Rebbe plans to visit Satmar’s yeshivas in Bnei Brak. The Rebbe, escorted by his entourage and the yeshivas’ and girl schools’ administrations, will step into every classroom and bless students of all ages. The Rebbe plans on assessing the current condition of the facilities and contemplating immediate necessary physical improvements. That afternoon, the groundbreaking and cornerstone setting ceremonies of the new Satmar girls’ school, at 5–7 Rechov Ha’Shloh in the center of Bnei Brak, will be held. The Rebbe’s address is eagerly anticipated. That evening at 7:30 p.m., a magnificent dinner will take place in the giant Avenue Hall in the city of Lod. A special journal detailing the visits of Satmar Rebbes to Israel through the years will be presented to every participant.
The Rebbe plans on leading Monday’s Shacharis in Heichal Shlomo Moshe, where Satmar yeshiva students will await him. The Rebbe will speak to the assembled students thereafter. At noontime, the Rebbe and entourage will travel northward in order to visit holy sites. The first stop is the holy city of Tsfas, where the Rebbe will stay the night. Monday evening, honors will be bestowed on leading administrators and leaders of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak Satmar organizations at an elegant festive dinner. The reception is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m.; noted singer Yaakov Daskal will perform. Rabbi Elimelech Biderman, noted Israeli maggid, will be the keynote speaker.
On Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m., Shacharis will be conducted in one of Tsfas’ historic old shuls, followed by breakfast. The Rebbe will then proceed to Tsfas’s historic cemetery, where the Ari, z’l, and many other tzaddikim are buried. From there, the procession will continue to Meron, to the burial place of Shimon bar Yochai, z’l. This would be followed with haircuts for the children of Satmar that have their third birthday in that time period. The traditional event will be joyous, with song and dance.
The final scheduled event is prayers at the gravesite of the Tanna Rabbi Akiva, z’l, where a huge tent would accommodate a special tisch during which the Satmar Rebbe will give inspirational instructions immediately before departing for home. v
Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum is the Rav of B’nai Israel of Linden Heights in Boro Park and Director of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. Rabbi Tannenbaum can be contacted at email@example.com.