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We Love Satmar Chasidim!


We love Satmar Chasidim because their philosophy is not based on hatred of Eretz Yisrael but, just the opposite, they love Eretz Yisrael so much that they do not want its holiness to be damaged.  It is therefore forbidden to return to it before the proper time.  This is similar to Rav Yehuda in the Gemara.  On the one hand, he said that anyone who ascends from Bavel to Eretz Yisrael violates a positive Mitzvah (Berachot 24b).  On the other hand, he loved Eretz Yisrael so much that he held, unlike others, that a special blessing was made on balsam oil: we bless Hashem "who creates oil of OUR LAND" (ibid. 43a).  Rav Yehuda both loved Eretz Yisrael greatly and held that it was not yet time to return there (Kerem Chemed on Berachot 24b.  Torat Ha-Temarim Al Ha-Torah U-Moadim p. 141).  We obviously do not agree with this position of Satmar, since we received from our Rabbis that the beginning of the Redemption has already arrived.

We love Satmar Chasidim because their philosophy is not based on hatred of Jews but, just the opposite, because they love Jews and it pains them so much when any Jew is killed (see introduction to Va-Yoel Moshe).

We love Satmar Chasidim because, in contrast to some people who do NOT see that something is happening to Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael, they DO see that something happened and is happening, and they respond to it.  After the establishment of the State of Israel, the Satmar Rebbe wrote the book Va-Yoel Moshe.  After the Six-Day War, he wrote the book Al Ha-Geula Ve-Al Ha-Temura (Ha-Rav Yosef Soloveitchik said: If after all of the miracles, wonders and salvations which we have seen, he [the Satmar Rebbe] still holds his same position, it is proof that he has courage).  With the US declaration that Yerushalayim is the capital of the State of Israel, the Admor R' Aharon of Satmar, discussed it in a speech.  On the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, Satmar organized a conference to explain their position.  Although we do not agree with their position and explanations, we understand that they see that major events are occurring here.

We love Satmar Chasidim because the Admor R' Zalman of Satmar said about members of Neturei Karta who visited Iran: "These people take the pure name of Satmar in vain! Our Holy Rabbi, the 'Vayoel Moshe' [the first Satmar Rebbe, and R' Zalman's uncle], exaggeratedly said that they cause more damage than the Zionists themselves.  We are working to cast off all these extreme sects.  When these individuals went to Iran, the Satmar Beit Din issued a harsh letter against them" (Mishpachah Magazine.  29 Kislev 5773, p. 24).   

We love Satmar Chasidim because they succeeded in reestablishing a community which was almost wiped out in the Holocaust.  They are now the largest Chasidic group in the world.

We love Satmar Chasidim because they have immense Yirat Shayamim (Fear of Heaven), great self-sacrifice for Torah learning and amazing Midot Tovot (proper character traits).  One of the great things they do in America is visit the sick in hospitals and concern themselves with the needs of each and every Jew there.  The Satmar Rebbe also helped any Jew regardless of his philosophy.

We love Satmar Chasidim because they provide their children with a pure, holy Torah education.

We love Satmar Chasidim because our disagreement with them is about the means, not the goal.  There is no essential difference between our goal and theirs.  In the end, everyone wants the entire Jewish People to settle in Eretz Yisrael. Everyone wants there to be a Jewish State and a Jewish army. Everyone wants that State to be holy, and everyone wants the Nation that dwells in Zion to be holy.  The difference is only over the proper pathway, the proper means to achieve this end and the proper time to do so.

We love Satmar Chasidim because we understand that their harsh rebuke is out of love, and at times has the value of protecting the Nation and State of Israel.  Their strong words are in the category of "revealed rebuke is preferable to hidden love" (Mishlei 27:5).  And this is what Maran Ha-Rav Kook said to his student Ha-Rav Dr. Moshe Zeidel, who was upset with the Charedi criticism. Maran Ha-Rav Kook responded that the Charedim, who are opposed to Zionism from the depths of the purity of their spirit, aid in removing much of its negative tendency and will thus allow it to reach its royal potential (Igrot Re'eiyah 3:156).

We love Satmar Chasidim because one must love every Jew (Mesilat Yesharim, end of Chapter 19.  Tanya, Chapter 32).  The Mitzvah of "Love your fellow Jew as yourself" is so simple and obvious that the Shulchan Aruch does not even bring it.