Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Story About the First Satmar Rebbe After The War

I try to find in every day a moment for which the day was created. Some days are easier than others. Today's moment was a story told to me by my friend Feivel about the previous Satmar Rebbe, Rabbeynu Joel Teitelbaum of blessed memory.

In a physical and spiritual sense, the Satmar Rebbe provided sustenance to Jews who had no family and no Rebbe. Many chassidim were Jews who came to the Satmar Rebbe at the end of the war with neither physical nor spiritual home. The large communities in Williamsburg, Jerusalem and Argentina, among others are a living legacy of the Satmar Rebbe's loving efforts to gather the broken remnants of the Nazi inferno.

At the end of the war, the Satmar Rebbe visited the Holy Land. He was greeted with joy and excitement. He supervised the establishment of communal and educational institutions. After a while, the financial needs of the burgeoning chassidic community in the Holy Land necessitated the departure of the Satmar Rebbe for the United States, where he ended up settling permanently.
To whom will I bring a kvittel ? ( A letter to a Rebbe with family names and concerns over which the Rebbe prays for a positive outcome.)

The Rebbe looked earnestly at the chossid and replied as follows.

"Look for a Jew with camp numbers tattooed on his arm who is praying with tefillin (phylacteries) on. When you see such a person, you can give your kvittel to him. Anyone who has seen so much and remains loyal to the Torah is fit to receive a kvittel and function as a meilitz yoshar. (advocate to Heaven)

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