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Op-Ed: An Open Letter to Rav Aharon Teitelbaum, Satmar Rebbe, Shlita

yweYelamdeinu Rabbeinu. There is a recording of the Rav’s recent talk on the tragedy of the murder of three precious neshamos in Klal Yisroel.

Among the Rav’s words were the following:

“Instead of just eulogizing [their children] they should have also said ashamnu bagadnu, klap all chait, that we had a portion in this.. They caused the retzicha of their own children.”

One can understand the Rav’s view on Zionism.  One can also understand the Rav’s view on the three shavuos that Klal Yisroel took.  What I cannot understand, however, and this meant with the utmost respect, is how does the Rav read a simple Gemorah?  It is in Bava Metziah 58b.

Tanu Rabbanan:                                               Our Rabbis Taught

Lo sonu ish es amito                                       A person should not anguish his friend

B’onaas Dvarim hakasuv medaber..         The pasuk is speaking about anguish brought through words..

Ha Kaitzad?..                                                      What are examples of this?..

Im hayu yisurin ba-in alav..                          If he was suffering from difficulties..

Oh shehaya mekaver es banav                  Or he was burying his sons

Al yomar lo kederech                                     He should NOT SAY TO HIM in the manner

Sh’amru lo chaveirav l’Iyov                          that Iyov’s friends said to him

“Surely, your fear was your foolishness, your hope and the sincerity of your ways. Remember now, who was innocent that perished? And where were the upright destroyed?”

The words that the Rav spoke seem to be in direct contradiction to this Gemorah.  Does the Rav feel that this Gemorah is not l’halacha?  How can this be?  All the Poskim quote it.

Does the Rav feel that these parents are not within the category of Amito?  This also cannot be because the Rav’s words described the children as precious neshamos in Klal Yisroel.

The prohibition of Onaas Dvarim is very severe.  It is also true that the Rav would never knowingly violate this issur.

One can only conclude that the Rav –

1] feels that it is permitted to speak like Iyov’s friends if the words do not reach the person suffering.

2] was unaware that his words would be recorded and would reach the ears of the parents too.

Unfortunately, the second point is not true.  Whenever anything is said publically or recorded one should make an assumption that others will hear of it.

I am certain then that the Rebbe will correct this error at the first opportunity,

With blessings of peace and achdus,

Dovid Kates


לכבוד הגאון הרב הצדיק יסוד עולם סוע”ה כקש”ת מו”ה אהרן טייטלבוים שליט”א, אדמו”ר דסאטמער

ילמדנו רבינו. ישנה קלטת של שיחת רבינו בענין האסון של רציחת ג’ נפשות בישראל ר”ל.

ובתוך דבריו, הרב אמר:

“ובמקום הספד היה להם לומר אשמנו בגדנו וגם שהיה להם ל”קלאפ” על חטא שהיה לנו חלק בזה (ברציחה זו).” ושוב אמר, “ההורים אשמים ברציחת בנם.”

ניתן להבין את שיטת הרב בענין הציונות.  וגם ניתן להבין את שיטת הרב בענין הג’ שבועות [שלא לעלות בחומה].  אבל קשה לי מאד להבין, איך הרב מבין דברי גמרא מפורשת בבבא מציעא נח ע”ב.

לא תונו איש את עמיתו – באונאת דברים הכתוב מדבר. אתה אומר באונאת דברים, או אינו אלא באונאת ממון? כשהוא אומר וכי תמכרו ממכר לעמיתך או קנה מיד עמיתך – הרי אונאת ממון אמור, הא מה אני מקיים לא תונו איש את עמיתו – באונאת דברים. הא כיצד? אם היה בעל תשובה אל יאמר לו זכור מעשיך הראשונים, אם היה בן גרים אל יאמר לו זכור מעשה אבותיך, אם היה גר ובא ללמוד תורה אל יאמר לו פה שאכל נבילות וטריפות, שקצים ורמשים בא ללמוד תורה שנאמרה מפי הגבורה. אם היו יסורין באין עליו, אם היו חלאים באין עליו, או שהיה מקבר את בניו, אל יאמר לו כדרך שאמרו לו חביריו לאיוב הלא יראתך כסלתך תקותך ותם דרכיך זכר נא מי הוא נקי אבד.

ובמחילת כבודו לכאורה דברי הרב הנ”ל הם ממש כנגד דברי הגמרא הנ”ל. ואיך יתכן?  האם הרב ס”ל שלא ק”ל כהגמרא להלכה?  הלוא כל הפוסקים מביאין הדברים כפשוטם.  ואם הרב ס”ל שההורים יצאו מכלל אמיתך, הרי לא משמע שזה שיטתו מכיון שהרב בעצמו דיבר על ג’ נפשות יקרות מישראל.

והנה ידוע שאיסור אונאת דברים חמור מאד ולא יתכן שהרב יעבור על איסור זה במזיד חלילה.  אלא ע”כ ס”ל לרבינו שמותר לומר דברים של אונאה שלא בפניו של זה שנפגע – אם בטוח שדבריו לא יגיעו לזה שקובר את בניו.  אך בזמנינו דבר זה לא שייך, שכל דברים של אדם נכתבים ונקלטטים מיד.  ובטוחני שרבינו יתקן הטעות בסי המהירות.

בברכת שלום ואחדות,

דוד קייטז

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

27 Responses

  1. Yilamdeinu Dovid Kates:

    1. Is it proper to criticize gedolim by taking their words out of context? Surely you realize that the way you present it above is not accurate in context.

    2. Is it proper to criticize gedolim in a public op-ed when you have not even attempted to personally contact them?

    3. Is it proper to make assumptions about their target audience? The Satmar rebbe talks publicly all the time, and it is very unusual for it “go viral” in this manner.

    I am sure you will publish a public apology soon, and also go apologize in person.

  2. Bothering to read the letter I would like to comment when you hear that I said something before you go and post any responses talk to the person directly and hear what they said and why they sent it

  3. If the decision to go to war with the Arabs, a war the zionists started by their seizure of political control of Eretz Yisrael from the goyim by force and arms and against the will of the majority of its inhabitants, was in the belief that doing so would promote Torah and Mitsvos, then that decision was clearly misguided and ill advised. However we must remember that the zionists were motivated by the desire to undermine Torah and Mitsvos, and the war (in which the three non-combattant yeshiva students were killed) is merely collateral damage. The Satmar approach is to try to stay out of the way, and Dati Leumi approach is to co-opt the zionists (and getting some yeshiva kids murdered is collateral damage) , and over time we’ll see who is right. So far, it seems the zionists are getting most of what they want in that Eretz Yisrael is overwhelming run by anti-Torah Jews.

  4. Dovid Kates is the only sane person in these comments. (There are only three at the time I am writing this)

  5. So far, it seems the zionists are getting most of what they want in that Eretz Yisrael is overwhelming run by anti-Torah Jews.

  6. So far, it seems the zionists are getting most of what they want in that Eretz Yisrael is overwhelming run by anti-Torah Jews.


  7. You did quote the Chazal but you forgot a Rashi that clearly explains if you tell a person you will die like so or so died it has a much stronger affect , the Rav’s words were directed to all that follow the pattern of living in danger in said areas, but only in painful moments do people understand, and when your intension is not to hurt but to heal and make sure it should not happen again this is the way to talk.

  8. Please note that the recording of R’Aron’s speech was put out by HIS people shortly after he delivered it – with the assumption that it WOULD go viral.

    What they didn’t count on was the backlash that it triggered.

    Firstly because the timing was so inappropriate, and secondly because he had his facts all wrong. This whole drasha was based on the premise that the families live past the green line, and thus provoked this heinous crime to be committed.

    Were he to know the truth, he would have never dared to speak up since his own wife is Israeli (the daughter of the previous Viznitzer Rebbe zt”l – who was part of Agudas Yisroel; did go to the Koisel; took government funding; and actively participated in the elections – diametrically opposite of the Satmar shittah.)

    What is most unfortunate, is that the responding fury of the oilem is against Satmar as a whole.

    To me (I am Satmar) personally that is very painful, since I, along with all other Yidden, am hurting terribly for the families of these ‘kedoishim’ and cannot fathom how one can pour salt on such a raw open wound – no matter what shittah one has – especially during a time when Klal Yisroel had come together so forcefully.

    These same chasidim who posted the speech are now working very hard at damage-control, since, within Satmar itself, it has caused an outcry of revulsion.

    Despite R’Aron’s consistent claim of carrying the mantle of the Satmar Rebbe zt”l -the Divrei Yoel – can any of you ever believe that his “uncle” would ever, ever deliver such a drasha?

  9. I condemn TheYeshivahworld site for all this trashing.
    The day will come and you will also have to give din v’Chesbin. this is not world news.

    This Shita is not new and you are just instigating hate.

    And next time I get a call about adverting on your site. I will just say NO

  10. I think the Rav should pay a shiva call to each of the families and deliver his important message to each of them.

  11. what some people choose to ignore is that they hate us not because we live over the green line and they hate us just as much if we lived only within the green line and they hated us in poland and germany and romania and russia and iraq and yemen and syria and they hate us in williamsburgh and kiryas yoel and new square and their desire to kill us knows no bounds. nebech we need a real geula and making callous statements blaming parents for the death of their own children is not something most decent people can tolerate.

  12. Thank you posting this. I was so sad to hear the Rebbe say something that can cause a pirud at a time all of klal yisroel is experiencing such achdus.
    I hope that we don’t focus on the negative, and instead try to keep up our love for all jews, and our davening that Hashem bring the complete geulah for all Yiden.

  13. In Sefer Shmuel, Penina taunts Chanah for not having children. As a result eight of Penina’s children die. I think that the Rabbi needs to beg forgivness very quickly from the parents. As for me, I will do my best from buying anything from a Satmar store.

  14. #3- DO you do anything beside sitting on the website? Eeverytime, I view an article, which is rare you are on it. I have a graduate degree and a CPA and I still can’t understand what you are saying.

  15. I don’t know much about this Rebbe. However, so that Satmar in general not be maligned, I would like to relate a story about the old Satmar Rebbe, Reb Yoel zt”l.

    A secular zionist once approached him and asked, “Rebbe, how can you say such terrible things about us? Even Avraham Avinu prayed so strenuously for the wicked of Sodom.”

    Answered the Rebbe, “You only know what Avraham said to G-d. You know nothing about what Avraham probably preached to the world about the wickedness of Sodom. And just as you nothing of what Avraham said to the world, so too you know nothing about what I say to G-d, how I pray daily and fast often so that no harm comes to even one Israeli soldier.”

  16. The Rebbe was not talking to the families of the three boys. Therefore, the Gemora does not apply to this case. He was talking to his Chassidim. He is allowed to preach against what he feels is an improper approach to Torah.

  17. I think Hashem made the Rebbe say what he did and have it go “viral” as a test to the rest of us. Let us stop the comments now back and forth as nothing productive will result from them. Instead let us each go out in our daily lives and show tolerance and respect to those who look or act different than us. It will have a ripple effect throughout Klal Yisrael – and those who join in this effort to promote achdus will certainly be beloved by Hashem, the Hashem who created ALL of us b’tzelem Elokim. Let’s be part of the solution not the problem!

  18. Besalel, you are wrong saying satmar hates you, they just view all zionist and agudist jews as victims of a big zionist braiwash wich started over hundred years ago. Did u read perfidy? Jewish oppsition to zionism?
    Before you read that, you cannot even start to anderstand why are the satmars are so against the state of israel. But one thing is clear and known worlwide. they are the biggest
    Goimley chassodim to any jews no matter his colour or style or even non religious!
    Please read those book you will thank me forewer!!!
    (The first is from a nonreligous jew called ben hecht, the second from a professor in quebec)

  19. The rebbe’s statement has upset many since the veracity of his words are so painful. The West Bank makes Harlem seem like Disneyworld in that the Arabs are hungry for Jewish blood. Unlike the Neturei Karta the rebbe clearly points out the fact that the Arab terrorists are extremely savage in nature and we have no right to live in the occupied territories. The truth will still be exposed for all…Moshiach will not arrive until the State is no more and the Jews live under gentile authority as they have since the destruction of the Temple. The Talmud Sanhedrin clearly states that Ben Dovid will not arrive until Jews wield no more power in this world. I found the author of the above editorial to be exceptionally pompous and disrespectful. Rabbeinu Yoel ztl knew all your sources by the time he was bar mitzvah and his words will guide us until the very end of this very painful diaspora.

  20. I dont know why no one takes akuperma to task. He continually writes in English, as if he has some type of logical opinion, but in reality he is just spewing the neturei karta hatred. He mentions the 3 bochurim that were murdered al kidush hashem, and refers to them as “collateral damage”! Does anyone understand what he is trying to imply? He is saying that the jews are at fault for their murder! There should be an outrage by all the readers and ywn should suspend his membership. This guy thinks no differently than lehavdil tibi yimach shemoi! He doesn’t have a bad word to say about the arab murderers yimach shemom, because he’s too consumed with his hatred of other jews. This is also the problem with many in satmar, in order to defend their “shitoh” they distort the facts to fit in with their “shito” , because otherwise, what they say will make no sense. Its about time that satmar realize that their beliefs dont fit with the facts. They live in some delusion, that the arabs are really decent people and are only provoked by zionist aggression. I dont believe that the intelligent satmarers think so, but they have to pretend to in order to toe the party line. I am not a zionist myself, and not a defender of zionism by any stretch of the imagination. When tzahal goes to war it has nothing to do with zionism and nothing to do with aggression. On the contrary, they are not aggressive enough. It has all to do with defending jewish lives, including the lives of the satmarers and neturei karta who live in yerusholayim and benei brak. And the arab murderers view us all with the same hatered including satmar.
    So lets call a spade a spade and not allow some idiots to defile the honor of the 3 kedoishim.
    We should merit the coming of moshiach immediately, where there will be no more wars, as the world will be full of peace and gdliness.

  21. This day has long been coming. A day where the average Jew, moderate and tollerant, non-beligerent and respectful of other opinions has had enough. We recognize that there are all types of opiniions and that Satmar doesn’t agree with many of us. What we will not accept is pouring salt on opened wounds. I don’t expect this from regulars, certainly not from leaders. It’s time to get the word out to them that we had enough. Show a little respect and basic human decency.. It’s really not too much to ask.

  22. #23- I have been taking him to task from day 1. He could care less what others write about him. He seems to live and breathe for articles about Israel so that he can spew the hatred you have described. This is proven by the fact that he is almost always the first to comment. It’s ironic that he always criticizes the people who are not shomer Torah u’mitzvos, yet he sits in front of a computer all day waiting for an opportunity to strike. He has never answered my question about when HE learns any Torah.

  23. let us accept the rebbes comment as serious — therefore i will continue on his track of thought “” let us look at this deeper”” said the rebbe– “” are there no other yeshivis eretz hakodesh?? that the parents sent there in should a dangerous area ??”” ok lets look deeper– where in eretz kakodesh should we send — in meah shearim where bus loads of men women and yeshiva bochurim were killed ?? or in merkav harav itself where terroists enterd and just shot away at everyone in sight .. my conclusion is it is pure demogogary — if u look deeper as he says — we are fighting for our very existence not only in eretz yisrael but in belgium – france – norway -ukraine and yes in monsy monroe as well — shallow words said to i beleive a more sophisticated and understanding public

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