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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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Question 2.11:
What is Satmar Chasidism?

Answer:

Satmar is another major form of Chasidism. The name comes from the city of Satu Mare, in present-day Romania. Satmar has tens of thousands of adherents.

Satmar was founded by Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum (1887-1979); it is now led by his nephew Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum. Satmar is based in the Williamsburg section of New York City and in the nearby Hasidic village of Kiryas Yoel. Although Satmar is large and very influential, it has not received much positive publicity, and is often subject to stereotyping.

Rebbi Yoel Teitelbaum's major work was the Kuntress "Vayoel Moshe", in which he lays out his theory on the 'Three Oaths' that according to him forbid a Jew from creating a Jewish state in Eretz Yisroel before the coming of moshiach. His thought has been challenged by other chachomim, a notorious example of which is R' Meir Kahane in his sefer "Or Haraayon".

Satmar Chassidim are "notorious" for giving and raising tzedakah. This doesn't usually get as much attention as their anti-Zionist beliefs.

There are many excellent books on Satmar. These are listed in the Satmar portion of the Reading List.

Credit: Some of the information in this section was provided by Justin Jaron Lewis, Rabbi of Congregation Iyr HaMelech of Kingston, Ontario, from article on Satmar in "Readers Guide to Judaism" [ed. Michael Terry], published in Chicago by Fitzroy Dearborn in the year 2000.


The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

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