Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Chassidim and Israel
(r-l, the 2 Satmar Rebbes at a demonstration in Manhattan many years ago, others there are Reb Hershelle Spinker and the Ziditchoiver Rebbe)
YW Editor, among his stupid and ignorant comments, happened to ask one good question, namely why Chassidim don't say Tehillim and rally for Israel. The answer is simple: SATMAR. Satmar is the driving force behind all Chassidic movements today, especially in the United States, they simply wield the most influence. All other Chassidic groups, barring Lubavitch and Ger, look to Satmar to see what's right, "frum", and Heimish and then follow suit.
How it happened is another story; it could be by one of several things:
1) Sheer numbers. Satmar, being of Hungarian extract, had the most surviving members after the Holocaust, and even those non-Satmar Hungarians knew of it before the war and became Chassidim after the war. They then multiplied much quicker than any other group, and it's growth now is exponential. A large group like that usually sets the agenda.
2) The personality of the late Satmar Rov. His Gadlus B'Torah and his warm personality attracted thousands, especially in America, where the void left by the Holocaust was felt much stronger. Rabbonim in America respected his opinion even if they didn't fully agree with it.
3) Satmar has cornered the Chassidic media, which is mostly, if not all, of the printed variety. All frum Yiddish newspapers are printed by Satmar or it's satellites, and until recently those newspapers were the only source of news for Chassidishe Yidden. Hamodia has much work to do if it wants to change that, especially with the male segment of the Chassidic population. After years of reading Sender Deitsch's biting, cynical, and vengeful editorials opinions about Israel, even amongst Bobovers, Pupas, and Klausenbergers are quite negative about Israel, even if they won't go as far as Satmar when it comes to condemning Israel.
Of course no Yid wishes any harm to Jews in Israel, and prays for an Israeli victory, but they're quite confused as how to go about it. Do we daven that the "Zionist Army" of מחללי שבת & חזיר פרעסער beat the poor Arabs? How we can do that, after all, aren't they a bunch of aggressors who beat Charedim in the streets?! On the other hand we want them to be succesful and do what they need to do. Hence the dilemna. With a dilemna like that youy want them to call for a Yom Tefilah, and put their names to a Kol Koreh like that?!