This post is to note the passing of Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum, the leader of the Satmar Hasids. The rebbe was important for carrying on the legacy of his uncle, Yoel/Joel Teitelbaum, and his father, Moses, in denouncing Zionism and the state of Israel from a theological Jewish position. (They are the spritual leaders of the extremist Neturei Karta.) The rebbe's death has, as it often does with the great Hasidic dynasties, left a messy succession fued. But that doesn't seem to have stopped his funeral taking place in a dignified way - my son tells me it was peaceful, dignified, very farshlepped, with many hespidim. Thousands of police were present", writes Leapa.
The Satmar controll "a $1 billion real estate and social services enterprise. It claims more than 100,000 members -- in Brooklyn; Montreal; Antwerp, Belgium; and Jerusalem. An additional 19,000 live in Kiryas Joel, an entirely Hasidic town 25 miles north of New York City", according to the WP.
For more: brief blog posts from Ezra Klein and The Pecking Order, and some reference to the earlier Satmar rebbes in Ben Newman's fascinating piece on internationalist Judaism and in Reb Chaim's very interesting post on Zionism. On Neturei Karta, see My Right Word.
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