Monday, August 17, 2009

The New "Minhag"

Excerpt from "
The Rebbe - A Glimpse into the Daily life of the Satmar Rebbe Rabbeinu Yoel Teitelbaum":

Once at the first seder, the Rebbe came to the seder wearing his resplendent Yom Tov attire, his kittel and tallis, but no shtreimel. He made kiddush without his shtreimel, wearing only a yarmulke. Only after kiddush did he put on his shtreimel. The guests were baffled. What could be the meaning of this? It surely must have profound kabbalistic signficance. Who are we to delve into these mysteries, they thought.

At the second seder the Rebbe related the following incident, "In happened one day that the saintly Saraf of Streilisk came to shul with a patch on his tallis. The chassidim thought that this a was a new custom and wanted to emulate the Rebbe sewing patches in their talleisim. The true reason for the patch was that the tallis had a hole and the Rebbe was too poor to buy a new tallis."

Concluded the Rebbe, "Don't think that I had a special kavanah for not wearing the shtreimel when making kiddush at last night's seder. The reason is, I simply forgot."


At August 17, 2009 at 9:41:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been trying to get this book for so long, where did you find it?

At August 17, 2009 at 9:47:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Israel Book Shop

At August 17, 2009 at 9:53:00 AM EDT, Anonymous avakesh said...

There actually is a minhag to not wear a Shtreimel by the Seder, in case wheat kernels fell into it and might fall into the food. I don't remember where I heard about it.

At August 17, 2009 at 9:59:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said... - here?? I cannot see it... :S

At August 17, 2009 at 10:50:00 AM EDT, Blogger Neil Harris said...

I also heard the kernel thing was a Yerushalmi minhag (I read it in a R Pesach Krohn book).
Great post.

At August 17, 2009 at 4:05:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mottel said...

I would almost say the story smells of a non-chassidic author.
The attitude of the story smacks of the one found in a famous joke that pokes fun of chassidic devotion to a rebbe:
'A Rebbe once asked his mesharis to remove a broom he'd left near his menorah from the room, so as to avoid his chassidim thinking that a broom must be left near the menorah while lighting. From then on, however, his chassidim would be sure to place broom near their menorah and then take it out of the room while lighting.'

While the inyan remains true, I feel it flies in the face of a chassidishe hergesh.
A Rebbe is not stam a mentsech, and even if the Satmar Rav did forget to put on his shtreimel for kiddush - that itself shows on an inyan na'aleh.

At August 18, 2009 at 9:58:00 AM EDT, Anonymous schneur said...

Although the Satmarer Rebbe functioned as a rebbe (among other posts), anyone who was familiar with his sayings and feelings about the post World war 2 scene knows that this is an authentic story.
He believed that Chassiduth as a spiritual movement had concluded its mission. He was known to poke fun about rebbes with his sharp wit.
The Satmarer rebbe saw his "job" as recreating the life style of the Marmorasher Yid language dress, daily schedule, food, and mahus -lav davka - creating Chassidim .He was against kollelim and aginst many of the practices that marked Chassidim later on like lag baoMer fires, etc etc. Although he was confident to believe that he was a genuine Rebbe
And years later that anti-Chassidic bent caused many problems in Satmar as many spiritual young people were attracted to Chabad (R. Yoel Kahan and Wechter) Braslov, Slonim, Reb Mechele Leibowitz and others who offered Toras HaBESHT. Today R. Aron of KJ has added Chassiduth to his menu of shiure Torah and kanaauth.
While few will write about differences between gedolim , the Skverer Rebbe Rabbi YY Twersky had heated arguements with rav Joel about the state of Chassiduth.


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