Aaron Teitelbaum

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Aaron Teitelbaum
Born (1947-10-20) October 20, 1947 (age 66)
Brooklyn NY
Nationality American
Occupation Rabbi, Rosh yeshiva
Predecessor Moshe Teitelbaum
Religion Hasidic Judaism, Orthodox Judaism
Parents Moshe Teitelbaum, Pessel Leah

Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum (born 20 October 1947) is one of two Grand Rebbes of Satmar, and the chief rabbi of the Satmar community in Kiryas Joel, New York. He is recognized as a charismatic and forceful figure.[1]


Aaron Teitelbaum is the oldest son of the late Grand Rabbi of Satmar Moshe Teitelbaum, who was the nephew of the late Satmar Rebbe, Grand Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum.[1] Aaron Teitelbaum married Sasha, the daughter of Grand Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, the previous Viznitzer Rebbe of Bnei Brak, Israel.[2]

In 1985, Aaron Teitelbaum was appointed as the chief rabbi and rosh yeshiva of the Satmar congregation in Kiryas Joel, which gave him authority over all the community's affairs.[1][2] The residents of Kiryas Joel at that time resented the appointment of Aaron, having issues with his personality and controlling nature.[2]

Satmar succession feud[edit]

Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum on the Jewish festival of Hannukkah in front of the menorah

Up to 1999, it was assumed that after the death of Moshe Teitelbaum, Satmar would be led by Aaron Teitelbaum, the eldest son.[2][1] He was his father's representative in communal affairs and assumed his father's responsibilities when his father traveled.[2]

On about May of 1999, Moshe Teitelbaum appointed his third son, Zalman Teitelbaum, as the local leader of the Williamsburg congregation.[1] This was seen as a signal from Moshe that Zalmen was to become Chief Rabbi after his death.[1]

Subsequently factions formed around Aaron and Zalmen. [1] Aaron supporters claimed that Moshe was "swayed by his advisers" to appoint Zalmen because the advisers were concerned they would lose influence under Aaron's regime.[1]

When Moshe died, each side declared their rabbi as the chief rabbi.[3] At that time, Aaron supporters already controlled all assets in Kiryas Joel. [3] They initiated legal proceedings to take control of the Williamsburg holdings from the Zalmen supporters, including control of the sacred cemetery of the Brooklyn congregation.[3][1][4] The court declined to render a decision, leaving the status quo.[3][4] The non-decision was seen as a victory for the Zalmen faction.[3]


Teitelbaum has stated that it is forbidden to have a computer in one's home unless it is strictly necessary for a business and where the computer has an content-control software program.[5] He also ruled that women may not posses a smartphone under any circumstances. [5]

Teitelbaum denounced the proposed draft of Haredi men by the Israel Defense Forces as "a decree worse than the annihilation of the Jewish people."[6]

In June of 2014, contemporaneous to the 2014 kidnapping and murder of Israeli teenagers, Teitelbaum blamed the parents of the dead teenagers for their murder, proclaiming

"During the funerals, the parents eulogized their sons, but I think it would have been preferable if they had done tshuva [repented], if they had said viduy [confession] with tears, in the nusach [style] that is used on Yom Kippur, to repent for their decision to live and learn Torah in a place of barbaric murderers."[7]

The speech was broadcast on Kol Satmar, the Satmar news service.[8] Teitelbaum was criticized for making such remarks about parents while they were mourning their children.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Wakin, Daniel J. (22 January 2002). "The Heir Unapparent; Brothers' Feud Fractures a Hasidic Community". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Mintz, Jerome (2009). Hasidic People: A Place in the New World. Harvard University Press. p. 209-210. ISBN 0674041097. 
  3. ^ a b c d e McKenna, Chris (11/21/07). "Brooklyn faction wins in latest Satmar ruling". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Ginsberg, Alex (November 1, 2007). "COURT AVOIDS RABBIS’ WAR". New York Post. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Kahn, Gabe (05.31.12). "Satmar Rebbe – It’s Me or Your Smartphones!". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Nachshoni, Kobi (04.12.13). "Satmar: IDF draft worse than annihilation". Ynet. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Sokol, Sam (7 July 2014). "Rival Satmar faction blasts rebbe". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Ghert-Zand, Renee (July 4, 2014). "Satmar head blames parents for murders". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 7 July 2014.