Members of a rival faction of the Satmar hassidic sect spoke out against Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum over the weekend, following the publication of the latter’s disparaging comments toward the parents of three murdered Israeli teens.
The followers of the Rabbi’s brother Zalman, who also holds the title of Grand Rabbi, expressed disgust at comments in which the Grand Rabbi called on the parents of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah, whose bodies were discovered outside of Hebron last Monday, to repent for causing their deaths.
“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,” he said, according to a translation of the staunchly anti-Zionist Teitelbaum’s remarks posted on the ultra-Orthodox Vos Iz Neias website.
While “every heart bleeds for the teens, it is incumbent upon us to say that these parents are guilty,” he continued, adding that those who “place the lives of the Jewish people at risk for the sake of Zionism” are the enemy.
While both Satmar factions are vehement in their anti-Zionism, Rabbis within the Zalmanite faction called Aaron Teitelbaum’s remarks audacious and said that they were not an appropriate message to present to parents mourning their children, according to ultra-Orthodox news website Kikar Hashabbat.
Satmar’s founder, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, one of the critical Satmar Rabbis stated, was “soft hearted and compassionate to all.”
Joel Teitelbaum’s major publication, Va-Yo’el Moshe, which laid down the sect’s theology, blamed the Holocaust on Zionism and attempts to settle the Land of Israel prior to the arrival of the Messiah.