The grand rabbi, or rebbe, of the Satmar Hassidic community, Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum, landed in Israel from the US on Tuesday morning for a 10-day visit, during which time he will greet his Satmar Hassidim, meet with other ultra-Orthodox leaders, and distribute money to institutions that do not accept funding from the state.
The Satmar hassidic community is fiercely anti-Zionist due its belief that Zionism was an attempt to force God’s hand into bringing the messiah, and as such its community in Israel refuses to accept any funding from the state.
Grand Rabbi of Satmar hassidic community Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum arriving in Israel Tuesday morning for a ten-day visit, during which he will distribute tens of millions of dollars to his hassidim and other communities and institutions that don't take money from the state pic.twitter.com/9KQFrXKUcc— Jeremy Sharon (@jeremysharon) November 19, 2019
It is a now routine practice during the grand rabbi’s visits to Israel that he distribute money to such institutions, including other anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox groups outside of the Satmar community.
Teitelbaum is head of the Satmar community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, while his brother Aaron heads the other large Satmar community in Kiryas Yoel in upstate New York.
The grand rabbi was welcomed on Tuesday night at a mass rally in Jerusalem by thousands of Satmar Hassidim and members of other ultra-Orthodox communities from the radical Eda Haredit association with which Satmar is associated in Israel.
On Wednesday, Teitelbaum is scheduled to visit Mount Scopus for a ceremony to look at the Temple Mount from afar, but he will not visit the Western Wall.
The founder of the Satmar Hassidic dynasty, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, decreed that it was forbidden to visit the Western Wall complex since it was conquered by the Zionist State of Israel in the Six-Day War, and visiting it would express support for the State of Israel.
The grand rabbi is also scheduled to hold the so-called “Pure Shekel” event on Wednesday night, during which the grand rabbi is expected to distribute tens of millions of dollars to his community institutions and those of other anti-Zionist groups.
Teitelbaum is scheduled on Thursday to tour northern Israel, where he will visit the burial place of the talmudic sage Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai at Meron in Galilee accompanied by large numbers of his followers, as well as the holy city of Safed.
The grand rabbi will spend Shabbat in Jerusalem and host thousands of Hassidim in a marquee that will be erected in Yoel Street in the capital’s Geula neighborhood, close to the Satmar hassidic center in the city.
He is also set to make a two-day visit on Sunday to Beit Shemesh, where there is a significant Satmar community, and is expected to be greeted by another mass reception when he arrives.
Teitelbaum is scheduled to lay the cornerstone for a new Satmar center there.
Visits to Bnei Brak and the moshav of Komemiyut are also on the grand rabbi’s itinerary.