Rav Zalman Leib of Satmar Asks Not to Publish Photos of Himself


rav-zalman-leib-teitelbaumRav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum has requested from his chassidim not to publish his pictures in newspapers.

During the last few years, there has been some opposition amongst a number of admorim regarding publishing their pictures, with some explicitly forbidding it, while others delivered drashos against the phenomenon.

Rav Zalman Leib of Satmar devoted a drasha last Shabbos to this matter, sharply criticizing the publication of his pictures in newspapers, making it clear that it causes him pain and asking his Chassidim to put a stop to it.

A recent letter from Rav Moshe Teitelbaum clarified Rav Zalman Leib’s stance, reiterating Rav Zalman Leib’s longtime opposition to the printing of his picture in newspapers.

Various admorim, such as the Skulener Rebbe, are known for not wanting their picture to be taken.

In November, Matzav.com published a touching story in which a chossid of the Chernobler Rebbe complained to his manhig about the difficulties he’s experiencing in making living.

The Rebbe asked the chossid what his profession is. The chossid said that he is a professional photographer, but that there is little demand for this type of work in the chareidi community.

The Rebbe, who is known, like other admorim including the Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Monsey, to shun having his picture taken, told the chossid, “Take my picture. Maybe it can help you make a living.”

The chossid explained to the Rebbe that a proper picture is taken in a studio with the appropriate lighting and background.

The Rebbe, whose every minute is so precious, joined his chossid at a studio for an hour, allowing his follower to take his picture so he can sell it and make some money.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com}


  1. I’ve been saying this for years! When these “Hiemisha” media outlet’s treat our Rebbe’s, Rosh Yeshiva’s, Admorim etc…, it is mevazeh kovod hatorah & a major Chillul Hashem! These “Gedolim cards” are also a chillul hashem! What are you teaching the youth? The Gedolim are just like baseball players?! I get very upset when Matzav has to write every Gadol’s daughter’s wedding plans & who the Mechutans great great great grandfathers chavrusa was! Your making a mockery of our Gedolim! Enough!

  2. The very same story happened to th Bobover Rav ZT”L with the famohs picture of the rav smiling in an armchair

  3. Why must we force on Tzaddikim to accept what we want and not agree to what they want? They shouldn’t be worse than any other person. The particular story that you published is an individual choice, not to give the heter generally.

  4. i am very happy that my einikle’s current interest is collecting photos of Rebbes and Roshei Yeshiva. Surely that is better than baseball players..lehavdil. If we stop gedolim photos they will collect sport stars or worse CH”v. I love your story about the Chernobler Rebbe shlita.

  5. There is no Rebbe who is as makpid about this as the Kashoer Rebbe. (Who inherited this minhag from his father, the previous Kashouer rebbe zt”l)

  6. Rav Mattisyahu Solomon doesn’t have his picture in the HaModia at all. He asked them and they complied.

  7. To #17:
    The previous Toldos Aaron Rebbe was extremely makpid! When I was there for their Simchas Bais Hashoeiva many years ago, his Chassidim threatend me (rightfully so) that if I take a picture, they would break my camerah. I respect that. All this picture taking craze has minimized the esteem our Rabbonim have in our youths eyes! In the old days, we used to fear our Admorim, Rabbonim, Rosh Hayeshivas.

    To #1
    I couldn’t agree with you more! When our Respected Rebbe’s, Rabbonim, Roshei Hayeshivas, etc… become gossip fodder, we are finished as a nation of Am Kodesh!

  8. When will they stop producing millions of color pictures of our gedolei yisroel for the few Israeli tzedokos. Its totally out of hand

  9. The first Satmar Rebbe, the Divrei Yoel, was well known to oppose being photographed. There are numerous photos of him covering his face to avoid them.

  10. I believe the reason is clear. A Tzaddik ia by definition an Anav. Do you think Moshe Rabbenu would have wanted his picture taken at Har Sinai with the Luchos? Moshe is not even mentioned in the Hagadah and the reason is he was an Anav. People want a gashmiusdikeh connection to Kedushah though. This is not a Yiddish concept. That is why the Umos HaOlam represent HKBH as a man.