Shavuos in Satmar 5769


zalman-leib-teitelbaumThousands of chassidim are expected in Williamsburg for the Yom Tom of Shavous, May 29-30, to be with Rav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum of Satmar. As this is being written, thousands have already arrived from all over the world. Traditionally, many Chassidishe Rebbes came to reenact Kabbalas HaTorah, the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, with their mentor.

Kiryas Yoel Satmar Shavous 5739 – 1979

Shavous 5739 (Friday and Shabbos, June 1 and 2, 1979), the last Yom Tov with Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, zt”l (1886-1979), founding Satmar Rebbe and author of Divrei Yoel, stands out as memorable and historical. It was the first Shavous celebrated with a Rebbe of Satmar in the then newly established village of Kiryas Yoel. Chassidim came from all over the world. They slept in every space available. Kiryas Yoel’s legendary hachnassas orchim was fully enlisted. All bungalow colonies within walking distance were completely rented out to chassidim. Cars and mobile homes had their batteries removed and served as temporary bedrooms. No one today recalls any of the inconveniences, but everyone remembers the spiritual ecstasy of that Shavous.

Hospitality For Thousands

In the past few week, full-page broadsides announced that the Williamsburg Satmar Kehillah will provide lodging and meals for all guests. Calls should be made to 347-269-4030 to register for placement. Satmar’s large Bais Rochel girls school building at 125 Heyward Street, between Beford and Lee Avenues, has been designated and outfitted to serve as lodging for out-of-town guests for Yom Tov. Those living in Williamsburg and wishing to provide guests with either meals or lodging, or both, are invited to register with 718-384-7449, extension 110.

In addition, the kehillah has expended tremendous efforts to reorganize the main beis medrash at 150 Rodney Street, to accommodate the maximum number of people. Almost 1,000 additional seats have been fitted in, as was last created for the Yamim Nora’im, High Holy Days. This is especially significant since the beis medrash, in accordance with the Rebbe’s wishes, had many of its benches replaced with tables for the huge number of congregants that have started to have their daily learning schedules there.

As of Sunday, Aleph Sivan, May 24, the recently appointed gabbai, Rabbi Zalman Leib Feldman, has been stationed from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m. and from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. in the beis medrash on Rodney Street to rent seats for Shavous. Those out-of-town or abroad can call 718-384-7449, extension 116, to place their reservation. Those not having made specific  arrangements will have no other alternative than to stand during the entire tefillos.

Satmar Yeshiva Students Prepare for Shavous

In preparation for the exalted Yom Tov of Shavous, the program of study this year for the students of the Satmar Yeshiva is the sugya of Davar she’yesh lo matirin. The Satmar Rebbe began his daily lecture series in the yeshiva on Sunday, May 17. The daily shiruim were interrupted by the Rebbe being called to Chicago regarding shechitah (ritual slaughter) matters there. The shiurim continued upon the Rebbe’s return.

The Yeshiva Study of Sugyos

Rabbi Moshe Sofer, zt”l (1762-1839), Pressburger Rav and revered author of Chasam Sofer, introduced and instituted the study of sugyos (topics) as the iyun shiur (in-depth lectures) in Hungarian yeshivos. This study method dates back to times of the Ba’alei Tosafos of the 1100s and 1200s. Students would thoroughly pursue understanding of a particular subject, examining its beginning in the Chumash, follow through in Mishnah, Gemara, Shulchan Aruch, and contemporary halachic practice.

In 1980, when Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, zt”l (1915-2006), late Satmar Rebbe and author of Beirach Moshe, was anointed as Rebbe of the Satmar Kehillah, he reintroduced the study of sugyos. The sugya the yeshiva studies immediately before Shavuos serves as the background for the pilpul shiur delivered by the Beirach Moshe at his Krepel Tisch after Shacharis on the first day of Shavous. Kreplach are cheese-filled ravioli, reserved especially for Shavuos. Thousands paid rapt attention to the Beirach Moshe as he delivered his pilpul shiur. His son, the current Satmar Rebbe, continues this minhag, and, this year, will deliver a pilpul shiur based on the subject of Davar she’yesh lo matirin at the traditional Krepel Tisch after Shacharis on Friday, the first day of Shavous, May 29.

Shavous Hachnassas Sefer Torah

The kehillah also announced that, as in years past, it will provide almost unlimited light refreshments after Shacharis on Thursday, Erev Yom Tov, as well as on both days of Yom Tov. This year’s Krepel Tisch, which will have a wide variety of dairy dishes, is being generously sponsored by Hershel Hass, who is donating a Sefer Torah dedicated to the loving memory of his parents a”h. The Hachnassas Sefer Torah will be celebrated by thousands as the new Sefer Torah will be brought to the beis medrash with song and dance and will be read from for Krias HaTorah.

This year’s Krepel Tisch will also serve as the setting for the traditional reading of the Tena’im, the engagement contract, between the Children of Israel and Heaven. Ordinarily, the Tena’im are read on the second day of Shavous. However, as the second day of Shavous is Shabbos, the reading will take place on the first day of Shavous, at the Krepel Tisch.

Seudah shlishis on Shabbos Shevous will be held in the unfinished, huge new Satmar Beis Medrash on Bedford Avenue. Every inch of available space will be used during the joyful seudah – Ne’ilas Ha’Chag, after which, the thousands of chassidim will escort the Rebbe with torches, music, song and dance back to his home, from where he will bless them with a healthy and happy summer.

{Rabbi G. Tannenbaum-Machberes}


  1. Why only Satmar & why only this Satmar
    The toirah was givin to all Jews Chasidim Misnagdim Sefardim….
    All Jews have ther custom how they get ready & observe this Great Yom Tov
    Please lets respect all jews & speak of all jews.

    A Freiliche Yom Tov