I received the note below today. Why the writer thought it would have any impact on my perspective is beyond me. It does not. But I present it to you for your independent perusal.
Dear Rabbi Bechhofer,
I revert to your post made this past year regarding the Satmar Rebbe's views of Rav Kook z"l.
In response to my e-mail request to you then (see attached PDF) you
edited your blog and humbly watered down your negative statement about
As it was recently the 33rd yahrzeit of the Satmar Rebbe z"l, and as we
approach rapidly the awe days of Aseres Yemei Tshuvah, I think it is
important to add some information, copied below, that might restore the
deserving kovod of a gaon, tzadik, and manhig hador. There is also a
powerful video of a recent hesped given by a Litvishe rav who recounts
the tremendous kovod and respect shown to the Satmar Rebbe z"l by the
vast majority of "LITVISHE" gedolim of his time. I urge you to watch it
for its revealing information you may not have known:
more importantly, here's some reading material that I had just recently
become aware of and took the time to copy the text in order to share it
EXCERPTS FROM A BOOK ABOUT THE SATMAR REBBE’S VIEWS OF RAV KOOK Z”L
Many may have known the Satmar Rebbe, but Rabbi Chaim Moshe Stauber was
the Rebbe’s personal “hoiz bochur”…. close attendant and personal
confidant ...., spending over 20 years in his radiant presence.
Handpicked by the Rebbe for many important missions, he served the Rebbe
until his final days.
In his unique biography, The Satmar Rebbe: The life and times of Rav Yoel Teitlbaum zt"l published by Feldheim,
he not only chronicles the Rebbe’s remarkable life, but invites you
into the Rebbe’s innermost offices. One story, perhaps not widely known,
deals with the Rebbe’s views of Rav Kook z”l and his own remarks.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
Shavuos, the (Satmar) Beis Medrash was majestically decorated with
flowers and greenery. Guests from out-of-town including Chassidim from
Eretz Yisroel, South America, Europe, and Canada, were seated throughout
the Beis Medrash.
Of the many people who came to Williamsburg to be with the Rebbe for
Shavuos, was a special Rav from Chicago, Rabbi Dovid Winchester. Rabbi
Winchester was a native Chicagoan who had learned in Chevron Yeshiva
during the pogroms of 1929, and miraculously survived. The clean-shaven
Rabbi Winchester was a talmid chacham, but was certainly not a Satmar
He was the rabbi of the Nussach Ari Shul in Chicago, so why did he leave his own congregation to spend Shavuos with the Rebbe?
The Rebbe had gone to Chicago for the wedding of the daughter of the
Weitzener Rav, Reb Zvi Hirsch Meisels. At that time, he gave a drasha
that lasted two-and-a-half hours, and Rabbi Winchester was so impressed
with the Rebbe's Torah erudition that he looked for opportunities to be
On one occasion, he heard the Rebbe blame Rav Kook for "building the
bridge between religious Jews and Zionism," and Rabbi Winchester, who
had been Rav Kook's talmid and personal aide, protested. The Rebbe took
him aside and clarified for Rav Winchester why he blamed Rav Kook more
than anyone else. As a result, Rav Winchester took it upon himself to
begin learning through all of Shas, and strove to be every Shavuos
-Kabbalas HaTorah- at the Rebbe.