Auction 048 Rebbes of Satmar, Sighet and Bobov - Books, Objects, Letters and Manuscripts, Broadsides and Printed Items

Ink Blotter of Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum – Gift of the Satmar Community Upon His Initial Election as Rabbi – 1928

Opening: $1,000
Sold for: $1,375
Including buyer's premium

Ink blotter dedicated to Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum – gift received immediately upon his victory in the first elections for the Satmar rabbinate, Tishrei 1928, from the community leader R. Chaim Freund and the community members. Satmar, 17th Tishrei 1928.
Wooden ink blotter. Metal plaque on upper part, with vegetal motifs and engraved dedication: "To R. Yoel Teitelbaum, much success – 17th Tishrei 1928 – Chaim Freund and the entire Satmar community".
The next day, second day of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, 18th Tishrei, R. Yoel received the official certificate of appointment as rabbi of Satmar, signed by the rabbis and notables of the city, headed by the community leader R. Chaim Freund (see Kedem auction 63, item 111).

The Controversy Over the Satmar Rabbinate
In summer 1928, shortly after the passing of R. Eliezer David Grünwald Rabbi of Satmar, elections were held to appoint a new rabbi. Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum won the elections, yet several members of the community attempted to disqualify the election, claiming that the results were forged. The severe controversy over the election lasted for six years, during which polemic writings were published on each side, and several repeated elections were conducted. Only in 1934 was R. Yoel Teitelbaum finally appointed as rabbi of Satmar.
The election of R. Yoel Teitelbaum to the Satmar rabbinate marked a turning point in the impact of the Orthodox and Chassidic communities in the Maramureş region and Transylvania. Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum turned Satmar into a powerhouse of Torah and Chassidism, with a yeshiva numbering hundreds of students and a dynamic Chassidic community.

R. Chaim Freund (1865 – ca. 1950), community leader of Satmar for many years. Brother of R. Avraham Yehoshua Freund Rabbi of Năsăud. He played a central role in the appointment of Rebbe Yoel as rabbi of Satmar in 1929-1934.

Approx. 8.5X15X8 cm. Good-fair condition. Defects and rust to metal plaque. Fading and minor abrasions to wood. Blotting cloth worn and slightly torn.

The Holiness of Items of Tzaddikim - In the Teachings of Rebbe Yoel of Satmar

In his writings, Rebbe Yoel of Satmar repeatedly relates to the holiness contained in the possessions of a Tzaddik; and conversely to the prohibition of benefitting from the money of the wicked, warning not to accept funding from the Zionist state and the like.

In several places in his book Divrei Yoel on the Torah, the Rebbe describes the tremendous virtue of the belongings of the Tzaddik, which have the power to endow holiness for generations, since the "sparks of holiness" endure in them. Based on this concept, the Rebbe explains Yosef's influence on the Egyptians, who were sustained from his produce during the famine and drew from it "spiritual vibrancy": "…the property of Tzaddikim has the power to impart spiritual vibrancy…" (Divrei Yoel, Shemot, p. 33). Regarding the "aspect of holiness" contained in the belongings of Tzaddikim from "the root of their soul", he writes: "The possessions of Tzaddikim are precious to them… since they contain an aspect of the root of their soul… as they are particular not to steal…" (Divrei Yoel, Vayetze, p. 92).

The Appointment of Rebbe Yoel Teitelbaum as Rabbi of Satmar