Satmar Rebbe Blames Massacre on Jews Visiting Temple Mount

Satmar Rebbe blames observant Jews ascending Temple Mount for Har Nof massacre, says it 'costs lives.'

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Nir Har-Zahav and Tova Dvorin,

Previous Satmar Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum (file)
Previous Satmar Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum (file)
Yaakov Neumi/Flash90

One of Satmar's two Rebbes (Grand Rabbis) eulogized the victims of the massacre in Har Nof Tuesday, pointing the blame not at the Palestinian Arabs who killed them, but at Jews who ascend the Temple Mount (Judaism's holiest site - ed.) as the cause. 

"These days, bad news comes from the holy city of Jerusalem," Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum stated, as quoted by hareidi website Kikar Hashabbat. "Just today we heard terrifying news from Jerusalem of the loss of precious lives." 

Rebbe called to pray and study the Torah in wake of the massacre, ''and to teach the books of our holy Satmar teachers, to memorize the pure view in times like these."

He then pointed an accusatory finger at Jews ascending the Temple Mount. 

"Regarding the prohibition of ascending the Temple Mount, which all Jews who fear G-d know demands the punishment of karet [a severe punishment; open to interpretation, could mean premature death or spiritual excision - ed.], it has unfortunately become easy for people to take it lightly because of false beliefs," he stated. "Who knows how many victims were killed by observant Jews going up to the Temple Mount, and who knows what it will cost us, G-d have mercy, as a result of them."

Satmar hassidim believe, based on their interpretation of a Talmudic passage, that the State of Israel should have been established only after the coming of the Messiah. The sect split in two after the death of the previous Rebbe, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, and following prolonged infighting by two of his sons - Aaron and Zalman Leib (Yekutiel Yehuda).

The more stringent of the Satmar hassidic sect do not visit the Western Wall or Rachel's Tomb because Jews were killed in order to gain control of those sites. 

It should also be noted that the hareidi community at large disapproves of ascending the Temple Mount, the allowance of which in Jewish law constitutes a controversial debate among contemporary Torah sources. 

This, however, is not the first time the Satmar Rebbe has made controversial statements after a tragedy.

In July, Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum of Satmar blamed the abduction of murdered teens Naftali Frankel (16), Gilad Sha'ar (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19) on the boys' parents for being "settlers" living beyond 1949 Armistice lines and the “evil inclination and the desire for Jews to inhabit the entire State of Israel.”

Several senior Satmar officials later condemned the statements. 








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