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I'd heard there was a point in the late twentieth century when the Lubavitcher Rebbe (R' Menachem Mendel Schneurson) would give an address, which would be relayed to the Satmar Rebbe (R' Yoel Teitelbaum), who replied to it in one of his addresses; this continued for quite some time, until one of the rebbes had a stroke.

From what I understand, this was actually some form of a debate between the two (very different) Hassidic movements.

Can anyone provide more information about this, please?

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I believe there was an exchange between the two regarding the Lubavitcher Rebbe's campaign to put tefillin on with secular Jews on the street. The Satmar Rebbe spoke out against it and the Lubavitcher Rebbe responded. There was also the fight between Satmar and Chabad following the kidnapping and beating of a former-Satmer-turned-Lubavitch Chasid. That story is told in Avrum Ehrlich's books on the history of Chabad, but that was already after the death of the Satmar Rebbe. –  Curiouser Sep 2 '11 at 17:20
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There was also whether the 6 day war or Entebbe were miracles, whether Nishtatcha Toras Habaal Shem Tov, relationships with Zionists. –  Shmuel Brin Sep 2 '11 at 17:27
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@msh210 I thought there was some controversy regarding Vechter? –  Shmuel Brin Sep 2 '11 at 18:30
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@msh210, I was a child living in Crown Heights at the time. As I recall it, both incidents - with R. Korf and with R. Vechter, in that order - happened within a few months of each other (1982-83). But (a) that was long after R. Yoelish's passing, and (b) as Curiouser said, the dispute between Satmar and Lubavitch goes back long before that. (There were also some unpleasant incidents in the mid-70s, including when Lubavitchers went to shuls in Williamsburg for Tahaluchah on Yom Tov, and when they drove Mitzvah tanks through the neighborhood.) –  Alex Sep 2 '11 at 20:56
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@Curiouser, I think that your comment should be an answer. R. Yoelish suffered a stroke in 1968 (his chassidim referred to that year as "תש כח", the strength weakened), and the Lubavitcher Rebbe's tefillin campaign began in 1967, so that would fit well with what Shalom heard. –  Alex Sep 2 '11 at 20:59
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1 Answer 1

  • See Lubavitcher Rebbe on Entebbe.

  • Here is a letter from the summer of 1967 where the Lubavitcher Rebbe responds to criticism of his statements that the 6-Day war was (among other things) miraculous. (See the footnotes in the beginning of the letter for other locations the Rebbe spoke about this) The questioner claims that miracles aren't done through sinners. I don't know who wrote the letter the Rebbe is responding to, but that was one of the disagreements between the Lubavitcher and Satmar Rebbeim.

    Also, the letter concludes that "Kastner was etc. [Zionist] yet was still the means for his salvation. This refers to the Kastner train that saved the Satmar Rebbe's life.

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If people can make a list, it would be nice. –  Shmuel Brin Sep 4 '11 at 5:42
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