I was curious as to what the Derech Halimud (learning style) is for Satmar Chassidim. I understand that the general Chassidish Derech (Chassidic style) is one that moves at a quicker pace with not as many commentaries as opposed to a Litvish Derech Halimud (Lithuanian (non-Chassidic) learning style) which is slower and more in depth.

Does the Satmar Derech follow the general Chassidish Derech? If not, what is their Derech Halimud?

  • 2
    Interesting... it seems that there aren't any Satmars on this site
    – Daniel
    Jun 12, 2013 at 13:00
  • 1
    This is a fantastic question (and as @Daniel notes, one that is presumably hard to Google). Thanks for bringing it here! If you don't mind, I'm going to delete the parenthetical conversational paragraph at the end because it is conversational and makes the question narrower. Feel free to add it back in if you think it contributes to the question significantly Jun 12, 2013 at 15:07
  • I have a satmar friend who learned in satmar.He learnt gemara to halacha.
    – sam
    Jun 12, 2013 at 19:23
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    @sam would he by any chance be able to shed some light on this question?
    – Bochur613
    Jun 12, 2013 at 20:22
  • Related (no answer provided, however): youtu.be/1QFzm7yJ344?t=31m30s
    – Seth J
    Jun 12, 2013 at 21:14

3 Answers 3


Fragmentary information I can gather from various sources indicates that the accepted learning style "in Satmar" includes the following characteristics:

  • Topic-directed rather than linear page-by-page learning
  • Studying out loud
  • Ostensible resemblance to the "Chasam Sofer" style of learning, which is characterized by
    • simplicity (avoidance of both pilpul and d'rush)
    • focus in legal/g'mara study on direct application to practice

I don't know how closely this matches what is actually done in Satmar y'shivos or how unique it is, but it's a start.


I dont know if you really mean Satmar or chasidim. Satmar are not really chasidim since they were in Hungary/Rumania and followed the Hungarian chasam sofer derech. The derech of the first Satmar rebbe (and Hungarian yeshivot) was to learn what they termed 'sugya' shiur. That means about 3 topics what they considered in depth a term. They used to print out all the gemoros and meforshim pertaining to them. After they had learnt them the rebbe or RY used to give a shiur on them with his own chiddushim which have since been printed. As you know gemoro is rarely on one 'place' so they had to learn it from all over. Apart from this the Satmar rebbe when he was still in Rumania used to give a 'deep' daily morning shiur which was on the blatt and in the afternoon a quicker one. This was the method in all Hungarian yeshivot. Apart from this they learnt Shulchan Oruch with Magen Avrohom and others Yore Daio. There was a strict exam weekly which was also on the chumash rashi conducted by the rebbe in person. In Hungarian yeshivot they did not have 'classes'. There was mainly only one shiur given by the RY and the older boys used to have to learn with the younger ones (for payment).

This system has almost died out today. Although it is still kept in a minimum kind of way in Satmar. When the rebbe opened his yeshivo in America he still carried on given his 'sugya' shiur which as I say has since been printed but had hardly any listeners to it from his yeshivo since they couldnt keep up with it. But he did keep giving his strict exam weekly. He had a great sense of humor and when a boy said something wrong he usually made a joke out of it. One of his well known quips was that he had boy there whose name was moshe and his fathers name was Sinai. The boy made a mistake. So the rebbe replied, 'is that what moshe was 'mekabel' received from sinai.

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    This is a lot of information. Where do you know it from? Jun 18, 2013 at 16:47
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    I know a lot first hand. But I also have a book called yeshivot in Hungary by Abraham Fuchs printed in 1978.
    – user2800
    Jun 18, 2013 at 17:18
  • books.google.co.uk/books/about/…
    – user2800
    Jun 18, 2013 at 17:23
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    cool. This can you edit your sources into the answer? Jun 18, 2013 at 17:35

This is in addition to what WAF and annex have written.

From the book The Rebbe: The Extraordinary Life and Worldview of Rabbeinu Yoel Teitelbaum, page 440:

The Yeshiva curriculum was based on the education the Rebbe received from his teachers and ancestors in previous generations, and the same curriculum followed in the Yeshivas of the Chasam Sofer and his Talmidim. There was a "shiur pashut" on Gemarah, Rashi and Tosfos. There were times to study Shulchan Aruch, the weekly Parsha with Rashi, and the works of Mussar and Chassidus. And there was the "shiur iyun" on the sugyos of the Talmud. The purpose of the shiur iyun was to delved into a sugya, touching all the places where it was discussed in the Talmud and the poskim, to iron out difficulties in the words of the Rishonim and Achronim, and to establish the halachic conlusion.

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