Who is this Rabbi?

An elderly man, wearing a gold-and-black-colored Chassidic-style jacket and a flat-brimmed black hat, clean-shaven, with white hair falling below his chin on either side of his face

This is a still taken from the beginning of a documentary on Haredi jews in Jerusalem: The Anti-zionist Jews of Jerusalem

I am curious to learn who this Rabbi is, why he is dressed this way and what kind of festivity we are witnessing here?

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    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/12419/…
    – Yishai
    Jul 22, 2014 at 21:47
  • This question's been seen by a number of established users and has no closure votes, so I won't close it unilaterally, but it really seems to be off-topic. One of our standard closure reasons is: "Questions... about history or news of... Jewish individuals..., except as related to Judaism, are off-topic." See also meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/1473. Pinging @Yishai just because I can.
    – msh210
    Jul 23, 2014 at 5:21
  • @msh210, I think the last paragraph makes it on topic ("why is he dressed this way and what kind of festivity"). In this case, I would also think knowing who it is allows someone to further investigate those matters.
    – Yishai
    Jul 23, 2014 at 14:20
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    @Raffael - I edited your question, as a mark of respect we don't refer to important Rabbis as GUYS! Feb 10, 2015 at 8:21

1 Answer 1


He is the Kaliver Rebbe.

[Rabbi] Menachem Mendel Taub (born 1923) is the Rebbe of the Kaliv Hasidic dynasty. Born in Transylvania in 1923, he is seventh in a direct paternal line to the founder of the dynasty, Rabbi Yitzchak Izak of Kaliv, a disciple of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech of Lizhensk.

An extremely talented Rabbi who recently moved his headquarters from Bnei Braq to Jerusalem. He speaks quite a few languages, and as a survivor of Auschwitz, he regularly speaks passionately about the Holocaust and Jewish unity. As a twin, Dr Mengele experimented on him and his sister (who didn't survive).

As a Chassidic Rebbe, he regularly conducts tischen where his Chassidim will join him for his meal. This particular picture is likely on Tu B'Shvat when Rebbes are known to distribute fruit.

And, video caption aside, he is NOT anti-Zionist!

UPDATE: The Kaliver Rebbe passed away in Jerusalem, on Nisan 23, 5779 [April 28, 2019] (aged 95–96).

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    As a chasidic rebbe, he wears a variety of colorful silk coats on various festive occasions.
    – Yitzchak
    Jul 22, 2014 at 21:47
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    And he is "clean-shaven" because the Nazis pulled out his beard from the roots. Jul 22, 2014 at 21:51
  • @ YEZ I've heard that many a time, though don't believe it's true. Likely the experiments stunted his growth, though.
    – Zvi
    Jul 22, 2014 at 21:52
  • @Zvi I actually heard it from him. I met him about 14 years ago. It is also true the rumor that he composes tunes to the posuk "Shema Yisroel" on the spot - he did so while we were there. Jul 22, 2014 at 21:58
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    @YEZ, considering the kinds of experiments Mengele (yimach sh'mo) did and the kinds of things that can cause non-growth of a beard, and especially because (as this answer notes) "he was unable to have children as a result", I wonder whether (but I don't assume) he said it was pulled out as a euphemism.
    – msh210
    Jul 23, 2014 at 5:19

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