From the end of Tape # 278, five days after the petirah of the Satmerer Rav, Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, zatzal
Actually I must divulge that I began this subject (Tape # 278 – My Servant Moshe) with the intention of saying something about the Satmerer Rav, zichrono l’vracha. Because such an event is too big to pass over without some remark. We have to know that the Satmerer Rav represented an old tradition. He was ninety-three years old, which means that he had spent a great part of his life in the old world among the old talmidei chachomim. And therefore, when he came here he brought along with him not American ideas — he brought along the tradition of the Am Yisroel. He represented a continuity of our great past. And not only that, but he was a fighter, and his presence here had a very profound influence on everyone.
And it’s only ויהי אחרי מות משה, after Moshe the eved Hashem passed away, that the people realized who they once had. It’s only after the Satmerer Rav has now passed away that people will realize what they once had, but didn’t appreciate.
And therefore this principle that we spoke about tonight, that the great men exert a powerful influence on their generation and that they represent the Shechina, has to be studied by us because we are still alive. We can’t give up and say, “Well, all of the old gedolim have passed away; Rav Aaron zichrono l’vracha, and the old Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav Yosef Yitzchok are gone.”
When Rav Yosef Yitzchok passed away, I remember the day. It was a dark day and the whole Jewish nation was in mourning — just like we are mourning for the Satmerer Rav zichrono l’vracha. When Rav Aaron Kotler passed away it was a dark day. Oh, the whole Jewish nation was in mourning.
But ויאמר השם אל יהושע משרת משה — And Hashem said to Yehoshua the servant of Moshe, קום — Arise, get up. Because now is the time to start accomplishing big things – because we have to make up for the loss of the Satmerer Rav. And that means first and foremost to utilize the great men that we possess today. Because we still have great men and we should live with them; we should live in their shade and grow as a result of their presence.
TAPE # 278 (August 1979)
Even the Litvishe Rabbonim recognize today that the Satmerer Rebbe is a tzadik ha’dor. So why aren’t they also shouting out against certain things the same way the Satmerer Rebbe does?
And the answer is that to shout out requires not only conviction but it requires courage as well. And therefore, there are alot of people who believe in certain principles but they don’t want to put themselves out. They don’t have the level of mesiras nefesh needed to fight for these principles. Look, sometimes it can be quite uncomfortable. Therefore it’s understandable that even people who agree with the Satmerer Rav are not in the mood to expose themselves to public opprobrium.
TAPE # 107 (February 1976)