When I started this blog three years ago, it was with the two goals of sharing my views and creating a forum for thoughtful Charedi debate where the ‘silent Charedi’ could have a voice in an arena traditionally dominated by the tango of critics and apologists. The blog more than met my initial expectations, and I’m grateful for the opportunity it gave me to reach a surprisingly wide and diverse audience. Over the last year my output became increasingly sparse. Partly this was a result of professional commitments, but another factor was becoming a columnist for Mosaic magazine, which exhausted the energies I had to spare for writing. The downside of this was that Mosaic’s paywall model meant that much of my audience was excluded. I’m pleased to tell you, therefore, that for the next few months, the Mosaic paywall has been lifted, and I will be sharing links over the coming weeks to some of the more important pieces I published there.
In honour of the upcoming yahrzeit of the Satmar Rebbe, R’ Yoel Teitelbaum זצ’’ל, the first installment is a piece I wrote about the secret of Satmar’s unique success not just in creating a thriving movement, but extending its reach far and wide in post-war orthodoxy. As a chossid born and bred, I have long been aware of Satmar’s unique power and dominance, but never understood how or why it had it. Like many, my attitude to Satmar was a mixture of resentment and admiration, but over the years, as my thinking has developed, the balance has shifted more in favour of the latter. This is my attempt to put my thoughts on the topics into shape, and explain what I think makes Satmar, and its visionary founder, truly unique. I hope you like it.