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Remembering Shlomo Yankel Gelbman, Chronicler of the Satmar Hasidic Movement.

Last Shabbat saw the passing of one of the most astonishing Jewish historians of our time, although he was almost entirely unknown to the guild of university-trained scholars. Rabbi Shlomo Yankel Gelbman was the omniscient and prolific chronicler of the Satmar Hasidic movement and its founding rabbi, Joel Teitelbaum (1887-1979). He lived in Kiryas Joel, N.Y., the Satmar "shtetl" founded by Teitelbaum that has been a legally recognized village in New York for 38 years.

Gelbman was born in 1952 in Israel, but came to the United States as a child and studied at the Satmar yeshiva in Borough Park. He was one of the first Satmar settlers to move to the development in the Town of Monroe in 1974 that had been planned, purchased, and built by associates of Joel Teitelbaumand that would come to be known as Kiryas Joel. Moving frequently between Kiryas Joel and Brooklyn, the two centers of the Satmar world, Gelbman developed a reputation as the most knowledgeable authority on the history of the Satmar movement, as well as a favored speaker at Satmar functions, such as the annual celebratory dinner for thousands on 21 Kislev that marked Rabbi Teitelbaum's liberation from Nazi captivity.

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Author:Myers, David N.
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Apr 3, 2015
Words:213
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