The Grand Rebbe’s words came two days after the US midterm elections, during which Democrat Kathy Hochul became the governor of New York state, beating out Jewish Republican Trump ally Lee Zeldin.
“Trumpism,” said Satmar Grand Rebbe Aron Teitelbaum in a beginning-of-semester address to Satmar Yeshiva students in Kiryas Yoel, New York, “has infiltrated the Jewish camp and twisted so many minds.”
The Rebbe’s words came two days after the US midterm elections, during which Democrat Kathy Hochul became the governor of New York state, beating out Jewish Republican Trump ally Lee Zeldin. Zeldin had very strong support among New York’s haredi voting population.
According to Satmar Headquarters on Twitter, the Rebbe blamed many in his community for being involved in “Trump Meshigas.”
“When we think of Trumpism,” he said according to a translation from Rabbi Meyer Labin on Twitter, “it’s so antithetical to Judaism and it infiltrated our Jewish camp by a gang of hacks who raised their heads.”
Tech versus Torah
He singled out, specifically, the use of modern technology as a distraction from Torah and the ultimate cause of “Trump Meshigas” in the community. “Those who are connected to WhatsApp [as opposed to Torah],” he said, “that’s where it’s coming from.”
Transcript of Satmar Rebbe’s words this morning: Trumpism has infiltrated the Jewish camp and twisted so many minds. Everyone with common sense understands this (re: Hochul). Why did people think otherwise? The answer is incitement and brainwashed. Incitement by Trumpists. > pic.twitter.com/PVaLv9TyvB— (@MeyerLabin) November 9, 2022
The Satmar Rebbe lamented the viral nature of the “Trumpist” school of thought, saying that those involved are “spreading incitement and are unfortunately successful in brainwashing large parts of our communities. People can’t think straight. It’s very painful and I was trying to keep quiet about it until now because I realized that there is no one to talk to.”
The Rebbe has not always come out on the side of the Jewish political Left, although his views on technology have remained consistent over the years. He has strictly forbidden his followers to own computers (excepting dire circumstances) or smartphones. He is firmly opposed to Zionism and according to a 2013 Ynet article, he referred to the proposed draft of haredi men into the Israeli army as “a decree worse than the annihilation of the Jewish people.”