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<<(Satmar / Satu Mare, Hungary).>> Pinkas Chevra Kadisha [Community memorial ...

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<<(Satmar / Satu Mare, Hungary).>> Pinkas Chevra Kadisha [Community memorial volume].

Manuscript in Hebrew, square calligraphic and cursive hands on paper. Members recorded on individual pages in a large Hebrew calligraphic hand.
pp. 20 (excluding blanks). Large thick folio.
Satmar, Romania: 1958-

This Pinkas is fairly typical of the genre of Chevra Kadisha Pinkasim - but with a striking exception: It dates to after the Holocaust years. Sixteen of the pages list members in large and striking Hebrew. Both fathers and mothers are listed in the patronymic, e.g., ‘Reb Avraham Biederman ben Moshe u-ben Rivka.’ At the beginning are four pages of handwritten inscriptions. Two are from Rabbi David Moshe Rosen (1912-94), the chief rabbi of Romania during the Communist period. The first, dated 7 Adar, 1958, mentions the commencement of this pinkas at the se’udat mitzvah, dedicated “to the eternal memory of the holy [martyrs] of Satmar.” He blesses the chevra kadisha with success. A second, briefer letter with blessings from Rabbi Rosen appears underneath, dated the 3rd day of Chanukah, 1978. Following his inscriptions is a page with three black and white photos of Rabbi Rosen delivering an address, in full canonicals. The next inscription is from Rabbi Naftali Halpert, the Chief Rabbi of Satmar, successor of Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum’s rabbinic position from 1947 to 1982. This inscription is dated the 26th day of the Sefira, 1982. In his letter he expresses thanks to those Jews who attend the beis midrash to pray every day. A black and white photograph of Rabbi Halpert is pasted onto this page as well. After this is a warm letter from a visitor, Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Yules (?), dated 4 Tishrei, 1980, who writes that upon “first inspection of the holy community of Satu Mare I found Jews who are whole, good, and given to holy activity.” Following the Holocaust, a sizable number of survivors returned to the city of Satmar. They re-established the Kehilla and appointed R. Naftoli Halpert (1906-88) as their Rabbi. Despite increased persecution from Communist authorities, he courageously led the community for many years, all the while keeping to his Chassidic traditions.