Jewish History Soundbites

An Angel Amid the Ashes: The Klausenberger Rebbe Part I

April 27, 2021
Rav Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam (1905-1994), known as the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe was a scion of the Sanz dynasty & rabbi in prewar Klausenburg (Kluj), but achieved renown for his heroic experiences during the horrors of the Holocaust and rebuilding efforts in its aftermath.
After losing his wife and all his children, he survived Auschwitz, a labor camp in Warsaw, Dachau and Mühldorf, all the while refraining from consuming non-kosher food. Following liberation, he threw himself into rebuilding Jewish life in the Displaced Persons camps of Feldafing and Foehrenwald. 
Upon immigrating to the United States he remarried and attempted to carry out his vision of rehabilitation and rebuilding, all while being a father to the many survivors who had become attached to him. In the shadow of the destruction of the Holocaust, he modified his stance on the State of Israel, for which he entered into a dispute with his uncle the Satmar Rov and his followers, and even met with the Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.
In 1956 he laid the cornerstone of the Kiryat Sanz community in Netanya, and he later had the unique distinction of being a chassidic rebbe who built a hospital. The Laniado Hospital was dedicated in 1975 and fulfilled his vision as a place which would preserve life on Jewish principles, as an answer to the destruction of life which had been sustained in the Holocaust.
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