התאחדות שומרי הדת

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The visit of the Pupa Rebbe

Our community had a huge honour, because Thursday morning the Pupa Rebbe, R’ Yaakov Yechezkiyah Grünwald שליט”א visited us, who is the great-grandson of the late Pupa Rebbe known as Arugat haBosem, R’ Moshe Grünwald (1853–1910) זצוק”ל. The lack of heating in the Hanna restaurant, which hosted the event and was closed down months ago by the intruders, was compensated by the heated prayer of 50 chasidim who accompanied the rebbe. Our guests joined us in reciting the selichot said during the weekly portions of שובבים ת”ת – during the repetition of the amidah in accordance with the custom of our ancestors. Later the rebbe was called to the Torah, and following the prayer he learnt Talmud as well.

An open letter from HaRav Rabinowitz 25.01.2024

President Keszler:

Yesterday, an electrician inspected Chana (the place you send our Orthodox beloved congregation to pray at) and found that the 16-amp-circuit-breakers were replaced (presumably on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, between Tfilath Shachrith and Tfilath Mincha) with 6-amp-circuit-breakers, which did not support the heaters we purchased for our holy place. Your advertised story that the reason why all the heaters (that worked perfectly for weeks) stopped working suddenly was due to faulty wiring in the building, is blatantly fabricated.

I recognize and am Melamed Zchuth that in your past you were not required to be aware of our sources. Perhaps you were not aware that your publication yesterday in Maoih’s site violates numerous prohibitions of our Torah, a grave sin for an observant Jew. As you took upon yourself a position in the Orthodox congregation, it is incumbent upon you to study the Sefer Shmirath Haloshon (written by the Chofetz Chaim), were you will learn all details.


Rabbi Aryeh M. Rabinowitz

Times of shredding

On Aug 21, 2023 the respectable news site Times of Israel published an article on the conflict in Hungary between the small, local Orthodox community and EMIH, the local branch of Chabad (https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-hungary-orthodox-jews-fight-over-chabad-bailout-some-see-as-a-trojan-horse/). The article is a serious piece of journalism: a balanced and well-informed overview based on serious research, offering a rich selection of information, a variety of voices, and a balanced distribution of opposing views.

Somewhat unexpectedly, a Hungarian news outlet called neokohn.hu, a mouthpiece of Chabad/EMIH, published this article in Hungarian translation three days later. From the perspective of Chabad-propaganda, it was a wise decision. Why? Because a quality international Jewish media outlet presented the story to the international audience in a Chabad-friendly way with a sophistication that the local Chabad/EMIH propaganda-arm would never be able, nor willing, to apply. The main line of the article is that there is a local infighting in Budapest where some die-hard local fanatics (the “legitimate” members of the Orthodox community) are trying to obstruct dynamic and open-minded Chabad’s efforts to rebuild and reinvigorate the small Orthodox community.

What should I know about the Orthodox–Chabad conflict?

Despite the vast influence of Chabad in media, recently there has been some press coverage about the conflict between the Orthodox and the Chabad communities in Hungary, the most important one being the article of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. But there are still many confusing elements in the story, and we are here to help.


What should I know about Hungarian Jews?

Most Hungarian Jews are either the descendants of Moravian Jews arriving in the 18th century from the west, or related to Chassidic Jews arriving from Galicia from the east. The most prominent rabbis were the disciples of the late Chatam Sofer זצ”ל or his descendants and studied in his yeshivah in Pressburg. By the second half of the 19th century, the growing tension between different fractions of the Jews led to a schism, and in 1868 the more assimilated Neolog Jews founded their organisation, the predecessor of current Mazsihisz, while in 1871 the more traditional Jews founded the Orthodox community, the predecessor of MAOIH. Jews not willing to join either side were known as the Status Quo community.

The Holocaust did not affect the same way the three main branches. In smaller cities and villages, mainly populated by the more religious, the death rate was around 80%, while in the more secular Budapest this figure was far lower, around 50%. The Status Quo branch was destroyed, while in 1950 the communist government forced the Orthodox and Neolog to form a single organisation, called MIOK, which lasted until 1990. Many survivors left the country after World War II and after the revolution of 1956. As a consequence, although there can be 50–100,000 halakhically Jewish persons in Hungary, the overwhelming majority of them are secular, and only a fraction leads a religious lifestyle.

Speech of R’ Rabinowitz at the protest in front of the closed Kazinczy shul

כִּי תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל אֹיְבֶיךָ.

Unfortunately, many enemies target us, Jews for thousands of years, in the past and in the present. Our Jewish nation exists for thousands of years – beezrat Hashem – despite so many wars and persecutions.

It was and is a horrible feeling to be pursued by enemies, yet it is far more hurtful to be oppressed by our supposed brothers! Factually – and without any dishonest sugar-coating –, the sole Jewish Orthodox community here in Hungary in the past 150 years is the kehillah which adheres to and accepts all the rulings and customs of the esteemed Chatam Sofer and his rabbinical successors. One must stress the utmost respect and loyalty we had and have towards the esteemed Hungarian authorities throughout the years.

The excuse given for the brutal closing of a mekom tefillah for 110 years is the supposed renovation. In fact, they closed all three places of worship in our orthodox kehillah-complex. No one will be fooled to accept such a lame excuse which is a blatant lack of truth.

Truth to tell, Chabad – and EMIH, the status quo community affiliated with Chabad – has nothing to do with the Chatam Sofer’s legacy at all, they violate his nusach hatefillah, they oppose his rulings, they ignore completely his customs, and – to add insult to injury – they did not hesitate to actually close the main shul which follows his legacy, and which was not closed even during the horrible days of the holocaust.

Let us be clear Hungarian Orthodoxy is not Chabad or EMIH, and Chabad-EMIH is not Hungarian Orthodoxy! Any use of the term Orthodoxy here in Budapest, by anyone other than our kehillah, is fraudulent, geneivah hi beyedkhem.

After possessing this name for the past 150 years, any use of it by others is a strict violation of our copyrights! Chabad-EMIH and their straw men are requested to remove our name from their institutions, their letterheads, their certificates and their rabbi’s titles.

We demand our independent autonomy in our community, and we will oppose any hostile take-over by anyone!

In response to the question how could Chabad-EMIH act this way, came the answer that they outnumber us. It is important to refer them to the pasuk in the Torah that the significance of Jews is specifically not the numbers, and they were chosen specifically because of their minority (Moses V. 7:7).

לֹ֣א מֵֽרֻבְּכֶ֞ם מִכׇּל־הָֽעַמִּ֗ים חָשַׁ֧ק יְהֹוָ֛ה בָּכֶ֖ם וַיִּבְחַ֣ר בָּכֶ֑ם כִּֽי־אַתֶּ֥ם הַמְעַ֖ט מִכׇּל־הָעַמִּֽים׃

No intelligent person will take away the property or inheritance of a family consisting of one son in favor of another family, just because they outnumber them by having ten children,

Other claims must be adjudicated only before an acceptable beit din as every orthodox Jew is obligated, and – most certainly – manhigim are obligated to be an example to all.

As we are within 30 days of the yom hadin, cease and desist from all actions that will not assist you beyom hadin! We hope that our honest words will penetrate into the hearts of the people in charge, teshuvah magaat ad kisei hakavod. And we all will be zokheh to be nidon lizkhut ulrachamin and likthivah vechatimah leshanah tovah umtukah lealtar!

haRav Aryeh Mordekhai Rabinowitz שליט”א

Open Letter to Gábor Keszler 20 July 2023


An open letter

to Gábor Keszler,
the person usurping the office of MAOIH president

As a result of your actions, the religious life of the the Hungarian Autonomous Orthodox Jewish Community (MAOIH) has been completely paralyzed today. All the religious institutions of the MAOIH headquarter and building complex in Kazinczy Street have now been closed to domestic and foreign visitors. Various renovations do not and cannot justify this. The series of closures, reorganizations, outsourcing, and renovations serve only one purpose: the power aspirations of those whose bidding you obey – EMIH, Shlomo Köves and Baruch Oberlander – that is, the absorption of MAOIH into the business church called EMIH.

The legitimate membership of the MAOIH calls upon you:

  1. to inform the membership, with immediate effect, exactly what renovations are taking place and planned in the three main buildings and premises of the MAOIH building complex on Kazinczy Street used for prayer in the coming months;
  2. to open with immediate effect (in view of the renovations) at least one of the many premises in the building complex suitable for prayer – for example the Banquet Hall or the Hanna restaurant.

20 July 2023

Shomrei Hadas

Answer to the statement of Mr. Keszler



to the 12 May 2023 Statement of the usurper of the Presidency of the Autonomous Orthodox Jewish Community of Hungary (MAOIH)

Readers of the following lines know that Chabad/EMIH is now trying to save Hungarian Orthodox Jewry, after having already saved the Hungarian press, Holocaust remembrance, theatre, chicken processing and many other things. In parallel with Hungarian Orthodoxy, higher education, the aluminium industry and now religious tourism are being considered. Obviously, they will have more ideas. It is a miracle that in the midst of their efforts they even took the time to address, even if in a polemical tone, our humble congregation, the ‘real’ MAOIH, the legitimate membership of the MAOIH. This entity is of course not recognized by Chabad/EMIH, this group they cannot “address” – this is one of the reasons why the statement, signed by the new “president” Gábor Keszler (hereafter: Statement), which was published on the MAOIH website (maoih.hu) on May 12, 2023, occupied and immediately censored by the illegitimate new MAOIH leadership, targets the legitimate president of MAOIH, Robert Deutsch. The real addressees are of course us, the legitimate membership of MAOIH, who oppose the Chabad/EMIH conspiracy.

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