Ultra-Orthodox Jewish leader Teitelbaum dies
'Gentle soul who carried himself with poise and distinction'
Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum, the spiritual leader of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect with tens of thousands of followers worldwide, died Monday. He was 91. Teitelbaum -- the rebbe, or grand rabbi, of the Satmar Hassidim -- died at Mount Sinai Hospital, said community leader Isaac Abraham. He entered the hospital March 30 for treatment of spinal cancer and other ailments.
The Satmars have 120,000 followers worldwide, according to sociologist Samuel Heilman, with large congregations in Brooklyn and the village of Kiryas Joel, 45 miles northwest of New York City. Thousands of mourners crammed into Teitelbaum's Brooklyn synagogue Monday night waiting for his body to be brought into the main sanctuary. Thousands more congregated outside, and police sent hundreds of officers to control the crowds.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Teitelbaum "a gentle soul who carried himself with poise and distinction. From the fires of the Holocaust, the grand rebbe and his uncle performed a miracle here in New York by rebuilding their community to match its glory days in Europe," Bloomberg said in a statement.
Rabbi Teitelbaum came to US fleeing the Nazi holocaust in 1946, where he lost his wife and children. A short but sweet bio of his life can be found on Wikipedia: