Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira, the Baba Sali (1890-1984)

Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzera, the Baba Sali, held the Satmar Rebbe and his sefer Vayoel Moshe in very high esteem. In Hasaba Kadisha Baba Sali, Rabbi Yehuda Yehudayoff, the Baba Sali’s son-in-law, recounts how his father-in-law asked him to buy a copy of Vayoel Moshe.

Setting aside all other tasks, the Baba Sali locked himself in a room to learn Vayoel Moshe cover to cover. When he emerged, he said to his son-in-law, “There is no one greater in this generation in clarity of learning, logic, and giving decisive refutations like Rabbi Yoel, may the memory of the tzaddik be a blessing. With clear proofs, he has refuted all those who piled up words upon words, leaving no stone unturned and no question unanswered.

“Let us make a festive meal to celebrate a mitzvah, a siyum on Vayoel Moshe, just as we celebrate a siyum on a Talmudic tractate. This sefer is a great and important tractate in this confused generation. Rabbi Yoel is our pillar of fire, and we will walk in his light until the coming of moshiach.”

Throughout the meal, the Baba Sali quoted at length from Vayoel Moshe from memory, and expressed amazement at the Satmar Rebbe’s sharp mind and fluency in all the words of Chazal and Midrashim. He thanked Hashem for planting in our generation a holy tzaddik and gaon to guide those who fear Hashem in the true path, without any compromises. (Tiferes Yoel v. 3 pp. 113-114)