BDE: Reb Meir Guttman, Boro Park’s Legendary Meshamesh
by YS Gold
We regret inform you of the passing of Reb Meir Guttman, a legend in the Boro Park community and within the Satmar chassidus. He was 74 years of age, and spent decades of his life involved in communal life as the Satmar shammes in Boro Park, and officiating at simchos of fellow Yidden with joy and fire.
The niftar was born following the war in the Hungarian town of Deezh, his parents moved to Bnei Brak shortly thereafter, where the joined the Satmar community which was being established there.
Meir learned in the newly-established Satmar cheder in Bnei Brak, and would recall with great fondness and longing the visits that the Satmar Rebbe zy"u would make to the holy land, bringing thousands to the streets to welcome him.
In 1967, Reb Meir came to learn in New York in the yeshiva of the Satmar rebbe. His father wanted him to return home to find a shidduch, but the Rebbe asked him to remain here “at least until Chanukah.” On the eve of Chanukah, he became engaged. That morning, the rebbe asked his attendants “is there any news with the ‘red bachur.’?
A short time after his marriage, Reb Meir was offered to serve as the meshamesh of the Satmar Beis Medrash on 53rd street in Boro Park. He was in no hurry to take on the job, except that his rebbe, the Beirach Moshe of Satmar encouraged him to do so.
The rest his history, and for decades to come, he served as the shammes in the great Satmar shul, and later in the Satmar Beis Medrash on 45th and 10th avenue.
In addition to his duties in the shul, Reb Meir officiated at thousands of brissin and chupahs. As one article pointed out, “children knew that just as Reb Meir stood by at their bris, he would officiate at their chupah when the time came.”
In later years, reb Meir resides at Boro Park center, and here too, he was the unofficial Gabbai, arranging and coordinating so much of the spiritual life within the home.
Reb Meir was niftar on Friday, and was zoche to be brought to kevurah on the new Beis hachaim in Kiryas Yoel in the moments before the onset of shabbos, ascending to world of truth to serve as shammes in the Yeshiva Shel Maalah.
Yehi zichro baruch