22 Av 5781 / Saturday, July 31, 2021 | Torah Reading: Eikev
dot  Add to favorites   dot  Set as homepage  
    Create an account    |    Sign in
    My Account     Orders History     Help
  My Country:  
  United States   
   My Currency:  
  US Dollar   
Home Page Torah Portion Spirituality and Faith Foundations of Judaism Inspirational Stories Family & Daily Life Holidays and Fast Days Israel and Society
   Shabbat     Hitbodedut (Personal Prayer)     Holiness for Men and Women     Jewish Daily Life and Halacha             
Rabbinic Leaders  
HomeFoundations of JudaismRabbinic LeadersRabbi Moshe Sofer - The Chatam Sofer
  Advanced Search

Rabbi Moshe Sofer - The Chatam Sofer    

Rabbi Moshe Sofer - The Chatam Sofer

Date of Passing: 25-Tishrei. He was a towering figure sent by the Almighty to lead his people during a period of great turbulence and transition...


Rabbi Moshe Sofer  - The Chatam Sofer
(1762 - 1838) To mention the Chatam Sofer is to evoke an aura of unique awe.  He was a towering figure sent by the Almighty to lead his people during a period of great turbulence and transition.  The gates of the ghetto had been ruptured and unprecedented opportunities beckoned Jews to take advantage of the new situation. In one generation the Jewishness of the Chatam Sofer’s native Frankfort was devastated. Reform was making inroads. The Chatam Sofer became Rabbi of Pressburg in 1806, where he remained for thirty-three years. From there he showed the way to maintain authentic Jewish life through strong communal life, first class education and uncompromising opposition to Reform and radical change.
On the eve of WWII Rabbi Meir Shapiro visited Prague and Pressburg and found that Prague’s Judaism lay in its famous cemetery, while Pressburg’s Judaism was very much alive. Rabbi Shapiro attributed the contrast to the firm approach of the Chatam Sofer in Pressburg as compared with the conciliatory, compromising approach of the leaders of Prague.
What was the power of the Chatam Sofer? It was his sense that he represented the Jewish people of his generation. This historic sense manifested itself in many ways. For example, his son, Rabbi Shimon Sofer once asked him how he could respond to complex halachic questions so rapidly? To which the Chatam Sofer replied that in each generation G-d sends an individual to guide his people. Since most questions come to him he must be that person in this generation. Therefore, even if the rationale he gave for a ruling could be refuted, the ruling itself was correct since it was divinely directed. On another occasion he wrote that in 40 years of deciding halachic questions he changed his mind only twice and even in those two instances he should not have reversed himself.
He was a great teacher and had thousands of disciples. His son, Shimon quotes his father as saying, that from the day he began teaching no day-except the ninth of Av passed when he failed to teach Torah to a large group. Those who knew him sensed a divine spirit within him. His illustrious father-in-law, Rabbi Akiva Eger, referred to an aguna case in which the Chatam Sofer uncovered the truth by questioning the witnesses in an unexpected manner and commented, “I saw how great is the power of Zaddikim…the spirit of G-d spoke within him”. It was the Chatam Sofer’s custom to record his daughter’s birth with the remark,”…and with G-d’s help I will lead her to the Chupah”. When his younger daughter, Simcha was born, he omitted that statement. As it turned out he died shortly before her wedding.
He was devoted to the Land of Israel and encouraged settlement. At the same time he was a loyal citizen and saw no contradiction.
Though he was a forceful and regal leader, he was gentle, caring shepherd of his flock. He prayed with great fervor. Though a halachic decisor of the first caliber, he was possessed of a remarkably poetic soul who composed divine  poetry between Yom Kippur and Sukkot every year.
His writings are voluminous. Some of his more popular works are the Responsa, the Derashot, and the Torat Moshe. He even wrote a remarkable description (Sefer HaZikaron) of Napoleon’s siege of Pressburg in 1809, describing the miraculous fate of the Jewish population of Pressburg.

New Comment    New Comment
   See More Articles By Breslev Israel staff
   Read more about Rabbinic Leaders

Top of article    Top of article       Email This Article    Email This Article          Share to Facebook       Print version    Print version

 Join the distribution list Join the distribution list
If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:


 Related Articles Related Articles

Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi               Rabbi Aryeh Leib - The Shpole Zeide               Look and Learn - Reb Yitzchak of Vorki
 Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi  Rabbi Aryeh Leib - The Shpole Zeide  Look and Learn - Reb Yitzchak of Vorki

  0 Talkbacks for this article     

Add Your CommentAdd Your Comment    Add Your Comment    

In Honor of:    In Memory of:
Like What You Read?
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in making a better world.
Click here to support Breslev.co.il
 Products of the Day Products of the Day
Back  1 2 3  Next
Back  1 2 3  Next
 Most talked about Most talked about
Up  1 2 3  Down
 Most read Most read
Up  1 2 3  Down
 Facebook Facebook
 Mailing List Mailing List
Subscribe Here:   


open toolbar