22 Av 5781 / Saturday, July 31, 2021 | Torah Reading: Eikev
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Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld    

Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld

Date of Passing: 19-Adar. Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld was the Chief Rabbi of the Ashkenazi Charedi community of Jerusalem during the British Mandate.


Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld
Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld (1849 – 1932) was the Chief Rabbi of the Ashkenazi charedi  Jewish community of Jerusalem during the years of the British mandate and co-founder of the Edah HaChareidis. Rabbi Sonnenfeld was born in Vrbové, Slovakia, and became an orphan at age 4.
Rabbi Sonnenfeld studied under leading rabbis in Pressburg and Kobersdorf, before moving to Jerusalem in 1873.
He became an important figure in Jerusalem's Old City, serving as the right-hand man of Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin and assisting the latter in communal activities, such as the founding of schools and the Diskin orphanage, and the fight against secularism.
Rabbi Sonnenfeld was strongly anti-Zionist and sent a delegate, Dutchman Jacob Israel de Haan, to Jordan with a peace proposal for King Abdullah.
Contrary to a number of distorted accounts, Rabbi Sonnenfeld had a warm relationship with and mutual respect for Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, although the two were vigorous opponents in many areas. Indeed, in 1913 the two travelled together to Northern Israel to try to return lapsed Jews to Orthodox Judaism.
The date of his passing: 19-Adar. 

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