Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Chatam Sofer


From the book "Orot HaSofer"

Rabbi Moshe Sofer, the "Chatam Sofer", was born in Frankfurt / Germany in 1762 and died in Pressburg (Bratislava) in 1839. He established the famous "Pressburg Yeshiva" and in Jerusalem you can find today's Pressburg Yeshiva in the neighbourhood of Givat Shaul.
The Chatam Sofer tremendously commentated on the Torah as well as on the Talmud. Thanks to his activism, Reform Judaism was kept out of Pressburg. His direct descendant is Rabbi Yochanan Sofer heads the chassidic group of Erloi. The Chatam Sofer himself was not chassidic and ate "Gebrochts" during Pessach. Furthermore, he was extremely famous due to his opposition to any modern changes. Any innovation of the Torah is forbidden by the Torah.

Chassidut Dushinsky is completely following the ideology of the Chatam Sofer.

When the Chatam Sofer had already become famous he was approached by a man who once learnt with him in a Yeshiva Chavruta during the early days of his life. The man asked him for the reason why, after all those years studying together, the Chatam Sofer had become so famous and him, the man asking, remained an ordinary guy.
The Chatam Sofer responded: I remember you and we studied together for many years and we used to go home together. Returning home in the same carriage. However, while going home, you used to look through the window at the mountains and the landscape whereas I did not do so.

This is one of the stories about the Chatam Sofer the book "Orot HaSofer" lists and I can only imagine that here the Chatam Sofer meant that while his friend was looking around without any further thought whereas the Chatam Sofer did not "waste" his time by looking around but going into deeper thought inside of himself.

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