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Home | Auction No. 100 | Letter from Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer, son of the Chatam Sofer, Rabbi of Pressburg and author of the "Kitav Sofer"
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Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 19:00

66 . Letter from Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer, son of the Chatam Sofer, Rabbi of Pressburg and author of the "Kitav Sofer"

Complete letter written by the Kitav Sofer, from first days of his leadership. Pressburg [1841].

Specifications: [1] doubled leaf, 19x25 cm. About 18 wide lines, all in his handwriting and with his signature. In addition, his name appears on the wax seal.

Content: Important letter from Rabbi Avraham Binyomin Shmuel Sofer sent to Rabbi Zvi Hersh Lehren regarding funds donated to people in Eretz Yisrael, from the beginning of his involvement in communal affairs.

Background: Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Binyamin Sofer, the "Kitav Sofer" (1815-1872) was the eldest son of the Chatam Sofer and his successor in the Pressburg rabbinate, leadership of the yeshiva and leadership of Hungarian Jewry. His father had a special affinity for him, and began introducing him to "hora'ah" - responding to questions of Jewish halacha and thought - from a young age. He showed him questions that he received and instructed him to write his opinion so that they could discuss the Torah ideas. In this manner, the Chatam Sofer taught his son his method of learning. He is known by the name of the series of works that he published, the Kitav Sofer.
The Chatam Sofer admired his son and extolled him generously on many occasions. About a year before his death, the Chatam Sofer appointed the Kitav Sofer to succeed him and instructed him to lecture in the yeshiva on Shabbat. In 1838, when the Kitav Sofer was 22-years-old, he authored a large treatise on Tractate Gittin.
During the Chatam Sofer's last days, when he was very ill, the community leaders approached him about appointing his son to succeed him. The Chatam Sofer was very pleased, and thanked Hashem for the kindness. He sent for his son and asked him if he would be happy to take over his position. He did not answer him, just stood and cried, and his father said that he should draw closer so that he could bless him before he died. He blessed him, "Your grandfather Akiva is to your right, your grandfather the Maharshashach is to your left, the angel... is above your head and I will also come after you to fill your words." The Kitav Sofer related that the Chatam Sofer's hands, which were on his head at the point, were fiery.
When he was 24-years-old, he took over his father's position in Pressburg and lead the yeshiva. Right from the start, it was clear to all that this son was worthy of his father's position. During his time, the yeshiva grew and he taught thousands of students, to the extent that most Hungarian rabbis in the generation after his had studied in his beit medrash.
His brother, Rabbi Shimon Sofer, Av Beit Din of Krakow and author of Shu"t Michtav Sofer, wrote in his introduction to the Shu"T Kitav Sofer, "He took over our father's position completely, and he did not move from his style and path. Everyone that knew him, called him "Kalav," because they said he is "kulo av" - entirely like his father. His brilliance shines on him the whole day, his holy spirit is within him, and G-d's hand can be seen in all his actions, because Moshe placed his hands upon him, and all of his characteristics are from our father, his Torah, righteousness, humility and his nobility."
He did not benefit only Pressburg Jewry, but that of the whole country. He zealously battled the maskilim who wished to rise up against the Torah of Moshe and he strongly led his community for 33 years, exactly the same amount of time as his father. He passed way on the 19th of Tevet, 1872.

Condition: Very fine. Fold marks.

 

Estimation

$25,000 - $30,000
Auction has finished
$15,000
$33,600
Including buyers premium

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