Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Enduring Link

Eliezer Shulman

Rav Yochanan Sofer of Erloi, scion of the Chasam Sofer and indefatigable Holocaust survivor, somehow found towering strength to rebuild a broken generation after the devastation of the war years. From nurturing a struggling Hungarian yeshivah to leading a flowering court, a single linchpin connected every action he took: the burning drive to perpetuate his ancestors’ teachings in a new world.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Every year, on the seventh day of Pesach, the Erloi beis medrash in Katamon saw the same scene. The chassidim — at first small in number, but with the passage of years more and more numerous — packed into the room. All eyes focused on the luminous face of their leader, Rav Yochanan Sofer, a small man who’d somehow found towering strength to rebuild so many of them after the devastation of the war years. They readied themselves for the familiar story. The story began with a blessing. The blessing had been granted by the Rebbe’s grandfather Rav Shimon Sofer, known as the Hisorerus Teshuvah. The straits were desperate: The Nazis had spread to Hungary, and young Reb Yochanan was about to conduct a dangerous nighttime foray for food for his starving family. The Angel of Death hovered menacingly close by. Yet his grandfather’s blessing kept him safe. The chassidim listened to the tale, anticipating the emotional conclusion that never failed to move them. “Why do you think I was saved?” the Rebbe would cry out. “To eat a bowl of soup? My grandfather’s blessing entrusted me with a mission — a mission to teach the traditions of Pressburg to talmidim inEretzYisrael!” That mission became the linchpin of every decision he made and every action he took, from the conclusion of the war until his passing this week.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you