Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



History Highlights: Olden-Day Pressburg, Modern Bratislava

Rabbi Meir Goldberg

In History Highlights this week, we take you to the city of Bratislava, once called Pressburg, in the country of Slovakia

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

 Mishpacha image

 

W elcome to Bratislava! Once known as Pressburg, this city was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that ruled Central Europe for many years. Many important non-Jews lived there, including the Austro-Hungarian Queen Maria Theresa. Famous musicians like Beethoven and Mozart gave concerts there. It had many palaces and big buildings. But as we’ll see, Jews remember Pressburg for other reasons. No Jews Allowed!

The first Jews who came to Pressburg may have come there after the destruction of the Second Beis Hamikdash. It wasn’t easy for Jews to live in European cities. Every so often, when the non-Jewish leaders decided they hated the local Jews, they’d throw them out of the city and the Jews would have to leave and start their lives over somewhere else.

In 1526, the Austro-Hungarian Empire lost a war with the Ottoman Empire (now known as Turkey) and the non-Jews were so angry, they threw the Jews of Hungary out. Jews didn’t return for almost 200 years.

 

The Chasam Sofer

One of the greatest Jews of the past 200 years was Rav Moshe Schreiber (Sofer), the Rav of Pressburg. He was known by the the title of the most famous sefer he wrote called Chasam Sofer, which stands for chiddushei Torah Moshe Sofer. Rav Moshe’s childhood rebbi was a great man named Rav Nosson Adler who saw the great potential of little Moshe and poured all of his energy into making little Moshe the best he could be.

The Pressburg Yeshivah

Rav Moshe had one of the biggest yeshivos in Europe. The Pressburg Yeshivah eventually grew to over 400 students, many of who became the rabbanim of the cities in Hungary, Austria, and as far away as Eretz Yisrael. The Chasam Sofer was very careful to only accept students who not only knew how to learn Torah, but also had yiras Shamayim. Once, he decided not to accept a certain very smart boy into the yeshivah. The other rebbeim didn’t understand why. He told them, “I looked out of the window and saw him come into the yeshivah. While he was walking he stepped all over some of the lulavim left on the ground after Succos. If he doesn’t care about stepping on the lulavim, he probably doesn’t have yiras Shamayim and I don’t want him in the yeshivah.”

Related Stories

Jr. Tales: Idea Man

Rivka Small

Suddenly, Yitzy realized that the voice that had said “Enter” belonged to Uri’s grandfather. By then...

The Power of the Pen

Suri Munk

Have you ever dreamed of getting published? Is it even feasible for teenaged writers to get publishe...

Incredible Ways

Henya Rochel Weingarten

Isn’t it incredible the way things work out sometimes? I keep pinching myself to make sure it’s real...

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
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you