Sofer, Rabbi Abraham Samuel Benjamin

15 Jun 2006

Oldest son of the Chasam Sofer and Sorel, daughter of Rabbi Akiva Eger, he was known as the Ksav Sofer. After the Chasam Sofer’s death in 1839, the Ksav Sofer succeeded him as Rabbi and as head of the important Yeshiva in Pressburg, at the unusually young age of 24. Following n the footsteps of his illustrious father, the Ksav Sofer was a distinguished scholar as well as a strong and influential communal leader.

In 1868 a Jewish Congress was convened in Budapest to chart the course of Jewish communal autonomy in Hungary. The long smoldering conflict between the Orthodox and the Neologists (The Hungarian Reformers) climaxed in the formation of a separate Orthodox Community. The Ksav Sofer was the dominant Orthodox figure during this critical period.

The Pressburger Yeshiva was the single most important yeshiva in Hungary and produced rabbis as well as knowledgeable laymen up till the second world war. The battle to preserve authentic Judaism against the forces clamoring for radical change was successfully fought by the Ksav Sofer. The Ksav Sofer served as Rabbi of Pressburg for thirty three years, the exact number of years his father had served before him. His main works are the Ksav Sofer on Chumash and four volumes of responsa. In addition, a number of volumes on Talmud have appeared. After World War II, a number of his unpublished manuscripts were recovered and are in the process of being published.