Chief rabbi uprooted to Jerusalem prayed in his hometown of Eger – video

The Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Orthodox Jewish community who was born in Eger, Moshe Sofer, and his delegation visited his hometown to pray where their ancestors had prayed.

The chief rabbi’s ancestor, who lived five generations ago, served the Orthodox Jewish community of Eger and the city of Eger for 64 years.

Ádám Mirkóczki — formerly of Jobbik — mayor, said in a Facebook post:

„After more than half a century, the chief rabbi of the Jerusalem Orthodox Jewish community, formerly of Eger, Moshe Sofer, visited our city on Thursday. His grandfather and father were the leaders of the Eger Orthodox community for many decades. He himself was born here in 1947, at 3 Dobó Street. Today, at the age of 76, he continues to lead this community, no longer in our city but — only due to the storms of history — in Jerusalem.”

The rabbi was accompanied on his visit by, among others, the Israeli government’s minister responsible for Jerusalem, the Israeli Ambassador to Budapest Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, and several members of the former Eger Orthodox community.

„They lived in Eger decades ago, but there were also some who came from Gyöngyös or even Verpelét. It is a historical fact that this community significantly shaped and molded the city of Eger architecturally, economically and spiritually.

„From pediatrics to professional chambers, county newspapers and a wide variety of factories, the Jewish community of Eger created many facilities in the last century which, albeit under different names, are still in operation and provide work for the people of Eger and its surroundings.

We have had very important discussions during a historic meeting in a historic city. Eger is living history, let us be proud of it.”

– said the mayor of Eger. recalls that the Jewish community of Eger (Erloy or Erlau in Yiddish) was founded by Rabbi Shimon Sofer (Simon Szófer, 1850-1944), the grandson of the preeminent Chatam Sofer who served as rabbi of the Jewish community of Eger for 64 years starting in 1881. Many later Torah scholars studied in the yeshiva he founded, which was named after Chatam Sofer.

In 1944 the Nazis deported him to Auschwitz and murdered almost the entire Eger community,

along with its two leaders, 94-year-old Shimon Sofer and his son Moshe Sofer, who had largely taken over his work. Moshe Sofer’s son, Yochanan, survived the Shoah and returned to Budapest at the end of the war, where he and Rabbi Moshe Stern of Debrecen led the re-established Chatam Sofer yeshiva. His students were mainly orphaned children and young people.

In 1947, he moved his school back to Eger, and in the same year his son was born, also named Moshe in memory of his grandfather.

Because the Communist leadership of the time was opposed to Jewish education, Yochanan was forced to move the yeshiva to Israel in 1950, where it temporarily merged with the yeshiva of Bratislava in Jerusalem. In 1953, he established his own yeshiva in Jerusalem’s Qatamon neighborhood. Yochanan Sofer died in 2016 at the age of 93.

Today, the Erlau community in Israel is made up of 500 families, with the current leader being Moshe Sofer, born in 1947 and now 76; many of their members also live in Borough Park, New York.

President of the UN General Assembly visited the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters

Csaba Kőrösi met with leaders of the movement to learn about Chabad’s work around the world. An exhibition on the humanitarian aid provided by the organization is under preparation