Few stars shone as brightly in the Jewish heavens of the Nineteenth Century as Rabbi Moshe Sofer, the Chasam Sofer. Authoritative halachic decisor, rabbi, teacher, commentator, leader -- the range of his activity is breathtaking. No less astonishing is the consistent excellence of his performance in every one of his many fields: the rabbi of Pressburg (present-day Bratislava), Slovakia; the head of a yeshivah that produced the prototypes of rabbinic and lay leadership, past and present; the most important rabbinic figure in the Austro-Hungarian Empire; the man who provided strength and direction for Torah Judaism in a dangerous and turbulent era. His legacy survives to this day, throughout the Jewish world.
In many thousands of synagogues and homes, no Sabbath is complete without the Torah of the Chasam Sofer. As one great rosh yeshivah put it, “Everything is there: breadth, depth, interpretation, analysis, stimulation, brilliance, insight. The ideas are never stale. There is always something novel and richly satisfying.”
In this book, the Chasam Sofer’s Torah commentaries are brought to the English reader for the first time -- and it is done with the skill one should expect from such an undertaking. Culled from various works, with the original Hebrew text and source presented, this anthology on the weekly Torah readings is a representative sample of his thought and comment. Anyone who studies this book week after week will find himself immeasurably enriched and anxious for more.
The author, Rabbi Yosef Stern, has established himself as a scholar and anthologizer of the first order. His previous works have introduced thousands of people to the classic ideas of the Sfas Emes. With this series, his anthology of the Chasam Sofer on the Torah, Rabbi Stern performs another great service for the Torah community.
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