The Erlauer Rebbe, Rabbi Yochanan Sofer, 93, OBM

Yesterday, the Jewish world mourned upon learning of the passing of the Rebbe of Erlau, Rabbi Yochanan Sofer, OBM, who had a special connection with the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

He was born in Eger, Hungary, in 1923 to a family of venerated Rabbonim, descendents of the Chasam Sofer. After surviving the holocaust, Rabbi Sofer went on to found a Yeshivah, first in Hungary and then moving with the yeshivah to Jerusalem.

The Erlauer Rov, as he came to be known, established a thriving network of communities and schools around the world.

More so than other Rebbes, he was actively involved in all aspects of the yeshiva, giving daily shiurim to both students and elderly members of the Erlau community and surrounding neighborhood. He would also Daven each day together with his Talmidim.

On 5 Adar II 5749, He came to visit the Lubavitcher Rebbe during Dollars. In the course of the meeting, the Rebbe urged him to issue a rabbinic ruling that the world cannot proceed without Moshiach. The Rebbe told him that faced with this ruling, the Heavenly Court would be forced to comply.

The Erlauer Rov responded that the Lubavitcher Rebbe had already issued such a ruling, and Hashem would surely bring the redemption very soon. To this the Rebbe replied that this is not something that can be left up to any single person; all of us need Moshiach, and so, all of us must do our part in bringing him.

May we need no longer to be reminded of this urgency; may we each do our part in ushering in the Geulah speedily in our days.

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