With Over 50 Handwritten Glosses
Sefer Shaarei Torah on the topic of chazakos by HaGaon Rabbi Binyamin Zev Wolf Loew of Verbov.
This sefer was the personal copy of his prime disciple, Rabbi Chaim Sofer, Av Beis Din of Munkacs and Budapest, who inscribed over 50 glosses and lengthy chiddushim in its margins!
The title page bears his sacred autograph:
“Hashem granted me this, the humble Chaim Sofer”. The same page also features his sons’ signatures.
These glosses were written in great awe of his rebbi, Rabbi Binyamin Zev Wolf of Verbov, and some begin with the words,
“And to me, the humble student, it appears that…” “I am as dust beneath the feet of my master and teacher, Hagaon z”l.” Whenever he seeks to resolve a question posed by Rabbi Binyamin Zev Wolf, he opens with
“a request for forgiveness from the honor of his holy Torah.”
According to the autographs and lists on the title page, this sefer was used extensively by the Machaneh Chaim for many years—from the period of his tenure as Rav of Bamberg to Munkacs and then to his final station in Budapest. This is also evident from the variations in the handwriting, some of which were clearly written in his younger years and others when he was already quite elderly.
Unfortunately, the binder cropped the margins, and the majority of glosses are missing the last line or part of it.
Rabbi Chaim Sofer (1822-1886), author of Machaneh Chaim, was born in Pressburg, his Bris was held on Yom Kippur and the Chasam Sofer served as his Mohel. At the age of 11, he was already accepted into the Chasam Sofer’s elite yeshivah and swiftly became one of his greatest talmidim.However, the Machaneh Chaim regarded Rabbi Binyamin Zev Wolf Loew, Av Beis Din of Verbov and author of Shaarei Torah as his primary spiritual master, and it was indeed the latter who conferred semichah and dayanus upon him, and loved him as a son. Rabbi Chaim Sofer often expressed that the Shaarei Torah’s blessing before their final parting escorted him throughout his life.
In his teshuvos, the Machaneh Chaim frequently cites his rebbi’s sefer Shaarei Torah.
Following the Chasam Sofer’s tradition, the Machaneh Chaim fiercely battled any attempt to introduce change or leniency into authentic Jewish tradition, and he was regarded as one of the greatest meishivim in all of Hungary. He served as Av Beis Din in Gyömöre, Sajószentpéter, and Munkacs, and was the Av Beis Din of Khal Adas Hayereim in Budapest, a position he accepted after the Chasam Sofer appeared to him in a dream and instructed him to accept the Rabbinate there. His written legacy includes the 8-volume Shu”t Machaneh Chaim.
The Machaneh Chaim’s sons’ autographs appear on the title page:
Rabbi Moshe Dovid Sofer (1861-1906), Av Beis Din of Sesregen
Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Sofer (1860-1930), Av Beis Din of Shamshan
Rabbi Binyamin Zev Wolf Sofer (d. 1925). After his signature, he notes that he was named after his father’s rebbi.
Rabbi Akiva Yechezkel Sofer (d. 1902)
The sefer also bears the stamp of
Rabbi Moshe Sofer (1840-1907), Av Beis Din of Tissa-Fired, author of Maharam Sofer and a nephew and talmid of the Machaneh Chaim
Vienna, 1850. First edition. , 163 leaves. Page size: 37.5 cm. Slight damage to several leaves; otherwise preserved in good condition, which is highly impressive given its extensive use. Attractive new leather binding.
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