A document bearing the signature and wax seal of the Ksav Sofer, the first manuscript of its kind that the Rebbe’s library owns, was gifted to the library in honor of the Rebbe’s birthday by activist Shmuly Butler.
By Anash.org reporter
A unique gift was presented to the Rebbe’s library on Yud Alef Nissan, one that is a first even for the library with so many priceless manuscripts.
The gift was a document, a birth certificate to be exact, which was signed and sealed by the Ksav Sofer, Harav Avrohom Shmuel Binyamin Sofer. The library, home to thousands of books and manuscripts, owns a manuscript of the Ksav Sofer, but did not yet own a similar document with his signature and seal, and the newly presented one was its first.
The manuscript was gifted by activist Shmuly Butler, who has gifted a number of manuscripts from gedolei yisroel to the library in the past, including one from the Rogatchover Gaon, and one from the Minchas Elazor of Munkatch. This time, he presented the gift in honor of the Rebbe’s 121st birthday on Yud Alef Nissan.
The Ksav Sofer (1815-1872), was the eldest son of the Chasam Sofer. Following his father’s in 1839, he was appointed as Rav and Rosh Yeshiva of Pressburg. Under his leadership, the Kehilla of Pressburg in general, and particularly the Yeshiva continued to be great centers of Torah. Many of the next generation of rabbinical leaders were amongst his students, and his novella (published posthumously) were received with great acclaim.
As the official rabbi of the city, the Ksav Sofer signed off on birth certificates and marriage certificates for the members of the Jewish community. The documents, meant for official government record, were written in German, and the Ksav Sofer’s signature and seal were in German as well.
The Ksav Sofer’s signature on the document reads “S.W. Schreiber Oberrabiner [=Chief Rabbi]”. The wax seal reads “Samu Wolf Schreiber Oberrabiner in Pressburg” set around a depiction of the Luchos.
The gift was warmly received by Chief Librarian Rabbi Berel Levine, who spoke with Shmuly and the bochur who accompanied him about the history of the Rabbonim from the Sofer family, and the works and manuscripts from the family that the library owned.