President Herzog visits grave of Chatam Sofer
President Herzog visits grave of Chatam SoferKobi Gideon/GPO

Concluding his state visit to Slovakia, President Isaac Herzog visited today, (Monday,) the grave of the renowned Rabbi Moses Schreiber (1762–1839), known as the Chatam Sofer, one of the greatest spiritual leaders of European Jewry.

The grave lies in what was the historic cemetery of the Jewish community in the city of Bratislava (historically known as Pressburg). The cemetery was largely destroyed with the construction of the tunnel-road under Bratislava Castle in 1943, however through negotiations, an important fraction of the cemetery containing the graves of the rabbis was preserved encased in concrete. In 2002 a modern memorial was erected above the site.

Following his visit to the grave, the President met with representatives of the Jewish community of Slovakia.

The President was received by the Chief Rabbi of Slovakia, Rabbi Baruch Myers, and by the Chairman of the Jewish Community of Bratislava, Pavel Miller.

In a somber moment of reflection by the grave, the President lit a memorial candle and placed a stone on the tomb. The Chief Rabbi recited Psalm 21, before the President read the memorial prayer “El Maleh Rachamim”. The Chief Rabbi then sounded a shofar.

The Chatam Sofer was one of the greatest rabbinical leaders of European Jewry over the last centuries, whose tremendous impact on the Jewish-Orthodox world continues to this day through his teachings and writings.