By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Yochanan Sofer, known as the Erlauer Rebbe and the one of the eldest admurim living in Israel, passed away on Monday, 13 Adar I 5775, at the age of 93.
He was born in Eger, Hungary, in 1923 to a family of venerated Rabbonim, descendants 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 neighbourhood. He would also Daven each day together with his Talmidim.
On 5 Adar II 5749, he came to Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY, to visit the Lubavitcher Rebbe during ‘Dollars’ distribution for charity.
In the course of the warm encounter, the Rebbe urged the Erlauer Rov 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 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.”
The Erlauer Chassidius is based in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem. The oldest son of the Erlauer Rov, Rabbi Moshe Sofer, was crowned during the levayah this afternoon as his father’s successor, Matzav.com reported.
Other surviving sons are Rabbi Yaakov Sofer, rov of the Erlau community in Beitar Illit; Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Binyomin Sofer, rosh yeshiva of the Erlau Yeshiva Gedola in Jerusalem; Rabbi Shimon Sofer, rov of Baka, Jerusalem; Rabbi Akiva Menachem Sofer, rov of the Erlau community in Bnei Brak; Rabbi Zalman Sofer, rov of the Erlau community in Boro Park, Brooklyn; and Rabbi Aharon Sofer, rov of the Erlau community in Elad.
Baruch dayan haemes.