Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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13 Marcheshvan 5772 - November 10, 2011 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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HaRav Avrohom Leitch Rosenbaum, ztvk"l

In honor of his yahrtzeit, 17th Cheshvan

HaRav Avrohom zt"l was born in 5562 (1802) in Pressburg. His father, R' Yehudah zt"l, was a descendant of the Chavos Yoir.

In his youth, Reb Avrohom left home to learn under the gaon, Reb Mordechai Banet, rov of Nicholsburg and with HaRav Aharon Suditz, zt"l, rov of Serdeheli. Later he learned under Maran the Chasam Sofer, in the famous Yeshiva Gedoloh of Pressburg.

He was given semichoh by the Chasam Sofer, who wrote, ". . . and Hashem is with him, as halochoh is as he says."

When he became of age, he married Rebbetzin Esther, o"h, daughter of the wealthy Reb Meir Loshitz z"l, who was known to be well-acquainted with the royal family. Through his connections with the Emperor and his ministers he did much on behalf of Klal Yisroel.

Reb Avrohom lived close to his father-in-law. While his wife ran the household, he founded a yeshiva where he taught many talmidim.

After a few years he was appointed dayan in Nitra. Twenty years later he gave up this post and returned to Pressburg. There he became close to all of the city's greats, and his home was open to guests and talmidei chachomim.

Together with the Ksav Sofer, then rov of Pressburg, he founded the Talmud Torah Yesodei HaTorah, which functioned until the days of World War II.

Reb Avrohom kept up a correspondence with the gedolim of his time throughout the world as his brother, Reb Moshe Leib writes, "Many are the gedolei hador of Poland, Germany and Russia, who send their letters to him."

In the year 5631 (1871) his sefer Sheilos Uteshuvos Ben Yehudah came out with the warm approbations of the leaders of the time, the Ksav Sofer, HaRav Yosef Shaul Nathansohn and the Gaon Reb Itzele Peterburger who, in a moving letter, attested to Reb Avrohom's wonderful attributes.

He merited to bring up a distinguished family, sons, sons- in-law and grandchildren, with whom he learned together personally.

At about the age of seventy-five, on Shabbos Parshas Vayeiroh 17 Marcheshvon, his soul left him in purity. His levaya took place on Sunday and he was buried in the new cemetery in Pressburg, in the Chelkas HaRabbonim close to the Ksav Sofer, zt"l.

Not long before his petiroh he was busy with the finishing touches of his second sefer, Shoshanas Avrohom Al HaTorah. He even began writing his hakdomoh to the sefer, but never managed to finish it.

In 5756/1996, the sefer was finally published with additional pieces from his handwritten manuscripts. Further chiddushim, including the second volume of Sheilos Uteshuvos Ben Yehudah still exist in the original manuscript, waiting to be revealed to the Torah world.


There was a great stir in the city of Pressburg. The holy Chasam Sofer and his beis din were preparing for a case involving a chalitzah. The famous courtroom was full of people, pushing and jostling, curious to see this rare occurrence.

Among the teeming crowd were two small boys, R' Avrohom Rosenbaum, aged seven at the time, and his brother, R' Moshe. Even at this tender age, the two understood that the rarity of this mitzvah made it a momentous occasion.

Suddenly, the Chasam Sofer called out to his talmidim, "Make way for the two dayanim." Everyone turned to see the two dayanim who earned the special attention of the Chasam Sofer himself, but to their astonishment they saw only the two little boys.

Reb Avrohom would later tell his family, "I knew that I would never serve as a rov, but a dayan I would be, for the Chasam Sofer crowned me with dayonus at the age of seven."

In fact he shunned the rabbonus and generally the limelight.

He was glad when, after getting married, his wife and father-in-law cared for his physical needs and livelihood. Even when the latter was niftar, his wife continued to manage affairs. Thus Reb Avrohom could open a yeshiva to which many talmidim flocked, despite the fact that Reb Avrohom was then not even 30 years of age.

After some years parnossoh became difficult and R' Avrohom was forced to accept a post as dayan in Nitra. For twenty years he stood at the helm, not only as dayan, but caring for all the affairs of the city and its Jews and doing much in the area of peacemaking between Yidden.

"When Rabbeinu was about fifty years old," recounts HaRav Azriel Rosenbaum, shlita, one of the roshei yeshiva of Gateshead, in the introduction to the recent edition of the sefer Shoshanas Avrohom al HaTorah, "he dreamt one night of the number that would win in that week's lottery. In those days the system was that according to the money invested by all those who bought tickets they determined the value of the prize if a number was a winner." If one bought a more expensive ticket, he would get a bigger winning prize.

Reb Avrohom was unsure as to whether his dream was true or not, so he bought a lottery ticket without putting in too much money. Sure enough, his number was a winner and the dayan won a substantial amount of money. After a few days, he again dreamt of the winning number of the lottery. This time he invested more capital and won a greater amount.

Subsequently he had a third dream with the next winning number, but after the digits he saw the word "sof" — end. He understood that this was the last time he was being shown from heaven the winning ticket.

This time he bought his ticket with a huge amount of money and upon winning became extremely wealthy. Immediately he left his position as dayan in Nitra and returned to his beloved hometown, Pressburg, the city full of chachomim and sofrim.


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