The Erlauer Chassidius, based in the Katamon neighborhood of Yerushalayim, was led for more than 70 years by the Erluaer Rebbi, Rav Yochanan Sofer, who passed away Early this morning.
The oldest son of the Rebbe, Rav Moshe Sofer, was crowned during the levayah this afternoon as the rebbe’s successor.
Rav Moshe, who is 69, was born in Hungary, to his parents, Rav Yochanan and Rebbetzin Miriam, one of three of their children born in Hungary.
Rav Moshe is named after the Rebbe zt”l’s father, Rav Moshe Sofer, author of Yad Sofer and rov and dayan of Erlau. Rav Moshe zt”l was deported to Auschwitz by the Nazis in 1944 and murdered soon thereafter with his father Rav Shimon and many others from the city of Erlau.
The new rebbe, Rav Moshe, studied in his youth at Talmud Torah Etz Chaim in Yerushalayim and married a daughter of the Stanislav Rebbe of London.
For years, he served as a rov in Bnei Brak, and later emigrated to London, where he served as the rov of the Erlau kehillah there.
A few years ago, after his father suffered a stroke during a visit to Switzerland shortly before Purim, his father summoned him and appointed him as his successor.
A half year later, Rav Moshe went back to Eretz Yisroel for the Yomim Noraim and settled in the Katamon neighborhood, in close proximity to his father.
The rebbe’s other sons are Rav Yaakov Sofer, rov of the Erlau community in Beitar Illit; Rav Avrohom Shmuel Binyomin Sofer, rosh yeshiva of the Erlau Yeshiva Gedola in Yerushalayim; Rav Shimon Sofer, rov of Baka, Yerushalayim; Rav Akiva Menachem Sofer, rov of the Erlau community in Bnei Brak; Rav Zalman Sofer, rov of the Erlau community in Boro Park, Brooklyn; and Rav Aharon Sofer, rov of the Erlau community in Elad.
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel News Bureau / Photo: Moshe Goldstein