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COMING SOON Bez"H
Fascinating Insights—The Sefer (in English)
The Chosen City
tells us that the middle is chosen. For this reason, Eretz Yisrael—the chosen
land for Kedusha—is in the center of the world. In the center of Eretz Yisrael
is Yerushalayim. In the center of Yerushalayim is the Beis Hamikdash.
In a Teshuva the Chassam Sofer
(1762-1839) wrote to the great R’ Amram Chasida (1790-1830),
he expresses his astonishment that R’ Amram decided to settle in Tzefas and not
In the Chassam Sofer’s opinion, settling in Yerushalayim is a bigger Mitzva
than settling elsewhere in Eretz Yisrael,
even nowadays when it is in ruins.
In this letter, he writes that the Kedusha of the place where the Beis
Hamikdash was is still there even though its walls don’t exist there now and
those who live in that area are holier and closer to Hashem.
This is where the שער השמים, gates to heaven are. Even before Yehoshua
and Ezra sanctified Eretz Yisrael, many occurrences took place there: Adam and
Noach brought a Karbon, Akeidas Yitzchak, and Yaakov’s dream.
So there is an inherent Kedusha there.
One may be wondering why many
sages didn’t make their way to Yerushalayim such as the Sanhedrin being in
Yavneh and Tzipori as well as those in the time of the Beis Yosef and Arizal.
The Chassam Sofer
explains that in the times of the sages of the Gemara there were killings and
forced conversions in Yerushalayim and the Sanhedrin was exiled. Once they
settled in other places and had places for Torah, unlike Yerushalayim, there
was no Mitzva to go to Yerushalayim. Similarly, in the days of the Beis Yosef
and Arizal, most of the sages were in Tzefas. Once they came and found most of
the sages in Tzefas, they joined them.
Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the
tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received
Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous
topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family
in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is
passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.
R’ Amram Chasida was a Rav in Hungary and was known
for his piety and righteousness, earning him the title ‘Chassida.’ At the age of 36 he settled in Tzefas where he lived for four years
until his death. He devoted himself to developing the community there, which
had 1,000 Jews. R’ Amram’s daughter was one of the casualties in the earthquake
in Tzefas. The Rabbis of Eretz Yisrael wrote that he literally died from
grief over the exile of the Shechina. In his
eulogy for R' Amram, the Chassam Sofer said not only was he a great
person, a Torah sage and a Tzadik even when he was in the Diaspora, but in
Eretz Yisrael he became as great as two of us.