Fascinating New Insights Into the Life of the holy Chasam Sofer!


Spent a wonderful first days of Sukkos at the “Destination” program at Honors Haven hotel in Ellenville, New York. Chazanim Braun and Kiss provided inspirational tefillos. I had the pleasure of delivering a lecture Tuesday afternoon introducing fascinating new insights into the life of the holy Chasam Sofer (1762-1839). I made the following points:

1) The Chasam Sofer left Frankfurt with his Rebbe, Rabbi Noson Adler, in approximately 1779, at the age of 17, after a “fight” with his father. Incidentally, his father died shortly after he left Frankfurt in 1779.

2) He did not see his mother, Raizel, from 1779 until she died in 1823 although Pressburg was a distance of only three weeks. This behavior is not understandable and requires explanation.

3) The Chasam Sofer’s brother, Yozsef, married his niece Childa at a late age. When he died in 1822, instead of the Chasam Sofer traveling to Frankfurt to facilitate the mitzvah of Chalitzah, his niece Childa came to Pressburg. Although the Halacha seems to require the sister-in-law to travel to the brother-in-laws’s city for the Chalitzah ceremony, the custom has always been that the “Choletz” is the one who travels. As in the case with his mothers passing, an explanation is needed. Perhaps, the Chasam Sofer requested permission from the Pressburg Beis Din for travel and they simply did not allow it. He was “needed” 24/7.

4) He had two brothers who both married late in life; Reb Shimon got married in 1814 when he was forty-six years old while his older brother Yozsef, married his niece (his and the Chosam Sofer’s younger sister’s daughter) Childa when he was fifty years old.

Stay tuned…more fascinating insights coming soon!

Nathan David Rabinowich: Visiting Amazing France

As a man of considerable experience, and as the Executive Director of Jewish Heritage Tours, Nathan David Rabinowich has had the opportunity to visit many of the most beautiful, memorable and historic destinations in the world. After visiting several different countries, France seems to be one of Nathan’s choice destinations.

While there are numerous spots to visit all through France, Nosson Dovid Rabinowich does not hesitate to recommend Paris as the first stop for visitors. According to him, the Eiffel Tower is the first spot tourists should visit when they arrive in Paris. The Eiffel Tower was initially built as the passage curve for the World’s Fair in 1889 and was named after Gustave Eiffel, the engineer whose organization handled finishing the task. The Eiffel Tower stood at an astounding 1,050 feet in stature and was at one time the tallest man-made structure on the planet. The Louvre is another great place to visit if you want to enjoy the Parisian atmosphere. The Louver houses probably the most acclaimed artistic creations on the planet, including Da Vinci’s world-famous Mona Lisa.

Nathan David Rabinowich says that he delighted in almost every minute he has spent amongst the local French people. He believes that France has so much to offer the international traveler. For Jewish travelers to France, he suggests visiting the Memorial for the Unknown Jewish Martyr, one of his outright top choices. The World Memorial to the Unknown Jewish Martyr is a symbol that commemorates the six million European Jews killed by the Nazis during the Second World War. Nathan is well-educated in Jewish history and culture, and he has a profound admiration for everything the memorial represents and makes sure he visits it each time he is in the country.

Guidelines for Visiting Orthodox Jewish Communities in Brooklyn

If you are traveling to Brooklyn, and would like to visit one of the Orthodox Jewish communities, there are certain guidelines you will need to follow. Nathan David Rabinowich is a well-known businessman and former Executive Director of Jewish Heritage Tours. During his time with Jewish Heritage Tours, Nathan David Rabinowich has coordinated several worldwide tours for individuals and groups around the world. He offers valuable tips for those visiting Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn.


There are different kinds of people living in Brooklyn. Those who would like to visit the Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods should take note that people in these communities observe different social norms, and dress with “Amish-like” modesty. Visitors will see people dressed in modest garb, typical to their religious beliefs. This means, long, loose-fitting clothing for women and girls, black suits for men and boys, and hats or yarmulkes. Nathan David Rabinowich recommends visitors to Orthodox Jewish communities to wear modest clothing and respect their sentiments.


Most establishments in Orthodox Jewish communities are closed two hours before sunset on Fridays. All facilities are closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. Visitors will not find any bars in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, except on the outskirts of the neighborhood, and owned by non-Hasidic people. Clothing stores have separate sections for men and women, and men and women cannot wait for each other to try on clothes in the shop.

Other Suggestions

As a matter of courtesy, visitors should not bring any non-kosher foods into any restaurant. Photographing people on the road without their permission is not recommended, you can, however, ask them for permission before you take their picture. Women visitors are expected to wear modest clothing and not tight fitting or low cut tops. It is not customary for women to shake hands with other men. People in Orthodox Jewish communities are very friendly people, but it is important to understand the rules they live by.