June 21, 2024
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Torah Giants From Different Generations Speak to Our Generation

Highlighting: ‘The Chasam Sofer Haggadah’ by Rabbi Yisroel Besser. ArtScroll Mesorah Publications. 2021. English. ISBN-13: 978-1422628027.

Highlighting: ‘The Novominsk Haggadah’ by Rabbi Yecheskel Ostreicher. Mesorah. 2021. English. ISBN-13: 978-1422627983.

(Courtesy of Artscroll) The Chasam Sofer was one of the greatest rabbanim of his time, battling for Torah and heading one of Europe’s most influential yeshivas. His writings, halachic decisions and hashkafic insights influence us to this very day.

On the night of the Seder, though, he was a teacher, focusing on the children sitting at his table. As he wrote: “… during the moments when we sit down and tell our children of yetzias Mitzrayim … a Divine flow is showered on to us as on the night we left Mitzrayim.”

In “The Chasam Sofer Haggadah,” Rabbi Yisroel Besser presents the Chasam Sofer’s timeless Torah in a contemporary and relatable way. Collected from the Chasam Sofer’s extensive writings, this unusual commentary brings a new inspirational excitement to the Seder. We feel his longing for geulah, his profound understanding of the long exile, his joy at redemption.

And we read so many stories. Stories told by the Chasam Sofer himself, stories told about him by his descendants and disciples. Parables and true tales, stories of miracles and of piety. Stories about waiting and praying and never losing our faith. We also explore his minhagim, the customs he practiced to mark Pesach.

As we read through the “Chasam Sofer Haggadah,” we become his children, and he becomes our teacher—inspiring us and enabling us to inspire our children as well.

More than two centuries later, the Novominsker Rebbe, Rav Yaakov Perlow, was also a great Torah leader and rosh yeshiva, a brilliant thinker, gifted speaker and writer.

In “The Novominsk Haggadah,” Rav Perlow reveals to us the neshama, the soul of the story of Yetzias Mitzrayim. He examines each word of the Haggadah and creates a brilliant synthesis of Midrashim and commentaries. He shares with us a breathtaking view of the mission and miracle of the Jewish People, and gives us a new and powerful appreciation of what we are celebrating as we sit down to our Seder.

Here are so many important themes, so many eye-opening insights. What does it mean to be the Chosen People? What are the foundations of our emunah? How can we understand Hashem’s unalterable love for klal Yisrael? What are the lessons of history that we can learn, and how do they pertain to our lives today? What does our past tell us about our future?

“The Novominsk Haggadah” will surely enhance our Seder, and our lives.

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