Though more than two hundred years have passed since the birth of the Hatam Sofer, his story needs to be told. Who was this man? He was the sage whose life holds the key to the problems of our day. For 33 years he presided over the rabbinate of Pressburg, and through his Yeshiva transformed the face of that city, and the structure of Euro- pean Jewry. A genious in the world of ideas, he knew how to transmute policy into action. A master builder and a master controver- sialist was he. Enemies called him hard as iron; but the poor and the needy found him soft as silk, and to them he gave away the major portion of his earnings. Never did he fight against a man only against his ideas. Battling the new and wild trends of the times, he coined the slogan The new is taboo. This slogan embittered the opposi- tion, but became the rallying cry of the forces fighting for tradition. Seeing the de- structive effect of the secular schools on Jewish life, he taught that Education out- side the synagogue is conversion and leads the youth out of Judaism.
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