Ehrenfeld, Samuel ben David Ẓevi

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EHRENFELD, SAMUEL BEN DAVID ẒEVI (1835–1883), Hungarian rabbi known from his works as the "Hatan Sofer," ("son-in-law of Sofer" to indicate his connection by marriage with the famous Moses *Sofer, and in assonance with the title of Sofer's responsa Ḥatam Sofer. Actually it was his father who was the son-in-law of Moses Sofer). Ehrenfeld was born in Pressburg. He studied under his father and in the yeshivah of Pressburg under Abraham *Sofer, his maternal uncle. At first he engaged in business, but when this failed he accepted the rabbinate of Betlen (now Beclean, Romania) in 1866. In 1868 he became rabbi in Szikszo, because of the opportunities which a larger yeshivah there afforded him. In 1877 he moved to Mattersdorf where his grandfather and other members of his family had served before him. He was able to devote himself completely to the interests of the community and the large yeshivah there. He died at Kierling, where he had gone to recuperate after a long illness. As a teacher he was able to impart his own approach to Talmud and halakhah, based on the clear understanding of the talmudic text and its relevance to the ultimate halakhah.

His clarity and complete mastery of all branches of halakhah is evident in his published works: Ateret Baḥurim, Ḥatan Sofer (only one part, 1874), on various topics from Ḥoshen Mishpat, and Ḥatan Sofer on the Shulḥan Arukh, Oraḥ Ḥayyim (one part, 1878; 2 vols., 19632), both having long aggadic introductions. He printed the biography of his grandfather as well as other historical matter. Ḥatan Sofer was edited with an introduction by his son, Simḥah Bunim Ehrenfeld (1912), and contains a biography of his father. Misped Mar (1874) was his next work. A Passover Haggadah (1884) with his own commentary and that of his grandfather was edited by Rabbi Joseph Baumgarten (later rosh bet din of Vienna).

Ehrenfeld was succeeded in Mattersdorf in 1884 by his son simḤah bunim (1856–1926) who had from 1876 been rabbi in Sarvar. He is the author of Ma'aneh Simḥah, part of which is printed in the introduction to his father's Ḥatan Sofer. He was succeeded by his son samuel, who served that community until 1938/39, when he immigrated to New York and there reestablished the Mattersdorf yeshivah (1939). In 1958 he founded Kiryat Mattersdorf, a religious suburb in Jerusalem. He re-edited all the above-mentioned works with copious notes and added much new material.


Samuel b. David Ẓevi Ehrenfeld, She'elot u-Teshuvot Ḥatan Sofer (1912), introd.; P.Z. Schwartz, Shem ha-Gedolim me-Ereẓ Hagar, 2 (1914), 40a no. 71 (on Samuel i); 47 no. 179/1 (on Simhah Bunim); J.J. (L.) Greenwald (Grunwald), Maẓẓevat Kodesh (1952), 127, 149–50; S.N. Gottlieb, Oholei Shem (1912), 251 (on Simḥah Bunim); A. Stern, Meliẓei Esh al Ḥodshei Av-Marḥeshvan, 2 (19622) 7 no. 6; (A.S.) B. Sofer-Schreiber, Ketov Zot Zikkaron (1957), 262–5, 269f. (Samuel i), 273–80 (Samuel ii); S. Sofer (Schreiber; ed.), Iggerot Soferim (1968), introd. and pt. 4, 99–103, 106–8 (Samuel i).

[Abraham Schischa]

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Ehrenfeld, Samuel ben David Ẓevi

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