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Bratislava opens Jewish sage tomb

A NEWLY BUILT underground mausoleum for a rabbi known as Chatam Sofer (1762-1839), a renowned Talmudic scholar and jurist, was opened on July 7 in Slovakia's capital as a prayer site for thousands of Jews from all around the world.

The opening was attended by top representatives of the local and international Jewish communities, as well as Slovak public officials such as President Rudolf Schuster.

In his speech, senior US rabbi Yaakov Pollock described Chatam Sofer's contribution to the Jewish community, saying that "in 200 years there hasn't been a greater personification of the Torah than Chatam Sofer."

Sofer's grave lies beside those of other remarkable Jewish rabbis who lived in Bratislava. Historians say that Albert Einstein also paid a visit to Sofer's grave.

Situated about 300 metres from Bratislava's Nový most (New Bridge), the tomb was built in co-operation between the local Jewish community, the Bratislava City Council, and the US International Committee for Saving the Tombs of Bratislava's Sages.

"We managed to make our dream come true," Pollock said.

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