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I heard a story that goes roughly like this: after the death of his Rebbi, the Chasam Sofer decided to make Rav Nosson Adler his new Rebbi. He therefore undertook a long voyage to meet Rav Adler. On arriving, Rav Adler commented that the Chasam Sofer appeared to have a particular glow on his face. Rav Sofer replied that he was correct; on the way there had he had met and killed an Amalekite, and therefore he was filled with the happiness of the mitzva.

Does anyone have a source for this story?

  • Many sources imply that the commandment to kill amalek is only during war with them. Accordingly there would have been no mitzva, and probably a prohibition to kill him – mevaqesh Feb 5 '15 at 16:50
  • After Sancheriv there is nobody which can be called amaleki – kouty May 29 '16 at 13:45
  • @kouty do you have evidence for this? Radvaz states (incorrectly incidentally) that the reason that Rambam does not list the obligation to destroy the 7 nations is that Sancheriv relocated them, but Rambam does count the obligation to destroy Amalek, implying that Radvaz agrees that Sancheriv did not displace them. – mevaqesh May 29 '16 at 14:28
  • @mevaqesh See Yadaym perek 4 mishna 4 – kouty Jun 8 '16 at 4:23
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Mishchas Shemen 2 - page 202 mentions that this story is known from the Chut Hameshulash. I am not sure which Chut Hameshulash he is referring to and I have been unable to source this further.

However Rabbi Shlomo Aviner quoting Orchos Rabeinu from the Steipler says it is only a story.

וכן מספרים על ה'חתם סופר' שהרג עמלקי ואמר הג"ר י"י קניבסקי: "זה רק מעשה" ('ארחות רבנו' שם

This is also cited here by R. Yitzchak Zilberstein .

Here is the original source in Orchos Rabbeinu Vol. I p. 287 (I can't find a link):

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  • 1
    MS is presumably speaking of the Chut Hameshulash which is a bio. of the three generations of Sofer (beg. with CS). Except that, IIRC, it doesn't explicitly say that CS killed the goy. – Oliver Jun 28 '18 at 22:21
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Rav Nosson Adler was the Chasam Sofer's first Rebbe, and they both lived in the same city - Frankfurt. Seems the story is not true.

  • Citation, please – Shaul Behr May 29 '16 at 13:41
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    @ShaulBehr, the above is true, see jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/828-adler-nathan and the Chassam Sofer's haskama to Keset Hasofer, where he referes to himself as משה סופר מפראנקפארט דמיין (or some other Yiddish spelling, he was then the rov in Pressburg) – Noach MiFrankfurt May 29 '16 at 15:51
  • @NoachMiFrankfurt No, Mr. Frankfurter, the above is not true. The CS learned Torah from others before RNA. One example is R. Michel Shier who the CS referred to as a teacher from his youth ("אלוף נעוריי") in a eulogy on the former. Additionally, the CS did not ONLY live in Frankfurt; he lived in different places around Moravia & Hungary (perhaps most notable, Pressburg). The fact that he signed "MS of Frankfurt" was simply because he considered it to be his hometown (hence his observance of a Frankfurt Memorial Day even while he did not reside there at the time; cf. Resp. OC §191). – Oliver Jun 28 '18 at 20:47

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