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, 2015 at 16:50
  • After Sancheriv there is nobody which can be called amaleki
    – kouty
    May 29, 2016 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, 2016 at 14:28
  • @mevaqesh See Yadaym perek 4 mishna 4
    – kouty
    Jun 8, 2016 at 4:23

2 Answers 2


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):

enter image description here

  • 2
    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, 2018 at 22:21

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, 2016 at 13:41
  • 1
    @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) May 29, 2016 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, 2018 at 20:47

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