The Rebbe of Erlau, Rabbi Yochanan Sofer, passed away in the early hours of Monday morning at age 93 following severe pneumonia that caused a deterioration of his health.
Rabbi Sofer, who is known as the “Elder of the Admorim”, was a fifth generation descendant of the “Chasam Sofer” (Rabbi Moses Sofer).
After surviving the Holocaust decimated the Erlau hassidic sect, he continued the Erlau legacy by founding a yeshiva and a movement in their name in Israel. During his lifetime, he established synagogues, yeshivas, and many educational institutions throughout the country. His sons and grandsons served as community rabbis and chassidic chiefs all over Israel.
The Rebbe of Erlau was hospitalized several times in recent years due to his age and increased exhaustion.
A few years ago, while he was in Switzerland, he suffered a stroke and was admitted to a local hospital. After he recovered and was discharged, he was flown back to Israel.
Two weeks ago, The Rabbi was hospitalized due to an acute case of pneumonia. A few days after being sent home, he was admitted again due to the deterioration in his medical condition.
This morning, doctors fought for his life until he passed away, surrounded by his sons and sons-in-law.