Slovak coin honors rabbi

A special commemorative Slovak coin marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the 19th century’s most influential European rabbis.

Rabbi Moshe Schreiber, a Frankfurt native known as the Chatam Sofer, long headed a yeshiva in Bratislava, where he died in 1839. The city’s Old Jewish Cemetery was destroyed in World War II, but the Chatam Sofer’s tomb is preserved in an underground chamber that is still a place of pilgrimage.

Issued last week, the silver 10-euro coin has the Chatam Sofer’s name written in Hebrew and bears his portrait with a menorah and Torah scroll on one side, and a panorama of Bratislava’s historic Jewish Quarter on the other.

Much of the Jewish Quarter was destroyed in the late 1960s when Communist authorities built a bridge and major highway in the area. — jta