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Section: Stories   Category: Gedolim Biographies
Rav Nosson Adler - Leaving Greatness In His Wake
Sometimes it is hard to recognize true greatness.  Sometimes a neshama descends from such a lofty place in Shamayim that it never really lands on earth.  It doesn't adjust to life in this world. Its unconventional ways alienate the people around it, and it ends up spending its time here distanced from the masses known as humanity. Such a Neshama was Rav Nosson Adler.

Rav Nosson Adler had many talmidim.  Famous among them through his devotion to his great Rebbi through thick and thin, was the Chasam Sofer, Rav Moshe Sofer.  Upon his Rebbi's command he cut off his relationship with his father, and later even left his hometown of Frankfurt upon his Rebbi's command.  Later after he returned and Rav Nosson Adler's feud with the Kehila reached its breaking point, the Chasam Sofer left Frankfurt together with his Rebbi who was appointed Rov of Boskowitz, and the Chasam Sofer never returned to Frankfurt again.

Rav Nosson Adler was born in Frankfurt in 5502/1741.  When he was a mere ten years old, the Chida, Rav Chaim Yosef Dovid Azulai, who was in Frankfurt from collecting money for Eretz Yisroel, said on him the famous words that the Isha HaShunamis said on Elisha, "I now know that there is a Holy man of Hashem among us".  His main Rebbi was Rav Dovid Tevele Shiff who later became the Chief Rabbi of England.  He also learned under Rav Yaakov Shimon HaKohen, a talmid of the Pnei Yehoshua.

Rav Nosson Adler was a MiKubal and formed a group around him to conduct himself Al Pi Kabala.  He davened with Sephardi Havara, and in his Minyan they did Birchas Kohanim every day.  Because of these customs and because their use of kabala was making the community at large fearful, in 1779 the Rabbanim gave him an ultimatum to either disband this group or be put into Cheirem.  Rav Nosson Adler ignored this challenge to his ways and openly went against the Kehila.

In 1782 Rav Nosson Adler became Rov of Boskowitz but there as well there were people who could not get used to his ways. He was ultimately forced to leave after three years and returned to Frankfurt.  After four more years in Frankfurt with not much change, Rav Nosson Adler was put into Cheirem that lasted until shortly before his petira in 1800.

Rav Nosson Adler did not leave behind any children.  His only daughter, the light of his life, was Niftar when she was twelve years old, while he was serving in Boskowitz.  The Chasam Sofer relates that Rav Nosson Adler did not complain and accepted the decree with great simcha.  However, he relates, the Shabbos during the Shiva when he was called for Maftir, a single tear escaped his eyes during the reading of the Haftorah.  He quickly wiped it and returned to his happy self without a trace of sadness.

His life and his ways were shrouded in mysticism, allowing only the greatest of the great to understand his lofty level.  He did not leave behind any seforim, although a Sefer was published from the cryptic notes in the margin of his Mishnayos.  Aside from his legacy that is hard to relate to, he left the world a precious treasure in his talmid the Chasam Sofer.  In this world, that is how we know and remember him.  But in Shamayim he is known for so much more.  Yehi Zichro Boruch!
RELATED ARTICLES:biography  Rav Nosson Adler

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