With great sadness we regret to inform you of the passing of the Mara D’asra Harav Aharon Yaacov Schwei, OB”M. He passed away on Friday, Lamed Nissan. He was 85-years-old.
He has reportedly passed away after contracting the Coronavirus.
He was born in Finland, where his father was serving as Rov, on a special Shlichus by the Frierdiker Rebbe. His parents Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu and Mrs. Bonya Schwei served the Jewish communities in Southwest Finland and later Estonia.
With the outbreak of World War II, the parents and their three children; Aizik, Yaacov and Boruch Sholom fled to a small town near Bukhara.
Unfortunately, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Schwei passed away at a young age, leaving his wife a widow. Little Yaacov was sent to learn in Tomchei T’mimim in Samarkand.
When he was sent off by his mother to Yeshiva, she promised him she would visit. A year later when she arrived by train unannounced, she found him waiting at the station. “How did you know I’m coming?” she asked. “You promised to come, so every day when the daily train arrived, I stood here and waited…”
A professional play of this story was produced by Gan Yisroel of Boro Park, one of the years during their well-attended Lag B’omer events. The play was to teach the important lesson of waiting for Moshiach’s arrival each and every day, like this small child (Rabbi Schwei) waited for his mother every day, as she had promised she would arrive.
After the passing of Rabbi Yehuda Kalman Marlow, OB”M, Rabbi Schwei was elected as Rov and Mara D’Asra for the Beis Din of Crown Heights.
Elections were held in the year 5763, he ran unopposed and won 90% of the vote to serve on the Beis Din.
Ever since he was elected as a member of the Beis Din, Harav Schwei was an active part of the community in many ways, publicly and privately. Rabbi Schwei would speak, help, and counsel people at all hours of the day.
Many Lubavitchers in Crown Heights, and around the world, knew that they had a private listening ear by the Rov, for all matters and concerns.
He would make big decisions affecting the entire community, and would take a stand trying to keep the Chassidishkeit in the Rebbe’s Schunah, all in the most gentle and kind way. He would speak at many events around Crown Heights throughout the year, including the annual Kinus Hashluchim for many years in 770, and this year in the Razag ballroom.
Rabbi Schwei was known for his strong Koch in Moshiach, and all of the Rebbe’s Inyonim.
He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Rochel Schwei, and children, Mrs. Rikvah Schwei – Eretz Yisroel; Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schwei – Luton, England; Mrs. Chana Turk – Cordova, Argentina; R’ Mordechai Eliyahu Schwei – Crown Heights; Mrs. Nechama Dina Rappaport – Crown Heights; Mrs. Shterna Sara Ginsburg – Boro Park, NY; Mrs. Devorah Schwei (Baumgarten) – Crown Heights; R’ Boruch Sholom Schwei – Crown Heights; as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The Levaya will take place today, Friday, at 3:00.
Baruch Dayan Ha’emes