When Rabbi Schwei Waited…


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    When Rabbi Schwei Waited…

    At the end of World War II. A young Lubavitch boy, about nine years old, was sent by his widowed mother to study at an underground Yeshiva for Bochurim then held only in one place throughout the USSR. It was in the distant Samarkand. A long time passed, and here the mother managed to fulfill her dream of reuniting with her son. Written by Shraga Crombie • Full Story

    Written by Shraga Crombie and translated by Sholem Traurig for Chabadinfo.com


    After the election in which Rabbi Aharon Yaacov Schwei was elected to serve as a Member of the Crown Heights Beis Din and a Rov of Crown Heights, I heard from one of the members of the community the following story:

    At the end of World War II, A young Lubavitch boy, about nine years old, was sent by his widowed mother to study at an underground Yeshiva for Bochurim then held only in one place throughout the Soviet Union. It was in distant Samarkand. His mother promised him that she would come and visit him. This was no small feat in those days, but no obstacle will face a longing mother’s heart to reunite with her dear son.

    It was a great surprise for her when she arrived at the train station to see her son waiting for her on the platform! In those years there was no way to call and say that she was coming.

    She asked her son, how did you know I would be coming today? The son innocently replied that when they separated, the mother promised that she would come to visit him, and ever since, whenever the train arrives from her place of residence, he comes to wait for her to fulfill her promise.

    This boy, the person who was telling me the story revealed, is Rabbi Schwei.

    When I heard the story, it touched my heart, but I doubted if it was a true story or not. Still, this is a story from about seventy years ago and who knows if it actually happened or if it was a Mashal.

    A few years later, I was privileged to drive Rabbi Schwei in my car to his home, after he had finished speaking at the Kinus Hashluchim in 770 that night. I thought about the story and asked Rabbi Schwei whether the story had taken place.

    Rabbi Schwei smiled and at first avoided answering a clear answer. When I kept on persisting, Rabbi Schwei replied that the story did happen, but in his humility he sought to reduce the importance of the story, claiming that “there were not that many trains coming in those years”.


    The same belief that made Rabbi Schwei wait for every train that came to Samarkand is the same belief that made him wait intently for Moshiach to come. As he waited for his mother at the train station because she said he was coming and he knew that if she said – she would come, so too he waited for the Hisgalus, because he knew that if the Rebbe said Moshiach would come – he would come.

    This is the same way Rabbi Schwei would take care of things – in his quiet and special way. He should demand an end to this Golus and the Hisgalus of Moshiach Tzidkeinu.


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    1. Daniella GS

      Yes this story is definitly true. I heard it myself from Mrs G. Shwei AH of Montreal. We were in a shiur and to illustrate how a mother keeps her words she spoke to our group about it.

      Amazing story !

    2. Former Yeshiva Bochur

      Rabbi Schwei told this story to a bochur who would always have excuses for skiping the chassidus Shiur..

      This is a story about a Jewish person (Berl) who went to a Goyishe farmer (Ivan) to buy fruits & vegetables for his store once a week. They decided that every time Berl took a box of vegetables out to his wagon he would put down a 10 kopek coin (100 kopeks are worth 1 ruble). Then after Berel had enough boxes of vegetables, they would count up the number of coins & for every coin Berel would pay Ivan 25 Rubles.

      One time when Ivan saw Berel wasn’t looking he grabbed a few coins.
      Ivan didn’t realize that for every coin he grabbed he lost 25 Rubbles.
      The same thing happens every time you miss a chasidus shiur you have some fun worth a penny but you lose a chasiuds shiur that is worth $25.

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