Rabbi Shalom Yaakov Chazan, Beis Moshiach
On the first day of Rosh Chodesh Iyar this year the Crown Heights community and Chabad Chassidim worldwide departed in great shock and pain from their rav, a gaon in Torah, leadership and ahavas Yisrael, Harav Hagaon HaChassid R’ Aharon Yaakov Schwei.
Harav Schwei combined a unique blend of leadership and hartzikeit which was undoubtedly a legacy he carried on to this generation from his parents and ancestors.
In an interview he gave Beis Moshiach upon his assuming his role – one in a long line of educational and community service – as Rav and Mara D’asra of the Rebbe’s shechuna, Crown Heights, he told us of his roots.
“My father, of blessed memory, Harav Mordechai Eliyahu Schwei from Dvinsk, learned for two years in Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in Lubavitch, until 5676. When he returned to Dvinsk, he went to learn with the rav of the local “Misnagdic” community, Rabbi Meir Simcha, author of the Ohr Sameiach. One day, the Rogatchover Gaon, who was serving as the rav of the Chassidic community, met him and asked, “Why are you going to the Misnagdim? Aren’t you a Lubavitcher? Come to me!” That meeting was the start of a marvelous period in my father’s life. My father received shimush (practical rabbinic training) from the Rogatchover Gaon, and merited to learn much from him. The Rogatchover gave him semicha, and from my father’s stories, it was apparent that the Rogatchover showed a special expression of affection towards him.
“After two years, my father married my mother, Rebbetzin Bunia, from the Diamant family — a prominent Lubavitcher family, whose ancestors were Chassidim of the Alter Rebbe. Her maternal grandfather was the well-known chassid, R. Aharon Yaakov Weiler from Krislave. Due to her mother’s poor health, my mother grew up in her grandfather’s home, where she received a pnimiyusdike Chassidishe education that took root in the depths of her soul.”
After the wedding, Reb Mordechai Eliyahu, at the instructions of the Rebbe Rayatz, traveled to Finland to work with young people in Jewish education and outreach. For certain reasons, he was unable to serve officially there as a rav, and he was appointed as a teacher, despite the fact that, in truth, he fulfilled all the rabbinical obligations.
“Recently,” Harav Schwei told us, “I came across a newspaper clipping from 5695, which talks about my father’s activities. The article describes the spiritual revolution that my father was stirring in the community through his success in the establishment of a regular minyan, organized Jewish studies for youth, and more. Among my father’s students at that time that I recall were the chazan Reb Moshe Teleshevsky and Reb Yitzchak Nemes.”
In the Rebbe Rayatz’s Igros Kodesh, several letters are printed with instructions regarding outreach to Jewish youth that explain the great importance of reaching out to our Jewish brethren. The Rebbe also instructed him to involve himself in the study of the laws of shechita and bedika.
“In 5696, we moved to Norva, Estonia. An established Jewish community already existed there, and my father served as a rav and teacher in shechita and bedika. Like his father and grandfathers before him, my father was an extremely kind and generous man. Our home was open to passers-by, meshulachim, or everyday guests.”
However, the good life did not last long. In 5700 (1940), the Soviets conquered Estonia, and shortly thereafter, the Second World War broke out. At that time, a government order was issued that one member from every family must be enlisted to dig trenches around the city. Naturally, most of those who enlisted were men, as this was extremely difficult and very dangerous work.
“My mother, of blessed memory, categorically refused to let my father carry out the order, so she enlisted in his place. She said that if, ch”v, something would happen to him, she would be left alone, and she simply would not be able to educate us at the same level that my father would.
“As the frontline came closer, we escaped east into the heart of Russia.”
Two Buckets of Water for Tuition
“When we arrived in Tashkent, along with the other Jewish refugees, it became clear that the city was already filled to capacity, and it would be impossible to stay there. We moved on until we reached the city of Wofkent near Bukhara. Due to the great hardships that he endured, my father took ill and passed away there, and my mother was left a lonely and broken widow without Jewish surroundings. In the harsh conditions that prevailed at that time, my older sister, Hinda, of blessed memory, also passed away, and my mother had to bury her daughter with her own hands… Afterwards, we moved to Bukhara.
“Despite all this, my mother spent these very difficult times making certain that we all had a proper Torah education. When she heard that the famed Gaon of Tchebin, HaRav Dov Berish Wiedenfeld, founder of Yeshivas Kochav M’Yaakov in Yerushalayim, was in the city, she came to him, crying and pleading. In the end, she succeeded in convincing him to teach my older brother, Reb Boruch Sholom, a”h. As an expression of her thanks and gratitude (or in place of tuition), she would bring to the gaon’s home two buckets of water every day from the center of town, and would also clean his house.”
Off to Samarkand
“Sometime later in Bukhara, she met a Lubavitcher chassid, Reb Eliezer Mishulovin a”h, who told her that there is a branch of Tomchei Tmimim – Lubavitch in Samarkand. This news gave a breath of life to my mother, who did not rest until she sent us to the yeshiva. To make certain that the authorities would not capture us, we traveled one at a time. When their agents came to my mother’s home and asked her where the children are, she said that we ran away from her…
“As the youngest child, I arrived in Samarkand after my older brothers were already well accustomed to the area. In the merit of my young age, my eldest brother gave up his place on the bench where he would sleep. We learned in substandard conditions, but we were happy and knew well to appreciate every moment that we could learn Torah and live among Chassidim. It was only after a year that my mother succeeded in getting to Samarkand, and the family was reunited once again.
“We also continued our studies in the yeshiva during the war years. Then in 5706 (1946), the yeshiva, along with many other Lubavitcher chassidim, left the Soviet Union, and after much hardship, established its location at the former internment camp in Pocking, Germany, and from there to Brunoy, France. In 5711 (1951), in accordance with the Rebbe’s instructions, we went to learn in Tomchei T’mimim in Montreal.
“In Montreal, we were very involved in outreach activities and together with my brother, Reb Isaac, Reb Zalman Marozov, Reb Berel Motchkin, and others, we influenced many bachurim who were still outside of Lubavitch.
“During those years, I learned in chavrusa with my brother, Reb Isaac a”h and with HaRav Nissan Mangel, may he have many long and good years.”
Coming to the Rebbe
“Shavuos 5712 (1952) marked my first visit to the Rebbe. In those years, we had the special privilege that whenever we came from Montreal, we were able to have yechidus with the Rebbe. In the years that followed, the restrictions on private yechiduyos made such a privilege less frequent.
“After several years in Montreal, I was appointed a melamed, and in preparation for Yud Shevat 5719 (1959), I brought all the students in my class to the Rebbe. I went into yechidus with all the children, and we were privileged to hear from the Rebbe an entire sicha about the role of children. Since I was the only adult in the group, I wrote a ‘hanacha’ of that sicha, which was printed afterwards in Sichos Kodesh. From then on, it became an established custom that every Yud Shevat the yeshiva students would come to the Rebbe.
“In 5721 (1961), I came to Crown Heights, and a few months later, I married my wife, Rochel, nee Kalvari, may she live and be well. I was offered a position as a classroom teacher and instructor at the Bedford Avenue branch of Lubavitcher Yeshiva, and after receiving the Rebbe’s bracha, I began my job.
“In 5723, the Rebbe ordered that all yungeleit interested in going out on shlichus must submit a letter to that effect to the secretariat. I wrote that I wanted to go out on shlichus, and the Rebbe answered me that since I was already in yeshiva – this is my shlichus! The Rebbe then added a special bracha for success in the work of education.”
In the Field of Rabbanus
After long and productive years in the field of chinuch, circumstances called Harav Schwei to turn to rabbanus to fill the void that was left with the passing of Harav Hagaon R’ Yehuda Kalman Marlow a”h. In 5763 (2003), he was elected in an open “yes” or “no” election by over 90% of the community.
In this interview given soon after, Harav Schwei a”h explained what brought him to make this decision:
“Though I never heard from the Rebbe any indication of me becoming a rav, [still] in the many yechiduyos I was privileged to have, the Rebbe spoke with me many times about the importance of influencing people – individuals as well as larger groups. He also took great interest in what I was learning and recommended to me specific sefarim that dealt with the subject. For example, when I was learning the laws of mikvaos, the Rebbe recommended to me the sefer Taharas HaMayim, and said that this is a good sefer on mikvaos. On another occasion, the Rebbe instructed me to review the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.
“The one time that I served in any rabbinical capacity was when in camp in Montreal, I was appointed the camp’s rav. In that position, I had the authority to give piskei din on matters of issur and heter, eruvin, etc., over many years.
“During the decade of 5730-5739, when the Rebbe began his battle to change the Israeli Law of Return (“Who is a Jew?”), Rabbi Chodakov put out an order that anyone ordained as a rav or a dayan should register with Agudas HaRabbanim, in order to have influence on that body’s decisions. Since I met the necessary criteria, I registered with Agudas HaRabbanim, and since then, I am considered an official rav.”
Were there special instructions that the rav received over the years from the Rebbe?
I received instructions in the area of education, most of which were personal instructions pertaining to the conduct of particular students. Others were instructions of a more general nature.
The truth is that when it was suggested that I stand as a candidate for the rabbanus here, I was inclined to refuse the offer, since as a fulltime rav, I would be forced to leave my position as an educator.
What tipped the scales in favor of the rabbanus?
Two things. I recalled that once, I met the mashpia, R. Mendel Futerfas, who told me that if I am offered a particular position, I should take it. His argument: Lubavitcher chassidim are like a soccer team. We all have one goal – to bring the world (kadur ha’aretz) to the gate (goal) of Torah and Chassidus. And when does each player on the team know when he has to get the ball and try to make a break for the goal? When the ball comes his way! Then he knows what his job is. “So too with you,” Reb Mendel told me. “When the ball comes to you, don’t hesitate to take it.”
Harav Schwei, however, didn’t abandon his shlichus in the field of education:
“I plan to cobine my rabbanus with chinuch,” he said at this interview. How so?
The Rebbe expressed his desire on numerous occasions that Lubavitcher yungeleit should be rabbanim. Unfortunately, the Rebbe’s desire has not been carried out sufficiently. There are not enough quality chassidic rabbanim.
As a result, I took upon myself to teach yungeleit to become rabbanim. Whenever I am in the office, a student comes to me and we sit together while I take halachic questions. I talk with him on almost every question that comes, without identifying the caller, of course, particularly since I myself usually don’t know who is asking, and I don’t ask the person to identify himself. Then, I let the student understand all the details and angles to the question and its answer.
Teaching rabbinical ordination expresses itself on a variety of levels. First, a rav must know the halacha. Second, he must know how to connect the question that comes before him to its halachic source. Third, he requires the ability to render a rabbinical decision.
One of the biggest problems among Chassidic rabbinical students is a lack of self-assurance to render a halachic ruling. They know what the halacha is, but they are afraid to issue piskei din. Thank G-d that this is our problem… This reminds me of the story of the Chassid who came to the Rebbe Rashab and said that he had been offered a job as a shochet. He knows shechita, but he is afraid to accept so great a responsibility. The Rebbe said to him, “Who do you want them to appoint as a shochet? Someone who is not afraid?…
During the last two years, since beginning my part-time work for the Beis Din, several rabbinical students have come my way. One of them has already been appointed a rav and an educator in Russia, and a second is soon to follow. Every day, one of these students comes to my office. I see clearly that when they understand that they will have to make halachic decisions, the learning is on a totally different level. In the Rebbe Rashab’s Hemshech of 5666, he explains that when a person learns matters that have practical application, the study is something else entirely.
It is my earnest hope that within a brief period of time Chabad will have a greater number of Chassidic rabbanim. One must remember that with Chassidic rabbanim, the Chassidus comes before the rabbanus. As the Rebbe himself always says, “A Chassidishe rav” – with the word Chassidishe coming first – means that you don’t take a rav and make him into a Chassid, rather you take a Chassid and make him into a rav…
And indeed, many of these students serve in a host of rabbinical positions around the world, causing a tremendous Kiddush Hashem.
A Rav’s Broader Mission
Harav Schwei exemplified the term the Rebbe coined: “Chassidishe Rabbanim.” The Rebbe expressed his wishes that rabbanim be not only involved in halachic queries, but should be leaders in ever sense of the way, using Chassidishe values to guide them in these decisions in addition, of course, to broad halachic knowledge.
Beis Moshiach presented the rav with the following question on this topic:
In recent years, in light of the Rebbe’s instructions that in particular matters – not necessarily halachic – one must turn to the rabbanim, the role of the rabbanim has turned into something far more complex. How is this expressed in the rav’s daily life?
Many people come with shalom bayis problems, and in most cases, they are accompanied by problems with parnasa. In a family blessed with a large number of children where the husband is unsuccessful in his efforts to make a living, the wife claims that she needs help with the children, whereas the husband counters that he needs to bring in parnasa. Both of them are right, but in the meantime, there is a lack of domestic harmony. I have meetings with couples in my home, sit with them for hours, clarify all the challenges, and then try to come up with solutions.
Like I said, quite often these two problems are tied one to the other, and when the parnasa problem is solved, the shalom bayis problem is automatically solved, as well. This is so even though sometimes the exact opposite is the case, i.e., through shalom bayis comes the bracha for parnasa.
Many people come with questions totally unrelated to halacha – questions on hashkafa, shidduchim, etc. They have questions on matters they simply can’t decide for themselves, so they come and ask the rav. Sometimes, they ask the Rebbe via Igros Kodesh, but because they don’t understand the answer, they come to the rav to ask him to explain the content of the answer.
There was a time that rabbanim could evade such questions on the grounds that they are not halachic in nature, and thus not within the rav’s area of responsibility. Today, however, as you mentioned, the Rebbe gave the rabbanim this authority, as well. We must also give answers to these types of questions.
And where does the rav find answers to questions with no source in halacha?
To tell you the truth: I rely upon Hashem. I pray that I will find the truth, the Rebbe’s will, and rely upon G-d that He will place in my mouth the right words.
All throughout his tenure as rav, Harav Schwei, was an extremely well-liked leader. When asked what his secret of success was, this is what he answered:
A rav must have the Aibishter’s blessing for patience – something that is seriously needed nowadays… When someone comes to a rav with a question, and the rav has no time to hear all the aspects of the questioner’s circumstances, the questioner leaves brokenhearted and with a bad taste in his mouth. A rav must sit and listen to all the doubts and uncertainties that people have. People at times don’t wait for an answer. They come only in order that they will be heard. Sometimes they just need some encouragement. Even when the matter is halachic in nature, after the rav listens patiently to what he has to say, the answer is accepted by the questioner in an entirely different manner.
Everyone that comes to me with a question leaves happily when he receives the answer. People are usually inclined to be stringent with themselves and run to the rav with every little question. As a result, it turns out that in the majority of cases that come before me, I rule to be lenient. Naturally, such rulings bring much joy and relief to the person asking. But even in a case when the ruling calls for stringency and thus, the results are less of a reason for happiness, nevertheless, the person is happy to some extent.
The Rebbe said once that when a Jew comes to a rav with a question of issur and heter, he accepts the rav’s decision happily, even when it causes him considerable financial loss. However, when he has a din Torah and loses, he leaves with a feeling of anger against the rav – not because he lost, but because the other person benefited… The rav also sits in on dinei Torah, where there are two sides…
It’s true that dinei Torah are a bit harder. First of all, we always try to bring about a compromise between the two sides, and when we are successful, each side leaves satisfied. But even when there is no choice, and there will be a loser – it is still possible with a little effort to soften the blow to the losing side. I always try after the din Torah to speak with the loser and show him the sources of the p’sak din and explain them to him, until he understands himself why the decision went the other way. Thank G-d, most of the time, this proves successful.”
Not long ago, I presided over a din Torah, and of course, there was a winner and a loser. Two weeks later, the loser had another din Torah, yet he didn’t hesitate to turn to me again and ask me to rule in this second din Torah, even though he had been ruled against in the previous one.
A Beacon of Faith
Harav Schwei a”h, was a true “Chassidishe Rav” – a rav whose commitment to the Rebbe and every his word was legendary. Below are some answers to pressing questions in matters of hiskashrus that Harav Schwei gave:
After Gimmel Tammuz, differing opinions have developed regarding the education of children, whether to teach based on a longing for the past or to focus on the present and to live with the Rebbe’s “Besuras HaGeula” – the Rebbe’s oft-repeated words that this is the generation of the Geula. As an experienced educator, what is the rav’s opinion?
Everyone agrees that we must educate children to live with the Rebbe. The question is only how to do so. Today, to our great sadness, several years after Gimmel Tammuz, we can let experience speak for itself. Educational experience proves that the best way to teach a child to live with the Rebbe is when you place an emphasis upon the obligation to live with Moshiach and Geula. Children don’t connect with something that was in the past. They are inclined to have a much stronger connection with things are happening now. Therefore, when children are taught that the Rebbe is chai v’kayam and is with us now – they live with this with much greater strength. We see clearly that those who live with Moshiach and teach children accordingly have much more success.
It is obvious that even those who have adopted different methods in education do so with the purpose of establishing hiskashrus to the Rebbe, and they certainly have G-d’s help towards that effort. The Rebbe once said in reference to the Rebbe Rayatz that he is a “guter” (good), and therefore, anyone that wants to connect to him, he will accommodate it. The only difference is that someone who relates to the Rebbe as one who is found in the heavens above will be helped as much as possible – but from afar, from Heaven. Whereas a person who relates to the Rebbe as chai v’kayam, who is with him here in this world – he will help him all he can as one who is nearby. In truth, those who believe that the Rebbe is chai v’kayam, live with it, and teach it – merit far greater reciprocation.
To tell you the truth, when I see young people who never had the privilege of seeing the Rebbe involved in enlivening and kindling the flame of faith and hiskashrus to the Rebbe, it is evident to me that we are talking about a correct and appropriate Chassidic feeling, which is very exciting.
Sometimes the argument arises: must we encourage students to travel to the Rebbe after Gimmel Tammuz?
For my part, there is no question: chassidim must come to 770! Even though we can’t see the Rebbe, these are the Rebbe’s daled amos, and from here we draw all our strength and vitality. We can learn this from the Rebbe himself. At more than forty years of farbrengens, the Rebbe emphasized almost every time the importance of 770 as the dalet amos of the leader of the generation – not to mention, of course, the marvelous expressions from the kuntres “Beis Rabbeinu Sh’B’Bavel.”
Even those who say that what happened on Gimmel Tammuz must be interpreted in its simplest sense – in spite of sichos from the Rebbe that indicate otherwise – also admit that the holiness there has not moved from its place, and the Rebbe continues to influence via 770.
The only reason why people can possibly oppose traveling to 770 is the question of “Mi B’rosh?” The Gemara relates the story of Yeravam ben Navat, a Torah giant so great that all the Torah scholars of his generation were considered as onionskins in comparison. Nevertheless, when the question of “Mi B’rosh?” came to the forefront, this caused him to prevent the Jewish people from going up to the Beis HaMikdash… Also, in our case, this is the real question. Getting to the heart of the matter, I am certain that everyone believes that what the Rebbe said about 770 applies even today, because it is “Beis Chayeinu,” where the revelation of the Third Beis HaMikdash will begin from.
The bottom line is that their motives are undoubtedly good, but their actions are not in line with the Rebbe’s sichos, and that is a tremendous pity.
What is the correct and proper manner to spread the Rebbe’s Besuras HaGeula?
As with any such question, it is enough to consider the conduct of the Rebbe in order to know the right approach. The Rebbe used every available opportunity to speak about the Redemption. We see clearly that with every passing year, the rate of sichos on Moshiach grew with much intensity. In the decade of 5740-5749, the Rebbe dealt with the subject far more than in the previous decade. From 5750, the Rebbe’s sichos were overflowing with discussions of the Redemption. All this is in accordance with the known halachic principle of “increasing in matters of holiness.”
In light of the Rebbe’s conduct, there is no question that now, in 5763, we must publicize the announcement of the Redemption much more than we did in the previous decade, and much more than we did last year, particularly since we are now much closer to the Geula!
There are those who claim that when people publicize the announcement of the Redemption, they quickly slide into the issue of Moshiach’s identity, which is difficult to explain after Gimmel Tammuz.
The Rebbe also touched upon this concern, saying that the world is ready. Therefore, when we go out to the world, tell the truth, and mean it – the message is accepted.
If there are those who don’t accept the Rebbe’s message, only we are to blame. Since we don’t believe it enough ourselves, the words don’t come from the heart, and thus, it is difficult for them to enter someone else’s heart…
One of the community’s yungeleit told me that he works with chareidim in Boro Park and Williamsburg. They daven Mincha with a minyan, and every day someone else takes the amud. He would always try to avoid being the chazan, because on the one hand, he wants to say “Yechi” after davening, but on the other hand, he was worried about their reaction. Therefore, every day he would find a different excuse. One day, he could avoid it no longer, and having no alternative, he told them that he has one condition – that he will say “Yechi” after davening. To his surprise, no one objected, and they even gave a reason: You have nothing to worry about, we’re not Lubavitchers…
That’s the whole story. “And we were in our eyes as grasshoppers,” and as a result, “and so we were in their eyes.” As soon as we stop being embarrassed by the Rebbe’s words and clear instructions to publicize the Besuras HaGeula, our words will automatically be accepted without objection.
The opposition to the Moshiach Campaign lessens from day to day, just as with all of the other mivtzaim. The Rebbe is conquering the world, and when the Rebbe announces a particular campaign, this itself affects the world so that it will be accepted.
At times, it created a virtual revolution. One of the elder chassidim here in America told me that sixty years ago, when he would enter a shul wearing a beard, the gabbaim would throw him out. The claim was that it caused a chillul Hashem when people thought that Jews went around with beards… This was the way of things in those days. The biggest roshei yeshiva in America during that time did not have beards. So when the Rebbe Rayatz arrived in America, he started an “innovation” – that even in America, a Jew can have a beard. The Rebbe Rayatz sent shluchim to the roshei yeshiva and convinced them to start growing beards. At first, it was difficult, but the Rebbe brought about a complete change in the world’s perception, and today, this is no longer a nisayon.
This also happened when the Rebbe announced the Tefillin Campaign, which was opposed in all the chareidi communities. They even denounced it as improper and pasul, and used every means available to blast Lubavitch over the Tefillin Campaign. Yet, even on this front, the Rebbe and the Chassidim had the upper hand. Today, those same communities have joined Chabad activities, put tefillin on people, and participate in “kiruv.”
The same thing needs to be regarding the Moshiach Campaign. It is clear to us without the slightest doubt that we must fulfill the Rebbe’s instructions on this matter without hesitation – to publicize everything the Rebbe said about the Redemption and Melech HaMoshiach, and there is no question that the world will accept the message. With time, even they will admit that there must be a Moshiach in our generation and they will begin to believe that the Rebbe is Melech HaMoshiach.
To those who excuse their inactivity by quoting the Rebbe’s words “b’ofen ha’miskabel” (in an acceptable manner), it must be pointed out that the Rebbe said to publicize b’ofen ha’miskabel, not to be silent b’ofen ha’miskabel. This is certainly not the way to fulfill the Rebbe’s instructions!
I will conclude this topic with a personal story. In my youth, I loved to paint, and when I was in camp, I made Jewish paintings for the campers’ bunkhouses. After camp, Reb Berel Motchkin took the paintings to the Rebbe. One of the paintings depicted a shofar with the Thirteen Principles of Faith, with the principle of “I believe in the coming of the Moshiach” combined with a drawing of the Rebbe. R. Berel told me afterwards that the Rebbe enjoyed the paintings very much. Another painting showed the saying of our Sages that “in the Future to Come, the eye will see nothing besides You, Elokim,” with the text surrounding the outer edge. The Rebbe stood and walked around the table while reading the words.
A few words in conclusion.
I want to thank all the residents of Crown Heights who expressed their confidence in me by electing me to serve as a member of the Beis Din. I hope that I will succeed to carry out the duties of this high position faithfully, together with my friends and colleagues on the Beis Din, HaRav HaGaon R. Avrohom Osdoba shlita and HaRav HaGaon R. Yosef Avrohom HaLevi Heller shlita. I hope to give only nachas to the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach.
I wish to take this opportunity to give encouragement and strength to you and all those involved in the holy work of publishing the Beis Moshiach Magazine. It brings each week the light of faith, the fire of hiskashrus, and true Chassidic warmth to thousands of Chassidishe homes throughout the world. I personally enjoy very much reading its wonderful articles.
I have not the slightest doubt that when the Rebbe MH”M will be revealed, you will stand in the first row to greet him, and the Rebbe will thank you for the wonderful work you are doing and for strengthening the faith in his words. Yasher ko’ach!
In recent years, even as his health deteriorated, Harav Shwei continued his rabbanus and leadership with all the kochos he had.
As the current crisis broke out, Harav Schwei along with his colleagues at the Beis Din, Harav Avrohom Osdoba and Harav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, offered much-needed guidance to the Crown Heights community in one of its hardest times.
Sadly, he contracted the deadly virus, and after several developments in his medical condition, he returned his soul to its Maker, leaving behind a grieving and orphaned community.
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.
“Hakitzu v’ranenu shochnei afar” at the hisgalus of the Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach, he among them, immediately now!
“Please take care of them for me” – To donate: https://www.charidy.com/rabbischwei
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