Harav Aharon Yaakov Schwei, 85, AH

With great sadness we inform you of the passing of Harav Aharon Yaakov Schwei a”h mara d’asra and member of the Crown Heights Beis Din.

He passed away on Friday, Lamed Nissan. He was 85-years-old.

He has reportedly passed away after contracting the Coronavirus.

He was born to his parents Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu and Bunia Schwei on 26 Tammuz 5694/1934 in Abu, Finland, where his father was sent by the Frierdiker Rebbe to serve the Jewish communities there. Soon they moved to Nara, Estonia, where Reb Mordechai Eliyahu served as rov.

When he was seven his father passed away. Soon the war came to Estonia and the family escaped to Uzbekistan, to a small village. With no yeshiva there, Yankel was sent to the Yeshiva in Samarkand by his mother, the tzadekes Bunia, at the age of seven to learn. His older brother Aizik had already been sent away earlier to Yeshiva.

In 5711/1951, after stops in Poking and Brunoy, the Schweis arrived in Montreal, where the brothers continued studying in Yeshiva there. In 5715/1955, they were part of the first semicha class there.

For many years he served as a maggid shiur in the Lubavitcher Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway. He was also the camp rov in Camp Gan Yisroel in New York. While there, he would draw beautiful depictions of many of the Rebbe’s mivtzoyim and inyonim. Many of his creations still adorn the camp walls today.

Known for his tremendous ge’onus in all elements of Torah – nigleh and Chassidus – He was the editor of his brother Rav Aizik’s writings as well as the seforim of Harav Yitzchok Raitport. It was said about him that he was boki in Torah Or and Likkutei Torah with all the osyos.

In 5760/2000, after the passing of Harav Yehuda Kalman Marlow, he was elected as a member of the Crown Heights beis din.

He is survived by his wife Rebbetzin Rochel, and his children Mrs. Rivkah Max – Tzfas; Rabbi Yosef YItzchok – Luton, UK; Mrs. Chana Etta Turk – Cordova, Argentina; R’ Mordechai Eliyahu – Crown Heights; Mrs. Nechama Dina Rappaport – Crown Heights; Mrs. Shterna Sara Ginsburg – Boro Park; Mrs. Devorah – Crown Heights; R’ Boruch Sholom – Crown Heights; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The levaya is expected to take place around 3:00 pm today.

Baruch Dayan Ha’emes.

Nichum Avelim

Feel free to share your memories of the niftar.

  1. BDE, big loss.
    I think what was unique about Rabbi Shvei, was the besides being a rov, he was an old style chsidisher yid.

  2. BSD. As a waiter in Gan Yisroel Montreal I remember Rabbi Shvei shlepping us to learn Likutei Toirah every night with him. I also remember his explanation of the pictures that he painted and were hanging in the dining room especially the one he drew of the moshal the Alter Rebbe gave to Reb Michel Zlotshover of the jewel in the king’s crown that had to be ground up and mixed with water and poured into the mouth of very sick son of the king in order to save his life and maybe if only one drop went in it would save his life. Rabbi Shvei always tried to get that drop of Chassidus into us he was a very caring chassidisher yid.

  3. Famous Story of Rabbi Schwei as a 7 year old going to the yeshivah. When his mother arrived in the city she saw him in the train station and asked him what he was doing there… He said: I trusted you that you would come…

    Serves as a Strong Lesson in the way to have Emuna…

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