Harav Dovid Schochet, one of the most senior Chabad rabbonim worldwide, rov and shliach in Toronto, President of the Toronto Rabbinical Council and a member of Vaad Rabbonei Lubavitch, passed away on Sunday night.
By Anash.org reporter
Harav Dovid Schochet, one of the most senior Chabad rabbonim worldwide, rov and shliach in Toronto, President of the Toronto Rabbinical Council and a member of Vaad Rabbonei Lubavitch, passed away on Sunday night, 19 Shevat, 5784.
He was 91 years old.
Born in 5692-1932 to his parents Harav Dov Yehuda and Sara Sosha Schochet, Dovid was born into a home imbued with love of Torah and service to the klal. His father, a noted talmid chochom, was one of the most distinguished talmidim of the Telshe yeshiva and served in positions of rabbanus in Basel, Switzerland – where Dovid was born – The Hague and Holland, Netherlands and later Toronto, Ontario.
During the years that Dovid was a young boy, his family became close to Chabad Chassidus and to the Rebbe, largely due to the fact that Harav Dov Yehuda’s sister married Rabbi Chaim Mordechai Aizik Hodakov, a dedicated Chabad chossid and master educator who later became the Rebbe’s chief of secretariat.
After studying in Yeshiva in Montreal, Dovid continued on to learn in the Central Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in 770, in the daled amos of the Rebbe. There, he continue to delve into the study of Torah together with strengthening his dedication to the Rebbe.
After traveling to join the 770 yeshiva, he had his first yechidus with the Rebbe. “Don’t take life for granted,” the Rebbe told him. “In the morning, when you wake up, thank Hashem for everything that has been given to you.”
The Rebbe went on to say that many people go to sleep at night and expect their shoes to be by their bed where they left them the night before when they wake up in the morning. As they get dressed, they complain that the weather is too cold or hot. “In effect, they are criticizing Hashem” the Rebbe said, “because who makes the weather? Instead, they should be grateful that they are still alive, that their possessions are still with them, that a new day is beginning where they have an opportunity to do many good deeds.”
During that yechidus, the Rebbe also advised him to go into Jewish education. In an interview with JEM decades later, he recalled, “I had been planning to enroll in university after finishing my yeshivah studies, with the intent of becoming an electrical engineer, but the Rebbe said that I would find working in Jewish outreach much more rewarding because, as he put it, every Jew is a diamond.”
In 5716-1956 a terrorist murdered five students and their instructor who were in middle of davening at a school in Kfar Chabad, Eretz Yisroel. In response, the Rebbe personally selected a group of 12 bochurim to serve as his shluchim to uplift the crushed community. Among them was Dovid, who together with the other members of the group spent three weeks traveling to all the Chabad communities across Eretz Yisroel and imparting the Rebbe’s message.
During his trip to Eretz Yisroel, he was introduced to his to-be wife Bas-Sheva Sudak, and on the 3rd of Nissan, 5717-1957 they got married , with the Rebbe serving as mesader kiddushin.
On the Shabbos following the wedding, the chassidim asked the father of the choson to request that the Rebbe farbreng. Harav Dov Yehuda indeed did so, but the Rebbe demurred, saying that it wasn’t Shabbos Mevorchim or a special occasion. The senior Rabbi Schochet responded “We are now in the month of Nissan, and Nissan is a time when the nesi’im give…” The Rebbe smiled, and agreed to farbreng, delivering a deep sicha which was later printed in Likkutei Sichos Chelek Vov.
Shortly after their wedding, the couple moved to Toronto to serve as the Rebbe’s shluchim. They set up their home in the Downsview section of the city, where they quickly set about establishing a shul. At that time, kosher milk and meat was impossible to come by locally, and the young couple had to ship in many supplies from New York.
More than two decades later and after having presided over a veritable boom in the entire city’s Jewish community, the Schochets packed their bags and moved north to the relatively undeveloped area of Thornhill. Taking a plot of land donated to the community by a local builder, they established the Chabad-Lubavitch Community Center there and spearheaded a mass migration north.
Today, the Jewish community in Thornhill comprises day schools, several shuls, many kosher stores and other organizations.
Over the next decades, Harav Schochet served in Toronto as rov and mara d’asra of the Chabad community, as well as a posek for the wider Toronto community President of the Toronto Rabbinical Council and for the worldwide Chabad community as member of Vaad Rabbonei Lubavitch. He also tested and granted smicha to many and serving as a rov and mentor to countless around the world.
He is survived by his wife Rebbetzin Bat-Sheva Schochet, and their children Rabbi Yossi Schochet -Toronto, ON; Mrs. Batya Lisker – Miami, FL; Mrs. Rochie Diena – Toronto, ON; Mrs. Chana Weisberg – Pomona, NY; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by his siblings Mrs. Ruth Averbuch – Crown Heights; Mrs. Batya Wagner – Toronto, Ontario; R’ Joseph Daniel Schochet – Toronto, Ontario; Rabbi Ezra Schochet – Los Angeles, CA; Rabbi Elisha Shochet – Toronto, Ontario; Rabbi Ovadia Schochet – Miami, FL; and Mrs. Amina Newman – Long Beach, CA.
Levaya will be held on Monday in Toronto, beginning at the Chabad shul at 770 Chabad Gate at approximately 12:30 PM.
The family will be sitting shiva in Toronto at the Schochet home: 42 Milner Gate, Thornhill, ON L4J 2N4, Canada
Harav Ezra Schochet will be sitting shiva at his home in Los Angeles at 821 N Formosa Ave. #204.
Minyanim Times: Shachris: 9:30, Mincha: 3:45 (Monday only – 1:30), Maariv: 6:45.
Shiva Times: after Shachris until 11:00 am, after Mincha until 5:00 pm, after Maariv until 9:30 pm.
Please do not come during other times
Stories and memories and nichum aveilim can be shared at https://sharetoremember.com/harav-dovid-schochet