Rabbi Akiva Wagner, the beloved rosh yeshiva of Toronto Yeshiva, who dedicated his life to the yeshiva and its bochurim, passed away the day after his 55th birthday. Levya will be held today in New York.
By Anash.org reporter
Rabbi Akiva Wagner, the beloved rosh yeshiva of Toronto Yeshiva, who dedicated his life to the yeshiva and its bochurim, passed away on Monday, 17 Iyar, 5783.
He had just celebrated his 55th birthday the day before.
Born in Toronto, Canada, on 16 Iyar, 5728 to Rabbi Refoel Menachem Nochum and Batya Wagner, Akivah was born into a family that was ingrained with a love of Torah. His father was a respected talmid chochom, and his mother was the daughter of Harav Dov Yehuda Schochet, a distinguished rov in the Toronto community.
As a young bochur, Akiva learned in Litvishe yeshivos, and was niskarev to Chabad by his Schochet uncles and began studying in Oholei Torah in Crown Heights.
In 5749, he was sent on bochur shlichus to Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad in Los Angeles, under the leadership of his uncle Harav Ezra Schochet. After completing his shlichus there, he returned to New York to study in the Central Yeshivas Tomchei Tmimim in 770.
In 5751, he was introduced to Rochie Labkowski, and they got married in the summer of that year.
A number of years after his marriage, he co-founded the Lubavitch Yeshiva of Toronto together with Rabbi Yonah Shur, and he began to serve as its rosh yeshiva.
Over the next decades, Rabbi Wagner fully dedicated himself to the success of the yeshiva and each of the bochurim, showing a genuine example of the love of Torah and a fire of chassidishkeit.
Even after a horrible illness was discovered, Rabbi Wagner invested every moment and drop of energy he had to continue building the yeshiva, delivering shiurim and leading farbrengens whenever he was able.
He is survived by his mother Mrs. Batya Wagner, his wife, Mrs. Rochie Wagner, and their children Rabbi Yitzchok Wagner – Richmond, CA; Itty Leiberman – Toronto; Rabbi Mendy Wagner – Toronto; Menachem, Yisrolik, Mushkie, Dovi, Nossi, Goldie, Shmuli, Levi, and Avremi.
He is also survived by his siblings Mrs. Adina Jacobson – Yerushalayim; Rabbi Meir Wagner – Toronto; Mrs. Elisheva Lopian – Los Angeles, CA; Mrs. Shula Isaacs, – Toronto; Rabbi Noam Wagner – South Africa; Rabbi Dov Wagner – Los Angeles, CA; Rabbi Yaakov Wagner – Morristown, NJ; Rabbi Yitzchok Wagner – Lakewood, NJ; Rabbi Avromi Wagner – Lakewood, NJ; Mrs. Bracha Back – Lakewood, NJ.
The levaya will take place today, Monday afternoon in New York, passing by 770 at 3:00 PM and kevura at Old Montefiore Cemetery at 4:00 PM.
Shiva will be held at 433 Crown St.
3 minyanim at 9:30 AM
And 3 at 10:30 AM
Mincha 6:30 PM
Maariv 8:30 PM
The family requests people to respect the shiva times.
Baruch Dayan Ha’mes.
Click here to support Rabbi Wagner’s family and help them carry on.
Rabbi Wagner’s address to his talmidim when the illness was discovered
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I remember that by his son duvi’s bar Mitzvah in 5780, all of the bochurim went. it was shortly after his illness was discovered, and at some point spontaneously all of the bochurim surrounded Rabbi Wagner with their arms on each others shoulders and started singing ״די ראש ישיבה איז געזונט…משיח קומט שוין״ and Rabbi Wagner was sitting in his chair laughing and smiling the whole time.