BD’E: Rebbitzen Devorah Svei a”h, Wife Of Hagoan Harav Elya Svei Zt”l


It saddens us to report of the petirah of Rebbitzen Devorah Svei a”h, the wife of Hagaon Harav Elya Svei Zt”l, after a brief illness.

Rebbitzen Svei was the daughter of Hagoan Harav Avrohom Kalmanowitz Zt”l, Rosh Yeshiva of the Mirrer Yeshivah. She was born in Tiktin, where her father was serving as Rav at the time, and she was just one year old when her mother was niftar.

At the outbreak of WWII, Harav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky Zt”l told Rav Kalmanowitz to take an airplane to America and work on saving the Mirrer Yeshiva. Rebbitzen Svei and most of the rest of the family joined him on the plane, and only Harav Shraga Moshe, who did not have his papers, was unable to escape at that time. [Rav Shraga Moshe was able to leave at a later time.]

After she married Rav Elya, they remained in Brooklyn for several years as Rav Elya learned in the kollel, until he took up his position in the Yeshiva of Philadelphia. While he would visit his shver on Yomim Tovim, his talmidim from Philadelphia would often come by to speak with him in the Mirrer Yeshiva, and everyone admired how they hung on his every word.

Rebbitzen Svei stood by her husband’s side as he led the Yeshiva of Philadelphia and served as the Rosh Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudath Yisroel of America. The talmidim remember how she prepared for them on Friday nights when they came to visit their Rosh Yeshiva, and she would stand behind the door and listen as Rav Elya would deliver a shmuez for his talmidim.

The levayah is scheduled for Monday morning 9:00 AM in the Yeshiva of Philadelphia at 6063 Drexel Road.

Tehi zichrah baruch.

Updated Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 5:28 pm Added levayah information