Rav Schwab: Asher Yatzar
The 19th of Adar is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Mordechai (ben Yehudah) Schwab (1911-1994), younger brother of Rav Shimon Schwab. After spending three years at the Mir yeshiva with his older brother, he learned at Kaminetz with Rav Baruch Ber Lebovitz.
During World War II, he was one of the many who traveled across Russia to Japan and Shanghai. He spent several looking for work, and then working as a rebbi in yeshivos ketana. When he was over 50 years of age, he took a job as ninth grade rebbi at Beis Shraga in Monsey. About ten years later, this position developed into a full-time mashgiach. After the passing of Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky, Rav Mordechai was approached to assume the position of Rav in Reb Yaakov’s shul. He refused, later confiding in someone that he would be forced to wear a rabbinical frock, which could inspire feeling of gaavah. He is remembered by many as one who always smiled, frequently laughing, especially at himself. But, as his brother Rav Shimon stated, his externals concealed his tzidkus. Above all, he excelled at finding merit in all others he met. We post thoughts from “Rav Schwab on Prayer” in his memory and merit:
The phrase, “And acts wondrously,” originates from Tehillim (139:13-14) where King David describes the miracle of his existence with the words, “You have covered me in the womb of my mother. I acknowledge You, for I am awesomely, wondrously fashioned; wondrous are Your works, and my soul knows it well.” This means that my soul is acutely aware that – from the moment of my conception, and throughout my existence,i in which You have combined two disparate elements, the body and the soul, which could separate at any moment, and yet they function together – “Your deeds are wondrous!”
Machberes Avodas Hashem: It is essential to recite the phrase, “And does wiondrously,” with a sense of wonder. We must study the workings of the Soul and its connection to the body in order to fully appreciate the wonder of the special creation that empowers the body and soul to work together. Proper preparation for this blessing will enable a person to access the Kedusha Switch that allows the body to act and affect the soul.