Rabbi Sholom Mordechai Schwadron
1835–1911

Rabbi Sholom Mordechai Schwadron (שלום בן משה הכהן שוודרן) was known by his acronym Maharsham. He was a foremost halachic authority and his main works “Shailos Uteshuvos Maharsham” and “Daas Torah” are widely studied sources of practical Jewish law. He also authored Techeiles Mordechai, a three-volume commentary of the Torah.

He was born in 1835 in Złoczów to Moshe Schwadron, a Torah scholar, and studied under Rabbi Yoel Ashkenazy. After his marriage he was bequeathed a wood business and was hesitant to become a rabbi. However, he did so at the age of 31.

In Rabbi Pasech Krohn’s books about the Rabbi of Jerusalem, he states that the Rabbi was the fifth cousin of the great Rabbi Schwadron, and that after finishing rabbinical school (where he studied with Rabbi Schwadron?) he started using the rabbi’s name as his. He also stated that he had been taught by Rabbi Schwadron, but this may have been impossible because Rabbi Schwadron died in 1911, a year before he was born (1912).

It is known that after each din Torah (case in a rabbinical court), he would explain to the loser the reason he lost until he understood clearly. If the person was unable to understand, he would tell him “You must have a good friend or family member that is a Torah scholar. Send him to me and I will explain it to him so you will feel that you were done justice.”

He lived in Berezhany where he acquired the nickname Gaon of Berezhany. He died there in 1911. His grandson, Rabbi Sholom Schwadron, was known as the “Maggid of Jerusalem”.

His daughter, Chana Sura, married Rabbi Sholom Shapiro, the Rabbi and Av Beit Din of Lanchin, Poland. Their son, Grand Rebbe Pinchos Shapiro, was the Grand Rebbe of Kechneye, and The Father in Law of the current Kaliver Rebbe, Grand Rabbi Menachem Mendel Taub


Notables Buried on Har HaZeitim