LONDON (Sep. 20)
Rabbi Morris Swift, for decades regarded as Anglo-Jewry’s leading champion of strict interpretation of halachic (religious) law, died here Sunday at the age of 76. A powerful preacher of Orthodoxy, he was an outspoken opponent of reform or liberal trends in Judaism.
Swift, who held the title of Dayan, was born in Liverpool in 1907 and was ordained after several years of study at the Mir Yeshiva in Poland. During his long career he served as a rabbi in Los Angeles for the Young Israel movement at the Berea Synagogue in Johannesburg where he was a member of the Beth Din (rabbinical court) and at four synagogues in London and in south England.
He was a full-time member of the London Beth Din from 1957-76 and a part-time member until his death. During the past six years he served twice as acting rabbi of the large Golders Green Synagogue in northwest London, He died only a week after he handed over that pulpit to the synagogue’s new full-time rabbi.