Is Aaron Swartz Jewish?

Aaron Swartz was Jewish. Aaron Swartz was the technologist and computer programmer who helped develop code that created the RSS feed  as a teenager. Aaron was born November 8, 1986 to Robert and Susan Swartz. He had two younger brothers Noah and Ben. His partner was Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, the Executive Director and Founder of Sum Of Us.

Aaron Swartz Jewish

According to the NY Times, Aaron Swartz's uncle said that he had apparently hanged himself, and that a friend of Mr. Swartz’s had discovered the body. Aaron’s funeral will be held on Tuesday, January 15 at Central Avenue Synagogue, 874 Central Avenue, Highland Park, Illinois.

The NY TImes reported that, "At 14, Mr. Swartz helped create RSS, the nearly ubiquitous tool that allows users to subscribe to online information. He later became an Internet folk hero, pushing to make many Web files free and open to the public. But in July 2011, he was indicted on federal charges of gaining illegal access to JSTOR, a subscription-only service for distributing scientific and literary journals, and downloading 4.8 million articles and documents, nearly the entire library. Charges in the case, including wire fraud and computer fraud, were pending at the time of Mr. Swartz’s death, carrying potential penalties of up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines."

It had been reported that Swartz suffered from depression and had contemplated suicide in the past. "In a talk in 2007, Mr. Swartz described having had suicidal thoughts during a low period in his career. He also wrote about his struggle with depression, distinguishing it from sadness."


  1. R.I.P. Aaron...
    Vassilis from Athens Greece

  2. Mental Illness sucks and killing oneself is the most selfish act anyone can do or has done. The consequences and guilt are amassed upon any living relatives or friends. Why didn't this young man/child seek professional help or at least or even most speak with his Rabbi or any Rabbi for guidance and perspective? Why didn't his family get him the help that he obviously needed? Were they completely obtuse by keeping a blind eye open?! What a shame, what a loss, what a waste of a life. I don't believe saying or writing "RIP" is ever apropos for suicide. My condolences on his family suffering with this loss and their ability to accept his demise is where my thoughts are. I especially feel bad for his Parents.

    1. Don't ever judge a person until you're in his/her shoes. EVER.

  3. Looks like Aaron's family might not have given him a Jewish upbringing, if he was a practising Jew this would have never happened. May God give you peace Aaron.

  4. Sorry, I'm an Orthodox Jew, and know others raised as Orthodox Jews who have committed suicide. There is definitely something about a Jewish upbringing that teaches hope in the worst situations, but it's not a guarantee.

    After Kurt Cobain committed suicide, his wife Courtney Love said it this way: “He had a lot of German in him. Some Irish. But no Jew. I think that if he had had a little Jew he would have [expletive] stuck it out.

    1. I don't agree with you....Even orthodox Jews get to the breaking point with pain from depression and choose to join heaven early

  5. Oh well, not like I'm going cry over him. Darwinism at its best

  6. I didn't know Aaron Swartz — in fact, I had never heard of him, despite the fact that his talent had given the world so many discoveries that help us in everyday life.
    The death of this poor American guy, will allow me to tell the whole world, on the Web, what happens in our country, Italy, that once observed the rule of law.
    I have never hacked into any network, I only posted a link to the site of one of the candidates in the local elections of my town, Greve in Chianti, Florence. It was nothing dangerous but I was charged with a criminal offense yet, like Aaron, I have been tried for aggravated defamation , prosecuted and given a significant sentence which, however, is not nearly as terrible as what might have happened to Aaron Swartz; he risked a serious sentence.
    Frightened by the sword of Damocles hanging over his head, the young talent, with a large number of "Internet friends", but profoundly lonely and depressed, preferred to commit suicide and I, with the weight of my 64 years, understand him perfectly. There is nothing more depressing than being charged and eventually convicted for actions committed for the good of all.
    I will always remember this young guy, with his clean face and soul, because his death almost coincided with my sentence and upset me greatly; I want to dedicate my great suffering to him.
    On the website dedicated to the many memories of friends and strangers (, I read a beautiful post that I’d like to repeat and share: "Rest with the angels Aaron till we meet again. May God comfort your family and friends ".
    Beyond the above, I want to contribute to his memory. I plan to share the reasons for my sentence, starting with # Pdftribute.
    As long as I'm alive, I will continue to fight for freedom, freedom of ideas and the transparency of all information, legal and otherwise, regarding several individuals and to denounce, always and in any case, any kind of injustice or crime.
    Roberto Migno

    1. Very timely and touching. Thanks Roberto

  7. "He must have chaos within him who would give birth to dancing stars"

  8. If you commit suicide you have committed murder of self.
    You are a murderer if you murder yourself.
    The Holy Bible tells us
    that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
    It is wrong to say that people who murdered themselves are with the angels.
    No where in the Bible does it tell it to murder ourselves to get to heaven.
    It ticks me off to see this lie being promoted.
    Quit teaching our children that it is okay to kill yourself.
    Because if you do, no problem you will still go to heaven.
    It was Judas that committed suicide not Peter.


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