Shloshim for Reb Meir Schuster, Man at the Wall

Ever get the sinking feeling that your efforts don’t really matter?  Like you really can’t make a difference?  

When feelings of futility hit, we can now watch the Shloshim observance for Reb Meir Tzvi Schuster, of blessed memory, which was held yesterday in Yerushalayim.   Then we will quickly remember what one person can do.  It can be viewed at the website:

As explained in one of the hespedim given, Reb Noach Weinberg, of blessed memory, who was the Rosh Ha Yeshiva ofAish Ha Torah said, “If one person can destroy 6 million Jewish people, one person can save 6 million Jewish people.”

Reb Meir Schuster – from an ordinary background like you or me – developed the clarity, the caring and the perseverance to help tens of thousands of Jewish people return to a Jewish way of life.  And from all of these returnees are already coming hundreds of thousands of children and grandchildren who could have lost their Judiasm otherwise.  This is not even counting all the schools, programs, books, articles, etc. already made by all these baalei teshuva  (and their offspring) which have helped so many other Jewish people come to value their heritage.   From the exponential ripple effect created, 6 million does not seem far off at all.

For decades, day and night, Reb Meir Schuster ran after each neshama he could find at the Kotel and the Central Bus Station in Yerushalayim, bringing each diamond in the rough to a Shabbos meal or a center for Jewish learning .  He founded the Heritage Houses so that at last there would be Jewish hostels in the Old City of Yerushalayim and later, he started the Shorashim Outreach Centers for Israelis that are also flourishing.  Without self-interest, he simply and consistently devoted himself to doing what he saw needed to be done.  And then he just kept at it.

Perhaps what can inspire us most of all is remembering that Reb Meir Schuster was not charismatic and he was not a master salesman.  He was a shy and sweet man of few words, but every Jewish person was extremely dear to him, and that is what came across.

Yesterday, privately, Rebbetzin Schuster shared some thoughts on what she learned in the past month about how Reb Meir succeeded with all the young people he reached.  She put it this way, “Reb Meir saw into their souls…and they saw into his heart.”

Bracha Goetz

Latest Rav Meir Stories

Gershon Fern’s Story

Growing up in Miami, FL, with a strong Jewish identity, well meaning parents and a paltry Jewish education left me at a loss at how the Jewish people could survive for over 3,000... READ MORE

Jeff’s Story

My future wife and I arrived from India at Athens Airport in the middle of the night, after 5 months of backpacking in Asia. Since the first bus did not leave the airport... READ MORE

Batya’s Story

In 1976 Barbara Ellen Rosen was working in Washington DC  for the United States Government.  Dedicated to her job as an external auditor of insurance companies, the 25-year-old from Providence, Rhode Island, displayed... READ MORE

Joseph Neppe’s Story

Coming from a South African background used to the comforts of home, at the age of 28, I was not particularly enamored of a dormitory-style of living.  Fortunately, Ohr Somayach had provided me... READ MORE