As an immigrant to Irael in 1973, I had several opportunities to visit the Kotel as a secular kibbutznik. Although Rabbi Schuster and I are from the same U.S. city, I had never heard of him and must be the only Jew in the world who went to the Kotel several times without being approached to return to Torah. Nonetheless, I eventually did.
Over the years, Rabbi Schuster and I became very close. Reb Meir even sat shiva for his father at my house in the States. Literally hundreds of Jews were shlepped to my home in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City to enjoy Shabbat meals or to discuss Torah after meeting the rabbi.
In the early 90’s, I was at a synagogue “somewhere” in the States and Reb Meir was there as well. He was praying with such fervor, it was as if he was truly in a different state of consciousness. Someone asked me “Is he real?”.
I replied, “He is real – really connected, it is we who are not real!”
This is Rabbi Schuster – the real Reb Meir. Totally connected. A true legend, no less than the agadoth we study in the Talmud. May his mesirath nefesh, his godly dedication, bring the final redemption.