Chananel Weiner’s Story

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Here are a few glimpses into my relationship wtih Reb Meir:

#1 – He knew just by looking at me.  Sure, I had been at Aish for a few months already but prayer was not a part of my life.  The first time I went to morning services (shachris) was on a shabbas and I knew that there was no way I could lead a productive life if I had to spend 3 hours in a synagogue every morning!  Well, Rav Schuster knew by looking at me that I didn’t wrap teffilin.

So he did what he always did – he grabbed be and brought me to Ezra in the Cardo to purchase teffilin.  He made a deal with me, negotiated it without my input and the next thing you knew I was a teffilin owning member of the Jewish people.  I have worn them since.

Some people need an explanation, others need a push or a pull.  Rav Schuster knew by looking at us and got us where we needed to be.  I will forever be grateful to his contribution towards my growth.

#2 –  I was upset that I was having a fantastic time in yeshiva in Israel and that my little brother was out in Colorado with no connection.  I was chatting with Rav Schuster one day and casually dropped the idea of going out and trying to get my brother to come back to Israel with me.

In moments we were scoring the internet looking for flights.  Rav Schuster paid my way, found me a home to stay in during my overnight layover in NY, and gave me a return ticket for my brother.

There was a Jew in need of Yiddishkeit and Rav Schuster didn’t care where.  He’s a man of action and made it happen.

#3 – I was fortunate enough to join Rav Schuster on numerous occasions at his home for Shabbas, including once each for Succos and Passover.  The warmth and holiness of his home is tangible.  The Rebbetzin always provided a care and comfort beyond the norm.  Rav Schuster’s concentration on shabbas zemiros and the bentching is unparalleled by others.  Every time there was special.  One of the fist times when was I was young in yeshiva years, having only been in yeshiva for a few months.  In those days “coincidences” are apparent in everything and at Rav Schuster’s it would be no different.  I got to talking with the Rebbetzin about growing up in the Catskills and sure enough her cousin was my doctor.  Small world!    I always felt very comfortable in the Schuster home.