I worked with Rabbi Schuster day in, day out for 15 years. I started to work for Heritage House on November 15, 1992; during Rabbi Schuster’s fall trip to the States. My first encounter with him was when he called the office during my first day and barked down the phone, “Who’s that?”. If I say that I considered resigning rather than coming face-to-face with the man behind the bark, I am not exaggerating.
However, I did not resign and RMS became a part of my life! As I would often say, “to know him is to love him”. Rabbi Schuster’s shy smile, the twinkle in the eye, the play fights in the office, the attempts to quietly push through yet another chessed for someone without having to explain himself, the crumpled receipts which had been in his pockets from one dry clean to the next, the huge phones he loaded into his jacket in the days before cell phones, the pita and tehina every day for years except for Rosh Chodesh and Isru Chag when he added a slice of meat, the thunderous roar of his birkas hamazon – all these are memories that I will treasure forever, together with the photos of him at many of our family simchas – holding babies, shaking hands with bar mitzvah boys…in short the legend that is Rabbi Meir Schuster.