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Soul Seeker

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Rabbi Meir Schuster was more than just a fixture at the Kosel, arranging Shabbos meals for the curious, and accommodations in the Old City for travelers. Colleagues who knew him well and backpackers who met him just once all recognized: There was nothing Reb Meir wouldn’t do to save a Jewish soul.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

He had a few standard lines. One was, “Want to meet a wise man?” Another was, ”Are you Jewish? Do you need a place to stay?” In this way, Rabbi Meir Schuster ztz”l, who passed away last week at the age of 71 after a long battle with a neurological disorder, introduced nonobservant Jewish travelers, “just passing through Jerusalem” to Yiddishkeit. His “office,” as it were, was at the Kosel, and he hardly took a day off in nearly 40 years.

Described by those who knew him in his younger years as painfully shy, Reb Meir transcended all boundaries to become one of the most successful kiruv professionals of our time. It is estimated that he brought thousands of Jewish neshamos back to their roots through his work at the Kosel, his Heritage House in theOldCity, and Shorashim centers serving Israeli seculars.

In the stories that follow, those who “bumped into” Reb Meir, along with colleagues who saw his work up close, describe their most enduring memories of Rav Schuster.


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