The purpose of this website is to document the legendary and historic achievements of Reb Meir Schuster; to create a place where the countless “Reb Meir stories” can be told, preserved, and shared – where the legend can continue to inspire.
This website will always be a work in progress: It is our hope that you will share your own story here and share this site with your friends. In that way, this “home” of Reb Meir stories will grow; it will inspire - and it will give recognition, honor and support to Reb Meir and his family.
Who are we? We are ten men and women (more or less) whose lives have been forever transformed by an encounter with Rabbi Schuster. Each of us feels… a deep sense of appreciation to Reb Meir. When we learned of his health challenges, and that they were largely unknown to so many who care deeply about him, we resolved to create this Tribute Website.
Most of our “Group of 10” had never met one another or even spoken by phone. We came together by one friend reaching out to the next. And that is exactly what this website is about. Our hope is that our “Group of 10” will grow to include you – and every person whose life was touched by Reb Meir.
Each of us has only come to know a sliver, at most, of who Reb Meir is. Collectively, we now have the opportunity to build a true picture of the man. After all, we are his life’s work.
Story of the Week
It has been a long time. Friends from around the world have been asking "how could you not go to visit him....you personally witnessed hundreds if not thousands of people whose lives turned around....". I knew the reason and felt confident they could not receive the answer which actually was at the heart of their request. Working in the Heritage House through out most of the 80's blossomed memories that are still a sacred part of my yiddishkeit. Those of you who were with me can verify that we saw daily miracles. Travelers who did not even know why they came to Israel, get a tap on the shoulder "do you have the time"........ and a few days later are stuffing a pay phone with asimonim informing their parents they staying in Israel to learn about Judaism. This web site has some of those stories which are uplifting and inspiring. And for those in the "Old City" at the time, we actually felt an element of the divine presence while working with R' Schuster. I did not want to risk tarnishing any of those memories by visiting him now. But I am so glad I did B"H.
Especially over the past few years I realized that rumors of Heritage House and R' Schuster are numerous across the vast spectrum of imagination. Nobody intending to be misleading, only possessing an extremely unique vision of happenings. So I prepared myself for possible difficulties but disgarded all the rumors and stories of the situation. I was also totally open for a truly positive experience. I did not prepare enough for that.
Upon entering his room, it only took a few seconds for our eyes to connect. He may not have known exactly who I was at the first intance except he definitely know we have a special bond. LIke I do for anybody who is familiar with thousands of people, I try to avoid embarrassment and I go through my 30 second introduction of who I am and how we know each other. He motioned for my hand but not a hand shake. He wanted to arm wrestle with me. Unquestionably. In fact her persisted until I gave him enough of a struggle that provided a feeling that he was victorious, once again. You see about 4 years ago, I was privledge to share quality time, days and weeks, with R' Schuster. One of the proud moments I was able to squeeze out of his personal mental box of pride, was an occassion where a young basketball player who had been in and out of yeshiva for months and finally told R' Schuster he was returning to the USA. R' Schuster would not hear of it. The student wanted to put it to rest. Being a typical american college minded athlete he thought he would instantly resolve the matter "let's arm wrestle, .... If you win I stay in Yeshiva, otherwise...." Like any other time, R' Schuster would pretty much agree to do anything in order for a Jew to go to Yeshiva. It has been confirmed that R' Schuster dunked him. Not even close contest. At the time I was told the story, he made it clear that it was not his secret visits to the gym ( he may have never been in any sort of gym as far as I know) that brought on that strength but the focus that absolutely any obstacle can be overcome when the goal is to do Hashem's Ratzon. He knew Hashem wanted the yeshiva student to stay and he did, B"H.
Since he told me the story, we pretended to arm wrestle almost every time we met since then as a reminder to each other. Having him respond that way in the hospital, gave me more than I could hope for. He IS still using all of his KOCHOS (power) to convey the message.
Why has Hashem set up this situation with R' Schuster slowly recuperating IYH? Is not a question to address. Our job is continue the push with what ever efforts we can collect to not only do Hashem's Ratzon but also work to reveal that every Jew should feel the reality that he / she is a special gem in the Al-Mighty's crown. That a little more polish with Torah and Mitzvot will make that shine for eternity. Somebody offered a sentence that puts together R' Schuster's message nicely:
"Even small efforts (for Kiddish Hashem) can deliver eternal greatness"
There are yeshivas packed today because years ago a young man asked another "Do you have the time"
How can we, the readers of this website and all of kllal Yisroel, refortifiy this messange and build greater success in the results?
Feel free to send you ideas, and suggestions
It was February 1974. I was four and a half months into my six month Kibbutz Ulpan program at Ein Dor, a shomer hatzair kibbutz, near Tiberias in northern Israel. I worked extra days on the kibbutz prior to our program’s Jerusalem trip to be able to stay on afterwards in Jerusalem for a long weekend.
The trip included a visit to the Kotel. Everyone was given some time on their own and told when we should return back to the bus to depart. I was not into “holy” places so I checked out the archaeological digs nearby instead, and returned to the bus. We were about to leave and everyone was asked to check if anyone had not yet returned. Sure enough, my roommate was missing so I headed out to the Kotel area to retrieve him.
As I came closer, I saw him in conversation with a tall man in a black hat and suit. I walked behind the man, and signaled my friend that the bus was leaving and that we had to go. Reb Meir turned around and began a conversation... (continued)