Monday, February 17, 2014

Rabbi Meir Schuster, Heritage House Founder, Dies at 71

Photo credit: Heritage House
Failed Messiah reports: "Rabbi Meir Schuster, who spent decades searching out young non-Orthodox (or, sometimes, Modern Orthodox) Jews at places like the Kotel (Western Wall) and trying to get them to sit in on classes at Ohr Somayach, Aish HaTorah, Neve Yerushalayim or other smaller ba'al teshuva (missionary outreach) yeshivas and seminaries passed away today."
I urge you to click the above link and read what I believe to be
a very fair portrayal of Rabbi Meir Schuster. He was certainly a character in the Old City. While I may not have agreed with his  methods or his life's work, I do recall him from my travels and, I have to agree wholeheartedly, the man was definitely genuine. Despite my often harsh criticism of kiruv, my heart goes out to his family and to all who loved him. May all who mourn find comfort, strength, and peace.

Rosenberg, Shmarya. Baruch Dayan HaEmet: Rabbi Meir Schuster. Failed Messiah. February 17, 2014.

14 comments:

  1. my comment is not nice.what a person is is there right.pushing someone to be a good jew when few know what a good jew is crazy.we jews have no idea nor do we care.i good person works with all the world to make thing better for all not just to please dream idea.WE all live on this world till we understand nothing will get better till we all grow up nothing will happen.go home and worship what you want but outside work for the wprld YOU live in

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  2. So many nice, genuine ravs in the Old City. That’s what makes resisting kiruv so hard!

    Baruch dyan emes.

    Tuv

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    Replies
    1. Couple the wonderful (and genuine) rabbis, teachers, etc. with the "magic" of an historical city, the excitement of being away from home.... Yep. Been there.

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  3. I never met him, but it sounds as if he was REALLY good. Charismatic, sincere, friendly, attentive . . . what more could a starry eyed BT need before diving into the Kool Aid mikvah?

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  4. If you ponder how many Jews there are in the world and then you ponder how many have ever met Rabbi Schuster you will notice that it equivalent to a tiny speck of dust on the Jewish map.

    One has to wonder how he/she was picked to meet Rabbi Schuster. How out of all the millions of souls did I of all people get picked to bump into this man?

    Statistics being what they are, an honest person can only conclude that whoever met Rabbi Schuster and took him up on his offers had some great merit of his parents, grandparents or generations back that enabled this meeting to occur.

    That being the case, one has to consider that perhaps this was a genuine tap on the back from G-d Himself...

    But here in this upside down world many years later there is actually a website mocking that original tap on the back saying:

    "Thank you dear Rabbi for all the millions of dollars you offered me but I would rather just take a few pennies. I don't want to love. I don't want to be loved. I don't want your shiny diamonds. I want to wallow in the mud with the pigs and the worms. Get myself good and ready to just be food for maggots. I would like to continue to bathe in filth and wash my face with pain. Sit alone in the cold, cold rain write a blog and just complain.”

    Is this not the ultimate act of not recognizing the good? Denying the good that happens to you is the ultimate form of self-centeredness. In essence it’s an act of human degradation when one not only spurns all the acts of kindness that happens to him/her but then goes around complaining and mocking them to the world. Its like an animal that you feed at the zoo but the animal eats and eats and never once says thank you.

    But even animals know better than to write blogs.

    Tears are streaming down my face.

    For the loss and for those who don't realize the chance they lost.

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    1. You do realize that animals lack thumbs, right? ;)

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    2. Mitch:

      I've had people made similar arguments to me....about Christian missionaries. A former born-again-Christian boss was quite worried about my eternal salvation, possibly to the point of tears streaming down her face, while at the same time mentioning how she loved Jews and thought we were all so special.

      How would you respond to a similar statement from one of them?

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    3. Hi Law Mom,

      I have no problem with Christians saying that. I am perfectly fine with Christians having passion for their religion. Its far better than being a secular liberal. I would prefer a religious Christian over a non religious gentile any day. Thank G-d religious Christians in the US have been very good to the Jews. (may it continue!!)

      I don't mind if they try and convert me to their religion. It does not bother me at all. It actually reminds me of the importance of having passion for my own Yiddishkeit. I am secure enough in my knowledge of the truth of Judaism not to be threatened by other religions.

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    4. not everyone is mitch, mitch. not everyone is attracted to what mitch is attracted to. that's all that wallow in the filth guy is saying. it's a valid point. not everyone sees the diamonds as diamonds. don't be a ding dong...

      Tuv

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    5. Sad day in Jewish history when a blogger who is anti-deceptive kiruv makes an effort to express condolences on the death of a rabbi who was a major influence in kiruv, and Mitch has to make it ugly. Sheesh, Mitch. Be a mentsch.

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    6. Condolences from the failed messiah is not called condolences. It is called evil. Who is the mentsch here? TAKE DOWN THIS BLOG NOW!

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    7. "I would prefer a religious Christian over a non religious gentile any day"

      you dont seem to know a whole heckuva lot about christian theology

      dont let their "support for israel" fool you

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  5. Bring up the violins, the melodrama of Mitch is on!

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  6. Mitch, like other orthodox jews, you have completely misunderstood how statistics and probability works. If you understood it, then you wouldn't have such difficulty understanding evolution, but that is a separate topic. The statistical chances of Rabbi Schuster choosing you out of millions is small for sure. Winning the lottery is statistically improbable too. But that improbability only exists from the perspective of the individual lottery player. However, from the perspective of the collective, the probability of someone winning is much much larger. The probability increases the larger the collective gets; The more people play the greater the chances that someone will win. Does this mean that this person won the lottery by some miracle? No, it just means that with all the people playing someone was bound to win. This is why lottery jackpots tend to get as high as they do. The chances of one person out of 5 guessing all 7 numbers correctly is a lot less than the chances of one person out of a million guessing all 7 numbers correctly. Out of millions of people, someone is bound to be picked by Rabbi Shuster. Its not a miracle. Its not divine providence. It might seem like a crazy improbable chance event but not from the perspective of the collective; not from the perspective of those millions of people. You and the orthodox would rather look at statistics and twist in order to fit your narrative. Thats pseudo-science and not how science works. In conclusion, one does not have to wonder how they got picked by Rabbi Schuster. Its not god. Its just math. I recommend learning some before you look foolish again.

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