Articles by Joan Kristall

Miriam Lowenbraun, a”h A Letter to the Family


Dear Rabbi Lowenbraun and Family,

It was 1984 and we had just moved to Baltimore from Madison, Wisconsin. Avrum was standing in a bank line a few days before Rosh Hashanah, and before he knew it, he was in conversation with the man in front of him, who happened to be an amiable rabbi named Lowenbraun. In hindsight, it is no great surprise that the conversation led, on the spot, to an invitation to a Yontif meal. I do not remember a lot about that evening, but I do recall feeling warmly welcomed amidst a slew of kids, our three boys included, and a table that seemed to sparkle with china and steaming hot and delicious food. There was an exuberance of energy in the air, much chatter in every room, and a little uncertainty as to how this evening would unfold. I can now say that, for us, it opened a door into a world that I desired but was unaccustomed to: a world of history and family, of traditions that dated back centuries, a personal clarity about who you were and what your life purpose was, a richness of spirit and wisdom, and melodies that were captivating and haunting. The life force that set everything into motion, that created connections and initiated dialogues, the life force that pulled it all together, the life force that stepped back rather than taking center stage – that life force was, without a doubt, Miriam Lowenbraun.

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