Rembering People from the Past Articles

In loving memory of the Rosh Hayeshiva, Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, zt”l, (from our archives)

rabbi weinberg

“The Power of His Mind, the Softness of His Heart”

It was the first day of shiva. Three local rabbis came in and asked us, “How did your father raise you? We need to hear as much as possible!” That question was repeated throughout the shiva, and I began to realize that the true question was, “What was it like to have a gadol for a father?”

Read More:In loving memory of the Rosh Hayeshiva, Rabbi Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, zt”l, (from our archives)

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.

Read More:Miriam Lowenbraun, a”h A Letter to the Family

Ten Minutes a Week with Rabbi Yona Munk, a”h

I wanted to share some of my feelings regarding the recent loss of Rabbi Yona Munk, a”h, who passed away this year on Hoshana Rabba. The genesis of my relationship with Rabbi Munk can be attributed to a shul announcement. A number of years ago during Shabbat davening at Shomrei Emunah, Rabbi Weinreb concluded his sermon by stating that “one of our own,” Rabbi Munk, had completed a sefer, which was now for sale at a local sefarim store. Rabbi Weinreb noted that the sefer, entitled Hegei Yona (Thoughts of Yona), was written in Hebrew and contained a number of creative insights on the parsha. This routine announcement, a transition to Mussaf for most of the kehila (congregation), opened a window for me to more serious and engaging learning.

Read More:Ten Minutes a Week with Rabbi Yona Munk, a”h

Our Grandparents: Rabbi (Boruch) Bernard and (Rivka) Ruth Greenfield, a”h

My Zaidy, the youngest of nine children, was born in 1921 to R’ Yosef and Yenta Greenfield. That same year, the family left their home in Zolynia, Poland, and arrived in New York on erev Yom Kippur when Zaidy was only an infant. The Greenfield family lived in Brownsville, where R’ Yosef opened a small grocery store. This enabled the family to eke out a living while remaining shomer Shabbos. With only an icebox to cool the food, the perishables in the store would spoil after a long hot Shabbos day. R’ Yosef, who was a poor man, nevertheless kindly donated the milk, cheese, and butter to needy families every erev Shabbos in the summer. Tragically, Zaidy lost his mother when he was only seven years old, and his older sisters became his surrogate mothers.

Read More:Our Grandparents: Rabbi (Boruch) Bernard and (Rivka) Ruth Greenfield, a”h

Rabbi Meir Schuster: Every Jew Counts

Meir shuster

With great sadness we inform you the Rabbi Schuster passed away Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, 17th of Adar 1, 5774.

What one person can do when he really cares about the Jewish people.

One day, when Meir Schuster and his friend were in their early twenties, they had just finished praying at the Western Wall. They watched other young people going to the Wall and being lit up by the experience. And the thought struck both of them at the same time: Why can’t someone connect with all these people and bring them closer to their heritage? They noticed one young backpacker leaning against the wall and crying. They watched as he composed himself, and started walking away from his moving encounter.

Read More:Rabbi Meir Schuster: Every Jew Counts

He Spoke to our Neshamos: A Communal Portrait of Rav Amrom Taub, zt”l

As I set out to gather the recollections of those close to Harav Amrom Taub, zt”l, Rav of Khal Arugas Habosem of Baltimore, I learned fascinating details about his life that few people know. For example, his son, the present Brider Rebbe, Rav Shaye Taub, shlit”a, and his Rebbetzin told me that Rav Amrom almost didn’t come to Baltimore at all. Upon his arrival in America after World War II, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) planned for him to be a rav in St. Louis. It was the Rav’s loyalty and dedication to the Satmar Rebbe, Moreinu Reb Yoel

Read More:He Spoke to our Neshamos: A Communal Portrait of Rav Amrom Taub, zt”l