Title: The Man at the Wall – The Story of Rav Meir Schuster
By Carol Ungar, Illustrations by Dena Ackerman
We all know the story of the legendary Rav Meir Shuster who, with a tap on the shoulder, transformed lives. With his self-effacing and direct approach, he introduced thousands of people to Yiddishkeit by setting them up with Shabbat meals, bringing them to classes, introducing them to “a wise man,” or setting them up at Heritage House, which he also founded.
Those classes, meals and introductions led those searching people to finding meaning in their lives and adopting Torah true Judaism.
This is prize-winning author Carol Unger’s third biographical book for children that highlights contemporary Torah personalities.
While anyone can find Rav Schuster’s story inspiring, I think shy children will get an extra dose of inspiration. The story focuses on Rav Schuster’s success even though he was painfully shy – “too shy to talk.” But he rose above his kiruv limitations and became one of the most successful kiruv experts of his generation. And this all began with a chance encounter that burgeoned into a great enterprise.
The book also focuses on the precept in Pirkei Avot that where there are no men, be a man – in other words be ready to fulfill a need when you identify it.
In his direct, yet sincere and enthusiastic style, Rabbi Schuster introduced thousands of people to Judaism and they repaid him by coming back to the Kotel and introducing him to their children who, thanks in large part to him, were being raised in Torah homes.
With just a few words, and much dedication, Rav Meir Schuster answered both the spoken and the unspoken prayers for connection and clarity, and impacted not only lives, but generations. And this book, The Man at the Wall, will help inspire generations more.