Sunday, April 18, 2010

Commemorating Rav Breuer's 30th Yahrzeit

Along with many others who value his mesorah, the family of Rav Dr. Joseph Breuer took time out this weekend to commemorate and reflect on the occasion of this great man's 30th yahrzeit.

The morning began with a family gathering at the kever of our father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Three kapitel tehillim were recited as family solemnly remembered.

Later that afternoon, a larger crowd of close to 200 descendants of Rav Breuer, ranging in age from just a few weeks old to over 90 years old, joined together from all over the world (with a few unfortunately sidelined due to volcanic ash clouds over England) for a siyum on Tanach. There was a general feeling of closeness among the family - even though Rav Breuer's physical presence was absent, his legacy and teachings have kept the family spirit alive and warm.

Speakers from each branch of the family stressed the importance of learning and spreading the words of Rav Hirsch and Rav Breuer. The quintessential Breuer trait of being "Osek B'Tzorchei Tzibbur", both on a grand scale as well as in smaller ways, was discussed and extolled. One speaker marveled at the fact that Rav Breuer, even with the challenges of getting a fledgling kehilla off the ground, still managed to give his congregants over 10 hours of shiurim every week, which included, among other things, four different mesechtas in gemarah.

The evening, with its speeches, vignettes and a touching slideshow, did much to uplift and inform the older as well as the younger generations, many of whom may not even have met their esteemed ancestor.

Rav Breuer learning with my father-in-law in his study

Rav Breuer reading the New York Times in Tannersville, NY


Yehudah said...

Ad bias goel.

Very nice post.

Thank you for the pictures.

Eric said...

It is my good fortune to know some of the descendents of Rav Breuer (three in the choir alone) and to see some of what they do on a regular basis for KAJ. I am sure I do not know even a portion of how much is done by the family both in preserving the Hirsch/Breuer legacy and for KAJ, and having not been reared in Washington heights, I am sorry not to have been able to at least meet Rav Breuer and observe his dynamic and dedicated leadership (it always surprises me when I consider that everything Rav Breuer accomplished within Washington Heights between 1940-1980 occurred after he was already 58 years old) However, if we are to subscribe to the maxim that one can tell a tree by the fruit it bears, then I feel at least that I have been able to see what the Rav represented and the dedication with which he built the community as personified by his progeny. I would hope that everyone in KAJ recognizes the profound sense of hakoras hatov we owe to Rav Breuer and his family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the post. Your blog has become my resource for all things Breuers (history, minhagim, etc)
How did KAJ commemorate the Rav's 30th yahrzeit?

BLD said...

Can you please post the slideshow ?

G6 said...

I have embedded the slideshow into the end of this post.
Please be aware that it will only be available for viewing for the next 7 days.

efrex said...

How appropriate to have a siyum on tanach. My late grandfather, Z"L, was always greatly disappointed in the emphasis of gemara over tanach in contemporary yeshiva learning, and I regret that I was never able to show him R' Breuer's & R' Hirsch's writings on the same topic.

May his memory continue to inspire generations to come.

G6 said...

Anonymous -
There was no official commemoration of Rav Breuer's yahrzeit by KAJ. Those who attended the weekly seudas shlishis heard Rav Mantel compare Rav Breuer to the Kohein who approached the people to help them rather than wait for them to come to him.
Rav Breuer's grandson, Yaakov Bechhofer, also spoke and gave over some divrei torah from his grandfather and reminisced about growing up in the home of the rav.

Yehudah said...


Rav Breuer used to ask yeshiva bachurim or young men if they studied Tanach. If/when they said no, he used to ask, "Does the prophet have nothing to say to you?"

Anonymous said...

Can we save off the presentation ?

G6 said...

Anonymous -
Kindly contact me "off blog".

Jron said...

Kudos G6. As always, very nicely done. May we continue to celebrate family events b'rov simcha.

Yisrael said...

Is there any audio or video of R' Breuer?