An elderly Chassidic rebbe sits in a wheelchair surrounded by his devoted followers. Suddenly one of them whispers in his ear, “Oberleutenant Birnbuam send regards.” The rebbe looks up and motions for the circle to split for a tall, lanky man he saw more than thirty years earlier. To the man’s “Shalom Aleichem,” the rebbe replies, “Yasher Koach. Yasher Koach for what you did for us in Landsberg.”
The storekeeper in Meah Shearim asks, “Aren’t you Oberleutenant Birnbaum?” Before his startled customer can even reply, he is engulfed in a warm embrace, as the storekeeper shouts to his amazed wife and son, “This man was our liberator!”
Some people seem born to lead more interesting lives than others. Meyer Birnbaum is one of them.
- Relive with him the crunching poverty of Brooklyn during the Depression. Experience his spiritual awakening in Young Israel, America’s first baal teshuvah movement.
- Meet R’ Elchonon Wassserman, R’ Yitzchak Hutner, and Mike Tress through the eyes of an American teenager.
- Encounter the anti-Semitism of the American Army: Christian missionaries in sheep’s clothing, court-martial for wearing a yarmulke, fellow officers’ complaints about fighting “the Jews’ War”.
- Be there at the liberation of Buchenwald and Ohrduff.
- Hear the Klausenberger Rebbe rekindle the flame of emunah and bitachon in his overwhelming Kol Nidre drashah the first Yom Kippur after the liberation.
- Gun running for the Hagannah – Teaching Israeli youngsters skills they will soon put to use in Israel’s War of Independence – Photographing corpses in Israeli morgues to bring the autopsy scandal to the attention of the world – Chauffeuring Mirrer Rosh Yeshivah Rabbi Beinush Finkel and countless others to the daily sunrise minyan at the Kosel – Raising sixteen children of his own and providing a home to many others.
These are but a few of the chapters in Meyer Birnbaum’s fascinating life.
Over the past decade, Meyer Birnbaum has held thousands of listeners transfixed for hours with his stories. Now he’ll do the same for you.
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