Shabbat, April 20-21, marks the 16th yohrtzeit of South Florida Legend, the beloved Rabbi Dovid Bryn zt”l, founder of Chabad Chayil & the California Club Shul. Mostly known for his unending acts of kindness and genuine love for every human being, he is truly missed by all who knew him.
Some rabbis are known for their gigantic shuls and temples, but Rabbi Bryn had a much bigger Shul, one not bound by walls. His shul was in the flea markets, soccer fields of the JCC & in people’s homes. His Sunday afternoon would be spent in a teen-agers living room with a pair of Teffillin and a group of friends. His Shul was in the community’s hearts.
Rabbi Bryn was a Chabad rabbi and emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to North Dade, whose life was tragically cut short at age 40 by Marfan syndrome, a condition that affects the body’s connective tissue. For over a quarter of a century, Rabbi Bryn – the son of Holocaust survivors – courageously battled the fatal disease that decimated his heart, yet managed to minister to, counsel and save tens of thousands of Jews and non-Jews alike.
Rabbi Bryn fed the hungry and poor, counseled the sick and the troubled – all with great courage, fortitude and self-sacrifice. He arranged marriages, taught Torah and ethics to thousands, bridged the interfaith gap by working closely with peoples and clergymen of all faiths … he was the living embodiment of kindness and bravery.
Some might be troubled by the precariousness of constantly living on the edge of existence, but the rabbi’s overflowing concern for others left no room for worry over his own well-being. He lived the equivalent of 120 years of good in a third of the time.
One friend commented on RabbiDovidBryn.org which was created to remember the legendary chassid, ‘If he could breathe, then he would talk to others about G-d’s good, the beauty of a Mitzvah, or life’s bright spots. If he could walk, then he would go to share life with others and show positive perspective as it should be seen. If he could drink, then he would toast L’Chaim to all things positive and constructive. If he could sing, then he would. If he could do, then he did. He showed strength not owned by men who appear stronger. He showed love that is only written about. He lived a full life of treating others as one would treat themselves. He did and lived 120 years of good in a third of the time. When I will need an example of the unrelenting power of love, I will think of him.’
In honor of the yohrtzeit (anniversary of his passing), the entire community is invited to a special tribute Farbrengen Lunch on Saturday, April 21, to say a l’chaim, reminisce about the good times shared together and, most important, to talk about how his chesed – his loving kindness for every human being could be emulated. The farbrengen will take place at Chabad Chayil & the Dovid Bryn Library, 2601 NE 211 Terrace, Miami, FL 33180.
To view or share photos or experiences of this remarkable man, please visit RabbiDovidBryn.org. You can also learn about the Special Tribute Torah being written in his honor and purchase a letter, word or parshah by calling 305-770-1919 or visiting the website.
About the author
Rabbi Kievman is the ambassador of The Rebbe to Highland Lakes, FL. He is founder of CHAP – an afterschool program for Jewish children in Public Schools, rabbi at The Family Shul & together with his wife directs Chabad Chayil. He can be reached at (305) 770-1919 or rabbi@ChabadChayil.org