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Remembering Rabbi Bryn

 The statement made universally by anyone who had the privilege of having known Rabbi Dovid is that he made them feel "special" I believe the reason is that in fact, every individual Rabbi Dovid met WAS special to him. He accepted them totally, non-judgmentally, warts and all. His love had no barriers of religion, race, gender, social standing intellectual capacity, financial success. He had the sensitivity and broad knowledge to talk to them all about subjects ranging from deep religious and philosophical questions to art, history, sports. And he had a knack for getting you involved in projects. He saw deeply and clearly into one's heart, and had a unique gift for bringing out and valuing the best in you. It's no wonder that Rabbi Dovid Bryn was so well loved.
One of Rabbi Bryn's special traits was his mischievous sense of humor. Many stories were exchanged at the Shiva, and I hope they were all recorded.
One was what he said to a stranger who stopped to give him a ride: "You must be very brave! If I saw someone like me walking, I wouldn't pick him up!" Not surprisingly, this person became a friend.
Rabbi was in Israel when my Lubavitcher cousin, Mottie Hasofer, came from Australia to meet and visit me. We had a dinner date set up to get together on his return. That morning, Bob and I stopped at the Shul to introduce Mottie. As we were leaving, Rabbi detained me, and with a twinkle in his eye whispered that he would have a surprise for us later. And he did. At dinner, he handed Mottie a picture of himself with Mottie's teenage son who was studying in Israel. They had run into each other in Safed, and Rabbi recognized the name on the kipa. They spent the day together, and Rabbi Dovid made sure to have picture taken, which he presented to Mottie with great glee at dinner that evening.
Barry Snyder tells of the time when he had a couple of Yeshiva students staying with him over Shabbat.
Rabbi told him a few days later that he had taken a walk that night and seen a light on. He teased that he was proud that Barry had been studying Torah, when he knew full well that the light he saw was that of the television...
And who can forget the way that he introduced Rohel, first to his mother and then to the congregation? He said that everyone thought that he was looking for a religious woman, but that he needed more than that. In addition to someone religious, he needed:
1) someone strong, who could use a gun, so as to protect him
2) someone versed in computers, as he had trouble with his eyes and couldn't use one
3) someone organized, who would help him to organize his life
4) someone who could sing and play the violin, being a David, he liked music
Bob and were very lucky to be neighbors of Rochel and Dovid. It gave us the honor and privilege of sharing Shabbat dinners on occasion. He would tell jokes, and involve everyone there in the circle of conversation. We observed his deep love for Rochel... There is no question that Rochel extended his life by her constant presence and loving nursing.
We were with them on the last Shabbat before his final hospitalization. As he had just been home for just few days after the hospital, we had protested that it would be too much exertion and strain, but he insisted. Rochel loved to have Shabbat dinner surrounded by friends, he insisted, and seeing her happy was his best medicine. Besides, he had his big, comfortable chair at hand should he feel tired...
I am very sad that Rabbi Dovid is gone, and I miss him tremendously.
But I am very happy that I got to know him.
I am a better person because of him.
He will always have a special place in my soul.
I shall never forget him.


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