“Will Rogers never met a man he didn’t like. I never a met a man who didn’t like Rabbi Dovid Bryn,” said David Leone, a prominent South Florida educator, as he busily prepared to honor his spiritual mentor on the occasion of Rabbi Bryn’s tenth yohrzeit (anniversary of his passing).
For countless South Floridians, Rabbi Bryn was a paragon of humanity; a paradigm for all that is right in this world and the embodiment of a better world to come. In recognition of his immeasurable contributions to the Jewish community, thousands from around the world will make the pilgrimage to South Florida this Saturday to commemorate Rabbi Bryn’s legacy, comprised of a life long on good deeds, albeit short in years.
“The term tzaddik – the Hebrew word for a righteous person – was the term most often used to describe Rabbi Bryn by those who knew him, knew of him or even just had a fleeting, blessed moment with him,” said Margaret Schorr, who for more than ten years worshipped at Rabbi Bryn’s California Club Shul. “His compassion and dedication to G-d’s holy work effused from every fiber of his being.”
The living embodiment of Torah – G-d’s holy law – Rabbi Dovid Bryn led by example and followed in the tradition of the Jewish Patriarchs. Although plagued since adolescence with an insidious disease that would ultimately claim his life after but a mere 40 years on Earth, Rabbi Bryn eschewed melancholy and self-pity and embraced G-d’s divine plan. His keen intellect, spiritual insight, and boundless compassion enabled Rabbi Bryn to achieve the Will of his Creator – the synthesis of the physical and spiritual worlds, a complementary union requisite to salvation and fulfillment of the purpose of Creation.
“It is only fitting that we honor this great man in a manner becoming the life he lived and the legacy he left,” said Rabbi Kievman, who came to South Florida more than decade ago at Rabbi Bryn’s request to cover for the ailing Rabbi as he courageously battled Marfan’s Syndrome. Rabbin Kievman has carried on his beloved mentor’s work ever since. “There can be no greater honor than to dedicate ourselves to writing a new Torah – the final of the 613 commandments – commencing this Sunday, April 29th at 4:30 p.m. at Chabad Chayil, the organization founded by Rabbi Bryn, located at 2601 N.E. 211th Terrace, just west of Aventura.”
Prominent community leaders and activists – many of them former parishioners of Rabbi Bryn – will be in attendance at the ceremony. Rabbi Kievman says that people will be given the opportunity to dedicate one of the 54 Torah portions that will be written. Participants will then be able to write a letter within the dedicated Torah portion. A ceremony will be held at the home (or other venue of their choice) of those dedicating a portion.
In anticipation of the yohrtzeit, heartfelt expressions of the Rabbi’s profound and lasting impact on all who knew him poured forth from the community.
“Rabbi Bryn lived in the present moment with complete faith. He loved and accepted everyone he met,” said Barry Snyder, a renowned South Florida attorney and activist who was one of the Rabbi’s ‘best’ friends. “He was the best friend to hundreds.”
"I really wanted my autistic son to have a Bar Mitzvah. Rabbi Bryn made it happen - it was real - it was wonderful,” said attorney and proud mother, Sara Lawrence. “I was so proud of my son and my religion and will always be grateful to Rabbi Bryn for what he gave me and my son."
While Rabbi Bryn had an extended family of thousands, it was his immediate family that provided an unseverable bond of love and a support system which helped him tend to his minions through adversity and joy.
"Hardly a week goes by that someone doesn't tell me an uplifting story about my brother," said Usher Bryn, Rabbi Bryn's brother. "Ten years later, his memory is as vibrant as ever because of his many good deeds."
For Rabbi Kievman, the yohrtzeit is not merely a commemoration of Rabbi Bryn’s passing, but rather manifestation of the positive influence he had – and continues to have – on an entire community. “Rabbi Bryn loved, lived, breathed and spread Torah to everyone he knew. The Torah scroll we, G-d willing, will write is a continuation of his legacy.”
For more information or dedication opportunities please contact Rabbi Kievman at 305-770-1919, or e-mail him at rabbi@ChabadChayil.org.
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