Mr. Breuer

In this very early photograph of the Breuer’s school we see Mr. Breuer already acting as schoolmaster. What is important to know about Mr. Breuer, in my opinion, is that he was not the authoritarian school teacher of 19th century Germany. He was a soft, and  kindhearted person. Now perhaps someone who knew him earlier in his career would say otherwise- and I am sure in as long of a career as he had he might have a detractor, but I give here only my perspective.

As I remember Mr. Breuer of blessed memory, he always smelled like baby powder.

When he sometimes had to substitute for a teacher he would bring in riddles and little trivia quizes for the kids, sometimes based around  Hebrew grammar. I believe that Mr. Breuer had semicha, but refused the honorific “rabbi” not to be confused for his father.

If you were sent to his office he always spoke to you kindly and put his arm on your shoulder and sent you back to class shortly after.

Mr. Breuer did not marry until later in life. His father, the Rav, said that he never thought he would live to see the day.

I sometimes see a pattern wherein a great person has a child that doesn’t marry or doesn’t have offspring and that child is a devotee of his parent, helping perpetuate the legacy.

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