Arthur Shapiro, son of Celia Brin and Zelig Shapiro, remembers Wolf Brin


Arthur Shapiro

“Grandpa Brin was not, and never called himself, Rabbi. He was a very learned man in Torah and Mishna. His personal cards indicated his official title was Reverend Wolf H. Brin. In order to be recognized by observant Jews as a kosher shochet he had to have smicha (pass rabbinic approval and licensure ). The same for circumcisions.

I think anybody can perform marriages, but to be accepted by Jewish orthodoxy, rabbinic approval is necessary. Grandpa performed the marriages and circumcisions for many of my generation, me included.

I remember that for some period of time he did have a grocery store and on several occasions I accompanied him on horse and wagon to make deliveries on Passover.

As far as I know his shechita was piece work in local butcher shops. He received 10 cents for each chicken. For cows, which I don’t think was often, he must have gone to a slaughter house.  One summer he spent several months in Benton Harbor, Michigan as a shochet. He and Grandma Jennie took me with them for the summer. I must have been 11 years old. There I saw him shecht a cow by himself, performing the exam of the internal organs.

When I was a boy, times were different. It was a different world. More horses than automobiles.”

BRIN Additional02.jpg

Wolf and Jennie Brin relaxing at the shore, most-likely, Lake Michigan in Chicago.



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