It was a remarkable sight that remains engraved on my mind forever.

One Shabbat morning, as sheets of torrential rain battered Miami and its surroundings, I spied the figure of a man walking briskly to our synagogue, water dripping from every part of his body. His suit, hat and shirt were so drenched that they visibly stuck to his skin.

Despite this discomfort, the man wore a smile that expressed both calm and reverence, the content expression of someone whose life had meaning and purpose. His clothes may have been soaked, but he carried himself with an elegance that reminded me of a painting by a great artist.

The man I saw was the legendary Sami Rohr, of blessed memory.

As a very successful and astute investor, Mr. Rohr partnered with the Rebbe, of righteous memory, and his system of international emissaries to establish centers in hundreds of communities across the world, with a special concentration in the former Soviet Union. His passion for saving the spirit of the Jewish people, bringing them home to their holy source, had multifaceted expressions.

He loved Torah scholarship, as represented in the many books that he underwrote in multiple languages, culminating with the Rohr Edition of the Talmudic Encyclopedia in memory of his beloved wife, Señora Charlotte, whose royal presence we also merited to have for close to three decades. He loved literature. He loved more than anything else Jewish education, hence the schools and scholarships and programs. And on and on.

I would often tell him what a great merit and honor it was to have such an august figure in our community. His response was always the same: "Ay, Rabbi Lipskar, you know better." What humility was embedded in his greatness!

His style of teaching combined deep analysis and exegesis and he left no stone unturned, researching multiple commentaries in his preparation for each class

On that drenched Shabbat morning, as he strode briskly toward the entrance of the synagogue he helped envision and build, I ran to meet him, ushering him inside. A large puddle quickly formed around his feet, and I beseeched him to utilize our beautiful mikvah (which was beautiful largely because of his generosity in furnishing it for others) to dry himself off, so that he would be more comfortable, and at least not catch cold in the air conditioning.

True to his German-Jewish punctiliousness, Mr. Rohr still made it into the sanctuary in time before the prayer service began. For Reb Shmuel, prayer meant a meeting with G‑d, an appointment not to be delayed under any circumstance. Humbly present to implore his Father in Heaven, Mr. Rohr’s presence carried a distinctive dignity that rubbed off on others.

It was inspiring to behold the glow that illuminated his face when his children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren would come to sit near him during prayer times. To watch him pray was to observe a true servant of God. His eyes would never leave his prayerbook, as he absorbed himself fully in his personal connection to Almighty G‑d.

The serenity and submission with which Reb Shmuel prayed was twinned with the ebullience and pure nachas with which his eyes twinkled every Friday evening when he’d be surrounded by all his grandchildren, each of whom delivered their own words of Torah at his Shabbat table.

And those same prayers uttered with such devotion underpinned the vision and responsibility with which he conducted his philanthropic activities.

In addition to his shining example of complete engagement during prayer, Mr. Rohr was a true Torah scholar who greatly respected learning and enjoyed studying the most complex concepts of Torah. Though he humbly never portrayed himself as an expert on Torah and shied away from teaching Torah publicly, after learning a particularly spirited talk from the Rebbe about the necessity to teach others, he agreed to give a weekly class on the Torah portion in memory of his recently departed father.

His style of teaching combined deep analysis and exegesis and he left no stone unturned, researching multiple commentaries in his preparation for each class. We all came to describe his weekly lecture as “warm, brilliant and very accessible,” even to students who were not Torah scholars. No surprise that many of his regular attendees were inspired to become baalei teshuvah.

Reflecting the depth and sensitivity of his exalted soul, Mr. Rohr had for years refrained from meeting the Rebbe in private audience or on the “dollar line.” He simply could not bear the thought of taking even a moment of the Rebbe’s precious time, especially for personal requests. After his immersive year of teaching, however, he was so overwhelmed with gratitude for the satisfaction and pleasure he had derived from the Rebbe’s directive to help others learn, he felt compelled to come express his thanks to the Rebbe in person. He told the Rebbe, "In my entire life I haven't learned as much as I do now, because I have to prepare for the class!" Referring to Reb Shmuel’s increased learning, the Rebbe replied: "That's a very good thing."

The moments that he spent with the Rebbe were deeply cherished by Reb Shmuel, and he would repeat how the Rebbe was the most important person he ever met.

Indeed, his insightfulness and panoramic perspective made him a most sought-after advisor. Though he was an extremely busy person, with every minute of his day accounted for, he was always available for personal advice. On many occasions when I took an exercise walk before sunrise on the ocean, I passed Mr. Rohr's residence and noticed that his lights were already on.

My wife, Chani, and I will be eternally grateful to this dearest personal friend, confidant and advisor for his wise counsel during pivotal junctures in the development and growth of our community, starting from our very first minyan in Bal Harbour so many years ago. His insight, encouragement and generosity were pivotal to making our community the vibrant center that it is today.

While his outstanding philanthropic vision and investment is beyond the scope of most of us to emulate, his traits of humility, deep care for each individual, complete devotion to Hashem and His Torah, are among the many things that his life represented that we can learn from and incorporate in our lives.

The attention he gave to everyone that approached him, from the most elderly and important, to the youngest and most simple was an abject lesson in true ahavat Yisrael.

Like the educator that he was, not only did Mr. Rohr teach volumes by example, he also had a few favorite axioms which he cherished and by which he lived.

These bon mots included:

Unzere iz die beste, obber tzu besser iz nishto kein shiur – We need to be grateful for what we have and consider it to be the best, but we need to know that there is no limit to our responsibility to better even our best.

Vaiter! ­ We must be dynamic, always moving forward and upward.

Ordenung muz zein – To achieve success in any facet of life, it is imperative that it be structured, organized and orderly.

L’chatchila ariber un ariber! – Translated roughly as “over over-the-top,” Reb Shmuel loved the energy implicit in this saying of the Rebbe Maharash, the fourth Lubavitcher Rebbe, as it was oft-repeated and expounded upon by our own Rebbe. Don’t get bogged down doing battle with negativity, the phrase teaches. Instead, jump above it all and keep reaching higher and higher. When focused in this manner, nothing is out of reach and even ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things!

Mit gezundt un menuchah - his favorite blessing, which has become our ‘official’ Shul greeting, wishing each person health and serenity.

When I picture Mr. Rohr’s Shabbat morning walk in the heavy rain, all of these axioms converge. And if, as our Sages teach us, rain is a blessing, then he and all of us were quite literally showered with blessings – on that day and on each day of his life.

May the memory and life of Reb Shmuel ben Yehoshua Eliyahu continue to be a shining example to all of us.