“Davening Dov” Kramer and Rav Zelig zt”l


dov-kramerDov Kramer of WFAN radio relates: “I had gotten into radio to be able to reach people through the medium I always loved, and had wanted to learn the business from the ‘pros’ before going into ‘Jewish’ radio. … I didn’t think leaving radio (at least temporarily) would hinder my original goal of positively influencing people via the radio, so I wanted to quit my job, move back to Israel (I was single and in my late 20s) to learn full-time.

“I figured I could get free room and board if I did something like being a dorm counselor at a yeshiva for Americans, so I would still have no expenses and be able to focus on my learning. Before doing what I thought was clearly the ‘frum’ thing to do (stop working to learn full-time), I went to speak to Rav Zelig Epstein.

“I told him my plan, but he said it wasn’t a good idea. He was afraid that making such a radical change was unhealthy, and there was a danger that after a while I would regret having done it. Instead, he told me that I should keep working at WFAN … and learn for semicha at night.

“I had been doing some volunteer work for a kiruv organization (JEP-LI), and they offered me a job that would allow me to work half a day and learn half a day. I asked Rav Zelig if that was an option worth considering, and he told me that if I thought I could get ‘sipuk hanefesh,’ that I would be satisfied doing kiruv professionally, that I could do it, but otherwise, the less of a change in my life I make while studying for semicha, the better.”

This is a glimpse into the insight of a great man. Many people would have just assumed that more studying was an automatically better option. R’ Zelig knew his student and knew what was truly best for his situation.

Source: FinkorSwim – Rabbi Eliyahu Fink, Pacific Jewish Center

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