“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

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I really really respect Dov,
    As i do listen to WFAN sometimes, The way these non-Jewish radio hosts who are getting payed literally millions of dollars, respect him so much, is just unbelievable!!

  2. I to benefited from HaGaon Rav Zelig Epstein’s tailored advice. He never gave general shitas and always thought what the individual questioner really needed. That is one of the reasons why HaGaon Rav Yaakov ztz’l loved him.

  3. i agree with huh? they really all respect him and actually some refer to him as “davening dov” because those times he has to daven in the station because he gets there before the zman.

  4. A bochur once called FAN. The story goes that Dov the screener, chapped that this guy was calling during seder. And “munned” him for it!!

  5. Yes, that’s me (a couple of years ago, anyway). The picture (and comments) are from something I wrote on Facebook shortly after Rav Zelig zt”l was niftar, about a year ago.

    And I’ve “munned” a few bocherim over the years. One of them (I was told later) was actually the son of my 10th grade rebbe!

    Oh, and by the way, why are you wasting time reading Matzav.com instead of opening a sefer?

  6. Sam,

    Actually, Russ Salzberg gave me that nickname because of the double “D” alliteration, not because he saw me davening there.

    Well after he called me that (on a daily basis, although since Russ left the midday show no one there refers to me that way anymore), Russ got a big kick out of seeing me put on my talis/tefilin there (“look- he really is davening!”).

    (When Imus still worked there I ran his “best of” shows, so had to be there 5:30am, and davened during a long taped interview.)