web analytics
October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The Anonymous Eliezer: A Tribute to Zev Wolfson, Z”L

Zev Wolfson, z"l

Zev Wolfson, z"l

Zev Wolfson, who seamlessly passed from this world to the next on the 25th of Av, 5772, was truly a reincarnation of Eliezer. He immigrated to the United States as a refugee from a Siberian prison camp, having carried his dead father on his back until he could find a place for burial and taken responsibility for his beloved mother and brother in the new, alien world of America.

He was one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. By dint of his amazing intellect he mastered the workings of the stock market and of real estate. He identified the up-and-coming political leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, and he navigated the various halls of influence and power in the international arena.

All of these gifts were channeled in one direction: using money and political influence to do God’s will by creating learning institutions for Torah and strengthening the state of Israel with funds and with armaments.

It was he who understood that by contributing to and getting contributors for senators and congressmen who would become instrumental leaders in the Foreign Appropriations Committee, he would be able to help Torah institutions and chesed projects throughout the world. He was a crucial figure in decisions by Congress to reduce Israel’s loan obligations, and due to his connections he effectuated America’s sending Patriot missile batteries to Israel during the 1991 Gulf War.

Most important, he strove to identify those rabbis and educational leaders who would create new avenues in kiruv and would bring assimilating Jews back into the fold. He would relentlessly pursue new people and new ideas. Although he gave generously, he always gave challenge grants. He made certain each person he helped would be pushed almost to the breaking point in continuing to educate and influence greater and greater numbers of Jews.

It was my privilege to have spent entire days with Zev Wolfson – from davening in the morning till 10 or 11 at night. Whenever I was with him, I knew there would be no time for breakfast, lunch or dinner; we rarely got to drink water. His energy and his drive could only be understood as having come from a Divine spirit that gave him no rest when it came to doing God’s work.

He was probably the greatest builder of Torah institutions in history. He felt responsibility for the continuity of the Divine covenant in America and throughout the world after the destruction of the Holocaust. Despite this, not one building, classroom or project bears his name. He was an eved Hashem and ish haElokim who lived selflessly and modestly for the sake of his mission.

He is truly Eliezer.

About the Author: Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is the author of the acclaimed “Torah Lights” series (Maggid Books), from which this essay is excerpted (Devarim edition). The chief rabbi of Efrat and chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone Colleges and Graduate Programs in Israel, Rabbi Riskin was the founding rabbi of Manhattan’s Lincoln Square Synagogue.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Anonymous Eliezer: A Tribute to Zev Wolfson, Z”L”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

More Articles from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Front-Page-101714

Does it not seem ironic that just on the day all of Israel is joyously celebrating another year of having concluded the public reading of the entire Pentateuch, we must mournfully and even tearfully commemorate the death of the individual who imparted to us God’s Torah in the first place?

Zev Wolfson, z"l

“And the servant said to him…” (Genesis 24:5).

The biblical portion of Chayei Sarah comprises two chapters in the Book of Genesis. The first (chapter 23) deals with the death and burial of Sarah and the second (chapter 24) deals with the selection of a suitable wife for Isaac.

Tragically, the overreaction of the police only exacerbated the perception that we settlers are Public Enemy Number One.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-anonymous-eliezer-a-tribute-to-zev-wolfson-zl/2012/11/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: