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Jerusalem Life

| Rabbi Dr Lamm A Generous Mentor

Janglo News    
Sunday, 28 June 12:00 PM

My relationship with Rabbi Lamm, zt”l, goes back to 1978, when I started semicha. Of course, as was the case with my entire generation, I was greatly influenced by his proud affirmation of a vision of Torah that was open to critical engagement with the world, while steadfast in maintaining the independence and integrity of the Torah in (as Rav Soloveitchik, zt”l, would put it) “the widest sense of the term.”

I only really came to know him well, though, toward the end of my time at YU, after my exit interview and my valedictory at the Chag HaSemikhah in 1983. We kept in touch, and he kindly took a personal interest in my career. Periodically, I would receive a call from his legendary secretary, Gladys, inviting me to sit and talk with him. The memory of those sessions remains very dear to me. In fact, in retrospect, the very fact they happened is remarkable. He was one of the busiest men imaginable, combining the administration and financing of an enormous, exquisitely complex institution with teaching and writing (and family). Yet, not only did he respond to those who reached out to him, he proactively reached out to others in order to help, advise, cajole and simply share his rich experience with a tyro.

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