Learning Torah in memory of a friend

Reading this article brought a flood of wonderful memories.

I was eleven years old when my family moved from Los Angeles to a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. My parents visited St. Paul a few times in preparation for our big move, they bought a house, selected a synagogue, and made friends who would become our family of choice.

Bill Kampf loved many things. First and foremost he loved his family and his friends. He loved Judaism and Jewish tradition. He loved to argue, politics, to drive fast in extremely specific vehicles, Minnesota, spicy food, and the law.

Bill taught me to drive a manual transmission (though I think the last time I did it was when I was in high school). Our families would often meet for non-traditional Shabbat dinner before going to services at our shared synagogue. Often we ate Vietnamese food and Bill always arrived late. Bill loved the music at services and he loved having a connection to the clergy.

One summer during college I worked in Bill’s law practice doing odd jobs. It was thanks to that experience that I gained the incredibly valuable skill of removing paper jams from copy machines. The Torah study group that is described in the article met, at that time, in Bill’s office and one of my tasks was to take lunch orders and, as I knew rabbinical school was on the horizon, to participate as part of my work day. (I also think Bill always bought my lunch).

Today, when I read this article I too remembered Bill and will continue to study and learn in his memory. Zichrono livracha, may Bill’s memory always be for a blessing.

About rabbisteinman

I am a rabbi living in North America. I was ordained from HUC-JIR. This is my blog.
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