Published: July 11th, 2012
It was not a good sign. I was sitting for a farher, an entrance interview, with the rosh yeshiva of a well-known yeshiva in Jerusalem, and it was about to go very badly.
I was, to be fair, a very unusual applicant. I had just graduated from law school. My classmates and friends were headed off to prestigious clerkships or to seek their fortunes. I had other plans. My secular learning had now outpaced my Torah learning, and it was time, I believed, to catch up.
So I applied to a yeshiva renowned for its commitment and the dedication of its students. I prepared thoroughly and was sure my learning – my scholarship – was up to par.
I hadn’t gotten the look down quite right, I knew. My suit was too blue; my shoes too un-scuffed; my black hat somehow at the wrong angle. But surely, I told myself, these things didn’t matter; my commitment, my dedication and my ability were what mattered most.