Jun 22, 2015

A New Career

Azriela Jaffe wrote an article in Ami about a man in her community, Steve, who was working as an accountant and hated it.  His wife told him to find something that would make him happy.  He eventually spoke with an appliance repairman, George, who was friendly with his in-laws, who invited Steve to join him and be shown the ropes.

George did not ask for any money as he trained him for six months.  Steve went out with him every day and watched how George did his job.

Steve says George loved what he did and loved the idea of setting someone else up (the highest level of tzedaka according to the Rambam) in business.

Steve opened his own business and has been doing what he enjoys for 29 years.  In addition to training Steve, George also trained his son, and son-in-law, both appliance repairmen, as well as eight non-Jews.

Steve in turn has trained a young man in Lakewood and is helping someone else.  "Like George, I don't want any money from them.  I get nachas out of seeing my pupils become successful.  George was very proud of me, and I am very proud of them."

-- That George was so bighearted as to train others so they could support themselves honorably, is inspiring.

-- What I find just as moving is that many people consider a white collar job like accounting to be superior to a blue collar job like appliance repair.  In shidduchim, a girl or woman are far more likely to be interested in an accountant that an appliance repairman.  I give great credit to Steve's wife for encouraging him to do what makes him happy, rather than insisting that he remain in a more "honorable" profession, sitting in an office.

-- I'd like to know whether Steve always loved working with his hands, fixing things.  Why did he choose to spend years on a college degree and studying for the CPA? The Chovos HaLevavos says work in a field you are drawn to and are good at.

-- Common wisdom is that you need not only an undergraduate degree but a graduate degree in order to make a decent parnassa. Steve spent six months and no money learning a profession he loves which apparently supports his family and supports many others in this line of work.

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