HaRav Yitzchok Dovid Grossman Shlita is quoted in the weekly BaKehilla, sharing a story about the late Zev Wolfson z”l. The story appears in the Belz weekly as follows.
This occurred 42 years ago. I was a young avreich who was sent to the United States to collect money for Yad L’Achim. I spend shabbos in Queens and I spoke in Beis Knesses Tifferes Moshe. When I completed my address a man approached me, a short man with intense eyes and he said “you’re my guest” and I accompanied him home without a clue as to he was and what he wanted from me.
During the meal it became clearer. The man’s name was Zev Wolfson and he was looking for ways to help Yiddishkheit. There I learned about the Wolfson foundation and I have since learned he was among the pillars of supporting Torah in our generation.
Since that time we a friendship blossomed. I merited traveling with him to the Soviet Union, South America and France and we established an educational network. He always said נר מצווה ותורה אור כי . It is like a fire and no matter how much comes out nothing is lost and it becomes even stronger. This is the same with Torah, the more we spread it the more it grows. He had a firm emunah and every dollar he invested in Torah and mitzvos did not diminish him in any way.
Wolfson never asked that his name be publicized but to the contrary, he never sought recognition. He opposed mentioning his name. Therefore his name does not appear on his major projects or any building that he donated. He would argue with us regularly to push us to advance and do more for klal yisrael. We never held dinners in his honor and once in a rare while his photo would appear in the chareidi media. One of his sons was asked by a certain institution if they could honor him at a dinner, and was told ‘I don’t want to take from his olam haba’.
We once thought of an idea, to give him a Sefer Torah for he was responsible for donating so many seforim. I was thinking of a particular Torah, one that survived the concentration camps. We wished to use the special gift to express our gratitude, something symbolic for in our hearts we saw the Torah that survived a Holocaust and we saw him, one who saved so many Jews from the spiritual Holocaust.
At the same time we were shocked to learn that he did not have his own Sefer Torah, a wealthy man who donated so many Sifrei Torah but he did not have one of his own. He preferred to give his money to shuls and yeshivos. At first he would not agree but after explaining the story behind the Torah he agreed to accept it.
At the hachnasas Sefer Torah who took the Torah in hand, hugged it, and began dancing with fervor as he burst into tears. It was an unforgettable moment.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)