Israeli Charedi journalist Sivan-Rahav Meir wrote a post this week entitled: “Three surprises about Avraham Fried,” based on an interview carried out via Zoom at a workshop for women in Israel.
Rahav-Meir wrote: “When I asked Avraham Fried how he succeeds in renewing himself over the decades of his career, he answered that renewal is not doing something different every time but doing what you do better.”
“‘People try to reinvent themselves instead of sticking to their mission and finding renewal where they are,’ he said. ‘It’s like tefillah. The words don’t change. You need to change, to find the ta’am. I sing in English, Hebrew, Yiddish, do duets, but I remain within my domain. And if I need to sing my song Tanya for the millionth time, I say to myself that through hashgachas pratis, I received another opportunity to sing Tanya at this moment.'”
Rahav-Meir continued: “When I asked about ego and kavod and publicity, Fried said that he mamash doesn’t think that it comes from a person’s yetzer hara. ‘People want to succeed in every field and that’s natural, that’s perfectly okay,’ he said. “It’s not a negative thing. You just need to act and daven that we’ll make a Kiddush Hashem, that we’ll influence others for the good, that we’ll cause nachas ruach.'”
The participants of the workshop then asked Fried where they could hear him as a chazzan on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. “The answer was surprising,” Rahav-Meir wrote.
“‘I daven in a corner of our shul in Crown Heights,” Fried responded. ‘Not in front of the amud – standing quietly as one of the mispallelim and not worrying about how my voice sounds. I had many offers over the years but I want to focus on my tefillos, on my intentions. The whole year I’m on the stage. On the Yamim Noraim, I appear only before the Ribbono shel Olam.'”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)