Ari Wasserman, thirty-eight, a successful Los Angeles lawyer, is leading a double life. He’s traversing both the Torah and corporate worlds with seemingly the greatest of ease, and prospering in both. He has a life many ba’alei batim wish they had the tenacity to get away with.
Every day, Wasserman wakes up between 3 and 4 AM, tiptoes to his study and learns Torah until it’s time to leave for the local neitz (sunrise) minyan. After Shacharit, he heads for Starbucks, settles in with his latte and sefarim and works on the in-depth halachah shiur that members of the Congregation Kehilas Yaakov community have, over the past nine years, come to eagerly anticipate.
Every morning, Wasserman invests hours preparing source materials to ensure that the shiurim, which he delivers on Shabbat, flow logically and simply. He also uses the time to work on his third sefer; all this, and his workday hasn’t yet begun.
Wasserman’s two volumes of Hegyonei Haparashah, compilations of his shiurim on Bereishit and Shemot, are a mix of halachah, parashat hashavua and commentary on contemporary issues; he is hard at work on the third volume, on Vayikra.
While some may call his schedule grueling, Wasserman calls it gratifying. A respected specialist in corporate contracts and mergers, Wasserman decided early on to launch the most meaningful and consequential merger of his life. He negotiated a deal with himself to live as Yissachar and Zevulun rolled into one.
“He’s a man on a mission,” says Antony (Chanan) Gordon, a longtime attendee of Wasserman’s shiur and senior managing director at an investment company. “Ari uses every second in a productive way. He demonstrates that in order to achieve the highest level, you can’t defuse your focus, and that the time you have is so precious.”