Escaping the Past

This post is for baal teshuvahs and/or those who had a colorful past before discovering the Torah way of life, or even other spiritual paths for my non-Jewish friends.

It’s pretty wild how news regarding our “past lives” (meaning how we used to live our current lives) can affect us in the present.
More importantly, when one sees (especially in bold newspaper print) how choices made by old friends & acquaintances have completely ruined their lives, it just solidifies & strengthens 1000-fold the choice I made to live a Torah-observant life.

I used to hang out with these guys. I might have been privy to some of their activities in the 80s & 90s.
I easily could have taken a different path and went along with that lifestyle.
Then you would have also seen MY name in the paper today, with the 60+ indicted alleged Gambino family members & associates.

Baruch Hashem that of those of us who were tested, many have made the correct choice regarding which road to choose.

The FBI on Thursday, 2/7/08 claimed to have brought down the heirarchy of the Gambino crime family, by indicting 60-something alleged members & leaders.

We didn’t learn about “mafia life” by just watching movies like “Goodfellas”, “Donnie Brasco” and “The Godfather”.

We lived amongst it. I personally am on first name basis with many of these guys from back in the day, and did (legit) business with some of them.

So sad how so many of my former fellow club-attendees, Flatlands Avenue hanger-outers, Fort Lauderdale Spring Breakers, friends, acquaintances & neighbors have wound up being indicted, in prison, rehabbed or dead.

To my fellow Canarsians, if you haven’t yet seen the indictment, your jaw will remain open as you recognize about 1/3 the names from Old Canarsie.

Posted by Jeff Neckonoff
aka the Studio 54 Rebbe

6 comments on “Escaping the Past

  1. That, my friend, is a job for someone else.

    I have no idea how to communicate the truths of Torah to those who were raised in an Orthodox atmosphere, and yet choose to ignore most halachas as they actively purse taking every shortcut available in regards to their Yiddishkeit.

    Actually, I suggest they attend a Gateways retreat and actually go to a full session of classes.
    That, or they absorb Chasidus into their neshamas and fall in love with Hashem instead of treating Him like an impotent grandfather/Santa Claus in the sky persona.

  2. The Studio 54 Rebbe acquired his title from the fact that he used to work in nightclubs, actually attended Studio 54 when it was in it’s death throes in the early 80s and is still a fan of high energy thumping dance music, even though he no longer frequents nightclubs.

    The Studio 54 Rebbe believes that one doesn’t have to totally cut oneself off from one’s past, but instead should utilize it to bring other Yidden closer to Yiddishkeit.

    The Studio 54 Rebbe knows that many will disagree with his philosophy, but they can’t argue the fact that the Studio 54 Rebbe speaks to scores of non frum Yidden who would never think of speaking to someone who “looks Orthodox”. Many wind up actually attending a Shabbos meal for the 1st time in their lives.

    May all the frei Yidden who love playing in the clubs, bars, casinos, etc find the Studio 54 Rebbe and be referred to a Shabbos meal of their own.

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