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.