Coming from a background that ran anathema to my being enmeshed in all things Jewish and Judaism, I personally feel this article is important, if not for anyone else, for me. As someone who was a leader in the left-hand path for 32 years and a nearly three-decade-long neo-nazi in my past, this public declaration is to me, something I’d never have fathomed writing even ten years ago. So, to me, this article is probably the most important I’ve written.
Hashem has always been with me, protecting me, even when I denied him, even when I’d blaspheme him in my ignorance and naivete. Who I was, what I did, and who I was around for decades could have easily led me to jail or death, but here I am, alive and with a clean prison record (not even a parking ticket). Then, I had moments of absolute clarity, seemingly out of the blue, which led me out of my life as an extremist. Then I met an incredible friend in Bee (a black man) and he and I worked to understand each other and became best of friends and he helped me to break the chains of my indoctrination and hate.
Then finding out I am an Ashkenazi Jew ethnically and deciding that I’ll stay an occultist and just study the people, the culture, and the history without the revisionist nonsense I’d been exposed to in my past. That led me to read books that taught me the Jewish view of God and the Torah, all the while still being involved heavily in the occult. Quickly I fell in love with Hashem and understood him/it greater and left my occult history behind me, leaving that entire identity and my role as a prominent leader behind to simply be one of Adonai’s children.
Finally, I was led to a synagogue of absolutely amazing and loving Rabbis, kind and caring congregants, an irreplaceable Cantor, and a spiritually perfect synagogue itself. I came from a history where crying was weakness and I find tears well up in my eyes every service and when I finally emerge from the Mikvah converted and accepted as a Jew, I know I will freely and unabashedly cry tears of joy.
I do NOT believe in coincidences, I don’t believe that 1+1 could equal 3 somehow, my eyes and heart are wide open and I see today that my struggles and hard life in my past were for a reason. God protected me, he led me through everything in my life and kept me from self-destruction. I often say the Shehechiyanu prayer, because it strikes the very core of my being;
“Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Haolam, shehechiyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higianu lazman hazeh.”
“Blessed are You Eternal Spirit who has given us life, sustained us, and allowed us to arrive in this moment.”
I struggled in my past, not because of my lack of knowing Hashem, but because he had other plans for me, and today as I know and love him with the whole of myself, I think I know his plan. I had to go through what I did, to know exactly the mindset, the ideology, and how extremist hate groups operate so that I can serve Adonai in defeating it and promoting peace and love amongst all people. I am proudly a cog in the work of Hashem, I serve him all of my days as a small spark to help usher in the Meshiach and repair the world.
I don’t blame God for my poor judgments and things I’ve done, that’s all on me and I own that 100%, but had I not had those experiences, I wouldn’t be who and where I am today, able to combat antisemitism, extremism, and hatred.
In my work with Beyond Barriers, in my writings, in my interventions with extremists and with youth being indoctrinated into hate, I serve God. Judaism led me to these revelations and deep introspection led me to understand these works of God in my life and as it says in the book of Ruth;
“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
…and I will proudly serve Adonai and love the Jewish people for the rest of my life!
Todah raba Hashem, todah raba Yisrael!