web analytics
August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Back on the Field Again

Shlomo Veingrad has traveled further for his speaking engagements than even during his days in the NFL, crisscrossing America and speaking around the world.
Alan Stuart Veingrad played for the Green Bay Packers for five seasons, and two seasons for the Dallas Cowboys, playing in a total of 86 games.

Alan Stuart Veingrad played for the Green Bay Packers for five seasons, and two seasons for the Dallas Cowboys, playing in a total of 86 games.
Photo Credit: spokeo.com

In our last column (The Magazine, 7-19), Shlomo Veingrad, the NFL Super Bowl player-turned inspirational frum speaker, shared some of his stories from the road. He’s back again with more anecdotes, including how he inspired the Head Coach of the Dallas Cowboys and learned some lessons of his own.

One of the major triggers that led Shlomo to becoming frum was the sincere welcome and warmth he received by the Jewish world. His days playing for the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys were filled with a never-ending schedule of practice and games, as well as the camaraderie of teammates and the positive pressure of goals and objectives. After retiring in 1993 he, like many other players, felt a distinct void. But upon being introduced to a Torah class by a frum relative and attending Shabbat morning davening at a local Florida synagogue, he began to see that Judaism offered an even more satisfying lineup than he had ever experienced before.

Alan Veingrad

Alan Veingrad

“I went on a Shabbat morning to the Chabad of East Fort Lauderdale. It was one of the few times I had been to shul since my Bar Mitzvah, and it might have been the first time since then that I was called up to the Torah. After an aliyah it’s customary for a man to bless the people in his family. A hundred people were looking at me, I was feeling a little nervous. The gabbai said ‘Who do you want to bless?’ The guy in front of me listed his wife and children so I did that too.”

“‘Anybody else?’ the gabbai asked.

“‘The Rabbi and his family.’

“‘Anybody else?’

(“I felt like I was doing something wrong, I had to bless somebody else.”)

“‘Yeah, the soldiers in Israel.’

“‘Anybody else?’

“‘No.’

“The gabbai said in a soft voice, ‘The Packers or the Cowboys?’

(“I smiled greatly. This was unbelievable, the real deal, I’m in shul and he asked me which one to bless. I said ‘Yeah, let’s give the Packers a blessing. I spent five years there, they need the blessing.'”)

“‘He said quietly, ‘ok, a blessing for the Packers!’

“‘It was really funny, serious of course but it showed that he had a sense of humor and it made me feel very welcome. After that I stopped sweating, smiled and said ‘Ok let’s get someone else up here now.'”

Shlomo has traveled further for his speaking engagements than even during his days in the NFL, crisscrossing America and speaking around the world. Once he spoke on a Tuesday night at a Chabad House in Milwaukee and had another speaking engagement at a local school on Wednesday afternoon.

He davened Shacharit on Wednesday morning at the Chabad House. Before davening an elderly rabbi approached him and adjusted his Tefillin on his head because it was not in the correct place. He then handed him a small mirror with a blue back that he could use in the future.

After Shacharit, Shlomo was waiting in the library until his next engagement when the same old rabbi approached and motioned to him.

“Get the mirror and follow me,” he said.

“You’re taking the mirror back?”

“Just follow me.”

Shlomo followed him up the stairs, down a hallway and into his office. He then took back the mirror from Shlomo, but a moment later handed it back to him.

Shlomo turned it over in his hands and noticed that the rabbi had given him a new one, with a green back.

“Aren’t these your colors?” the Rabbi asked.

(“I just smiled. I thought to myself, ‘how would an old chassid know the Green Bay Packers?'”)

When he speaks, Shlomo tries to give direction and inspiration to people from his own experiences. Once while traveling he received his own helpful course adjustment.

When flying out to speaking engagements, Shlomo tries to daven before leaving. He notes that davening on a plane can sometimes bother other passengers or flight attendants. On one trip, he was unable to daven before he left, but knew he would have enough time before his connecting flights.

Upon landing at around 6:00 am, he searched the terminal and found a deserted area away from other travelers. He took out his tallit and tefillin and began to daven, but realized he didn’t know which way was mizrach, east! He also couldn’t find the compass that he usually carried in his bag.

About the Author: Michael Gros writes from Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. The Teshuva Journey column chronicles uplifting teshuva journeys and inspiring kiruv tales. To read more articles and sign up to receive them via email, visit http://www.michaelgros.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Back on the Field Again”

  1. This is a wonderful story. As a Green Bay Packers fan I was surprised to read that they had a Jewish athlete on their team. But, what makes this story special is how Veingrad was able to make the transition from that of a NFL player to that of a religious man and having the ability to parlay that into a successful speaking career. G-D certainly does work in mysterious ways.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Former Arkansas Governor and current presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee in Jerusalem.
Official PA Media Calls Huckabee ‘Inane Creature’ and ‘Wicked Man’
Latest Indepth Stories
Ben Cohen

Corbyn leading the Britain’s Labour Party polls, describes Hamas & Hizbullah as England’s “friends.”

PA Chairman Abbas proudly celebrating with released terrorists.

The convicted murderer was released from Israeli prison with more than two dozen other sociopaths

New Israel Fund

JCF is a donor/supporter of The New Israel Fund which supports BDS & wants IDF soldiers prosecuted

Moshe Feiglin

The ‘Peace Industry’ promotes its adherents; weak leaders, both military & political, is the result

The conundrum for US Labor Zionists: Lobbying for Iran deal while Israel’s Left lobby’s against it.

What does the Torah want from our small nation described as “they who struggle with God & with men”?

Mr. Nadler’s support for the deal is a naked political gift to a president who has defied logic in his quest to reinvent international affairs according to his ideological inclinations.

In practical terms, the proclamation surely makes a compelling argument:

BDS activists are not shy about discriminating against Israelis simply because they are Israelis –

A Federal Ct Judge ordered the PA to post JUST $10 million due to interfering letter from State Dept

Osakwe, like many other students at the CAMERA conference, described an extremely hostile campus environment when it comes to the issue of Israel.

Many people view a letter or manuscript by a chassidic rebbe or the Chofetz Chaim as intrinsically holy.

Key Iran Lobby figures had been major donors to both Biden and Kerry when they were in the Senate,

Abbas’ resignation has now sparked speculation about who will fill his place if and ‎when he leaves

More Articles from Michael Gros
Lessons-in-Emunah-new

Throughout the war, Akiva had several brief furloughs home, and each time exchanged whichever mishnayos volume he had finished for the next in the series.

Alan Stuart Veingrad played for the Green Bay Packers for five seasons, and two seasons for the Dallas Cowboys, playing in a total of 86 games.

Shlomo Veingrad has traveled further for his speaking engagements than even during his days in the NFL, crisscrossing America and speaking around the world.

In 1992 the Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowl XXVII. Among the members of the team was a young Jewish man named Alan Veingrad. Alan, now Shlomo, became frum several years later and found a much more significant calling: as an in-demand speaker he captivates Jewish and non-Jewish audiences around the world with lessons from his football days and from his teshuva journey.

Twenty-five years ago, when kiruv was still a relatively new concept, a group of four young rabbis left Ner Yisrael with families in tow to head down south to Atlanta, Georgia. Rabbi David Silverman was one of those pioneers who founded the Atlanta Scholars Kollel. He is a powerhouse of kiruv – his charisma, sincerity and broad knowledge have helped him inspire thousands of Jews, including this writer.

Pesach is the time of redemption and salvation, which can often come from the most unexpected sources. Such is the story of a boxing title fight in Yankee Stadium that launched a young boy from Russia on a journey to discover his Jewish heritage in Israel.

Jonathan, who once wondered how he would ever get his son close to Hashem, now knows he wasn’t the only one who wanted it. Hashem had an interest in it as well, and made it all come together.

You never know what event will spark a person’s desire to return to Judaism. Art Sherman was an assimilated Jew married to a Polish Catholic woman. He owned a non-kosher Italian “hero sandwich shop” and an unbelievable comment, one day by his Rastafarian employee, sent him on a life-changing journey.

For every Jew alive today, even the most unobservant, it’s necessary to only go a couple of limbs up the family tree to find an observant predecessor.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/judaism-101/back-on-the-field-again/2013/08/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: