web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



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

Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Border Police take charge of  Yitzhar's Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva while students are on vacation.
Brave Israel Police Stand Guard at Empty Yeshiva to Stop Violence
Latest Indepth Stories
Palestinian boys stand behind mock jail bars during a rally calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails (but not from Palestinian Arab jails), in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on April 20, 2014.

The Palestinian Authority has jailed more than 350 Arabs for “security” reasons in just 2014.

Rabbi Auerbach seen at a ceremony for the students who have finished the reading of the Babylonian talmud, at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem on July 31, 2012.

Since Torah is the great equalizer, the great reconciler of divergent but valid opinions, this is also the place where common ground is reached.

Dueling Shofarim

Some American Jews feel their community has been hijacked from within by groups waging war against Israel seemingly in the name of the Jewish people.

Al-Aksa Mosque was claimed to be the site from which Mohammed ascended to Heaven, but it was built nearly 50 years after Mohammed died.

Jerusalem only seems important in the Islamic world when non-Muslims control or capture the city.

Jordan’s king is adding fuel to the fire on the Temple Mount, blaming Israel for violence by Muslim Arab rioters.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

More Articles from Michael Gros
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.

Alan Veingrad

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.

For Rabbi Nosson (Mark) Sachs, a Reserve Chaplain in the U.S. Army, building a Sukkah last year in Afghanistan against all odds showed him Hashem’s hand more clearly than almost any other experience of his life.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: