web analytics
July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 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
The White House will free Pollard but bar him form traveling to Israel for five years.
US Won’t Let Pollard Out of Country for Five Years
Latest Indepth Stories
Pres. Rivlin and PM Netanyahu with the justices of the Supreme Court

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

Roy S. Neuberger

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

Harvey Rachlin

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

huckabee oven message

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

It was modeled upon a similar fund that had been set up by Sephardic Jews in Venice. But Amsterdam’s Dotar was initially more ambitious in scope.

Rav Aharon Margalit is a bestselling author – his book, As Long As I Live, has been translated into four languages – and a standing-room only lecturer. Both religious and non-religious audiences flock to hear him. What makes him so extraordinary? Rav Margalit is a Chasidic Jew who experienced incredible challenges from a very young […]

J Street is the vanguard (Jewish face)in support of Obama’s Vienna Accords Nuclear Deal with Iran

“I hold the woman’s place over that of men in every fundamental aspect of public and private life.”

The US-UNRWA accord is another example of this White House, hostile to Israel, disregarding truth.

On the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’av, a reflection on the dangerous deal with Iran

The Kotel gained significance around 1550. Previously, many Jews prayed on the Temple Mount itself.

All Jews MUST stand together to oppose boycotts against Israel. So why does NIF & JCF support BDS?

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: