In Hollywood you would think we had it all, and in a manner of speaking, we did. I lived in Beverly Hills, I alternated between driving a Hummer, Bentley and a Jaguar convertible, and went to the wildest party scenes. I mean I went to Jamie Fox's house, I double dated with Jay Z, I met Shakheil O'neal, Kobe Bryant, Usher, Steve Harvey, and many, many others.Click here to get Dixie Yid in your e-mail Inbox or here to subscribe in Google Reader.
Holywood life, however, and the music industry included, could be summed up in one word: plastic. The stereotypes are accurate. The hip-hop music culture centers on money, girls, drugs, cars, money, jewelry, money, and EGO. I was leading a life of unabashed and unfettered self-indulgence. It was all-consuming and it was pointless.
We felt our talent and creativity entitled us to all the pleasures of the world and then some. Sure, we also worked hard but our arrogance and sense of entitlement knew no bounds. I'm a contemplative person by nature, and the hedonistic lifestyle was wearing me down psychically, and even physically. In addition, tensions in my music company were brewing and the loyalty of those closest to me were suspect.
I decided to leave the world of Hollywood behind and the only option was to make a total break from my previous life. I would say discovering Judaism was merely coincidental, but Hakadosh Baruch Hu, it seems, had a plan for me. The story is quite simple.. I walked into a book store and asked to buy a Bible. It turns out, I was in a Judaica store and I bought a Hirsch English edition of the Chumash. I was immediately hooked. I was moved, I was inspired, and I felt connected to something deeper and greater than anything I had ever encountered in my entire life.
I took Judaism classes for a period of two and a half years at Toras Hashem and the conversion itself was conducted by the Beis Din of North Hollywood headed by Rabbi Zvi Block. I live in Brooklyn, New York and I daven at the Agudas Israel of Ave L.
I am currently writing a memoir. It starts with my childhood in Jamaica, my street life in Brooklyn and then in Philly, my move to LA, and my journey to Judaism, which is ongoing. I hope my story can entertain, as well as inspire. I also hope that my circumstance can help facilitate communication and sensitivity between all races, cultures, and religions.
Thanks for reading and I hope you come along for the ride!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Guest Post By Yoseph Robsinson, Ger From Jamaica - Some Background
I asked Yoseph Robinson, who Gruntig recently posted about, to write a guest post about his journey and how he discovered Yiddishkeit. It is an interesting introduction. Feel free to ask Yoseph any questions you have about his fascinating journey.