Friday, May 29, 2009

I am going to have to start a 'cool chassids' file

In general, I find it fascinating to listen or read other people’s spiritual journeys. Probably because I am such a work in progress myself and I instinctively perk up when I catch the familiar chords of journey echo in another’s voice.

In the old days, Bob Marley sang, “Stolen from Africa, brought to America, Buffalo Soldier”, and it is too bad Bob’s not alive to sing what could be the next line “Hip Hop Gangstar to Frum Yiddishkeit". Okay, I am no Bob, and he would have a far more lyrical way of essentially saying the same thing.

So what could be more fascinating than a Spanish Town yardie to hip hope gangstar to Frum Jew? To me it makes perfect sense and I get it, though others might not. Besides, the mix seems just seems - one my favourite places and people seasoned with my love of Torah. Okay, I am not really a fan of Spanish Town and am more of a Negril, Orange Hill kind of woman, but my house in Jamaica is located not too far away from Spanish Town as far as these things go.

From Yoseph Robinson’s home page:
Raised in Spanish Town, Jamaica by his Grandma Pearl, Yoseph Robinson, like most of the island kids, thought of the United States as of kind of utopia. It was a fantasy come true when he and his two sisters were finally able to join his parents in Midwood [Flatbush?], Brooklyn in 1989. At the age of 12, he exchanged his slower-paced life of mango-picking, fresh water fishing, and swimming for an Americanized one filled with stylized clothes, girls, and worries about being cool enough.

Constant disobedience in school and a strained relationship with his parents during his teenage years led Yoseph to drop out of high school was he was just 16. Influenced by a group of older kids and in need of money, Yoseph entered the world of drug deals, street crime, and violence. His reckless lifestyle took him to the Bronx, Philly, and finally LA, where he invested in a lucrative hip hop label. But by the time he was 23 years old, Yoseph knew he had to leave the affluent Hollywood scene behind in order to physically and mentally survive. He turned to Judaism as a means to surrender control, accept humility, and educate.

He is also in the process of writing a book on his experiences and journey.

Did I mention he blogs too! Frum from Rebirth

1 comment:

beachnut said...

very interesting.
Thank you for that link, Kateland.