I graduated the University of California with a degree in English in 1983, then set off across the United States hitching rides and sleeping in hostels, campgrounds, or by the side of the road. Half a year later, I set out farther afield, this time across Europe, intending to circle the globe via Africa, Australia, and a return trip to Asia. (But that’s another story.)
Too weary to carry on after months on ten-dollars-a-day, I crossed the Mediterranean for the Land of Israel. There, I planned to occupy myself picking oranges on a kibbutz before stalking the southern hemisphere. You can read about some of my adventures here.
We know what happens when Man plans. A strong dollar had given a few million other young Americans the same idea, and there wasn’t a spot to be found on any kibbutz in the country — an unprecedented event. With dwindling funds and a depleted constitution, I took a most unlikely turn and found myself as a neophyte in a talmudical seminary.
It took two months, ceaseless bouts of syllogistic sparring, and a former professor of philosophy from Johns Hopkins University to convince me to see the world in a new light. Read about how my background in literature sparked my personal awakening here.
I spent the next nine years learning ancient languages and studying the accumulated wisdom of 3300 years, starting a family, earning my rabbinic ordination, and acquiring the credentials to teach Mankind’s most profound wisdom to others. After leaving Israel, my wife and I spent a year teaching in Budapest, Hungary. You can get a taste of our experiences here.
Two years later we moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where we have lived since 1996. I teach high school, lecture adults, and write on contemporary issues, currents events, inspiration, education, childraising, history, philosophy, spirituality, and self-awareness for Jewish and popular journals.
In between the responsibilities of my day-job, I have been invited to address such organizations as the Kiwanis Club, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and Oasis, as well as a variety of religious and secular audiences.
Any questions? I answer the most frequent ones here.
Please contact me at yonasongoldson [at] gmail.com.