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Jewish Journal

From thug life to shomer Shabbos

by Brad A. Greenberg

November 14, 2010 | 11:35 am

Once upon a time, Shyne was gangsta—one of then-Puff Daddy’s thugs—and served eight years in prison for his role in shooting up a New York City club. Prison reformed Shyne, and like many inmates he found God—YHWH to be exact.

Now he’s living in Jerusalem and living as a Hasidic Jew. Here’s the story from the Jerusalem Post:

“Everyone was always telling me to go to Israel, but to me it’s not just going to Israel, it has to really be the emet [truth], otherwise I won’t do it. And for some reason, my neshama [soul] wasn’t driving me there,” he said. “Then as Rosh Hashana approached, I was thinking, ‘How can I not go to Jerusalem?’ And by God’s good graces, I’m in a position where I can decide just like that to go somewhere, so that’s what I did.”

Saying that his time spent here since his arrival has surpassed all expectations, Shyne added that it wasn’t very difficult to do so.

“I’m a guy that has simcha [joy] and kedusha [holiness] in a prison cell with rats running – and walking – around. Under the most inhumane circumstances, I would daven with as much fervor as you can imagine. So to be at the center of the universe now, I knew that whatever I was doing in exile would be multiplied tenfold,” he said.

The New York Times did it’s own story here. I can’t verify, but Ben Plonie, who sent the JPost story, added this note:

Of course now that he is a Jew the hate is starting to come out. “I never liked him anyway… ” “He was ‘aight but now he sucks…” etc.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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