Madlik™ – Torah thoughts from a post-orthodox Jew, is offered by an ex yeshiva bochur with a life-long love and appreciation of Jewish texts and a fresh and sometimes heterodox perspective on their meaning, intent and practical (halachic) implications. Madlik is to be published on a weekly basis in an effort to insure that the spirit of Judaism continues to grow and flourish in our own lives and into the future.
מדליק – madlik – lighting (as in lighting a fire or candle). Literally, “ze madlik” means “it sets fire”. But in Hebrew slang, the expression means “that’s cool”.
About the author; Geoffrey Stern (aka Shlomo Stern): I am a serial entrepreneur in the audio chip and self playing media playback product space. Our products are used to animate toys, social expressions, advertising and gift products as well as digital imaging products (www.voice-express.com).
I am also privileged to be the President of PEF Israel Endowment Funds, Inc., (www.pefisrael.org) established in 1922 by Justice Brandeis, Rabbi Stephen Wise, Robert Szold and a group of distinguished Americans to enable the direct distribution of funds to selected and approved charitable organizations in Israel.
At age fourteen, I was exposed to a Hasidic Shabbos in Williamsburg Brooklyn by Rav Shmuel Dishon, a Karlin-Stolin Hasid and life-long Rebbe and friend. Thus began my lifelong journey, full of wonderlust and wanderlust to explore my Jewish roots and establish my Judaic legacy.
I transferred from The Dalton School in New York City to study and board at Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in Flatbush where I was privileged to be exposed to Rav Moshe Wolfson, the Mashgiach and a living, shining example of the best of the Hasidic and mystical traditions. Every Wednesday night, I would “steal” out of the Yeshiva to take a course in “The Prayer Book” at the 92nd St. Y from Rabbi Norman Lamm and attend a lecture at Lincoln Square Synagogue from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. After graduating Torah Vodaas, I studied at the Mesivta of Long Beach for a year before transferring to Yeshivat Be’er Yaakov in Israel and had the honor of studying with and being part of a vaad hamussar with Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt’l, arguably the last great master of Mussar.
After six years in the Yeshiva world I asked permission to take the Eged bus to the ZOA House in Tel Aviv to prepare (en route) and take the SAT. I received a BA in Philosophy and Economics from Columbia College and was fortunate to have Prof. Sidney “Magnificent” Morganbesser as my advisor, with a course in New Testament from Elaine Pagels and in the Graduate School with David Weiss HaLivini in Talmud and Moshe Held in Ugaritic Wisdom Literature. to hear more…. GeoffreySternJudaicJourney
I currently split my time between Westport, CT and NYC with my wife of 33 years, as we work to stay a part of our children’s lives (the lawyer, the actor and the sports wear designer) and two amazing little grandsons…. My true Judaic Legacies…