ArtScroll Speaks with Yisroel (Roy) Neuberger Profiled in Rabbi Nachman Seltzer’s From Sinai to Yerushalayim

AS: Over 20 years ago, you wrote From Central Park to Sinai, chronicling your incredible journey to Torah observance. How does it feel to carry the story forward to a new generation of readers, in Rabbi Nachman Seltzer’s From Sinai to Yerushalayim?

YN: We are so excited to be carrying our story forward. The biggest thrill is to meet an audience that seems so far from us, as my wife, Leah, and I have done in Russia, Baku, Tbilisi, Mexico, and so many other places. They don’t even speak our language, but words from the heart enter the heart!

AS: Of course, there are still many thousands who read your first book. What will they find that’s new in From Sinai to Yerushalayim?

YN: We never get tired of telling our story and people never get tired of hearing it! And each day adds to it, which is why Rabbi Seltzer wanted to take it to the next level.

Here’s an example: Our biggest turnaround happened on January 10, 1966. My wife and I were young married college students, and our marriage and whole life were falling apart. I awoke in the middle of the night, thinking life was literally all over, and then a “crazy” thought flew into my head: “Maybe there is a G-d!” Wow! That thought turned our life around.

I later found out that that day was the 18th of Teves in the Jewish calendar. Since then, many miraculous events have happened to us on that date. And last week, on the 18th of Teves 5783 — 57 YEARS LATER TO THE DAY! — From Sinai to Yerushalayim went on the presses at ArtScroll.

AS: You had such a wealthy, privileged childhood, yet it wasn’t enough — until you found Torah. Can you share a brief inspiration to those who grew up in the Torah world?

YN: We grew up living the “American Dream.” There was no material thing we lacked, and we had wonderful families. We traveled everywhere and saw the world of man and the world of nature. But we found out: Without Torah it is all empty … totally empty! Until the door opened to the world of Torah, we were not even alive. We tried to live that way, but it is a black hole. We can never thank Hashem enough for giving us true, meaningful life!

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