In this autobiographical account of the vicissitudes of his journey back to Hashem and a Torah life, Moishe Mendlowitz, the grandson of Rabbi Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, ZT”L reaches deep into the hearts of his readers; teaching profound lessons that resonate within our souls. in “Just One Jew” (Feldheim Publishers), Mr. Mendlowitz does not mince words as he offers a refreshingly candid full disclosure of his departure from a Torah observant lifestyle, as a student at Brooklyn’s Yeshiva Torah Vodaath. He chronicles both his immersion into the abysmal darkness of secular decadence along with his return to an observant life with unbridled passion and honesty. As an added bonus, this memoir is replete with vintage black and white photos of generations of prominent rabbeim and members of the Mendlowitz family.

The son of Avraham Mordechai Mendlowitz, z”l, a hard working kosher butcher in Crown Heights, young Moishe rejected the lifestyle of his antecedents after graduating from Torah Vodaath. The next 15 years were spent building an entrepreneurial career that saw a highly successful string of lucrative businesses. Living in a palatial home in Rhinebeck, New York, Mr. Mendlowitz seemed at ease in his secular life; making money hand over fist, enjoying all the material possessions that he acquired, dating non-Jewish women and never entertaining the notion of returning from whence he came. It wasn’t until a near death experience in a horrific car accident, seven months subsequent to his father’s passing, that things began to change. “I was a total success and a complete failure”, he says. “The former was how I appeared on the outside, the latter was what I couldn’t even admit to myself”, he ruefully observed.

The year was 1986 and as a man in his early 30s, Mr. Mendlowitz took the first small step in transforming his life by shearing off his long hair out of respect to his family. As he points out throughout this book, he was never shunned or ridiculed by his family for his aberrant lifestyle and it is clear that the unconditional love of his mother and sister served as a source of moral strength throughout his odyssey.

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