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Episode 6: Defining Beliefs

Life is unpredictable.

We are born not knowing what to expect. Our childhood is already preassigned. We don’t get to choose who our parents will be, how they will treat us or other matters regarding our upbringing. We are moulded into individuals by people who bring us into this world. We are taught to abide by their books. That’s just the way it is.

Right from early adolescence we are trained and conditioned to this idea of religion and belief. The customs and extremities vary depending on our cultural and ethnic background, but they are present regardless of our origin. As we grow and develop into the people we are destined to become, life becomes a matter of choice. We can either abide by the rules we are taught or discover a new world, one that will make us happy.

Life is a journey, an adventure and a privilege. Living in a cage to avoid judgement is not a life but a mere existence. Letting our voice be heard, shouting it as loud as we can, may help others do the same.

I myself grew up as a modern, Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn. I went to a religious Jewish school, and became a very faithful person. My great grandfather, Manuel Rackman, was one of the founding Rabbis of the modern Orthodox Community in New York, so I was raised to be religious. My core values included family and belief. I was brought up with the idea that women should be housewives, marry young and take care of children.

It wasn’t until I experienced a lot of different loss that I realized I was truly unhappy with my life and my marriage. Even though I was abiding by all the rules and doing what I was taught, I knew this wasn’t the life I wanted to live. That’s when I decided to change my way of thinking and change my overall life.

I became a hustling career woman which is not typical to where I come from. I am very outspoken, I have an opinion, and drive attention because I talk about taboo topics. This is not something which is supported in my community. We are taught to keep everything in our home and not discuss private matters publicly. But this is me and I am proud of who I am.

Nevertheless, I am still very traditional. I believe heavily in God, I have deep in-grained faith and I pray daily. My life experiences have brought me a lot of tough circumstances, and I have used my faith to help me through all of these experiences.

To gain a new perspective on faith, religion and upbringing, I invited Isaac Rosenburg, a successful residential broker for Compass, to be my guest on episode five of the Elizabeth Sutton Podcast. Isaac sells luxury properties in New York and Miami and has an extremely interesting story which correlates with his first steps into entrepreneurship. 

Tell us a little about yourself and your upbringing.
I grew up in Boro Park Brooklyn and was the youngest of nine. I moved out of our neighbourhood at 25 and started a career in real-estate. I help people find homes in NYC, connect and build communities around health and fitness.

You grew up hasidic, in a very religious community, and broke out of it. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
I never really understood what my progression was. As a little child, I was curious about things I was not allowed to be curious about, such as baseball cards, Jackey Chan and The Yankees. I was in a different world, with not much access to the other world and I just never felt like I really fit in. I don’t know why I had interest in the other world, the real world, but the interest kept growing with time. As I matured, I knew this was not how I wanted to live.

Did you have any friends growing up that felt similarly?
I had a lot of friends, and a lot of us, had clicks. I had clicks which were into baseball players, movies, sports, but I always knew that nobody was exactly like me. Nobody shared all of the interests I had and nobody was as passionate to exploring the internal world like myself.

How did you enter the new world, how did you leave?
It was a long journey. I was digging into the outside world since I was 13 years old. I started getting interest into going into the city, getting away from the life I was taught to live. At the time I didn’t have a super relationship with my family. We were living under the same roof, but it was almost as if we weren’t. I was going to work, going to the gym and coming home late at night once my parents were asleep. And when I finally decided to leave, I just left. I stopped coming home. I slept on my sister’s couch for a month, joined a real-estate company in Brooklyn, found an apartment and settled from there.

How did your community react?
I don’t know, what I don’t know. I don’t know what was said behind my back and I don’t really care. I’ve never heard anything bad being said. I have not got any push back, the people around me and my community simply knew they couldn’t push me around. I didn’t take anybody’s opinion and I would always do what I felt was right.

How did you cope growing up knowing you were different?
Fitness was my mental saviour then and still continues to be the thing which makes me happy. Fitness makes me feel good, look good and be of good mental health. It had a huge impact on helping me cope. I don’t think about the old world much anymore, I live everyday as a new day.

How is your everyday routine now?
My everyday has changed a lot now and I must admit, I like this period. Not the part where people are sick, but the part where I get to work on the things which make me stronger. I went back to all everything which fulfils me. I start my day with fitness and then meeting and connecting with people and helping them find a home.

Keep listening to the sixth episode of the Elizabeth Sutton podcast, Success by Design, called Defining Beliefs, to find out Isaac’s thoughts on the future of the real-estate market and his thoughts and life values.

Keep in tune for episode six on Success by Design, podcast by Elizabeth Sutton.

Connect with Isaac Rosenburg:

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Web

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