A Long Winding Road Jacob Rupp


Today’s interview is with my friend Jacob Rupp. Jacob is a well known mindset coach and rabbi. He is the father of four children and hosts an amazing podcast. He shares his struggles from childhood, his career, and personal life. He shares his journey and gives advice to those people who maybe facing the same struggles. He shares with us how to hold onto the whispers through all the bricks that life throws at us.

Episode Transcription:

Intro plays


Welcome to Wisdom bricks. My name is Ari Schonbrun, and I’m your host today. I have a guest on who I met. Several months ago. It was happened by chance. We had some mutual friends. And he had his own podcast that at the time, and he invited me to come on his show. I agreed. And it was a great, great. It was a great show. I enjoyed it thoroughly. And I reached out to him recently and said, You know, I started my own podcast. I’d love to have you on my show. And he went like Sure. So I’m really really excited. My guest today is are my Jacob Rupp. Now Jacob is a highly regarded executive mindset coach, and rabbi who has spent the last 15 plus years combining ancient and mystical wisdom with modern psychology and coaching practices to help leaders achieve clarity and direction in decision making, and transformational growth in self perception and marital happiness, and who doesn’t need marital happiness. The implementation of Jacob and his client strategy creates dramatic increases in internal peace, family cohesiveness and leadership integrity. Jacob and his wife Julie also trained both for profit and nonprofit professionals looking to leverage their current expertise to create more impact and income by building profitable one on one coaching practices. The rubs live in Phoenix with their four children. Please help me welcome Jacob. Jacob, how are you?

Jacob: I am the best. Thank you very much.

Ari: Oh, that’s awesome. Thank you so much for coming on my show. I really, I firmly believe that I’m returning a favor to you. You had me on your show. I figured let me return the favor. Have you on my show. I still remember. You know, I remember that interview. I was really, really honored to be on that show, by the way. And I get to return the favor.

Jacob: Any any opportunity to spend time with you as is is a pleasure and something I look forward to. So thank you very much.

Ari: Oh, thank you so much. By the way, yeah, I did not pay him to say that

Jacob: I was expecting you to so um, we’ll have to discuss that later.

Ari: Oh, there you go. I knew it was gonna be a freebie. Anyway, now, as you know, the name of this podcast is whispers in bricks, the whispers are those voices telling us what’s the right thing to do in life, and it represents the good in life. The bricks represent the bad things that we go through in life. And let’s be real, everybody goes, everybody has a brick thrown at them at some point in time, either life or another. Now, knowing you and reading your bio, it’s evident that you’re a highly successful coach. So my first question is, at what point in your life? Did you decide that this was going to be your career? And the fact that you are Rabbi did that have anything to do with that decision?

So candidly speaking, I don’t feel like I found where I’m going in my career, because it is something that is completely evolving. And one of the big things that I think we struggle with a lot across the board in the coaching industry, in the rabbinic industry, in the in the world at large is how do we define ourselves. And one of the things I’m consistent consistently pushing people to do is like, forget the definition, and just go out there and do it. So my business itself has taken on many iterations, my career has taken on many iterations. But the core theme, which is essentially trying to be a mirror for people to find themselves and sort of get out of their own way. That’s something I expect to do for the rest of my life, God willing, and something I’ve been very passionate about from a very young age, how I get paid doing that. I’m still you know, it’s a it’s an ongoing, it’s an ongoing experience and journey.

Ari: Wow, well, you know what they say, do something that you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. But nobody ever talks about the money aspect of that. Let me ask you this, does being Rabbi help you with your business?

Jacob: So the very interesting thing was, I think in a lot of ways, my business really took off when I was capable of taking off the rabbi hat. What that means is specifically that Rabbi means so much for and to so many people. And it also means a lot to ourselves. One of the things that the reason why I became a rabbi in the beginning was I was really passionate about helping people connect to their Jewish heritage, and I grew up as a reformed Jew in Northern California. And so Rabbi meant you know, you could listen to this person when it came to Judaism. When I went to Israel later, after college, I met all kinds of like minded asters of Judaism that didn’t even have rabbinic certification. But what I realized is a lot of times is you have to speak the language of the people that you want to affect. So I knew that by becoming a rabbi, I could have a bigger impact with my constituents, constituents. So I got certified, so to speak, I got the rabbinic degree. But then what I started to realize for myself is, I didn’t want to be a paid Rabbi anymore, because I wanted to go, I felt that coach offered me more flexibility, and obviously an easier way to monetize etc. So, yes, being a rabbi very much did and does help me I think that I still to a very large extent, carry the, the rigor that one needs when it comes to you know, being a rabbi means something you don’t want to like, God forbid, you know, mess it up for everybody. So I really kind of carry that with me in my, my current in my current iteration, as well. And also the idea of helping people and being focused on the eternal realities of life to help us through the ups and downs, the the whispers and the bricks.

Ari: Mm hmm. So, let me see if I got this. Let me see if I got this straight. Basically, you became a rabbi because you had a certain goal or a certain vision in mind. After you acquire the, the rabbinic certification, I guess you realize that there are other ways that you can help people without being a rabbi. In other words, you didn’t want to be a practicing rabbi, so to speak, or a pulpit rabbi. 

Jacob: But certainly

never wanted to be a pulpit rabbi, I always wanted to reach the Jews that weren’t in the synagogue. So having a pulpit would be would be highly, it would be highly detrimental to that component. Yes. Okay. Like a 10. year period, though, where I worked as a 10 plus your I’m sorry, about 15 year period, where I worked as a rabbi, not with a pulpit but with different populations. I spent, you know, 10 years at UCLA I worked with as a as a high school Rabbi, I worked with NCS y in San Diego, I worked with H A shutaura, in Minneapolis. So I definitely did the rabbi thing for a lot of times without the pulpit.

Ari: Ah, okay, great. So then I imagine that that that having the knowledge, not necessarily the title, so to speak, but the knowledge that you have you have acquired when becoming a rabbi, that was, I can’t imagine that it hasn’t been, it must be a very, very helpful tool for you. Because it’s just another another way of looking at things. Right. And that, that the ordinary layman may not, unders may not have ever thought of all right. But you having that background, gives you that opportunity was saying, hey, but you know, but here’s what I learned, and then trying to help people, am I kind of on the right track? or percent? Great, great. All right. Let me ask you this. All right. throughout your lifetime, as we said, you know, whispers and bricks, I think my question is, what was some of the struggles or Endor failures, some of the bricks that you got hit with in your life, whether it was in your professional life or your personal life? What was some of those bricks like that you got hit with.

Jacob: I mean, the the kind of core story that that that I’ve in the process is now a 38 year old man with 4 of my own children was was that I really didn’t have a father figure that was sort of what I wanted to emulate. In a lot of ways I grew up to a, it was it was it was difficult, I haven’t I don’t know if my father is alive or dead. And I haven’t spoken to him since I was in high school. Growing up as an alcoholic, he was an alcoholic, and certainly mostly very abusive, and sort of working through and navigating also, what there’s a whole study on how the other parents of the mothers in this case, how they sort of I was the oldest son, so like, you know, just navigating that world have really tried to be there and like, be an advocate for my mom, when that was not really my role. And also trying to like, look for that father figure and not finding him and wanting him to be there and having to redefine that whole mess. So that was sort of my, the more again, a lot of the other struggles in my life, a lot of it goes back to that and having to be someone in order to be worthy of love, and never being what the other person was able to see and being able to just be loved for who I was and not what I did. There was all kinds of those core essential character themes that were still are very much impactful in my life and how I see things.

Ari: I had no idea. Always nice

to date to throw a curveball out there. Yeah, yeah,

I had no idea. Wow. So man, at what? So now this takes us into a whole new direction. Like so at what point you So you haven’t seen your father since high school? Is that what you said? Yeah. So what? How many siblings are you?

Jacob: I have one sister who’s three years older than

me that once is three is young, and your mom is still still alive? 

Jacob: Yep, very much as she’s with you. And you have now, which was she?

Ari: I can’t imagine she wasn’t, I mean, she must have been very, very important in your life. You know, is would you would you look at her and say that she probably had more of an impact on your life than any other person was she was she your go to person I, I would assume.

Jacob: So the interesting thing was, we were very, very close. And at a certain point, I watched as my dad left the picture, and I and I was sort of more free to play with my own masculinity and what that meant, and they were so different. And it was like, we were, you know, it was always like trying to pay attention to see who I could be in order to be pleasing for the other person, what you get is a core theme that goes throughout our lives. You know, my mom was like, very into me embracing I joke around the fact that I’m not, I’m from the Bay Area I grew up she’s like a super, like, liberal, like, you know, all that my dad was like a rush limbaugh conservative in the 80s. And so like, I have like a very dubious dualistic component when it comes to everything. And so yeah, like really trying to be what would make my mom proud, but that as I became Orthodox, so that was like a whole thing. And, you know, work through that, and then creating boundaries around my wife and my mother. So that that that wasn’t encroached upon. So very much, he’s been unbelievably important. But then one of the things I’ve worked very hard on is really asserting myself to kind of be my own person, and articulating what I need and being okay with that.

Ari: Wow. So then, let me ask you this, obviously, you’ve gone through many iterations from not being an observant Jew, to you know, becoming a Jew to becoming a rabbi to I mean, taking it to the nth degree. And then using that knowledge to help other people, I’m assuming that that, that interest in helping people, probably I correct me if I’m wrong, but it probably came from the fact that you did grow up with an alcoholic parent. And, you know, you didn’t want to correct again, correct me if I’m wrong, I’m assuming you didn’t want anybody else to have to go through the things that you are going through. And if they were going through it, all right, you wanted to be there to help them my correct,

Jacob: yeah, totally. But also, there’s that element of, I know, this sounds unusual. But as I developed my own, being married for, you know, going on better part of two decades now, you know, the fact that like, it was always very easy to demonize one of my parents, especially as I tried to protect my mom, and I, you know, I remember, like sleeping with weapons by my bed, so that, like, I would come home from my mom at night, like all kinds of like, crazy stuff that, you know, was in retro actively looking back at that, you know, looking back at that you’re like, Wow, that was really traumatic for like a seven year old kid, you know, because like, now my son’s like, nine and like, I look at what a normal nine year old looks like. And I’m like, he needs my dad. He didn’t he doesn’t need to be it. He needs his father like me, right? As opposed to figuring out like, how do I defend yourself against this much larger, scarier person that’s in your life. So on that, that was one habit, and understanding that like, having a level of compassion for people that struggle with anger, people that struggle with alcoholism, people again, obviously, like, my dad wasn’t happy in his marriage, he wasn’t happy with my mom, he wasn’t happy where he was in his life, and, and ultimately realizing that I also have that within me, and having a level of compassion and working with guys like that also. So it’s like, it’s not just, I’m an advocate for the victim. I think in a lot of these dynamics, there’s really two victims. And I know, that’s probably very controversial to say, but like, how do we, no one wants to be the addict, or the abuser just like no wants to be the the enabler or the abused? And how do we create enough compassion and clarity for everybody, as people to get people out of these horrible cycles that nobody wants to be?

Ari: Wow. So let me ask you this. Did you ever get to a point in your life that you were so low that you just went like, you know what, I quit. I’ve given up on my dreams. I can’t deal with this. You know, I’m going to cuddle up into a ball. You know, I’m going to stay in my bed for the rest of my life. You know? And if you did reach that point, I can’t imagine the I mean, most people do, but when you got to that level, how did you come out of it? All right. How did you how did you manage to actually, you know, become a responsible human being in this world? You know, raising a family, you know, having a wife and kids and what, you know, how did how did you do it?

Jacob: In my life, or this week? No So, so besides a lot of hard music and, and, and to be to be completely candid, I see all of these iterations and and, and evolutions and my most recent iteration and evolution has been really going on a extremely rigorous campaign to love myself and to forgive myself and and to go to a place where I wanted to drop all the judgment. And I know that that is extremely controversial coming from a white male who’s an orthodox rabbi, in terms of saying that there’s, you know, you really have to get clear on what you want, and to drop all of the all of the judgments and all of the nonsense and everything like that just kind of be your own person, I found that that was the most effective thing. How do you how do you get up after one of these awful tragedies, I think is is I would always say you want to get super clear on where you want to go. And again, that comes back to being able to release the expectations that are being put upon you, and being really able to own yourself, what do I want? Like actually, then you want to look at, like, what do I have that can help me? So you know, taking a and making a personal asset list, the things that like, okay, you know, again, like it’s even in our business right now, we’re at this, like, very exciting trip, you know, growth trajectory. And I, what that rose results to, in most cases, is just sitting around scared and feeling like, I’m not good enough. But then realizing, like, No, this is amazing. Like, every single thing I was super clear on that I wanted, I’ve gotten that over and over and over again, in my life, I was like, 200 pounds fatter than I am now. And like, I couldn’t even talk to a girl in terms of like, I had all kinds of friends. But again, I didn’t grow up religious. So like, you know, wanting to have a woman that would validate me and define me beautiful and, and, like attractive, and acceptable and desirable, was something I struggled with for 20 years. And like now, I’ve been married for almost 20 years. And like, you know, so working through that thing. And then I wanted to have kids, I have kids, being religious, I am really just having more money. Now I make more money in a month than I was making during years of my life, being going from terribly in debt to thank God being being able to drive what I want live, where I want to live and having that freedom. So I’ve gotten everything I’ve wanted. So it’s the kind of thing where now as I go through this candid entrepreneurial panic that I think that most people who are honest, themselves go through, and it’s like, Oh, my God, I don’t want to go back there, oh, my God, what’s gonna happens again, and I’m not good enough. And I’m competing with the big boys and girls now and all this stuff. It’s like just realizing all I have to do is be clear on what I want really work on that visualization and figure out what are the assets I have that I can help move the ladder? And then how can I network with my, with my support system to enable that to happen in the highest and best good for other people?

Ari: Wow. So well said. I mean, you’ve, in my opinion, hit the nail on the head. A lot of the things that you said are things that I preach as well. So it’s gotten from now, I don’t think so I mean, your head and shoulders above a lot of people. That’s what I’m going to tell you tell

Jacob: You like Don’t say like this though, candidly speaking, I launched two podcasts where I literally sit around and talk to people like yourself, who are either gone through things that I can ever imagine going through just like you know, in terms of your story, but but also I have done all the things that I want to do. And I really tried. That’s the point is, it’s like, none of this stuff is rocket science. I just want to figure out how to do it.

Ari: Right. Right. Wow, that’s, that’s amazing. You know, these, these are things that I did know the whole weight thing, the whole, you know, alcoholic parent, I had no idea. I’m so happy that you shared that. Because you know, my audience, there are many of my audience who are going through exactly what you went through. And you know, many of them are like, you know, cuddling up into that little ball and going, you know, I can’t move on and, you know, to hear what you did and how you came out of it. You know, how you became a literally a new person. And, you know, it’s just wonderful, I have to thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Now, let me ask you something. Is there anything? Is there anything that you’d like to any words of wisdom that you would share with my audience? I think we’ve gotten a lot already. But is there any one last point that you maybe want to leave for my audience?

Jacob: I think becoming a student of people is the most important thing in the world in terms of on one side to see what people have gone through that allows them to come you know, like that allows them to, like just think about things that people have gone through and start to study that and realize like what, what history would be like to have gone through in history, what people have had gone through in their in their personal life. So like you’ll always find people that will like again, that the Talmud says that they you know, they’re like make you like, who haven’t rougher than you and they were able to persevere so you know, whenever you’re you’re feeling in your pain, study people that have been in similar situations. Alternatively, study the people doing what you want human progress human achievement is not this unknown thing like everyone’s kind of done it already and it’s you know, there are common themes like to study that and then also I think that experience the most valuable thing is just to rely on this is I think, kind of what I think that you know, we as Jews were very much into but like really relax into the process and realize like something much bigger than you is going to carry you through this. So the suffering that you’re experienced is just the story that’s in your own head and that there is a really a bigger perspective and if we can get if we can make the decision if we have the willingness to not suffer so much opens up for us but that’s really really hard because we are so addicted to our own suffering and and we will find different things to suffer about when one thing gets resolved. So like when I was suffering with money, so like that was great, but then the money thing got turned around and I started suffering with like right now like I’m working on like my body in the gym like I like my business is doing stuff I never thought it could do my finances in a place I never thought they were like now I’m like really struggling with eating and realizing like why am I struggling this it’s like oh, because I’m really addicted to suffering. So I just have to let go the whole thing I don’t want it I don’t want to suffer. That’s the idea.

Ari: Wow, that’s great. Jacob if people want to get in touch with you what would be the best way the best way for them to do that you have a website Yeah, but email what was the

point of quite a while on that so on any social platform you want except tick tock? Just look up Jacob Rabbi Jacob YouTube Facebook. You know Instagram where we are. We are there and happening. I thank God have two podcasts, the lift your legacy podcast, and the Jewish Executive project podcast available on all of your different platforms. And if you want to reach out to me Jacob at the rep group.co Not CLM but co the rep Jacob at the rubber group dots co

Jacob: Jacob, Jacob at the rub our u

PPR u p p

two p. O at the rep group.co

Ari: Thank you. Okay, great. Jacob. Thanks so much for sharing your story with my audience. It’s been wonderful. Good luck going forward. I wish you all the best. You been listening to whispers and bricks, and I’m your host Gary Shomer. Until next time, listen to the whispers avoid the bricks and never ever give up on your dreams. Bye for