Surfers…Who Don’t Surf
When asked what the experience is of riding a big wave, Greg Noll answered, “If you have to ask, then you’ll never know”.
Now, Rabbi Shifren’s new book, “Surfers…Who Don’t Surf” reveals the eternal and mystical answer to one of civilization’s greatest puzzles with great humor, depth of meaning, and life’s lessons for both surfers and terrestrial beings.
"Rabbi Nachum Shifren's storytelling grabbed me. The Rabbi is the real deal. He has walked the talk. He has known and been close to extraordinary people in the surfing world.. He has experienced many extreme situations in the ocean and we are fortunate that he has survived and taken the time to put them on paper for us to read and enjoy. To top it off, he has a very descriptive and entertaining way of telling the tale. Mahalo Rabbi!. Good work! Tell us more!!"
~ Felipe Pomar, National Peruvian Champion
1st place Duke Kahanamoku contest (Sunset Beach)
"I have never surfed. I am not a rabbi. And I am not a chassidic Jew. So why am I writing a forward to 'Surfing Rabbi?' Rabbi Nachum Shifren's vehicle is ....love for the ocean and surfing, touching people who would most probably never encounter a rabbi, let alone an orthodox one. By exuding a love of life and joy in the natural world, his story becomes a living ode to the Creator. His story is a good and inspiring one!"
~ Dennis Prager
Nationally syndicated talk-show host, Author, and Lecturer
"A totally absorbing ride into the soul of a unique surfer. A must read!"
~ Shaun Tomson
Former Surfing World Champion
"Gentiles, Jews and secular beach rats of all stripe will find adventure here."
~ Scott Hulet
Editor, The Surfer's Journal
"In articulating with such sincerity the twin passions that have illuminated his path, Rabbi Nachum Shifren has produced more than just an entertaining chronicle of the surfing life, but rather a poignant document of faith, asserting with an engaging earnestness that spiritual fulfillment awaits the truly devoted…both on and off a surfboard."
- Sam George
Former editor SURFER Magazine
"Rabbi Shifren has once again shown us the heart and soul of our cherished sport!"
~ Kathy Kohner
The real-life "Gidget"
"I have known Rabbi Shifren for 50 years as a lifeguard and dedicated Malibu surfer. After his mentor Tommy Zahn took him under his wing, he was in good hands and the ocean was his! Love and Aloha"
~ Mike (Muzzy) Marcelino
"Rabbi Shifren is a patriot and dedicated educator"
~ Cong Dana Rohrbacher
"Rabbi Shifren is an intellectual whose ideas can bring America to its senses"
~ Herman Bailey
Christian Television Network
"His views on America, her survival, and our culture will resonate with you and your family"
~ Joe R. Hicks
Former executive director, Southern Christian Leadership Conference
"It is a breath of fresh air to have someone like Rabbi Shifren speak with us with his novel approach in bridging the gap between living a spiritual, meaningful life and what some would call the 'real world'. He manages, in an amusing way, to reach even the most cynical person and inspire them!"
~ Rabbi Avraham Friedman
"...masterful and engaging...an inspiration to Jew and non-Jew alike...a great book, with universal appeal!"
~ Rabbi Moshe Wisnefsky
Co-founder, Ascent Institute, and Editor, Gal Enai Publications
"Thanks so much for your talk on 'surf and soul' at UC Berkeley Chabad. Your 'laid back', cool, and riveting talk about what's really important in life keeps being discussed by the UC Berkeley students months later!"
~ Yehuda Ferris
"During his speech here in Brooklyn Heights, the participants were witness to incredible surfing tales from Mexico, Hawaii, Mauritius- peppered with humor and wit. Listeners took an active role in questioning Rabbi Shifren about everything from 60's activism, spiritual trends, and physical fitness. But most important is his message to our young people, inspiring them to greater heights and meaning."
~ Simcha Weinstein
"I read your book slowly, savoring every word. Mex, Centro, Peta- you nailed the vibe!"
~ Kevin McClusky
"You have portrayed a wide spectrum of people-not just surfers, but legends who are watermen/women. This is a historical gem! You are a laureate and your work merits being a permanent part of surfing heritage. A warm aloha."
~ Gary Stellern
Past President of Malibu Surfing Association
"Your tales of Mexico are great, especially for those of us who have ventured south. Your reflections of Tom Zahn are the stuff of legend- well done!"
~ Jim Traynor
Malibu surfer for over 50 years
"Rabbi Shifren is at his core a surfer. "Surfers...Who Don't Surf" recalls that being a surfer has nothing to do with simply riding waves. Shifren gives us a glimpse of what being a surfer actually is!"
~ Dr. Bill Rosenblatt
Rincon, Puerto Rico
"Rabbi Shifren's search for the perfect wave turns into the ultimate journey, a search for one's soul. His thoughts embrace the sea, the earth....his life is about riding the energy of the universe."
~ Ira Oper
Oper Productions, Surf Film Producer and Cinematographer
"Like hunters across an open land, we hunted blue mountains across distant lands and shores. We had beautiful women, and the women had beautiful men. Then slowly, we became older, got jobs, raised families, some lasted longer than others....But time, age, and injury outlasted most! You talk about the old days and the waves- it's all well done!"
~ Skip Engblom
Surfer since 1960
"Thank you for the precious opportunity to read this work. The charm and fluency kept me popping along. High entertainment and lots of humor!"
~ Stanley Stanert
"It is so easy to let the little aches and pains, crowds, and bygone memories of perfect waves give you a reason not to surf- but the ocean is the source of my life and I hope to keep going till I die! How fortunate are you to have known Tom Zahn, whose commitment to fitness is an inspiration to us all."
~ Mike Takahashi
70, Sunset Beach, Hawaii
"This transformative piece held me spellbound. After seeing herein words of Kabbalah, I realized this book's capricious author was cooking up a plan to share some of this esoteric wisdom with readers. Mesmerizing sacred gems, whimsical levity, and iconoclastic critique of mainstream society- all typical of radical remarks Nachum is known for. The helter-skelter lawlessness of Mexico is meticulously exact. Reading this I can taste the saltwater air, spicy frijoles, and my fingertips are singed from the still hot torts! This teacher explains potential "devekut" or cleaving: converting the physical energy to the spiritual-while floating in the surf. The precious cast of characters in "Surfers...Who Don't Surf" are the figures of legends. This literary treasure is evidence that there is more to extract out of life and an invitation to define where more internal fire can go!"
~ Amanda Wiedeman
Artist, spiritual world traveler, British Columbia
Ironically, the hidden gems in the vignettes and tales herein are the product of interviews with dozens of the greatest watermen in the world...who DON"T SURF due to age, injury, and other issues. But the intense longing and love for that which they spent their entire lives pursuing becomes a tome involving love, self-development and realization, and painstaking soul searching after the meaning of life itself. Recalling Rabbi Shifren's favorite bumper sticker: "There's two types of people in the world: Surfers....and everybody else!", the dye is now cast, with "Surfers...Who Don't Surf", to get a glimpse of that most esoteric concept in all the world: surfing