Who is Nahum Roman Footnick?

 

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Dr. Roman Footnick

Hi, I’m Nahum Roman Footnick. You can call me Roman, or Nahum… or just Footnick – I don’t take myself that seriously.  First let me begin by thanking you! You have many websites, blogs, and podcasts you can visit and plenty of personalities you could be reading about, but for now you are reading about me… and for that I am grateful.

You may be asking “Who is this guy?” and/or “What qualifies him to discuss ‘Ultimate Issues’?”.  Well to answer the first question, I am a person like anyone else and no one else. This is truly how I see myself.  In many ways I am just like you, and yet on the other hand I am nothing like you.  I am not writing that to sound enigmatic, intelligent, or prevaricative.  Now, using the word ‘prevaricative’ may be an example of that…

Seriously, I am just like you. I love some people, and some people love me. There are people who dislike or hate me, and there are people who I dislike as well (even hate).  I have needs and desires that drive me, and insecurities that drive me sometimes further.  I experience happiness, depression, anger, antipathy, ecstacy, and pain… just like everyone else does, has, or will – if they live long enough and full enough.

But on the other hand, like I stated earlier, I am unique.  My life’s story is mine alone.  My experiences, my memories, and my references are unique to my life and who I am.  I am also unique in who I choose to be, beyond my life’s story.  But this does not make me sui generis, because most everyone can and should claim the same.  The particulars of our lives are unique, but the general characteristics are universal.

So who am I?

I am a man created by God in the divine “image”.  I am also a religious Jew, who takes Judaism seriously… People often ask if I’m Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform and my answer is “YES!” Though I’m religious do NOT assume that this is going to be a purely religious site or show, and do NOT think every argument I make will be based solely on God or religion.  I was an atheist for much of my life, and many of my arguments and theories are formulated with them in mind as well. So seriously, don’t assume you know how or what I think (of course some of you may already assume I’ve stopped thinking…).

I am a husband to an incredible woman of valor, and a father to two good girls.  They fill my life in truly powerful ways.   I am also a son and brother – though I may be distant and “busy” at times – I am here for them.

I am an American who loves this nation and is critical of it’s components.  Having traveled and lived elsewhere, I truly believe this is the greatest country and the best hope for the world.  As Dennis Prager has noted, America’s values of Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many One) are the reasons this country is so great.

Which brings me to what I do.  I own a company, Footnick Enterprises Inc., which initially worked solely in the health and fitness industry, and increasingly has transitioned to also becoming a very successful consulting business.  Within the company there is a wellness clinic, where I practice Strategic Intervention, Acupuncture and Herbal medicine, and Ericksonian Hypnosis.  FEI is also part of a fitness, martial arts center, and training business.  In addition to these endeavors, FEI owns an herbal medicine brand and patents on exercise equipment.  All this keeps me a very busy man.

Then, in my “off” time, I teach Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) to adults… which really is how this whole podcast idea was initially suggested.  When I am not teaching, I am busy learning.  From studying philosophy to martial arts, or foreign language or a new musical instrument… I am always working to learn more.  I love learning! I love improving! and even more… I love helping others learn and improve and do what is good and just in the eyes of man and God.

 

Finally, What qualifies me to do this podcast on the Ultimate Issues in life?  I think clearly and articulate my thoughts well.  Beyond that, I offer over twenty years of experience as a professional instrument for change and benevolent influence: years of experience as a doctor, counselor, and coach as well as a public speaker, teacher, and persuader.  I have basically spent my entire life working on the major issues in life, asking “why?”, searching for answers, testing hypothesis, and learning from results.  As a very young boy I was trained in BioFeedback to help with a seemingly tortuous condition (“migraine headaches”). These techniques taught me how to mentally overcome and manipulate many aspects of experience, as well as question the realness and limitations of what appears to be our finite reality. I then incorporated those techniques in other areas of my young life (ie. school, sports, and relationships).  I have studied, continue to study and practice many techniques and philosophies including but not limited to:

  • Ericksonian Hypnosis
  • NeuroLinguistic Programming  (International NLP Association)
  • NeuroAssociative Conditioning
  • Strategy Therapy
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Asian Medicine: Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Shiatsu, QiGong (Academy of Oriental Medicine in Austin)
  • Martial Arts:
    • Aikido, Kendo, Iaido (Sensei Armando Flores)
    • Pekiti-Tirsia Kali (Tuhon Leo Gaje, Erwin Ballarta)
    • Muay Thai, American Boxing, Jeet Kune Do (Stanley Phillips)
  • Guided Meditation
  • Strategic Intervention (Robbins Madanes Training Center)
  • Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism
  • Objectivism (Ayn Rand Center)
  • Judaism
  • Philosophy: Eastern, Western, Pre-Socratic (University of Texas)

In the final analysis, I have over two decades of experience as a Professional Persuader and Solutions Expert.  Ultimately that is what I do all day, everyday, and with a HUGE variety of people and businesses. People present to me their problems; I diagnose what the real issue is (ie. the “Ultimate Issue”); give them solutions; and then guide and move them to action.

 

A special note of thanks!

This show is inspired by those who have taught me, and you will be hearing them through my voice.  I stand on the shoulders of the proverbial giants.

Giants like (but not limited to):

  • Dennis Prager:  Author, Speaker, Teacher; He is my Rabbi in a literal sense, as he  taught me Torah (his teachings are available here) and has been a guide for my way of life for many years.  I’ve been a student of R’ Prager since I was a child living in Los Angeles back when he had a show called “Religion on the Line”.  The title of this podcast was inspired from his old journal “Ultimate Issues” and then later his radio talk show, where once week he hosts the “Ultimate Issues Hour”.
  • Thomas Sowell: Author, Teacher, Economist; I believe there is no greater thinker in our generation than Thomas Sowell.  His insights and wisdom are transformative.  What makes him especially influential is his ability to articulate complex ideas and arguments in clear, brief formats.  Truly an intellectual gem whom I adore.
  • Nehama Leibowitz: Author, Teacher:  Her books influence how I study, research, and argue big issues such as those found in the Torah (Five Books of Moses).
  • Viktor Frankl: Author, Pioneer in psychology: Though I thank Freud tremendously for his contributions to my understanding of human psychology, it is Dr. Frankl who impacted me the most with his works, like “Man’s Search for Meaning” and logotherapy.
  • Milton Erickson: Psychiatrist: It is difficult to overstate the impact of Dr. Erickson’s work.  His techniques, training, and insights have touched nearly everyone in our modern world… whether or not you know it or agree with him.
  • Anthony Robbins:  Author, Speaker: Like Dennis Prager I have been listening to and reading Anthony Robbins for my most of my adult life – starting when I was around 18 years old.  His philosophies and techniques were and continue to be inarguably effective and productive for me.  Also, like Dennis Prager… I am still reading and listening to everything I can from him now, 20 years later.
  • R’ Abraham Joshua Heschel: Rabbi, Author, Teacher, Spokesman: Rabbi Heschel’s theological and philosophical works are part of the reason I am returning to Judaism and am developing a knowledge of God.
  • R’ Joseph Telushkin:  Rabbi, Author, Speaker: Both his solo books and his coauthored books with Dennis Prager are among the most influential of my life.  Like Sowell he can express and teach difficult subjects in such a way that they become simple, logical, and applicable.
  • Cloe Madanes:  Psychologist, Author, Speaker:  Her work with Anthony Robbins helped refine much of my work and thought processes when working through my own personal issues, as well as helping patients and/or businesses resolve their issues as well.
  • R’ Jacob Milgrom: Rabbi, Teacher, Author:  This man’s work on Leviticus changed my life.  If someone had told me I would make that statement in 2002, I would have laughed uncontrollably.
  • Gregory Bateson: Anthropologist, Author:  Bateson’s work influenced many areas of the social/behavioral sciences.  His theories on Double Bind and work in Cybernetics are ever present in our daily lives.
  • Nahum Sarna: Historian, Author: Sarna’s work on Genesis and Exodus are also highly influential in my life – like Milgrom.
  • R’ Umberto Cassuto: Rabbi, Teacher, Author: Rabbi Cassuto’s work on Genesis and Exodus are as important and transformative to me as Rabbi Milgrom’s biblical works.
  • Ayn Rand: Author: I began reading Ayn Rand when I was probably 12 or 13 years old.  Since then I have made a habit of rereading at least one of her works and debating with her (in absentia) every year.
  • Maimonides: Rabbi, Author: RaMbaM is a great as the come.  His works on the Bible, ethics, and holiness helped transform not just what I think, but how I think.
  • Baruch Spinoza: Author, Philosopher: I spent a lot of time enjoying and learning from the  “discussions” between Spinoza and Maimonides.  Spinoza’s secular arguments and philosophies also transformed how I think.  I often read Spinoza and Maimonides together – it’s fun!
  • Socrates: A Founder of Western Philosophy: Truly a Giant among giants.  His methods and logic are indispensable to me.
  • Plato: Socrates’ Student, Author, Mathematician, Philosopher: Plato’s “Republic” is the first book I remember reading.  I was 10 years old, and it was the subject of my book report for “What I read over the Summer”.  My teacher didn’t believe me and she eventually sent me to the principal’s office for arguing.
  • Aristotle:  Plato’s Student, Author, Renaissance man:  Aristotle’s influence over all our lives is too often ignored.  His contributions to philosophy, science, and politics are unmistakably present in our daily lives.
  • Albert Einstein: Theoretical Physicist:  A bold and relentless questioner. He brought us the “theory of relativity” and much more.  So intellectually impressive his name, “Einstein”, is now synonymous for “genius”.
  • Sigmund Freud: Neurologist, Psychoanalyst: Founder of Psychoanalysis. Contends with Albert Einstein as the most influential person of the Twentieth Century.

These are the people with whom I have discussed and debated for much of my adult life, and many since my early childhood.  Now, to be clear they personally were not there to dialogue with… but their works were.  In fact, I still “discuss” major life issues with these intellectual giants on a regular basis.  I am fascinated when I can review a work I have read many times over, and argued with, and yet on the 3rd or 13th time of reading… I find something new and insightful – and once again, they have taught me.

I may not have many friends in the traditional sense (as I am sure some of you picked up on, as they were absent in earlier text), BUT I have tremendously rewarding and powerful relationships with my friends who live in my library.  Our minds get to play together like children on a playground whenever I engage one of their works.  To be clear, I do have a few close corporeal friends as well, and they are invaluable to adding happiness to my life.

My sincere hope is that I can effectively share the happiness and joy I receive from learning and gaining new insights with you, my listeners.  That is why I am doing this.  And that is who I am.  That is who I want to be.  I want to be intriguing and insightful.  I want to help lead you to goodness, gratefulness, and happiness.   I want to contribute to you, as my friends have contributed to me.  They, and you, mean that much to me.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!