The story Mr. Veingrad tells in about 40 speeches a year attests to a ferociously competitive spirit. He started playing high school football as a teenage beanpole in Miami, could get a scholarship only from a Division II school, East Texas State, and was cut by his first two N.F.L. teams.
A full year later, he caught on with the Packers, beginning a six-year career with Green Bay and Dallas. From high school through the pros, he defied the odds with a rigorous program of weight training and a relentless study of technique.
In retirement, Mr. Veingrad brought a comparable focus and intensity to his emerging religious life, which was nurtured by Moshe Gruenstein, an Orthodox rabbi in South Florida, with whom he studied the Torah for eight years, and then by several Chabad rabbis.