For the past two years, nearly every week Rabbi Rabbs and I have done a Torah Talk show about the weekly Torah portion. We’ve decided to put the show on hiatus until we get some sponsors. My paypal is firstname.lastname@example.org and the rabbi’s is email@example.com.Read More
Luke: “All of my life, I’ve been into self-help. I’m always trying to improve myself and to change my position in society upward. It’s done no good. People can still see and they immediately know I belong with the least popular of the popular crowd or the most popular of the unpopular crowd.”
Rabbi Rabbs: “When we went for a walk on Shabbos? When I normally walk around Pico-Robertson, people pay no attention to me. I got a lot of stares when I was walking with you, more than I ever get. I got stared down. It wasn’t a happy stare-down. It was like, why are you with that loser?”Read More
Rabbi Rabbs: “The real part of Judaism is sitting around learning Torah.”
Luke: “I’m getting into Tanya.”
Rabbs: “Why don’t you just go to the Kabbalah Centre and get it over with?”
“You’re into all this cult stuff. Your whole attachment to Alexander Technique, they’re making a circle and touching gently. You grew up a Seventh-Day Adventist. It’s a huge cult.”
“You were probably sucked into one of these ponzi schemes.”
Luke: “I was [in 1995]. Where you give $100 and you’re supposed to get back $200.”
Rabbs: “I can see you getting sucked into a pyramid scheme because they’re like, ‘Yay, Luke, you’re giving the money.’”
Luke: “A fortune teller took me for about $1,500 [in 1998].”
Rabbs: “You’re like a born sucker.”
Luke: “I’m just vulnerable.”
Rabbs: “Because you just want to be accepted. If I wanted to take every dime you have and f*** with your head, here’s what I do. I know your weaknesses — women and ego. If I could make a big party in Luke’s honor and all the guys are bowing to you and going, ‘Whoa, Luke, make a speech. Tell us how great you are.’ And all the women are flirting and rubbing their titties in your face. I could have every penny Luke was good for. Luke would give me all his money…”
Luke nods. “Just to feel accepted.”
Rabbs: “We’d carry Luke around the room and make him feel like a big deal.”
“You’re so needy for attention and acceptance and you want everyone to think how great you are.”
“That’s why you think Hasidics are so great because they have all these culty get-togethers. Say L’chaim Luke!”
Luke: “I used to be really into Aish HaTorah.”
Rabbs: “Is that a cult?”
Luke: “It’s as much a cult as anything else in Judaism.”
“They have banquets honoring Larry King, who’s inter-married countless times. You see their weird videos where the boys are dancing for Rosh Hashanah. The 36 levels of pleasure. The slick marketing. They take you in. They set you up at people’s homes. They try to help you turn your life around. I loved Aish HaTorah. The best experiences I’ve had in Jewish life were at Aish HaTorah. They were so loving, so kind to me there, before they kicked me out. They kicked me out multiple times.”Read More
Greg Leake responds to last night’s Torah Talk: Hi Luke and Rabbs,
Rabbs, I want to make a small qualification in respect to my pejorative characterization of the frum community in Dallas.
As you know, four months ago I was living in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Dallas. It was about one-half Orthodox Jews and the other half goys of different religions and secular stripes.
It was not just me who felt the Orthodox Jews were unfriendly. In fact, a large number of goys had gotten their noses bent out of shape over the stand-offishness and snootiness of the Orthodox community. Had it just been my opinion, I would not have said anything.
However, I have also said that inevitably in a mixed neighborhood of this sort one does eventually make some friendships. And the Jews I had friendships with were very warm and cordial as far as they went.
Furthermore, as I have also mentioned, one Jewish guy I had a conversation with about all this told me that the attitude was not because they were Orthodox Jews, but because there were so many immigrants from New York filling up this neighborhood. I was told by one Orthodox Jew that the other Jews treated them in the same unfriendly way. In fact, they went to their rabbi and discussed this factor, complaining that Jews were supposed to be “salt and light” and objected to the unfriendliness that they saw in the community. Moreover, the rabbi agreed and sort of threw up his hands. (I was also on friendly terms with the rabbi.)
So it wasn’t just me, and it wasn’t just goys. And I suspect that this Orthodox guy who pointed out what we were really seeing was New York City attitude contrasted with our usual expectations of southern hospitaltity.
Luke, you might have something in your discussion in respect to the busy-ness of Orthodox Jews. I do understand that if you combine the ordinary get-ahead rat race with a huge number of religious obligations you’re not going to have a lot of time for hanging out. It could be that it is an addition reason for what we saw as unfriendliness.
I didn’t realize, Luke, about this extensive credit card debt. If the debt is on more than one credit card, the financial guys say that you should retire the smaller debt first. Probably you already know this. If you can knock the smaller one out, then finally you have eliminated one altogether, which gives you a little more maneuvering room.
Rabbs, I’m sorry your girlfriend had to go back to Scotland. I was sort of hoping that she would talk about what it’s like to be an Orthodox Jew in Glasgow compared to LA… is it easier, hard, differences in dotting i’s and crossing t’s..? You can tell her that she has some goy fans in Texas. If she visits again I will try to throw you a little dinero for MexiKosher or some other culinary entertainment.
I hate to re-open an old controversy, but I’m afraid the idea that dinosaurs do not exist is simply not going to fly.
Here is a picture of me rebuking a T Rex and explaining to him that an actual rabbi says he is not supposed to exist and therefore he needs to stop acting like he has a presence in our time and space.
We call him Luke. He’s a troublemaker, gets high on fermented apples and then falls over and crushes the farm animals. We only hope and pray that he either realized that he does not exist or listens to reason.
These 2 non-existent critters showed up on our doorstep down here in ‘Dillon’. Rabbs, we’ll give you the pick of the first litter — do you want a male or a female?
Rabbi Rabbs posts on FB: “I just went outside on errands for an hour, and I discovered that kosher for Passover Coca-cola products will not be available in California this year — which means Pesach already sucks, I saw Luke Ford fine dining in an upscale kosher restaurant, and I heard a passenger in a passing car going nuts after recognizing me from the Comedy Store. Now you know why I don’t like to step outside.”
A hispanic lady behind the counter at a snack bar in Norwalk told me (dressed in full Jew) when I ordered a cup for the soda foundation: “I thought you people didn’t drink soda.”Read More
Rabbi Rabbs Got A $10 Tip From A Rabbi For Delivering A Thousand Dollars Worth Of Food 30 Miles Away
Greg Leake emails:
Ten bucks!! Are you kidding me!!?
I’ll tell you the biggest reason that your delivery indcident ticks me off in a minute
First I would like to point out that if you could purchase gas for $2.50 a gallon (which is just a fantasy in our present world), it would have required $200 just to pay for the mechanics. This would be completely outside of any consideration for your time and trouble. And having just moved out of a city, as your know, 50 miles through traffic lights and freeways is no joke. And then this guy throws 10 bucks at you?
Then, of course, you’re so obviously frum that the rabbi would have had to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to see that you were a member of the club. I, of course, have never gotten why dressing a certain way is supposed to be an insight into a man’s character, but what-the-hey. I’m part of the goyim and so I wouldn’t get it anyway. However, it’s supposed to mean something to this rabbi.
I’ll tell you the thing about it that bothers me the most. You deliver this thousand pounds of food, and the dude looks at you, and what does he see? Does he see an 18-year old kid who just delivered something from the supermarket? Does he see some schlub that the big shots use to run errands? Does he see some inconsequential go-fer who is completely dismissible?
No. He sees a 50-year old man. 50. Not some kid who runs around for Ralph’s. A mature, 50-year old man who should have the right to a little dignity. And it’s the affront to your dignity that pisses me off.
By this time in life you have paid your dues. You’ve earned a little respect by virtue of the years and the maturity and the battles fought. Not to mention the losses suffered along with the wins. You shouldn’t be treated like some inconsequential bug that gets swept out.
I would say that $35 would have been at the barely excusable low end that might have been offered with an apology because of limeted funds. $50 or $70 would have been acceptable if you had not just used up a hundred in gas. And I would say about $100 for you to be acknowledged as a 50-year old man who had done this nub a favor. With $100 or more, there would have been some kind of exchange of equality in the transaction.
As you know, my wife and I recently moved out of Dallas, and I gave each of the movers a hundred on top of the fee because they were good guys who worked their asses off.
So my biggest grievance is the way this guy just dismissed you with a financial affront to your dignity. He didn’t acknowledge the fact that you deserve respect.
Go to the videotape 27 minutes in.Read More
Though Alexander Technique is traditionally taught hands-on, it does not have to include contact. Marj Barstow pioneered the group teaching of the Technique and many people in her groups got little or no hands-on work. She primarily appealed to their thinking, not their feeling.
One night after Torah Talk when I worked with Rabbi Rabbs, I included his girlfriend in our conversation but I did not touch her. I explained some basic Alexander concepts such as observation, inhibition and direction. Then I demonstrated these concepts through hands-on work with the rabbi, helping him to let go of needless holding patterns in his neck and back so that he could expand into his daily activities rather than contract.
Rabbi Rabbs posts to his Facebook: Luke Ford has taught Alexander Technique to me nearly every week for the past few months, and has always treated me during our sessions with the utmost respect, caring, and professionalism — exactly what I would expect from a healthcare professional.
Luke introduced me to Alexander methods to deal with my chronic neck and shoulder injury caused by an auto crash years ago. I had never heard of AT before, but through Luke’s patience in teaching to me every step of the way, and answering all of my many questions, I have learned what the Technique is about and how to apply it to my life.
I trust Luke and AT so much that I even had him teach it to my girlfriend.Read More