Torah Talk: Sexual Utopia In Power

Torah Talk resumes today after the Yom Kippur holiday and just before the beginning of the Sukkot festival. Watch live.

* Camille Paglia on homosexuality.

* I was reading Shalom Aleichem stories over Yom Kippur. In “A Yom Kippur Scandal,” he writes: “…a Jew is not a thief by nature. That is, he may be a thief, but not the sort who will climb through a window or attack you with a knife. He will divert, pervert, subvert and contravert as a matter of course; but he won’t pull anything out of your pocket.”

* Friend: “I want to talk about spiritual/religious authority–how we recognize it. By miracles? By revelation? Otherwise?”

* Lefty friend: “I try to keep up friendships with Trump supporters, or at least frenemyships across the divide of our mutual incomprehension. What troubles me the most about our conversations is their conviction that mainstream media — and therefore a conventional understanding of reality — cannot be trusted. This is a deep-seated problem of epistemology which will survive Trump.”

* “It simultaneously blows my mind & pains me. Since 1999, I’ve worked in two very good newsrooms. Not once has a News Director or EP ever told me, or a coworker, to cover a story with anything less than strict objectivity. No lean, no favoritism, just straight down the middle. While I can’t speak for the network level, I know the experience is very much the same for friends & colleagues in other shops. But you’re right. It’s a problem with real legs.”

* “The New York Times has spent the past several months running a series of apologia for communism. I have no idea where this distrust comes from.”

* “WHY don’t you think we trust the mainstream media? Do you personally think that the MSM is in need of some critique? Or none at all? Don’t you think that healthy skepticism of authority (including MSM) is necessary for a functioning democracy?”

* “I think it comes down the to idea that for many on the right, it’s their country. They hold the title. For eight years they wanted “their country back.” It’s as simple as it sounds. They’re the parents. We’re the kids. They get to decide what the kids know and what they don’t. It’s their flag, authority and patriotism we all must live by. Their religion must be honored. Their free speech is sacrosanct. They require a fair shake but for everyone else, they love to say “life isn’t fair.” Who does the media think they are questioning any of this?”

“It’s fascinating to witness so many people who know nothing about the internal workings of a newsroom discuss the daily grind with such certainty. What do people think goes in one? Seriously. Do people think there’s a Soros File? Do people think there’s a Daily Corporate Assignment? I never once got a story kicked back with a note “this isn’t liberal enough.” Editors are just happy to hear you have a story (almost any story will do). Corporate sees news as “that stuff that goes around the ads.””

* I’ve been an NFL fan and a Dallas Cowboys fan since 1978. Monday night, before the National Anthem, the Dallas Cowboys all kneeled. Even though they stood for the anthem, they’re no longer my team. Once anyone kneels for Black Lives Matter, I can no longer support them.


* Judaism, Homosexuality & The Alt Right

* I’ve interviewed a U.S. Senator (Alan Cranston). I’ve interviewed football coaching legends such as Tom Landry and Bill Walsh, I’ve interviewed star athletes such as Larry Bird, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Roger Craig, Randy White, etc, but the only time I remember feeling intimidated by an interview subject was when I interviewed F. Roger Devlin two years ago.

Devlin wrote his essays on sex as a reaction reading Chronicles magazine and the tired conservative line that women have no agency and men were taking advantage of them.

Friend: “It seems like per Devlin a community that could successfully raise a lot of virginal maidens would be able to lock down all the alpha males… but if just a few of our virginal maidens go dark & start providing no strings attached sexual relief to the alphas, then all the incentives stop working. But there actually is a strong incentive to be the first virginal maidens to break the line and go slutty… cuz you might cheat the queue and land the seed of the best alpha.”

* F. Roger Devlin’s essay: SEXUAL UTOPIA IN POWER:

“The well-worn phrase “sexual revolution” ought, I believe, to be taken with more than customary seriousness. Like the French Revolution, the paradigmatic political revolution of modern times, it was an attempt to realize a utopia, but a sexual rather than political utopia. And like the French Revolution, it has gone through three phases: first, a libertarian or anarchic phase in which the utopia was supposed to occur spontaneously once old ways had been swept aside; second, a reign of terror, in which one faction seized power and attempted to realize its schemes dictatorially; and third, a “reaction” in which human nature gradually reasserted itself.”

More essays by F. Roger Devlin.

* There’s nothing about the nature of female sexuality in the Bible. The nature of female sexuality is largely a blank to most people. Devlin describes it as hypergamy — mating with someone of superior status. I remember I was seeing this young woman in 1999 who did not want to be my girlfriend, but she wanted to go to bed with me every time I went on TV, otherwise she was ambivalent.

Roger Devlin writes:

“A man’s sexual utopia is, accordingly, a world in which no such limit to female demand for him exists. It is not necessary to resort to pornography for examples. Consider only popular movies aimed at a male audience, such as the James Bond series. Women simply cannot resist James Bond. He does not have to propose marriage, or even request dates. He simply walks into the room and they swoon. The entertainment industry turns out endless unrealistic images such as this. Why, the male viewer eventually may ask, cannot life actually be so? To some, it is tempting to put the blame on the institution of marriage.”

“Marriage, after all, seems to restrict sex rather drastically. Certain men figure that if sex were permitted both inside and outside of marriage there would be twice as much of it as formerly. They imagined there existed a large, untapped reservoir of female desire hitherto repressed by monogamy. To release it, they sought, during the early postwar period, to replace the seventh
commandment with an endorsement of all sexual activity between “consenting adults.” Every man could have a harem. Sexual behavior in general, and not merely family life, was henceforward to be regarded as a private matter. Traditionalists who disagreed were said to want to “put a policeman in every bedroom.” This was the age of the Kinsey Report and the first appearance of Playboy magazine. Idle male daydreams had become a social movement.”

* Youtube chat room:

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​Luke is the standard by which we measure America

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​heard about the Raiders, they’re trying to keep a lid on it

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​Just wait until the NBA players start kneeling, it’s gonna be great

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​Luke, I’d say even American Jews are affected by the degeneracy. Do you agree?

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​Luke, you should have him on, he’s a giant

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​greetings, Rabbi

Yehoishophot Oliver​IN modern times, resource provision totally trumps physical brawn

Yehoishophot Oliver​also a guy could be brawny but needy

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​@Rabbi for marriage, yes, but not for the pursuit of sex

Yehoishophot Oliver​I think brawn is a secondary cause of sexual attraction for women

Yehoishophot Oliver​true, pope

Yehoishophot Oliver​but I’d say a banker would also trump a brawny guy for a 1 night stand

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​depends on the banker’s status, medium status isn’t what it used to be

Yehoishophot Oliver​but confidence and cockiness trump both for women

Yehoishophot Oliver​true, it would depend on the level of male status

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​AfD in Germany is trying to do this now

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​@Rabbi what is the Orthodox Jewish view on abortion?

Yehoishophot Oliver​it is also proper for non-Jews to be fruitful and multtiply

Yehoishophot Oliver​also family increases religious identification.

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​female sexuality must be reigned in otherwise we’re done

Yehoishophot Oliver​I agree with it

Yehoishophot Oliver​although you just raised the issue of how status is to be defined

Yehoishophot Oliver​but if status is defined by resource provision, then absolutely

Yehoishophot Oliver​men want beauty, women want status

Yehoishophot Oliver​both feel naturally that the more you can get, the better

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​that’s why the most beautiful usually were paired up with the high status males, then the rest fall into place

Yehoishophot Oliver​of course–10s for 10s

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​premarital sex for women is causing civilizational collapse, but ultimately it’s men fault for allowing it

Yehoishophot Oliver​22/23 is peak of fertility and beauty

Luke Ford​16-18

Luke Ford​is when girls are raped most

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​Casey, the real question is where are these girls’ fathers? I don’t get it

Yehoishophot Oliver​you could be right, Like

Yehoishophot Oliver​but keep in mind that promiscuity makes women ugly

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​@Rabbi hence the 1000-cock stare

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​pardon my vulgarity

Yehoishophot Oliver​well, that’s the extreme, but every little bit corrupts

Yehoishophot Oliver​beauty locks him down

Yehoishophot Oliver​smart girls cash in on their beauty

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​it’s a phrase from Heartiste, whose blog they mentioned

Yehoishophot Oliver​when it is at their peak

Yehoishophot Oliver​yeah, I’ve read a lot of his writings 😃

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​LOL nice

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​I was so stupid in college, always had an idea I should be looking for a marriage partner while everyone was just looking for sex

Luke Ford​are you married?

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​no

Yehoishophot Oliver​women are much more harmed from promiscuity than men

Yehoishophot Oliver​men are also harmed

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​but not as much as women, agree. This is the wisdom of the ages.

Yehoishophot Oliver​but obviously virginity is a real thing for a woman but not for a man

Yehoishophot Oliver​women have a hymen

Yehoishophot Oliver​it’s biological

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​@Rabbi I once had a girlfriend who was raped after she broke up with her boyfriend cause he was jealous

Yehoishophot Oliver​the real reason for the divorce culture is the hookup culture

Yehoishophot Oliver​she should have locked him down in marriage

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​was like 19 at the time, i guess she wasn’t ready

Yehoishophot Oliver​men with many partners are also much more likely to be unfaithful in marriage

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​get this, she got pregnant from it and had an abortion, I only found out after dating her for over a year

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​I’d say the more sexual partners you have the more dissatisfied you will be with any one person

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​[message retracted]

Atrahasis​”I wanted some D, so I sacrificed a baby.” – aborters

Atrahasis​also, Shalom chaverim and Shadilay my dudes.

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​hey dude!

Atrahasis​hey hey mein Pepe

Yehoishophot Oliver​polygamy used to be legit and kosher

Yehoishophot Oliver​so it’s hard for us to imagine

Atrahasis​I believe Rabbi Yaakov Emden in the 17th century even ruled in favor of polygamy, but that’s a far minority opinion

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​@Rabbi but only for men, right? not for women

Atrahasis​Patriarchs had multiple wives, no Matriarchs had multiple husbands

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​think of Genghis Khan ha

Atrahasis​hahaha, Genghis Khan, the unorthodox warrior Shlomo

Yehoishophot Oliver​sure, polyandry was never normal in any society in all of history

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​maybe she had vagina dentata, you might have dodged a bullet LOL

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​the baggage women hold from previous partners is like a weight around their neck for life

Atrahasis​I agree with all this analysis. That said, we should not stop at criticizing the state of things, but use this knowledge to train ourselves to become these successful men that real women pursue.

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​^this

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​preach it, Luke

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​there were actually women who openly advocated against womens’ suffrage during that time

Atrahasis​Even the Jewish anarcho-communist Emma Goldman did not want suffrage. She said it would lead to women becoming more mannish. This was 100 years ago.

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​wow

Yehoishophot Oliver​women are won over by emotional arguments

Yehoishophot Oliver​traditional communities are affected by the secular world

Yehoishophot Oliver​sadly

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​the poz is all-pervasive, yes

Western Man​The problem is now that the people who would be able 2 retake the church in our favour don’t have the will 2 do so. They either don’t believe in the theological argument or can’t worship a Semitic God

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​traditional Catholics are starting to push back against our Marxist Pope, but it’s gonna take generations becuase the rot is so deep

Atrahasis​Moshiach now

Western Man​The rot is so deep that it justifies a very skeptical outlook on the fate of the Catholic Church. We may have to build something on the ruins. Whatever that may be

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​^ good point This is why I left my childhood church and now go to the Latin Mass where the priests are based. My old community is clueless.

Western Man​The west needs to get its shit together for no other reason than to deal with the beast in the east, the Asians.

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​they will squash us like bugs if given the chance, yes

Yehoishophot Oliver​women are the gatekeepers

Western Man​They will commit unimaginable atrocities to gain world hegemony, it’s just in their nature.

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​imagine a billion Chinese with no morality running over the world. Blacks will become slaves again overnight

Western Man​They wouldn’t even need blacks after they engineer there own Asian hyperborean geniuses(they’re working on this). They’d genocide Africa and make good use of the resources

Yehoishophot Oliver​women wouldn’t propose because it would put them in a weaker position

Yehoishophot Oliver​their strength is their ability to say no

Yehoishophot Oliver​open homosexuality is a sign of social decline

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​Rabbi never thought about it that way, great point

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​too bad secular Jews are leading these degenerate homoglobo causes

Yehoishophot Oliver​you gotta read more CH 😃

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​been reading since the late 00s must have missed that article hehe

Yehoishophot Oliver​women are crying out for men to take society back

Yehoishophot Oliver​white women voted mostly for trump

Yehoishophot Oliver​chateueu heartiste

Yehoishophot Oliver​however you spell it 😃

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​Chateau Heartiste, gotta check it out brah

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​@Rabbi every time I hear about migrant violence in Europe I have that same thought, just tell the women to shut up and slap them

Yehoishophot Oliver​these white liberal European women are so dumb

Yehoishophot Oliver​they wouldn’t ever oppose immigration if they were raped

Atrahasis​I knew all of 2 gay kids in my high school of 2,000, and one tranny in my city of 60k+. A few years ago I knew plenty gays, and maybe another trans or 2.Now every other person is trans. What happened?

Yehoishophot Oliver​men let women take control, that’s what happened

Atrahasis​the leftie pro-migrants even say “rapists over racists”

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​^ “let” is the key word

Atrahasis​trauma is a badge to beat normal people with

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​funny that in Germany there are women leading the right wing resistance to this garbage

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​If Lady Gaga says we’re born this way it must be true

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​fellow chat members, check out Andrew Joyce’s series on homosexuality in the alt right on

Yehoishophot Oliver​LGBT is all about sexualising all non-sexual interactions

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​Luke made a great point, any refinement is now considered homosexual

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​inner game FTW

Pepe Sells but Who’s Buying?​Rabbi, I bet you preach inner game at the synagogue, am I right? 😉

Yehoishophot Oliver​well, inner game with your wife 😃

Yehoishophot Oliver​yes, ppl in australia are much more friendly than in america

Yehoishophot Oliver​still, australia is going the way of america

Yehoishophot Oliver​feminism is the end of white civilization

Atrahasis​quite the abrupt ending

* Shalom Aleichem story “Tit for Tat”:

Once I was a rabbiner. A rabbiner, not a rabbi. That is, I
was called rabbi — but a rabbi of the crown.

To old-country Jews I don’t have to explain what a rabbi
of the crown is. They know the breed. What are his great re-
sponsibilities? He fills out birth certificates, officiates at cir-
cumcisions, performs marriages, grants divorces. He gets his
share from the living and the dead. In the synagogue he has a
place of honor, and when the congregation rises, he is the
first to stand. On legal holidays he appears in a stovepipe hat
and holds forth in his best Russian: “Gospoda Prihozhanel”
To take it for granted that among our people a rabbiner is
well loved— let’s not say any more. Say rather that we put
up with him, as we do a government inspector or a deputy
sheriff. And yet he is chosen from among the people, that
is, every three years a proclamation is sent us: “Na Osnavania
Predpisania . . .” Or, as we would say: “Your Lord, the Gov-
ernor, orders you to come together in the synagogue, poor
little Jews, and pick out a rabbiner for yourselves . . .”

Then the campaign begins. Candidates, hot discussions,
brandy, and maybe even a bribe or two. After which come
charges and countercharges, the elections are annulled, and
we are ordered to hold new elections. Again the proclamations: “Na Osnavania Predpisania . . Again candidates,
discussions, party organizations, brandy, a bribe or two . . .
That was the life!

Well, there I was — a rabbiner in a small town in the prov-
ince of Poltava. But I was anxious to be a modem one. I
wanted to serve the public. So I dropped the formalities of
my position and began to mingle with the people — as we say:
to stick my head into the community pot. I got busy with the
Talmud Torah, the charity fund, interpreted a law, settled
disputes or just gave plain advice.

The love of settling disputes, helping people out, or advis-
ing them, I inherited from my father and my uncles. They —
may they rest in peace — also enjoyed being bothered all the
time with other people’s business. There are two kinds of
people in the world: those that you can’t bother at all, and
others whom you can bother all the time. You can climb
right on their heads — naturally not in one jump, but gradu-
ally. First you climb into their laps, then on to their shoul-
ders, then their heads — and after that you can jump up and
down on their heads and stamp on their hearts with your
heavy boots — as long as you want to.

I was that kind, and without boasting I can tell you that I
had plenty of ardent followers and plain hangers-on who
weren’t ashamed to come every day and fill my head with
their clamoring and sit around till late at night. They never
refused a glass of tea, or cigarettes. Newspapers and books
they took without asking. In short, I was a regular fellow.

Well, there came a day . . . The door opened, and in
walked the very foremost men of the town, the sparkling
best, the very cream of the city. Four householders — men of
affairs — you could almost say: real men of substance. And
who were these men? Three of them were the Troika — that
was what we called them in our town because they were to-
gether all the time — partners in whatever business any one of
them was in. They always fought, they were always suspi-
cious of each other, and watched everything the others did,
and still they never separated — working always on this princi-
ple: if the business is a good one and there is profit to be
made, why shouldn’t I have a lick at the bone too? And on
the other hand, if it should end in disaster — you’ll be buried
along with me, and lie with me deep in the earth. And what
does God do? He brings together the three partners with a
fourth one. They operate together a little less than a year and
end up in a brawl. That is why they’re here.

What had happened? “Since God created thieves, swindlers
and crooks, you never saw a thief, swindler or crook like this
one.” That is the way the three old partners described the
fourth one to me. And he, the fourth, said the same about
them. Exactly the same, word for word. And who was this
fourth one? He was the quiet little man, a little innocent-
looking fellow, with thick, dark eyebrows under which a pair
of shrewd, ironic, little eyes watched everything you did. Ev-
eryone called him Nachman Lekach.

His real name was Nachman Noss’n, but everybody called
him Nachman Lekach, because as you know, Noss’n is the
Hebrew for “he gave,” and Lekach means “he took,” and in
all the time we knew him, no one had ever seen him give
anything to anyone — while at taking no one was better.

Where were we? Oh, yes . . . So they came to the rabbiner
with the complaints, to see if he could find a way of
straightening out their tangled accounts. “Whatever you de-
cide, Rabbi, and whatever you decree, and whatever you say,
will be final.”

That is how the three old partners said it, and the fourth,
Reb Nachman, nodded with that innocent look on his face to
indicate that he too left it all up to me: “For the reason,” his
eyes said, “that I know that I have done no wrong.” And he
sat down in a comer, folded his arms across his chest like an
old woman, fixed his shrewd, ironic, little eyes on me, and
waited to see what his partners would have to say. And when
they had all laid out their complaints and charges, presented
all their evidence, said all they had to say, he got up, patted
down his thick eyebrows, and not looking at the others at all,
only at me, with those deep, deep, shrewd little eyes of his,
he proceeded to demolish their claims and charges — so com-
pletely, that it looked as if they were the thieves, swindlers
and crooks — the three partners of his — and he, Nachman
Lekach, was a man of virtue and piety, the little chicken that
is slaughtered before Yom Kippur to atone for our sins — a
sacrificial lamb. “And every word that you heard them say is
a complete lie, it never was and never could be. It’s simply
out of the question.” And he proved with evidence, argu-
ments and supporting data that everything he said was true
and holy, as if Moses himself had said it.

All the time he was talking, the others, the Troika, could hardly sit in their chairs. Every moment one or another of
them jumped up, clutched his head — or his heart! “Of all
things! How can a man talk like that! Such lies and false-
hoods!” It was almost impossible to calm them down, to keep
them from tearing at the fourth one’s beard. As for me — the
rabbiner — it was hard, very hard to crawl out from this horri-
ble tangle, because by now it was clear that I had a fine band
to deal with, all four of them swindlers, thieves and crooks,
and informers to boot, and all four of them deserving a
severe punishment. But what? At last this idea occurred to
me, and I said to them:

“Are you ready, my friends? I am prepared to hand down
my decision. My mind is made up. But I won’t disclose what
I have to say until each of you has deposited twenty-five
rubles — to prove that you will act upon the decision I am
about to hand down.”

“With the greatest of pleasure,” the three spoke out at
once, and Nachman Lekach nodded his head, and all four
reached into their pockets, and each one counted out his
twenty-five on the table. I gathered up the money, locked it
up in a drawer, and then I gave them my decision in these

“Having heard the complaints and the arguments of both
parties, and having examined your accounts and studied your
evidence, I find according to my understanding and deep con-
viction, that all four of you are in the wrong, and not only in
the wrong, but that it is a shame and a scandal for Jewish
people to conduct themselves in such a manner — to falsify ac-
counts, perjure yourselves and even act as informers. There-
fore I have decided that since we have a Talmud Torah in
our town with many children who have neither clothes nor
shoes, and whose parents have nothing with which to pay
their tuition, and since there has been no help at all from you
gentlemen (to get a few pennies from you one has to reach
down into your very gizzards) therefore it is my decision that
this hundred rubles of yours shall go to the Talmud Torah,
and as for you, gentlemen, you can go home, in good health,
and thanks for your contribution. The poor children will now
have some shoes and socks and shirts and pants, and I’m sure
they’ll pray to God for you and your children. Amen.”

Having heard the sentence, the three old partners — the
Troika — looked from one to the other — flushed, unable to
speak. A decision like this they had not anticipated. The only
one who could say a word was Reb Nachman Lekach. He
got up, patted down his thick eyebrows, held out a hand, and
looking at me with his ironic little eyes, said this:

“I thank you, Rabbi Rabbiner, in behalf of all four of us,
for the wise decision which you have just made known. Such
a judgment could have been made by no one since King Sol-
omon himself. There is only one thing that you forgot to say,
Rabbi Rabbiner, and that is: what is your fee for this wise
and just decision?”

“I beg your pardon,” I tell him. “You’ve come to the
wrong address. I am not one of those rabbiners who tax the
living and the dead.” That is the way I answered him, like a
real gentleman. And this was his reply:

“If that’s the case, then you are not only a sage and a
Rabbi among men, you’re an honest man besides. So, if you
would care to listen, I’d like to tell you a story. Say that we
will pay you for your pains at least with a story.”

“Good enough. Even with two stories.”

“In that case, sit down, Rabbi Rabbiner, and let us have
your cigarette case. I’ll tell you an interesting story, a true
one, too, something that happened to me. What happened to
others I don’t like to talk about.”

And we lit our cigarettes, sat down around the table, and
Reb Nachman spread out his thick eyebrows, and looking at
me with his shrewd, smiling, little eyes, he slowly began to
tell his true story of what had once happened to him himself.

All this happened to me a long time ago. I was still a
young man and I was living not far from here, in a village
near the railroad. I traded in this and that, I had a small tav-
ern, made a living. A Rothschild I didn’t become, but bread
we had, and in time there were about ten lewish families liv-
ing close by — because, as you know, if one of us makes a liv-
ing, others come around. They think you’re shoveling up gold
. . . But that isn’t the point. What I was getting at was that
right in the midst of the busy season one year, when things
were moving and traffic was heavy, my wife had to go and
have a baby — our boy — our first son. What do you say to
that? “Congratulations! Congratulations everybody!” But that
isn’t all. You have to have a bris, the circumcision. I dropped
everything, went into town, bought all the good things I could
find, and came back with the Mohel with all his instruments,
and for good measure I also brought the shammes of the
synagogue. I thought that with these two holy men and my-
self and the neighbors we’d have the ten men that we needed,
with one to spare. But what does God do? He has one of my
neighbors get sick — he is sick in bed and can’t come to the
bris, you can’t carry him. And another has to pack up and go
off to the city. He can’t wait another day! And here I am
without the ten men. Go do something. Here it is — Friday!
Of all days, my wife has to pick Friday to have the bris — the
day before the Sabbath. The Mohel is frantic — he has to go
back right away. The shammes is actually in tears. “What did
you ever drag us off here for?” they both want to know. And
what can I do?

All I can think of is to run off to the railroad station. Who
knows — so many people come through every day — maybe
God will send some one. And that’s just what happened. I
come running up to the station — the agent has just called out
that a train is about to leave. I look around — a little roly-poly
man carrying a huge traveling bag comes flying by, all
sweating and out of breath, straight toward the lunch
counter. He looks over the dishes — what is there a good Jew
can take in a country railroad station? A piece of herring —
an egg. Poor fellow — you could see his mouth was watering.
I grab him by the sleeve. “Uncle, are you looking for some-
thing to eat,” I ask him, and the look he gives me says:
“How did you know that?” I keep on talking: “May you live
to be a hundred — God himself must have sent you.” He still
doesn’t understand, so I proceed: “Do you want to earn the
blessings of eternity — and at the same time eat a beef roast
that will melt in your mouth, with a fresh, white loaf right
out of the oven?” He still looks at me as if I’m crazy. “Who
are you? What do you want?”

So I tell him the whole story — what a misfortune had over-
taken us: here we are, all ready for the bris, the Mohel is
waiting, the food is ready — and such food! — and we need a
tenth man! “What’s that got to do with me?” he asks, and I
tell him : What s that got to do with you? Why — everything
depends on you— you’re the tenth man! I beg you — come
with me. You will earn all the rewards of heaven — and have
a delicious dinner in the bargain!” “Are you crazy,” he asks
me, “or are you just out of your head? My train is leaving in
a few minutes, and it’s Friday afternoon — almost sundown.
Do you know what that means? In a few more hours the Sab-
bath will catch up with me, and I’ll be stranded.” “So what!” I tell him. “So you’ll take the next train. And in the meantime
you’ll earn eternal life — and taste a soup, with fresh
dumplings, that only my wife can make . . .”

Well, why make the story long? I had my way. The roast
and the hot soup with fresh dumplings did their work. You
could see my customer licking his lips. So I grab the traveling
bag and I lead him home, and we go through with the bris. It
was a real pleasure! You could smell the roast all over the
house, it had so much garlic in it. A roast like that, with
fresh warm twist, is a delicacy from heaven. And when you
consider that we had some fresh dill pickles, and a bottle of
beer, and some cognac before the meal and cherry cider after
the meal — you can imagine the state our guest was in! His
cheeks shone and his forehead glistened. But what then? Be-
fore we knew it the afternoon was gone. My guest jumps up,
he looks around, sees what time it is, and almost has a stroke!
He reaches for his traveling bag: “Where is it?” I say to him
“What’s your hurry? In the first place, do you think we’ll let
you run off like that — before the Sabbath? And in the second
place — who are you to leave on a journey an hour or two be-
fore the Sabbath? And if you’re going to get caught out in
the country somewhere, you might just as well stay here with

He groans and he sighs. How could I do a thing like that
to him — keep him so late! What did I have against him? Why
hadn’t I reminded him earlier? He doesn’t stop bothering me.
So I say to him: “In the first place, did I have to tell you that
it was Friday afternoon? Didn’t you know it yourself? And in
the second place, how do you know — maybe it’s the way God
wanted it? Maybe He wanted you to stay here for the Sab-
bath so you could taste some of my wife’s fish? I can guaran-
tee you, that as long as you’ve eaten fish, you haven’t eaten
fish like my wife’s fish — not even in a dream!” Well, that
ended the argument. We said our evening prayers, had a glass
of wine, and my wife brings the fish to the table. My guest’s
nostrils swell out, a new light shines in his eyes and he goes
after that fish as if he hadn’t eaten a thing all day. He can’t
get over it. He praises it to the skies. He fills a glass with
brandy and drinks a toast to the fish. And then comes the
soup, a specially rich Sabbath soup with noodles. And he
likes that, too, and the tzimmes also, and the meat that goes
with the tzimmes, a nice, fat piece of brisket. I’m telling you,
he just sat there licking his fingers! When we’re finishing the
last course he turns to me: “Do you know what I’ll tell you?
Now that it’s all over, I’m really glad that I stayed over for
Shabbes. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a Sabbath as
I’ve enjoyed this one.” “If that’s how you feel, I’m happy,” I
tell him. “But wait. This is only a sample. Wait till tomorrow.
Then you’ll see what my wife can do.”

And so it was. The next day, after services, we sit down at
the table. Well, you should have seen the spread. First the ap-
petizers: crisp wafers and chopped herring, and onions and
chicken fat, with radishes and chopped liver and eggs and
gribbenes. And after that the cold fish and the meat from
yesterday’s tzimmes, and then the jellied neat’s foot, or
fisnoga as you call it, with thin slices of garlic, and after that
the potato cholent with the kugel that had been in the oven
all night — and you know what that smells like when you take
it out of the oven and take the cover off the pot. And what it
tastes like. Our visitor could not find words to praise it. So I
tell him: “This is still nothing. Wait until you have tasted our
borsht tonight, then you’ll know what good food is.” At that
he laughs out loud — a friendly laugh, it is true — and says to
me: “Yes, but how far do you think I’ll be from here by the
time your borsht is ready?” So I laugh even louder than he
does, and say: “You can forget that right now! Do you think
you’ll be going off tonight?”

And so it was. As soon as the lights were lit and we had a
glass of wine to start off the new week, my friend begins to
pack his things again. So I call out to him: “Are you crazy?
Do you think we’ll let you go off, the Lord knows where, at
night? And besides, where’s your train?” “What?” he yells at
me. “No train? Why, you’re murdering me! You know I have
to leave!” But I say, “May this be the greatest misfortune in
your life. Your train will come, if all is well, around dawn to-
morrow. In the meantime I hope your appetite and digestion
are good, because I can smell the borsht already! All I ask,” I
say, “is just tell me the truth. Tell me if you’ve ever touched
a borsht like this before. But I want the absolute truth!”
What’s the use of talking — he had to admit it: never before
in all his life had he tasted a borsht like this. Never. He even
started to ask how you made the borsht, what you put into it,
and how long you cooked it. Everything. And I say: “Don’t
worry about that! Here, taste this wine and tell me what you
think of it. After all, you’re an expert. But the truth! Remember — nothing but the truth! Because if there is anything I
hate, it’s flattery . .

So we took a glass, and then another glass, and we went to
bed. And what do you think happened? My traveler
overslept, and missed the early morning train. When he
wakes up he boils over! He jumps on me like a murderer.
Wasn’t it up to me, out of fairness and decency, to wake him
up in time? Because of me he’s going to have to take a loss, a
heavy loss — he doesn’t even know himself how heavy. It was
all my fault. I ruined him. I! … So I let him talk. I listen,
quietly, and when he’s all through, I say: “Tell me yourself,
aren’t you a queer sort of person? In the first place, what’s
your hurry? What are you rushing for? How long is a per-
son’s life altogether? Does he have to spoil that little with
rushing and hurrying? And in the second place, have you for-
gotten that today is the third day since the brisl Doesn’t that
mean a thing to you? Where we come from, on the third day
we’re in the habit of putting on a feast better than the one at
the bris itself. The third day — it’s something to celebrate!
You’re not going to spoil the celebration, are you?”

What can he do? He can’t control himself any more, and
he starts laughing — a hysterical laugh. “What good does it do
to talk?” he says. “You’re a real leech!” “lust as you say,” I
tell him, “but after all, you’re a visitor, aren’t you?”

At the dinner table, after we’ve had a drink or two, I call
out to him: “Look,” I say, “it may not be proper — after all,
we’re Jews — to talk about milk and such things while we’re
eating meat, but I’d like to know your honest opinion: what
do you think of kreplach with cheese?” He looks at me with
distrust. “How did we get around to that?” he asks. “Just like
this,” I explain to him. “I’d like to have you try the cheese
kreplach that my wife makes — because tonight, you see,
we’re going to have a dairy supper . . .” This is too much for
him, and he comes right back at me with, “Not this time!
You’re trying to keep me here another day, I can see that.
But you can’t do it. It isn’t right! It isn’t right!” And from the
way he fusses and fumes it’s easy to see that I won’t have to
coax him too long, or fight with him either, because what is
he but a man with an appetite, who has only one philosophy,
which he practices at the table? So I say this to him: “I give
you my word of honor, and if that isn’t enough, I’ll give you
my hand as well — here, shake — that tomorrow I’ll wake you
up in time for the earliest train. I promise it, even if the world turns upside down. If I don’t, may I — you know
what!” At this he softens and says to me: “Remember, we’re
shaking hands on that!” And I: “A promise is a promise.”
And my wife makes a dairy supper — how can I describe it to
you? With such kreplach that my traveler has to admit that it
was all true: he has a wife too, and she makes kreplach too,
but how can you compare hers with these? It’s like night and

And I kept my word, because a promise is a promise. I
woke him when it was still dark, and started the samovar. He
finished packing and began to say goodbye to me and the rest
of the household in a very handsome, friendly style. You
could see he was a gentleman. But I interrupt him: “We’ll
say goodbye a little later. First, we have to settle up.” “What
do you mean — settle up?” “Settle up,” I say, “means to add
up the figures. That’s what I’m going to do now. I’ll add them
up, let you know what it comes to, and you will be so kind as
to pay me.”

His face flames red. “Pay you?” he shouts. “Pay you for
what?” “For what?” I repeat. “You want to know for what?
For everything. The food, the drink, the lodging.” This time
he becomes white — not red — and he says to me: “I don’t un-
derstand you at all. You came and invited me to the bris.
You stopped me at the train. You took my bag away from
me. You promised me eternal life.” “That’s right,” I inter-
rupt him. “That’s right. But what’s one thing got to do with
the other? When you came to the bris you earned your re-
ward in heaven. But food and drink and lodging — do I have
to give you these things for nothing? After all, you’re a
businessman, aren’t you? You should understand that fish
costs money, and that the wine you drank was the very best,
and the beer, too, and the cherry cider. And you remember
how you praised the tzimmes and the puddings and the
borsht. You remember how you licked your fingers. And the
cheese kreplach smelled pretty good to you, too. Now, I’m
glad you enjoyed these things: I don’t begrudge you that in
the least. But certainly you wouldn’t expect that just because
you earned a reward in heaven, and enjoyed yourself in the
bargain, that / should pay for it?” My traveling friepd was
really sweating; he looked as if he’d have a stroke. He began
to throw himself around, yell, scream, call for help. “This is
Sodom!” he cried. “Worse than Sodom! It’s the worst outrage
the world has ever heard of! How much do you want?” Calmly I took a piece of paper and a pencil and began to
add it up. I itemized everything, I gave him an inventory of
everything he ate, of every hour he spent in my place. All in
all it added up to something like thirty-odd rubles and some
kopeks — I don’t remember it exactly.

When he saw the total, my good man went green and yel-
low, his hands shook, and his eyes almost popped out, and
again he let out a yell, louder than before. “What did I fall
into— a nest of thieves? Isn’t there a single human being
here? Is there a God anywhere?” So I say to him, “Look, sir,
do you know what? Do you know what you’re yelling about?
Do you have to eat your heart out? Here is my suggestion:
let’s ride into town together — it’s not far from here — and
we’ll find some people — there’s a rabbiner there — let’s ask the
rabbi. And we’ll abide by what he says.” When he heard me
talk like that, he quieted down a little. And — don’t worry —
we hired a horse and wagon, climbed in, and rode off to
town, the two of us, and went straight to the rabbi.

When we got to the rabbi’s house, we found him just fin-
ishing his morning prayers. He folded up his prayer shawl
and put his phylacteries away. “Good morning,” we said to
him, and he: “What’s the news today?” The news? My friend
tears loose and lets him have the whole story — everything
from A to Z. He doesn’t leave a word out. He tells how he
stopped at the station, and so on and so on, and when he’s
through he whips out the bill I had given him and hands it to
the rabbi. And when the rabbi had heard everything, he says:
“Having heard one side I should now like to hear the other.”
And turning to me, he asks, “What do you have to say to all
that?*’ I answer: “Everything he says is true. There’s not a
word I can add. Only one thing I’d like to have him tell
you — on his word of honor: did he eat the fish, and did he
drink the beer and cognac and the cider, and did he smack
his lips over the borsht that my wife made?” At this the man
becomes almost frantic, he jumps and he thrashes about like
an apoplectic. The rabbi begs him not to boil like that, not to
be so angry, because anger is a grave sin. And he asks him
again about the fish and the borsht and the kreplach, and if it
was true that he had drunk not only the wine, but beer and
cognac and cider as well. Then the rabbi puts on his specta-
cles, looks the bill over from top to bottom, checks every
line, and finds it correct! Thirty-odd rubles and some kopeks,
and he makes his judgment brief: he tells the man to pay the whole thing, and for the wagon back and forth, and a
judgment fee for the rabbi himself

The man stumbles out of the rabbi’s house looking as if
he d been in a steam bath too long, takes out his purse, pulls
out two twenty-fives and snaps at me: “Give me the change.”
“What change?” I ask, and he says: “For the thirty you
charged me — for that bill you gave me.” “Bill? What bill?
What thirty are you talking about? What do you think I am,
a highwayman? Do you expect me to take money from you?
I see a man at the railroad station, a total stranger; I take his
bag away from him, and drag him off almost by force to our
ovra bris, and spend a wonderful Shabbes with him. So am I
going to charge him for the favor he did me, and for the
pleasure I had?” Now he looks at me as if I really am crazy,
and says: “Then why did you carry on like this? Why did
you drag me to the rabbi?” “Why this? Why that?” I say to
him. “You’re a queer sort of person, you are! I wanted to
show you what kind of man our rabbi was, that’s all . .

When he finished the story, my litigant, Reb Nachman
Lekach, got up with a flourish, and the other three partners
followed him. They buttoned their coats and prepared to
leave. But I held them off. I passed the cigarettes around
again, and said to the story-teller:

So you told me a story about a rabbi. Now maybe you’ll
be so kind as to let me tell you a story — also about a rabbi,
but a much shorter story than the one you told.”

And without waiting for a yes or no, I started right in, and
made it brief:

This happened, I began, not so long ago, and in a large
city, on Yom Kippur eve. A stranger falls into the town — a
businessman, a traveler, who goes here and there, every-
where, sells merchandise, collects money … On this day he
comes into the city, walks up and down in front of the
synagogue, holding his sides with both hands, asks everybody
he sees where he can find the rabbi. “What do you want the
rabbi for?” people ask. “What business is that of yours?” he
wants to know. So they don’t tell him. And he asks one man,
he asks another: “Can you tell me where the rabbi lives?”
“What do you want the rabbi for?” “What do you care?”
This one and that one, till finally he gets the answer, finds the
rabbi’s house, goes in, still holding his sides with both hands.
He calls the rabbi aside, shuts the door, and says, “Rabbi, this
is my story. I am a traveling man, and I have money with
me, quite a pile. It’s not my money. It belongs to my
clients — first to God and then to my clients. It’s Yom Kippur
eve. I can’t carry money with me on Yom Kippur, and I’m
afraid to leave it at my lodgings. A sum like that! So do me a
favor — take it, put it away in your strong box till tomorrow
night, after Yom Kippur.”

And without waiting, the man unbuttons his vest and
draws out one pack after another, crisp and clean, the real
red, crackling, hundred ruble notes!

Seeing how much there was, the rabbi said to him: “I beg
your pardon. You don’t know me, you don’t know who I
am.” “What do you mean, I don’t know who you are? You’re
a rabbi, aren’t you?” “Yes, I’m a rabbi. But I don’t know
you — who you are or what you are.” They bargain back and
forth. The traveler: “You’re a rabbi.” The rabbi: “I don’t
know who you are.” And time does not stand still. It’s almost
Yom Kippur ! Finally the rabbi agrees to take the money. The
only thing is, who should be the witnesses? You can’t trust
just anyone in a matter like that.

So the rabbi sends for the leading townspeople, the very
cream, rich and respectable citizens, and says to them: “This
is what I called you for. This man has money with him, a
tidy sum, not his own, but first God’s and then his clients’.
He wants me to keep it for him till after Yom Kippur. There-
fore I want you to be witnesses, to see how much he leaves
with me, so that later — you understand?” And the rabbi took
the trouble to count it all over three times before the eyes of
the townspeople, wrapped the notes in a kerchief, sealed
the kerchief with wax, and stamped his initials on the seal.
He passed this from one man to the other, saying, “Now
look. Here is my signature, and remember, you’re the
witnesses.” The kerchief with the money in it he handed over
to his wife, had her lock it in a chest, and hide the keys
where no one could find them. And he himself, the rabbi,
went to shut, and prayed and fasted as it was ordained, lived
through Yom Kippur, came home, had a bite to eat, looked
up, and there was the traveler. “Good evening, Rabbi.”
“Good evening. Sit down. What can I do for you?”
“Nothing. I came for my package.” “What package?” “The
money.” “What money?” “The money I left with you to keep for me.” “You gave me money to keep for you? When was

The traveler laughs out loud. He thinks the rabbi is joking
with him. The rabbi asks: “What are you laughing at?” And
the man says: “It’s the first time I met a rabbi who liked to
play tricks.” At this the rabbi is insulted. No one, he pointed
out, had ever called him a trickster before. “Tell me, my
good man, what do you want here?”

When he heard these words, the stranger felt his heart stop.
“Why, Rabbi, in the name of all that’s holy, do you want to
kill me? Didn’t I give you all my money? That is, not mine,
but first God’s and then my clients’? I’ll remind you, you
wrapped it in a kerchief, sealed it with wax, locked it in your
wife’s chest, hid the key where no one could find it. And here
is better proof: there were witnesses, the leading citizens of
the city!” And he goes ahead and calls them all off by name.
In the midst of it a cold sweat breaks out on his forehead, he
feels faint, and asks for a glass of water.

The rabbi sends the shammes off to the men the traveler
had named — the leading citizens, the flower of the commu-
nity. They come running from all directions. “What’s the
matter? What happened?” “A misfortune. A plot! A millstone
around our necks I He insists that he brought a pile of money
to me yesterday, to keep over Yom Kip pur, and that you
were witnesses to the act.”

The householders look at each other, as if to say: “Here is
where we get a nice bone to lick!” And they fall on the trav-
eler: how could he do a thing like that? He ought to be
ashamed of himself! Thinking up an ugly plot like that
against our rabbil

When he saw what was happening, his arms and legs went
limp, he just about fainted. But the rabbi got up, went to the
chest, took out the kerchief and handed it to him.

“What’s the matter with you! Here! Here is your money!
Take it and count it, see if it’s right, here in front of your
witnesses. The seal, as you see, is untouched. The wax is
whole, just as it ought to be.”

The traveler felt as if a new soul had been installed in his
body. His hands trembled and tears stood in his eyes.

“Why did you have to do it, Rabbi? Why did you have to
play this trick on me? A trick like this.”

“I just wanted to show you — the kind — of — leading citizens — we have in our town.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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