Would You Like To Shake My Lulav?

When I came to Los Angeles in 1994, I was hosted several times for Shabbat and holiday meals by a nice Orthodox family in Pico-Robertson.

Then, due to the raunchy nature of my blogging, the invites ceased.

In the summer of 2001, the Jewish Journal had Sheldon Teitelbaum write a cover story on me. He read it to this woman who freaked out and called me and asked, "Do you want to commit suicide?"

She suggested that I offer the Journal $10,000 not to publish the piece.

Well, I did not try to stop the piece (it was never published, in 2007, Brad Greenberg wrote this profile of me for the Jewish Journal), but I was shaken up by her call, and two days later I decided to sell my website lukeford.com and resolved to lead an honorable life.

A couple of months later, the family had me over for Succoth (and this woman set me up for another holiday meal with another family).

It was my first time at their home in more than three years.

It felt great to be back in their good graces.

That night, there were several single women in the Succah. One was a fresh-faced innocent looking blonde who was becoming interested in Judaism. She was seated right next to me.

She said she worked at a hospital. I think she was a doctor.

I know she could’ve healed me.

Over dinner, we talked about the lulav and etrog. She said she had never performed this mitzvah.

Like a good Jew, I leaned over to her and — I don’t care what anybody says, I did not put my hand on her knee — said, "Would you like to shake my lulav?"

"Oh, I can’t believe you said that," she replied.

I think she complained to the host who promptly wrote me out of her life.

I would keep passing them on the mean streets of Pico-Robertson but we simply exchanged cursory greetings. Still, it hurt to see their pain, disappointment and disgust.

A few years later, the host died.

I never saw the blonde again.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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