My First Time At The Opera

Downtown Los Angeles. Dorothy Chandler music center Wednesday night. "The Elixir of Love".

We’re on the main level, row S, seats 44, 45.

The story grabs me. Luke, a simple blogger, loves Dina, a haughty YULA graduate from a rich family. While the Jews take a break from the davening at Young Israel of Century City, Dina reads them the story of Tristan and Isolde, and how a magic potion brought those famous lovers together.

The sounds of a fundraising appeal interrupt this idyllic scene. Israeli porn movie director Shlomo swaggers up to the bima and pledges $15,000 to help combat Christian missionaries in the Holy Land.

Poor Luke can pledge nothing.

Shlomo is instantly drawn to Dina. He gives her flowers and proposes marriage. Dina is not so easily wooed. The whole scene upsets Luke, who tries to persuade Dina to love him instead. Dina tells him she would rather stay unattached. She doesn’t believe in fidelity. She doesn’t believe in relationships. She doesn’t believe in marriage. She believes in doing what feels right in the moment.

Rabbi Gadol from Morocco swaggers on to the scene. He proclaims he has brachot that can cure all. Impressed, Luke asks him if he happens to be selling a bracha to make a woman love him. The rabbi obliges if Luke will promise to give him $2,000 after yontif.

Luke’s confidence increases immeasurably and he walks around the shul giving divrei Torah. Dina, irritated at Luke’s new self-assurance, spites him by promising to marry Shlomo in six days.

Luke is unfazed, believing the bracha will work by then.

A producer arrives, calling Shlomo to the set. Dina agrees to marry him the next day.

The wedding celebration begins. Dina delays the rabbis because Luke is not present to witness the wedding. Everyone parties. Rabbi Gadol picks over the feast.

Luke enters, hurt that the bracha has yet to take effect.

Rabbi Gadol recommends another bracha at the same price. Luke is penniless. He promises to work as Rabbi Gadol’s online assistant for six months to pay.

Unbeknownst to Luke, his wealthy uncle has died and left him a fortune. When the shul girls hear the news, they throw themselves at him. Rabbis fete him, thinking they will get massive donations. Clueless about his inheritance, Luke assumes that the second bracha has done the trick.

Bewildered, Dina asks Rabbi Gadol what is going on. He tells her how Luke pledged himself for six months of social networking in the service of Torah to pay for the bracha to win her love. Touched that he would go to such lengths to win her, Dina realizes that she has loved Luke all along. She buys his services back from Rabbi Gadol and confesses her true feelings to Luke. Everyone in Pico-Robertson celebrates their happiness.

Rabbi Muskin marries Luke and Dina in David Suissa‘s backyard, with catering by Pats.

Bob emails: “It’s just like the movie Pretty Woman in gender reverse. Richard Gere takes Julia Roberts to the opera to show her how the other half lives. So respectable **** takes man-whore Luke to the opera. She trying to rescue him from his slovenly blogger existence. It’s sweet actually. Too bad she will FAIL!”

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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