The Yeshiva Of Hard Knocks

A guest post:

I knew a boy named Luke Ford. I had the misfortune of being close to him.

My name is Amber*. Because I’m nice, I was always seated next to Luke Ford at Jewish journalism events. People thought I could control him.

Fat chance. Like trying to control the devil.

I met Luke in a Jewish journalism laboratory.

He was my lab partner. We were assigned the complete works of Thane Rosenbaum. It was disgusting but we had to do it to graduate from yeshiva. We worked for a week cutting up this fetal pig.

The whole class was sickened but Luke seemed unemotional about it. Sometimes he even enjoyed doing things we weren’t assigned, like skinning the eyelids off the little pig and digging out its eyeballs.

At the end of the week, we had to clean up. We had to pour the mess, all the parts, into the bag, and dump everything left on the tray into the beakers.

Luke took our beaker and said, ‘How much would you guys give me to drink this?’

The Orthodox blogosphere promised to paypal Luke $100.

‘Keep your money,’ said Luke. ‘I’ll drink it for free.’

And he did.

I wanted to barf.

After lab, he asked me, ‘What did you think?”

“About what?” I said.

“About me?’

‘I don’t think anything about you.’

That’s all I remember saying, but it must’ve done something to him, because for what seemed like the rest of Jewish journalism history in America, aka high school, Luke Ford wanted to break me.

But that was a long time ago. I’m a grown-up now. I have my own publication. I hire my own writers. That socialist rag can suck eggs laid on a Jewish holiday.

Yesterday seemed like just any day. I had put the sacred tablet to bed. I was at a little market near my apartment getting some vittles for dinner. ‘Did you hear what happened to Luke Ford?’ said the illegal Honduran checker who was always up on the blogosphere. ‘He died. He dived head first into the mikveh ‘ after saying the appropriate bracha — and hit his head. He’s dead. The goyisha Luke Ford is dead. They had a funeral for him at Young Israel of Century City. Porn stars. Orthodox rabbis. All paid their respects.

‘And then he was born again as Levi Ben Avraham. He has his Orthodox conversion, even Rabbi Union thinks he’s Jewish. He doesn’t get thrown out of shul anymore. If you read his blog, you’ll see he’s a different person.’

The second time I saw Luke Ford was in first period Creative Blogging class. He sat right behind me, stole my schedule when I wasn’t looking, wrote in big red pen ‘Dick Sucking 101’ and taped it to my locker.

Our teacher, Rabbi Gadol, encouraged us to bear our souls. ‘I’ll grade you accordingly.’

My last class of the day was study hall. Once again, Luke sat right behind me. On that first day, he handed me a drawing. It was an upskirt shot of me in my Yeshiva of Rambam cheerleader outfit rallying the school behind our leading Talmudic scholars in the nationwide pilpul contest.

I gave it to the rebbe and Luke got sent to the principal’s office.

For the next week, he wasn’t allowed to put on tefillin.

Ha! He never drew me again. His relationship with HaShem was ruined and I was glad!

When I knew Luke Ford, he was always dating **** whores. When I saw them together on his live cam, they were always licking each other. Gross. Just like goys!

I’d Google these ho’s to get a picture of their body of work. I wanted to know how many layers of Gehenna he was descending to through his immorality. Oy, what that fornication must’ve done to his soul. Mucho withdrawals from your moral bank account, bucko! You make Dennis Prager cry!

Anyone who read his blog knew that Luke had big matza balls. All he needed was a nice Jewish girl to sort him out. A kosher Chinese wife. Take home. With delivery. Extra rice.

When we were in study hall, Luke Ford starting sending me notes. Like, what did I think about that essay in the New York Times Book Review by Wendy Shalit? Like, did I want to hang out with him at the hovel and get some Alexander Technique?

I told him that he wasn’t certified. That I didn’t want to ruin his standing in the Alexander community. Then I added, ‘You know you’ve been a real asshole, right?’

As I meandered through the blogosphere and the MSM, Luke Ford kept confronting me. There was the lesson of Luke Ford by Mickey Kaus, 60 Minutes with Steve Kroft, a KNBC-TV report on shul shopping.

On the night before Rosh Hashanah, I was at bubbe’s house entertaining one of New York’s most prestigious writers. I thought I was safe from the Sitra Achra. I thought I was as far from Luke Ford as I could be. It was a taste of olam haba. I felt like I was developing an extra soul. Truly the Jews are God’s Chosen People. We don’t want converts.

At the moment of ultimate redemption, my writer hit me in the back of the head, it’s a Jewish ritual called Donkey Punch, and as my eyes popped out of my skull, I thought I could see blog stars and there was this man in a white robe staring at me. He looked like Daniel Day Lewis. In an Australian accent, he said, ‘In my father’s house, there are many mansions. Call me. I have good news unlimited.’

About Luke Ford

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