Dennis Prager Delivers The 7th Annual Ariel Avrech Memorial Lecture

Who was Ariel Avrech?

10 a.m. Young Israel of Century City (YICC).

I walk in clutching a copy of the new novel — By Fire, By Water — written by Mitchell James Kaplan.

I flip to the first page, which is a quotation from Nathaniel Hawthorne: “The world owes all its onward impulses to men ill at ease.”

“Wow,” I think, “people like me drive the world forward.”

I sit in the back, where Dennis Prager resided during his many years at the shul (circa 1986-1992).

10:20. Robert J. Avrech says a few words about his son Ariel and then introduces Dennis.

The shul is two-thirds full.

I look around. I see good people. I feel sad.

The three girls next door had a big party last night. They didn’t invite me. The music was loud. Finally, at 1:30 a.m., I called the cops on them and soon I was able to sleep.

I’m a grumpy old man who wants to party with 20-somethings.

Anything to take the edge off.

Not my will, but Thine be done.

I’m surprised to see Dennis Prager upright. To fix sciatica, he had surgery on his back on Friday.

This will be Prager’s first lecture standing up in six months.

I had a nightmare that his surgery would go horribly wrong and he’d never walk or talk again.

Germany crushes Australia 4-0 in the World Cup.

Like looks grim for the Socceroos.

P.S. Robert J. Avrech blogs the lecture. In the right column on his website, you can find links to video and audio of Dennis Prager’s happiness lecture.

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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