Are You Ready For Some Torah?

Greg emails: Hi Luke,

I think Rabbs as Howard Cosell is very evocative. He’s good at it, too. Rabbs, I think you would also qualify for the Mohammed Ali role.

However, I must say I have a different vision.

How about Luke tapes Rabbi Rabbs surfing? Then with the Beach Boys playing in the background, Rabbs comes up to the beach where previously nostalgic Tiki sculptures have been placed. Rabbs starts waxing his board and giving Torah talks with titles like “Hanging Ten with Rabbi Rabbs” or “In the Pipeline with Rabbi Rabbs”. The whole thing would be titled something like “what does the great Kahuna Have to Say to Us?” It would be a smash.

And, Luke, it was generous of you to respond to my trivia. I understand that the Jewish focus is not on the world to come. However, Jews have an ontological concern. The Torah ostensibly comes from G-d. As such, the Torah is filled with divine pronouncements, divine preferences, and other expressions from G-d that suggest a personality of sorts. And as a consequence we are mindful that G-d has a Nature, and this divine Nature has particulars and peculiarities that are written about in the Torah. Therefore a concern about the Nature of divinity and consideration about this divine Nature are not outside the purview of Jewish scrutiny even though it might not always be strictly concerned with earthly and temporal matters. At least this is my point of view.

Incidentally, all of us who have great respect for Dennis Prager understand that he is contemplating a run for president. It is possible that this may have something to do with his association at a Reform temple. I remember when Lieberman was running, there were a lot of concerns about what happens if work must be done on Saturday. (You’ll recall Rabbs would not go to a Navy recruiting presentation for rabbis because they held it on Saturday. As a VietNam vet, I know that wars don’t take a break for Saturday.) There was also concern about Lieberman finding it necessary to walk to shul. Furthermore with Hadassah Lieberman, a very nice and attractive woman, things got to be very ‘oy vey’ (a citation from Lucianne Goldberg).

I am thrilled that Dennis might try to run for president. Imagine him showing up on liberal forums with his moral clarity arguing against liberals. Imagine him being on the major networks. What a tremendous possibility.

So my point of view suggests this is the time to start minimizing the difference between Jews and Christians and the secular world. We don’t want these differences punctuated with quotations marks around them while Dennis is out there demonstrating that we are all one people, and we are in this together, and we are defined by our mutual respect.

Now is the time to start asserting our mutuality.

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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