On Torah Talk, we answer the goy Casey’s ten questions about God, we get a review of my memoir “XXX-Communicated: A Rebel Without A Shul” from the holy Rabbi Rabbs and we discuss this week’s Torah portion.
I do a lot of Torah Talks with blokes but my heart really lies with talking Torah with hot chicks, preferably hot chicks who don’t have boyfriends. Knowledge of Torah is preferred for this position but not necessary. Please email me and include your credentials (as far as hotness). firstname.lastname@example.org
Arnold wrote on my FB: “Twenty years later, brother, you remain, in essence, the same Luke Ford I knew in Japanese at UCLA!”
Tonight we discuss this Carl Paladino appearance at an Orthodox shul:
Mr. Paladino relied on Mr. Levin. Like Mr. Paladino, Mr. Levin, 56, plays on the margins of traditional power structures. His synagogue, the Kehilas Mevakshai Hashem, has roughly two dozen members, far fewer than the thousands of adherents commanded by the large Hasidic sects that dominate Orthodox politics in Brooklyn, each under the dominion of a grand rebbe, or rabbi. He is based in Midwood, rather than the Hasidic strongholds of Williamsburg and Borough Park.
In fact, Mr. Levin is not, strictly speaking, a Hasid, though he wears the familiar black hat and coat of those who are. “I’m the next closest thing to Hasidic,” Mr. Levin said, “an amalgam of right-wing yeshivish and Hasidic.”
What Mr. Levin did have was a pure devotion to conservative politics unmatched by more prominent Orthodox rabbis, many of whom preach traditional values in shul but are highly pragmatic when it comes to picking politicians to endorse, backing winners and those most likely to deliver resources to their communities.
Mr. Cuomo had already been cultivating larger sects like the Satmars and won the blessing of several prominent rabbis. But Mr. Paladino’s campaign believed Orthodox voters would buck their leadership if they heard his conservative message for themselves.
Rabbi Rabbs emails me:
Hey Levi (shi’ya),
A hunch came to me while I was in the water today. It occurred to me that with
so much in common b/t that Rabbi Levin and myself that it was possible that he
is a follower of Rabbi Avigdor Miller, obm.
So, I just got home and hit his wiki page, and sure enough:
You have got to read that wiki, because Rabbi Levin has so much in common with
me, such as standing up for Christians and being praised by Catholics.
I thought of another connection between our books. You lived in Rieber Hall,
and I mentioned in Suicide vs the Wild Side that I knew a chick that jumped
from the 7th floor of that dorm.
Her name is Nutty Nancy and she was my buddy’s gf. After her jump during the
World Series of 1980, all of the hallway windows in Rieber were fenced up
forever. Someone might have mentioned that to you when you were there 8 years
RABBI RABBS EMAILS ME HIS REVIEW OF MY MEMOIR:
Your Moral Leader, My Ass
You are famous for being the frummy porn blogger. I am famous for being the frummy rabbi comedian.
You wore a yarmalkah on porn sets, and I wore one on Goyishe nightclub stages.
You got booted from shuls and blackballed from the porn industry, I got castigated by Chabad in their shul and became a pariah in their yeshivah.
You tried to hide your porn career from the frum community, and I hid my comedy career from them for years.
Both books mention that our audiences were mostly composed of Goyim.
Both Rabbs.com and Lukeford.com turned frummies off.
We both write controversial stuff that pisses people off, and we both have people who hate us.
We both shoot our mouths off in print about those who know us. With you, it’s those within the porno world, and with me, it’s my neighbors in Aish HaTorah, Chabad, and Modern Orthodoxy.
Both books trash Aish and Chabad.
Both books describe our problems with the local frum community and some of its rabbis.
Both mention annoying questions asked by frummies, such as where do you daven? What do you do for a living?
Both discuss staying with Torah even though the community alienated us.
Both discuss how we don’t fit in anywhere, and we are the odd man out wherever we go, and how we were escorted out through doors, you from shuls, me from prospective yeshivahs.
In our books, we both identify with outcasts, and we discuss being isolated.
Both books mention celebrating Yom Tov alone.
Both books mention the idea of davening in a minyan over the Internet.
You were stuck in the house with chronic fatigue, and I was stuck in the house with agoraphobia.
We‘ve both done therapy and medications, and both books label psychiatrists as shrinks.
We were both diagnosed as OCD.
A shrink wanted you institutionalized, and I wrote a whole chapter on learning Torah in a psycho ward.
We both worry about how any woman would marry us because of how poor we are. I cannot support a wife financially, and so she’d have to support me. I say the same thing you wrote in that if she is my true basheret, she won’t run from my lack of money and lack of ability to work. She will accept me as I am.
Both books discuss our struggles financially and sexually. You have the yetzer of banging all those porn stars, and I fought the temptations of so many chicks propositioning me.
We are both professional writers who started as sports reporters on newspapers.
We both attended UCLA.
We both spent thousands of dollars on our entertainment careers.
Both books mentioned our credit card debts.
We both had numerous dreams and goals in our careers, and both of us experienced failures.
Both books mention that we’ve been compared to Andy Kaufman. I told you when you interviewed me that Kaufman and Howard Stern are my two biggest comedy influences. That must’ve blown your mind, because your book not only mentions Kaufman and Stern, but I don’t believe it even names any other comedians.
I would add that not only do you have my Kaufman influence, but your book clearly shows a Stern influence, especially in how you print up private conversations between you and those who speak to you in confidence which is borrowing a page right out of the Howard Stern playbook.
Here’s a Stern connection between us: You mention being friends with one of his recurring guests, Kendra. Another such guest (look it up on the Net) was porn star Blue Iris. She was simultaneously a cast member of a comedy show I was in called The Ding Dong Show, which I rehearsed for with her numerous times in her apartment.
Your book mentioned both Melrose Larry Green and the Comedy Store. Green regularly attended my performances in The Ding Dong Show at the Comedy Store.
You and I both fraternized with members of the porn industry. In addition to Blue Iris, I was at the apartment of porn model Smoking Mary Jane, and I hosted a stripper who is a production assistant for porn, and I have photos to prove all of that.
You discuss taking money from the porn industry. Well, most of the Ding Dong Show’s audience members were either fans of Blue Iris from the Stern show, or they themselves were working in porn and were friends of Mary Jane. It would not surprise me if some of the individuals you wrote about saw me perform on stage.
Both of our books mention blowjobs, Playboy, and masturbation, and mine has six instances of the word “porn”. You must’ve loved reading that. And, for what‘s it‘s worth, we both mention the phrase “solitary confinement“.
Your book is obsessed with you getting your head banged into a lamp post, and my book must mention 100 times about how I got jumped by a gang of Chabad thugs.
Both books mention how we were surrounded by Chabad guys, yours told you to take a hike. Mine didn’t give me that option.
Both mention dancing on Simchas Torah and the shul rabbi notices us and smiles.
Yours states how you do everything based on Dennis Prager, mine mentions that I do everything based on Rabbi Avigdor Miller.
Someone wrote that you argue with yourself on your web site. Well, almost every essay in my book concludes with an entire back and forth argument between myself and my imaginary critics, with me providing both voices during the fierce debates.
Both of our books detail the struggles of trying to convert to become a Jew, and in fact, the most popular essay in my book by far is the one dedicated to potential gerim.
Finally, your book ends in 2004 and is published that year. That’s significant, because my first book was also published in 2004, and during that same year, my life went into a total tail spin which led to me writing the book you just read.
Whereas throughout my book, I discuss me being suicidal, not only does your book never state that about you, but when asked if you were suicidal, you flat out deny it.
You mention how badly you still wanted to become Jewish even after the community excommunicated you. Whereas, I mention how I hate being Jewish and actually investigated if there were any way I could convert to become a Goy. We should’ve traded places.
Your book ends with you fighting to become a Jew, and mine ends with me giving up all hope and praying to die.
You claim to have converted in 1992, and you and others keep calling you Orthodox Jewish. But, that is not true, and it is misleading.
It is scary that you call Dennis Prager your rebbe. He is not a rabbi, and he is not a practicing Jew. He is a secular ignoramus who espouses heresy and follows a heretical offshoot from Judaism. You need to either pick Torah or Pragerism/Reform, but you are fooling yourself by claiming to be a Torah Jew while your rebbe is unapologetically breaking Shabbos in public and participating in a heretical Reform temple. It boggles my mind how you can’t see that, and I think your dependency on him needs intervention.
You quote someone saying: “Unfortunately, Duke’s Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is acting up now and he must crawl into bed and stare at the poster of Dennis Prager on his ceiling, dreaming of Dennis holding him in his arms and reading the Torah to him in perfect Hebrew.”
LOLOL!!! I could’ve written that one.
Interesting how your father was booted from the church and called a heretic, and you followed in his footsteps by getting booted from shuls, and you have partnered with me who calls out heretics. It’s almost as if you are seeking your father’s approval by doing what he did, and I’m sure you want me to call you a heretic, too, just so you can feel like your father. Knowing that, I highly doubt you will drop Prager and your heretical books that you quote for Torah Talks. For you, it’s like a badge of honor to be called that.
You write: “I’ll be “modern Orthodox,” i.e., Orthodox one day a week (the Sabbath) and modern the other six.”
I call that Conservative.
I must respond to the following quote from your friend Chaim Amalek:
“One of these is the prohibition against “lashon hora,” or evil speech—in other words, empty GOSSIP. I do not care if you choose to honor the Sabbath or not, for whatever the harm in your choice, it accrues only to you. And I do not give a damn if you choose to wear garments made of linen and wool or not (did you know that doing so is a sin in normative Judaism?). But when you print unsubstantiated or pointless assertions of loathsome behavior, assertions that are inherently harmful to others, you are implicitly mocking the faith that you claim to embrace. If you cannot embrace this basic moral prohibition,
why bother with the rest of Judaism? Wouldn’t you be happier joining the rest of the secular herd, and never look back (except perhaps, to snicker)? Your Web site alas, provides all too many instances of lashon hora.”
Amalek’s attitude is not a Torah attitude, and it needs to be ignored. It says you need to be 100% perfect or don’t do any mitzvahs whatsoever. None of us are perfect, so according to his silly logic, no Jew should keep any mitzvahs.
Maybe that’s where you got your troubling attitude that bothers you so much when a Yid goes into McDonalds with a yarmalkah.
The healthier Torah attitude is “Thank G-d at least he wears a yarmalkah”, and to focus on the positives he is doing rather than saying he is not ready to wear a yarmalkah until he gives up McDonalds. Or in your case, until you give up porn. I bet you drove yourself nuts that you wore a yarmalkah to porn events, and that’s why you give such a hard time to frummies that do sins in public. That’s why you asked me TWICE during our original interview about me making what you believed was a chilul Hashem by my being in comedy.
You wrote: “I loved to hurt people so they felt as miserable as I did.”
Hmm, I wonder if you like to hurt me by having your friends trash me in front of my friends in the chat room.
Finally, you quoted someone saying you never swear and that you dislike cussing. You said “Please don’t use that kind of language around here.” You’ve never said anything to me about it, but I wonder how all of my cussing affects you.