Luke and Rabbs: Norwegian bachelor farmers

Greg Leake emails: Hi Luke,

Been toiling away in the political vineyards. I think we created a lot of good possibilities.

You and Rabbs are starting to resemble Garrison Keillor’s Norwegian bachelor farmers. Apparently these are men who are single, middle-aged, and basically live out on their farms most of the time. They occasionally come into the city where they attempt with a certain amount of futility to mix with attractive young women. Because of their isolation and single propensities, the young ladies simply see some rueful old guys who are becoming increasingly odd.

I have noticed that you guys are constantly talking about breeding and never romance. I can’t imagine what eligible women think when they hear you and Rabbs talking about “banging” this one and “porking” that one. You know, the capacity for human relationship really contains more dimensions than “one has a pole and the other has a hole”. You even started listing girls and nationality groups that are high in your ambitions for “porking.”

Frankly, my friends, women who wish to get married are not aspiring to a position in the kennels. They want love and romance and a life of commitment. The fact that you two do not seem to have realized this at your age is troubling.

I see modern Orthodox women all over my neighborhood, and I have not run into one Jewish princess who is looking for a life of genteel poverty. Or any who feel that they exist simply to provide sexual release for crusty old bachelors who are going through the middle-aged crazies.

Soon (if not already) it will become inappropriate for you as gentlemen of mature years to be publicly engaging in never-ending salacious conversation. The dirty-old-man phase is peeking over the horizon, and I bring this to your attention in hopes that you might give the matter some consideration.

Rabbs, I must tell you that your view of Christianity continues to surround only those with a fundamentalist point of view. Perhaps as you are a sort of fundamentalist yourself, that makes sense to you when thinking about Christianity. You know, my favorite Christian theologian is Paul Tillich, and he and his wife were the Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald of their day. They were deeply religious, but tremendously social on several continents and profoundly intelligent. Tillich was one who translated New Testament mythos into philosophy so that it could be respectably considered by the university mind.

Your Catholic friends would tell you that Catholicism blends Plato and Aristotle through Augustine and Thomas Aquinas into their Christian theology.

Last week, you used your funny and ridiculing voice to characterize epistemology. To the best of my knowledge you are the only comedian in the history of the world to make the philosophical discipline of epistemology the punchline of a joke. You know, Luke mischaracterized philosophy in a way when he called “Greek philosophy”. While it is true that Western philosophy begins with the Greeks, through the centuries philosophers from every country and ethnic origin have contributed. And there have been Jewish philosophers alongside all the others. So to think of philosophy as simply a Greek practice is a mischaracterization.

Rabbs, I am curious why you don’t have Jewish friends. You have mentioned this several times, and I have been wondering how someone as fervently dedicated as you would not find friendships within your own fold, so to speak. And you know, while I personally think you should flip the script and give yourself more flexibility and possibilities when it comes to jobs and women, I do not think you should overlook the fact that you are contributing to Judaism by holding out as firmly as you do despite the fact that it does not seem to offer you any rewards. You may not be doing yourself any good, but you very possibly are strengthening the resolve of those who admire your steadfastness.

And Luke, the other day someone gave you some good advice. Go Noahide and begin to report on popular culture once again. It’s something you’re good at, you’ve already established a name for yourself, and it would offer you a venue outside of these claustrophobic possibilities you already have. The way I see it is you came out of a strict religious tradition, and you have moved into another strict religious tradition. Had you been someone who simply went to church regularly, you might have just drifted into being a serious Methodist or something. And you would not have surrounded yourself with so many restrictions. And you could have become an intelligent and discerning social critic with popular culture as your area of expertise. It’s probably not too late.

[Chaim Amalek emails: “He’s absolutely correct, of course. There was never any good reason for you to become a Jew, and certainly not one who is so more deeply in the grip of the orthodox rabbinate than your Dennis Prager. Had your remained Christian, or become a fellow-traveling Noahide gentile, your life would have been much better: better income, better jobs, better women, better social life, better housing. And to add insult to self inflicted injury, Judaism does not adore martyrs.”]

RABBI RABBS EMAILS: Greg, good to hear from you again, thank you for your continued enthusiasm for our show, and for your hilarious feedback which I shared with my Facebook friends. What you wrote this week was flipping funny.

You complained that I talk too much about “breeding” — your word –, and suggested that is the reason I’m not married, and speculated that young females aren’t interested in me.

You couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, you have it all backward.

The reason I’m not married is because frum Jewish women are obsessed with breeding, while I’m not. If I were remotely interested in breeding, I would have already been married already. It is the Jewish women that your complaint should be directed to, and not to me. They are the ones that can only think with their uteri, and they cannot give up their drives for reproduction, not even to have a great marriage with a nice Jewish guy such as myself.

Despite whatever you mistakenly speculate otherwise, many young females are interested in me. So are older females. I have no shortage of single females interested in me, some of whom would love to, as you put it, “provide sexual release for [this] crusty old bachelor” . However, none of them meet my requirements of being frum Jewish and have resolved to never have kids.

You wonder why I’m not friends with Jews. Well, for one thing, Jews are all obsessed with reproduction, and I have very little in common with them, the married ones are all wrapped up with their breeding, and the singles are still teens often living with their folks, and although several hundred single Jewish females have hit on me in the past few years, almost all of them merely want me for my sperms.

So, the reality of the situation is quite a different picture than the hysterical one you painted.

You mentioned that you have “not run into one Jewish princess who is looking for a life of genteel poverty”. Who cares? Why would I want to marry a Jewish princess? The fact that she wouldn’t marry a poor man proves she is superficial and doesn’t deserve me. I don’t believe G-d has anyone out there for me, but if He does, I guarantee she won’t care one iota that I have no money.

Finally, I appreciate your wonderful compliment when you wrote: “I do not think you should overlook the fact that you are contributing to Judaism by holding out as firmly as you do despite the fact that it does not seem to offer you any rewards. You may not be doing yourself any good, but you very possibly are strengthening the resolve of those who admire your steadfastness.”

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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