You Don’t Have To Be Chronically Depressed To Be Jewish, But It Helps

Greg Leake writes: Hi Luke,

It seems to me that this week’s Torah Talks could be titled “If You’re Completely Dysfunctional or Chronically Depressed in the Clinical Sense, Then Judaism Not Only Accepts You, But Prefers You.”

At the same time, Luke, I will say that you frequently seem to be at the lower end of the cutting edge. Suddenly we have discovered that Arnold Schwarzenegger has a love child with some woman who previously held a position on their household staff.

And apparently the head of the IMF, while staying in a $3,000 a night suite, came barreling out of the bathroom absolutely nude and sexually attacked a maid who had come in simply to tidy up.

And now you have announced that you are attending a 12-step program for sexual addiction. If you happen to bump into the governor at your meetings, please tell him many of us hope that he can get his life back into control. Furthermore, it wasn’t very nice to have Maria Shriver out front publicly defending him for all of his past liaisons, only for her to discover that she, in fact, has a 10-year old step-child.

So you may have your difficulties, but apparently you are not guilty of half the affronts of the rich and famous. Also, one has seldom encountered someone who continues to work as diligently as you do to try and fix themselves in order to have a better life and to be a better person in relation to the world. No one can say that you have been resting on your laurels when it comes to taking affirmative action in the direction of improving the things that you find wanting about yourself. I think you have to get a meritorious approval for effort.

Rabbs, I’m wondering if there was a time in your life when you felt that conditions were sufficiently good for you to feel OK about following life to its end. Would it possible to try and re-activate things you were doing during that period that made this all acceptable? Is there something that you could do today that would bring you back into a similar orbit? Naturally, it would be impossible to go back to the same jobs and what have you, but maybe there could be something similar that would lift your outlook to a considerable extent. I’m just curious.

Luke, as I reflect on the matter, my supposition would be that the most likely candidate for you in terms of a good marriage would be another Alexander Technique teacher or student. As far as I can intuit, basically you are at your best when you are involved with the technique and other people involved in the technique. Additionally, since you will be a teacher yourself soon, people who appreciate the Alexander Technique would see you as a success rather than a would-have-been. After all, you have successfully come to grips with the Alexander teaching and made real accomplishments. It is also possible that women you might meet in the Alexander milieu would also have your number, which ultimately is a good thing in a happy marriage. It’s just a thought. I appreciate that it is not likely that such a woman would be a frummie, but she would probably be a lot closer to being your soulmate.


Thank you for your continued enthusiasm for Torah Talks, and for your always-welcomed feedback.

To answer your questions, the only times in my entire life that I felt life was worth living to the end was when I was loved by a woman. If there was something we needed to change, it would be to find me a wife ASAP.

About Luke Ford

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