Speak of the devil, and ye shall hear the rustle of his wings

Greg Leake responds to last night’s Torah Talk: Hi Luke and Rabbs,
Rabbs, I want to make a small qualification in respect to my pejorative characterization of the frum community in Dallas.

As you know, four months ago I was living in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Dallas. It was about one-half Orthodox Jews and the other half goys of different religions and secular stripes.

It was not just me who felt the Orthodox Jews were unfriendly. In fact, a large number of goys had gotten their noses bent out of shape over the stand-offishness and snootiness of the Orthodox community. Had it just been my opinion, I would not have said anything.

However, I have also said that inevitably in a mixed neighborhood of this sort one does eventually make some friendships. And the Jews I had friendships with were very warm and cordial as far as they went.

Furthermore, as I have also mentioned, one Jewish guy I had a conversation with about all this told me that the attitude was not because they were Orthodox Jews, but because there were so many immigrants from New York filling up this neighborhood. I was told by one Orthodox Jew that the other Jews treated them in the same unfriendly way. In fact, they went to their rabbi and discussed this factor, complaining that Jews were supposed to be “salt and light” and objected to the unfriendliness that they saw in the community. Moreover, the rabbi agreed and sort of threw up his hands. (I was also on friendly terms with the rabbi.)

So it wasn’t just me, and it wasn’t just goys. And I suspect that this Orthodox guy who pointed out what we were really seeing was New York City attitude contrasted with our usual expectations of southern hospitaltity.

Luke, you might have something in your discussion in respect to the busy-ness of Orthodox Jews. I do understand that if you combine the ordinary get-ahead rat race with a huge number of religious obligations you’re not going to have a lot of time for hanging out. It could be that it is an addition reason for what we saw as unfriendliness.

I didn’t realize, Luke, about this extensive credit card debt. If the debt is on more than one credit card, the financial guys say that you should retire the smaller debt first. Probably you already know this. If you can knock the smaller one out, then finally you have eliminated one altogether, which gives you a little more maneuvering room.

Rabbs, I’m sorry your girlfriend had to go back to Scotland. I was sort of hoping that she would talk about what it’s like to be an Orthodox Jew in Glasgow compared to LA… is it easier, hard, differences in dotting i’s and crossing t’s..? You can tell her that she has some goy fans in Texas. If she visits again I will try to throw you a little dinero for MexiKosher or some other culinary entertainment.

I hate to re-open an old controversy, but I’m afraid the idea that dinosaurs do not exist is simply not going to fly.

Here is a picture of me rebuking a T Rex and explaining to him that an actual rabbi says he is not supposed to exist and therefore he needs to stop acting like he has a presence in our time and space.

We call him Luke. He’s a troublemaker, gets high on fermented apples and then falls over and crushes the farm animals. We only hope and pray that he either realized that he does not exist or listens to reason.

These 2 non-existent critters showed up on our doorstep down here in ‘Dillon’. Rabbs, we’ll give you the pick of the first litter — do you want a male or a female?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). 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 (Alexander90210.com).
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