Professional Jews Keep Shabbos For A Living “Telushkin, likewise, said he now refrains from using the word “deadline” for a project because it connotes death; he now uses “due date,” which ironically connotes exactly the opposite—birth.”

Friends who love this new book said that they tried to change from using “deadline” to “due date” but gave up after a few days. They contrasted themselves unfavorably in that respect with R. Telushkin.

“Telushkin is a professional Jew,” I explained. “He writes a book and then the book writes his life. It is in his professional interest to make this change last because it shows how much he’s been moved by the Rebbe and therefore it makes him and his book more compelling and he hopes you buy it, recommend it and come to his speeches. He wants to be your guru. Professional Jews keep the Sabbath for a living. They teach Torah for a living. They preach righteousness for a living. They have more incentive to do these showy righteous things than regular Jews because they make money from them. If professional Jews weren’t Jewish for a living, they would not be nearly as publicly righteous nor as publicly Jewish and they wouldn’t make as many public dramatic changes to their lives such as not saying ‘deadline.’ In the end, they’re often running a con and they don’t even know it.”

In a 1993 lecture on Genesis 27, Dennis Prager said that a major reason he began teaching the Torah verse-by-verse was to give himself more of an incentive to study Torah. “It is a total flaw in my character that I would not study the Torah regularly if I did not have to teach it.” (Gen. 39 lecture)

“Teach it” as in let me do the one thing that gets me the most admiration and attention. There’s a pretty sweet living to be made telling Jews things they want to hear.

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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