The Happy Minyan Comes Of Age

For the past couple of years, the Happy Minyan has an independent existence at the Karate Academy on Pico Blvd (near Rexford). Prior to this, it resided at Orthodox shuls (Beth Jacob, Mogen David) that tried to incorporate the group into its staid membership and programming. Now the Happy Minyan is free to do its own thing.

Co-founder David Sacks has developed into a figure of tremendous religious authority without demonstrating the least phoniness or ego. He knows more Torah than any other TV writer. You just want to be a good person when you’re around him.

Fifteen years, I caught his first Torah drasha. It was delivered at Aish HaTorah and it was on his religious journey (from the Harvard Lampoon to Orthodox Judaism).

Co-founder Stuart Wax is getting honored in ten days at the Happy Minyan‘s first tribute dinner. Wax has done more than anybody in Los Angeles to give shelter to the Jewishly homeless. I used to attend his Friday night dinners at his apartment where he’d entertain up to 70 people. God, I made such a fool of myself the first time I went back in 1995. When it came time to cleanse the fingers after the meal, I almost poured the dirty water on my fingers until someone corrected me. I think I was pretty loud and obnoxious too. Oy vey! So little things change.

You may well say — who the hell are you Luke Ford to write about anybody? Who are you to critique anyone or anything in Orthodox Judaism? Well, if not me, it will be somebody else doing it. I simply adapted to this technology of blogging a little earlier than most. Just as I share my impressions of Orthodox Judaism today, thousands are coming behind me who will be sharper and smarter in their comments. No buffoonish rabbi will be spared.

Privacy is much harder to maintain in this new age. Whether that is more bad than good is a great question, but there’s no right to privacy in either the American or the Jewish constitution. Life is with the people. Everything we do affects other people.

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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