LukeFord.netHome
Index Latest 

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dennis Prager entered public life in 1970. Over the next five decades and through three marriages, he worked for the Jews while advocating a values approach to race, religion, and nation, publishing five books: The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism (1976), Why The Jews? The Reason For Antisemitism (1982), Think A Second Time (1996), Happiness Is A Serious Problem (1998), and Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph (2012).

By Luke Ford

Dennis Prager's Parents

Dennis Prager's father Max Prager (born July 18, 1918) published his autobiography at MaxPrager.com. It is a good read and contains stories and pictures of Dennis. Here is a January 1958 photo of Dennis at his older brother Kenneth's bar mitzvah. Dennis at nine.

Max wrote in chapter one:

Based on all the genealogical sources that I searched, the family name "Prager" was originally established for those who inhabited the city of Prague, the capital of Czechoslovakia. Because of the usual anti-Semitism, the Jews fled to England and to Germany. In the eighteenth century, Poland had a king who looked favorably on the immigration of Jews to his land, partially due to the Jews' expertise in finance. Consequently, the Pragers emigrated from England and Germany to Poland along with their co-religionists.

My father, Beresh, was born in 1878 in Yadow, Poland to Mendel and Chana Prager... My mother Ruchel was born in Ostrawa-Macziwesk in 1878 to Avraham Moshe and Sura Walberg.

On his radio show Apr. 9, 2012, Dennis Prager said in reaction to the murders of blacks in Tulsa by two white men: "My great grandfather, my mother's mother's father was murdered by a black man [burglar]. I never recall anybody in my family thinking that it was then appropriate to kill a black. It's preposterous."

On July 16, 2013, Dennis said: "It was a trauma. He was beaten over the head by a lamp and his skull was smashed. They caught the man in Georgia."

In his twenties, Dennis found out that his father’s sister (Irene) committed suicide before Dennis was born. (Oct. 23, 2009)

Max Prager wrote: "After walking one block, they informed me that my sister Irene had taken her life during the night by leaping off the roof of the apartment building in which my family resided; Irene had her birthday that same week reaching the age of 32. Upon hearing this tragic news, I was not able to walk any further and immediately sat down on the stoop of the nearest building in complete shock."

Dennis Prager's parents were born and raised in Brooklyn a few blocks from each other.

Max wrote in chapter eleven that he met his future wife at a party in Borough Park:

...I found the mystery woman staring at me throughout the ride home. I must admit that I thought she was lovely but nothing beyond that feeling. I, later on, learned that she told her mother that night that she met a young man whom she would marry, and she did. This occurred in June 1936 when I was 18 and just finished my freshman year.

...On Simchas Torah 1936, I told my mother that I was going to change the place of attendance of hakofes (seven rounds of marching with Torah scrolls) by going to the Hebrew Educational Society. I had never attended hakofes at the HES so perhaps it was berschert (destined) that I do so now. When I entered the lobby, I met Florence Zivits who told me that she is awaiting Hilda Friedfeld for hakofes. I inquired as to who was Hilda Friedfeld. She replied that she was the girl who declaimed in Boro Park and I immediately remembered her. As we walked outside the building, Hilda's sister Esther and her friend Esther Zomick approached us and informed us that Hilda was on her way to the HES.

When Hilda arrived, I was stricken with her class, clothing and demeanor. She was even more beautiful than when I last saw her. We went in for hakofes and, after about an hour, I asked her if she would like to take a walk with me. She said yes and we walked for about 30 minutes and finally sat down on a bench in a little park at the beginning of Pitkin Ave. At the time, I was wearing glasses and after staring at her for several minutes, I removed my glasses and said: "You are a very pretty girl." She began to laugh, which she did quite often. Her laughter intrigued me, as I was accustomed to living in a very serious household.

Max Prager married Hilda Friedfeld on September 14, 1940 (picture). (Here's a picture of Hilda at age 18.)

Max wrote:

I, personally, paid for flowers, photos, orchestra and the rabbi. Although both our parents were Orthodox, we had mixed seating for the chupa and the meal. We also had mixed dancing for Hebrew and Yiddish songs; but we had no social dancing.

We never had a honeymoon although we made up for it many times in the future. ...[H]er father could not look us in the face. Evidently he felt I had defiled a daughter of his for the first time since Hilda was the first child who was married. My mother-in-law who always loved me embraced and kissed me. That night we went to Radio City Music Hall and enjoyed for the first time marital bliss. I remember as though it was yesterday that we felt as though we were walking on air. Whether it was our first day as husband and wife or it was the result of our first sexual experience, or both, I really cannot explain. 

...On August 2, 1948, we were blessed with our second son, Dennis Mark. I always wanted a daughter because of the affection that my brother’s daughter displayed towards Murray; more than his two sons displayed towards him. I liked the name ‘Denise” and if we were to have a daughter that was the name we would give her. So when our son arrived I told Hilda that we would name him Dennis. He was a doll from birth, lovable and extremely happy. He did not inherit his brother’s habit of crying constantly; although Kenny did so because of infections in his ears.

In ...1955, Hilda decided to spread her wings and return to a career. When we were going “steady”, she emphatically stated to me that if and when we would marry, she would want a large family and I, of course, agreed with her. After our marriage, she sang a different tune repeatedly informing me that her ideal life would be a career, no children and living in Manhattan. 

...Hilda loved to travel, get out of the house, and especially play the slot machines in various casinos. If I would say to her at midnight or later, “Hil let’s go”, she would reply “I’m already dressed”. We went numerous times to Las Vegas and stayed at Caesars Palace and she would stay at the slot machines to the early hours of the morning. She also enjoyed the shows that the various hotels had to offer. Every time we went to Vegas we visited Dennis and his family in California. We also went several times to the Bahamas while in Florida, to gamble at the casinos. I, personally, was not an avid gambler but went along because I knew that Hilda enjoyed this pastime. It is possible that her desire to gamble was genetic since her father loved to play the stock market and play cards with his friends. Also her sister, Chippy-alias Corinne- played the market and loved gambling. Years later, when we ceased going to Vegas, she would say to me at least twice a year “Mac, let’s go to Atlantic City”. She would play many hours while I would get bored and retire to the bar to smoke a cigar and drink beer.

Max Prager wrote in chapter sixteen:

I remember leaving for work with her every morning, stopping at a diner for breakfast, sitting next to her on the subway, arriving at our respective stations and not a word passed between us. When I returned home after a day's work, I was served my dinner in complete silence.

...Many times I would attempt to begin a conversation and was always rebuffed. Two or three weeks would elapse before we recommenced conversing.

After suffering for about one year and being completely at a loss of a solution to this very grave problem, I turned to her father for advice. I expected him to recognize the severity of our marital discord and tell me that he would speak to her and have her change her ways. He floored me when he laughed and said: "She is the image of her mother; I've been living with this problem all my life." I was in a less jocular mood and replied that if she did not change, his daughter would be returning to his household very shortly; since we were still childless I would not hesitate for one moment in seeking a divorce. In very emphatic terms I repeated this ultimatum to my wife.

Evidently, Hilda realized that Mac was very much in earnest and would not hesitate to enforce his threat. She immediately ceased her childish behavior and became the loving companion that she was prior to the marriage and has never repeated her silent treatment of me regardless of any disagreement or dispute that followed throughout our marriage.

...Fortunately, the episodes of our strong disagreements were very rare and our sons were spared a home filled with discord. In fact, they told us when they were teenagers that they hoped to emulate their parents' relationship when they married.

On his show Aug. 31, 2011, Dennis said: "My father tells the story that when he met my mother, he had a strange form of lisp or some other speech impediment. And one day she made fun of it. And that ended it."

April 3, 2008, Dr. Stephen Marmer said: "The only person I know who can so dominate a room that even Dennis can't get a word in edgewise is his father Mac."

In a letter he wrote for his wife in case he died before her, Max wrote: "I can never forget what you said to me when you were only seventeen years of age. 'Mac, if we will marry and have children, you will always be number one.' Not many wives feel that way. Most importantly, you kept that promise."

Feb. 14, 2014, Dennis said: "When you have a good relationship with a spouse, that is the relationship that can provide the most happiness. I don't think it is sufficient but it was for my father and mother."

Jan. 5, 2010, Dennis said: "Contrary to Freud, I never had the desire to kill either one of my parents."

Said Dennis in a 2008 lecture on Leviticus 19: "Ever since I was a kid, there's been this view of the sophisticated, 'What is God? Some sort of accountant?' Yeah, I think God is an accountant. That may be related to the fact that my father is an accountant and people tend to see God as they see their father, but I suspect that if my father wasn't an accountant, I would still feel that way. Why is it sophisticated to believe that God doesn't monitor our behavior.

May 9, 2012, Dennis said: "I believe in God entirely because of analytic thinking. It is not in my gut at all... My gut instinct is that there is no God... Hello, where's God? I see all these children dying. There seems to be moral chaos in this world. It is my analytic abilities that brought me to God and to religion. One hundred percent. I've always envied people whose gut instinct was religious, for whom faith was effortless."

As with most people, Dennis seems to relate to God the same way he related to his father. "I don't expect anything from God in this world," said Dennis Sept. 10, 2013."I don't ask God for anything."

"God will allow a drunk driver to hurt you. God will allow an infection to spread in your body and kill you."

"I ask myself, 'What does God want me to do?", not, 'What do I want Him to do?'"

Hilda was born October 24, 1919. She died September 19, 2009. She gave birth to Kenneth on January 3, 1943 and to Dennis Mark aka Shmuel on August 2, 1948. (Baby pictures)

On the day Dennis was born, "Woody Wood-Pecker" by Kay Kyser was America's number one song and  Sprinter Mel Patton was on the cover of Time magazine.

No other famous person was born on this day.

According to the 1950 Census, America's population was 151,325,798 (86.5% white, 13.1% black). It would hit 300 million on October 17, 2006. According to the 2010 census, America was 63.7% non-hispanic white, 12.6% black, 16.4% hispanic, and 4.8% asian.

June 18, 2012, Dennis said he did not understand those who booked a photographer to record a birth. "Who do you want to show it to?"

"I did not want to see my birth and I am not interested to see my children's birth."

"There's part of me that rebels against, 'Everything must be recorded.' And I have a video diary."

According to Dennis, his parents gave little thought to his name. "They wanted a girl. They already had a boy. They knew they were only going to have two. They were going to name the girl Denise. That's how I got the name Dennis. There was no other thought." (1995 lecture on Exodus 6)

"I was never read a fairy tale or children's stories. I did read Crime and Punishment at age 11." (Sept. 26, 2013)

"My parents are a fascinating amalgamation of modern American and traditional Judaism," said Dennis. "Both grew up with European Jewish parents. My father's parents didn't even speak English, only Yiddish.

"My whole family was in America during the Holocaust… If my grandparents hadn't moved to this country, I would never have been born. My parents would have been gassed." (C-SPAN Booknotes, Nov. 21, 1995)

"My father is convinced that God willed the Holocaust," said Dennis Jan. 15, 2010. "He said it is crazy to believe that God just watched it... It's a debate I've had with my father my whole life... I am of the position that God does allow these things to happen. I postpone God's interventions to the afterlife. I never try to talk people into my position. I envy those who have my father's position, that whatever happened, God wills. On the other hand, it is logically difficult to hold that position and I am cursed and blessed to be very rational. If I am hit by a drunk driver, it does not make sense that God had me hit by that drunk driver."

According to a family joke, Max joined the Navy during World Way II to get away from the crying of Kenneth.

Sex

On Nov. 13, 2013, Dennis said: "I got this attitude I have, this openness, from my father. He was married to my mother for 69 years, faithful for 73. And he was very open about his sexual nature to her because he was open about his sexual nature with all of us, not just to my mother. It was a good model. I am more interested in behavioral fidelity than a saintly mind."

Said Dennis in a 2001 lecture on Numbers 25: "We have a hobby farm in our family. When I see the way the roosters jump on the hens, I understand the roosters. I have more in common with a rooster sexually than I have with my wife."

"My father is 83. I get the ability to speak out loud about sexual matters not often spoken about because he did, not at a microphone but at a dinner table. He's an Orthodox Jew. He would say, 'When I die, I have a question to ask God -- why He made the sex drive as strong as he did?'"

In chapter one of his online autobiography, Max Prager wrote
:

There were four shomer shabbos (Sabbath observer) families, including us. One was Pinchas who sported a beard and achieved notoriety by allegedly groping Mrs. Bodner who was well endowed. The latter related this incident to my mother within earshot of me. Many evenings she would come into our apartment to spend hours with my mother while her husband was working nights at the restaurant. While listening, she had a habit of placing her right hand into her dress and touching her left breast.

Max attended ninth grade at public school:

I was now blessed with one lady instructor, Miss Dalrymple, my English teacher, who came from the South. She, in my eyes, personified everything a Southern gal was supposed to look like. Possessing a beautiful face with a body to match, she aroused Mendel who had now reached puberty and whose hormones were working overtime. I sat in the rear center of her class and had a perfect vantage point in staring at her legs underneath her desk. This was my first sexual infatuation with a woman.

A plain girl named Dotty lived on top of Max's building. He taught her to swim. "She would lie down on her chest across my outstretched arms and my feeling her tiny breasts gave me quite a charge..."

At age 16, Max stopped wearing a yarmulke outdoors. He "went bare headed for the first time in my life. My sexual aggression that followed was a direct result of this incident."

Max got a girlfriend named Esther and when "her parents retired for the night, we would engage in 'heavy' petting."

At age 20, Max became the manager at Auerbach's Hotel in Spring Valley, N.Y. There were lots of opportunities for fooling around. In particular, there was one wife who was about 35 with four kids.

She always eyed me up and enjoyed speaking to me. On one particular weekend, her husband did not show up. While dancing with me at our Saturday night dance, she asked me to please come to her room to fix the window, which, supposedly, was not functioning properly. Whether I was still a yeshiva bocher (boy) and unsophisticated or scared to lose my virginity, I said: "I'll be glad to send up the maintenance man;" her reply was immediate: "Don't bother." She never had a broken window again.

This was not the only temptation that came Max's way. He wrote: "Another experience that I had was with another woman who was very attractive with a body to match. I would say she was in her early thirties and married to a dentist who came out weekends. During the week she and I would sit at night after dinner in a swing for two and indulge in light petting."

Things got interesting when this woman's pretty younger sister came up and repeatedly tried to seduce Max.

When there were a lot of guests, the workers had to sleep on couches in the lobby. Max wrote: "I remember vividly moans and groans emanating from the many liaisons between the waiters and guests."

Despite these many opportunities to wander from his girlfriend Hilda, Max indicates that he retained his virginity until his wedding.

During a debate with Shmuley Boteach on Jan. 13, 2010, Dennis said: "My father was in the Navy during WWII, three years in the Pacific, claims he was never with any other woman. He's no saint. He just didn't. He said, the guys loved their wives, but years away. These were prostitutes. This is male nature."

Around 1960, Max served as president of his Orthodox synagogue. During his tenure, he regularly purchased Playboy magazine. “He provided a model of integrity, religiosity, and common sense,” wrote Dennis. (Think a Second Time, pg. 24)
“My father has always been open about his sexual nature. He’s been Orthodox his whole life. He got Playboy in the house. It didn’t seem to corrupt his marriage to my mother, which lasted 69 years. He was totally open. 'Hill, look. Do you like Miss November?'
“Until her death at age 89, he said she was the most beautiful woman in the world. And he looked at Miss November too. He was a good normal male.” (January 2010)

Dennis Prager & Orthodoxy

“My father baked challah, the special Friday night bread, on his ship,” said Dennis. “And he was one of a tiny number of Jews on his ship fighting the Japanese. That ability to bake challah on your Navy ship, I think, I’ve translated into my own life with a very great deal of openness about my Judaism and yet an immersion in the larger world.”
“Within Jewish life I’m in the no-man’s land, denominationally. I am equally comfortable, and yet not fully a member, as it were, although I attend, of course, services each week. When people find out that I won’t broadcast on a Jewish holiday or — in fact, it was a very powerful thing — the night of the O.J. Simpson verdict, I was invited to be one of only two people on Nightline, and I had so much passion about that verdict and I was so dying to talk, essentially, to a country. But it was Yom Kippur night, the holiest night of the Jewish calendar, and I turned it down. I don’t broadcast on Jewish holidays or Saturday.” (C-SPAN)
In a 2010 interview at Stephen S. Wise temple, Dennis said: “A week after my bar mitzvah, I stopped putting on tefillin. To do that in my home was so against how I was raised that I didn’t want my parents to know lest they be hurt. I didn’t do any of it out of rebellion since I hid all of my sins from my parents.”
“I would take the back of a comb and make little lines on my arm [before going down to breakfast] so that my mother thought I had put tefillin on that morning.”
“I don’t believe that rabbinic law is binding. Rabbis today can change rabbinic law, not Torah law.”
“Also, I found services way too long. I love musical instruments. Why the rabbis would ban musical instruments when God wanted us to use musical instruments in the temple [on the Sabbath and holidays], I can not understand.”
“I wanted the answers. I wasn’t given them. What is the Jewish role in the world? In 14 years in yeshiva, I never learned the Jewish role in the world. I learned how to build a sukkah. I learned you can eat an egg born on yontif (Jewish holiday).”
“Since going into the diaspora, Jews have been preoccupied-occupied with surviving, not influencing. Jewish life exists to exist. We feel like an endangered species… I don’t care if we survive. If we don’t influence the world, Jewish survival is of no interest to me. We have a task [to bring the world to God and His moral demands]. If we don’t do the task, we have no reason to live. We should assimilate. That’s why Jews do assimilate. Nobody gave them a task. I said that to audiences when I was 23 years old. I have not changed an iota. Where there is a why, there is a how.”
“I don’t care about Jewish culture. That’s why the board at Brandeis[-Bardin Institute] got angry at me. They were very into Jewish culture. I was very into Judaism. It was a conflict from the time Shlomo Bardin appointed me and then died that week until I left. I don’t care about Jewish dance. That’s not a reason to be Jewish any more than Albanian dance is a reason to be Albanian. The reason to be Jewish is to take Torah to the world.”
“Why stay Jewish if you’re secular? For what? Jewish culture? European culture dwarfs Jewish culture. Christian music is fifty times more beautiful than most Jewish music. We don’t have instruments [on Shabbat and holidays]. What kind of music could we have made? The rabbis [of the Talmud] did us an injury with that bad. I can have Handel’s Messiah or Adon Olam? Gee, that’s a toughie.”
“Jewishly, it’s been a lonely journey. That’s not a complaint. I go through my days profoundly grateful.”
“I left the two things that I was raised. I was raised religiously Orthodox and I am not. I was raised liberal and I am not.”
“I am thrilled that I was raised Orthodox… I saw it all. I got a phenomenally good education. The Torah is much more familiar to me in Hebrew than it is in English.”

Rabbi Nachum Braverman wrote to Dennis in the second edition of Ultimate Issues: "I find, however, that people's frustration with the 'tyranny of the law' is often merely their own unwillingness to inconvenience themselves."

Sept. 28, 2012, Dennis said: "I have the training of a rabbi but I never sought ordination."

This is a dubious claim. Dennis never had even a year of training equivalent to the work in the four-year Yeshiva University rabbinic curriculum. Compared to the typical Reform rabbi, however, Dennis knows more Torah.

Dec. 19, 2011, Dennis said: "I did think about being a rabbi. I studied to be a rabbi but I decided I preferred the title of "Mr" to "rabbi" because people expect the rabbi to say certain things and I wanted the freedom to say anything." 

People not only expect a rabbi to say certain things, they also expect him to not do certain things, such as the sexual experimentation before marriage that Prager enjoyed.

In fifth grade, Dennis asked his rabbi what Heaven would be like. The rabbi said that in Hollywood, they would study Torah all day long. Dennis decided he did not want to go to Heaven. (Adam Carolla dialogue, Feb. 25, 2012)
I sometimes hear something different in Dennis Prager’s voice when he’s attacked by Orthodox Jews. His normal tone of command may become strained. While he’s never rattled by attacks from the left, attacks from Prager's religious right can bring out his anxiety. His three marriages make his moral leader perch unsteady.
A search for “Dennis Prager” in Google (during the last three months of 2010 and last checked in Jan. 2011) reveals the first suggested term to add to the search is “divorce.”
The following story is a rare example of Dennis yelling at a caller.
Dore phoned Dennis Prager’s radio show Dec. 24, 2010: “Dennis, you love the holiday [of Christmas] so much, do you have a Christmas tree in your house?”
Dennis laughs.
Dore: “You are so enamored with it. Why? Do you get enamored with Easter?”
Dennis: “No. I am enamored with Christmas.”
Dore: “Why don’t you become a Christian? You don’t like Chanukkah, right?”
In the past, Dennis described Chanukkah music as “pathetic” in comparison to Christmas music.
Dennis: “Why does liking Christmas as a Jew mean I don’t like Chanukkah?”
Dore: “Why is it so important? If you take away the shmaltz, the music, the tree and everything else, you’ve got a religious holiday?”
Dennis: “Yes. I love the religion of my neighbors. For me, it is not a religious holiday. I don’t believe in Jesus Christ. Is it a national holiday?”
Dore: “Yes. Unfortunately, it is.”
Dennis: “The vast majority of Americans do [observe Christmas]… It is a meaningful day [for most Americans] and I like that and that’s why I live here. I love this country and I love its holidays including Christmas. My colleague Michael Medved is an Orthodox Jew and he plays this Christmas music [on his radio show]. My brother is Orthodox and he sang Christmas carols with a yarmulke with the Columbia’s Glee club. You are insular, we are not… You live in a tiny little ghettoized mind. I don’t.”
Dore: “Do you know the only day that Jews weren’t killed in the concentration camps? Christmas day.”
Dennis: “You’re an ingrate. How many Jews are living in the freest country on earth thanks to American Christians… You are an ingrate, sir.”
Dore: “No, I’m not.”
Dennis: “You are living in the best country Jews have lived in and you are crapping on the Christians who made this country. Why do you continue to live here if you have such a contempt for the Christians who surround you?”
Dore: “I have no contempt for non-Jews. I have contempt for Christmas day.”
Dennis: “Your entire call has been how crappily Christians have treated Jews. Why do you continue to live among Christians when you could live in Tel Aviv among Jews?”
Dore: “If I had the money, I would make aliyah to Israel.”
Six times during the call, Dennis called Dore “an ingrate.”

In a May 1, 2012 speech, Dennis said: "I text my rabbi (Orthodox), 'Merry Christmas.' And he texts back, 'Gut yontif.'"

On Dec. 24, 2013, Dennis published an essay sure to make any Orthodox rabbi wince. Titled, "Most Jews Wish You a Merry Christmas", the essay said: "It doesn’t matter with which religion or ethnic group you identify; Christmas in America is as American as the proverbial apple pie. That is why some of the most famous and beloved Christmas songs were written by guess who? Jews."

Steve Sailer wrote:
The Christmas songs that Jews wrote seldom involved religion...

But this long, amiable tradition of Jews helping to enliven a Christian feast day seems, sadly, to be drawing to an end. American Jews, those exemplars of successful assimilation now seem to be de-assimilating emotionally, becoming increasingly resentful, at this late date, of their fellow Americans for celebrating Christmas...

Considering that thousands of Jews voluntarily died rather than confess Christ, you won't find any support in the Jewish tradition for a Jew to say "Merry Christmas." It's about as Jewish a thing to do as eating ham. Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, who is Messiah and God according to those who celebrate Christmas for religious reasons. The word "Christmas" originates from the compound "Christ's mass" meaning the eucharist (the ritual drinking of Christ's blood and the eating of his flesh through consuming wine and a wafer). So while it may be popular with many Christians for a Jew to deny his Jewishness by affirming their holiday through the intoning of words that celebrate Christian claims for Jesus, it is completely against Judaism.

Dennis Prager wrote in 2014:
I believe it is significant that three of the four dissenting justices are the three Jews on the Supreme Court — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. So, too, one of the two women (the “respondents” at the Supreme Court level) who filed the original lawsuit against the town of Greece is a Jew. And Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, the Union for Reform Judaism, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Anti-Defamation League, had filed amicus curiae briefs in support of the women.

This is all significant because the Jewish justices, the Jewish woman who brought the suit against the New York town and all the Jewish organizations that filed briefs in support of the two respondents represent a battle that many American Jews and Jewish organizations have been waging for decades against public expressions of God and religion.

American Jews have become the most active ethnic or religious group in America attempting to remove God and religion from the public square. Why is this the case? Why have American Jews been so active in fighting any expressions of God and religion in the country that has been the most hospitable to us in our long history?

Nearly every Jew who does so will give this answer: In order to fight for the separation of church and state in America.

But let’s be honest. If there were no such concept in America — and in fact, the phrase “separation of church and state” never appears in the Constitution — most American Jews would be just as opposed to public expressions of faith.

So, then, once again: Why are American Jews so opposed to public religious expressions? Moreover, this opposition exists not only to government-sponsored religious expression. For example, many Jews are avid supporters of substituting “Happy Holidays” for “Merry Christmas” or “holiday party” for “Christmas party.”

I think there are four reasons.

One is antipathy to Christianity. Most Jews just don’t like Christianity. They associate it with centuries of anti-Semitism, and therefore believe that a de-Christianized America will be a much more secure place for them.

Second, many American Jews feel “excluded” when Christianity is expressed in public.

A third reason is antipathy to religion generally. Most Jews are little more positively disposed to Orthodox Judaism than they are to traditional Christianity.

That leads to reason four: a fervent belief in secularism. Most American Jews believe in secularism as fervently as Orthodox Jews believe in the Torah or traditional Christians believe in Christ.

So most Jews don't like Christianity but do wish you a merry Christmas? One of those beliefs is sincere and one is insincere. 

On Jan. 16, 2014, Dennis Prager said: "The American Protestant produced the greatest society ever produced by any religious group." 

"If I had been talking 2,000 years ago, I would've said Judaism."

Runners-up in this competition would have to be the other societies produced by white English-speaking Protestants such as England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.

Dennis told Hugh Hewitt about Hasidic hats: "The big-rimmed hat is merely a carry-over from Eastern European life. There are parts of Jewish life that are extremely traditional. I am not that traditional. I like American garb and modern Western garb. But so be it. They have chosen to wear the clothing that was worn at the time in Eastern Europe, and to…there’s a certain nostalgia for the shtetl, the insulated Jewish religious village. I don’t have that particular yearning."

While teaching the five books of the Torah verse-by-verse over 18 years at American Jewish University, Dennis Prager wondered aloud why so few Orthodox Jews came. In his fifth lecture on Numbers circa 2006, Dennis said: “That’s amazing. More Mormons than Orthodox Jews. That’s fascinating. I love it. It cracks me up. How do you get Orthodox Jews to attend non-Orthodox?”

I suspect the lack of Orthodox interest in Prager's Torah teachings does more to him than simply "cracks me up." 

In a lecture on Deut. 22:1, Dennis said: “I’m very unhappy that you asked that question because it may invalidate a certain community [Orthodox] from buying these tapes and listening to them. Your question, was I taught these things at yeshiva? Some things I was. Most of the things I am conveying to you I was not taught in my traditional upbringing. I’m doing something with this that is very different.”
“When I meet learned Jews who find out that I am teaching the Torah verse-by-verse, they will say, ‘Oh, so you teach it with Rashi?’ And of course I have studied the Rashi but I don’t teach it from Rashi for while he is invaluable, if I need to learn how to live today, he’s not the best source now. From the filter of my background with these rabbis but living in the modern world, what I am working out is is this book rationally morally applicable to your lives. It is an original attempt to make that clear. I don’t know of another attempt like this. It is easy to say, he is really arrogant. He thinks he understands the Torah that well to teach that way. I can’t defend against the arrogance. Why would I do this? It’s not for the money. It’s very hard. I wish that I had been taught these things.”
“I am very moved that wherever I go to speak in Jewish life, very often, Orthodox rabbis, Chabad rabbis, will tell me that they use these tapes when they teach Torah. Not to mention Reform and others. That says to me that they know that this comes from a good place.”
“I picked up a lot of it from great scholars. Very often they were Christians who taught me these things… I obviously don’t use the parts where they say, ‘This shows that Christ…’ That’s not my faith.
“Irving Greenberg, an Orthodox rabbi, wrote in his book on Christianity that he has been deeply influenced by Christian thinkers. He said that from an early age, when he read Christian thinkers, when he read ‘Christ’, he substituted ‘God’ and it worked perfectly. I cracked up when I read it because that’s exactly what I do.”
“That’s how I know Judeo-Christian is a legitimate term. I did learn a lot from these [Christian] people who do relate it to life today. I learned things [in yeshiva] that I knew were not going to help me deal with life. Moses was caught by Pharaoh and his neck turns to marble when he’s about to be killed. Or the reason that Moses had a speech impediment was that when he was a baby on Pharaoh’s lap, they put before him gold and hot coals, and he was about to reach for the gold and give away how brilliant he was, but he reached the hot coals and burned his tongue forever. I don’t mind those stories but they don’t help me understand what the Torah really wants to teach. And those are some of the things I learned at that time. I’m fighting for the belief that this is a divine text.”
“I respect the notion that God gave us laws that we can’t understand, but I don’t think He did.”
In a lecture on Deut. 22:15, Dennis said: “I am versed in the sources like Rashi, Rambam and so on. They have helped shape my understanding but I believe that we need to dust off a lot of the traditional coloring of our view of the Torah to make it understandable for modern men and women. Many Orthodox rabbis get these tapes and have no problem with anything I have said, even though I am not making reference often to Orthodox sources. I’m being as true to the Torah as possible. It almost comes as a relief to many Orthodox Jews that an honest reading of the peshat plain reading of the text without commentary leads you to an elevated view of the Torah.”
“On Deut. 22:16, Rashi says this teaches us that the woman has no permission to speak in the presence of her man, i.e. her husband. What am I going to say? Is this really what the Torah teaches? That a woman in the 21st Century should not speak in front of her husband?”

In his lecture on Lev. 14, Dennis said: "It is not the specific act of ritual [in the Torah] that is of interest to me as what is it aimed to say. Of course it will be time-bound... When people bring a turtle-dove after menstruating, I don't relate to that... The message has to be eternal or there is no message."

"I believe that a lot of people confuse 'divine' with 'eternal.' It should not be. I believe the Torah is a divine text... 'Divine' does not mean that every detail is eternally the same. The message and the values are eternal. Some of the laws are clearly eternal, but the idea that the priest will come to your home when it suffers from skin disease, obviously that will not take place today. With the end of the temple, the whole concept of tame and tahor (purity and impurity) has evaporated. It is our task to figure out what is eternal without just choosing what we are comfortable with."

Unlike traditional Orthodox Jews, Dennis Prager does not wear a kipa (skullcap) when he’s out and about. He wears one at home and in shul and when he’s reciting a blessing and teaching Torah.
Unlike Orthodox Jews, Dennis Prager has no concern about whether or not the plate he eats off of is kosher. He will eat vegetarian food in non-kosher restaurants and he will pray in non-Orthodox synagogues. He will also drive on the Jewish Sabbath.
Unlike Orthodox Jews, Dennis Prager does not believe in the divinity of the Oral Law.
Speaking October 28, 2010 at Temple Israel Ner Tamid in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, Dennis said: “Why didn’t I accept full Orthodoxy with the oral law? When I was in yeshiva, I asked my rabbis in sixth grade, if God gave a written and an oral Torah, why didn’t He write it all? Why was some written? It can’t be because of significance because there are parts of the written Torah that are incredibly over-detailed and there are things in the Oral law of tremendous significance. It seems capricious and God doesn’t seem capricious. Second, it doesn’t say anywhere in the written Torah that God gave an oral law. It’s an oral tradition that I should believe that an oral tradition was given at Sinai.
“Maybe God wanted there to be an oral tradition so that it could change and the written Torah was the constitution that doesn’t change.
“I believe the oral law developed the most humane way of killing an animal devised in history… This is all wonderful, but now that we have stunning where an animal doesn’t know what is bout to be done to it, why don’t we stun animals in kashrut and then kill them ritually? Because the answer is that the oral law says that the animal has to be fully conscious. In my opinion, in this case, the oral law undermines its own brilliance. If there was stunning 3,000 years ago, the Talmud would have said there could be stunning.”

No major rabbi in the Jewish tradition prior to the 19th Century has held that while the written Torah comes from God, the oral Torah does not. Such a Sola Scriptura position is uniquely Protestant. There is no room in Orthodox Judaism for this thinking. The only organized group of Jews who've held it over the past 1,800 years (prior to Reform Judaism in the 19th Century) are the tiny Karaite sect (there are about 50,000 Karaites in the world).

Reform and Conservative Judaism reject not only the divinity of the oral Torah but also of the written Torah when it conflicts with modern mores (such as homosexuality).

While rejecting the divinity of the Oral Torah makes Dennis Prager's life easier by permitting him to do what he wants (drive on the Sabbath, eat in non-kosher restaurants, turn on lights on the Sabbath, play musical instruments on the Sabbath, etc), it removes him from the Jewish tradition. If Jews study the thought of Dennis Prager in 200 years, I wonder if it will be in the same detached manner that they study insects or the historical Jesus.

There's no way to organize Jews according to Dennis Prager's teachings. They're too elastic. They're a unique presentation of Judaism for people who can't read Jewish texts in Hebrew, but history shows that it verges on the impossible to transmit a Jewish way of life over generations without accepting the binding nature of the oral law (and such law can only bind the believer if it is held to come from God).

Wikipedia says about Chanukkah: "According to the Talmud, olive oil was needed for the menorah in the Temple, which was required to burn throughout the night every night. The story goes that there was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight day festival was declared by the Jewish sages to commemorate this miracle." Dec. 23, 2011, Dennis Prager said he believed that that miracle historically happened. No historian outside of Orthodox Judaism believes this miracle happened. 

Sept. 19, 2012, Dennis said: "I've had no miracles in my life."

July 13, 2001, Dennis said: “I was raised Orthodox but after my Bar Mitzvah on I was never Orthodox [to his parents chagrin]. I did however try Orthodoxy once again after my first child was born (1983). For a number of years, I lived an Orthodox life to try it again as an adult. I’m quite observant but I always announce that I am not Orthodox because I never want to mislead anybody. Many Orthodox institutions have used some of my writings on Judaism, particularly my first book The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, but I will drive to synagogue on the Sabbath for example.”
Caller: “What about kosher? Is that important to you?”
Dennis: “Yes. But my level would be different from yours if you are Orthodox. I don’t care, for example, about dishes at a restaurant. If a dish has touched bacon and then was washed, I will have food off of it.”
Caller: “What would you advise young people, especially Jews, aged 12-25 about whether they should follow what you’re doing?”
Dennis: “I am proud to say that I have brought a lot of Jews to Judaism. And they know, as my own children know, that I do not give a hoot if my children or any Jew I influence expresses a serious Judaism as an Orthodox, Conservative, Reform or Hasidic Jew. I am just as happy. I have zero preference.”
Caller: “What happened after your Bar Mitzvah?”
Dennis: “I don’t have an Orthodox temperament. For example, I never got into praying. Never. I love singing and Torah study. Davening essentially has bored me. In most synagogues, I am bored out of my mind. I’m sure that’s a lapse in me. I was raised in a world where so much is actually said in prayer, that it is actually speed read.”

On Oct. 23, 2013, Dennis published seven reasons for why Orthodoxy is growing, including:

Second, the more Orthodox one is, the more he or she is likely to live among Orthodox Jews. One’s entire social life (outside of work) revolves around fellow Orthodox Jews. That makes it, to put it gently, very difficult to leave Orthodoxy. If you do, you are likely to lose your whole support system and probably most of your friends, as well. You may even risk alienating your family.

Third, the great majority of Orthodox Jews send their children to Orthodox Jewish day schools — usually through high school. The Orthodox child rarely has close non-Orthodox, let alone non-Jewish, friends, thereby reinforcing Orthodoxy both experientially and socially from the earliest age...

On Oct. 25, 2013, Dennis said: "I believe in the 13 Principles of the Jewish faith as enunciated by Maimonides, but there are many rabbinic laws I don't find rational. The practices that man made should be rational. The adding of a day to the list of days you have to keep for Passover... God wanted it to be seven days [not eight days as the Orthodox keep it]... That stuff drove me crazy intellectually."

In a March 10, 2009 lecture on Leviticus 19: 26-28, Dennis Prager said: “When I was in yeshiva, [I was told about] a very very pious rabbi who on Yom Kippur was so careful not to drink that he would not even swallow his own saliva. He would spit it out. I remember thinking the man was an idiot. The thought of a guy spitting all Yom Kippur, what’s so pious about that? I would leave shul.”

In a 2009 lecture on Leviticus 22-23, Dennis said: “Shinui is the notion of doing something different on Shabbat. I had an uncle, may he rest in peace, who was right-wing Orthodox. He loved playing chess. The vast majority of Orthodox Jews see nothing wrong with playing chess on Shabbat, but he would say you would have to move the chess pieces with your left hand on Shabbat. To me that is excessive.”

Most people influenced by Dennis to take Judaism seriously end up Orthodox (if you want high-intensity Jewish religion, that’s practically your only choice) and many of them come to despise Dennis for not being religious enough. In a column Sept. 5, 2006, Dennis wrote: “I recall a young man who attended a Jewish institute I used to direct. When he first arrived at the institute, he was a particularly kind and nonjudgmental individual — and completely secular. After his month-long immersion in studying and living Judaism, he decided to become a fully practicing Jew. When I met him a year later he was actually less kind and was aggressively judgmental of the religiosity of fellow Jews, including me and others who had brought him to Judaism. In one year he had become in his eyes holier than the teachers who brought him to religion in the first place.”
Dennis Prager’s eloquence inspires such fervor in unbalanced people seeking a hero that it is impossible for him to live up to their unrealistic expectations. Thus, many fans who idealized him come to despise him.
Dennis is the only member of his immediate family who is not Orthodox (about the only member of his extended family who is not liberal). “I was born an adult,” he told the Feb. 4, 1998 Los Angeles Times. “I couldn’t bear parental coercion. I’ve always been in love with freedom.”
While Max enjoyed an “I Thou” relationship to God, Dennis describes his relationship to God in more distant terms.
Dennis said that people of lesser fortitude would’ve broken under the rigor of Max’s parentage. "'Taking the easy way out' was a phrase my father frequently used. It was a little overdone in my house. He thought that glasses were the easy way out. I explained that I really need them." (Mar. 15, 2013)

One of Max's favorite sayings was, "It's only pain." (Aug. 30, 2013)

“I went through a period (his teens) where I hated my parents,” said Dennis in a 2009 lecture on “Feelings: Key to the Liberal Mind.”
In a 1994 lecture on Gen. 50, Dennis said: “It is a rare parent who wants to know all the details and it is a foolish child who tells all the details even though they know it is not necessary…and it might hurt them, such as about their sex life. Kids who don’t follow in the exact religious ways of their parents — do they have to announce to them, ‘I run my home differently than you do’ and hurt their feelings? There might be certain acts you put on to make them happy. With a family, ‘Let it all out!’ is a ludicrous principle. It is foolish to live an act but you don’t need to announce who you slept with last night.”
Said Dennis in a March 24, 2008 at Nessah Synagogue: “I grew up in an East European Hasidic shtible in New York. The rabbi was from Romania. Ultra-Orthodox. In order to do Maftir Yonah, the greatest honor of the year was to recite maftir and the book of Yonah on Yom Kippur, you bought it… You bought every single honor at the shul. No dough, no go up to the Torah. No one resented it because it was the only way this poor rabbi could support this little nothing shtibl on East 17th Street in Brooklyn.
“My father bought Maftir Yonah every year. He wanted that kavod (honor). God bless him. He installed the air conditioning at that shul.”
In a 1998 lecture on Exodus 28, Dennis said:

We do not associate Judaism and Jews with the aesthetic. The Greeks honored beauty, so there was a Jewish reaction to the worship of physical beauty. It’s only the life of the mind that matters. You had in the yeshiva world that I know very well an anti-aesthetic thing. It didn’t matter if your clothing was rumpled. It was almost considered in the yeshiva world of Eastern Europe, and though I didn’t grow up in Eastern Europe, I grew up in an Eastern Europe-type yeshiva in my elementary school, it was almost considered a virtue that the the boys would have a sheen on the seat of their pants. It meant that they almost never moved. They sat and studied all the time.
Do you know what yeshiva means? It means seated. If I had said to the rebbe, I need to go out to lift weights, he would’ve looked at me, how did he get in to this school, let alone my class? The rebbes were not Jack Lalane imitations. There would be recess but you can waste your time running around, real life is study.
Said Dennis in his 2007 lecture on Leviticus 4: “I love good religious services whatever the religion.”
“I was raised in an Orthodox home and with yarmulkes on, we watched the mass from the Vatican every Christmas eve (except for Shabbat). I loved it. The ceremonies. I loved it. When I visited the Vatican and I was taken to the inner parts by a major monsignor from Argentina who I was friendly with, I felt religious.”
In a lecture on Leviticus 14-15, Dennis said: “It was almost halacha in our house [to watch]. I’ve always been enthralled with all religions. What I really loved was the clothing, the pomp, the incense, the holy water, the sprinkling of water, the giving of the wafer. I didn’t know what anything meant. He could’ve given the people french toast and I wouldn’t have known the difference, but it didn’t matter to me. I was moved.”
Mar. 21, 2013, Dennis said: "I never ever think about whether God loves me and I am deeply God-centered. I have taught the Bible my whole [adult] life. All I ask is what does God want from me."
Apr. 10, 2 014, Dennis said: "I get my values from the Bible."
I've never heard any other Jew say this.
Mar. 22, 2013, Dennis said: "I want God judging. If God doesn't judge, I want to be an atheist. The idea that God doesn't judge not only doesn't appeal to me, it is antithetical to everything I believe about God. I am more interested that God judges than that God loves. If God loves and doesn't judge, that's more frightening to me than God judging and not loving. I think He's both."
"This notion of hate the sin and love the sinner has never made that much sense to me. You wipe out whole villages and run a concentration camp and have orgies in Pyongyang while sentencing your people to eat bark, and I'm not supposed to hate you? I think you're scum. How do you love good people if you don't hate bad people? I'm not an air conditioner. An air conditioner blows out cool air whether it is Hitler in the room or Mother Theresa. When religion is reduced to an air conditioner, it is worse than useless.
"But we live in an age that hates only one thing -- people who hate evil. People who judge are the only people who are really hated. Not people who exterminate human beings or run torture mills. Not the guy who raped an eight-year-old girl. We don't hate him. We hate the person who hates the rapist. I hate it when religion is an accomplice to moral imbecility."

In 1955, when Dennis was seven years old, sociologist Marshal Sklare described the American Orthodox as “a case study of institutional decay.” Its rebirth has taken place with Prager outside the fold.
Until 1992, Dennis -- though never a practicing Orthodox Jew as an adult -- always had his membership in Orthodox shuls (such as Young Israel of Century City on Pico Blvd in Los Angeles). Since 1992, he’s belonged to the Reform temple Stephen S. Wise).
As an adult, Dennis has always described himself as non-denominational and equally at home and equally uncomfortable in Reform, Conservative and Orthodox varieties of Judaism.
“I’m orthodox, not Orthodox,” said Dennis in his first lecture on Deuteronomy (2002). For many years Dennis noted that he belonged to a Reform temple, sent one child (Aaron) to a Conservative day school, another child (David) to an Orthodox day school (Shalhevet), and serves on the board of the Chabad day school in Conejo Valley. "I was on the founding board... They had no building of their own for the first years. It began in the back of my own home and then moved to a church property. A woman we hired sued within the first couple of weeks under the Americans With Disabilities Act because she had to walk up the hill to the bathroom. Precious funds we had to pay out to settle. We were always on the brink." (Jan. 16, 2012)

History professor and Orthodox rabbi Marc B. Shapiro wrote April 13, 2010:
On the internet there are loads of sites devoted to aspects of Orthodox life and culture from all different angles. Even though the Orthodox are significantly smaller than the other denominations, the amount written about them in recent years dwarfs what we can point to with regard to the Conservative and Reform movements. In terms of blogs and other Internet sites, there also is no comparison. How to explain all this?
When it comes to the blogs and more popular sites on the Internet the answer is not hard to find. It is true that the other denominations have more “members” than the Orthodox. Yet if we are talking about those who are educated Jewishly, and interested in Jewish matters, the Orthodox unquestionably outnumber the other denominations. Since the Internet is the great equalizer, with everyone able to set up his or her soapbox, it is no wonder that it is crawling with Orthodox sites. Furthermore, average Orthodox Jews, by which I mean those who are not in the rabbinate or the academy, buy books of Jewish interest to a much greater extent than other laypeople.
Between 1934-1950, many Haredim (fervent right-wing Orthodox such as rabbis Aharon Kotler, Moshe Feinstein, Joel Teitelbaum) moved to America and by the 1980s the right-wing Orthodox dominated Orthodox life (not so much in numbers but in commitment).
As opposed to the modern Orthodox, the traditional Orthodox generally scorn university education for any other purpose than earning a living. They generally refuse to cooperate with non-Orthodox forms of Judaism and they don’t identify with Zionism.
Said Dennis in a January 2002 lecture “Personal Autobiography”: “Modern [Orthodox] meant we kept kosher, we kept the Sabbath strictly, but outside the house we didn’t wear a yarmulke. We’d eat in any restaurant though we wouldn’t eat non-kosher food. We wouldn’t eat meat out, but we’d eat fish out.
“In Brooklyn, it was very possible even in a Modern Orthodox home to lead a very insular life. I never met Reform Jews. I never met Conservative Jews. I met more non-Jews than I met non-Orthodox Jews.”
In a 2008 lecture on his 25 years in broadcasting, Dennis said about his childhood: “I ached to meet non-Jews. I remember talking to the mailman as much as I could. I wanted to know what do you eat? Anything. Just to find out anything.”
Apr. 11, 2014, Dennis said: "In my synagogue, I would tie the men's prayer shawls together, so that when they separated from each other, all of their prayer shawls would fall off. I thought it was the funniest thing of my childhood. It still makes me crack up."
Dennis wrote Aug. 10, 2010:
When I was a kid in yeshiva, we played a game during davening (prayer services) called siddur (prayer book) baseball. We mostly played this at Orthodox summer camp during Shabbat services — because it was baseball season, and because Shabbat services were much longer than the daily service.
It was a game that demanded no skill. When it was your turn to bat, you closed the siddur and opened it up to any page. If the first letter on the page was an aleph, you had hit a single; if the was a bet, it was a double; a gimmel meant a triple; and a daled was a home run. Entire rows of kids — we sat on long benches — could be seen opening and closing their siddurim and mumbling something like “man on first, two out.”
We did this because we were bored out of our minds. And remember, we knew what the words meant. We had studied the siddur and Hebrew all our lives.
We were bored for a number of reasons, chief among them being that the davening was so long — usually more than three hours.
“I didn’t care that in school they didn’t ask me, how do you feel? One of the great moments of my life, it helped shape who I am, was in fourth grade. The rabbi announced it was time for the afternoon prayer. I walked over to the rabbi [Fastag] and said, ‘Rabbi, I’m not in the mood for mincha.’ The rabbi thought for a few moments, looked up and said, ‘Dennis Prager is not in the mood for mincha? So what?’ It was one of the great moments of my life that my mood did not matter.” (Oct. 12, 2009)
April 29, 2011, Dennis said: “I am not good at petitionary prayer and rarely make it [on behalf of myself]. I’ve done it maybe twice in my life. I don’t like using God as a celestial butler.”
“The type of prayer that is meaningful to me is two things: A very beautiful service at a house of worship — and they are not common — with beautiful music in a beautiful environment. That can be uplifting to me if it is brief… After a certain period of time, you have the law of diminishing returns with prayer. I particularly like when a benediction or invocation or some sort of prayer is made at the beginning of the meal. That is the one that most moves me — a brief spontaneous prayer at the beginning of a meal invoking God and uplifting eating from that of biological necessity to something higher. The purpose of prayer is to elevate the moment.”
“In my religion, there’s too much prayer and it’s too long and it has not had good effects within religious Jewish life.”
April 13, 2010, Dennis said: “Are Orthodox Jewish women subservient? Boy, my mother was an Orthodox Jewish woman. The idea that she was subservient would make one laugh. It would create levity in the Prager home. She loved it. She loved the idea that there were specific obligations that fell on men and fell on women.”

In the summer 1988 edition of his journal Ultimate Issues, Dennis Prager wrote an essay entitled "Beyond Reform, Conservative and Orthodox: Aspiring To Be A Serious Jew."
The serious Jew meets four criteria:
1. This Jew is committed to each of Judaism's three components: God, Torah, and Israel.
2. This Jew attempts to implement the higher ideals of each of these components.
3. Whatever Jewish laws this Jew does or does not observe is the product of struggle.
4. This Jew is constantly growing in each of these areas.
Somehow the Torah and the ongoing rabbinic tradition forgot to instruct Jews to ponder whether or not they would observe the Law. It's inconceivable that the Jews would have survived as a distinct people for thousands of years if they kept asking themselves whether or not they wanted to follow the Torah's commands. Prager's approach is only for intellectuals like Prager and even then it doesn't work  (hence Prager describes himself as "lonely" in Jewish life, hardly a recipe for a good life). Non-intellectuals are never going to struggle over the reasons for why they observe or do not observe each Jewish law (as Prager commands). It's not the way ordinary people are made. Instead, such thinking is the luxury of the modern who believes he knows better than the Torah.
It is easy for the Jewishly illiterate (those who can not pick up a Talmud and read it aloud in its original languages and explain it) to assent to Prager's thinking here and then to fool themselves that they are a "serious Jew" by virtue of their reflection and self-prescribed acting on these lofty ideals. Nobody can convince you that you're wrong because there is no code in Pragerism (the Pentateuch, which Dennis believes is uniquely divine, is not a code that can govern modern life without a binding tradition to interpret it). By contrast, defining the good Jew as one who is Orthodox dramatically reduces the room for fooling yourself. Orthodox Judaism has thousands of books filled with specific behaviors and a passionate community committed to this public observance and to separating themselves from those like Prager who deny the divinity of the Oral Law, drive on the Sabbath and eat in non-kosher restaurants like the Souplantation.
On Jan. 11, 2012, Dennis Prager wrote in the Jewish Journal:
Many years ago, one of the most respected Orthodox rabbis of our generation, Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the chief rabbi of Efrat, told me the following story — and, of course gave me permission to tell it in his name.

He was still living in the United States and was looking for a rosh yeshiva (a dean) for a yeshiva he was starting. When the selection process had narrowed the applicants to 10 highly learned young talmidei chachamim (scholars), he interviewed each of them. First, he had them read and explain a particularly difficult portion of the Talmud. Each one passed that part of the interview handily.

Then he asked them a question: Suppose you ordered an electric shaver from a store owned by non-Jews, and by accident the store sent you two shavers. Would you return the second shaver?

Nine said they would not. One said he would.

What is critical to understand is why they answered the way they did. The nine who would not return the second shaver were not crooks. They explained that halachah (Jewish law) forbade them from returning the other shaver. According to halachah, as they had been taught it, a Jew is forbidden to return a lost item to a non-Jew. The only exception is if the non-Jew knows a Jew found the item and not returning it would cause anti-Semitism or a Khilul Hashem (desecration of God’s name). The one who said he would return it gave that very reason — that it would be a Khilul Hashem if he didn’t return it and could be a Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of God’s name) if he did. But he, too, did not believe he was halachically bound to return the shaver.

The nine were not wrong, and they were not taught wrong. That is the halachah. Rambam (Maimonides) ruled that a Jew is permitted to profit from a non-Jew’s business error.

This same subject came up recently in talking with a rosh yeshiva of a “black hat” yeshiva, a good and decent man, who defended this halachah in order to make the point that it is halachah — not “humanity,” as he termed it, or common sense, or conscience — that determines what is right.
On Dec. 25, 2006, the Orthodox Union in Los Angeles hosted a debate about Orthodox Judaism between Dennis Prager and Rabbi Yitzhok Adlerstein (The two have been friends since the 1980s, Dennis often refers to Adlerstein as his “right-of-center Orthodox rabbi friend” in speeches, the friendship has waxed and waned over the years, with the men sometimes going years without talking). I was there and wrote the following:
Prager is not Orthodox and a lot of people are upset about him being invited to an O.U. event.

Rabbi Korobkin says the O.U. got a telephone message from a local leader of left-wing Orthodoxy complaining about Prager's inclusion. That Prager was intolerant of other religions because he wants Muslim congressman Keith Ellison to take his swearing in oath on a Bible (in addition to the Koran).

Dennis: "If we Jews think we are secure in America because of the constitution and not because of the Bible, we are fools."

"Of all the ethnic groups in America, we are the most foolish."

"The great majority of serious Jews are Orthodox."

"On the great moral issues of life, you and I are in agreement 99% of the time... Because we both believe the Torah comes from God."

"The average Orthodox rabbi and Reform rabbi share almost nothing [in values]."

"You turned out to be right... I could not argue against it -- the ordination of women. The adding of vast numbers of females to the Jewish and Christian clergy has not helped those religions. Women bring gifts that are different than what clerical leadership need. Women prefer compassion to standards and clergy have to prefer standards to compassion."

"Faith matters a great deal. When I grew up [in Orthodoxy], everything was halakah. About once a year, one of the rabbonim might have a hashkafa [worldview] shiur where God might be mentioned. In my Orthodox world, the question was never what does God want. It was, what's the halakah?"

"It's hard to argue that God does not women to be able to marry if their husbands refuse a get [divorce]. Why even ask what does God want if my only question is, what is the halakah?"

"The eruv is baloney. It is a legal fiction. We're going to fool ourselves that it is ok to wheel our kids to shul."

"I can't believe that God wants a woman [a mother of young children on Shabbos] to be under house arrest because there's not a string around the city."

"I believe that God doesn't want us to look silly in the eyes of the nations. The L.A. Times article [on the Venice eruv] makes Orthodox Judaism look silly. You can't blame the L.A. Times."

"I believe that God wants Pesach [Passover] to be seven days [rather than the eight days now observed by traditional Jews in the diaspora]. That's what he wrote. The Torah's from God."

"The siddur [prayer book] is too long. The maxzor [High Holiday prayer book] is too long. Nobody understands the piyutim [which make a Rosh Hashanah morning prayer service last over six hours]."

"Then I have Orthodox friends tell me, 'Dennis, at our hashkama minyan, we do everything in 90 minutes.' Then you have to say the prayers so fast they become gibberish. Evelyn Wood [speed reader] grew up Orthodox."

"I believe that the Torah wants Pesach to be seven days because it recreates creation. Judaism stands on two pillars -- creation and the Exodus from Egypt. When you make it eight days, you lose the whole point of what HaShem wanted."

"Are we a Kiddish HaShem in the way we kill animals? We had the most humane way to kill animals...but do we today? I don't think so."

"Kosher veal? It's killed in a painless way but it is raised in a painful way."

"I wish I could say that halakah [Jewish law] makes people good."

"My dad has been Orthodox his whole life. Even though he enlisted in World War II, he noticed all these yeshivot popping up in New York during World War II so Jews could avoid service in the armed forces by studying to become rabbis. All these goyim are fighting Hitler and all these frum Jews are enrolling in yeshiva to not fight Hitler."

"The finest Jews I have known have tended to be Orthodox."

Dennis complained about Orthodox Jews who don't greet gentiles on the Sabbath.

"When I first met Rabbi Adlerstein, he was not the same. He had to get halakic permission to go on Religion on the Line (KABC) and dialogue with non-Jewish clergy. Today he's a leader in Jewish life in talking to Christians and meeting with them and hugging them."

Rabbi Adlerstein: "Just the men."

Dennis: "The tradition with Conservative Judaism is not the non-fidelity to halakah. They [the rabbis] are overwhelmingly faithful to halakah... The problem with Conservatism is that they don't believe the Torah is divine."

Dennis says it is wrong that we have to stand during Neilah (and much of the High Holiday prayer services). "If you had to stand during my talk, all you'd think about is when you could sit down."

"We're stuck with standing up more than any other religion."

"You can't say anything in Orthodox life that something rabbinic is a bad idea."

Dennis says that only two or three people in his yeshiva class did not cheat.

"Joseph Telushkin was a Republican ten years before I was."

A young man gets up and says how disgusted he is that Prager was invited to speak and to criticize the Orthodox. About 15 people applaud him.

Dennis: "Reform does not invite me (because of my politics). Conservative does. I spoke at the Rabbinical Assembly convention."

"My parents went to my Stephen S. Wise minyan Saturday morning for my youngest son's bar mitzvah. They loved it."

Rabbi Korobkin says Dennis Prager thinks more like an Orthodox Jew than most Orthodox Jews.

At the end of the program, a man loudly pleads with Dennis to daven mincha with them. Prager agrees.

Getting ready to run his sixth straight high holiday service, Dennis wrote in the August 28, 2013 Jewish Journal:
...I believe that study can bring many modern Jews closer to God and to Judaism than prayer does. That has been my experience. Therefore, in our services, there is less prayer time and more study time. By study I am referring not to Torah study, but to studying the prayers that we do say (all from the traditional machzor, the High Holy Days prayer book), to the talks I give, and to a two-hour question-and-answer session on Yom Kippur afternoon.

I regularly explain a prayer that the chazzan is just about to recite: What does it mean that “God revives the dead?” If “God loves His people Israel,” why have His people suffered so much? Virtually every paragraph in the machzor offers the leader of the services a chance to speak on a great theme.

...Music, too, brings many of us closer to God and religious feeling than prayer alone. Of course, many prayers are sung by cantors and/or the congregation. And I find the distinctive High Holy Days melodies extraordinarily uplifting. This is especially so with musical instruments. As I noted in a previous Jewish Journal column on musical instruments on Shabbat, God obviously knew the power of musical instruments to bring people closer to Him. He ordained their use in the Holy Temple on Shabbat and holidays. It was the rabbis who forbade their use after the Temple was destroyed.

I well recall the first time I attended a Reform Yom Kippur service — at Stephen S. Wise Temple — and heard the Kol Nidre played on a cello. I had tears in my eyes.

...In our services (pragerhighholidays.net), the goal has been to shorten prayer time, but not necessarily the length of the service. Between listening to beautiful liturgical music sung and played, regular commentaries on the liturgy, and a sermon on a religious or ethical Jewish theme, the percentage of time during which the congregation prays is relatively small. In addition to holding people’s interest, this has another benefit: the prayers we do recite take on added meaning.

Keeping the services interesting and, hopefully, inspiring, has yet another benefit: people come on time.

...The screenwriter and novelist Roger Simon attended our services last year and afterward wrote a column on how the services motivated him to fast for the first time since he was a child.

In order to encourage nonobservant Jews to fast on Yom Kippur, the best thing one can do is figure out how to keep them in shul all day. So this is what we do:

First, we start Yom Kippur services at 11 a.m. This late beginning is enormously helpful. For one thing sleep gives you strength to fast. For another, we reach the afternoon break after only about four hours. Instead of going home, the attendees are then encouraged to stay for an open discussion with me (and sometimes a guest) on any subject except politics for two hours. By the time that ends, we are within about two hours of the fast ending.

In a 2008 lecture on Lev. 19:19-25, Dennis said: "Over time, Jewish law exponentially increased beyond Torah and even rabbinic law, became burdensome, and that's why you had the Sabbatai Zevi phenomenon in the 17th Century. One half of the Jewish people including many of its greatest rabbis believed that a man called Sabbatai Zevi was the Messiah. He was a Turkish Jew. It's one of the most interesting religious stories. It's never taught in yeshiva. 

"Jews were so embarrassed by their belief in Sabbatai Zevi that when it ended, it entered the memory hole of Jewish history. I went to yeshiva until 18 and never heard his name. And that included years of study of Jewish history. I learned about it in college. Nobody talks about it because it is so embarrassing. It wasn't a goofy movement."

"Sabbatai Zevi had a motto -- 'the annulling of a commandment is its fulfillment'. He changed a blessing from 'He who frees the bound' to 'He who permits the prohibited.' Two basic statements of his that were anti-law. It was an antinomian movement, which religious Jews bought into. That's my argument that over time, the law did become too burdensome, and when given a theological out, many Jews jumped on that bandwagon."

Dennis wrote in the Jewish Journal Nov. 6, 2013:

Many Orthodox Jews think that observance of halachah, more than faith, is what ensures Jewish survival. Every yeshiva student is taught the famous line from the Midrash: “It would be better that the Jews abandoned Me [God] but kept my commandments.”

But Conservative Judaism provides a nearly perfect refutation of this idea. Many Conservative rabbis in the past, and many today, have led thoroughly halachic lives, virtually indistinguishable from many modern Orthodox rabbis. If halachah is what keeps Jews alive, the Conservative movement should not be in decline — and it should certainly attract more Jews than Reform, the least halachic of the major denominations.

Furthermore, if halachah is the single most important thing to the Orthodox, why has Orthodoxy been so opposed to Conservative Judaism and to Conservative rabbis who have been scrupulously halachic? The answer is that the Conservative movement dropped belief in a God-given Torah. (Jewish Theological Seminary Web site: “The Torah is the foundation text of Judaism ... not because it is divine, but because it is sacred, that is, adopted by the Jewish people as its spiritual font.”) And it is that, not lesser observance of halachah, that is the primary reason for Conservative Judaism’s decline.

Judaism cannot just be a commitment to the Jewish people, love of Israel or even just ritual observance. As important as each is, none will ensure Jewish survival as much as belief — belief in the God of the Torah and in the Torah of God.

In 1989 in a lecture series on the 13 principles of the Jewish faith according to Maimonides, Dennis delivered what he described as the most difficult lecture of his life — whether or not God wrote the Torah. “My attitude is that I live as if this is true while my brain retains its intellectual honesty and just doesn’t know.”

On Nov. 18, 2009, Dennis wrote in the Forward:

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite national holiday. In fact, although I am a religious Jew (or rather, because I am a religious Jew), it rivals my favorite Jewish holidays for my affection.

It does so because it is quintessentially American, it is deeply religious without being denominational and it is based entirely on one of the most important, and noble, traits a human being can have — gratitude.

...American Jews should celebrate Thanksgiving with particular enthusiasm.

First, and most obvious, nowhere in Jewish history have we had it is as good for so long as we have had it in America. No individuals or groups have better reason to celebrate Thanksgiving in America than we Jews.

Second, Thanksgiving is the one day of the year in which we Jews celebrate the same religious holiday with the rest of America. By definition, Jews do not share a religion with the non-Jewish majority of Americans. But we do share our God (the God of Creation and the God of Israel) with the Christian majority. And this holiday alone affirms that.

...I recall with pride that in my Orthodox parents’ home on Thanksgiving we ritually washed our hands before the Thanksgiving meal and sang the Birkat Hamazon — the grace after meals — afterward as if it were a yom tov meal.

Summing up the post-WWII attitude to nationalism, John Derbyshire wrote: "To cherish one’s country was acceptable, but to regard it as the organic expression of a particular people was frowned upon."
Nov. 28, 2013, Dennis said: "Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday in many ways. There is no American by group or by individual -- and this is a favorite theme of mine -- who should not be able to have a Thanksgiving."
American Jews most observant of Torah tend to not observe Thanksgiving because their religion commands that one not follow non-Jewish customs (Leviticus 18:3). "Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner argues that it is obvious and apparent that--whatever the merit of celebrating Thanksgiving the first time in the 1600s--the establishment of an annual holiday that is based on the Christian calendar is, at the very least, closely associated with idol worship and thus prohibited."

John from Queens, New York, called Nov. 28, 2013: "I grew up in a pretty Orthodox Jewish family and we never celebrated Thanksgiving and neither did anyone in my community because it was considered a non-Jewish holiday and if anyone did celebrate Thanksgiving, that was frowned upon."
Dennis: "Is that still the case?"
John: "Yes... I remember bringing up to a member of my community several years ago that there was a certain rabbi, Joseph Solveitchik, who used to eat a turkey on Thanksgiving, and they scoffed at me and laughed me off, and said, 'Huh, he's not a legitimate rabbi.'"
Dennis: "He was the leading halakhist of his generation along with Moses Feinstein."
John: "For the more modern."
Dennis: "Yeah, well, he was the rabbi of the Yeshiva University. So they discounted him? Do they discount Chabad, because they are fervent observers of Thanksgiving? I think it is the insularity of New York. I don't think that was true of Orthodox Jews in Nashville."
Dennis shows his ignorance of Orthodox Judaism and Orthodox Jewish culture. Haredi Jews in America rarely celebrate Thanksgiving. Joseph Solveitchik wasn't a halakhist. He made few rulings on Jewish law. He was a philosopher and had no influence in Orthodox Judaism outside of  intellectuals who liked to play his intellectual games.

On Nov. 25, 2013, Dennis said: "The Hebrew calendar simply went wild this year with everything [such as Hanukkah] super duper early."  

The Hebrew calendar wasn't early with its holidays in 2013. Hanukkah began on the 25th of the month of Kislev just like it has for millenia. Hanukkah in 2013 was only "early" if you consider the Western calendar the ultimate real. For one rooted in Torah, the Hebrew calendar is the primary calendar and the Western calendar is just another custom of the Gentiles like hunting, Christmas, and "Have a nice day".

On Nov. 28, 2013, Dennis said: "There are sacrifices you make for your religion. Our religion in America is Americanism... We believe we have a value-system that is God-based that is worthy of living for. I'm not asking you to die for, how about keeping your store closed one day a week [for Thanksgiving]? I come from a tradition that has always said you make sacrifices for your religion. I grew up in a world and still do where you honor the Sabbath. I take pay-cuts for that reason... It hit my bottom line tremendously."

Dennis Prager’s Infancy

Max Prager wanted to have more kids but Hilda did not, possibly because of the trauma associated with Dennis’s first two months. (MaxPrager.com)
Dennis said his mother smoke and drank while she was pregnant with him. (May 26, 2011)
Both his parents smoked. "I would get sick when my father would smoke a cigar in the car with the windows up. I would throw up." (Feb. 27, 2014)
April 27, 2011, Dennis said: “I grew up in a home where the parents put each other first.”
Max Prager wrote about Dennis in chapter 23:
Ten days after his birth, the practical nurse whom we engaged for 2 weeks, Mrs. Lehmann, a refugee from Germany, noticed his penis changing color to blue which, of course, signified a loss of blood flowing to his tiny organ. It seems that the mohel tied the bandage much too tight. We immediately called our pediatrician and fortunately he corrected a very negligent act that occurred at the circumcision.
A much worse and more life-threatening event occurred two days later. Fortunately, Hilda went into the child’s room to check on him and, lo and behold, Dennis’s lips were blue and he was gasping for breath. It seems our nurse was negligent in burping him after he was fed and the milk was closing his small and narrow trachea. Since we had no time to call our regular pediatrician, we called the nearest doctor to our home, Dr. Wollowick, whom we knew from the synagogue and whose office and home was on the next block.
When we informed him of the problem over the phone, he came immediately recognizing the severity of the situation and possible consequences. I remember him driving to our home, parking his car in the middle of the street and running up the stairs to examine our sick child. His next remark completely put us in shock. He stated that only the Police or Fire Dept. Emergency Squad with oxygen could save our son. He called them and in a very short time, the Fire Dept. arrived and placed an adult oxygen mask on our child’s face, not having a mask for an infant. God was good to us at that moment, as He has been to us throughout our lives, saving our newborn son’s life. Dennis immediately began to cry and his lips returned to a normal pinkish color. Kenny, standing outside with his friends kept repeating “That’s my brother.”

The nurse claimed that Dennis was allergic to cow’s milk and had him put on goat’s milk. He lost weight. After a month, he was returned to cow’s milk and thrived, eventually reaching 6’4 and 240 pounds. (Max Prager)
“I imbibed [baby] formula and second-hand smoke,” said Dennis Dec. 1, 2010. “That was my diet as a kid. I get sick every other year for about three days.”
Dennis grew up at 2705 Kings Highway in Brooklyn. In 1954, the Pragers moved to 1725 East 27th St. between Quentin Rd. and Avenue R. Dennis and Kenny had their own rooms.
Max and Hilda moved to New Jersey in 1997.

"My parents did not read to me when I was a kid," said Dennis Feb. 13, 2013, "yet I became verbal. The issue is to be around people who speak intelligently and clearly."

In the summer of 1953, when Dennis was five and Kenneth ten, their parents enrolled them at the sleepaway Maple Lake summer camp. 

"I knew from childhood on, stick to the kids who are decent, otherwise you are going to get hurt... From the age of five, I was away from home for eights weeks [every summer]. I didn't like at five, but I also didn't like it at home at five." 

"I went against my gut instinct...when I was ten years old... Four in the bunk formed a group called the Eagles. I knew that one of them was not a nice kid but I decided that I would join because it was better to be with the kids who were powerful. I didn't want to get hurt. It was an insurance policy, like paying protection money to the Mafia. I remember thinking, this is a protection scheme for me. If I join the Eagles, then the Eagles won't hurt me, but I remember thinking, I don't like them, particularly the one. The Eagles were not formed to be nice. That was the last time I befriended a not nice person. I've been fortunate that I have never been hurt by a friend... I have built-in antennae for who to trust. I have perfect pitch." (Sept. 26, 2013)

Max Prager wrote in chapter 26: “What enters my mind now is my father-in-laws reaction to our sending Dennis who was not yet five to a sleep-away camp. On one of our visits we drove up to the camp with Hilda’s parents and when we were ready to leave, Dennis started to cry as he wished to leave with us. Papa Friedfeld then berated us in no uncertain terms telling us how cruel we were to ship off such a young child away from home. We, naturally, were not swayed and poor Dennis remained in exile.”
Max calls Dennis “a poor traveler.” (Chapter 26)
Dennis said July 11, 2008: “When I was four years old, I was in a bunk of boys and girls at summer camp. I remember there were girls and boys but it was totally innocent.”
When Dennis was six (according to Dennis) or seven (according to Max), Hilda, who hated housework, left the home to work at Garden Nursing Home. (Max Prager, chapter 27)
Dennis said on his KRLA radio show that he thinks he would’ve been better off if his mother had stayed home instead of going to work when he was young.
His lack of mothering likely accounts for much of Dennis's anxious attachment style, his rebellion against traditional Judaism, his need for attention, his insatiability for female adoration, a yearning that would cause him to choose the life that would bring him the most women (but usually emotionally avoidant women, making for nightmarish relationships), a yearning that would account for him hiring almost exclusively women to get the nurturing he never got as a child, a yearning that would initiate but also doom his every romance.

Many psychologists note that we obsessively seek in romantic love what we missed out on as a kid from our parents.

On his birthday, Dennis asks on his radio show for people whose lives he has touched to let him know the details. He yearns for affirmation. 

On Sept. 12, 2013, Dennis was asked by the author of The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime, Adrian Rayne: "Did you have loving parents?"

Dennis: "They were not particularly loving... I felt I was in a secure home. I wanted to leave it..."

Mar. 28, 2014, Dennis said: "My parents were not emotionally expressive toward my brother and me. That created certain very important things in me, a lot of inner strength and ability to have thick skin to criticism. I've thought about that a lot."

Feb. 5, 2014, Dennis said: "My parents put each other first. I wouldn't want my mother to love me more than my father."

"When God says it is not good for man to be alone, He does not make a family. He makes one woman. Children do not assuage our existential loneliness, a spouse does."

While Harry Potter was an orphan, Dennis Prager felt like an orphan and couldn't wait to get away from his home.

In his groundbreaking book on sexual addiction called Out of the Shadows, Patrick Carnes wrote:

Addicts report that as children they felt desperately lonely, lost, and unprotected. Not only was there a lack of nurturing, but also there was no one to show them how to take care of themselves or keep them from harm. Not being able to count on, depend upon, the adults in one's life to meet needs is a key element in addiction. As the child matures, there begins a search for that which is dependable -- something that you can trust to make you feel better. Trust and dependency are the issues that determine personal strength and confidence of vulnerability to enslaving addiction. For in the lonely search for something or someone to depend on -- which has already excluded parents -- a child can start to find those things which always comfort, which always feel good, which always are there, and which always do what they promise. For some, alcohol and drugs are the answer. For others it is food. And there is always sex, which usually costs nothing and nobody else can regulate.

Fear of abandonment is the King Kong of issues said therapist Mark E. Smith, "because when someone is under the influence of fear of abandonment, they become irrational and reactive. Typically their spouse have issues around defensiveness. So you have one person reactively driven by irrational jealousies and the other person is really defensive. It can become ugly." 

"One example would be a husband with abandonment issues doesn't get sex when his neediness demanded it, so he pouts and is very sulky for days on end."

On Sept. 11, 2013, Dennis said: "One of the most famous calls in the history of my show was a female doctor who called in and told me with some degree of disgust that a very old man, a patient, was dying and one of the last things he did was to look down her blouse. I said with all respect, I can think of worse ways of dying. I didn't find it as negative a story as the doctor did. It's so important to know the truth about men and women and it is so easy to live in denial."

The key to understanding Dennis Prager lies in his unhappy childhood relationships with his parents, particularly his mother. Those early difficulties with Hilda mirrored his future difficulties with women. From Dennis's struggles with his father, we can understand the rebellious streak that would characterize his public life, his refusal to adhere to any orthodoxy, and his drive to independence and distinction at the cost of community and cooperation. 

Dennis loves the nickname "Dennis the Menace" and this comes from his struggles with his dad. "Dennis the Player" comes from feeling ignored by his mom.

On May 24, 2013, Dennis said: "Aunts and uncles played a terrific role in my life. In my pre-teen years, the happiest moments of my life were going to Miami to visit my aunt and uncle Chippy and Al."

"My Aunt Pearl would take me to so many places. My father's sister, Anne, who had no children of her own, I got to go to Radio City Hall thanks to her. My mother's sister, Pearl, would take me to the stamp show, which was one of the highlights of my years as a child. My uncle Murray would visit from Schenectady and I got more love from him than I experienced at home most of the time."

Dennis said Dec. 30, 2010: “How much of my childhood was unprogrammed. I remember visiting my grandparents for the Sabbath. In the afternoon after synagogue, my grandparents would take a nap. I was left with about three hours with nothing to do… I loved visiting them. I wasn’t a reader then. I was eight, nine years old.
“I sat with the chair that was at the piano. I just took the swivel chair and I would imagine I was a New York city bus driver and the seat was the steering wheel. I’d announce what street we were at. I’d open the door for passengers. There was no TV. There was no electronic entertainment.”

“I don’t recall my dad vacuuming or cooking or making the bed,” said Dennis July 6, 2011. “When a woman is 25 and is imagining her husband, does she imagine him vacuuming?”

Max, who worked as a CPA, wrote in chapter 27:

Since Dennis was now 7 years of age, his mother felt it was time to go to work. She hired a wonderful Negro woman named Ethel who had 3 sons; Dennis adored her and the feeling was mutual. In fact, until his teenage years, she was his confidante through his troublesome period at school…
Max wrote in chapter 29: "She really was the surrogate mother to Dennis for many years. Since he was a problem child in school and a doll at home, he conveyed his most private feelings to her."

Like many American Jews I've known, Dennis Prager has warm feelings about blacks. He practices affirmative action on his radio show, bending over backwards to be particularly kind to his black callers. On Jan. 19, 1998, Dennis said that if he had to choose between two equally qualified potential employees, he'd probably choose the black. A caller reminded Dennis of his stand that race doesn't matter. Dennis replied that he didn't live in theory.

Jul. 12, 2013, Dennis said: "There's an affirmative action program on this program for black conservatives." 

As American Renaissance magazine wrote in 2010:

Conservatives like to pretend that blacks would be natural supporters if they had not been brainwashed by Al Sharpton and his media allies to hate Republicans, but it is perfectly logical for blacks to support the Democrats. At every socio-economic level, blacks depend on government. The black underclass gets its welfare from the government. The much vaunted black middle class is made up almost entirely of government workers. The black upper class, aside from athletes and entertainers, would hardly exist without affirmative action.

Reducing the size of government, which is one of the few consistent goals of Tea Partiers and other self-styled conservatives, would have an enormous “disparate impact” on blacks, and they know it. Furthermore, unlike whites, blacks see politics through a tribal lens. To the extent that they are interested in politics at all, they have the same perspective as the Congressional Black Caucus: what’s in it for blacks? The left encourages this tribalism while conservatives urge everyone to be color blind.

Apr. 7, 2014, Dennis said: "There are times when a person's views are so horrific, it is hard to understand how a company could continue to employ someone. If a guy is in the Ku Klux Klan, if a guy is in a white supremacist fascistic group, I understand it. If you deny the Holocaust and you deny it publicly. There are a few [beliefs a person can hold that make him worthy of being fired] because you're talking about freaks. Freaks are in the KKK."

The term "white supremacist" is almost always a slur because even the most devout "white supremacist" believes that asians and blacks are superior to whites in different things.

What if you believe blacks or Jews or Chinese are superior (as do many members of those groups)? What if you deny the Armenian genocide publicly? What are the other incorrect positions on history that should get a person fired? I suspect that many, if not most, Chinese deny the extent of Mao's genocide. Should they be fired?

What about Americans who have the identical views on race as Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman? Should they be fired? They were white supremacists (in the sense Prager uses the term).

Because Ashkenazi Jews average IQs rank around 110 while American blacks score around 85, there's little socializing between the groups. Political scientist Robert Weissberg explained "The Relationship Between Blacks and Jews" in a year 2000 talk at the American Renaissance conference:

If you looked around our cultural landscape and tried to find two groups with different values that venerate different things, who worship at different altars, it is hard to find two groups more different than blacks and Jews. Jews are obsessed with education, blacks destroy it. If you've gone to school in the inner city, you know that not only do they hate the idea of learning, but they assault their teachers and physically destroy their schools.

When blacks move into a neighborhood, the first people out are Jews. Jews did not invent white flight but we perfected it. As far as intermarriage and social exchange, there's almost zero. They just don't mix. Jews are not into crime. The sorts of things that blacks specialize in -- muggings, assaults, rapes -- are not a Jewish predilection.

How Jews really relate to blacks is something Jews hardly talked about except when they are amongst themselves. When Jews get together in a safe place and talk about blacks, they will use the term "schvartze." When you go to Leo Rosten's Joys of Yiddish, he's very careful in what he says. With "schvartze", he becomes tight-lipped. "A black person, a negro." That does not begin to depict what the term means among Jews. There may be a degree of affection, as in, 'I hear Mrs. Schwartz got a new schvartze.'

It is not necessarily a negative word. It's not the same thing as nigger. If you inserted the word 'nigger' to achieve some lexiconic variety, Jews would be genuinely offended. There can even be a degree of affection in schvartze. As in, 'Ahh, I heard Mrs. Schwartz got a new schvartze. Oh, how nice.'"

When you use the term 'schvartze', it always implies cognitive inferiority. The mental picture of a stupid black embedded in the term schvartze is true even with pro-civil rights [liberal] Jews... Adding the phrase 'dumb schvartze' is superflous, reserved only used for the most egregious stupidity. Invisible baggage likewise includes gullibility, emotional excitability, and a weakness for here-and-now conspicuous consumption. Violence, especially inter-personal, alcohol-induced mayhem, is also associated with schvartze. The image that comes to the mind with Jews when you say 'schvartze' is simple-minded, impulsive, easily seduced by trinkets. This is extremely close to the traditional Southern image of blacks, almost identical to what many Southerners would privately say about blacks... This is continually reinforced by daily experience, such as in integrated public schools.

We had a procession of cleaning ladies [in New York]. Growing up, I honestly believed that all black people come from a thing called The Agency. We'd hire black cleaning ladies and invariably they'd steal and drink the liquor and my mother would come back and say, 'I'm calling up The Agency and getting another.' Very few Jews of my generation had any other contact. We had a procession of handymen and cleaning people come to my house.

It was always believed that any Jew can ultimately out-smart any schvartze except save being confronted by a demented gunman. Despite immense cultural chasms, Jews held themselves as innately capable of finessing blacks thanks to their superior wits, verbal talent, and a mastery of black psychology. The unmatched success of Jewish ghetto merchants and Jewish civil rights leadership positions proclaim this truth. Even today Jews may secretly brag about their success in beguiling blacks in contentious interpersonal relationships. People sometimes ask me, 'What did you do when they showed up as a demonstration to your office?' This happened to me one time. A bunch of angry young blacks came to my office... I said, 'I just relied on the wisdom of my ancestors. I gave them a little rope-a-dope. I moved around. I said this, I said that. Within half an hour, they were fine. I sold one a suit and several new jewelry and they were happy. They got a deal from Mr. Weissberg.'

Where personal manipulation might fail, the storehouse of survival tactics sufficed exceedingly well. Black pathologies were bearable, especially since most black mayhem was self-inflicted. Jews might even profit from these disorders as merchants or nanny state therapists. Threatened Jews can flee deteriorating neighborhoods, enroll their children in private schools, hire security guards, co-opt black leaders financially, or otherwise escape.

Jews see no conflict between righteously defending black criminals as political prisoners and living in fortress-style buildings.

On the one hand, Jews dread blacks physically. When Jews see blacks walking down the street, they feel tremendous fear. Yet they dutifully pay the danegeld (extortion money).

For most Jews, it is the white goyim who pose the most threat. Contrary fact-based argument fall on deaf ears. Like the schvartzes, the Chinese [and Japanese] are never called goyim.

Blacks are incapable of such well-organized horror [as the Holocaust] unless directed by nefarious whites... A full-scale pogrom is beyond their capacity. Can you imagine blacks systemically rounding up thousands of Jews or even keeping tabs on Jewish neighborhoods? Assess enemies by capabilities, not intentions... The schvartze pose minimal risk. They're too stupid.

Does race matter? In 2014, New York Times Science correspondent Nicholas Wade published a book -- A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race And Human History -- arguing that it does. As Jared Taylor wrote:
Mr. Wade notes that the early peddlers of race-is-a-myth, such as Ashley Montagu (the stylish name British-born Israel Ehrenberg chose for himself), were clearly trying to distort science for political purposes, and that more recent peddlers, such as Jared Diamond and Steven Jay Gould have done the same thing.

The physical differences we see in human groups reflect separate evolutionary paths that led to unmistakably biological differences. Hunter-gatherers left Africa about 50,000 years ago, and once they wandered into all of earth’s habitable spaces, they stayed put and bred with their neighbors. DNA testing shows there was essentially no crossing until the modern era. For tens of thousands of years, independently breeding populations developed distinct genetic patterns.

Mr. Wade explains that the physical traits of populations are dramatically and consistently different even though there are very few alleles, or gene variants, that occur exclusively in only one group. This is because most traits are influenced by many genes. Norwegians, for example, need have only a preponderance of Norwegian-style alleles in their genes in order to give birth exclusively to Norwegians—and never to Malays or Pakistanis. As Mr. Wade puts it, “The fact that genes work in combination explains how there can be so much variation in the human population and yet so few fixed differences between populations.”

Mr. Wade also spends a few pages batting down some of the other side’s silly arguments. He patiently explains that, yes, there are mixed-race people but they do not disprove race. There can be mixed-race people only because there are races. He also explains that disagreement about the number of races does not disprove their existence either. Different people just draw lines at different places.

Most importantly, Mr. Wade points out that “brain genes do not lie in some special category exempt from natural selection. They are as much under evolutionary pressure as any other category of gene.” And since human evolution is “recent and copious,” the brains of different populations function differently. This is the book’s main heresy: After the races separated, they evolved different mental patterns that gave rise to different social patterns...

This, in fact, is Mr. Wade’s boldest assertion: that different races behave differently because they are genetically different and genetic differences give rise to differences in social institutions...

Mr. Wade makes the crucial point that what is known as “national character” is undoubtedly genetic, and that is why group behavior is consistent. Jews prosper everywhere they go. So do overseas Chinese. If the Malays and Indonesians envy the success of their Chinese minorities, why don’t they just copy their good habits? Mr. Wade argues that they can’t; they don’t have the genetic predisposition to act Chinese.

Africans likewise cannot maintain government institutions. Their colonial masters wrote nifty constitutions for them, showed them how elections work, and explained the importance of an independent judiciary. That all ended up in the ditch once Africans took over.

Mr. Wade repeatedly emphasizes the importance of public trust—the ability to deal fairly with people who are not kin or fellow tribesmen. If a race has not evolved this level of trust it will not get beyond tribalism. That is why Americans can’t get Iraqis or Afghans to behave like good democrats no matter how many of them we shoot. Middle Easterners don’t have the genetic capacity for republican government, so it is just as crazy to try to force our ways on them as it would be to try to turn Americans into tribalistic, cousin-marrying Afghans.

According to Dennis in 2014, "Corruption is Africa’s greatest problem."

"The word corruption does not arouse the moral revulsion that it should. We think of it as more a nuisance than a great evil. But corruption kills societies every bit as much as murder kills an individual. Moreover there is no hope for any society in which corruption is endemic."

Dennis said Mar. 17, 2014: "Tribalism is racism. Tribalism is a curse for modernity... You cannot build a successful nation state if tribalism is strong."

Israel has thrived as a tribal state, an ethno-state, a Jewish state. If racism is so bad, how come there is no commandment against it in Torah? How come there is no book against racism in the Torah tradition? How come none of the great rabbis have condemned it in important legal rulings? The Torah Jew has no concern with "racism", and to the extent that Dennis is concerned with "racism", he is outside of Torah.

Apr. 22, 2014, Dennis asked professor Rodney Stark, author of the book How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity: "The Romans at least had a literature. I'm asking about those African, South American, and Meso-American and aboriginal societies that never developed an alphabet?"

Dr. Stark: "A lot of that has to do with geography. 

"One of the questions these days you are not supposed to ask is if why when the Europeans went out in the era of discovery, the main thing they discovered was how far ahead they were of the rest of the world. They thought the Chinese would be way ahead and they were way behind."

"Religion was the ballgame. The Judeo-Christian concept of God held the key to the rise of the West -- the belief in a rational Creator God. That had the implication that the Creation was rational, that it obeys rules. Hence humans have the ability to reason, it might be possible to discover the rules of Creation. That was the basis of science. Science only happened in the West."

Controlling Your Emotions

Mar. 15, 2010, Dennis Prager said, “You do a kid a favor [by threatening to hit him if he does not stop crying]. My mother used to say that. It was one of her great lines. Well, I don’t know if it was great, but it was one of her fairly frequent lines — ‘I’ll give you something to cry about’. And I stopped crying. And I learned at a very early age, I can control my emotions. I can control my behavior, which is about the single best lesson you can give a human being in terms of happiness and a good life, that they can control themselves.”
Said Dennis in a 1995 lecture on Exodus 2: “My parents spoke Yiddish. They used it for secrets. I didn’t learn to speak almost any Yiddish at all.”
Moses was Dennis's favorite Biblical character.
He called his parents "mommy and daddy." (May 3, 2012)

Childhood

Dennis did not begin to speak until he was almost four. Max remembers a Yom Kippur appeal at synagogue when Dennis was five. “People were giving thousands and hundreds [of dollars]. And this five year old child raises his hand and says, ‘I want to give $5.’ The synagogue broke up laughing. This showed the compassion Dennis always had.” (Prager CD released in 1998)
Max Prager wrote in chapter 26:
I remember Dennis at the age of three sitting next to Gal, Al’s German shepherd twirling the dog’s tail constantly with his mouth wide open. He still hadn’t uttered one word and although Hilda and I weren’t concerned, my father-in-law suggested that we see a “professor” to examine Dennis.
Dennis: "I spoke so late that my grandfather thought I was retarded. Whenever I'm asked how come you spoke so late, I say, 'I was waiting to get paid.'" (Lecture on Lev. 19:12-16)
Like Harry Potter, Dennis had an innate ability to move people through speech.
Dennis said in his January 2002 lecture on his intellectual autobiography:
I was preoccupied by human suffering and the problem of evil from a very young age. I’ll give you an example that drove my mother nuts.
I was about five years old and driving my little tricycle around the block in Brooklyn. And only those of you who grew up in New York, I think, experienced the seltzer bottles. They would deliver cases of these bottles.
Down the block lived a young teenager named Lee. While I was driving my tricycle one day, I saw Lee drop by accident the whole box of seltzer bottles and it tore his leg open. It was a trauma for me. I’m sure it wasn’t even a trauma for him. You take some stitches and you’re fine. But all I could do for the next few days was cry about Lee and ask my mother, go over there and tell me how he is until finally it was clear I was driving her nuts.
From later on, whatever it would be, if it was a cartoon, it gave me great gusto to see the good guy beat the bad guy. From the most primal depths of my being, I have wanted the bad to be punished and the good to be rewarded.
I strongly recommend the film Pay it Forward (2000). It’s a very touching movie.
I remember my earliest memories of the Holocaust — watching the 20th Century television series with Walter Cronkite and then I saw Hitler. We were in the living room. I asked my parents, who is this guy? The answer was the to the effect of how bad he was and how he murdered six million Jews and many other people died as a result. It stayed with me. How could someone be that bad? How could innocent people suffer so much?
Unjust suffering has continued to be my preoccupation.
Dennis wrote April 18, 2012 in the Jewish Journal:
That was my first encounter with massive evil, and I was never again to be the same person. I became obsessed with good and evil — specifically why people engage in evil, and how to fight them.

That obsession has never left me. The only change that occurred did so later, in high school, when I broadened my preoccupation to include why people do good and how to make good people. (I knew from Judaism — and had sensed instinctively — that people are not naturally good.)

That hatred of evil led me, as early as my late teenage years, to hate communism as well as Nazism. And because the Nazis had been vanquished years before I was born, I studied and tried to fight communism. I engaged in the former by doing my graduate work in Communist Affairs at the Russian Institute at Columbia University’s School of International Affairs. And I began the fighting part when I was 21: The Israeli government sent me to the Soviet Union to bring Jewish items to Soviet Jews, to learn as much as I could about their situation, and, most important, to bring out names of Jews who wanted to leave and go to Israel.

This preoccupation with good and evil also led me to fall in love with Judaism. I have always regarded Judaism as, more than anything else, preoccupied with goodness. As the Tanakh tells us, “Those who love God must hate evil.” Judaism, almost alone among religions, believes that all of humanity is judged solely by its behavior rather than by its faith.

As it happened, I never found loving God easy (precisely because of how much evil and unjust suffering there is), but hating evil came quite naturally.

That hatred of evil explains nearly every position I take. Perhaps my biggest difference with the left is over this issue. Whereas I believe we humans should be preoccupied with combating evil (and I believe God, the Bible and Judaism want that as well), the left, from its inception until this moment, has been preoccupied with combating something else: material inequality.

I have never regarded material inequality — unless arrived at immorally, as it is in much of the Third World — as evil. Regarding people’s material status, two things should disturb us: a lack of opportunity to improve one’s material well-being and a poverty that is so bad that it deprives people of all dignity and hope. Neither condition has been prevalent in American life in my lifetime. On the contrary, America has been the greatest opportunity-giving society ever created.

More than that, I came to realize that I was living in the very country that had best figured out how to make a better world. But it was not until midlife that I came to understand the specific values that lay at the basis of this magnificent American achievement.

April 9, 2013, Dennis said: "I'm a lucky man. Because I've felt very blessed much of my life, I felt I could take on the problems of the world. If you have huge personal problems, then you are understandably preoccupied with that and not these big issues."
"The Bronx Zoo had an exhibit once that said, 'The most dangerous animal in the world.' You walked in and there was a big mirror. I agreed with that. And we can be the most beautiful."
March 18, 2011, Dennis said: “I hate school bullies so much that I got routinely kicked out of class because I would punch bullies. I hate bullies. Always did. That’s why I hate big government — it’s the ultimate bully.”
In an April 2010 interview at Stephen S. Wise temple, Dennis said about his obsession with evil: “I take credit for having some courage and for devoting my life hopefully to good things. I don’t take any credit for what is built in. It is utterly built in, my preoccupation with evil.”
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin wrote on page 35 of his book A Code Of Jewish Ethics:
My friend Dennis Prager told me that when he was six years old, the first words he learned to read in English were “pure vegetable shortening only.” He added, “It was good training to learn at the age of six that I couldn’t have every candy bar in the candy store.”
Rabbi Marc B. Shapiro wrote April 13, 2010:
After all, it wasn’t too long ago that for most products one determined if they were kosher by looking at the ingredients. Yet the consensus today in the United States, even among the Modern Orthodox, is that a product cannot be kosher without rabbinical supervision (and the supervision itself has to be regarded as reputable). Kosher consumers are now told by the various kashrut organizations that canned vegetables, which contain only vegetables and water, need supervision, not to mention mouthwash, tin foil pans, and a host of other items. They are further told that some fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries and broccoli, can’t be eaten at all, or at least not without a cleaning regimen (complete with liquid soap) that would discourage most.

Dec. 6, 2011, Dennis said: "When I think of my elementary school life vis-a-vis girls, I would be arrested today. Maybe this is telling too much... I remember in kindergarten we had a big flight of stairs from the lunch room to the classroom. I would walk behind the girls because they wore skirts. I was five years old. Today I would be arrested for leering. And it was so innocent. It was the innocence of what's there?"

Feb. 25, 2013, Dennis said: "Showing violence does not rob children of innocence. Children know that there is violence from the earliest age. Showing sex does take away their innocence. Innocence has to do with sexuality.

"Anyone raised with fairy tales knows violence. Anyone who's read the violence knows violence. Anyone who's watched cartoons knows violence."

"There is violence that helps keep kids innocent -- violence against the bad guy. When children see bad guys punished or killed if they're about to kill good people, that's what kids worry about. They don't freak out that bad guys get killed. They worry that innocent people get killed. That's me. I'm innocent."

Said Dennis Mar. 28, 2012: "I am certain that my school would've asked to medicate me under the same rules we have today. And I don't know that I'd be the same person I am today if I had been medicated."

"You couldn't get me to read in elementary school if you bribed me. I'd do anything but read a book. I'd shovel snow. I wasn't a good student. I'd pick up a book and my mind would wander after two paragraphs."

Dennis went to first grade at Yeshiva Rambam. “I disliked school from then until I left graduate school 18 years later,” Prager wrote in his autobiography on CD (available on Dennisprager.com since 1998).
“I went to a religious school. There was no bullying.” (March 11, 2011)
“I was voted president of my class from first grade to the end of high school,” said Dennis in a 2005 lecture on Deut. 30. “What did I have in first grade? I just got up. Three kids would walk outside the door and I was elected every year. I have a presence. I did nothing for that.”
Aug. 31, 2011, Dennis said: “During recess, the teachers would stand around one corner of the playground talking to each other while smoking cigarettes while we would play catching the girls and putting them in jail. It was the high point of my education career. I lived for that. [That was the raison detre of school -- recess. 12/10/13]]
“And we would play chicken fights. You’d put a guy on your shoulders against the other guy with a guy on his shoulders and you have to throw him down. I was the designated horse. Aaron Kirschenbaum was the guy on my shoulders. If a kid got hurt, you went to the nurse. If you got really hurt, you went to the hospital.”

Dec. 10, 2013, Dennis said: "I wouldn't have made it through elementary school [today]. I would've been drugged because I was always fidgeting and talking in class. I would've been given some ADD drug... And I would have been kicked out because I flirted with the girls a lot."

Max Prager wrote in chapter 27:

In this same year, 1954, Dennis started his academic career, starting in the first grade at Yeshiva Rambam. Also, although we were satisfied with our sons’ summer camp the previous year at Maple Lake, we decided to give Shelly Apfelbaum a break by enrolling both our boys at his Camp Winsoki near Renssellaerville in the Catskills.
…Kenny went there through the usual program; camper, waiter and counselor finishing his camping career as life guard; Dennis was a camper. When he arrived at the age of being a counselor, he opted to go to Camp Massad in the Poconos in Pa.
At age seven, Dennis flew on his own from New York to Miami and back to spend eight weeks with his Aunt and Uncle Corrine and Al Moskowitz. “From my earliest years, I craved freedom and independence.” (CD)
“My parents did not have to sign any notes. Nobody walked me anywhere… They assumed that if your parents allowed you to fly you knew how to get from the damned gate to the luggage. You followed the sign that said luggage. It was assumed a seven-year old could do it. Today they don’t assume a 14-year old could do it.” (Nov. 11, 2009)
"That's the reason I became something, because my parents said at an early age, 'You're on your own. Have a great life.' And I've had a great life. And it wasn't easy." (Aug. 29, 2012)
On July 25, 2012, Dennis said: "When I was in elementary school, my parents sent me for four weeks at a time to visit my wonderful aunt in Florida. I missed four weeks of school in fifth grade. So what?"
Dennis Prager wrote June 10, 2008:
When I was a 7-year-old boy, I flew alone from New York to my aunt and uncle in Miami and did the same thing coming back to New York. I boarded the plane on my own and got off the plane on my own. No papers for my parents to fill out. No extra fee to pay the airline. I was responsible for myself…
["My parents got there late [in New York]. Instead of waiting at the gate, I went to get my luggage. My parents tell the story that when they finally arrived, I had gotten my luggage and I was tipping the porter. Since the earliest age, I've wanted to be my own man." Aug. 31, 2012]
When I was a boy, I ran after girls during recess, played dodgeball, climbed monkey bars and sat on seesaws. Today, more and more schools have no recess; have canceled dodgeball lest someone feel bad about being removed from the game; and call the police in to interrogate, even sometimes arrest, elementary school boys who playfully touch a girl. And monkey bars and seesaws are largely gone, for fear of lawsuits should a child be injured.
When I was boy, I was surrounded by adult men. Today, most American boys (and girls, of course) come into contact with no adult man all day every school day…
When I was a boy, we had in our lives adults who took pride in being adults. To distinguish them from our peers, we called these adults “Mr.,” “Mrs.” and “Miss,” or by their titles, “Doctor,” “Pastor,” “Rabbi,” “Father.”…
When I was a teenage boy, getting to kiss a girl, let alone to touch her thigh or her breast (even over her clothes) was the thrill of a lifetime. Most of us could only dream of a day later on in life when oral sex would take place (a term most of us had never heard of). But of course, we were not raised by educators or parents who believed that “teenagers will have sex no matter what.” Most of us rarely if ever saw a naked female in photos (the “dirty pictures” we got a chance to look at never showed “everything”), let alone in movies or in real life. We were, in short, allowed to be relatively innocent. And even without sex education and condom placement classes, few of us ever got a girl pregnant….
When I was boy, people dressed up to go to baseball games, visit the doctor and travel on airplanes.
Max Prager wrote in chapter 27:
On Xmas day, Kenny and Dennis would go with us to the Home to speak to the patients and bring the Holiday spirit to their forlorn lives. The boys would take movies and still photographs and then show them the next year. I can still hear them exclaim when viewing the movies, “Paul is no longer with us; what a pity;” ”Look how nice Mary looked last year, too bad she died.”

Apr. 12, 2010, Dennis said: “One of my favorite things in life, since I was always an amateur photographer, in high school, I would go every Christmas to the nursing home to take photos of the patients. I remember having to adjust my psyche because the next Christmas I would show slides of last year and I will never forget, the patients would say, ‘Oh, there’s Jerry. He died in April. Oh, there’s June. She died in August.’ It was almost like, ‘There’s Jerry. He went to the Yankee game.’”
In his 22nd lecture on Deuteronomy (March 2004), Dennis said: “I’ve been into photography since I was ten years old. My father used to drive me on Sundays to the John F. Kennedy airport in Queens and I would photograph airplanes (because I dreamed of going to foreign countries) with my Kodak box camera.”

“I grew up in a strict home. My mother did not allow me to have comic books. During summer camp, I’d read an entire year’s worth of comic books. But I knew that the Prager home had an elevated standard of literature. It was annoying but I am a better person for having grown up in a home that says this home has good literature and not comic books.” (Aug. 26, 2011) 

Dennis wrote: “I vividly recall the moment when, as a boy in sixth grade, I heard the news that Caryl Chessman was executed. Because Chessman was executed for rape, the notion that rape is a horror stayed with me almost all of my life.” (The Prager Perspective, June 15, 1997)
In a 1992 lecture on Genesis 16-17, Dennis said: “I remember as a kid in yeshiva. You learn Genesis first when you are a child in Jewish school. I remember learning this [Sarai's plan to have a child through Haggah] and thinking, ‘Wow, you can have another wife! It wasn’t even another wife. They brought him a woman?’
“I learned it in fairly innocent times. I hadn’t yet fully eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and bad, but I do remember thinking, ‘Wow, those were better times!’
“I remember thinking that those men in those times had a better life! What a deal! And it was my patriarch Abraham who was not a big sinner. What a thing they had!”
Dennis Prager would grow up to have sex with a lot of women — many of them met through lecturing on Torah — and to marry three of them.

As a child, Dennis was impressed by the way his father regularly called his mother (Dennis's grandmother), even though she was a difficult woman.
“Her toughness strongly contributed to neither of her daughters marrying…and to other problems.
“After she was widowed in 1950, my father took it upon himself to see her every week and to call her every day…
“I vividly recall a nearly nightly ritual. After dinner, my father would call his mother, only to have her yell at him. My father possesses a particularly strong disposition, yet he found these telephone conversations so disconcerting that he would put the phone down on the kitchen table. I would hear the yelling, and watch my father periodically pick up the phone and say, ‘Yeah, ma.’” (Think a Second Time, pg. 47)
“My parents virtually never argued, but on the rare occasions they did, I felt worse than when they were arguing with me. In my home, if one parent said X, it didn’t help to go to the other. In fact, they got annoyed. So what you have to do as a kid is to pick the parents who will give the answer you want. In general, one should do that. Ask people whose answer you want. In Jewish life we were told, go to the rabbi who you think will be most lenient when you want to know if something is permitted.” (Apr. 13, 2010)

Said Dennis in his tenth lecture on Deuteronomy in 2003: “I’m not saying I succeeded with my kids. I didn’t. If I could’ve succeeded, I would’ve gotten them to memorize as much as possible. I remember my teachers tried to make me memorize and I thought it was the stupidest thing. ‘What am I, a parrot?’ That’s the way I would respond. My teachers didn’t have great affection for me, with good reason. I thought it was absurd and yet everything that I have ever memorized, I am thrilled I memorized. It is painful to me that I didn’t memorize more.”

Dennis did not enjoy the circus. "The Lady Gagas of my childhood were in the circus. The tattooed lady. I went as a kid [at age seven] to the Ringley Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden. It was called the sideshow. I was not excited to go. Putting people up to be exhibited like animals, freaks, it was called the Freak Show, because the deepest part of me has been to never humiliate people.

"I got no joy out of getting scared that somebody might kill themselves or get hurt. When people walk on the tightrope or fly in the sky, all I'm doing is sitting there worrying. What if they miss the other person's arms? What if they fall from the high wire?

"I didn't find the clowns funny." (Dec. 19, 2013)

Dennis said he followed sports as much as other kids his age (knowing batting averages and ERAs, etc 8/6/13), attending New York Ranger hockey games in the cheap seats every Sunday night during high school (5/23/12). When fights broke out on the ice, Dennis stayed seated to show his disapproval.
The Dodgers baseball team left Brooklyn in 1958 and moved to Los Angeles. Dennis was nine years old. “The Dodgers leaving Brooklyn measured on my Richter scale .000001,” said Dennis. “On my older brother’s Richter scale, it is still registering. It was an earthquake.”
Dennis is not a sports fan. He will root for a team but his happiness is not wrapped up in its success. “You’re not a real fan,” Dennis’s producer Allen Estrin told him on air.
“These things have no rhyme or reason,” Dennis said, explaining his affection for the Los Angeles Angels. (April 2, 2010)
“My father took me to two ballgames and once to the Hayden planetarium in New York. That was it. This is not an indictment of him. That was utterly typical of fathers of that generation. This was not something that was expected. The trip to the planetarium was less successful because as soon as the stars came out, he fell asleep.”
“My grandfather never took my father anywhere. If you had said to my grandfather who came over from Russia, ‘Nu, did you take Mendel to the ballgame?’ He wouldn’t have known what you were talking about. You don’t take kids anywhere. You provided room and board and you were lucky if the anti-Semites didn’t have a pogrom.” (March 24, 2008 at Nessah Synagogue)
Sept. 28, 2012, Dennis said: "I had two aunts who never had children. I had one aunt who just loved my brother and I up. She took me to more places than my parents did, which wasn't keen competition. My other aunt who married late also took me to more places than my parents. Both of these aunts desperately wanted children and so the nephew in this case was showered with love."

“When I was a kid, there was a television character named Bret Maverick. I must’ve been eleven years old. I would watch it every other Sunday. I said, I want to be Bret Maverick.” (Dec. 3, 2008)
Dennis never spanked his kids. He later concluded that was a mistake. “I was corporally punished [by my parents] but it was only done once and it was done wrong. And that’s part of the reason I came out against it. I was yelled at and I couldn’t stand that either. I was a good kid. …I was hit by teachers. Every time a teacher hit me, they were right. I knew they were right. It’s a lot easier to be corporally punished by a teacher than by a parent. You don’t expect your teacher to love you.” (Oct. 27, 2009)
“As a kid, I did not want to go to school. The happiest days of my elementary school life were when at night, it started to snow and I would look out the window and I had one prayer — that it sticks. If it doesn’t stick, it doesn’t matter how much it snows, the school bus will pick me up because they can get through slush but they can’t get through a serious snow fall that sticks.” (Oct. 22, 2010)
June 3, 2011, Dennis said: "I very rarely had a nickname.
"During recess in elementary school, we used to play a game called punch ball. You’d punch a rubber ball and you’d run to first, second, third or home. It was you against everyone else."
In a dialogue with Adam Carolla Feb. 25, 2012, Dennis said: "I never learned to ride a bike. My parents gave up on me when I fell off the tricycle."
Adam: "Wow. It was the worst 19th birthday that Dennis's parents..."
Dennis: "I finally learned to ride a bike about ten years ago. It's sickening to me that it took so long. That was not one of my gifts."

April 15, 2011, Dennis said: “I could write a description of my life and you would say, ‘Wow, that guy is a victim.’ And I am the last person in the world who walks around with a victim mentality.”
April 20, 2012, Dennis said: "Why did they drop diagramming sentences? Do you know how much I learned? One of the reasons I speak well and write well is because I learned to diagram sentences in fifth grade. Here's an adverb. Here's an adjective. This modifies the noun."
At age eleven, Dennis spent the sixth grade at Manhattan’s rigorous Rabbi Jacob Joseph School (R.J.J.S.), whose hours ran from 8-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8-1 p.m., Fridays and Sundays.
Max Prager wrote in chapter 30:

Every morning, including Sundays, I would drive him to the subway station on Kings Highway and McDonald Ave. Lo and behold, after a few weeks at his new school, phone calls would be made to my office by Rabbi Schwartz advising me of his behavior. I really was in a dilemma as to what action to take. When Dennis informed me several months later that students had been beaten by young hoodlums in that area, I decided to reenroll him in Rambam at the end of the year.
Dennis: "I remember the crime rates were horrific. It was frightening to be there. I was frightened as a child. I remember every day the horrible news that would come out." (Nov. 6, 2013)
Like Harry Potter, Dennis was unhappy until age 11, when he discovered he had a unique and transcendent destiny that would echo down through history.
Dennis: "I remember when I started feeling happy. It was in the sixth grade. I was very unhappy until then. I went on my own every day on the subway and I felt like the captain of a ship."
"I can tap in now to the exhilaration I felt then." (Aug. 31, 2012)
"There is one thing I do frequently think about from elementary school and that was in sixth grade taking the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan. I went to school in Manhattan that year. That was a statement that I made to myself — I am an independent human being. I can travel for an hour each way in the morning and the evening, go on trains, go on buses, on my own. I thought I could conquer the world."
"Sixth grade is all I remember from elementary school. I don’t remember seventh and eighth. I went back to a school near the house so there was nothing to be proud of." (Nov. 11, 2009)
On Mar. 9, 2012, Dennis said he has taken suffering seriously since eighth grade.
In his 2009 lecture on Leviticus 21, Dennis said: “The Talmud is about the rabbis debating how a Jew should live. I admit there were times when I studied these debates, I got so bored that I learned how to say words in English backwards. It happened in sixth grade in yeshiva when we spent an entire year on whether or not one could eat an egg laid on a Jewish holiday. My favorite word backwards is Republican.”
“Some of the [Talmudic] rabbis’ debates are profound and some of them are not riveting or profound. Sometimes you just feel that they have a lot of time on their hands.”
“I believe that rabbinic law must change. That is why I am not Orthodox.”
"I love the idea of inspired, I don't mean even necessarily divinely, people explaining this text to me."
In a June 2011 lecture, Dennis said: “The rebbe’s [Menachem Schneerson] emphasis on happiness is so big. It’s as big as the non-judgmental attitude is big.”
“In my elementary school yeshivas, all the rebbes were from Eastern Europe. They either escaped right before the Holocaust or right after the Holocaust. They radiated misery. I don’t remember them smiling. I don’t remember if they had teeth. I remember thinking that to be frum (religious) meant to be unhappy. It was almost an aveira (sin) to laugh too much. What are you laughing about? You could be studying another blatt (page) of gemara and you’re telling a joke? It’s wrong.”
“Nothing alienates the non-religious from God and religion as unhappy religious people. I remember Phil Hendrie, the talkshow host, he used to imitate people. He has a very narrow but true gift of genius to do this.
“He was once ribbing Muslims. It was a fair rib. His whole routine was that if you laugh or smile, you’re not a Muslim. Have you seen imams laughing? The laughing imams? It’s almost a self-contradictory term. Can you imagine Khameini back-slapping and laughing and having a great time? Another l’chaim!”
“If Judaism does’t make you happier, either the religion is a failure or your practice of it is a failure.”
“We over-emphasize brilliance in Jewish life. When I was a kid, the best student was the one who memorized the most blatt gemara. The kid was an idiot but he memorized blatt gemara. So what?”
“A third aspect (after non-judgmentalism and happiness) of the Chabad revolution was to go into the world. This was my biggest problem with the Orthodoxy of my youth. It was too insular.” (COTV Chabad Banquet Gala 2011, uploaded to YouTube June 25, 2011)

In a Spring 1999 series on male sexuality, Dennis said: "When I grew up, I had Christian-envy. They're so lucky. They get all the rewards of their religion just by believing in Jesus. I have to keep all these laws. I can't drive on Shabbat. I can't eat half the foods. I have all these prohibitions. They have none of them. All they have to do is believe. I believed that into my mid-thirties. Then I met the people I was ignorant of. I got very involved with inter-religious dialogue. One of the things that I learned was that Christians have it tougher. Whereas Judaism has more prohibitions on behavior, Christianity has far more prohibitions on thought. I can more easily deal with prohibitions on behavior."
Said Dennis in a 2008 lecture on Leviticus 19: “My father was the president of the synagogue we attended. I remember only a few things from that period, but one of them was how constantly he would say, ‘It’s the ones we give free memberships to who complain the most.’”
When his parents limited his TV watching, Dennis asked them what he should do with his evenings. They told him to take up a musical instrument. Prager looked up the Yellow Pages and settled on the first instrument he saw — accordion. He took lessons from Peter Luisietti whose studio resided under the subway at Kings Highway.
“Accordion has been useless given that my first love is classical music. Bach wrote nothing for the accordion. Mozart, nada. Beethoven, zilch. That’s how life’s forks happen… I wish I had gone down the list and played a classical thing and then joined an orchestra. Maybe my life would’ve been different? Maybe now I’d be in some orchestra talking to the players while I wasn’t playing, while the violins were playing, I’d be giving my theories on life to my fellow trumpeter. Folks, if I weren’t doing this on the air, I’d be doing it privately.” (Mar. 2, 2011)
June 22, 2010, Dennis said: “From six grade on, I always had a best friend and they were always lifesavers. I can name them. In sixth grade, it was Leon Fink. I raised that issue years ago and I found out that he had died in his fifties. It broke my heart. I learned about it on the radio. In seventh and eighth grade, it was Gerald Klein. And then Joseph Telushkin from high school on.”
Jan. 27, 2012, Dennis said: "After playing hockey in our socks in my father's basement, the floor was linoleum so we could slide, he didn't like the fact that I checked him. I was 6'4", even in high school. He objected to playing hockey if checking was allowed. That was our first disagreement and one of our only ones. We talked about girls and hockey and the ultimate issues of life.
"We used to sit in my car after going bowling at midnight and then sit in my car in freezing weather before I dropped him off at his graduate school dorm in Manhattan, and we'd talk about ethical monotheism."
April 3, 2008, Rabbi Telushkin said: "Dennis would always call me rabbi. I was 15. I wasn't even planning to become a rabbi. Dennis would speak of what he would do one day in the Senate. Dennis has done wonderful things, but I look forward one day to calling him, "Mr. Senator', if not higher."
On Dec. 23, 2013, Dennis said: "That's exactly the type of politician I want -- the guy who doesn't want to be in politics and feels drafted by total moral issues, [not] just knows from the age of 12 I want to be a politician. When I meet those kids, I get an eery feeling."
He gets an eery feeling because he's met someone like himself? Dennis talks today as though he hasn't lusted for political power since childhood. Jan. 10, 2014, Dennis said: "There are people who are to power what the heroin addict is to heroin. They cannot have enough of it. It changes their personality, it changes their demeanor, it changes their values. I don't personally relate to it because I want to have influence, not power. I have no interest in it. I have as much interest in power as I have in heroin."
I suspect that much of Dennis's attitude to power is summed up in the third lecture of the series "A New Pair Of Glasses," where Chuck Chamberlain recalled: "Anybody with my ability should be at least a senator if not president of the United States and here I was in the fixture business and it was obvious to me that I was the only one around there who had any brains and the boss had all the money and he would tell me what to do and the injustice of the situation would cause me to do a little drinking."
Substitute the drug of "female adoration" for alcohol in Prager's case.
In a 1995 lecture on Exodus 5, Dennis Prager said: "The word for servant and the word for slave is the same [in the Torah], which is probably why to this day that Jews don’t like to be servants because they think it is slavery. Did you ever meet a Jewish waiter? Jews don’t wait. That and the Chosen People notion are the reasons why Jews don’t want to serve anybody."
During summer vacations, Kenny and Dennis attended Camp Winsoki, a modern Orthodox summer camp located in Rensellaervile, New York.
“Whatever gifts I had, they were not obvious when I was a child. When I was eight, people were not lining up to listen to me speak. They were when I was a teenager.” (May 21, 2010)
An awkward kid who resembled the Pillsbury Dough Boy, Dennis was always taller and rounder than his roommates. His parents, by contrast, with their charm and charisma reminded many of the Kennedys. (Dennis was a fan of JFK and adopted his accent for a time, Nov. 11, 2013.)
July 7, 2010, Dennis said: “I think my parents complimented me three times before I left home at age 21… I don’t know what I would have been praised about as a kid? ‘Hello, Dennis, we like your tummy. It’s really nice to see what a roly-poly child we have. You eat well.’ I think that could’ve been the single biggest compliment my parents would’ve paid me when I was in elementary school. I had no talent. There was nothing impressive about me.”
Dennis was derided by his parents for lack of effort. “My father used to say: ‘If Dennis can sit, why stand? If stand, why walk? If walk, why run?’” (Feb. 4, 2010)

Big Brother Kenny

Dennis and Kenneth suffered from bronchitis into their teens. (Max Prager, chapter 24)
Nov. 10, 2010, Dennis said: “When I was a kid, I was very scared of monster movies. My older brother said to me, ‘Dennis, you want to stop being scared of monster movies? Go and watch as many as you can.’ And I did. I took his advice. Gradually, monster movies became funny. I was inured. They were no longer monsters. They were a movie. I was seeing the make-up and the sound effects. Most things are not scary once you know them.”
Sep. 22, 2011, Dennis said: “My brother had a very big impact on me. Bigger than he can know. He was a godlike figure. He was six years older than I. He was a moral model. A successful model. There were things I saw that were sad. He has a sadness in him. It’s part of his nature. It spurred me. I’ll never forget my brother announced one day, I just visited my 20th country.
“I was a teenager. I had not been anywhere but Canada and I said to myself, I am going to visit more countries than my brother. I’ve now visited 100. Every time, I say, I beat him.”
Says Dennis: "There's nothing like having an older brother to beat. He was like everything." (Jan. 21, 2013)
Apr. 1, 2014, Dennis said: "I think the ratio of pictures of my older brother to pictures of me was 10-1."
"My brother loves Ecclesiastes. I think that anyone who has read Ecclesiastes and doesn't want to kill himself has not read it carefully." (March 17, 2013 on Hugh Hewitt)
Kenny graduated from Yeshiva University High School of Brooklyn in June 1960. In his senior year, he was class valedictorian, student body president, editor of the school newspaper, and starting center of the school’s basketball team.
“I never competed,” said Dennis.
June 23, 2010, Dennis said: “Until [my brother left for college], everything that occurred in the home, including cleaning the table, who can do it faster, was competition. On the Sabbath, in my home we would sing Sabbath melodies at the table. We’d have a competition to see who could sing faster without missing one word in Hebrew. We had a stopwatch and we’d time it. There was no area of life where there wasn’t competition. And if you lost, you weren’t crushed.”
May 21, 2010, Dennis said: “My brother came home from the first week at Columbia and he was very down. And I said, ‘Kenny, what’s going on?’ He said, ‘Dennis, I just met 700 other captains of basketball teams, valedictorians and editors of high school newspapers. And some of them play the oboe.'”

Unions

Oct. 12, 2010, Dennis said: “I was in eighth grade. I did not follow the news very much, but I lived in New York, which had nine newspapers. I think I could name them. That’s how excited I was to see them on the newsstand every day.
“The printers union struck against the newspapers. It dragged on so long that it was clear that many newspapers would not survive the strike if it dragged on. What were they striking against? Not wages. They were striking against bringing in more automated machinery to make it cheaper to produce a newspaper so the papers could survive. The unions decided it was better to lose jobs and to lose newspapers than to lose the strike. So they lost six newspapers, including the New York Herald-Tribune, one of the world’s greatest newspapers.
“And it was known that would happen. I remember James Reston, the most prominent New York Times reporter, went on the radio and said please stop the strike. The Times will survive but the Tribune won’t.
“Under selfish there’s a picture of union bosses.”

Pets

Dec. 27, 2010, Dennis said:
This is one of the pet horror stories of my childhood.
My father would come in my room every week and see that the turtle hadn’t moved. The lettuce is still there. “Dennis, he’s dead.”
“Dad, I don’t think he’s dead. They just don’t do much.”
“Dennis, he’s dead. We don’t need a dead turtle in the house.”
“Dad, dad, that’s the way turtles are.”
“Dennis, he’s dead.”
All right. I believed my dad. I flushed him down the toilet and then he started crawling.
Every pet we had came to an [unfortunate end].
As the flushing started, no, he didn’t get out. He can’t escape a flush. It’s a terrible story.
Then we had a bird. My father looked at the bird and said, “I feel sorry for him. We should let him fly.”
“Dad, dad, you can’t let him out of the cage.”
“Let him fly! The animal is suffering.”
“Dad, I’m telling you, these birds, it’s not a good idea.”
“Dennis, it’s not right the way we are treating him.”
“OK, dad.”
So we let the bird. He sees a mirror. He flies to the other bird. He cracks his skull. Dead bird.
We had another one. Something tragic happened.

Dec. 6, 2010, Dennis Prager said that he inherited two tortoises when he married Sue (his third marriage). “One day, we saw that one of the tortoises was very lethargic. He had something hanging out from the back of him. My wife tried to nurse him and to medicate him. He was going to die. It turns out, his penis stuck out and wasn’t going back. It would’ve gangrened and he would’ve died. There was a veterinarian in Santa Monica who knew how to treat a gangrenous tortoise penis but it was a lot of money.”
During his public dialogue with Adam Carolla Feb. 25, 2012, Dennis said the tortoise penis repair cost just under $2,000 and that his home spends more on the dog than on his wife's clothes.

Dennis said Dec. 8, 2010: “When I was a kid, I was taken to an allergist [because of a cough] who gave me scratch tests. I was allergic according to the allergist to 32 different things including milk and rabbits. I never took these things as holy grail. I remember thinking when told I am allergic to milk, if this doctor thinks I am abstaining from cold cereal and ice cream, he’s out of his mind. It turns out I am allergic to one thing only — cats. I just stop breathing.”
Jan. 27, 2011, Dennis said: “Do you know what I had in my childhood that doesn’t exist today? My mother would give her 30 cents and I would buy her Kent cigarettes. I’d be ten years old and I’d walk to the candy store. I loved those stores.”
“She stopped smoking in her fifties.”

Social Capital

April 6, 2011, Dennis said: “I’ll never forget when I was a kid [nine years old]. There was a man who was a high school math teacher, Mr. Joe Salts. What a sweet man. A member of the synagogue. He was hit by a hit-and-run driver on the West Side highway. He was blinded. The synagogue took care of this man for the rest of his life.
“The impact it made on me watching my father have people over to the house to see how much will you give, how much will you give. I have tears in my eyes. But as the state gets bigger, he just applies at some agency and has a bureaucrat take down the details.”
“Here’s another victim of the big state in terms of goodness because they say, why should I take care of my neighbor? The government will.
“This man blinded in the auto accident. The man was a member of the synagogue. The biggest thing DeTocqueville noted was how many free associations Americans made. Because the government was weak, people had strong civil society.
“I remember being a member of the Simi Valley Rotary Club. It was all men. They would get together every week. These guys, almost none of whom were wealthy, they were hard-working middle class. And you know what they devoted every meeting to? What charity they would engage in. But as government takes over more and more of charitable work, what need do you have for these charities? But we need people to join societies. The bigger the government, the more atomized the society.”

Feb. 6, 2012, Dennis said he is the only person he knows who was a member of Rotary. "I have the values of guys who drink mass-market domestic beer."

In a lecture on Leviticus 16, Dennis said: "We today have retreated further than ever from a sense of collective responsibility. The most obvious example is kids. Kids used to be raised by every adult on the block. If I acted out in front of any adult who didn't even know who the hell I was, he would say something.  'Hey kid, you don't talk like that.' If I had cursed at the local candy store in Brooklyn, some adult would've said, 'Hey kid, we don't talk like that.' Today kids curse freely in line in front of you and you even fear reproving them. We fear that they might hurt you. And we fear what the parent might say. 'It's none of your business. I'll raise my kid.' The sense that the collective is responsible is a Torah idea."

It is also an idea that exists primarily in non-diverse communities. Dennis grew up in a non-diverse Torah community of high-IQ Ashkenazi Orthodox Jews. He had no friends who were not Orthodox Jews. From this perspective, diversity can seem vibrant, but you're not often going to find parents of different races taking responsibility for the other race's children (outside of traditional religion). You're not going to find parents of different races cooperating to build something in the community and to form neighborhood watches. 

Jared Taylor wrote:

Conflict is the normal state of race relations anywhere in the world, and for reasons that I believe are deeply biological.

Humans have an exquisite sensitivity to differences between their group and other groups. Group conflict is as old as our species. Humans are prepared to fight each other for all kinds of reasons: ethnicity, language, nationality, religion, and even for political reasons, but of all the kinds of conflict, racial conflict is the most chronic and difficult to control, and that’s because race is part of biology. It is immediately visible, and is usually an indicator of differences in behavior and culture and not just a difference in appearance.

Wherever you find people of more than one race trying to share the same territory, there is conflict.

The kind of close-knit community Prager advocates is in inverse proportion to racial diversity noted leftist Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam, who was so upset by the results of his study that he didn't publish it for a decade and only then with a pro-diversity spin. Putnam found that Los Angeles, the most racially diverse of America's cities, had the least trust, meaning that people in such a racially mixed community tend to pull their heads in, go out less, cooperate less, and watch more TV. By contrast, the whitest cities such as Portland have the most neighborliness.

Steve Sailer (highly regarded by psychometricians) asked: "Can you guess which two cities lead the list of top 50 metropolitan areas in terms of the highest percentage of adults volunteering for charity? And which two cities came in last?" Lilly-white cities Minneapolis-St. Paul and Salt Lake City came in first, while diverse cities Miami and Las Vegas came in last.

A resident of Chicago, Steve Sailer worked with his community to do good things, but concluded:
Multiculturalism doesn’t make vibrant communities but defensive ones...

Putnam’s discovery is hardly shocking to anyone who has tried to organize a civic betterment project in a multi-ethnic neighborhood. My wife and I lived for 12 years in Chicago’s Uptown district, which claims to be the most diverse two square miles in America, with about 100 different languages being spoken. She helped launch a neighborhood drive to repair the dilapidated playlot across the street. To get Mayor Daley’s administration to chip in, we needed to raise matching funds and sign up volunteer laborers.

This kind of Robert D. Putnam-endorsed good citizenship proved difficult in Uptown, however, precisely because of its remarkable diversity. The most obvious stumbling block was that it’s hard to talk neighbors into donating money or time if they don’t speak the same language as you. Then there’s the fundamental difficulty of making multiculturalism work—namely, multiple cultures. Getting Koreans, Russians, Mexicans, Nigerians, and Assyrians (Christian Iraqis) to agree on how to landscape a park is harder than fostering consensus among people who all grew up with the same mental picture of what a park should look like.

The high crime rate didn’t help either. The affluent South Vietnamese merchants from the nearby Little Saigon district showed scant enthusiasm for sending their small children to play in a park that would also be used by large black kids from the local public-housing project.

Exotic inter-immigrant hatreds also got in the way. The Eritreans and Ethiopians are both slender, elegant-looking brown people with thin Arab noses, who appear identical to undiscerning American eyes. But their compatriots in the Horn of Africa were fighting a vicious war. Finally, most of the immigrants, with the possible exception of the Eritreans, came from countries where only a chump would trust neighbors he wasn’t related to, much less count on the government for an even break. If the South Vietnamese, for example, had been less clannish and more ready to sacrifice for the national good in 1964-75, they wouldn’t be so proficient at running family-owned restaurants on Argyle Street today. But they might still have their own country.

In the end, boring old middle-class, English-speaking, native-born Americans (mostly white, but with some black-white couples) did the bulk of the work. When the ordeal of organizing was over, everybody seemed to give up on trying to bring Uptown together for civic improvement for the rest of the decade...

But what primarily drove down L.A.’s rating in Putnam’s 130-question survey were the high levels of distrust displayed by Hispanics. While no more than 12 percent of L.A.’s whites said they trusted other races “only a little or not at all,” 37 percent of L.A.’s Latinos distrusted whites. And whites were the most reliable in Hispanic eyes. Forty percent of Latinos doubted Asians, 43 percent distrusted other Hispanics, and 54 percent were anxious about blacks.

Psychologist J. Philippe Rushton said:

The more ethnically diverse a country, the more warfare and tensions and uncooperation. The more ethnically homogenous a country is, the more cooperation...

Many social psychological studies show that altruism increases with the benefactor’s actual or perceived similarity to the beneficiary. (Race, Evolution and Behavior, pg.81)

Many studies have found that people are more likely to help members of their own race or country than they are to help members of other races or foreigners, and that antagonism between classes and nations may be greater when a racial element is involved.

Direct analogies have been drawn between the way monkeys and apes resent and repel intruding strangers of the same species and the way children attack another child who is perceived as being an outsider... (pg. 85)

Groups made up of people who are genetically predisposed toward such moral behaviors as honesty, trust, temperence, willingness to share, loyalty, and self-sacrifice will have a distinct genetic advantage over groups that do not. (pg. 89)

A 2005 news article reported

"Likeness leads to liking," said the study's author, J. Philippe Rushton, professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario. "People have a need to identify and be with others like themselves ('their own kind'). It is a powerful force in human affairs."

Rushton anchored the human preference for similarity in the evolutionary psychology of altruism, which suggests that favoritism toward kin and similar others evolved to help replicate shared genes. In-group loyalty is almost always seen as a virtue and extension of family loyalty. This explains why ethnic remarks are so easily taken as "fighting words."

The paper described the group-identification processes as innate--part of the evolved machinery of the human mind. Even very young children make in-group/out-group distinctions about race and ethnicity in the absence of social learning.

Sociologist Linda S. Gottfredson wrote: "Humans are not promiscuous altruists, of course, but favor persons genetically similar to themselves."

Brenda Walker wrote: "We all prefer to be around others who speak our language, share our values and understand our jokes. Human community is based upon similarities, not differences. Wouldn’t it be better to develop public policy on the basis of human nature as it really is?"

Psychologist Richard Lynn said in 1989: "Racial and ethnic conflict is occurring throughout the world—between Blacks and Whites in the United States, South Africa, and Britain; Basques and Spaniards in Spain; and Irish and British in Northern Ireland. These conflicts have defied explanations by the disciplines of sociology, psychology, and economics.... genetic similarity theory represents a major advance in the understanding of these conflicts." (pg. 534)

American biologist E. Raymond Hall noted that "two subspecies of the same species do not occur in the same geographic area." This rule applies to people. "To imagine one subspecies of man living together on equal terms for long with another subspecies is but wishful thinking and leads only to disaster and oblivion for one or the other."

Psychologist Raymond Cattell said: "Whenever a nation has been forcibly put together from differing races, we find a social life unnecessarily disjointed, weak, and feverish. There are thousands of misunderstandings, produced by individuals working for different goals in different ways and at different speeds."

Dennis Prager wrote Dec. 18, 2013 in the Jewish Journal:

I don’t think that Jewish neighborhoods are always a good thing for Jews or, for that matter, for our fellow Americans who are not Jewish. In fact, committed Jews living among non-Jews often does more good — for Jews, for Judaism, for Kiddush HaShem and for relations with non-Jews.

Having lived much of my life in Jewish neighborhoods, I think I am well acquainted with the arguments for many Jews living in one area of a city.

...And for Orthodox Jews, there is simply no choice. If you don’t live within walking distance of a synagogue, you simply cannot attend a synagogue on Shabbat or any of the other Torah holy days. And you will be very lonely on Shabbat, as there will be no one with whom to share Shabbat meals...

But there are also powerful arguments against Jews congregating in one area.

One argument is that Jews (and any other ethnic group) often become better people when they live among those who are not members of their ethnic/religious group.

Most people grow — intellectually and morally — when they have to confront outsiders. There are, of course, wonderful people who never leave their communities. But they are the exception. Most people do not grow when they lead insular lives.

In my travels through the 50 states, my favorite Jews have disproportionately been those who live in small Jewish communities.

Having grown up an Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn — having only Orthodox Jewish friends, and having attended Orthodox schools and Orthodox summer camps through high school — I know what insular ethnic/religious life is like. And I didn’t find it healthy. Among many other reasons, the non-Jew (and even the non-Orthodox Jew) wasn’t real.

I first seriously encountered Jewish alternatives to my insular upbringing in my early 20s, when I drove from New York to Texas with my dear friend Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. Thanks to the “Jewish Traveler’s Guide,” we found the name of a Jewish doctor in Alexandria, La., who listed himself as providing a place for Jewish travelers in central Louisiana to have Shabbat meals and kosher food...

...It can’t be a coincidence that virtually every great Jewish religious work was composed outside of Israel, when Jews lived among non-Jews. We have, for example, two versions of the Talmud — the Babylonian and the Jerusalem. And it is the former that we study. Maimonides’ works were all written outside of Israel, sometimes in Arabic.

...My wife and I live in a non-Jewish suburb of Los Angeles — so non-Jewish that it doesn’t even have a Chabad House. The closest Chabad House, in Glendale (not a major Jewish metropolis either), is run by the inimitable Rabbi Simcha Backman. He has “appointed” me an honorary shaliach (Chabad emissary) in La Canada.

I think I build the only sukkah there, and when we opened our home one Sukkot, I recall the wide eyes of all the children of Jewish parents who had never seen a sukkah in their lives. Introducing Jews who have had little or no contact with Jewish life to Judaism is another mitzvah that a committed Jew living outside a Jewish neighborhood can engage in.

I live in a cul-de-sac, and my immediate neighbors are an Arab-American couple, whom my wife and I adore. The other neighbor is Korean. My cul-de-sac is what America is supposed to be about. It’s still a good idea.

Jan. 2, 2014, Dennis said: "I don't like any ethnic neighborhood. I don't think it's the American ideal."

"I don't think black neighborhoods are healthy for blacks. I don't think Mexican neighborhoods are healthy for Mexicans. They're comfortable."

Feb. 13, 2014, Dennis said:

A lot of people feel more comfortable with one of their own, unfortunately, racially, ethnically, whatever, I understand that, but that's where the mind must conquer feelings, particularly if you are religious. Religion must conquer all other feelings or else religion is crap. Either we are all God's children irrespective of our race or we are not.

That you feel more comfortable with people who look like you may well be your human response but it should not be your God-centered response... If religion doesn't teach us values, it is utterly worthless... Values should always trump feelings. 

If you see another person, you should see another one of God's children [first]. You shouldn't see a white or a black.

If you oppose interracial marriage and you are a religious Christian or a religious Jew, then you are not religious. You are convenient. You're comfortable with your culture. If people state I want my children to marry someone of my faith, I understand that. I want my children to marry somebody who is conservative politically. I understand values-based desires for your children. I don't understand race-based.

Doesn't love trump race?

I didn't expect this [stand for pro-interracial marriage] to be controversial. I expected to do one segment and move on.

This notion about we want to preserve the culture. That's a very dangerous idea that race and culture are identical. Race is race and culture is culture. What culture does a black atheist and a black evangelical share? Recipes?

Either we believe we are all God's children and character matters infinitely more than skin color or we don't.

According to Dennis, "Racism — the belief that people of a certain skin color are inherently different (and inferior or superior) — is not only evil; it is moronic. Racism is in equal amounts stupid and vile."

In a Mar. 18, 2014 video, Jared Taylor said: "The idea that race is some kind of an illusion is so obviously wrong and stupid that only very intelligent people could persuade themselves that it is true."

Jared Taylor wrote June 19, 2012:
Some bi-racial children really don’t know which way to turn. It is fashionable to claim that the “tragic mulatto” is a racist myth, but science has tracked him down. Dr. J. Richard Udry’s 2003 study of 90,000 middle- and high-school students found that black/white and white/Asian children were more likely to be depressed, sleep badly, skip school, smoke, drink, consider suicide, and have sex than children of just one race.[Health and Behavior Risks of Adolescents with Mixed-Race Identity, American Journal of Public Health, November 2003]

The authors of a 2008 study reached the same conclusion:

"When it comes to engaging in risky/anti-social adolescent behavior . . . mixed race adolescents are stark outliers compared to both blacks and whites. . . . Mixed race adolescents—not having a natural peer group—need to engage in more risky behaviors to be accepted." [“The Plight of Mixed Race Adolescents,” NBER Working Paper No. 14192, July, 2008.]

Other research on white/Asian children found that they were twice as likely as mono-racial children—34 percent vs. 17 percent—to suffer from psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression or drug abuse. [Bi-Racial Asian Americans More Likely to Suffer Psychological Disorder, UCDavis, August 18, 2008]

Instead of moving smoothly between both groups, many mixed-race children don’t feel comfortable in either. When they go to college, such “outcasts,” as they sometimes call themselves, start their own student groups. Harvard, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, UCLA, Bryn Mawr and other campuses have groups with names such as ReMixed, Half and Half, and Mixed Student Union. [The Risks of Multiracial Identification, by Naomi Schaefer Riley, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 10, 2006.]

Miscegenation can be dangerous: Lynn Barkley Burnett and Jonathan Adler, the authors of a 2005 study on domestic violence in the United States, found that “the incidence of spousal homicide is 7.7 times higher in interracial marriages compared to intraracial marriages.” The chances of being killed by your spouse are small, to be sure, but an older study found that white men who married black women were 21.4 times more likely to be killed by their spouses than white men who married white women. A white woman increased her risk of being killed 12.4 times by marrying a black man. [Fatal Violence Among Spouses in the United States, 1976-85, By James A. Mercy and Linda Saltzman American Journal of Public Health, May, 1989.]

...We have...a ruling class that promotes miscegenation and reviles anyone who opposes it. Together with our mass immigration policies, this spells doom for the survival of whites and their culture.

American Renaissance magazine said in 2009: "Studies have shown that parents are more attached to children who look like them and with whom they share the most genes. Abuse and neglect are more likely when it is obvious that parent and child come from dissimilar stock, which is usually the case with hybrids."

Apr. 11, 2014, Dennis said: "There is more racism proportionately in the black community than among whites. To deny that is to deny that the sun rises in the east. Just look at the opposition to a black and a white marrying, how intense that is. You are considered a traitor to the race. If a white thinks you are a traitor to your race for marrying a black, you're considered a white supremacist."

Jan. 10, 2014, Dennis said: "Crime causes poverty... Crime is the greatest predictor of poverty. There is no commerce where there is crime. People stay home for fear of being hurt. People don't build if they think they will be hurt violently."

And what is the great predictor of crime in a neighborhood? The presence of blacks (and to a lesser degree, latinos). As James Q. Wilson noted: "Black men commit murders at a rate about eight times greater than that for white men. This disparity is not new; it has existed for well over a century."

Arthur Jensen "notes that criminals of all races have IQs that are some 10 points below those of their siblings, and finds that within the same ranges of IQ, blacks and whites have essentially the same crime rates."

Multi-cultural societies tend to be less creative, noted author Jim Kalb:

High-level creativity needs a coherent setting and tradition to give it materials and possibilities. That’s why there is no Shakespeare of pidgin. As Sailer points out, ethnic cuisines developed in monocultural settings.

In multicultural society the only principles of order are arm’s length contract and top-down management. There’s not enough of a network of ties and common understandings for anything else to work. Neither allows for much creativity, because they’re too simple and single-minded.

...[I]f you have a multicultural society that has to pretend to be free, equal and democratic you have to control thought and expression in boring ways to keep the whole house of cards from collapsing. “Celebrating diversity” means refusal to deal with any important issue in an interesting way, because you might end up saying that something is better than something else.

Steve Sailer wrote:

Periclean Athens wasn't as cosmopolitan as Alexandria or Rome, and Fourteenth Century Florence was full of Italians but not much else, and so forth. Right now, America is more diverse than ever, but it sure doesn't seem as creative as it was for most of the 20th Century...

Why go through the hard word of creating when you can just borrow? Necessity is the mother of invention, and diversity reduces the necessity of inventing your own amusements. 

Consider racially homogenous Liverpool, England in the early 1960s. Some Liverpudlian youth loved this new-fangled rock 'n' roll music invented in the Mississippi River Valley in the 1950s. If there had been an African-American community in Liverpool, the white kids would have employed the black Americans to play music for them to dance to. But there weren't any African-Americans in Liverpool, so the white kids had to make their own.

Bar Mitzvah

Ethnic pride and racial thinking has never been big for Dennis. At his Bar Mitzvah (he recited the Torah portions of Mattos and Masei at the end of the book of Numbers) at Camp Winsoki on July 15, 1961, he received the book Great Jews in Sports. He found the topic hilarious.
“I didn’t want to be childlike when I was a child.” (Feb. 28, 2011) 

Jan. 22, 2014, Dennis said: "An 18-year old is a role model to a 13-year old. Just remember when you were 13 how you might have looked up to an older brother or older kids. I lived catty corner from a high school when I grew up in Brooklyn. I remember when I would walk home from the bus stop and the high school kids were walking the other way. Those kids were so old. I watched everything they did, every way they behaved. We boys are wild. We watch how older males act. We have no other way of knowing how to act."

(Picture of Dennis’s family at his bar mitzvah. Dennis with his parents and brother. Dennis in his late teens.)
Max Prager wrote in chapter 31:

Dennis became a Bar Mitzva in August 1961 while he was a camper at Winsocki. Hilda and I, after getting Dennis’s permission, decided to celebrate at camp. Believe it or not, this was the first of four events which were held to commemorate our son’s becoming a “man”.
Unfortunately for Dennis, the portions of the Torah to be read that Shabbat – Matoth and Masse – were the longest in words of the entire Pentateuch and making it obligatory to read both because that year was a leap year in the Hebrew calendar. Despite this difficult task, Dennis’s rendition was excellent in both the pronunciation of the words and the cantillation; his reading of the Haftorah, similarly, was perfect.
Since we were members of two synagogues and Dennis was our last son to be honored in this mitzvah, we felt we could not get enough of celebrating. Consequently, upon his return from camp and after the High Holy Days in October, Dennis again obliged us by consenting to read from the Torah and chant the Haftorahs in Kingsway Jewish Center and Cong. Oheb Zedek. We invited the entire congregations to a large kiddish since all our friends were not invited to the camp festivities.
In November, we held the Bar Mitzva Reception on a Saturday evening at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan inviting our families and close friends.
Sports

Under pressure from his father to become more athletic, Dennis joined the Flatbush Falcons basketball team. At 6’4, he was the tallest kid in the school. While looking at Dennis, the coach announced that his new squad “scraped the bottom of the barrel.” He was right.
In a March 17, 2013 dialogue with Hugh Hewitt, Dennis said: "I have no interest in basketball. I love hockey. There was no yeshiva hockey team. The things about basketball I was not good at were dribbling, shooting, passing and rebounding... Bad news. The team is losing by so much [at Madison Square Garden] that mathematically we have no chance to win the game. With 58 seconds to go, the coach decides to put me in the game. I know nothing of what is going on. I whisper to Snack Bar as soon as I get the tap, 'Snack Bar, which basket are we shooting at?' I'm in a slow panic.
"I chose number 13 because I'm a joker. I hear over the Madison Square Garden intercom, 'Now coming in for Flatbush, number 13, Stanley Prager.' Nothing is going right. I get in the game. I'm a little panic struck and sure enough, I run to the wrong side after the tap ball. I'm alone with the referee and he says, 'Hey kid, are you some sort of shmuck?'
"There's always been a part of me that sees me from outside of me and inside thought, 'Yeah, I am some sort of shmuck.'"
Feb. 18, 2010, Dennis said: “The thought that my father would’ve showed up to every one of my basketball games, I would’ve been embarrassed. I thought that I was already a man in some ways and mommy and daddy didn’t have to watch me.”
“They came to one game, which is its own story, my embarrassing one minute at Madison Square Garden before a Knicks game [when Prager ran towards the wrong basket] in high school. My mother was yelling the whole time, ‘Dennis! Dennis!’ I hoped that none of my teammates heard this.”
“I had a pop-up hit to me,” said Dennis. “I was about eleven. My brother threw a hard ball high in the air. I didn’t have to run for it. I put my glove up. And it went right by my glove, hit my nose, and I bled more than I have ever bled in my life. On a simple pop-up.” (April 21, 2010)
In a Feb. 25, 2012 public dialogue with Adam Carolla, Dennis said: "You know why they didn't fingerprint parents [who wanted to coach] when we were kids? Because they never came to our games. Why do you have to go to all of your kids' events? I didn't want my parents to come to my events. It made me feel like a man that mommy wasn't watching. That was independence. I was a grown-up."
Adam: "Even when you lost your virginity, you did not want them anywhere around? Even for encouragement? 'Come on, you're a Prager, son!'"
Dennis: "I went to Orthodox Jewish schools until I was 18. It was not an issue."
Oct. 27, 2010, Dennis said: “I remember in camp when I would play baseball and if the girls showed up, I tried much harder than if there were no girls watching. If the girls came, it was like I was Popeye and I had just consumed spinach.”
Said Dennis Dec. 22, 2010: “The last time I wrote a letter was in summer camp. I was away eight weeks. On the bus to camp, I would write all eight weeks worth of letters, postcards, to my parents. ‘Having a great time!’ And I would date it for the next week. I assure you I was not the only one to do it.”

Not Normal

A caller to Prager’s radio show Jan. 23, 2009, said she heard that during eighth grade, Dennis brought a ham radio on the school bus and announced to everyone that he would learn Russian by the end of the semester.
“That sounds like me. I was not a normal eighth grader,” Prager said.
April 5, 2013, Dennis said: "Why did I learn to read Pravda in high school? I taught myself Russian and with a dictionary would read Pravda. I loved reading those who told the opposite of truth. It's a strange fascination I have with those who distort reality eloquently, which has been the left's job for over 100 years."
Aug. 30, 2011, Dennis said: “There is a subject that has troubled me my whole thinking life, which began on my 14th birthday. Before 14, I did not think. Not the actual act but the reactions to it have plagued me. I’m talking about the United States decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan. I’ve always been morally at peace with the decision. It is now de rigeur to lump Hiroshima with Auschwitz, as though they are moral equivalents.”

Promoting Goodness

Prager came early to the belief that his life mission was to promote goodness. “When people got hurt, I cried – and still do; it’s as simple as that. I am doing today exactly what I wanted to be doing when I was five: fighting bad people.
“My wife says that I was born mature… I had thought differently early on and always in terms of good and evil. When kids got bullied at school, it bugged me. If an ugly girl was seated on the side in a dance, it bothered me. And I would go over and talk even though I was dying to be with the pretty girls. I can’t stand cruelty. I have a visceral reaction against it.” (C-SPAN Booknotes)
“When he’d go to New York,” remembers Hilda, “and he’d see a man selling pencils, he’d turn to us and say, ‘I wish that I could buy all his pencils so that he wouldn’t have to beg for money.’” (CD)

At age 11, Harry Potter discovered he was a wizard living among ordinary people. I imagine the young Dennis Prager felt similarly. 

In a 2006 lecture, Tom Wolfe said: "Each individual adopts a set of values which, if truly absolute in the world - so ordained by some almighty force - would make not that individual but his group...the best of all possible groups, the best of all inner circles."

With a yearning to promote God and goodness, Dennis stumbled upon an endeavor where if everybody competed, Jews will always win because they brought the idea of God into the world and they also developed the best moral code (Torah). As historian Paul Johnson wrote: "Judaism has the most sophisticated system of moral theology, or ethics, of any world religion."

In a 2008 lecture on Lev. 19:9-11, Dennis said: "The Torah is preoccupied with the issue of not humiliating people and I caught it by osmosis. If there were five things drummed into me in yeshiva, not to humiliate people and to protect their dignity was one of them. And I am not alone. I might have had a more sensitive disposition in that arena, but even the less inclined in that area were also influenced. The humor we had at yeshiva was not of tearing down of others. To this day I'm shocked that a lot of the humor we have in society today is tearing down people. I recoil. The yeshiva boy in me does not get why that is funny... The humor we had was in good taste. It was just real powerful ribbing."
“I had an admiration for Batman,” said Prager June 16, 2006, “because he did not have superpower. I think I liked Green Lantern because nobody read him. I felt sorry for him. And then there was Wonderwoman who visually had a provocative effect on this 13-year old.”
June 10, 2010, Dennis said: “Whenever you get somebody at the airline after pressing 11 different numbers, do you imagine how the person looks? I do only with women. I don’t care how the guy looks. I imagine that every woman taking my reservation is Miss Arizona.”
“The normal male will go into a living room, spread his buttocks and toot. There’s an act of self-suppression that each of us engages in not to do that… Men have to be manufactured or we stay boys forever.”
Said Dennis in a 2008 lecture on Leviticus 19: “The humor that we had at yeshiva was not the type of tear-down-others. The yeshiva boy in me does not get why it is funny to make fun of people. I don’t mean ribbing.”

Nuclear War

Mar. 24, 2012, Dennis said: "Did I ever think during the Cold War that a hot war was inevitable? Never. Not for a day. I was young during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I had zero fear."
"I remember we had exercises in school to protect us in case of a nuclear attack and I remember laughing myself silly when I would be told to go under the desk now. I thought, 'You've got to be kidding. There's going to be a nuclear attack on New York and my desk will protect me? There were some people who built fall-out shelters. I thought they were eccentric."
"I never worried for a day because mutual assured destruction works with people who enjoy life and the communist leaders enjoyed life. They had periodic orgies. They drank themselves silly. They had gorgeous homes called dachas on riverbanks. These people didn't want to die."
"I do fear a war from an Islamic country [because they don't fear dying]."
"I fear ascetics more than I fear hedonists."
"I fear nuclear war today."

Guns

On May 30, 2013, Dennis said: "I played with water guns and toy guns [as a child]. I'd stand in front of the mirror and draw against myself like a cowboy and see who won each time. I actually thought I could beat the mirror if I went fast enough. I would never have confused a toy with a real gun."

"I was witness at age 24 when I lived in Queens to a bank robbery. Joseph Telushkin and I were the last two people to leave a bank as guys in ski masks came in. I thought it was odd. It was a Spring day. I heard, 'OK, everybody, hands up.'

"The FBI came to my apartment and brought real guns and I was shaking. I had never touched a real gun. I had never seen a real gun."

April 16, 2012, Dennis Prager said: “The Secret Service has a wonderful reputation for protecting the president and going after counterfeiters… I think every high school kid, if they read, picks a crime that fascinates them. For most, it’s murder. Not for me. I read book after book about counterfeiters.” “My wife was into crime. She definitely read the crime books, the murder books. She still is.”

Problems At School

The proverbial “Why?” child, Prager was sent to the principal’s office so often that they named a chair “The Dennis Prager seat.”
“If I had the sense of parenting that I have today,” said Max, “I could’ve spared myself an awful lot of anguish because in most cases Dennis was right.” (CD)
Max said he’s a perfectionist, and that he was too tough on his kids. He said that as he ages, he becomes milder and more accepting.
“Dennis’s behavior in school was horrible,” said Max. “He was extremely bright and found school boring. I should’ve been more accepting and forgiving. He went to four elementary schools.
“Dennis always knew what he wanted. And this is difficult for parents who usually want to discipline or guide the child. He was always respectful, but Dennis always did things his way.” (Dennis Prager’s CD ROM released in 1998)
Dennis: “I talked in class… Took the girls’ briefcases without permission and passed them around my room.
“I didn’t feel secure enough at home to act out, so I did my acting out at school.” (CD)

On March 17, 2013, Dennis said to Hugh Hewitt: "I said, 'Rabbi, what happens in Olam Haba (the next world)?' I was dead serious. I wanted to know, much more than what the Chief Priest wore. He said, 'We spend eternity studying Torah.' I was traumatized because I thought of being in this man's class forever. I remember thinking, 'What happens in the alternative?'"

On April 16, 2010, Dennis said: “I used to think I was bullied by the teachers because I was thrown out of class on a very regular basis. And I would go home and if my parents found out about it, and that was the only thing I worried about, I said, ‘They pick on me because I am the tallest kid in the class’, which is a non-sequitar, but that’s what I believed, ‘I just stick out because I’m so big’. The truth is, they threw me out because I was the most disruptive and my parents knew that and they didn’t let me believe that nonsense and it was a great cure in my life.”
Hilda: “He was a rough guy in school. He’d read The New York Times [in class] and do other things that he shouldn’t… After the PTA meetings, I’d come home and want to kill him because I heard some bad things. The poor kid was shivering…absolutely miserable when it came time for the PTA meeting.
“He was always a good kid. He never fought with his older brother. They wrestled a lot in the basement.” (CD)
In a lecture on Lev. 14 circa 2009, Dennis said: "Is school a dictatorship? Yes! That's exactly what a school should be. That's the whole point. You don't have the same rights in fifth grade as an adult in school. That's the whole point of school. That's why you can't curse a teacher. You can curse a teacher in the street but you can't in school. I don't care if you want to stand or not [for the pledge of allegiance], you stand."
Max Prager wrote in chapter 30:

When Dennis was 9 years of age in 1957, he became extremely bored with his academic career at Yeshiva Rambam and created an atmosphere in his classroom which was not very conducive to learning. He would crack jokes and make his fellow students laugh and his Rebbi or secular teacher exasperated.
…When parent-teacher evenings occurred each semester, we did not look forward to these events as the reports were always depressing. Also, my poor son went into a fearful state a few days before the meeting. When he reached the 7th grade at the age of 12, Hilda and I felt that, perhaps, a change of venue would rectify the situation. Since Dennis would always be greeted by a new teacher with the words “Oh, you are Elimelach’s brother. I am sure that you will equal his accomplishments.” They surely did not take Education 101. The worst thing a teacher can do is to compare his pupil with his sibling.
I certainly do not absolve myself for the gross error in placing Dennis in the same school as Kenny. I should have been wise enough to realize that since Kenny was an exceptional student and athlete, he should have gone to a different yeshiva. To compound my stupidity, I enrolled him in Winsocki where Kenny was the lead actor in the annual plays and the best athlete.
…Hilda and were at wits end and completely lost as to what options we had in raising our son. I have heard Dennis remark many times on his radio program, when speaking of this episode in his life, that a teacher at Rambam advised me as to the course of action that I eventually took. I dislike correcting my son, but his statement is erroneous.
The truth is as follows: since I always have a brief conversation with my spiritual Father before falling asleep, one night full of anguish and pain, I implored him to guide me in the correct parental path I should take with Dennis. Believe it or not, I awoke the following morning with a modus operandi. A day or two later, I sat Dennis down in my home office and the two of us were alone. I remember, as though it happened yesterday, the exact words that poured from my mouth.
I told him that, as his father, I loved him and will always love him. However, respect has to be earned and I could not respect his actions. I then took a risk in informing him that from that moment on, the word “school” would be taboo in our home. I would never ask him if he had homework, what his grades were, and, in fact, did not have to attend school.
From that moment on, he made a 360 degree turn in his academic life. What he needed was a hands-off approach from his parents that automatically eliminated the severe tension that had been building up throughout his school years. His grades improved substantially, he was elected president of his senior class and was editor of the yearbook.
Not being a psychologist, I cannot state definitely why Dennis behaved in the manner that he did. However, my guess is that since he feared not living up to his brother’s achievements, he preferred attributing any low grades that he may receive in the future to his poor behavior rather than being accused of stupidity.
Dec. 12, 2003, Dennis said that at age 13, in eighth grade, he met with a school psychologist, who asked him what he wanted. Dennis said he wanted his parents to never ask him about school. The psychologist relayed the request to Dennis’s parents and they lived by it. Often they did not even look at Dennis’s report card, which was usually bad.
Like Harry Potter, the young unhappy Dennis often felt the need to violate the rules (of his home, of his school, and of his religion). While many of his peers would marry the first person they kissed, Dennis needed to experience more of life than that.
In his January 2002 lecture “Personal Autobiography”, Dennis said:
I can’t say that my childhood was particularly happy. I didn’t like school. My parents were not happy that I didn’t like school. I got thrown out of class so regularly that there was a chair in the elementary school office [at Yeshiva Rambam] that was called the Dennis Prager chair. I got thrown out for very valid reasons. Most of the time I would just talk. I was practicing for my profession. I’d write notes and send them to other kids. I’d play tricks on the girls.
When I was a kid, we all came into class with briefcases with all your supplies. So you’d keep your briefcase by your desk. It was a source of awesome pleasure for me to arrange with a couple of the guys to switch the girl’s briefcases who were sitting in the front because I thought of them as goody two-shoes and I had a hatred for goody two-shoes. I thought they were just trying to show the teacher they were terrific so I would just try to get them in trouble as much as possible.
I would frequently beat up bullies. That was a hobby of mine. There’s a big residue of that in me today. I am for beating up bullies. I hate bullies. If they were picking on some kid… I was always the biggest in the class. It’s not like I was Mr. Courageous but I couldn’t stand what they did.
My parents would get called very regularly and they would get very upset that I wasn’t a good kid at school. I was an angel at home but I was a devil at school.
The nadir came in eighth grade when I signed the report card. And I was proud of my abilities in script writing. I remember thinking, yeah, this looks pretty genuine. I would’ve gotten away with that except that when I was sick one day, my mother looked through my drawers and found all these report cards she hadn’t seen.
I also went to sleepaway camp for eight weeks a summer from the age of five. Frankly, that was too long. My grandfather would come on my birthday in the middle of summer and I would scream and cry to go back with him. They were a great source of love for me, my grandparents, in particular my mother’s parents.
High school was much more pleasant for me though things at home got tougher and I threatened to run away. But I was serious about running away. It wasn’t the typical kid threat.
My older brother was always good in everything. My parents couldn’t believe how two kids could be so different.
My brother interceded. I knew he was my last chance. He said, mom and dad, you have to listen to Dennis or he’s going to run away.
I even knew what I was going to do. I was going to go to Idlewild Airport. That’s before it was John F. Kennedy. And I was going to work in the luggage area for one of the airlines and get myself on it, or so were my dreams. I’m sure my wanderlust was shaped in part by my visits every Sunday to the airport just to photographer airplanes. I dreamed about airplanes. I collected time tables.
He told my parents, you’ve got to leave him alone. You can’t bug him anymore about grades or about school. They said, parents can’t do that. We’re abdicating our role. And he said, you have no choice. You’re going to lose your son if you don’t leave him alone.
My father said he actually spoke to G-d. He said, G-d, what am are we going to do? We’re tried punishment. We’ve tried yelling. We’ve tried discipline. We’ve tried notes from school. Nothing has worked.
The school psychologist and my brother prevailed upon my parents to leave me alone and let me raise myself. And they agreed. And from the age of 14 on, they never asked if I got a report card. They never asked if I had homework.
I lived at home the first two years of college. One day I said, ma, I’m off this week. And with a totally straight face, she said, I thought you were off last week, which shows you how much class I didn’t go to. There was no way to know when I was off and when there was school.
This was very dramatic in my life because from age 14 on, I was a happy person. I needed to be left alone. I know that my loathing of controls by government over people, even in America where we are putting more and more laws on people, they actually unnerve me. I can only thrive in freedom. I’m very good at imposing laws on me but I don’t want them imposed by others.
My parents gave me money to eat supper out. They gave me $1:50 a day to eat dinner wherever I wanted.
After school, I’d take a subway into Manhattan and go to museums and concerts and plays. I didn’t do any homework.
Eating out has never ceased being a good psychological feeling for me of freedom. I still love to eat out. It is a credit to the home Fran has made that I am now happy to eat at home.
To this day going to Denny’s and getting a tuna melt is fun. It’s still exciting. Anything I want! I’m not restricted to the menu at home. There’s no chance I’ll have liver.
[Sept. 1, 2010, Dennis said he has not had a $200 restaurant tab in his life.]
Once a week, my mother would serve a food that should not be eaten by humans — liver. I like anything but I hate liver.
I’d find out when liver would be served and I’d make sure not to be home that night.
Who would tell me when we had liver? We had a housekeeper, a black woman. Ethel was my confidant in life. I told Ethel everything. Ethel loaned me money to buy hockey magazines. I don’t know if I ever paid her back. Ethel was my surrogate mother. I am convinced that this had an effect on the ease and comfort I have always felt with people of any race. The profound role an African-American woman played in my upbringing. When I had a bad report card, I went to her.
I am thoroughly abnormal. Never in my life have I liked parties. I didn’t understand. What do you do at a party? It was very loud. My mode of communication is to speak. Anytime there is loud music, I can’t speak. I’ve lost all of my interest and my powers. I was as interested in girls as any of the guys who went to parties but party wasn’t going to be my method of meeting anybody.
What was my method? It was not a successful one in high school I had these dreams of meeting a girl who loved music like I do at Carnegie Hall. It didn’t happen.
I had a hobby called short-wave radio listening. I got for my bar mitzvah from my grandfather a great short-wave radio — the Zenith Transoceanic. For me to pick up Radio Moscow.. Starting my second year of high school, I became transfixed by the enemy (communism). I listened and I was intoxicated. Not persuaded. Not for a second. I’ve always loved propaganda. It fascinates me how people try to sell what is not true.
I would listen to Radio Moscow in English [while smoking a pipe]. They said, if you will write to us, we will send you a complete set of books on how to learn Russian. So I sent away. I will never forget the thick packet filled with Soviet stamps arrives at my parent’s house in Brooklyn. It was so exciting. I looked at it. Somebody licked these stamps in Moscow!
It was also exciting unfortunately to the government. My next batch of mail was from Radio Peiking. We had no relations with communist China. People get packs of things from China were suspect in the eyes of the Post Office and they tore my mail open.
I wrote a letter to the then senator from New York, Robert F. Kennedy, saying to him what happened and that I should be allowed to get unmolested mail from communist China. And he wrote back. It’s one of the many things that I regret throwing away.
I did start learning Russian.
I’ll never forget when my parents went to a parent-teacher meeting, the nadir of my existence. I hated when my parents went to talk to my teachers because none of them said what a wonderful student we have there. It was always a bad report. It was not a happy night when they went.
One night they went and met my close friend Joseph Telushkin’s parents. My father said to the Telushkins, ‘We should’ve sent Dennis to a Russian school. Then he’d be studying Hebrew.’
It was a good line and very true because under my desk I read two things during classes — the New York Times and Russian. The Herald-Tribune had closed by then. It was my first paper of choice. The rabbis of the school were not happy that I was not studying their holy subjects. One teacher said to me, and it was all in Hebrew, I did learn Hebrew rather well, because all these teachers came from Israel and didn’t speak English, and he said to me, ‘No New York Times? Go back and bring it in and then you can come back in.’ That’s how bitter he was.
I remember the Torah portion then was the ten things the Chief Priest wore in the holy Temple. And I could not think of a more boring thing to study.”
I did get to speak at graduation even though I graduated 92nd in a class of 110 because I was president of the class.
They were very grade conscious in my school and they divided us A, B, C, D. A = very bright. B = pretty bright. C = a little stupid. D = very stupid. I started in the D class and graduated in the C class. Telushkin went from moderately smart to moderately stupid. He’s now the most prolific author in Judaism in America.
I spent most of my four years [of high school] laughing. It was a very happy hilarious time.
My parents every so often very gingerly raised that however much I enjoyed learning Russian and conducting symphonies, the world was not going to grade me on that. How was I going to get a job?

Happiness

“I loved being 14,” said Dennis. “I hated being 13. Fourteen started a happy period in my life.” (Dec. 17, 2010)
Jan. 25, 2011, Dennis said: “The single funniest story from all of my childhood — in eighth grade, one of the kids tooted in class. The rest of the class laughed. The principal was walking by and the door was open and he passes by and sees the kids laughing. He gets very angry. He walks in and yells at the class, ‘What’s the big stink about?’
“It was the only time in my life I laughed so hard, I thought I might choke. I fell off my chair. It was pandemonium. The teacher knew what was happening and he was stifling laughing.”
Feb. 24, 2011, Dennis said: “I was never bored, not even as a child.”
In a 1994 lecture on Exodus 2, Dennis said: “Stories never moved me as a kid. Maybe because I was never read any. It was a home that was very clear and talked about moral issues, but we weren’t story oriented. As I get older, the stories not only mean more to me, they mean more than anything to me.”
In his 2008 lecture on Leviticus 19, Dennis Prager said: “I am writing my autobiography. Tentatively, it’s about my three journeys — as a man, as an American and as a Jew. I’m writing the Jew part right now.
“Part of the reason I have such a powerful association with the Sabbath was that it was the only family time we had. That was the time we ate together — Friday night and Sabbath afternoon.
“When I would make a family, I had only one image — the family at the Shabbat table because that was our only family time.
“To this day, when I visit my family in New Jersey, we’re together on Shabbat. We’re not together on a Monday. We’re busy.”
Dennis Prager’s best friend, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, wrote three paragraphs in the Summer 2001 issue of Olam magazine that seem to be about Dennis:

I have a friend who grew up harboring deep resentment toward his parents. He often lamented, “They never really cared about me. They had little time for me, they didn’t take my ideas seriously, and they were always getting angry at me.”
But one day, his attitude started to soften. It all happened when he became a parent, and found himself getting up at 3 a.m. to bring a bottle to his crying daughter.
“I realized then that my parents probably devoted far more hours to me than I had ever previously thought. The fact that I survived to my teenage years with all my fingers and toes intact means that they were watching me far more than I realized.”
Oct. 15, 2009, Dennis said: “My earliest years were strained with my mother. After late teens, it just got better and better every year until they were just wonderful. And that’s why I miss her. Thank God she and I had all those years.”
“My mother told me that I would be in reform school forever.” (Nov. 11, 2009)
“I had a (short skinny) rabbi in eighth grade throw me over two desks (and then continued to puff on a cigarette). I remember thinking that I deserved it.” (Dec. 17, 2010)
“I was never little and he was. That’s how annoyed he was with me.
“I remember thinking, I’m sure as hell not telling my parents that my rabbi did it because then my father would’ve thrown me over two desks. I would’ve been thrown over four desks in one day. I wasn’t a masochist, so I said nothing. I came home black and blue and that was it. It was a different world. I’m a better man for it. I didn’t come home and think, ‘I was physically abused by my rabbi.’
“I remember writing an apology note. I went to the boys’ room and I wrote an apology note on toilet paper because I thought I was wrong.” (Jan. 17, 2011)
In an April 3, 2011 lecture, Dennis said: “My rabbi was not Sam. If anybody called my rabbi Sam, he wouldn’t even have turned around because only his wife called him Sam, the only person on earth who referred to my rabbi growing up as Sam. Nobody referred to him as Sam behind his back. It was the rabbi, but with the sixties, they became Sam. They became what God became — your buddy. In mainstream Judaism and Christianity, God became your buddy.”

Nov. 11, 2009, Dennis said: “I was quite unhappy at 13. It was my unhappiest year. Almost overnight, I know why, my parents stopped intervening in my life. I was an abnormal child. I taught myself Russian and how to conduct orchestras… To their credit, not only did they not ask me if I had homework, they didn’t ask to see my report card. They allowed me to sign it for them…. They had no choice. I was going to leave the house. They knew it. I was always strong-willed.
“Around fourteen-and-a-half, fifteen, I blossomed. That blossoming is very powerful now in my remembrance and how it was in daily life. College is a blur compared to high school.”
“High school [meaning tenth grade] was my turning point.”
“High school was transformational for me in my last three years. I am who I was then. Massive details changed in my life since high school but not Dennis.”
“I’ve had a very exciting post-high school life… It got more exciting. There was nothing exciting that happened to me in high school but it was transformational that period of time. I began to know Dennis and be who I am.”
“There were a fair number of years when I was truly unhappy,” said Dennis Nov. 12, 2010. “It did inoculate me [from future unhappiness]. I became an unbelievably grateful human.”
As a child, Dennis thought about what people would say about him at his funeral. (Dec. 13, 2010)
“My goal in life since high school was to influence as many people as possible.” (Jun. 21, 2011)
Dennis was raised to not take the easy way out. “I didn’t like this idea when I was a child, and my family sometimes carried it to an extreme, but this principle has served me well as an adult.”
One day when he was 15, Dennis decided to be happy. “I was on a New York subway train. I remember it vividly. It was a fairly empty car. My arms were outstretched on the two sides of me, leaning on the backs of the row. I remember saying to myself, ‘It is very easy to be unhappy. Any jerk can be unhappy’.” (Dec. 6, 2009)
“I don’t get despondent over the bad stuff,” said Dennis. “I am very touched by people’s kind words to me but I don’t let it go to my head and I don’t let the insults go to my heart. It’s a great equilibrium to have. I trade in feeling great over the compliments for not feeling hurt over the insults.”
“My temperament is even-keeled. And I thank God for it. I think people enjoy being with people who are even-keeled rather than being with people on some sort of emotional rollercoaster.”
“As my wife puts it, ‘I know how you’ll be tomorrow.’” (Jan. 22, 2010)
“I was raised by my society,” said Dennis Mar. 18, 2010. “I was raised by my teachers. I was raised by my rabbis. I was raised by my parents’ friends.”
“If my parents micro-managed my life, I would not be Dennis Prager. I’d be a wimpier guy.”
“I didn’t think my parents understood me. I’m sure my teenage kids said the same thing about me.” (May 21, 2010)

On March 20, 2013, Dennis said: "When I was a student, the last thing that we thought of was expressing ourselves. We believed that society, named the school, had certain principles that we conformed to or left the school or embraced those differences as adults."

The blind men and the elephant — the only poem I ever really enjoyed.” (May 20, 2010)

Walter Jenkins Arrested 1964

Dec. 23, 2013, Dennis said: "Gays should never be harassed. I have always supported that. one of the reasons that I didn't become a Republican until the Reagan era was what happened. It seared me. When some people in the Goldwater campaign outed a gay advisor to Lyndon Johnson and ruined his life. Some people followed him into a men's room. I thought that was so despicable that I couldn't become a Republican, even though I was always anti-left." According to Wikipedia:

A month before the 1964 presidential election, on October 7, 1964, District of Columbia Police arrested Jenkins in a YMCA restroom. He and another man were booked on a disorderly conduct charge.[4] an incident described as "perhaps the most famous tearoom arrest in America."[5] He paid a $50 fine.[6] Rumors of the incident circulated for several days and Republican Party operatives helped to promote it to the press.[7] Some newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Cincinnati Enquirer, refused to run the story.[8] Journalists quickly learned that Jenkins had been arrested on a similar charge in 1959,[9] which made it much harder to explain away as the result of overwork or, as one journalist wrote, "combat fatigue."

Finally, on October 14, a Washington Star editor called the White House for Jenkins' comment on a story it was preparing. Jenkins turned to White House lawyers Abe Fortas, the President's personal lawyer, and Clark Clifford, who unofficially was filling the role of White House Counsel. They immediately lobbied the editors of Washington's three newspapers not to run the story, which only confirmed its significance.[11][12] and within hours Clifford detailed the evidence to the President and press secretary George Reedy, "openly weeping,"[13] confirmed the story to reporters. Probably forewarned, Johnson told Fortas that Jenkins needed to resign.

Sex II

In a speech Jan. 24, 2007, Dennis said: “About eighth or ninth grade, the rabbis in my yeshiva took the boys aside and said, ‘Boys, you shouldn’t go to dirty movies, but if you go, take your yarmulke off’.”
“So we took our yarmulkes off. We followed advice number two,” said Dennis in a 1998 lecture on Exodus 32.
Said Dennis in a 1996 lecture on Exodus 12: “I remember as a teenager when I first came across one of my favorite sections in the book stores — sex manuals with titles like, ‘How to Have Better Sex.’ And I thought, I can’t believe people need books on how to have better sex. What is more natural than having sex? Gorillas know how to do it. People need a book?”
In a 1997 lecture on Exodus 22: 18-24, Dennis said. “The pursuit of pleasure for its own sake, unless it has parameters and is deep, it doesn’t give the same thrill as the last time. The first time you kissed a girlfriend, bells were going off and the world was splitting and you were having a Sinaitic experience, but unless you love somebody, kissing loses that power… The human being wants more… If the pursuit is pleasure, then intercourse is not enough. You want three people. That may well be why there is a pursuit of bisexuality. Maybe people will not suffice. There must be a thrill available to [bestiality]. That you can’t relate to it and I can’t relate to it, most perversions I can relate to, this is not one of them, that is irrelevant. Perhaps not doing it, but watching it. There are porn films of bestiality right now at your local porn shop. That is available for $49.99.
“It’s really not appropriate for a chumash class but the Torah is open so I will be open, but I once saw years ago in New York on 42nd Street, a video titled Three Nuns and a Donkey. Somebody bought it.”

Dec. 3, 2009, Dennis Prager discussed sexting (the sending of explicit images via cell phones). “What happens to people who are thrust into a world of pure sex at an early age? My prediction? Vast numbers of females will not enjoy sex in their marriage…based on talking to women on the radio precisely about this. The earlier and the more extensive the sexual behavior of the female, the less she identifies sex with joy and more she identifies it with being used, which she is. Whatever feminism has taught about male and female being the same and sex is as meaninglessly joyful to a female as to a male, the victims of that feminist idiocy have been female. The guys are scratching their heads about how lucky they got that a generation of females was raised to believe that they could enjoy sex without commitment like guys can. I don’t think this is good for the guys either. One of the great joys of growing up is to work your way into sex and romance. To win over a female is the biggest single reason men achieve. If you can win over females by doing nothing, which is what is done when you are 15, you will not be ambitious. That will be one of the never-mentioned bad consequences to boys. When I was in high school, I believed I had to become something to get a pretty girl. I had to be a man in some way. I recall very vividly as much as I love music, I wanted to be good at piano to get a girl. Anything that made a girl go wow, I pursued. That’s been true since caveman. Look at me, I killed lion better. And he got the women. The klutz who couldn’t kill a lion engaged in auto-eroticism.”
“This is a generation that has no thrill from the things that thrilled generations passed… If I got a telescope or electric trains, I was tremendously excited. Or a stereo. Or got a chance to go to a restaurant. That was a big deal when I was a kid. Or to go to a baseball game. Big deal. It’s not such a big deal anymore.”
“I am very aware of how I come across at any given moment… I was realizing as I said it that I sounded like one of these adults, not with it, you’re just hung up about sex.
“Anybody who knows, who has read me, who has heard me, who has my four CDs on male sexuality, if there is anybody who is not hung up about that subject is yours truly. What I am hung about is protecting kids’ innocence. I think it stymies the growth of kids to sexualize them so early.
“The hyper-sophisticated will say that even five year olds according to Freud play with themselves and explore and have sexual feelings. I’m talking about a consciousness in the mind. When I looked up girls skirts when I walked up the steps in kindergarten, I was not thinking about sex. I was thinking what’s under that skirt. It was as innocent as it gets. Obviously it has sexual overtones but I didn’t know that and that’s what matters. The thought that when I was 14, a girl in my class would send me a naked picture of her, it’s a new world, and it’s not a better world for it.”
Said Dennis March 23, 2011: “Well into college, just the thought of kissing a girl was so exciting.”
Said Dennis April 20, 2011: “I remember in high school and college and I thought, why am I doing all of these things? And then I realized, it was to impress a woman.”
Dennis did not experiment with drugs. "There's some inner boredom in one's soul that seeks this excitement. What do you learn from a psychedelic experience? Not to mention that it's Russian Roulette. How do you know it won't permanently destroy parts of your brain? For what end?"
"The more a kid is excited by things in life, the less likely they are to look at this. What I didn't understand, there was so much. I didn't understand why girls weren't enough to provide excitement? I don't mean just sex. Just girls. Just chasing girls. Trying to get a girlfriend. It was unbelievable. But it's not true today. There's such jadedness." (April 23, 2012)

Dennis said Nov. 30, 2010: “I remember in high school thinking that the boys who were unbelievably confident in their dealings with girls were not the finest of the guys. I was very nervous about asking a girl out for a date, so much so that I would sit by the phone with prepared notes so that I wouldn’t grope for words and I would have a handkerchief to wipe the sweat because I was so nervous.”
On Jun. 8, 2013, Dennis said: "That's why I was sweating while making the call. The parent would pick up the phone and I'd go, 'Can I speak to Michelle?' And they'd always say, 'Who is this?' I always felt like a rapist calling in. 'Who is this? What are your intentions,you no-good male animal?' I never got that, but that's what I imagined was going through his head."
"I have too much pride. That's why I've never been able to push myself aggressively professionally as others have, and I've been wrong. I have too much pride and dignity. If the girl said, I'm busy Saturday night, I would not have offered another time. She would've had to have said, 'So let's do it next Saturday night.' I would not be the injector of the next possible date. I would not say, 'When are you free?'"
"I had a blessed track record."

"Blessed" is one way of looking at it. Prager's total number of women "dated" is surely a larger number than that of any of his Orthodox-for-life classmates who tended to marry but once. People who are constant in their religious observance and in their dating tend to later be constant in their mating while those who experiment more in their religion and in their dating tend to have more turbulence.

Some people, such as Max Prager, marry their high school sweethearts and stay with them for life, while others, such as Dennis Prager, go from woman to woman to woman, trying in vain to get what they missed out on early in life. 

There are no victims in relationships, says family systems therapist Mark E. Smith. You pick one person to love you and meet your needs and then find that you instinctively chose someone who will suck at meeting your needs and will instead re-enact your childhood trauma. This gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself and to get healthy.

On Nov. 12, 2013, Dennis said: "I'm a very serious man, but not in demeanor, in thoughts. That's why dating was a little hard in high school because I wanted to talk about heavy duty stuff... I wanted to get into heavy stuff immediately. Stop that... I'm talking in a nicer way. Well, the other one is nice too."

June 11, 2014, Dennis said: "This was a major factor in my own ambitiousness as a young man. I didn't think that I could get a girl if I wasn't superman so I tried to be superman and I did a lot of things. I would try to dazzle girls with, for example, my piano playing. I remember girls I used to invite over to my apartment in Manhattan when I was in graduate school and I would play Mozart and they would fall over, or so I believed. Whatever I could do to impress women."

Yeshiva of Flatbush

Dennis attended the coed modern Orthodox day school Yeshiva of Flatbush (“one of the two most modern and sophisticated Orthodox Jewish day schools in America” according to Dennis) with such classmates as the writer Leon Wieseltier, composer Michael Isaacson and journalist Stuart Schoffman.
Said Dennis in a 2007 lecture on Leviticus 8: “I went back to the yeshiva high school I graduated from, which became more Orthodox. They had cheerleaders for the basketball games when I was there. Cheerleading ended a few years after I left because it wasn’t considered modest dress. And it wasn’t, which was one of the reasons I liked that yeshiva.”
In another lecture, Dennis described his yeshiva’s cheerleaders as “a bit zaftig.”
Screenwriter Robert J. Avrech went to Flatbush with Dennis:

Back in the 50's and 60's there were quite a few violent teachers in the Yeshiva of Flatbush. Mrs. Katz, a nasty piece of work, used to make us lay our hands palm up and she would take her wooden ruler and WHACK us with it. Mr. Zilber would take an eraser and throw it at us, usually aiming for our heads. Mr. Weinstein would grab us by the neck and squeeze until it felt like our neck was breaking. We thought that this was normal behavior. It was not until I was much older–actually not till I got to college and had the chance to speak to kids who went to public schools–that I learned how backward my Yeshiva was. I make no excuses for these people. None of them were traumatized Holocaust survivors. They were just a bunch of nasty creeps who hated children. How Yeshiva Flatbush ever got its stellar reputation for excellence is something of a mystery. My years were positively Dickensian. I still have nightmares that I’m back on East 10th street.
Nov. 11, 2009, Dennis said: “I can’t believe…how often my high school years come to my mind. I’m amazed. I almost feel silly. That is not yesterday. It’s almost as if my life is high school and today. I’ve gone from high school to right now. I know there are decades intervening but it beats me what happened. Oh yeah, I had kids. I’ve been married. I’ve got a radio show. I wrote four books. None of that. High school!”
In tenth grade, while walking to a bookstore about half a mile from Flatbush, Prager met Joseph Telushkin. They became best friends.
“Neither Joseph nor I actually did school work. But we read all the time, and became inseparable, as we talked and talked about God, evil, Judaism, the Holocaust and girls.” One day Joseph told Dennis, “I’ve done a survey and found that one out of every ten thoughts a guy has isn’t about girls.” (CD)
April 3, 2008, Dennis said: "I was more Americanized than his parents. Joseph's mother's reaction to me when we first met, she said to him [privately], 'He's very charming but is he deep?' I am Mr. Enthusiast and Conquer the world, especially in high school."

Flatbush put an end to mixed-sex dances in Prager’s 10th grade. Still, they had a senior prom, something no yeshiva would have today.
“I took the salutatorian to the Senior prom,” said Dennis Jan. 5, 2010. “And I finished in the bottom 20% of my class, which shows you how far charm can get a guy.”
“I was blessed with wisdom at an early age,” said Dennis June 28, 2010. “I knew at an early age that doing well in high school would not amount to a hill of beans. On the bulletin board, they would publish the rankings. They didn’t care about humiliation. The guy who finished 120th out of 120 ended up as the head of the Miami Board of Education.”
“I have a strong sense of dignity. I did in high school too. The biggest reason I didn’t cheat on tests was dignity. I felt like I was groveling to ask another kid.”
In the 2011 movie Baseball, Dennis and the French, Dennis said: "I had one notebook for all four years of [high school], which I never filled with a single homework exercise."

The Yeshiva of Flatbush divided its students into four tracks. Prager and Telushkin were assigned to the C-student track because, though smart, they wouldn’t do homework.
Since the age of 14, I have had a lifelong love affair with books and learning, but this was always despite school. I loathed my elementary school, I read non-school books underneath my desk all through high school, graduated 92nd in a class of 120 [Joseph finished 88th], and I skipped the majority of my classes in college. (Ultimate Issues, Jul-Sep. 1989, pg. 16)

“Grades don’t mean crap later in life,” said Dennis Dec. 3, 2010 (he had a B average in high school).
“The more parents point out to their kids in a loving way what you need to do to be a better human being, the less narcissistic you will be. To this day, I hear my parents voices in me, ‘You’re lazy!’ ‘You didn’t pick that up!’
“I am obsessed with leaving my radio studio exactly as I found out for the next guy who broadcasts because my parents pounded it in to me to leave it the way I found it. I was a typical boy happy to leave towels on the floor, underwear strewn all over the place, and my garbage all around.
“I am who I am because I did not have high self-esteem as a kid.”
On March 8, 2011, Dennis said: “Every kind good adult I know was not raised with self-esteem, including me.”

Dennis wrote Feb. 27, 2013: "The truth is that I never suffered from high self-esteem. I have long had self-confidence with regard to specific abilities. But I had little self-esteem as a child, and as an adult, I have earned whatever self-esteem I have. Moreover, in the depths of my soul I believe that the janitors in my building are not one whit less worthy or valuable than me."

Which racial group has the highest self-esteem? Samuel Taylor wrote

...blacks have higher opinions of themselves than whites, who have higher opinions of themselves than Asians. Asians are the most introverted and anxious; blacks are the least. Suicide figures reflect this: Whites kill themselves twice as frequently as blacks, and Asians kill themselves more often than whites.
Rates of mental instability show the opposite trend. Two hundred and forty out of every 100,000 blacks are in mental institutions whereas only 162 of every 100,000 whites are. Nor is this a function of poverty or wealth; blacks suffer from mental disorders, drug addiction, and alcoholism at higher rates than whites in all social classes. Asians, despite their introversion and anxiety, have the fewest mental problems.

On May 7, 2010, Dennis said: “I’m memory-challenged. I always have been... I can not remember the simple one-sentence prayer from the 1962 [Supreme Court] ruling.” 
Joseph struck his classmates as smart and articulate. He wrestled with big questions. Descending from a long line of rabbis, Telushkin surprised no one by becoming an Orthodox rabbi.
Dennis was known as a loudmouth. He did not strike his classmates as particularly religious and few thought he’d go on to be a moral leader. They saw he oozed need for female attention, more than any one woman could likely provide. They were not surprised when he bounced from girlfriend to girlfriend and from marriage to marriage.
“I hate to be told what to do unless it has a divine source,” said Dennis. “I don’t want morons telling me what to do.” (May 7, 2010)
In a Feb. 17, 2009 lecture on Lev. 19:17-18, Dennis said: “I remember when I was in high school and college, I used to say to my best friend Joseph, ‘Sometimes, Joseph, I am overwhelmed by the fact that you are as real as I am.’”

Oct. 28, 2011, Dennis said: "My purpose for being in the public sphere is to influence. If I were to run for public office, it would not be for the power but for the influence. I'm not power hungry in the least. I just want to touch lives. That's been my ambition since I was 15. I wrote it in a diary I kept in high school."

Oct. 22, 2010, Dennis said: “I remember when I was a kid, a left-wing magazine had a headline – '250 Psychiatrists Declare Barry Goldwater Mentally Ill'.
“I remember thinking, isn’t that an abuse? How do these psychiatrists know his mental state? Has he been a patient of theirs?”
“I’ve never written G-d in my life. I even wrote an essay against it in a big Jewish magazine. I think it is utterly irrational. God’s name isn’t God. It’s Jehovah.
“It’s another one of these added stringencies that I don’t support.
“Some terrific websites publish my column and spell it as G-d.”

Cheating

Aug. 14, 2009, Dennis said: “When I was in high school, most of the kids in my class, virtually, cheated on tests. In a class of 120, 117 cheated. By the way, Joseph Telushkin was one of the others [who did not cheat]. I remember that one of the reasons I didn’t cheat on tests was self-image, not morality.”
In a Feb. 17, 2009 lecture on Lev. 19:17-18, Dennis said: “I had an advantage over my classmates. I didn’t care what college I got into. Many of them were aching to get into the Ivy Leagues.”
“I started a campaign against cheating. I learned to my great amazement and happiness that I had the ability to criticize without being hated. They elected me president of the graduating class. I remember being shocked that I won given that I thought that a lot of them thought I was some holier-than-thou guy. I learned there are ways to reprove and not be resented.”

Christianity

Dennis Prager never heard about “unconditional love” from his rabbis. He wrote April 21, 2009: “In 15 years of study in a yeshiva I had never heard the phrase, and it would have struck me, as it still does, as quite odd.”
Said Dennis in a 2000 lecture on Numbers 6: “If my rebbe had said in yeshiva, ‘Dennis, you have an individual relationship with God’, I would’ve had a heart attack. I would’ve thought he had become a Christian.”
In a 2005 lecture on Deut. 24:5, Dennis said: “I’ve read Christian theologians since college. They made me aware of the battle with secularism. My yeshiva didn’t make me aware of these things. My yeshiva taught me how to build a succah and how to keep kosher and that was great, but the great over-arching concerns about how to battle the false gods of modern life, Christians opened my mind to that.”

Life Mission

Said Dennis in a 2008 lecture on 25 years in broadcasting:

I wrote in my diary in my junior year of high school that I now know what I want to do with my life. I have a mission in life — to influence people to the good.
I found myself in high school and I never lost me.
The bad side was that I had no idea how I would make a living.
I did believe I could touch people’s lives. How did I know that? How did I know that anybody would want to hear me? I was a kid. Here’s how I knew:
My father was a CPA. On Sundays he would work at home and not in his office in Manhattan. We had a wood-finished basement where he kept his office. Many of his clients would come on Sundays.
Starting in my sophomore and junior year in high school, some of his clients would come an hour early to talk to me. I couldn’t believe this. Why would all these adults want to talk to me? Do I have anything to say of importance?
And then at camp, the counselors would come to my bunk…
I was born an adult.
JFK Assassination

Dennis Prager was 15 years old when JFK was shot on Nov. 22, 1963. Fifty years later, Dennis said: "I was in tenth grade. My principal announced it on the loudspeaker at my school and I was certain that the president would live... And then I got on a bus to go home and a stranger said the president was dead.
"That weekend was a somber weekend in the Prager household... That was the only Friday night that my parents watched television. That's how overwhelming it was for us."
"I was walking by the subway that Sunday and I remember seeing a train coming into the Kings Highway station and the thought going through my mind was, 'What? The trains are running? You're going back to normal? Things have changed.'"
"The meaning is the ability of nothings, true losers, that this nothing could alter history."

Sex III


Prager spent the summer of 1965 as a waiter and assistant counselor at Camp Massad in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. “This camp provided the most positive Jewish experiences in my life. In addition, it was a Hebrew-speaking camp, and I became fluent in Hebrew. This began a lifelong love of languages.” Dennis had his “first serious romance. Life was getting better.” (Prager’s CD)
Said Dennis in a 2008 lecture on Leviticus 18: “In the religious camp in which I was a counselor, the boys were taught they were murdering if they masturbated. They didn’t stop masturbating. They entered a world where they thought they were murderers.”
In a 1994 lecture on Gen. 38, Dennis said:
There is a clear bifurcation between the Torah’s view of sexual matters and the rabbinical view of sexual matters…
It is clear to me that Onan did not get killed by God because he masturbated. If God killed masturbators, there would be nobody left… Why would God kill a masturbator?
It’s the sort of thing that wreaks havoc on a lot of especially boys’ mentalities.
I was a counselor in Orthodox Jewish camps for years. I remember we’d have bull sessions with the campers. I’d always have 13 and 14 year olds because I was the biggest Jew in camp and I could handle these monsters…
It was really something to me when I would talk to them the first night of camp. I remember this vividly. I would walk in the dark back and forth in the bunk and they would all be on their cots lying there listening to me avidly, and I would talk to them about the birds and the bees because a lot of them could not talk to their fathers and certainly not their rabbis at yeshiva. When I told them my view on masturbation, they were shocked. They would confide that they were told it was like murder, a terrible terrible sin and they were going out of their minds. And for what?
I would truly have to ask about any act called a sin, who the hell does that hurt? Of all the acts I could think of to induce guilt in humanity, that’s the last one I would bother doing that about.
It is sad that religion in the western world has become so associated with suppression of sex.
…Immoral is if I coerce you. Pre-marital sex falls short of the holiness ideal Judaism has for sex, which is in marriage, but that is not the same as immoral.
By labeling every unholy act immoral, religion has done a great disservice and caused a lot of people to reject religion. In their hearts, the vast majority of people who have engaged in pre-marital sex in a consensual manner, do not think they have engaged in an immoral act. When you tell people they have done something and in their gut they know they didn’t, you are going to get a reaction. And you’re going to lose credibility. Religion has lost a lot of credibility in the West because of sex. 
Camp

Sept. 17, 2009, Dennis said: “When I was a camper, about ten years old, there was a boy (Robert) in my bunk who had a problem urinating while sleeping. And instead of gaining any sympathy, four kids one night, I was the bystander, they went over and put sheets over their heads like ghosts to wake him to induce him to urinate. And then thinking it was a great victory… I’ve been atoning for that my whole life. Part of the reason I fight evil is for what I did not do that one night.”
“The first day of camp [when Dennis was a counselor], the public address system at 7 am would play. These are 12, 13 year old boys. The first day of camp, nothing happened. There was no stirring. They just stayed asleep.
“I then said, ‘OK boys’, in the sweetest way possible, ‘It’s time to get up.’ What I then got…was not exactly screw-you, but in that framework. ‘He’s going to get me up? Who’s he kidding?’
“I’d say, ‘Boys, I want you to be out of your beds in a minute.’
“They’d snicker.
“I’d go to the boy who’s bed was next to mine and say, ‘Barry, I’ll give you five seconds to get out of bed or you will be under it.’
“Nothing happens. I count to five and I very sweetly turn the cot over on top of him so Barry is now on the floor and the bed is on Barry. A real 180 turn on poor Barry.
“I went to the next guy. I said, ‘I’ll give you five seconds or you will be under your bed.’
“He didn’t quite believe me. Five seconds later, he is under his bed.
“Third guy, I give you five seconds, and amazingly, he got out of bed.
“The next day, the same thing. I walk over to Barry and give him five seconds and he gets out of bed.
“By the third day, I lay in bed and said, ‘Everybody up.’ And everybody got out of bed.
“I was known for having the easiest time getting my kids up than any other counselor from camp.”
“I wonder if I would be prosecuted today for flipping a kid over in his bed. The notion that all physical interaction with kids in your charge is one of the many foolish notions that developed in the last generation.”
Said Dennis July 6, 2010: “I gave full permission to the counselors of my kids to give my kids a well earned smack. There was no counselor in the history of my kids’ camping who abused my kids with smacks.
“I used to give Richie a noogie if the clouds did not cover the sun in time for a photo I wanted to take… I’d go, Richie, you’ve got ten seconds to get a cloud.
“For those of you who know photography, you never take a photo in bare sunlight.
“A noogie is with your knuckle a good one into the shoulder.
“Richie thought it was hilarious. He was making all these incantations to make the clouds move. This is how guys horse around until the 1960s decided to make guys into girls.”
One summer evening, Dennis got into a bad car accident. He and a lady passenger was hospitalized for a day or two and Max Prager — the owner of the demolished car with the possibly faulty brakes — was sued by the girl’s father.
Max Prager wrote in chapter 27:
When Dennis was a counselor at Massad one summer, we received a phone call around 1 a.m. one night informing us that our son was in a bad auto accident not very far from the camp; the call was from a hospital in Scranton, Pa. You can just imagine our fear of not knowing the condition of our son.
We immediately left in our car with much trepidation, again not knowing what is awaiting us. Arriving at the hospital about 4 a.m., we asked the nurse on duty for the room number where Dennis was lying; she replied that she would escort us to visit him. Instead of being in a room, he was lying on a gurney in the hall. The gurney next to him was occupied by a lovely young lady who was his passenger. His face was covered with bandages as he suffered a broken nose; the girl also suffered facial injuries.
Fortunately, despite his condition, he was able to relate to us in detail all the facts of the accident. The car he was driving was an old car that Hilda had given him when she purchased a new one. Perhaps the brakes were bad and that may have caused the accident. Dennis and his companion were counselors at Massad and on their day off decided to go visit the areas around the camp.
They were returning to the camp in the late afternoon and, at a very sharp turn on a narrow road, the car hit a concrete wall. We were not interested as to whether Dennis or the car was at fault; we simply were concerned with the health of Dennis and the girl. He told us that the car was totaled-completely destroyed. He also told us that he picked up a young couple who were hitchhiking. Fortunately, they were let off a few minutes prior to the accident. Had they still been in the car, they would have been killed since the rear seats of the car suffered the most damage and the entire roof was shorn off and landed on those seats.

Dec. 15, 2011, Dennis said: "I was in a terrible accident my first year of driving. I was driving with a girlfriend. That was part of the reason. I was not responsible. I was more interested in her than in the road. She was sitting right next to me. That's when there were bench seats in the front. I had one hand on her and one hand on the wheel. This was in rural Pennsylvania in the Pocono Mountains. And I had just dropped off a hitchhiker, a young guy. And about a minute later, or five minutes later, the road going downhill steeply narrowed into a little drawbridge. I put on the brakes. I smacked right into the back of the bridge. The entire back of the car was demolished. The hitchhiker, had he stayed on, would've died."

Talk Radio

“I was a big talk radio fan during the beginnings of this thing,” Prager said on his Feb. 1, 2007 show. “I would call in and get on pretty much when I called in. I would be in the upstairs and they’d [Prager's parents] be down in the basement and I’d scream, ‘I’m going on the radio.’
“I wonder what I talked about? I have no recollection.”

On June 15, 2012, Dennis said: "I was mesmerized. I never thought I'd be one, any more than if I went to the movies, I thought I'd be John Wayne."

Dennis particularly liked WNBC radio and WOR host Jean Shepherd.
According to a New York Times retrospective on the movie A Christmas Story:


Jean Shepherd narrated ‘A Christmas Story,’ giving voice to the adult Ralphie Parker, which makes sense because he wrote the Christmas adventure based on semi-fictional stories from his own childhood in Hammond, Indiana. Shepherd’s screenplay includes previously released material from several of his books. Also, Shepherd knew his way around a microphone, as he had a very popular three-decade radio career, during which he told stories, read poetry and organized listener stunts.
Donald Fagen wrote:
Listening to Shep, I learned about social observation and human types: how to parse modern rituals (like dating and sports); the omnipresence of hierarchy; joy in struggle; "slobism"; "creeping meatballism"; 19th-century panoramic painting; the primitive, violent nature of man; Nelson Algren, Brecht, Beckett, the fables of George Ade; the nature of the soul; the codes inherent in "trivia," bliss in art; fishing for crappies; and the transience of desire. He told you what to expect from life (loss and betrayal) and made you feel that you were not alone...

Like a lot of fine-tuned performing artists, Shepherd increasingly exhibited the whole range of symptoms common to the aging diva. He became paranoid and resentful of imagined rivals, whether they were old ones like Mort Sahl or upstarts like Garrison Keillor.

“I went to bed at night with a transistor radio under my pillow and listened to Jean Shepherd. He never took calls. Just talked for three hours.” (Dec. 21, 2010)
“I began calling talk radio in mid-high school. Was I nervous! I remember when the guy would say, ‘Dennis in Brooklyn.’ I was dripping with perspiration.” (Dec. 17, 2010)
Dec. 17, 2013, Dennis said: "Transistor radios. They were all made in Japan... I would go to bed at night and take my transistor radio and put it under my pillow. Until high school, I had a bed-time. It was so strictly enforced. I had to be in pajamas and brush my teeth by that time. I think it is a good idea. I don't think I had one for my kids quite as much.
"Is that why I stay up late now? That might be the case. I think of it as liberty."
In his 14th lecture on Deuteronomy (in 2003?), Dennis said: “When I was a kid, I knew I wouldn’t be a doctor. A. My brother was. I knew I wouldn’t do the same thing my brother did just to individuate. B. I hated the site of blood. C. I didn’t find studying the names of nerves interesting.
“So I remember thinking, OK, I’ll be a lawyer. In my eighth grade Yeshiva Rambam graduation booklet, each kid had his picture and he’d tell the editor what phrase he’d like under his picture and mine was, ‘Dennis Prager, D.A.’ He had under his picture six years early, “Kenneth Prager, M.D.’
“Through high school, I just assumed I’d be a lawyer, but then I read a law book. By page 11, I decided I wouldn’t be a lawyer. And I remember thinking, what am I going to do? I’m a Jew.
“I remember saying to my brother, ‘Kenny, I’m not going to be a doctor or a lawyer. I’m going to be something different.’
“I thank God that I followed my gifts.”
Dennis found his life purpose in lecturing about right and wrong and ascribing his values to Judaism. In his 20s, as Dennis found he could both earn a nice living lecturing about morality and simultaneously date many pretty adoring women through this work, he came to the belief that society's greatest task was moral education. It just so happened to coincide with his chosen profession. He could do good and make good through what came most naturally to him -- talking, charming and intimidating -- without any one entity having veto power over him.
Said Dennis in a 2008 lecture on universities: “I thought of being a professor. The idea of devoting one’s life to the mind is so appealing to me. It seems so wonderful. I’ve always had this idyllic vision.”
You also get to meet women. On Oct. 31, 2013, Slate.com published an essay on male professors seeking adoration from their female students:
“I think if your job is to command the attention of a room and instill knowledge into people, then you're probably going to thrive on receiving that attention,” the Tulane graduate said. “That just comes with the work, right?”
Men often feel invisible when they try to compete with attractive women for Dennis's attention after a speech. 
Nov. 11, 2009, Dennis said: “I remember writing in my diary in high school that I wouldn’t want to take a girl to a movie on a first date because I wanted to be the subject of her attention, not the movie.”
“Being old fashioned has nothing to do with how old I am. I was old fashioned at 22. I thought you honored the date, the occasion and the person, by looking special.”

Passover

Dennis wrote Dec. 21, 2004: “I received the biggest gifts of my childhood on Passover. My grandfather gave me expensive gifts (like a portable typewriter [and a short-wave radio said Dennis 12/20/11]) for “stealing the afikoman,” a ritual of sheer bribery devised by the rabbis many centuries ago to keep children awake as long as possible through the lengthy Passover Seder. Believe me, I thought a lot more about what I would get if I stole Papa’s “afikoman,” the matzo set aside for dessert, than I did about God liberating the Jewish slaves. But the “commercialism” of the Seder eventually worked, and I came to love Passover and believe that God took the Jews out of Egypt.”
In a 2009 lecture on Leviticus 25, Dennis said: “The Torah says you have to take care of people you don’t like. It is easy to be nice to friends. It’s your crappy sibling or or kid or parent or nephew. That’s the hard one to be nice to. People never have a hard time getting together with friends for dinner. It is on holidays when the family comes together that there is tension.”
“I remember Passover seders when extended family came to our home. It was a conglomeration of humans who would never be together if you threw darts at a phone book. People who were Orthodox. People who thought religion was idiocy.
“I had one uncle, may he rest in peace, as soon as he walked in, he would just start asking my mother when food would be served, which always cracked me up as a kid because my parents were Orthodox, there was a long ritual before dinner on Passover. Two hours at least. And about every twenty minutes, ‘Hilda, when’s the food coming out?’
“I loved it. It was the highlight of my seder. But he was family. So he had to be there.
“It’s an interesting point — treat your relative like he’s a stranger.”
Nov. 24, 2010, Dennis said: “My mother would say before Passover — ‘Only the men got out of Egypt.’ It was the wittiest line she came out with. My mother had many great traits, witty was not one of them.”
In a speech to Christians United For Israel in April 2010, Dennis said: “There is a phrase in the Passover Haggadah — in every generation, somebody arises to annihilate us. I remember as a child thinking that the rabbis of 2,000 years ago got it wrong. After the Holocaust, we’re not going to have anybody else try to annihilate us. The world has learned how terrible that is.”
“I don’t have many memories before I was 13,” Dennis said Dec. 14, 2009. “It’s largely just a cloud. I think that my happiest single memory is the day at twelve that I got paid for three hours of work shoveling Mr. Klein’s driveway. I got $8. It was a fortune of money. I think I got a herniated disc as well. I remember I immediately went and bought the board game 'Clue' and two Hardy Boys books. I remember I never owned anything that brought me as much pleasure as what I bought on my own.”

The Rich

In a May 14, 2012 speech, Dennis said: "To this day, I don't remember my next door neighbor's first name because when I grew up, you knew adults by 'Mr.' I still know him as Mr. Klein. Mr. Klein had a Cadillac. I remember staring at that thing. I remember which one -- the one with the rocket tail-lights. It was so long that you would take a walk just to get across it... We had an Oldsmobile. We were two levels below Mr. Klein because in between was a Buick. You were ranked accordingly. It was Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Chevrolet. Everybody knew your income by which GM car you drove... Mr. Lupkin, a friend of my parents, had a Buick. I thought he was very wealthy. Until I went to college and learned about social inequality, it never occurred to me to resent the fact that they were much richer than me. I just thought that Mr. Klein has a better-paying job and he deserves it."
Said Dennis June 28, 2010: “I remember only one emotion towards my neighbor [Mr. Klein] — I hope that one day I can own a Cadillac.”
May 18, 2012, Dennis said: "I grew up thinking we were rich. Boy, were we not. If we could afford an Oldsmobile, it was a big deal. When I went back to visit the house I grew up in, I thought, it's so narrow. There's no back yard."

Classical Music

In 1962, Dennis began listening to pop music, enjoying such songs as “Battle of New Orleans.” (July 23, 2010)
In late 1963, bored with school, Dennis explored Manhattan’s cultural attractions. One day he bought a $1 ticket to hear Alexander Schneider and his chamber group play Handel‘s Concerti Grossi at Carnegie Hall. Prager fell in love with classical music. The next day he spent two weeks lunch money and allowance ($32) to buy concert tickets at Carnegie.
Said Dennis in a 1995 lecture on Exodus 3: “The first time I heard Handel I was a sophomore. The next day I spent my entire two weeks allowance on concert tickets. Do you know what I ate for lunch for the next two weeks? I went to yeshiva high school where they had netilat yadayim, where you would wash your hands before making hamotzi after washing your hands, there would be little pieces of rye bread so you could make hamotzi immediately after you washed, I would wait for all the kids to do it, and then ate all the bag of hamotzi scraps.”
“I tried ballet for two seasons and all I did was to look at the orchestra pit.”
For the rest of high school, Dennis spent two-to-three evenings a week in Manhattan, going to plays, concerts and book stores. He often ate his dinner (tuna fish salad plate, apple pie and coffee for $1:50) at Dubrow’s Cafeteria by the subway station on King Highway. 

"I grew up eating tongue, but I couldn't do it today." (Dec. 31, 2013)
In his January 2002 "Personal Autobiography" lecture, Dennis said: “New York City was a great place to grow up in but not a great place to stay in. I used its facilities. If you use its culture, there’s no parallel. I conduct orchestras. Do you know how I learned to do that? Instead of doing homework, I prided myself on not doing a single homework through four years of high school, I am probably the only person you’ll ever meet who was rejected from Queens College, I would go to the New York Philharmonic Library and take out a score. I got quite adept. I would conduct at my father’s stereo system. Everyone thought I was just waving a baton but I knew that everyone was listening to me.”
“One of my fantasies…in the realm that I can speak to you about is conducting an orchestra and going to Antarctica.
“One day somebody called me up and said, Dennis, do you have any dreams not yet realized? I said, yeah, I’d like to conduct an orchestra.
“The next day, the president of a local orchestra said we’ll try you out. The conductor came and he said, wow, he knows how to read music. They gave me a Mozart piece. It was the most nervous I’ve been since childhood because these were all pros and I’m an amateur but it worked out and I went to other things.”
In his junior year of high school, Dennis founded The Hendryx Society (named after a large stuffed frog), which regularly published The Hendryxian. Prager used his newsletter to campaign against cheating on tests, which he said was widespread at his school. “It didn’t work,” said Dennis, July 9, 2010. “I didn’t get one convert.”

On May 17, 2012, Dennis said he did not major in Music at college out of fear it would destroy his love of music.

Sensitivity

“The ability to read how others react to you is about as important a subject as there is in life,” Dennis said Dec. 11, 2009. “I think I am very aware of this. I think it was something I was aware of at an early age. I was always very sensitive to whether or not I was boring anybody. One of the reasons I was able to become an interesting speaker was that I was very aware even in private conversations in high school, whether or not I was boring the person I was with. I would see their face. I would see whether they had stopped concentrating.”
Jan. 14, 2010, Dennis said: “When I am with boys and I love being with boys, I do, I always have, I have an affinity, even an emotional affinity, little girls are cute but I must admit that if I could spend a weekend with ten-year-old girls or ten-year-old boys, I’d opt for the ten-year-old-boys because I feel like I have more to say to them… When I meet boys, I am extremely aware that I want to come off to them as an adult and not like a boy. We did this many years ago — do you high-five a kid? And a lot of you who are wonderful parents and wonderful people say it’s not a problem. And if the kid raises his hand for a high-five, I gave in on that, but I never initiate a high-five. I shake kids’ hands, certainly when I meet them, I shake them, ‘How do you do?’ If they ever say Mr. Prager, I never say, ‘Call me Dennis.’ Never! If they call me ‘Dennis’, I never say ‘Call me Mr. Prager’. I allow either way. I don’t say to anybody except a peer. I don’t insist on Mr. Prager at all, but if people call me ‘Mr. Prager’, I never correct them.
“It is something we have lost in society. Every friend of my parents was Mr. and Mrs. When I finally called them by their first names in my mid-twenties, I can’t tell you how awkward it felt… Even 20 years later, I wasn’t fully comfortable. Of course I did because it would’ve seen ridiculously removed from them and I was very close to some of the friends of my parents. And seeing these males was good for me.”
“I am no different from any lazy person, but I was never given a damn thing,” said Dennis Mar. 19, 2010. “Ever. Ever. I was given nothing without working. Nothing except room and board in my parents’ house until I was 20 years old.”
May 16, 2010, Dennis said: “I don’t think so [that a good elementary and high school would motivate an otherwise unmotivated student to become a good student]. I didn’t want to do schoolwork. I wanted to go home and to do what I wanted to do. I was so abnormal… I would listen to short-wave radio broadcasts and learn how to conduct symphonies. The more I look back at my childhood, the more I realize there’s nothing to be learned from my childhood. I was a freak. I’m 15 years old and where’s Dennis? He’s at the New York Philharmonic Library learning how to self-conduct scores… I almost never talk about my youth in that way because there’s nothing to be learned. I was abnormal… But I had a good time. I laughed through three of my four years at high school.”
“I used to call myself Prager,” said Dennis Feb. 10, 2010. “Now I call myself Dennis.”
May 21, 2010, Dennis said to a caller: “Did you say Pragez? I have few very nicknames but that’s one of my favorites.”

The Road Less Traveled

Max Prager wrote in chapter 32:
In June 1966, Dennis graduated Yeshiva of Flatbush and being the President of the senior class, he presented a gift to the school on behalf of his class at the commencement exercises. In May of 1965 and 1966, he was admitted to “Archon”, the honor society at the Yeshiva. Also, he received good grades in his Regents exams and was able to obtain a Regents Scholarship. Evidently, the advice I received from the Almighty paid off in dividends.
In his senior year, he applied to several colleges, including Columbia and one or two other Ivy League schools. His principal, whom I will not name, refused to forward his applications to any of the prestigious colleges. I was quite aware of the reason for this action since Yeshiva of Flatbush had an exemplary record of having its graduates accepted to these ivory towers. By refusing its students who did not have a high scholastic standing to apply to these colleges, it was able to retain this high record and used this as a vehicle to encourage elementary school graduates with high grades to enroll in Flatbush.
When Dennis informed me of the principal’s action, I saw red. I called the principal for an appointment to lodge my complaint. Incredibly, he refused to see me. I did tell him that if he continued to refuse to send my son’s application to whichever school Dennis wanted, I would be sure to disseminate his refusal to all newspapers in the city and his beloved Yeshiva would suffer the consequences.
I don’t remember whether he hung up on me; but I do recall that he did not reply. A few days later, Dennis told me that all his applications were forwarded. I knew quite well that because of his grades, other than the Regents grades he would not be successful in being accepted to any of the Ivy League colleges. However, no school official has the right to deny a student an opportunity to apply to any college he desires. Since he was not accepted by these schools, he went to Brooklyn College.

“I have never taken safe routes,” Dennis Prager said. “Sometimes I’ve fallen off the mountain, but you get up.” (April 2, 2010)
In a Feb. 25, 2012 public dialogue with Adam Carolla, Dennis said: "I haven't watched the Academy Awards in many years, but I did for many years, and it drove me nuts when an actress would get up, she grew up in rural Montana and now she's getting an award, and she'd say, 'I have a message for all you young girls out there. All you have to do is follow your dream and look at where I got.' Of course there are 86,000 waitresses to the one woman who got the Academy award and they're also following their dream. Maybe it is better to have parents saying you're a loser."
"When I was in my early 20s, I started getting paid to give lectures. And my mother said to me, 'They're paying you? I can hear you for free and I don't listen.'"

In  a July 12, 2012 dialogue with Carolla, Dennis said: "The Irish Day Parade in New York was the biggest parade. I was curious to know what is it like. I went in line and I marched with them and the line wobbled. At each bar, a certain number would leave the line for the bar and then come back and join the line."

At the end of high school, Dennis abandoned keeping a diary. He would forever regret it. (Lecture in 2008 on 25 years in broadcasting)
“There is a girl named Dina. I was 18. She was 19. We went out the whole summer. We were counselors at a summer camp. She set my life on its course because she listened to me and affirmed what I believed.” (Jan. 6, 2011)
“I’ll never forget the guy when I was 21, a [non-Jewish] friend of mine from rural Canada, came out of the photo store with me and said, ‘Dennis, I really Jewed him down.’ And I remember thinking, ‘Should I be offended?’ And of course I was not offended. He didn’t do that to hurt me because I was a Jew.” (Feb. 25, 2011)
Dennis told the guy this was inappropriate speech.

"I am unoffendable unless there's malicious intent, which I have not encountered." (Mar. 14, 2013)

Jan. 2, 2012, Dennis said: "People strive for too much. There's a great Hebrew saying -- if you grab too much, you haven't grabbed anything. We don't raise our kids with wisdom aphorisms any longer. I learned so many in my religious school upbringing, every one went into my brain and stayed until this day and they have all affected my behavior. I'll never forget one -- let your ears hear what your mouth say. It has affected everything. It has probably helped me become a talk show host and a speaker."

Keeping Kosher

Dennis Prager wrote: “I left keeping kosher after yeshiva precisely because no reasons were given. I returned to kashrut after reading an article on the ethics of the Jewish dietary laws written by an observant non-Orthodox rabbi, Prof. Jacob Milgrom of Berkeley, in a non-Jewish philosophical journal.(Ultimate Issues, Summer, 1985, pg. 10)
Dennis loves the taste of bacon and shrimp but hasn't eaten them since his 20s. (Aug. 3, 2012)
In his third lecture on Deuteronomy in 2002, Dennis Prager said:
“The rabbis [of the Talmud] distinguished between chukim (laws between man and God) and mishpatim (laws between man and man) as chukim are laws we can not understand and mishpatim are laws we can understand.
“There is a real problem asserting at the outset that there are laws we can not understand. If you believe that there are many laws that you can not understand, then you will never seek to understand them. That ends intellectual inquiry into their purpose.
“I grew up in the world that learned this way. It was the most difficult aspect of the thinking of the Judaism I was raised in, that there were laws I can never understand. There may well be, but to declare it at the outset means that it is pointless to try to understand.
“That leads to some terrible consequences — to an unintellectual observance of rules.
“For example, the law in Judaism of how you slaughter an animal. You take a blade that is extremely sharp, can not have any nick in it, and you have to be able to slice the animal’s throat in one cut across the neck.
“Everybody I know understands this as a way to minimize the animal’s suffering. Presumably the shochet (slaughterer) does it quickly.
“I was explaining this to a group in Halifax, Nova Scotia, about [1973]. In the audience was a newly ordained Orthodox rabbi who was trying out for his first pulpit.
“After I spoke about this, he politely raised his hand and said, ‘I disagree with Mr. Prager. We do not know why Jewish law ordains a sharp knife without a nick in it. He proclaims that it is to reduce the animal’s suffering but we don’t know that. The proof is that under Jewish law I can take a very long time in the speed with which I cut the animal’s throat, and then the animal will suffer.’
“I wanted to punch him. It was so painful to hear this was what he believed and this is what he was telling Jews, none of whom kept kosher.
“I believe you have to do things because God said so, but even if God said so, why did God give me a brain if not to understand why he said so?”
“Deuteronomy 4:1 said that these are the laws ‘so that you may live.’ So we’re told there is a purpose. Moses himself is giving a whole series of purposes to Biblical law. Do this so that you may live. If you don’t do this, you’ll die.”
“God is saying, I took you out of Egypt so that you could lead a holy life in the holy land.”
“This is how I justify God’s periodic decimation of the Jews when they leave the covenant.”
“If you don’t lead a holy life, I will have nothing to do with you and if I have nothing to do with you, you will die.”
Deuteronomy 4:6: “Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these chukim (decrees) and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’” (NIV)
Dennis: “This sentence is the basis for my outlook on the purpose of Judaism.”
“The purpose of following chukim is so that the nations of the world look at you and be impressed that these are wise people and that these are wise laws that govern their lives. How could chukim mean laws we can’t understand if the rest of the world is supposed to understand them?
“They’ll just think, what a weird people! They observe laws we can’t understand.
“That is what the nations have often said about Jews. What a weird people. Why can’t they do this on Saturday and why do they dress like this?
“There’s nothing more tragic — aside from the loss of Jewish life — that this has not made sense to the world. The purpose of the Jewish people is to bring the world to God. How can you bring the world to God if you do things that the world can’t understand?”
“Because Jews can’t eat chicken with milk [thanks to rabbinic strictures], the whole lesson [that meat represents death and milk represents life and there should be no mixing] has been killed because chickens are not mammals. No mammaries, no mammals. Originally, there were rabbis of the Talmud who ate chicken with milk.
“God wants us to look wise… When you can explain what you do, the goyim find you more wise. And so do nonobservant Jews.”
Deut: 4:7 “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?” (NIV)
Dennis: The Torah says that greatest does not come from great numbers or from great power, but from wisdom and understanding. “That’s exactly where Jewish greatness has come from. When people are impressed by Jews, it has been for wisdom and understanding or related to the intellectual or moral realm. Jewish greatness has never relied on power. Jewish greatness relies on the quality of life it leads and on their being intelligent.”
Deut: 4:8 “And which is a great nation that has righteous decrees and ordinances, such as this entire Torah that I place before you this day?” (Artscroll)
Dennis: “Laws can be unrighteous, so Moses adds an adjective about the type of laws we have. If chukim mean laws we can’t understand, how can he call them righteous? Adding that that they are righteous, it means you can understand.”
“The Torah is clear that how you look to the other nations is the whole point of this. God is interested in everybody. He has chosen a people to do something for the rest of humanity — to bring a message to them about God and holiness.”
“What is the argument that Moses uses to God to not kill the Jews? What will the goyim say if you kill the Jews? God cares about His image but the Jews shouldn’t care about their image?”
In his 2006 (?) lecture on Deut. 27, Dennis said:
I went back to my yeshiva high school in Brooklyn. Once you become somewhat well-known, your alma maters all of a sudden take interest in you.
My high school said, oh Dennis, if you are ever back in Brooklyn and you have time, come speak to our classes.
So I thought that would be a great idea and I went there and I spoke to the six senior classes.
It’s a very prestigious yeshiva high school in New York. Bright kids. Of the yeshiva high schools, it’s among the most prestigious in the country.
I went in and I said, how many of you keep kosher?
It’s like asking, how many of you breathe? It’s a yeshiva. I wanted to set the stage. They all think I’m nuts but they all raise their hands.
How many of you think it is important to get other Jews to keep kosher?
Virtually every hand goes up.
I go, OK. Imagine I’m a Jew who doesn’t keep kosher. Raise your hand and I’ll call on you to explain to me why I should keep kosher other than God said so.
Not only did not one of six classes give me a reason, in each class they were offended by the question. They said to me, we were told by our rabbis that you don’t seek reasons for the commandments. That that is against the Torah to do that.
In a few of the classes, they said does rabbi so-and-so [head of Jewish studies] know what you’re saying here? I said, Rabbi So-and-so asked me here, but no, I don’t think he knows what I’m saying here.
They said to me, if we have reasons, Dennis, then the next person will come up and say, that’s not a good reason and then reject the commandment.
In his fourth lecture on the Chatam Sofer, historian Marc B. Shapiro said:
For the most part, the medieval [Jewish] philosophers accepted that there was natural law. The Chatam Sofer said that if you follow these so-called natural laws, you are following other gods...

In the late 1960s, Commentary magazine did a symposium. They did a second symposium about ten years ago [including Dennis Prager], but the first symposium was very good. The second one was not so good...

In the first symposium, for some reason, they asked Rabbi Moshe Tendler. He's not really a thinker, he's a scientist, a halakist. He said that we give tzedakah (charity) because it was commanded to give tzedakah. I remember reading that and thinking, none of the philosophically inclined would say that. That's a divine-command way of looking at matters.

According to Yeshaya Leibowitz, if you do a mitzvah to get close to God, you're serving yourself.

In a 2013 speech to National Religious Broadcasters, Dennis said: "When a 15-year old, when a 12-year old calls me up on my radio show, I know within 20 seconds if the kid was raised in a religious home. I'm batting a thousand because they actually have learned what the secular babyboomers taught to be untrue -- don't trust anyone over thirty."

Kenneth Prager Marries

On July 18, 1965, Kenneth Prager met his future wife Jeannie Gronich at Harvard. “I remember the transformation of my brother’s wife [in my mind],” said Dennis in a 1997 lecture on the Tenth Commandment. “I was a teenager when my brother was dating the woman he’s still married to. I remember reacting like a normal guy. She’s attractive. I’m attracted. The day they got engaged, I snapped. It was all of a sudden my sister-in-law. Certainly at the wedding. I observed the transformation in myself. It was now family and it entered an icky realm.”
Max Prager wrote in chapter 32:

It seems that Kenny inherited a Prager syndrome which prevented our males from leading a girl into a false illusion that we are serious in the relationship when we are not ready to make a commitment. Thus, Kenny made it clear to Jeannie that, although he liked her, he was still a medical student and marriage was not yet in the cards.
Consequently, they stopped seeing each other for a few months and Jeannie resumed dating other young men. However, Kenny, being Mac’s son, repeated his father’s dilemma when I was courting his mother. …Kenny, who was hesitant in committing himself, discovered that he was in love with Jeannie and called her for a date. From that moment on, neither one dated others.

Kenneth and Jeanie married in 1967Dennis at the wedding.

Dennis Prager’s College Years

After high school, Dennis attended Brooklyn College (graduating in 1970 with degrees in History and Middle East Studies). 

On Feb. 18, 2013, Dennis said: "In freshmen English, the teacher was one of these progressive teachers, but she was very pretty, so I went to class every time. She said, 'Students, I want you to look out the window and write what you see.' I looked out the window and saw an apartment building, that's all there was, so I knew what would get me an A, if I wrote that I see the vapidness of modern life, the anonymity and atomization through each window, and I got an A, but it was baloney, all I saw was an apartment building."

Apr. 20, 2012, Dennis said: "For every one of you who went to college and graduated, what did you learn? I don't mean chemistry and pre-med [and the sciences]. In the United States for three of my four years, I learned Russian and I can't think of much more... I learned Arabic. In most other areas, it was the books that taught me."

"My year in England, I had two wonderful professors."

July 16, 2012, Dennis said that none of his college teachers were instrumental in him achieving professional success.

Dennis was not thrilled to get the right to vote at age 18. “I thought 18 was too young and I was 18 at the time. I said to my girlfriend [second serious one, said DP 9/13/11], ‘Anna, why are they giving me the vote? I don’t know anything.’ I knew that I knew more than most kids but I still didn’t think that I knew anything to make an intelligent vote. But I was raised in a religious world, which almost inherently gives you some insight into how little you know because of how much they knew in the past.” (May 11, 2010)

Trip To Israel, Europe

At the end of his first year of college, shortly after the Six Day War of 1967, Dennis made his first trip abroad, touring Israel and Europe.
“I first went to Jerusalem three weeks after the Six Day War in 1967 [staying with Pinchas H. Peli and his feminist wife],” wrote Dennis Prager for Olam magazine in 2001. “I was just under 19 years old. For a Jewish boy from the New York yeshiva world, one who moreover also attended Zionist summer camps in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, the experience was, not surprisingly, overwhelming. It is difficult to separate the power of Israel, the power of that uniquely heady time in Jewish history, and the power of Jerusalem. Each merged into the other to create a permanent impact on Jews such as myself.
“So deep was the impact, in fact, that I was certain that I would one day in the not too distant future make aliyah (live in the Jewish state). Indeed, three years later, after graduating from college, I applied to and was accepted by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem to study for a Masters Degree at its Institute on Contemporary Jewry.
“For various reasons, I enrolled instead at Columbia University, at its School of International Affairs, and consequently ended up staying in America. That decision came to be one of those life-shaping forks in the road that all of us at some point experience. Had Columbia not accepted me, this American patriot might well have ended up being an Israeli.”

June 25, 2010, Dennis said that if he did not live in the United States, he would most likely live in Israel. Other possibilities were Canada, Australia and India.

Mar. 21, 2014, Dennis said: "I was changed the first time I visited India. I was in my 20s. I was not changed by seeing abject poverty. The biggest impact was seeing how many happy children there were in India. I thought poverty was co-extensive with great unhappiness.

"I remember going to outside Calcutta and kids were naked and they were just running around, laughing themselves silly, kicking balls and playing. It shook me up. I remember thinking that we have so many kids in our country who don't have the innocence and kids can't be happy if they're not innocent. Children depend upon innocence because it gives them security."

"What makes people happy are attitudes and cultures. There are certain cultures that don't produce happy people and there are others that produce a lot of happy people."

"India has huge problems, not least of which is the class system. I remember the kids came begging seeing Westerners and if you didn't give them anything, they'd just wave bye bye, while in other cultures, they got very angry."

The most consistent phone call Dennis received in his 30 plus years of broadcasting was "Is it safe to visit Israel?" (Mar. 24, 2012)

Said Dennis in a 1998 lecture on Exodus 34: “I did a report on Egyptian art while I was in college. I remember one where you had the god Horace having anal sex with an Egyptian. There was a prayer to it — spread your buttocks.”
Said Dennis in a 2008 lecture on “Why Have Our Universities Gone So Wrong?”: “There was one insight I’ve never forgotten over one of the urinals at Brooklyn College — Jesus saves, Moses invests.”
Said Dennis in a 2010 lecture on Leviticus 26, 27: “You do suffer for what your parents did.”
“I don’t hold a German responsible for the Holocaust but a German is plagued that his parents or grandparents did this. It doesn’t end because the suffering doesn’t end when it ends. The children of Holocaust survivors have suffered terribly. I know many of them.
“When I was a counselor in Jewish camps, very often there would be Holocaust survivor children in the bunks. We counselors knew… We would often say to each other that kids whose parents were Holocaust survivors had particular issues. How could they not?
“I dated a woman in Brooklyn who I nearly married when I was in college. She was the daughter of Holocaust survivors. We were very close. The junior year I went to England, we were corresponding and she wrote me, ‘My father hanged himself.’ He had a tracheotomy and survived but they thought he was dead.”
Said Dennis July 14, 2010: “I graduated high enough to get into Columbia for graduate work. I got a D in Geology. Well deserved. We had all these requirements. I had to take three semesters of college science — Geology, Physics and Biology. I am a character today and I was a character then.
“During Geology lab, I went out of my mind. In Geology lab, you have a partner who depends upon you to scratch a rock and figure it whether it is igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary. I did not care. It held no significance to me. Will it make my life better? Deeper? Kinder? Finer? Wiser? It didn’t.
“I have a much better view of Geology today but I was close-minded then. I drove my Geology lab instructor a little nuts because I would fool around like throw a rock at another kid. I didn’t know if I threw an igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary rock.
“And he’d throw it back. And that would bring me joy the likes of which I have never experienced.
“And I got a D. They used to send you postcards. You’d give your card and it would be mailed back to you.
“Underneath my grade, the instructor wrote: 'Dear Mr. Prager, I would’ve given you an F but I felt sorry for next term’s instructor.'"
Dec. 21, 2010, Dennis said: “I’ll never forget my first Philosophy class at college and the professor began with, ‘Do we really exist?’ I remember thinking, ‘I’m going to go punch the professor in the nose and ask him if he thought I exist or not?’ Whack! Was that real, professor? The amount of nonsense that has pervaded the secular world is overwhelming.”
Said Dennis in a 2008 lecture on universities: “Had I gone to Columbia for undergraduate, I would’ve dropped out. I was not ready as an undergraduate to do the work necessary for an Ivy league college.”

Said Dennis Sept. 3, 2010: “I just assumed life was going to deliver some very rough blows. You’re unbelievably lucky every day you don’t have anything bad happening. I said that to my dear friend Joseph in college and he said that it profoundly affected his life. I said, 'Joseph, I expect nothing good to make me happy. I am happy as long as nothing bad happened'.”
In a 1994 lecture on Gen. 32, Dennis said: “From an early age, I was content if I could buy all the records and books I wanted. That struck me as a millionaire’s life. There were times — very few — when I couldn’t buy records and they were very painful.”
Said Dennis Nov. 30, 2010: “When I was a kid, I had a Dutch pen pal – Steineka Deuze (sp?). I corresponded with Steineka for one year thinking I was corresponding with a boy. Then I went to Amersfoort, Netherlands, and found out that my pen pal was a girl. It was very disorienting and very pleasant.”

We Have Reason To Believe

At age 21, Dennis Prager was impressed by the Rabbi Louis Jacobs book We Have Reason To Believe. “I thought, wow, we can use the faculty of reason to believe in God? Just the title alone changed my life.” (Aug. 3, 2010)
“I was enthralled by [the leading 19th Century Jewish philosopher] Hermann Cohen in college because he combined reason and Judaism.” (2003 lecture on Deut. 10)

Keeping Kosher On An Interdate

In his second lecture on Leviticus 20 in 2009, Dennis Prager said: “When I was in my bachelor days in my twenties, I went out with women of all backgrounds. I intended to only marry someone born Jewish or converted to Jewish. My one criteria was -- is it a woman?
“I kept kosher and still do. I was going to write a long article for Jewish publications titled, ‘Keeping Kosher on an Interdate.’
“I said this publicly at the time, I would tell Jewish audiences, ‘Folks, it is a little eery. When I am with a non-religious Jewish woman, she thinks that what I am doing by disqualifying many things on the menu because I am a Jew is absurd. Whenever I am with a non-Jewish woman, she has such respect for what I am doing. Every one has said, ‘I am not going to order anything like that either. What would offend you?”
“Of course it doesn’t offend me if a non-Jew has a BLT. I just salivate.”

Dennis Prager's relaxed version of "keeping kosher" is outside the bounds of the Jewish tradition, as is Prager's idea of "keeping kosher on an interdate." From a traditional Jewish perspective, a Jew should not date non-Jews in the hopes that they might convert. Such a practice does not lead to a stable life and with his three marriages, Dennis has not led a stable life. Prager's second and third wives converted to Judaism to marry him. 

In a 2007 lecture on Leviticus 3, Dennis said: “A very prominent rabbi who I have been friends with since high school [Joseph Telushkin], during the days when I could influence him towards greater sinning, when I was in graduate school in Manhattan, I lived in Manhattan, there was a restaurant I ate at frequently. The one thing I miss from New York is the restaurants. I ate out all the time. If I had food in my own apartment, I would’ve died of botulism. A classic bachelor. I ate out every meal.
“There was a place near my house on Broadway that had the most delicious eggplant parmesan that I had ever eaten at in my life. What’s eggplant parmesan? It’s eggplant and cheese and marinara sauce, which is perfectly fine kosherly, but this was really delicious eggplant parmesan.
“I brought this man, a prolific author, we’re the same age, we were both in our early 20s, I said, Joseph, you have to have this eggplant with me. It’s delicious. I had eaten it 30 times.
“Joseph starts eating it and says, ‘Dennis, this is delicious but I think I know why — because it is a meat sauce.’ I wanted to kill him. I could never have it again.
“How come he knew immediately? Because he was more fastidious about observance than I was.”

In a radio dialogue with Adam Carolla Apr. 17, 2012, Dennis said: "A mere kiss was awesome when I was 18. If she gave me a kiss on the lips, I was in ecstasy for a week."

In contemporary terms, this kind of high may be a symptom of sex and love addiction.

Dec. 21, 2010, Dennis said: “[Going to Columbia University for graduate school] didn’t exactly bowl the women over. I had no good pick-up lines. I did well with women but it had nothing to do with good opening lines. I never did. I always believed that any opening was absolutely seen through by the girl and seen as another opening line.”
“A girl would ask me, ‘What are you interested in?’ ‘Ethical monotheism.’
“‘Ethical monotheism! Come to my room!’”
Jan. 25, 2011, Dennis said: “Do you know how many girls I picked up in bookstores when I was a kid in my 20s? It was a wonderful place. I didn’t like bars. You saw a pretty girl reading a book and you say, ‘What are you reading?’ People would just talk in bookstores. It was a place to meet. Where do people meet now? More and more is done at home.”

In his first video on “Men and the Power of the Visual” for Prager University in October 2009, Dennis gives this story from his twenties: “I was approaching a red light. And the guy next to me said, ‘Look at that girl in the next car.’ I did and I bumped into the car in front of me.”

On Nov. 23, 2011, Dennis said: "When I was in my 20s, I met a terrific woman. I adored her. We had a wonderful relationship and time together. She said to me that she was very wary of charming men and that I was the first charming man she trusted."

On Nov. 11, 2010, Dennis said: “I had a girlfriend in graduate school, an attractive woman, who wanted to lose 10 pounds. I didn’t think she needed to. So she went on an ice cream diet and lost ten pounds.”

During college, Dennis regarded abortion as “a woman doing what she wants with her own body.” Over time, influenced by pro-life Christian activists, Dennis came to regard abortion as morally wrong in most instances (though he never came out for making it illegal in the first trimester of pregnancy). (April 26, 2010)

The End Of White America

The United States was founded and led for centuries by white Anglo-Saxon Protestants who organized for "ourselves and our posterity" (Constitution Preamble).

The motto of the United States -- E Pluribus Unum -- is Latin for “from many, one.” Its original meaning had nothing to do with race but with federalism. The "many" referred to the 13 original states. America's founders never thought of their nation as multi-racial. In 1785, Thomas Jefferson explained why freed slaves could never become join polite society:
Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances will divide us into parties and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race.
Jefferson argued against inter-racial marriage:
The first difference [between blacks and whites] that strikes us is that of colour. . . . And is this difference of no importance? Is it not the foundation of a greater or less share of beauty in the two races? Are not the fine mixtures of red and white, the expressions of every passion by greater or less suffusions of colour in the one, preferable to that eternal monotony, which reigns in the countenances, that immovable veil of black, which covers all the emotions of the other race? Add to these, flowing hair, a more elegant symmetry of form, their own judgment in favour of the whites . . . .
Alexander Hamilton wrote that "the safety of a republic depends on the energy of a common national sentiment, on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family." The first Congress passed a law in 1790 that only “free white persons...shall be entitled to the rights of citizenship.” By 1860, only five states allowed blacks to vote.

Like other abolitionists, President Abraham Lincoln wanted American blacks to emigrate to Africa. In August of 1862, he explained his scheme to a group of free black preachers:

You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races.

There is an unwillingness on the part of our people, harsh as it may be, for you free colored people to remain with us.

President James Garfield wrote, "[I have] a strong feeling of repugnance when I think of the negro being made our political equal and I would be glad if they could be colonized, sent to heaven, or got rid of in any decent way."

President Theodore Roosevelt said, "I have not been able to think out any solution to the terrible problem offered by the presence of the Negro on this continent...."

President Harry Truman wrote: "I am strongly of the opinion Negroes ought to be in Africa, yellow men in Asia and white men in Europe and America." 

According to Wikipedia: "Until 1952, the Naturalization Acts allowed only white persons to become naturalized citizens..."

Jared Taylor wrote:

Until about the 1950s, this is what most white people believed:

They believed people of different races differed substantially in intelligence, temperament, and ability, and that was why different races built different kinds of societies. They wanted America to be populated by whites, and thought only people of European stock could maintain the civilization they valued. They considered immigration of non-whites a threat to their civilization. It was common to argue that if non-whites could not be removed from the country they should be separated socially and politically. Whites were also very strongly opposed to miscegenation, especially with blacks...

What whites are now supposed to believe I would summarize as follows: First, the races are absolutely equal in every respect and are therefore interchangeable. Race is therefore not a valid criterion for any purpose—except, perhaps, for redressing wrongs done to non-whites. Whites have no valid group interests, so it is illegitimate for them to organize as whites. Racial diversity is a wonderful thing in and of itself, so whites should welcome large numbers of non-whites into their neighborhoods, schools, institutions, and into the country as a whole. Immigration of non-whites strengthens the United States even as it reduces whites to a minority. As for miscegenation, we are not yet at the point where whites are actually criticized for marrying each other, but dating and marrying non-whites is thought to be wonderfully progressive...

Prohibitions against racial solidarity, against preferring one’s own kind, against wanting one’s numbers to increase—these prohibitions apply only to whites. All non-white groups take it for granted that they have collective interests that they must band together to promote, at the expense of whites, if need be.

Representative William N. Vaile of Colorado, for instance, said:

Let me emphasize here that the restrictionists of Congress do not claim that the 'Nordic' race, or even the Anglo-Saxon race, is the best race in the world. Let us concede, in all fairness that the Czech is a more sturdy laborer, with a very low percentage of crime and insanity, that the Jew is the best businessman in the world, and that the Italian has a spiritual grasp and an artistic sense which have greatly enriched the world and which have, indeed, enriched us, a spiritual exaltation and an artistic creative sense which the Nordic rarely attains. Nordics need not be vain about their own qualifica-tions. It well behooves them to be humble. What we do claim is that the northern European, and particularly Anglo-Saxons made this country. Oh, yes; the others helped. But that is the full statement of the case. They came to this country because it was already made as an Anglo-Saxon commonwealth. They added to it, they often enriched it, but they did not make it, and they have not yet greatly changed it. We are determined that they shall not. It is a good country. It suits us. And what we assert is that we are not going to surrender it to somebody else or allow other people, no matter what their merits, to make it something different. If there is any changing to be done, we will do it ourselves. (Congressional Record, April 8, 1924, 5922)

American Jews played a big role in opening up non-white immigration to the United States in 1965, diminishing the power, cohesion and influence of white Christians aka goyim. Vanderbilt University historian Hugh Davis Graham said:

Most important for the content of immigration reform [i.e., loosening], the driving force at the core of the movement, reaching back to the 1920s, were Jewish organizations long active in opposing racial and ethnic quotas. These included the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, and the American Federation of Jews from Eastern Europe. Jewish members of the Congress, particularly representatives from New York and Chicago, had maintained steady but largely ineffective pressure against the national origins quotas since the 1920s.... Following the shock of the Holocaust, Jewish leaders had been especially active in Washington in furthering immigration reform. To the public, the most visible evidence of the immigration reform drive was played by Jewish legislative leaders, such as Representative Celler and Senator Jacob Javits of New York. Less visible, but equally important, were the efforts of key advisers on presidential and agency staffs. These included senior policy advisers such as Julius Edelson and Harry Rosenfield in the Truman administration, Maxwell Rabb in the Eisenhower White House, and presidential aide Myer Feldman, assistant secretary of state Abba Schwartz, and deputy attorney general Norbert Schlei in the Kennedy-Johnson administration.

April 20, 1968, English Conservative MP Enoch Powell delivered his famous "Rivers of blood" speech against non-white immigration and anti-discrimination legislation:

The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils… the discussion of future grave but, with effort now, avoidable evils is the most unpopular and at the same time the most necessary occupation for the politician. Those who knowingly shirk it, deserve, and not infrequently receive, the curses of those who come after...

We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre. So insane are we that we actually permit unmarried persons to immigrate for the purpose of founding a family with spouses and fiancées whom they have never seen....

As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see "the River Tiber foaming with much blood". That tragic and intractable phenomenon which we watch with horror on the other side of the Atlantic but which there is interwoven with the history and existence of the States itself, is coming upon us here by our own volition and our own neglect. Indeed, it has all but come. In numerical terms, it will be of American proportions long before the end of the century. Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.

Over the course of his career, Dennis was largely blind on the dangers of mass non-white immigration to the West. Why? Peter Brimelow explained in 1998:
[B]ecause this [immigration] issue didn't exist before the late 1960s, most of the people who are currently in positions of authority in politics and journalism and so on, were mature adults—well, at least adults—before the issue really took hold. Most people are not capable of grasping new ideas after they're about 21 or so, some people not at all, of course! And a lot of them are just not up to speed on this question.
Steve Sailer wrote: "Although immigration ought to be a topic of fascination for all public intellectuals, most elite discourse on the subject is vacuous and kitschy."

Dennis Goes To Leeds

In 1968, Dennis Prager won a junior-year-abroad scholarship after impressing interviewers with his skills in English, Hebrew, Russian and French. 

Max Prager wrote:

While Dennis was in his sophomore year at Brooklyn College, Marvin Kratter, a real estate developer who built apartment houses at the site of the old Ebbets Field, former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, created an annual scholarship for ONE student of the sophomore class at Brooklyn College called the Gideonse Foreign Study Scholarship...
In addition to having good grades, and being held in high esteem of some of the teachers, students had to be interviewed by a panel of professors. Dennis, always having charisma and eloquence, was chosen to receive the $2,000 scholarship which covered sea transportation to and from any college in the world, tuition, and room and board.
Dennis wrote: “During the first week of September, 1968, I set sail from New York to Harwich, England. If the day I won the Junior Year Abroad Award had been the happiest day, this week on board this student ship was the happiest week of my life. Free, independent, living on my own, far from home!” (CD)

Said Dennis in his January 2002 autobiography lecture:

I spent the first two years at Brooklyn College and I decided that now I will do schoolwork. I just had a feeling that it would be important for me to get decent grades at college. Well, this is the turning point of my life. They gave an award each year at Brooklyn College for one student for the junior year abroad scholarship.

You had to have a 3.0 GPA and I had a 3.01. Then you went through interviews. As soon as the interviews started, I knew I had a good chance because that was always my strong point, selling snow in winter.
Ohmigod, I’m going to have these professors interview me. When the final interview came about, there were about five candidates left. The heads of all the departments [were there]. That was to intimidate you but I loved it. I loved the attention. I remember sitting in a swivel chair and saying, yes professor, yes professor. I was eating it up.
They said, it says on your application that you speak Russian, French and Hebrew. Is that true?
I said yes, of course. So the head of the Russian department spoke to me in Russian and the head of the French department spoke to me in French and the head of the Hebrew department spoke to me in Hebrew. And then they said, tell us what they all said to you.
So, totally matter of fact as though it wasn’t effortful even though I was sweating inside, but I got it right and I knew I was going to get the award and I did.
We took a boat about a third the size of this on September 10, 1969. I was leaving Brooklyn for a whole year. There are no words to describe the joy on that boat.
I went to the University of Leeds in England. I would’ve gone anywhere.
Talk about seasick. The first day. It was very rough. It was like a giant ferry of a thousand students on it going for cheap to Europe. Everybody was nauseous. That was a lousy first day. Aside from that, it was a lot of fun.
Then romance began. I met a German girl on board. She became my girlfriend for much of that year in some ways which brought my home great joy. Dennis is dating a German girl. Bad enough that I was dating a non-Jewish girl. A German no less!
I visited her in Germany about five times that year. It was emotional. This was only 23 years after the Holocaust. I’m walking around Germany and I’m thinking about all the adults and wondered where were you? Who did you gas? Who did you roundup?
Many weekends Dennis took a boat from Harwich, England to Bremerhaven, Germany, to visit his girlfriend.
Said Dennis in a 1996 lecture on Exodus 20: “I was 21 years old. It was 1969. I had an atheist British roommate at the University of Leeds. The guy lived with his girlfriend all year. I had this huge flat to myself. One day the guy shows up to do his laundry. It’s a Saturday afternoon. I’m lying in bed resting and reading. He comes in, ‘Hey, Dennis, how are you? Are you sick?’ I go no. ‘Then why are you lying in bed in the afternoon?’
“The guy was in Physics. I said, well, it’s my Sabbath. ‘Do you believe in religion?’ Yep. ‘Do you believe in God?’ Yep. ‘What is God?’ Knowing his field, I said, ‘God is the only absolute in a universe of relativity.’”
On Sep. 23, 2011, Dennis said: “From when I was in my early twenties and really began thinking about these issues, I did flirt with becoming irreligious but my alternative was never to go to another religion but hedonism.”
Prager studied international history, comparative religion and Arabic at the University of Leeds. The lousy climate aggravated his asthma. “I remember one day the professor announced, ‘The sun is shining. Class dismissed’.” (Feb. 4, 2010)
“England was going through a social upheaval as represented by the micro-skirt, which made studying difficult.” (Jan. 2002 lecture on ideological autobiography)
“I remember living in England for a year stunned at the material conditions of the middle class in Britain, incomparably lower than in the United States.” (Oct. 6, 2010)
"I booed a piece at Royal Albert Hall in England when I was a student. I used to go down to London for concerts. Some modern composer had a vocal piece which was disgusting. It was like Jackson Pollock in song. I booed when the composer came out and everyone turned around and looked at me. How do we register what we thought of the piece? I didn't want him shot. I just wanted to tell him I thought it was crap." (Nov. 15, 2013)

Morocco

During Christmas vacation 1968, Dennis Prager traveled through Spain, then Morocco, where he said he encountered anti-Semitism for the first time in his life. In Marrakech, he saw four Moroccan thugs on motorbikes beat Jews leaving a Jewish home after the Sabbath. Prager intervened, kicking the leader of the thugs so hard they he lifted off the ground. As they gathered to attack him, calling him a Zionist Prager yelled in French that he was an American, a friend of King Hassan, and that the thugs would be hanged if they hurt him. It worked. (6/7/13 & CD)
In a 1994 lecture on Gen. 34, Dennis said: “When I was in Morocco in 1968, four American women bumped into me and said, ‘Could you please pose as our husband?’ I thought they were joking but they just wanted a man to whom they belonged to travel with them. With great great deep deep difficulty, I acceded to their request only because I am so chivalrous.”
Said Dennis Dec. 15, 2010: “I’ll never forget when I was smoking my pipe in Morocco during Ramadan, I was in my early 20s, and a man came over to me very respectfully and said you will have to stop smoking. You can’t smoke during Ramadan. It seemed obvious that I wasn’t Muslim.”
During my junior year in college, which I spent in Europe, and during which time I traveled from the Arctic to Morocco, I decided to experience life without the Jewish religious practices with which I was raised.
…I did not long for many of the observances. I hardly missed keeping kosher; being able to order and eat anything on a menu was a semi-ecstatic experience. And being able to do anything I wanted on Friday nights and Saturdays — go out, eat in restaurants, travel, shop — also seemed exhilarating and liberating. (Ultimate Issues, Jul – Sep, 1990, pg. 16)

On Friday night, August 1, 1969, Prager’s life forever changed. He’d ridden all day on a train from Lapland to Helsinki, the capital of Finland. He arrived around 11 p.m. As he got off the train, he realized it was Friday night. “…I felt as though I was losing the rhythm of life that I once had… Life was becoming biological; the holy and the distinct, and the day that let the other days have meaning and rhythm, were all disappearing.” (Ultimate Issues, Jul – Sep, 1990, pg. 16)

Christmas

“It’s a very personal autobiographical detail,” said Prager Dec. 15, 2009, “but it really shook me up and began my odyssey toward who I am today. I was 20 years old when I went for my junior year to England. During the Christmas break, which was about three weeks, like most students in England, I left England for warmer weather. I crossed the English channel, took a train down the western part of Europe, then to the bottom of Spain and then took a boat to Morocco. This was on my own. This was a very adventurous trip. I was in Morocco for Christmas that year. To my amazement, because I monitor my own emotions a great deal. I have a lot of feedback. I’m very fortunate in that way. I realized what’s troubling me. I’m missing something. To my amazement, I didn’t immediately realize it, but I was missing the Christmas season. It was not Morocco’s fault. It’s a Muslim country. I couldn’t believe how I missed it.
“I was two years away from immersion in Jewish education. Of course I never had [Christmas], but it permeated my life. My parents, both Orthodox Jews, would watch the Christmas mass from Rome every Christmas eve. I loved it. My father, I and the Pope were all wearing yarmulkes.”

Dec. 20, 2011, Dennis said, "It had a big impact on me which eventually expressed itself in such a wonderful relationship with Christians and to be the best I could a bridge between Jews and Christians... I miss this time so much that I do my best to not miss this time. I've been offered many times the opportunity to take listeners on a cruise during Christmas week but I don't want to miss this time."

Dennis Prager wrote in the Dec. 17, 2010 Jewish Journal:

How could I miss something that I never had? And being so Jewish, how could I miss the quintessential Christian holiday? It seemed religiously wrong, maybe even sinful.
…I subsequently spent a lot of time reflecting on this. It made little sense to me: Why would a yeshiva boy miss the Christmas season?
I came to two life-changing realizations. First, though my yeshiva world did everything possible to deny the existence of Christmas — for example, we had school on Christmas Day, and “midwinter vacation,” as it was called, was at the end of January, not at the end of December — this yeshiva boy really liked the Christmas season.
And, second, this Jew, whose yeshiva upbringing taught him to think of himself only as a Jew, was in fact an American as well.
…My youth in New York had consisted of an Orthodox home, Orthodox shul, Orthodox yeshiva, Orthodox friends and Orthodox Zionist summer camp in which only Hebrew was spoken and which was entirely Israel-oriented. Of course, I was an American, but how was I supposed to feel American?
…In that Orthodox world, American identity was not denigrated, just ignored. Anything Christian, however, was sometimes denigrated and always avoided…
…As the years passed, I not only made peace with my American identity and with my enjoyment of the Christmas season, I came to treasure that season and to fall in love with America and its distinct values (what I call the American Trinity: Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum). While director of a Jewish institution — the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in Simi Valley — I volunteered to be a Santa Claus for the Simi Valley Rotary Club, of which I was a member. So, during the same week that I led Shabbat activities for a thousand Jews, I also went to my Rotary Club meeting (what is more American than the Rotary Club?), and I played Santa Claus at a local department store.
…When my yarmulke-wearing children were younger, I used to take them to see beautiful Christmas lights on homes.

The Soviet Union

After his tenure at Leeds, Dennis visited a friend on a kibbutz in Israel. He was introduced to a wealthy man who sponsored brief trips by young non-Israeli Jews to the Soviet Union to smuggle in Jewish religious items like prayer shawls, and smuggle out information about Russian Jews. It was 1969, two years after the USSR had broken off relations with Israel. 

Said Dennis in his January 2002 autobiography lecture:

I went to Israel in the Spring of 1969 for Passover. People who heard about me through friends, I was not famous at all, they heard he’s this Jewish boy who speaks Russian, Hebrew, English, let’s send him to Russia to bring in religious items for Jews since they’re all banned in the Soviet Union and let him bring out information such as names of people who want to get out, which was a risky thing to do under communism but when you’re 20 you think you’re immortal.
To make it even more alluring, not only were they going to pay for me to go to Russia to do this for four weeks, it was the longest four weeks of my life, they were going to send me with a girl from England. With my luck, she was very religious and believed there should be no touching prior to marriage. I had no chance.
I cried the whole flight on Pan Am coming from Moscow back to New York in October 1969. I’ll never forget the stewardess coming over and saying, ‘Can I help you? Did you just break up with a girlfriend?’ I said 'No, it’s OK. I can’t explain.'
The explanation was that I had just spent four weeks in a totalitarian state and because I had this blue passport I could get out and I met all these people who couldn’t. And I was crying for all the people who couldn’t get out.
In his 2012 book Still the Best Hope, Dennis wrote on pg. 208: "I visited authoritarian fascist Spain and the totalitarian Soviet Union in the same year, 1969. There was no comparison between the two. For example, in Spain, I was allowed to stay at any hotel I wanted, and to receive Spanish guests (though they had to leave by midnight). In the Soviet Union I was told what hotels to stay at, and no Soviet citizen (except for Soviet officials) was allowed inside the hotel. In Spain, I could purchase and read publicly just about any foreign newspaper. In the Soviet Union I could purchase and read only Soviet and other Communist Party newspapers. The list of differences between life in fascist Spain and life in the Soviet Union is endless."
Dennis Prager wrote April 19, 2011:
...I became the national spokesman for the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, one of the most effective organizations for Soviet Jews in the world.
As such, I spoke before synagogues of every denomination, Hadassah groups, Jewish federations, Jewish groups on college campuses. If there was a Jewish organization, it cared about the plight of Soviet Jews. For decades, virtually every synagogue in America had a “Save Soviet Jewry” sign in front of it.
Over time, the plight of the Soviet Jews awakened me to the plight of all Soviet dissidents, whether secular ones — such as that great man, the physicist Andrei Sakharov — or Christian.
The latter were particularly persecuted. Though my work was with Soviet Jewry, I had no trouble acknowledging that Soviet Christians often had it worse. Few Soviet Jews were killed or locked away in dungeon-like conditions by the Soviet authorities, but Soviet Christians were.
At some point in my early years, it dawned on me that I had not seen a single church with a “Save Soviet Christians” sign. Even more amazingly, I encountered Christian clergy — Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox — at every one of the scores of Soviet Jewry rallies at which I spoke. But while these wonderful Christians were outspoken on behalf of Soviet Jews, they were nearly all silent regarding — or even simply ignorant of — the dire plight of Soviet Christians.
“Seeing the world is usually a highly beneficial experience in killing some naiveté,” said Prager Dec. 1, 2009. “I specialized in my studies in communist countries. I’ve been to many. That shaped me more than almost anything in my life, seeing life under communism. Reading about it is very important but experiencing it… When I had to meet dissidents in the Soviet Union, they would tell me at which tree in which park to meet them, to then continue walking. They would walk behind me, catch up, and we will only talk while walking, because if we stop to talk, it will be clear that they are talking to a Westerner. And any other kind of conversation could be recorded, so we never met indoors. I lost 14 pounds in four weeks in the Soviet Union. Biggest chunk of change I ever lost. Because of that. I never sat. To see the fear in people’s faces. To experience Checkpoint Charlie where the East German police would slide mirrors under your car to see if you were smuggling out a human. These things made indelible impressions on my life.
“When I was in Syria and a woman in Damascus walked toward me completely covered head-to-toe, the only thing I saw were hands, that was a very early experience in the degradation of women that takes place in parts of these worlds.”
Apr. 21, 2010, Dennis said: “I could not visit people in their apartments in the Soviet Union because it would’ve been obvious I was a Westerner. Even though I spoke Russian, they knew I was a Westerner. Not by my accent. They usually thought I was from the Baltic states. The reason they knew I was a Westerner — I was dressed better. And folks, if you knew me, you’d know I did not step out of Gentleman’s Quarterly. Dressed better meant a Lands’ End shirt. That’s what better was.”
Said Dennis in his 14th lecture on Deuteronomy (2003): “I have a very innocent face. I know I do because I got through communist customs all the time because I was bringing in bad things from their perspective.”
Dennis lived like a spy in the former Soviet Union, meeting with Jewish dissidents in parks at midnight and climbing over walls to avoid the cops. Until the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Dennis kept this information secret to protect the ongoing information network.

In a 2005 lecture on Deuteronomy 17-18, Dennis said: “It was hard to smuggle in religious items into the Soviet Union because they wanted to make an atheist state and obliterate religion. On one of my trips, I went into the Soviet Union from India, I flew in from Delhi to Tashkent. I had come from Australia earlier on my trip where I gave some lectures to the Jewish community and when they heard I was going to the Soviet Union, they said, could you bring in this shofar? There weren’t many in the Soviet Union.
“The question is how am I going to get it into customs in Tashkent. I arrive at the customs. I have all this stuff. I speak Russian but not great. I carried a Russian-English dictionary. They start asking me, what is this? I was easily the most interesting person on the plane.
“So, for example, he looks at a pigs tusks. I look up in the dictionary and say in Russian, this is the tusk of a pig from New Guinea.
“He laughs. He picks up the shofar and goes, what’s this? I look it up and go, this is the horn of a ram from New Guinea. And he laughs. And that’s how I got it in, as another animal item from New Guinea.”
“The trip shaped my life,” Prager told the 11-17-91 Los Angeles Times.
Why would a young Dennis take such risks? It was a way to impress girls. As a 2007 article noted, "A single theory can explain the productivity of both creative geniuses and criminals over the life course: Both crime and genius are expressions of young men's competitive desires, whose ultimate function in the ancestral environment would have been to increase reproductive success."
Returning to America, Dennis began lecturing to Jewish organizations on the state of Jews in the Soviet Union. In July 1970, the United Nations convened a World Youth Assembly. Bnai Brith nominated Prager as its delegate. Dennis wrote later:
I was the anti-Soviet, and anti-totalitarian spokesman, leading a walkout on behalf of South Koreans not allowed to speak, debating the Soviet delegates in the Security Council, and ultimately getting to speak in the General Assembly. The hatred of Jews, of Israel, and of the United States that I witnessed from many delegates left a permanent impression… (1998 Dennis Prager CD)
Said Dennis in a 2009 lecture “The Moral Case for Conservatism”:
When I was 21 years old, I was a representative to the only time the United Nations ever had a World Youth Assembly. They had five delegates from every single nation and delegates from all the NGOs (Non-Governmental Agencies). I was representing Bnai Brith International. I represented world Jewish youth because that was the non-governmental agency.
I participated actively in what happened. We took over the UN. We were in the security council. We had simultaneous translation. It was a real hoot. It was really something incredible.
One day the third world anti-American and pro-Soviet delegates said, ‘We want to charter buses and have them taken us to Harlem so we can see how the oppressed black impoverished American lives. So they did.
The results were astonishing. They came back and called a press conference. They said they were deceived. That they were taken to a wealthy black neighborhood and were tricked and told it was really Harlem because compared to what they were used to, they couldn’t believe the homes, the number of cars, the number of color television sets.
Prager wrote the UN experience “cemented an ability to speak calmly in the face of hostility.” (CD)
Said Dennis June 24, 2010, “I am known for not getting angry. Almost Obama-like.”
Here’s an excerpt of an article written by the assistant director of the UN Office of the Bnai Brith International Council (quoted on MaxPrager.com):
But, the star of the West was the representative of Bnai Brith Hillel, Dennis Prager, 21, of Brooklyn. Challenging the Soviets, Prager led a spontaneous walkout of the Peace Commission when the Moscow-Cairo group, couched by members of their regular UN delegations, refused to allow Vietnamese and Chinese participants to speak.
Prager suddenly rose, 6’4” tall, and above the din of the desk-pounding cried out that all who wanted to protest the violation of democratic principles should follow him out of the room. About 30 did so. Although their actions did not necessarily reflect political sympathy with those who were excluded, under Prager’s leadership, they effectively demonstrated their commitment to the democratic way.
The next morning Prager appeared at the Education Commission and delivered a speech on the cultural deprivations suffered by Soviet Jewry. Back in the Peace Commission, he participated in an exchange which earned for him the reputation as the only man to embarrass the Russians.
At noon a day later, Prager called a press conference at which he presented a declaration signed by 40 delegations protesting “the cynical attempts to manipulate the conference by representatives of the Soviet-East European bloc and representatives of the undemocratic left.” During the final plenary debate, Prager withstood the threats and jeers of the Moscow-Cairo mob and demanded a vote on the validity of their one-sided Peace Commission report. When that was denied, the Jewish students worked to insert an amendment in the Soviet inspired final message to the UN General Assembly. Their single success came when the plenum, by a vote of 271-115 agreed to condemn the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and demand the restoration of democracy to that country.
Max Prager wrote in chapter 33: “I cannot express in words the tremendous pride that I have for my son to this day. Perhaps his strong desire for justice emanates from his home or perhaps it stems from his unflinching faith in his religion which teaches in the Torah the words txedek txede tirdof (run after justice).”
On a cruise to St. Petersburg circa 2003, Dennis Prager said in a lecture on Russia and communism:
I never changed money in Russia. I was too afraid. I did change money in Eastern Europe. I’ll tell you my trick. I thought it was foolproof. I was very proud of myself. I was a student. I had no money. I lived like a king when I visited Eastern Europe.
In Warsaw in 1970, I stayed at a palace. You don’t understand. I taught Hebrew school in Brooklyn. That was all the money I had. And I was a waiter at a summer camp. I had no money. And here I was, I lived three meals a day of unbelievably good food all because I changed money on the unofficial rate, the real rate. I would get 10, 20, 30 times the rate so I would live like a king.
Here’s how I did it. I’d be at a restaurant, let’s say, in Warsaw. The waiter would give me the bill. I’d say, ‘Gee, I’m so sorry, but I have no zloped. Can I give you some dollars and you’ll bring me change? And may I ask, how much change will you be bringing me?’
Or with taxi drivers, I’d say in Romania, ‘I have no more leu…’ I figured I couldn’t be arrested. I was a simple nothing student. I had no more leu.
After his cruise, Dennis said:
I’d like to tell you a story that really shook me up. I went to the Leningrad, that’s the St. Petersburg synagogue where I had gone 33 years ago to visit with the Jews who would attend a synagogue under surveillance. I went to make a statement that young Jews do know Hebrew. They do know how to pray the Jewish prayers. Just to be seen by the Jews there. I went on one of the Jewish holidays, the holiday of Tabernacles, Succoth.
I remember well reciting from the Torah and the astonished and overwhelmed reactions of the Jews present.
Here I was in the synagogue 33 years later. The synagogue had been beautifully restored. I felt no different than I would at a synagogue anywhere else in the world.
A man in his 70s walked in and he looked at me and he said in Yiddish to the rabbi showing me around, ‘That’s the tall young man who was here in 1969 and recited from the Torah.’
As I recount this story now, I have goosebumps. He just started to cry. He hugged me. It was overwhelming for all of us. I knew that I had made an impact by showing them that Judaism was still alive because they were told by the Soviets that it was dead everywhere in the world.
Feb. 5, 2010, Dennis said: “When I came back from the Soviet Union, I remember having dinner with the rabbi of my synagogue. At that time, when I grew up, there was a real distance between clergy and congregant… It was better… Better too remote than too chummy.
“He and his wife invited me to their home. I thought it was one of the great honors of my life. ‘Wow. The rabbi has invited me to his home, I am this 21-year old zilch.’ And I remember going there and I realized that I was the life of the dinner. He was a subdued type and so was she. And I realized maybe this is what I should do, I should be a live guy. It helps the conversation. It helps the dinner. If someone else becomes the live person, I do retreat. It’s not for the attention. It’s to have a better dinner."
Sept. 15, 2010, Dennis said: “The last time I felt physically unsafe, I was in my early 30s in the Soviet Union trying to escape on a train at midnight to Romania and with me were documents that the Soviets would not have been happy that I took out. That was it.”
Mar. 24, 2011, Dennis said: “When I think of the kids my age screaming ‘Ho, ho, ho, Ho Chi Minh’ and ‘Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?’ this is the world of the left I grew up with. It’s left a deep angry in me at the upside-down moral nature of the left. It called evil good and good evil. America the good was evil and communism the evil was good.
“One day I had an argument. I was standing on a street in Japan with an American student my age. We got to talking about politics. I mentioned how vile the North Korean regime was. He laced into me. ‘Who the hell are you to judge North Korea?’”

What Will I Do For A Living?

“I remember in my junior year in college getting very very worried — what will I do for a living? I was not prepared to abandon this sense of mission in life but how do you make a living from that? I didn’t want to be a doctor or a lawyer. I didn’t like blood in either case.” (Lecture in 2008 on 25 years in broadcasting)
"There's nothing more noble than earning an honorable living." (Nov. 15, 2013)
Life revealed to Prager that he was good at talking and that this was a way he could earn a nice living, have fun, and meet women. He could do good and make good at the same time. As time went by, he realized that he was uniquely endowed with the answers to the greatest Jewish and American problems. Everything had fallen into place for him. Beginning at age 21, he had his place in the world -- behind the lectern teaching people right and wrong.

An extrovert's extrovert, Dennis was happy at last. From the burning core of the Ashkenazi culture of critique, he could take his giant brain and disect the world, gaining prestige, money, and friends, just so long as he played within the rules (such as saying it is Judaism that causes Jewish success, not genes).

Steve Sailer noted:
...[E]gomania provides confidence and confidence is essential to charisma...

Indeed, much of what we are taught as the high intellectual history of the human race is based more on the magnetism and impenetrable self-assurance of thinkers than on minor issues like whether they were right or not. Freud is a perfect example, a charlatan who befuddled two generations via his implacable self-esteem. Marx was similar, and Ayn Rand was cut from the same cloth...

Sailer said: "...[I]ntellectual heavyweights of Western civilization are known not for being right but for being charismatic..."


Dennis took the stage at the end of the 1960s, a decade when Jewish radicals took charge of non-Jewish followers.

Sailer wrote:
...the importance of extra-rational charisma in the appeal of egomaniacal, messianic intellectuals like Marx and Freud to younger Jewish students. Over the last 150 years, secular Jewish intellectuals have repeatedly reproduced the traditional brilliant rabbi-student relationship in launching powerful cults. Among the more recent examples have been Ayn Rand (see Murray N. Rothbard's hilarious 1972 article "The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult"), Susan Sontag (see Terry Castle's hilarious 2005 article "Desperately Seeking Susan"), and Leo Strauss (see the unintentionally hilarious 2003 article "What Leo Strauss Was Up To" by two true believers, William Kristol and Steven Lenzer).
Said another Gentile observer:
So you had all these wild-eyed, charismatic, brilliant people, suddenly without the compression of traditional life. What to do with all that fire and brilliance? Answer: Marx, Freud, civil rights, etc...

All of which does make me ever-so-slightly sympathetic to the idea that these brilliant Jews give out advice that's almost designed to cripple the people it's given to. All the while claiming it's for everyone's good, and charging a pretty penny for doing so. I could never accuse them of being anything but well-meaning. But I had to learn to see through the posing, the fiery eyes, and the preaching....

Many of the Jewish radical kids went on to do very well for themselves.

Psychologist Byron M. Roth reviewed Richard Lynn's 2011 book The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish Intelligence and Achievement:
In general, Jews do not differ in any appreciable way from Gentiles in the things they value, with one exception: They have a greater desire to achieve economic and social success, that is to say, they are high in “achievement motivation.” Professor Lynn suggests that, like many personality variables, this may have a partly genetic basis “brought about through having been selected by eugenic customs, persecution, and discrimination.”
Said Dennis in his January 2002 autobiography lecture:
The next year [senior year at Brooklyn College] I began lecturing and that’s why my life turned around. I went all around the Eastern half of the United States lecturing on the plight of Soviet Jews.
I spent many trips to Eastern Europe visiting communist countries. I lived with families in Poland, Bulgaria, and Hungary. I was in Czechoslovakia the year after the Soviet invasion and you could still see all the massive gigantic artillery holes in the walls in Prague. It just made me hate communism more.
Three years into lecturing for free, giving all the proceeds over to the Free Soviet Jewry movement, my friend Joseph Telushkin said to me, Dennis, you have to start lecturing on other things and making a living.
And so I called up a Jewish place [a Hadassah in Queens] I had spoke to. I said, “Hi, this is Dennis Prager. I’m the kid who went to Russia and gave a speech.” The woman said, “Yeah, you were terrific.”
I said, “I’d like to come back and give a speech on another topic.”
And the woman said, “What else do you know?”
It was perfectly appropriate. I had no reputation other than being an expert in Soviet Jews.
I said, “How would you like to know why most young Jews are alienated from Judaism?”
She said, “Yeah. We would love to know that. Do you know why?”
I said, “I think I do because I’m a young Jew and I’m not alienated.”
She said, “How much do you charge?”
I was so nervous. There was never a time in my life when I was more nervous. I can’t ask for me well.
I was about to say $35 when Telushkin said, $75. So I said $75 expecting to hear it was too much.
She of course went, $75, that’s like free. She said that’s fine. They even paid my taxi fare. It was the first time people paid me to come to their place to give a talk. And it hasn’t stopped. It’s a wonderful way to make a living.
In April 2010, Dennis told the story a little differently: “How much do you charge? I was sweating. This was the first time I was asking for a payment for a speech for me. Joseph kept going ‘$35!’ I couldn’t do it. It seemed too much. I said $25. She said fine so quickly that I immediately added, ‘Plus taxi.’
“I started speaking on Judaism and all the time I got the same questions — do you have to believe in God to be a good Jew? How come so many Jews here are alienated? How do you account for unethical religious Jews?
“I said to Joseph, let’s devote a weekend to writing a pamphlet on the ten questions Jews most frequently ask about Judaism.”
By age 30, Dennis was also lecturing on politics.
Sept. 4, 2009, Dennis said: “I was so successful so early, meaning in my early twenties. I was inordinately successful. I began public lecturing at 21. Do you know how bizarre that is? That’s extremely rare. I was being flown around at least the Eastern part of the United States to give lectures at 23. The first time I was flown anywhere was to Nashville, Tennessee. I just remember thinking, how can life get any better than this? To say a high. I’ve never taken drugs [except for marijuana, which made him super-verbal]. I don’t know what the high is from drugs, but I believe that my high was higher than drug highs. And it lasted longer.
“As I got older, that early spectacular life… And it was spectacular in every way. I had no responsibility for family. I met women in different locales and had a great social life. It was easy to attract women because if you are in public, it’s much easier. Life was beyond belief. Flown to the West Coast five times at age 24, 25, to give lectures.
“You’re no longer a wunderkind when you’re 40. I began professional life with, ‘And he’s so young!’ That’s the way I would always be introduced. And, ‘Ladies, he’s single!’ And obviously over time, they stopped saying, ‘He’s so young.’”
At Grossinger’s Hotel in 1970, “Talk about blessed, I was invited to lecture at singles weekends. Is that luck or is that luck? I remember one holiday of Succot going up to this freezing succah and I’m talking theology to this Orthodox guy, I’m trying to find a woman and this guy is talking to me theology. I wanted to kill him.” (1995 lecture on Exodus 6)
On Nov. 21, 2013, Dennis said: "Gentlemen, if you want to get a good woman, speak publicly."
Said Dennis in a 2008 lecture on the universities: “Something I encountered in my early speaking career that I didn’t know how to handle… I treat people respectfully… I would give a lecture on some theme and someone would stand up, ‘I want you to know that I’m offended by what you said.’ For years, I would look at the person and say, ‘What did I say that was offensive? You disagree with me. Why were you offended?’
“I came to realize that is used far more by people on the left than on the right…”
“What unites all left-wing views? Feelings. That is why you are reacted to in an emotional way when you talk.”

Oct. 23, 2009, Dennis said: “After so many decades of public speaking and thousands of speeches, I can’t say that I get nervous [before public speaking]… I certainly did in the beginning. In fact, I had a very odd way of getting nervous… I would get very tired. Before the biggest speech I ever gave when I began speaking at 21, I was in my friend’s dorm room at university and I fell asleep in the middle of the day. At 21, nobody does unless they have the flu. I didn’t realize that my way of getting nervous was my body conserving its energy and I got very tired. This lasted for years… Over time, that didn’t take place. At this point, I don’t get tired before a speech.”
“…When I go on my listener cruise, it’s the only week or ten days of my life for the last decades that I don’t do a radio show. I realize that a certain weight is off of me. It is so ubiquitous, I don’t realize the intensity of it… My system goes into an intensity that I don’t feel, for instance, before having dinner with my wife. I get geared up.”
In a 1998 (?) lecture on Exodus 30-31, Dennis said: “I have a God-given gift to talk. How do you develop it? A talking course? I got a C in Speech in college because I found the teacher boring and she was very offended by that. I gave my final speech on the development of the eraser. I did not take the course terribly seriously.”
Nov. 20, 2009, Dennis said: “The first speech I ever gave publicly was at Brooklyn College. In my sophomore year, they started demonstrating for something. I thought it was totally narcissistic. I went over to the guy who was organizing it and I said I’d like to speak. He said, who the hell are you? I said I’m with the ad hoc committee and I just made up some name. I always knew their lingo. Ad hoc committee, woohoo. So I spoke and I looked at the crowd and I basically said, what are you doing here? Things are pretty darn good. We’re unbelievably lucky to have this college at such low tuition, virtually free. What is this whole thing about? I was on the WNBC local news that night. Student speaks out against demonstration. It was truly man bites dog. I know the date. I wonder if they have archives at WNBC in New York. I would pay a handsome sum for that video. How early my career was taking the contrary position of gratitude… All the themes I care about are tied together — people who are grateful are not rioting over student costs.”
Said Dennis in his January 2002 autobiography lecture: “One day a guy named Mark Rudd, who was the head of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), was at Columbia where he led all those terrible demonstrations, he came to Brooklyn College to do the same thing. Students at Brooklyn College pelted him with tomatoes and eggs when he tried to organize students against the government and the war. We were a working class college. They were an elite college. I realized that a lot of this stuff against the country from the left came from kids from Scarsdale and kids from much wealthier homes.”

College Graduation

Prager graduated Brooklyn College with a double major in Anthropology and History. “I didn’t bother to attend my college graduation,” said Dennis Sept. 4, 2009. “I didn’t feel it was worth it.”
June 24, 2010, Dennis said: “When I wrote my finals in college, in the middle of my long essay, I’d write, ‘And the Yankees won 6-2.’ I was born with a chutzpah gene. They never caught. Not one of my college teachers read my entire essay. That’s the proof. The guy would’ve flunked me for having the audacity to write that in the middle of an essay on the papacy’s decline in the 12th Century.”
Mar. 22, 2010, Dennis said: “When I knew that I had to get my own health insurance at age 21, I did. I had the non-left-wing view that it is good to be an adult.”
Dennis wrote Jan. 19, 2010:
When I was a boy in the 1950s, without anyone expressly defining it, I knew what a man was supposed to be. And I knew that society, not to mention my parents, expected me to be one. It went without explicitly saying so that I would have to make a living, support myself as soon as possible and support a family thereafter.
When I acted immaturely, I was told to be or act like a man.
I recall Dennis Prager saying on the radio that in Holland during college, he took advantage of some of the freedoms offered there (a prostitute, not drugs).
Jan. 17, 2014, Dennis said: "If they have marijuana for health, why not prostitution for health?"
On June 7, 2013, Dennis said: "I went to Syria in my mid-20s, but I didn't announce. When they asked religion, on one of the Arab countries visa application, and I wrote, 'Orthodox.' While I wasn't an Orthodox Jew...
"This was a life-changing moment. I was on a bus from Beirut to Damascus. I was seated next to a man, the first Iraqi I had ever met. I talk to everybody. I love talking to strangers. This is why I didn't think it was necessarily a good idea to invade Iraq.
"I said, 'Sir, could you summarize the Iraqi people in a sentence?' He said, 'No problem. Iraqis are the most barbaric people in the world.' You can imagine how I felt. That was chilling. But it got worse.
"He then said, 'What's your name?' I said 'Dennis.' He said, 'What's your last name?' I said, 'Prager.' And he said, 'What are the origins of your last name?' I knew what he was getting at. I said, 'It's a German word, which means from Prague. I assume I have German and Czech ancestors.' He said, 'Maybe so, but I think Prager is a Jewish name.' There are many Pragers who are Jewish and many who aren't, but he was obsessed with finding out if I was a Jew."

Columbia Graduate School

"One of the most fateful decisions of my life," Dennis recalled Mar. 9, 2012, "was [deciding] whether I'd take Russian or Chinese [in college]. I really deliberated over it. It worked out well in my life that I took Russian but I wish I had taken both. Knowing Chinese now is such an advantage, such an insight into a way of thinking."

“My graduate work was done in Soviet studies. I read Pravda almost every day. There was an interesting debate at the time and I may have been wrong.
“The debate was — was the Soviet Union a continuation of Russian civilization or was it a communist abrupt change of course? I argued that it was overwhelmingly an abrupt change of course brought about by the communists. When I see Russia today once again moving towards dictatorship, where journalists are murdered if they report things that disturb the government, when you see what is controlled by Putin’s party United Russia, which effectively controls regional governments, prosecutors’ offices, courts, police departments, and election commissions. They control the media.
“There were those who said that the Soviet Union, Stalin, Lenin, these were not aberrations thrust upon a Russian civilization but rather a continuum, obviously worse than anything that preceded it.
“I said no. This was just communism shoved into the face of the Russian people and I may have been wrong. The love of liberty does not appear to beat strongly in the Russian soul.” (Dec. 15, 2010)

In a May 2012 lecture, Dennis said: "I went to Columbia University graduate school and the only reason I mention it is that among Jews, that's clout. 'Oooh, he went to Columbia. Now I can take him seriously.'
"About 25 years at a Conservative synagogue in New Jersey, I was scholar in residence for the weekend. This elderly man kept asking me questions. He called me 'Dr. Prager.' I said to him, 'I'm not a doctor. I have no PhD.'
"The man entered cognitive dissonance. It was clear on his face. On the one hand, he thought I was intelligent. On the other hand, I didn't have a PhD. This disturbed him greatly. He thought for a moment and like King Solomon, he came up with a solution. 'By me, you're a doctor.'"

In the early 1970s, Dennis Prager lived for a time in a Jewish commune off the Columbia campus called Beit Ephraim.
Judd Hirsch wrote:
[Michael] Oren—who changed his name from Bornstein when he made aliyah, though he retained it as his middle name, in deference to his father—and [Dore] Gold met for the first time at the Bayit, at a guest lecture by an Israeli author. They soon connected with Sokoloff, Fine, Cohen and others at the Bayit’s weekly Shabbat dinners and educational seminars. Eventually, they both moved in. They were joined by a remarkable cast of future Jewish luminaries who frequented the Bayit in the mid-1970s. Leon Wieseltier, the longtime literary editor of The New Republic lived there there, as did Rabbi Joseph Teluskhin, the Jewish author. J.J. Goldberg, a former editor-in-chief of the Forward, lived at a different Jewish collective, but he spent time at the Bayit.
Dennis paid $3,000 a year in tuition.
From 1970-72, Dennis attended the Middle East and Russian Institutes at the Columbia University School of International Affairs. Prager studied under Zbigniew Brezinski, who later served as the head of the National Security Council under President Carter.
“[Zbigniew] taught the advance communism seminar. There were nine of us around a table. The reason that was such a challenge to me was that normally in class I could read the newspaper or design railroad tracks (my form of doodling in high school and college).”
“When I get bored, I don’t tune out. I go nuts.”

Said Dennis in a 1993 lecture on Genesis 25: “Esau was a hairy man as I noted once in an advanced seminar at Columbia University in communist affairs. I was so bored in class, I mumbled over to the only other kid who had gone to yeshiva, at the desk was the former ambassador of India to the UN [Arthur Lall], and I whispered to him out of nowhere, I had lost my mind from boredom, ‘[David] Schimmel, Esau was a hairy man.’ The professor stopped the entire seminar on international negotiations, and said, ‘Mr. Prager, Esau was a hairy man?’ It was one of my great moments in graduate school.”
Said Dennis in his January 2002 lecture on his ideological autobiography:
I attended antiwar rallies. I was very anti-communist but I did not believe that this was the place to make the stand. Even at the demonstrations, I felt no kinship with anyone else there because they were celebrating Ho Chi Minh. We weren’t villains. He was the villain. The North Vietnamese communists were villains. Here I am again alone. They’re going ‘Ho, ho, ho, Ho Chi Minh,’ and I’m thinking the man is vile. All communist dictators are vile.
So alone on the drugs. Alone on the attitudes. Alone on the politics. Alone on the music. I didn’t care for the music of that era. To me it was usually very self-referential. My angst type of music. Sit there with the guitar and talk about how life has screwed you up is how I heard a lot of that music. There was nothing I had in common.
And then there was dating. Here I am a Columbia university graduate student and the most logical woman to date would be a Barnard student but it was virtually impossible because they were so feminist. We had nothing in common. They thought they were the same as man. I’ve always believed men and women are very different. I had very few comfortable moments of dating [with women from New York].
I was doing a lot of lecturing around the Eastern half of the United States so I met women who did believe that men and women were different in St. Louis and in Columbus and in Miami so I ended up having a girlfriend in St. Louis, in Miami, which is not such a terrible thing that time of life.
Another reason that I was out of sync with my generation was that I was religious.
I wrote a paper comparing Marxism with Judaism for a professor who was a Marxist secular Jew, which said I had guts. I expected a D. He was kind enough to give it a B-. It was clear I annoyed him. I said that Judaism was far superior to Marxism as a moral philosophy.
There was fun in being single in that time of the sexual revolution where after 12,000 years of men trying women now said they could have sex as unemotionally as men could and I thanked G-d I was born in that rare time when women could delude themselves into believing something so stupid.
In a 1987 lecture at the University of Judaism on the differences between men and women, Dennis said:
Girls at Barnard, if they go on a date with you, they felt that they were giving in to the enemy. Shaving? Forget about it. To shave was to smack of bourgeois imperialist neo-fascistic thinking.
Thank G-d I started lecturing publicly at an early age, so it took me out of Manhattan frequently. I did all my dating in the Mid-West. I had dates Indiana, Chicago. The Jewish women of Manhattan were so feminist that you felt like you were on a war footing when you went on a date.
The age old difference that men were desirous of sexual relations without commitment just for the sake of the great joy of the physical contact, this was induced by society, women could do the same thing. I remember feeling wonderful that these girls believed that. Men had been trying to convince women of that for 42,000. That’s the oldest line in the history of male-female relations — hey, you don’t need commitment You’ll love it!
These brilliant idiots from Columbia were saying, that’s right. We can have as empty sex as you. It took us ethical guys off the hook. We were almost unethical if we did not offer them the opportunity to express their equality. It turns out that they were fooling themselves. Men were having their usual ball of using women’s bodies for pleasure.
…I remember in my real dating days, I would interview women. …I was always shocked that they would not ask me reciprocal questions. Aren’t you curious about men? I’m terribly curious about women.
Said Dennis Oct. 11, 2010: “I lost one of my first girlfriends. I was in graduate school. I was dating her for about six months. Her last name was ‘Last.’ And we were at a party, and I introduced her as ‘Jennifer First.’ And that was it.”

At the April 3, 2008 roast celebrating Prager's 25 years in talk radio, Rabbi Telushkin said:
Another feature of Dennis is that he is always looking for the bigger truth. Nothing can ever just happen to him, there's a major lesson to be learned. For example, Dennis as a young man liked to date. A lot. His relations though for a long period of time tended to be short and inevitably I would get a phone call. 'I broke up with so and so.' Why? 'I realized that she really wasn't a warm person and I realize now that warmth is the most important trait in a woman.' A month later. 'I broke up.' Why? 'No sense of humor. Humor really matters. It's hard to be with someone who is humorless.' Two weeks later. 'I broke up. Not sharp intellectually.' A week later. 'Not concerned with moral issues.' Six weeks later. 'I broke up with so-and-so.' I said, 'I know why.' He said, 'How can you know why? You've never met her.' I said, 'I know that whatever trait she's missing is the most important trait in a woman.'
One of the themes that keeps coming up when you listen to Dennis Prager talk about his life is that he feels out-of-step almost everywhere he goes. He was unhappy at home with his parents. He was unhappy at school. He felt uncomfortable at university. At Brandeis-Bardin, he fought with his board. He had three marriages. At KABC, he struggled with management. He felt in no-man's-land in Jewish life, not fitting into Orthodox, Conservative or Reform Judaism. He was a man without a home (beyond the home he could create).
Another way of understanding Dennis's self-presentation of his terminal uniqueness is that feeling distinctive is important to Dennis. Greatness is a burden. He was Harry Potter before there was Harry Potter. Such a conviction, however, undermines communal solidarity and lasting love.
Said Dennis in a 1996 lecture on Exodus 12: “The woman I remember in the crazy ’60s — Stripper for Christ [Kellie Everts]. I’ll never forget it. It’s not the way to come to a Christian belief. I assume it was a little too easy. She to me was a metaphor for so much of our easy spirituality today.”
“Graduate school was a tough time for me,” Prager said Mar. 2, 2006. “Everything I believed to be true and good overturned. I had only pessimism for my country.”
Apr. 10, 2013, Dennis said: "I wrote a paper for a Marxist. One of my professors was Sidney Morgenbesser. He wasn't a communist. I liked him personally. I'll never forget I wrote a paper for him comparing Judaism with Marxism as philosophies of life. I knew that had he lived another 100 years, he would not have gotten another paper like that at Columbia. I knew he wondered how I got in -- that I actually believed in religion and thought it was superior to Marxism. To his credit, he gave me a B. I'm sure he wanted to give me a D but it was too well-researched."

According to Wikipedia: "Sidney Morgenbesser (September 22, 1921 – August 1, 2004) was a Columbia University philosopher. Born in New York City, he undertook philosophical study at the City College of New York and rabbinical study at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, then pursued graduate study in philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, where he wrote his Ph.D. thesis under the direction of Nelson Goodman. Morgenbesser returned to Columbia to teach in 1953 and, in 1975, was named the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy there. Morgenbesser was known particularly for his sharp witticisms and humor, which often penetrated to the heart of the philosophical issue at hand. He published little, and established no school, but was revered for his extraordinary intelligence and moral seriousness."

Dennis wrote Dec. 3, 2003:
Since entering graduate school, I was preoccupied with this question: Why did so many learned and intelligent professors believe so many foolish things?
…One day, I received an answer to these questions. Seemingly out of nowhere, a biblical verse — one that I had recited every day in kindergarten at the Jewish religious school I attended as a child — entered my mind. It was a verse from Psalm 111: “Wisdom begins with fear of God.”
The verse meant almost nothing to me as a child — both because I recited it in the original Hebrew, which at the time I barely understood, and because the concept was way beyond a child’s mind to comprehend. But 15 years later, a verse I had rarely thought about answered my puzzle about my university and put me on a philosophical course from which I have never wavered.
…Since that day at Columbia, however, I regularly renew my faith through the back door — I see the confusion and nihilism that godless ideas produce and my faith is restored. The consequences of secularism have been at least as powerful a force for faith in my life as religion.
Dennis taught Jewish history at Brooklyn College from 1970-72.
In the overview course half the students were Yeshiva high school graduates who thought they’d get an easy ‘A’ taking this basic Jewish history course. Unfortunately, for them, however, I was not about to give easy ‘A’s’ to Yeshiva guys. I wanted them to learn and be challenged by Judaism.
I’ll never forget this story because I got into some hot water. A lot of them were quite Orthodox, so I said one day in class, “If you have been keeping Kosher since you were a child, in other words, your entire life, and have never ever deviated from it, I suggest that you go out and have a ham sandwich. And you should continue having ham sandwiches until you enjoy them. Then go back to keeping Kosher because in the meantime you are not refusing to eat ham out of any understanding of Kashrut but because you think ham is disgusting.” (Ultimate Issues, Spring-Summer 1986, pg. 16)

Nov. 4, 2010, Dennis said: “Young kids look up to you. Pretty girls look up to you. What else can you ask for? I taught college [Jewish history at the City University of New York and at Brooklyn College]. I know what it feels like except I didn’t take myself as seriously as the others because I knew what a bubble it was. I had the same accolades and the same young kids looking up to me. I was three years older than they were. I couldn’t believe it. It was like nirvana.”

Oct. 19, 2011, Dennis said he never went to teacher's college. "A degree in teaching? I taught college and I taught high school. I taught well and the kids loved me and they came to my class. I made an announcement to kids on the first day, 'You don't want to come to class? That's fine with me. It is my task to make it so interesting that you will want to come. If you pass the test, you pass the test. You want to cut, cut. I'm not taking attendance.' My classes were over-subscribed."

Dennis wrote in the winter 1986 edition of Ultimate Issues: "When I taught at Brooklyn College it was privately acknowledged by faculty members that students coming from Jewish schools were more likely than other students to cheat on exams."

Around 1970, Prager’s car was broken into and the stereo stolen. He filed a police report. Two officers stopped by his apartment to make a report. Dennis opened his door. The officers looked around and said, “Holy s—. Did they do a job.” (Dec. 28, 2006)

"I kept it clean but it was spectacularly messy. There were a lot of newspapers around. Do you know what I did before a woman came to my apartment? Do you know how much I would cover? I remember putting blankets on piles of newspapers." (Mar. 8, 2013)

Jan. 26, 2011, Dennis said: “Taking care of a home is a good thing. When you have an apartment, somebody else takes care of it.”
“When I went to graduate school in Manhattan, I lived in the apartment next door to the super[intendent]. When I wanted something done, I told the kid, ‘Tell your father to come over.’ It worked like a charm. The kid loved me.
“I wonder if that kid who’s now middle-aged remembers me? Do we remember the adults who come into our lives and becomes something for two years?
“That kid would come over and I would play Beethoven for the kid. I love little boys. I actually well up with emotion taking care of a little boy. I never raised a little girl so I don’t know.
“I took care of the superintendent’s kid so much that I had an in.”
On June 2, 2011, Dennis said: “I remember in the ’60s, ’70s, how so many of my fellow baby boomers were doing things to find themselves. I remember thinking, ‘I never lost myself so there’s nothing to find.' I never looked for myself. I looked for what was meaningful in life. Then Dennis would attach himself to meaning and build a life. I believed deeply in making a family and joining a community. I wasn’t given Dennis. I was given a set of values.”

Dennis Prager wrote Aug. 18, 2009:

When I was a graduate student at Columbia University in the early 1970s, I came to the then-tentative conclusion that I would probably never encounter a morally weaker, more cowardly group of people than college administrators.
…What prompted this conclusion in the 1970s was seeing a handful of radical students take over classrooms at Columbia and shut down the university while professors and deans, individuals whose lives were supposedly dedicated to the open mind and to learning, did nothing. It is almost impossible for me, nearly four decades later, to fully convey how deeply this affected me.
I came to see the modern university as fraudulent. In theory it stood for learning and opening the mind. In practice it stood for appeasement of bullies.
In the summer of 1971, Prager traveled through the communist countries of Eastern Europe and later published his first articles in national magazines – an essay on Poland for the National Review and a book review for The New Leader.
Dennis wrote Feb. 8, 2011:
When I began traveling at the age of 20, I had one great goal in mind: I never wanted to hear the name of a place in the news and not be able to relate to it. Let’s be honest. Until you go to India or Honduras, they are abstractions. One can major in Indian history or Latin American studies, but two days in one of those countries makes that country more real than four years of reading about it.
One of life’s great moral challenges is to see the stranger as fully real. While travel does not guarantee that one will see all others as fully real — the father of modern Islamism, Sayyid Qutb, spent two years in America in the late 1940s and left seeing Americans as caricatures of decadence — it is very hard to do so without travel.
You also learn a lot about life. For example, I learned very early on, in the first of my four visits to India, that poverty was not the cause of crime I was taught it was at college. In fact, aside from abject, starvation-level poverty, it is not even the main cause of human unhappiness. In most of the poor places of the world, children seem considerably less jaded and laugh more easily than many American children.
I learned more about Islam in a week in Egypt than in two years at Columbia’s Middle East Institute. When the pretty young Egyptian waitress at the Nile Hilton in 1974 told me to read the Koran because once I did, I would become a Muslim, I realized that secularism was not, my professors notwithstanding, the wave of the Middle East’s future, and I understood how Muslims view the Koran and the non-Muslim world. When I offered to buy a beer for the Egyptian taxi driver who took me from Cairo to the pyramids on a very hot day, he politely declined, explaining that as a Muslim, he is not permitted to drink alcohol. I asked why he thought the ban was necessary. Because, he explained, if a man drinks and then goes home and sees his daughter lying in bed, bad things could ensue. That opened this 25-year-old’s eyes.
...After visits to about a dozen African countries, I came to realize that the spread of Christianity holds the best hope for that sad continent...
And I came to realize the overwhelming power of cultural values. How else to explain “honor killings,” the subverting of the most powerful instinct in the world — to protect one’s child — except through an understanding of the power of culture?
Feb. 27, 2014, Dennis said: "I arrived in Yugoslavia on my birthday, Aug. 2nd. Funny stories happen to you when you travel alone and I traveled alone all through my twenties. I arrived in Belgrade, capitol of then Yugoslavia. And this pretty pretty girl at immigration service stamping passports, I wanted to take her out. How do you take out an immigration agent? What are you doing for dinner tonight? I should've done that.
"So she looks at me and in English, she says, 'I see from your passport, it is your birthday. One minute!' And she brings me a big candy bar. I was touched.
"I bring the bar with me. It was the middle of summer. I left the candy bar in my hotel room. I came back later and I saw more ants in my room than I ever saw outdoors. It was like highways of ants that had found my chocolate bar. So this beautiful gift from a beautiful girl became a nightmare. You don't want to sleep accompanied by tens of thousands of these little creatures."
In a 2004 lecture on Deuteronomy 16, Dennis Prager said: “In Turkey when I was there in my 20s, they were selling ancient fertility gods. One of them was a little male god with an appendage that was about four times longer than him. He was very seriously fertile. I sent a postcard of that to my parents. My father I know got a big kick out of it. God knows what I wrote, probably ‘Self portrait in Turkey.’ I was a little wild in those days.”
“I was on safari in my 20s in Kenya and Tanzania. You’d go on these Volkswagon buses. I was the only serious theist in the group. I’d keep having these revelations. I finally realized that if I wanted to maintain cordial relations, I should shut up. I’ll never forget when I’d watch the lions would attack the weakest of whatever animal they were eating, such as gazelle or zebra. Anybody could tell you which zebra would die that day. If he limped, he was dead. But if a human limps, you take him to a doctor. We don’t kill the weak.”

His 20s Were A Blast

Aug. 3, 2010, Dennis said: “I remember my 24th birthday as the happiest of my life. The 20s had every advantage of adulthood and not a single one of its disadvantages. I found them to be a blast.”
Society would fall apart if everybody had Dennis Prager's number of romantic partners as the less intelligent would be less likely to be as careful as Dennis was with birth control, disease, and situational ethics. As Adam Smith wrote in his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations:
In the liberal or loose system, luxury, wanton and even disorderly mirth, the pursuit of pleasure to some degree of intemperance, the breach of chastity, at least in one of the two sexes, etc., provided they are not accompanied with gross indecency, and do not lead to falsehood or injustice, are generally treated with a good deal of indulgence, and are easily either excused or pardoned altogether. In the austere system, on the contrary, those excesses are regarded with the utmost abhorrence and detestation. The vices of levity are always ruinous to the common people, and a single week’s thoughtlessness and dissipation is often sufficient to undo a poor workman for ever, and to drive him through despair upon committing the most enormous crimes.
Steve Sailer wrote:
In traditional Western cultures, below the rank of aristocrats, romantic and sexual impulsiveness was a major threat to social standing. The punishment in terms of class standing for out-of-wedlock births was so harsh that the illegitimacy rate among women in England in 1200-1800 was stable at around 3-4%, even though women didn't marry on average until age 24 to 26.

The sexual revolution of the 1960s, which hit home in the 1970s, disrupted this traditional system of social sanctions...

And yet ... the old logic that children need two parents to have the best chance to succeed in life still plays out even though we aren't supposed to mention it.

So, by removing social indoctrination of the masses, the post-Sexual Revolution system selects even more than the earlier system for social success by individuals who are intelligent and cold-blooded. In contrast, people of impulsive temperaments and less ability to foresee the consequences of giving into their impulses are now much more on their own with far less guidance from the culture. Thus, the people in the upper reaches of society are increasingly of what you might call a Swedish or Swiss personality (or are Asian immigrants whose families never took seriously the 1960s).

But nobody is supposed to notice that publicly. So, the top level of our society continues to argue for the breaking down of old restrictions, whether on the idea that marriage is between a man and a woman or that their should be limits on debt and interest rates. After all, individualistic self-determination works fine for the upper middle class.

From this perspective, the 1960s cultural revolution look like an Elites Liberation movement, in which Unitarians, Congregationalists, Jews, Episcopalians, Christian Scientists, and similar products of centuries of bourgeois culture decided that they, personally, could get by without the old rules, which, indeed, many of them could. Moreover, they were tired of being expected to be role models of starchy behavior for the proles...

What you won’t hear, except from me, is that "Let the good times roll" is an especially risky message for African-Americans.

Rushton wrote:
Personality and sexuality have been related. Eysenck (1976) found that, compared to introverts, extroverts typically have intercourse earlier, more frequently, and with more different partners...

Weinrich (1977) also found that the higher the socioeconomic status, the more likely the individual was to engage in sexual activities beyond those directly leading to conception, including fellatio, cunnilingus, petting, and affection, and coitus during menstruation.
Samuel Taylor wrote: "In both Europe and Africa, the following traits tend to go together: large families, short life-span, criminality, high levels of sexuality, loose family ties, frequency of twinning."

Unlearning College

Aug. 4, 2011, Dennis said after interviewing Amity Shlaes: “The older I get, the more I realize I have to unlearn from what I learned in college. Did you know that everything I learned at the Middle East Institute at the School of International Affairs at Columbia University, some of the most prestigious scholars in the world, former ambassadors to the Arab world, almost everything I learned was wrong?”
Sep. 12, 2011, Dennis said: “I learned during the Nixon era, and I did not like Nixon, that nobody hates like a liberal. Conservatives don’t have one-tenth of the hate of liberals.”
In a lecture on Deuteronomy 12 delivered in 2004, Dennis said: “I was in my twenties on an airplane. I was sitting next to a woman who had a vegetarian meal. I asked her if she was a vegetarian. I asked why. She said, we humans have no right to kill animals to eat them. After all, who are we humans to think we are more valuable than animals?
“That shook me to the core. That’s when I came up with the question I thought was rhetorical. I said, You don’t really mean that. If a dog and a human were drowning, which would you save first?
“And she thought.
“I’ll never forget the silence. I said, I’m sorry, did you hear my question?
“She said, I’m thinking.
“When she said, I’m thinking, I concluded at that moment, either I’m sitting next to a nutty woman, which I did not believe, or she reflects what is happening in our secular age.”
On May 31, 2013, Dennis said that for 20 years after graduate school, he didn't go to movies because he was so busy. "I was never anti-movies. I was always anti-television."

Dennis Prager Publishes His First Book

In late June, 2003, Prager said he had “completed all of the course requirements for his [Masters degree] and had also finished his thesis, but this was during the days before word processors, and he didn’t like to type, so he simply bailed.” (Nelking@webtv.net’s email)
Frustrated with academia, Prager, to the dismay of his family, dropped out of graduate school in 1973 to write an introduction to Judaism with Joseph Telushkin. “He became a rabbi [Orthodox ordination from Yeshiva University] and I became a heretic.” (C-SPAN Booknotes)
Dec. 20, 2012, Dennis said: "My biggest heretical line in religion is that God has common sense. A lot of religious people in all religions have common sense but they don't ascribe common sense to God."
(Here’s a picture of the June 1973 honoring of Dennis and Kenneth Prager by Yeshiva Rambam.)
In his fourth lecture on Genesis in 1992, Dennis said: “I left after two years of graduate school. I had a choice — either to write a thesis on some totally irrelevant facet of Lenin or to write a book on Judaism that would actually touch people’s lives.”
In a speech May 1, 2012, Dennis said: "The evolution of my life can almost be seen in my books. The first one was called The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism. This book Still the Best Hope is for Americanism what that one was for Judaism.
"I co-authored it with a dear friend, Joseph Telushkin... His mother looked at us and said, 'Boys, do you know how many introductions to Judaism there are? You're 25 years old. You're going to add to the body of knowledge of a 3,000 year-old faith? And I said, 'Yeah. That's exactly what we're going to do.' Joseph cheered me on. He couldn't believe I had such chutzpah and I did. It became the best-selling book in the English language introducing Judaism... There are greater scholars than I and greater writers than I and greater everything than I, but I know how to synthesize. I know how to clarify. That's my gift."
In a May 14, 2012 lecture, Dennis said: "It was an amazing amount of chutzpah for a 25-year old to think that he could write a new introduction to Judaism, the oldest religion in the world, and that people would read it... I remember I approached my friend who became a rabbi. I said, 'Joseph, we're going to write an introduction to Judaism.' He thought, 'You've got to be kidding.' I said, 'We've got better answers.'... Joseph had a lot of faith in me. He said, 'Dennis knows what he's doing.'
"...That was relatively easy compared to this [Still the Best Hope]."
“I don’t understand morning people,” said Dennis Jan. 6, 2010. “For me, the sun rising is depressing. I love sunset and I don’t love sunrise. I’ve always been a night person. It is why I took a morning show to force myself to get up early. Most of what I have done in life that is constructive I have forced on myself. If I had followed my natural tendencies, which are entirely lazy and fun-oriented, I would’ve produced almost nothing. So what I do is take more and more obligations upon myself and then I have no choice but to be constructive. If I could, I’d get up at 11 a.m. and go to bed at 3 a.m. In fact, my first book, which I co-authored with my dear friend Joseph Telushkin, we would do that. We would write till 3 a.m. We’d sleep till ten or eleven. Then we’d go out to brunch and we’d start writing again about 3 p.m. It was among the happiest times of my life.”
Said Dennis in a 1998 lecture on Exodus 34: “We divvied up chapters basically. I handled God.”
April 3, 2008, Rabbi Telushkin said:
We'd each write different chapters and then critique each other. Dennis did most of the editing and he was a good editor. He claimed my style was too anecdotal, with too many digressions, took too long to make a point. Dennis loved to enumerate though the points he was making and if he'd had the book written the way he wanted, it really wouldn't have been a conventional book, it would've been a manual. For example, one of the questions was -- Who needs Jewish law/organized religion?
So this is how Dennis would've answered it: "There are 16 reasons which I will now enumerate A-P on why we need organized religion. Reason A: We need organized religion because religion isn't only concerned with affecting the individual but affecting society as a whole. There are nine reasons why religion wants to affect society, which I will now enumerate in roman numerals. Reason one is because people can't be trusted to be good on their own. There are nine reasons why people can't be trusted to be good on their own, which I will now enumerate."
First self-published (ironic considering that Dennis would later say he didn't trust self-published books) on Oct. 30, 1975 as The Eight Questions People Ask About Judaism, the book eventually added a question, and was put out by Simon & Schuster in 1976. Nine Questions is a widely used introductory text to Judaism, endorsed by rabbis from Reform to Orthodox.
Aimed at secular Jews, the book deals with questions that are not usually addressed by books on Judaism, such as:
* Can one doubt God’s existence and still be a good Jew? (The authors say yes.)
* Why do we need organized religion and Jewish Law? Isn’t it enough to be a good person? (The authors argue we need organized religion for the same reason we need to organize to accomplish many different tasks. The Jewish task is to make a good world under the rule of God and His Law. Unlike the overwhelming majority of traditional rabbis, the authors make rational arguments for observing Jewish Law.)
* If Judaism is supposed to make people better, how do you account for unethical religious Jews, and for ethical people who are not religious?
* How does Judaism differ from Christianity, Marxism and humanism?
* What is the Jewish role in the world? (Usually, the more religious the Jew, the less meaningful interaction he has with the wider world. The authors’ belief that Judaism has a mission to the world to promote ethical monotheism is thought kooky by most rabbis I know.)
* Is there a difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism?
* Why are so many young Jews alienated from Judaism and the Jewish people?
* Why shouldn’t I intermarry? Doesn’t Judaism believe in universal brotherhood?
* How do I start practicing Judaism?

Dennis Prager recalls:
We sent the manuscript to the Jewish Publication Society of America (JPS), hoping they would publish it. I received a call from an editor at JPS who told me that they would not publish the book. I asked her why, and her answer taught me a great deal about Jewish life: “Because it is too advocative,” she said.
I was stunned. The Jewish Publication Society of America refused to publish a Jewish book on the grounds that it was “too advocative” of Judaism?
As it turned out, that rejection was a blessing. Joseph and I published the book on our own and sold so many copies that we lived off the sales of the book at lectures for years. Later Simon and Schuster published the book.
I came to realize that the JPS refusal to publish a book that was advocative of Judaism was symbolic of much of Jewish life. It seemed that almost no one outside of Orthodoxy was advocating Judaism (and even in Orthodoxy at that time, Chabad was largely alone in doing so and not nearly as well-known as it is today).
Nine Questions received sterling reviews. Novelist Herman Wouk, an Orthodox Jew, called it “The intelligent skeptic’s guide to Judaism.”
Dennis and Joseph are secondary text guys. They assemble the best work of others and present it in an engaging way.
“It’s not Judaism,” many rabbis (such as Danny Landes) have told me about Dennis Prager’s presentation of their religion. “It’s Pragerism.”
Historian Marc B. Shapiro tells me in 2012: "I don't think he has any influence [in Orthodox Judaism]. I don't ever see him quoted by Orthodox figures (although Rabbi Rakefet quotes a line from Prager a lot). He doesn't speak [often] in Orthodox shuls or write for Orthodox publications, and is not Orthodox. So is it surprising that the Orthodox don't quote him? I was surprised and impressed that the OU a few years ago had him speak at the West Coach convention."
I’m struck by the awe that the ignorant display towards Dennis Prager (they revere him for his ability to present sacred text in a rational and inspiring way) and the lack of awe shown him by those who can read Hebrew.
Enthusiasm for Dennis Prager is inversely proportionate to learning. Those who can pick up a gemara (tractate of Talmud) and read from it rarely have enthusiasm for Dennis Prager while those who are illiterate in the languages of Judaism are the most likely to be excited about him.
I’ve hung around after Dennis Prager’s speeches and watched the crowd pump him with questions. Few seemed learned. Those who wait around the longest tend to know the least about Judaism. I've never seen a Talmud scholar wait around to pick Dennis Prager's brain. 
Torah scholars regard Dennis the way historians regard popular writers of history such as Barbara Tuchman and Berel Wein -- not at all. Dennis has no influence on traditional Jewish thought and practice. He's like Martin Buber - widely cited by non-Jews and ignored by religious Jews.
Conservative rabbi Arthur Blecher wrote:
Some rabbis take pains to keep people in the dark about Jewish traditions of Heaven and Hell. For example, a popular guide to Jewish belief, Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, tells readers that the "notion of hell where sinners suffer eternally is foreign to Judaism and entered the Western world's religious consciousness through the New Testament." Its authors...have chosen their words carefully. Talmudic discussions about Hell do indeed agree that the average sinner remains in Hell for a limited period of time (typically either eleven or twelve months) before going to Heaven. However, some Talmud sages taught that other sinners remain in Hell forever.
July 3, 2012, Dennis said: "I'm going to do an hour on David Blankenhorn. We choose the wrong people to defend the male-female definition of marriage. I don't care if this sounds arrogant. I should've been chosen. I know the amount of hate and vitriol that might've been poured on me. I happen not to care. He cares. [Justice John] Roberts cares. They both changed their minds because of left-wing intimidation. People prefer to be liked than hated."
"For conservatives and for liberals, if you don't live in the New York - Washington corridor, you don't come to mind for these matters."
A Mar. 17, 2012 search of Google Scholar for "Dennis Prager" returned 659 results, a little more than for "Hugh Hewitt" (441) but less than for "Michael Medved" (927). By this yardstick, Dennis Prager's influence on intellectual life is tiny and not in the same league as his favorite intellectuals such as George Will (12,000), James Q. Wilson (13,600), Thomas Sowell (5,990), Viktor Frankl (9,280), and Charles Krauthammer (5,650).
According to this same Google Scholar search, Prager's most cited book was Why The Jews? at 57, Nine Questions at 39,  Happiness at  21 and Think at 9.
By comparison, James Q. Wilson's book The Moral Sense was cited 911 times. His book Crime Human Nature was cited 2,360.
A Google search for "Dennis Prager" on Mar. 17, 2012, revealed 1,150,000 results. "George Will" gave 3,690,000 results. "Charles Krauthammer" gave 1,540,000 results. "Viktor Frankl" gave 1,610,000 results. "Thomas Sowell" gave 2,330,000 results.
A check of Talkers magazine on this same date listed Dennis Prager as the 40th most influential radio talkshow host (it seems to decline every year). A 2013 listing by Townhall.com of the 25 most influential conservatives (and 32 honorable mentions) did not mention Dennis.

Life Lessons

Dennis said in a 1998 lecture on Exodus 27: “I was given an opportunity many years ago to have an audience with the Lubavitcher Rebbe. I was honored, but being a big rationalist, I missed the opportunity to be in the presence of a holy man.”
In his 20s, Dennis went to see the late Rabbi Wolfe Kelman, the leader for many years of America's Conservative rabbis. "As a young man, I sought advice from him, and he offered this piece of wisdom: 'I pretty much have my bad inclination [yetzer hara was the well-known Hebrew term he used] under control; it's my good inclination [yetzer hatov] that always gets me into trouble." (Still the Best Hope, pg. 76)
Dennis Prager learned a life lesson when he gave away copies of his book to camp counselors at Brandeis-Bardin.
Mar. 15, 2010, Dennis said: “I had just published my first book. Out of idealism. I was brought out to California to direct an institute. It had a summer camp as one of its many many ventures. I spoke to the counselors of the summer camp and out of sheer idealism and out of my own money, authors don’t get any more than a handful of books for free, people don’t know that, they always ask authors for books, but the author has to buy it from the publisher, but out of my own money, I brought in a box of my books, hardcover, and I gave each counselor at this camp of which I was the director of the whole institute, a part of which the camp was, a copy of the book. By the tenth person, I realized what a terrible mistake I had made. I knew not one of them was going to read it and that none of them treasured it. Had I charged one dollar for the book, they would’ve appreciated it.”
On April 15, 2010, Dennis said: “I remember years ago during inflation and high taxation, there would be times, I don’t even know if I should be saying this publicly, and I would be invited to give a lecture somewhere and I realized it wasn’t worth it.”
On Aug. 3, 2010, Dennis said: “What’s the first birthday is not an unalloyed joy? It’s 30. At 30, it hit me that I am not a kid anymore. You can delude yourself in your 20s.”
Dennis said in a 1995 lecture on Exodus 6:
There was a humanistic synagogue. In my more firebrand years, I am mellow compared to what I was 20 years ago, I would walk into gladiatorial combat with anyone. I remember going to Detroit to debate the founder of Humanistic Judaism, a rabbi in Birmingham [Sherwin T. Wine], Michigan.
I’ve come close to knowing what it is like to go in the ring with trainers behind you massaging you and getting you ready with towels and a bucket of water. This evening had thousands of Jews coming to scream on the one they were rooting for — the humanist or the religious one. I had my backers. He had his backers. It was like a prize fight. It bothered me in some way. I don’t think anyone came to be enlightened but just to see major gladiatorial combat.
Do you know what he did in his synagogue? They would get together Friday night. And do you know what they would read? Philip Roth. They had a Torah — it was in the library.
Dennis said in a 1996 lecture on Exodus 16:
I have to leave because I’m giving a lecture in the [San Francisco] Bay Area very early in the morning. I’ve been lecturing since I was 21. I made a living lecturing and selling my books at my lectures.
I said, why don’t I bring my book to my lecture in the morning? And then I realized that I’m not as hungry as I was in my 20s. I used to shlep cartons of hardcover books to every lecture I gave. I worked like crazy just hauling books on airplanes and off airplanes and into rent-a-cars to my speech to make another $100 or $100. I don’t do that shlepping now.

In a lecture on Deut. 7:9-26, Dennis said: “Anybody who allows himself to feel everything is sometimes quite angry at God. You see horrible evil and suffering on earth, you don’t get angry at God? It happened to me. I don’t have this as much now, but in my younger day I had a whole panoply of emotions towards God.
“I’ll never forget an afternoon of the eve of Yom Kippur, and I’m thinking about Yom Kippur, and I hear on the radio about some kids who have this syndrome where they just cut themselves. They just mutilate themselves. It hit me terribly. I thought, maybe this Yom Kippur, God should ask us for our forgiveness. And that thought unfortunately did not leave me.”

Life Of Brian (1979)

The Crowd: Yes! We’re all individuals!
Brian: You’re all different!
The Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different!
Man in crowd: I’m not…
The Crowd: Sch!

Dennis: “That’s one of the brilliant scenes from that movie. I know it disturbs some religious people, but I believe that we need to have a sense of humor about our religions and that God would laugh along with us.” (Jan. 22, 2010)
Dennis Prager reminds me of Jesus Christ. Both came from non-prestigious communities (Nazareth and Brooklyn). Both had solid if unspectacular Jewish educations. Both started public speaking at a young age (Jesus in the temple at age 12, and Dennis in the temples at age 21). Both preached a simple version of Judaism that gave greater weight to ethics than ritual. Both preached with messianic fervor and moved thousands (Dennis autographs Bibles, I’m not sure if Jesus did that). Both were not known for their humility (Jesus claimed to be God’s son and Dennis said his contributions wouldn’t be recognized for a millenia). Both were largely rejected by the Jewish leaders of their day. Both had non-prestigious professions (carpenter and talkshow host). Both had devoted followings among the common people while the intellectuals despised them.
On Sept. 14, 2010, Dennis said Airplane! (1980) is one of the three funniest films ever.
In a speech Jan. 24, 2007, Dennis said: “The two funniest genres of humor in my life have been Soviet dissident jokes and American lawyer jokes. …Bitterness causes humor. Happy people are not that funny. If you look at comedians’ lines, they are generally miserable. Lawyers cause misery here and the Soviets caused there. I’m generalizing. There are lawyers here who don’t cause misery. Yeah, there are.”

South Africa

What's the difference between the former apartheid states of South Africa and Zimbabwe? Thirty years.

On Dec. 6, 2013, Dennis said: "To those with ambivalence about Nelson Mandela... There is a reason for his greatness -- Zimbabwe. You had a Rhodesian white apartheid government overthrown as it was in South Africa and you ended up with sheer misery for the vast majority of its citizens. A bread basket was turned into one of the poorest places on earth... South Africa could've been Zimbabwe. He could've cultivated anger."

"I haven't spoken about apartheid almost ever. I wrote about it. I visited South Africa in my 20s [during the 1970s]. I debated, would I go to South Africa? Anybody with a conscience was opposed to apartheid."

"I remember how I felt. I wrote it home. I felt when I got there, there was a certain jolt to my system. I was always strong-willed. I saw two bathrooms. One said 'Europeans Only' and the other one said 'Colored.' I remember thinking, 'I want to go into the Colored.' I didn't. I went into the Europeans and I felt dirty. I felt like I had compromised."

"I then traveled to Kenya and I felt more normal in a black society than I did in an apartheid society. It was a bad system."

"It stayed with me. It gnawed at me. I've always wondered. Did I do the right thing? Should I have gone into the colored? I would've done it as a statement of my anger, not because it would've accomplished anything. It has always hung in the background of my conscience. Did I facilitate something I knew to be bad?"

If you look at average life expectancy, it plunged by a decade after the end of apartheid in South Africa. In 2013, the average life expectancy in South Africa and Zimbabwe was less than a year apart, but so long as we feel good about ourselves for ending apartheid, just so long as don't have to soil our consciences by using separate bathrooms, who cares, right, if the average South African dies young and has an inferior quality of life than he had under white rule?

Dennis apparently did not pause before going to any communist country as he did before traveling to apartheid South Africa.

Nicholas Kristof wrote from Zimbabwe for the New York Times Mar. 23, 2005: "The hungry children and the families dying of AIDS here are gut-wrenching, but somehow what I find even more depressing is this: Many, many ordinary black Zimbabweans wish that they could get back the white racist government that oppressed them in the 1970's."

Feb. 17, 2014, Dennis said: "Blacks really needed a Civil Rights movement. There was something terrible called Jim Crow. There was real genuine racism and genuine non-racism... Since then, all status acccrues from being a victim. If you can be a member of some victim communities... WASP males made the best country in the world."

Apr. 17, 2014, Dennis said: "It was completely reasonable to pass a civil rights law. I supported it. But there were people like Barry Goldwater, who founded the NAACP in Arizona, but voted against [the 1964 Civil Rights legislation] because he understood that this is just going to mutate. He turns out to be right... Could anybody have imagined what it would be stretched into by the left? On the basis of sex, of national origins, of Vietnam era status, sexual orientation, sexual identity."

At the end of 2013, Duck Dynasty reality TV star Phil Robertson got in trouble for saying about the Jim Crow era: "I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field…. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."

The black family in America pre-Civil Rights was in better shape than today. As the black economist Walter Williams wrote:

In 1960, only 28 percent of black females between the ages of 15 and 44 were never married. Today, it’s 56 percent. In 1940, the illegitimacy rate among blacks was 19 percent, in 1960, 22 percent, and today, it’s 70 percent. Some argue that the state of the black family is the result of the legacy of slavery, discrimination and poverty. That has to be nonsense. A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia shows that three-quarters of black families were nuclear families, comprised of two parents and children. In New York City in 1925, 85 percent of kin-related black households had two parents.
In April 2014, cattle rancher Cliven Bundy said about American blacks: "They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

Apr. 25, 2014, Dennis Prager called the remarks "absurd and morally wrong", "extraordinarily stupid", and "moronic."
Alan Roebuck wrote to Lawrence Auster in 2009:

I was just listening to Dennis Prager, and his subject was Sotomayor. As he is wont to do, he was making the distinction between opposing a minority because of his race, and opposing him because of his beliefs. And then it occurred to me that for most minorities, it makes no difference why you oppose them. If a white opposes them, it’s entirely equivalent, in their minds, to opposing them because they’re black/Hispanic/etc.

Thus, for example, it seems to me that when a black accuses a white of racism, the actual meaning, for the black person, of the word “racism” is usually: “Any opposition to me or to other blacks with whom I identify.” It appears to me that for most (American, at any rate) blacks, if a white opposes them for any reason, the white is automatically labeled “racist.”

Lawrence Auster replied:
I once gave a talk on immigration at the Temple University Law School in Philadelphia. In the question period, one of the students, a young black woman, challenged me on the racism of my position. I said to her: “If white and Asian immigrants were entering a black African country en masse and changing it into a white and Asian country, would you approve of that? She said forcefully and without hesitation, “I’d be against that.”

Our side must continually pose this type of question to the other side, to expose that their demand for white inclusion of nonwhites has nothing to do with any principle of justice, but is simply a racial tribal power move against whites. And if that’s what it is, then obviously whites have the same right to defend their territory that other races have.

Moves To Los Angeles In 1976

On July 10, 2009, Dennis said: “I was a kid in my twenties. I’d never been to Los Angeles. I remember I came out to give a talk. I remember standing at the American Airlines terminal at JFK [airport in New York] and I saw the flight number and then I saw ‘Los Angeles.’ I don’t think there were five times in my life when I was as excited as I was to get a on a plane to go to Los Angeles. It’s one of those times when you can cry.”
Said Dennis in January 2002: “I remember the first time I was brought to L.A., I was 24 years old, to give a lecture. I remember it so vividly. I rented a car and I was driving down palm-tree lined Wilshire Blvd and saying to myself, ‘Dennis, if you are not the luckiest man in the world, I wonder who is? Here I am being paid to come to Southern California’, another romantic vision in my life.
“By this time I knew I was going to leave New York. I knew I was going to leave New York the day I was in another city.
“My first speech out of town was Nashville, Tennessee.”
July 30, 2010, Dennis said: “When I have read or been told about any of the Leo characteristics, it has struck me that I fit pretty well. The people I know, fit pretty well.”
“When I moved out to LA from New York [his last address was in Whitestone, Queens], it was the first time in my life that someone said, ‘What’s your sign?’ I had no idea what they were talking about.”
In April, 1976, Shlomo Bardin, the 76-year old founder and director of the Brandeis Institute, invited the 26-year old Prager to take charge. “He announced I’d be his successor and died that week.”
Said Dennis in January 2002: “I was the youngest speaker to ever come to the Brandeis Institute to lecture. They brought me out five more times.”
“I was in Mississippi giving a lecture and I got a call [relaying that Shlomo Bardin had died]. ‘Come on out. You’re going to speak at the funeral.’
“I cried like a baby. I could not give the eulogy without constantly crying. And I was crying for me as much as for him. I wasn’t ready for such responsibility. The only job I had held before this was as a waiter at summer camp.
“I came out to LA with a cot, a piano, an accordion and a few thousand books. I lived at the institute. I lived in Simi Valley for three years at this 3,200 acre retreat. When I was dating, it was very powerful. ‘Would you like to see my place?’ It was 3,200 acres. That was better than partying to make an impact.”
Rabbi Telushkin served as Education Director.
Max Prager wrote: “Dennis also engaged our nephew, Elliot Prager, as Social Director.”
In 1976, Prager was interviewed on television for the first time. He was asked by KNBC about what he was trying to achieve at Brandeis-Bardin.
“We’re trying to turn out leaders,” Prager said.
“Why?”
“Because a society without leaders is a leaderless society.” (Jan. 24, 2006)

Nov. 21, 2012, Dennis said: "In my late 20s, a bunch of young people in their late 20s worked for me. They said it was hard for them to believe that Dennis was as happy as he acts. There must be something underneath. We need to loosen his inhibitions. They said, 'We want you to smoke a joint.' I said, I can't because I can't inhale. They said, 'OK, we're going to bake it into a brownie.' I said, 'OK, bake it into a brownie and let's see what happens to me.'

"I have a lot of the brownie. They baked like a month's worth. It was like one part chocolate to 76 parts  marijuana to test what Dennis is really like. I did feel it. I was in a semi-euphoric mood but all it was was more of me. All I did was talk and make jokes. They were waiting for all these terrible things to come out from my inner being and nothing did. I was just unstoppably verbose.

"The next morning, I felt horrible. It was a one-time thing. I was curious, what's beneath what you say? And beneath of what you see is more of what you see.

"I've always had pain in my life. My childhood was not particularly happy. Once I got in my teens, I got happier. I don't have a bright memory of my childhood, but the underlying person, certainly in my late 20s, a particularly happy time in my life, was what they heard."

"I can't stand marijuana. I can't stand drugs. You have to get high on life. You should be able to get high on friends, on love, on sex, on music and art and travel. I always looked at drugs as a statement that I am jaded. I can't experience real pleasure within life itself."

On a CSPAN BookTV interview April 21, 2013, Dennis said: "If my child had gone to a Let's Celebrate Legalized Marijuana [rally], I would believe I had failed as a parent utterly. The narcissism involved there. That's what preoccupies you? You are now free to get high on marijuana?"

"Yes, I do want government to outlaw marijuana. I am not an anarchist. This notion that if you're for small government, then you're for no government, I've never bought. Yes, there are things that are [illegal such as marijuana] that I would like to continue to see [stay illegal]. I don't want any new bans. If marijuana had been legal for the past 50 years, I would've said nothing."

"A woman wrote to my from Wyoming. She has two kids and a husband and she smokes marijuana every night. I've spoked a cigar and a pipe since high school. I've smoked in front of my children since birth. They're very healthy. They don't appear to be dying from second-hand smoke. Would you smoke your marijuana in front of your children like I smoke my cigar? She didn't respond."

"My father had his Scotch on the rocks every night but I would've been a different person if he had smoked a joint every night."

On July 18, 2012, Dennis said: "I worked with very rich people. The first salary I received. My board of directors were almost all businessmen and they were in for the details. The president of the institute, who is no longer with us, would call at 9 a.m. to make sure that I was in at 9 a.m.. That I tripled the membership of the institute, tripled its revenue, brought a thousand people to the institute on weekends, traveled 45 miles to get to the institute, that didn't matter. Was I in the office at 9 a.m.? It was irrelevant that I was in at the office at 9 a.m., the work I did was with the people. But he was a tree man. I think he was a developer of parking lots." 

In a lecture on Deut. 15, Dennis said: “The work that I had in my late 20s brought me into contact with truly wealthy people. I never met truly wealthy people growing up in Brooklyn. Very wealthy was if you had an Oldsmobile. I would meet some of them [at Brandeis-Bardin] and it was clear they did not run their businesses [ethically]. And I learned that when you cheat, you assume that everybody is cheating you. Everybody is as crappy as I am. If you go through life like that, you can’t have anybody as a friend. And then you are lonely and that’s the worst punishment of all. You go through life in solitary confinement.”

In a column Dec. 6, 2005, Dennis wrote: “After the first two summers [at Brandeis-Bardin], I began to play a game with myself. On the first night of the session, I made a mental note of which women I thought the most attractive and compared that list to one I made after the four weeks. The names on the latter list were rarely on the first-night list.”
On June 22, 2010, Dennis said: “We had a one-month session…to teach kids Judaism. I inherited from the man who founded it and he had a rule for that one month — you could not pair off. Same-sex friendships of course. But he did not want romance for the one-month they were there and I supported that completely. And I was very strict on the rule. It was opposite sex only. It was to prevent a breakdown of the system into who loves who and who’s breaking up with who.”
In a lecture on Lev. 18 in 2008, Dennis said: "I had a boy [at Brandeis-Bardin] and he attended the month-course in the summer for boys and girls 19-25. They lived there. He came over one day. He was bereft because he was attracted to men and didn't want to be. He wanted to follow the Torah and he wanted to love a woman. It became clear to me then if it wasn't clear to me earlier the notion that everyone has a choice in this matter is untenable. You have a choice in how you act but you don't have a choice in what you gravitate to. I have deep sympathy for the homosexual who wants to take the Bible seriously."
On June 8, 2010, Dennis said: “I was single. When I taught Judaism, I taught that the ideal was to marry. I remember saying over and over — I have not met Judaism’s ideal. I don’t think I should be fired because I haven’t, but I should be fired if I deny that the ideal is to marry.” 
“I can testify that groupies don’t hang out with Torah teachers,” said Dennis in his 17th lecture on Deuteronomy (2005). “This is the price I’ve paid since an early age — the wrong profession… It was never a great pickup line in my single days. So what do you do? I lecture on ethical monotheism. Oooh, I’m in room 207.”
“I do believe that God guides me.”
In a lecture on Deut. 22:12, Dennis said: “Virginity is a big deal in most societies. Virginity not mattering is new in human history and isolated to the Western world. I am not a great virginity valuer. It was not one of the things I put in my singles ads — ‘Only virgins respond please!’ I am a modern.”
“Broken hymen-induced blood on a sheet is not my favorite form of aesthetic stimulation.”

The Brandeis-Bardin Institute from 1977-1983 was an example of what a community run by Dennis Prager would look like. By most accounts, it was a success.

Said Dennis in a 1997 lecture on honoring parents (Exodus 20):

I was at a speech and a woman came over to me and she said, ‘Dennis, I read your books and I got involved in Judaism and let me show you the product of my involvement. I am working on this whole syllabus on how children can obey their parents.’ It was frightening. I thought to myself, I wish I never wrote that book.
It’s funny when people get influenced by you and then they do things you would never in a thousand years want them to do. That’s why I’m not starting a new movement. You can’t control those who you think you’ve influenced.

While running BBI, Prager was a strict disciplinarian who kicked out students who broke the rules. Prager ejected musician Sam Glaser for playing non-Jewish music. Another college student, a philosophy major from Berkeley, was tossed for raising disruptive challenges. 

Dennis was a confident teacher who removed anyone below him who got in the way of his mission. Authority felt natural to him. He was tall, popular and charismatic. When he walked into a room, people took notice, and it took great strength to oppose him.

Not happy with oversight, Prager chafed under the BBI board, frequently regarding it with contempt. Many on the board returned his hostility.
In his speeches since working at BBI, Prager mocks his old board. He tells one story of wanting to do singles weekends. Prager says the board was shocked. What would we talk about? Prager said that knowing how the board thought, he told them he’d take a week or two to study the matter. Then Prager returned to the board and said they’d done a study and found that the brains of single people were very similar to the brains of married people. Therefore, Prager proposed a similar curricula – the study of Judaism. 
BBI hosted college students who would often put on skits. Shortly before taking charge, Prager witnessed one skit that was deliberately filled with the sounds of flatulence. Prager decided that once he took charge, all student skits would have to be cleared before performance to make sure they upheld Jewish norms.
“[H]aving been a camp counselor and camp director for ten years,” Prager wrote on page four of his 1995 book Think a Second Time, “I know that few things come more naturally to many children than meanness, petty cruelty, bullying, and a lack of empathy for less fortunate peers. Visit any bunk of thirteen-year-olds in which one camper is particularly fat, short, clumsy, or emotionally or intellectually disadvantaged, and you are likely to observe cruelty that would shock an adult.”
In a lecture on Lev. 19:12-16 in 2008, Dennis said: "When I paid lecturers [at Brandeis-Bardin], I brought dozens and dozens of lecturers, I paid them before they spoke. They came for the weekend and I paid them Friday afternoon. And I saw their faces. It seemed so classy on my part, on the institute's part, to do that. I inherited that from the predecessor... This is why I'm for good religion."

On July 17, 2013, Dennis said: "Parents would thank me: 'You had such a great impact on my children.' I remember saying to my dear friend at the time, 'I hope that my kids will have a Dennis Prager in their lives.' I knew that I wouldn't be Dennis Prager in my own children's eyes. That's the way it works. Hearing things from an outsider often is more powerful because the emotional baggage that a child and parent have is absent when it is a third party."

This was an era when there were few obstacles to a teacher dating his college-aged students. 

In September of 1983, Prager left the Brandeis Bardin Institute. He wrote: “While the membership and I loved each other, the heads of the board of directors and I did not. Indeed, I left BBI largely because the president/chairman of the board [William Chotiner] made life miserable for me. I occasionally reflect on where my life would be today had he and others of the lay leadership treated me differently.” (Prager CD)
Dec. 3, 2010, Dennis said: “There were very serious problems with the board of directors. A friend of mine [Joseph Telushkin?] came in to my office at this institute and he walked in as I was looking at my stamp collection. I haven’t seen the collection in about 20 years. He told one of our mutual friends, ‘Do I envy Dennis! You should have seen how distracted that stamp collection made him. He was able to leave his problems and concentrate on the stamps.”
Joseph Telushkin wrote on page 104 of his book Jewish Humor about Prager and Brandeis-Bardin:

Several years ago, a friend of mine, who had directed a major Jewish institution in California, was considering running for the U.S. Congress. He met with a powerful Democratic congressman from Los Angeles [Henry Waxman?], himself a very committed and active Jew, who advised him in all seriousness: “If you’ve survived the political infighting in Jewish life for ten years, when you make it to Congress, you’ll find the atmosphere there much gentler.”
Max wrote about Dennis: “Several years ago [1983?], while still being a Democrat, he was asked to enter the Congressional primary against the incumbent. I, not caring for the sleaze of many politicians, tried to talk my son out of running. When he asked me to give him $ 1,000 for the application fee and to prepare a financial statement, I did so reluctantly. After a month or two, he had a change of heart and the fee went down the drain.”
While Prager claims he quit, a Jewish Journal March 14, 1986 cover story said he was pushed out. Many on the board said Prager was a lousy administrator.
Sheldon Teitelbaum wrote (in the third issue of the paper):
At the time of Bardin’s death, [Prager] was 27 years old. According to Dr. Victor Goodhill, a former institute vice-president, “He was almost a small, younger Shlomo.”
Prager, now a talk show host for KABC radio, says that Bardin had actually asked him to succeed him as director of Brandeis-Bardin, mainly, he says, “because I articulated the values he himself held — that the Jewish role in the world is to repair it under God’s rule.” [Michael] Harris [Bardin's assistant from 1961-71], however, argues that, “Dennis was simply there at a time when Shlomo was most vulnerable. He saw the end coming and he needed to pitch somebody.” Prager’s association with the institute was only a few years old and his appointment was not to everyone’s liking. Indeed, says Goodhill, “There were people on the board of directors who were violently opposed.”
The sources of this opposition are numerous and complex. Goodhill maintains that Prager was too young to successfully move into the slot vacated by a man considerably his senior. As Prager himself observed, “Some of the people on the board had children who were older than me.”
But it was not simply Prager’s youth inspired controversy. Nor was it Prager’s personal style, alternately charming and abrasive, inspired and, some say, demagogic. Rather, implies [William] Chotiner [Brandeis-Bardin's first president], perhaps Prager’s most vociferous critic, the issue was nothing less than a fight for the soul and future of Brandeis-Bardin.
Chotiner’s case against Prager was based upon his conviction that the type of Judaism Prager advocated was too rigid. If allowed to impose his values upon Brandeis-Bardin, Prager would ultimately betray Shlomo Bardin’s vision of the institute as a place for all Jews to enjoy. In a sense, Prager concurs with this assessment, though he insists that Chotiner was motivated by great personal animosity toward him.
Dennis Prager served as institute director for seven years, despite the existence of a virtual split within the executive board as to his efficacy. During this time, claim both Prager and his adherents, he quadrupled the BBI membership. “I had the largest BBIs in history,” argues Prager, “which raised more money in membership fees than ever before. I was a superb administrator, and under my own administrator, Bob Bleiweiss, the place ran like clockwork.”
Even Prager’s opponents credit him with some accomplishments, specifically the singles program which he initiated. But he had no staying power, they say. “Under Dennis’s directorship,” says Chotiner, “Brandeis was a swinging door. We were picking 200 members one year and losing 150 the next.” Chotiner is not alone in his contention that Prager lacked intellectual depth. His critics argue that he was basically a “three-speech man,” and the membership grew tired of hearing the same speeches time after time. Others grew weary of what they claim were repeated bouts of vindictive, almost paranoid behavior by Prager. But there are also those among Prager’s detractors who did not share this view. Says Dr. Goodhill, “Dennis was a brilliant man. He was also very courageous — there was never anything bashful about him. I think that’s what bothered the older people on the board was the strong and rather major dominance at the institute that Dennis wanted and did exercise. We accepted that in Shlomo because it took that kind of personality to get things going. And Dennis did have to be a one-man show!”
Unfortunately for the institute, strife and dissension within the board over Prager’s leadership resulted in a brief but traumatic conflict, between 1979 and 1981, over the actual decision-making process at Brandeis-Bardin, which some called “elitist” and “undemocratic.”
For decades (until he started writing a biweekly column for it in 2009), Prager despised the Jewish Journal, and regularly given vent to his feelings on this matter publicly, usually expressed in political terms. For example, “it is the most left-wing Jewish newspaper in the country.”
David Margolis wrote in the Jewish Journal in December 1992:
Perhaps somewhat uncomfortable with his lack of academic credentials, Prager notes that he co-wrote (with Rabbi Joseph Telushkin) Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism as a kind of substitute Master's thesis. With a touch of the salesman, Prager calls the book, which has been translated into Russian, Spanish, Persian and Japanese, the "most widely used introduction to Judaism in the world."

...Over the next few years, he lectured "hundreds of times" to American audiences about Soviet Jewry. But that wasn't the only subject on which he claimed some expertise. Accepting minimal fees in return for exposure, he leapt onto the Jewish lecture circuit with talks on why Jewish youth was alienated from Jewish life. "It was part chutzpah," he admits, and part inspired experimentation.

...
The seven years of Prager’s tenure in Simi Valley, however, were filled with conflict between himself and the Brandeis board, whom he accuses of treating him “miserably.” At Brandeis, Prager says now, not without bitterness, “I learned that many Jews are uncomfortable with paying another Jew to do something Jewish.”
Or was the problem, as some board members complain, that he tried to make BBI into an Orthodox institution? Prager acknowledges trying to push individuals toward greater observance, in a marked change from Bardin’s non-religious orientation that was sure to threaten and antagonize many. But he castigates the view, which he ascribes to much of the non-Orthodox community, that keeping kosher and not working on Shabbat define someone as Orthodox.
Even his critics acknowledge that Prager succeeded in exciting many young people about Jewish observance and bringing them into the Jewish community. But that enterprise had its down side as well. He developed “followers,” explains one BBI insider during those years, but he turned off many people by leaving no room for “intelligent disagreement. His bullying antagonized a lot of people.”
It is a complaint about Prager's style that clings to him even today.
In a 1995 lecture on Gen. 42: 7, Dennis explains why Joseph was harsh with his brothers who sold him into slavery: “I still think it is partially revenge. I would do it. If I had been sold into slavery and just spent twelve years in a dungeon, I would not go, ‘Hey, it’s all forgiven guys. I’m Den.’
“It would take a better person than me to have done that. I wouldn’t kill them. I wouldn’t hurt them. I’d rub it in.”
I think Dennis was talking on the radio Jun. 28, 2011 about Brandeis-Bardin: “Individuals make and break the world… Do you know how many organizations I’ve seen that were great because its leader was great and then the leader died or retired and the place became nothing? It just shriveled up and died.
“I have a personal story about it. It’s one of the only things I don’t recount because it would be too injurious to specific individuals. I know of what I speak on a personal level where the leader leaves and the people thought that what was great about the institutions was its policies, its methodologies. Doesn’t matter who led it. Then when good leaders left, the methodologies were useless.”
Rabbi Telushkin wrote about Dennis in his 1996 book, Words That Hurt, Words That Heal:
A friend of mine hosts a radio talk show. Although he passionately espouses often controversial political views, he makes it a point never to insult callers who dispute his positions. Rather, he listens carefully to what they say, and always responds courteously. He told me that he reads every letter from his listeners, particularly those written by people who clearly abhor his views.
If my friend sounds unusually open to others’ criticism, that is an acquired trait. In his early days as a public speaker, he often fended off his critics with sarcasm, biting wit, and occasional anger.
Around the time Dennis left Brandeis-Bardin, Joseph Telushkin left not only the institute but also the state.

Dennis: "Through our mid-thirties, we were inseparable. We were together almost every day when he lived in California. I remember him saying that he got used to the fact that I didn't always call back. I'm not a big fan of the phone." (Mar. 24, 2012)
After Dennis left Brandeis-Bardin, I don't believe he was ever invited back to speak. There was great bitterness on both sides of the battle and there's a great story to tell about Prager's exit, but I don't have it in full yet.
Getting pushed out of Brandeis-Bardin was the most devastating moment of Dennis's professional life. His scars from the struggle have yet to heal.

Ronald Reagan

“The [1980] election of Ronald Reagan affected my happiness,” said Prager March 2, 2006. “There was a chance to turn this thing around.”
June 10, 2010 at the Ronald Reagan Memorial Library, Dennis said: “He was the first one to make me aware that the bigger the government, the smaller the citizen. That’s my motto but that’s his sentiment. He made me aware that this is not merely an economic difference between left and right but a philosophical and moral difference. It makes worse people, big government.”
On April 20, 2011, Dennis said: “I plead guilty [to wanting to avoid politics]. My own instinct in life was to be preoccupied with what gave me and many others meaning. My profession in life was religion… I read the papers. I was always deeply concerned but it took until the Reagan administration to realize, and I was always committed to international affairs, to realize that if I didn’t fight, I was going to lose this country.”

In 2011, DennisPrager.com sold the following lecture: "What I Learned From Ronald Reagan: Reagan inspired Dennis to become a conservative. How did he do it? And what are the principles that Reagan espoused that remain so compelling today? Dennis pays homage to his mentor and looks at conservatism and liberalism -- then and now."

May 1, 2012 at the Reagan Foundation, Dennis said: "His famous sentence, 'Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem', proved to me that one line can change a life. A great idea can be encapsulated in one line."

In 1981, Dennis and Joseph Telushkin met the Pope. (Picture)
One day at KABC, Dennis Prager ran into Jimmy Carter, who he despises. Dennis stood up, extended his hand, and said, “It’s an honor to meet you, Mr. President.”
Dennis believed in honoring the office of president, even if he despised the man. (March 2004, 23rd lecture on Deuteronomy)
After voting for Jimmy Carter in 1976, Dennis never voted for a Democrat again. (January, 2002 lecture on a ship to Antarctica) 

First Computer

In 1983, Dennis bought his first PC. It cost $3,500.

Oct. 6, 2011, Dennis Prager talked about Steve Jobs and the personal computer: "I remember the Macintosh. I remember debating, should I get an IBM type or the Macintosh? The Rainbow computer from DEC was the best.

"IBM and DOSS won but they were not the best. Texas Instruments had a better system. I bought the first color portable computer. You win on marketing genius. The reason I did not get an Apple was that everyone said that if you want to work, get an IBM. The Apple is more for fun."

"I needed two things -- database and most important, word processing. The choices for Apple in word processing were small.

"I remember buying a book - a guide to word processing programs. It assessed about 20 different programs. I read the entire book. I was mesmerized. I bought a thing nobody heard of called Word Perfect for $500. Everybody used WordStar.

"I was ecstatic. The reason I have written as much as I have is called computer. Before word processing, I would write two articles a year. Then I wrote an article a week. I don't touch type. I'd have to erase everything. Remember erasable paper?"

Religion On The Line

In 1982, KABC general manager George Green, a secular Jew, told educator Roberta Weintraub that he needed someone to host the two-hour public affairs Sunday night show Religion on the Line. She suggested Prager.
“I had my first tryout on radio at KABC Radio on a Sunday night in August [2], ’82,” said Dennis, “and I was so nervous, I was dripping [sweat]. And then, at 11 p.m., the program director [Wally Sherwin] slips me a note, ‘Tell them you’ll be on next Sunday night’ — one of the happiest moments of my life, because I ached to get my ideas out. I’m like a cow who has milk to give and I’ve been dying to give it my whole life. So I was engaged in interfaith dialogue every Sunday night with a priest, minister, rabbi for 10 years, and it is one of the things that changed my life.” (CSPAN Booknotes)
“I had a feeling that if I did well [on his radio debut],” said Prager Jan. 3, 2006, “that it would change my life.”
The show had a 35 share when Dennis inherited it and he took it to a 40 share (according to Prager’s 2008 lecture on 25 years in broadcasting).

April 3, 2008, Dennis said: "When I was asked to advertise Farmer John's pork sausages, I went to an Orthodox rabbi and asked him if I am allowed to advertise pork sausage. He said, 'Let me get back to you.' He got back to me and said, 'Yes, but you may not say, 'Mmm, mmm good.'"

Jan. 4, 2012, Dennis said: 

Like most people in radio, you are brought into it, rather than seek it. I was certainly thrilled. This was the dream of my life -- to touch people with my values and my ideas."

I had been a director of a Jewish institution in California where people came for weekends to study and be introduced to religion and other matters. Roberta Weintraub (head of the Los Angeles Board of Education) came for one weekend with her husband. She was friends with the then head of KABC, George Green. He said, I need a new host for this very popular show we have on, Religion on the Line. It was the most popular show in Los Angeles. It had a 40 share. He said to Roberta, ideally, I would want him to know a fair amount about religion, not be a clergyman, and know how to speak.
She had just heard me at this institution I directed. She said, I know this young kid and he knows religion. He's not a clergyman. They tried me out and I got the job that night.

In a speech to Chabad of Orange County on Jan. 24, 2007, Dennis said:

I am the worst candidate for the charge of religious intolerance… I was chosen to moderate the most popular show on religion in America on radio… I was chosen in part because I was so fair to the religions. Very often I would get a letter like this: ‘Dear Mr. Prager, I am an evangelical Christian and I was stunned to learn that you were Jewish.’ ‘Dear Mr. Prager, I am a Roman Catholic and I was stunned to learn that you were Jewish.’
Everybody thought I was their religion. Jews were also stunned. A religious Jew on the radio, it doesn’t make sense. He sounds coherent. A lot of secular Jews reacted that way.
My favorite moment on Religion on the Line was when a caller called in. I don’t know if he was anti-Semitic. I allow people their little prejudices. I did a whole show on Oriental drivers. Asians called in and asked why do we drive so fast.
One night a guy calls in and he starts giving the rabbi a really hard time. ‘Rabbi, isn’t it elitist and even racist for you Jews to think you are the Chosen People.’ This was a rabbi who was not terribly comfortable with the idea. He was on the more liberal end of the theological spectrum. He was queasy about the whole thing.
Father Michael Nocita comes on and says, ‘God chose the Jews. Get a life.’ The guy said OK.
I opened radio to Muslims. They were never part of the Religion on the Line. I deliberately sought them because it’s a major religion. I had Muslims on so often on Religion on the Line that they invited me to various mosques to speak. I was beloved in the Muslims community during the period of Religion on the Line because I had such respect. Nobody opened up a major media outlet like I opened up ABC Radio and I was rewarded with their affection and respect.
The first public demonstration I organized was on behalf of Muslims in Afghanistan.
One day the head of the station, George Green, called me into his office. I had a little lump in my throat. He didn’t call me in much… He said, ‘Dennis, I have a question. There’s something that doesn’t make sense. There was a woman who preceded you as the moderator of Religion on the Line. [Carole Hemingway]. This woman never once acknowledged she was a Jew. And I kept getting anti-Jewish, even anti-Semitic letters against her. You, every show you mention that you are a religious Jew and I’ve never once in five years gotten an anti-Semitic letter against you.
I felt like Joseph being called before Pharaoh. I said, ‘George, I think I know the answer. Non-Jews trust Jewish Jews more than they trust non-Jewish Jews'.

April 3, 2008, Dennis said: "My predecessor had an agenda -- to make religion look stupid. She would ask priests if the Pope [masturbated]. I would never ask that. It's disgusting."

What Dennis calls "little prejudices", such as about slow Oriental drivers, are rational realizations of the reality of race (in more than 60 life results, blacks and Orientals fall out at opposite ends of the spectrum with whites in between, noted J. Philippe Rushton). Orientals tend to be more cautious than whites in general, not just in driving, and whites tend to be more cautious than blacks. Orientals statistically have lower testosterone levels, report less sex, lower crime and STD rates and boast higher credit scores and more family stability than whites who in turn have lower testosterone, less sex, lower crime and STD rates and higher credit scores and family stability than blacks. (Race, Evolution and Behavior)

May 3, 2010, Dennis said: “I got quite close to a number of Muslims [in the 1980s]. It was their failure to organize demonstrations against Islamic terror [after August 2000, the Second Intifada] which caused a certain breach, which I felt sad about. I couldn’t understand their relative silence about this terror.”

In other words, these American Muslims turned out to be more Islamic than American in their values. Shocking. And one more naive Jew gives up on inter-faith dialogue with Muslims after realizing they can't be assimilated into the First World.

In the second edition of Ultimate Issues in 1985, Prager wrote: 

Right now there is something akin to a Holocaust taking place in Afghanistan...

The Soviets are, for all intents and purposes, destroying Afghanistan. Unless they are stopped, Afghanistan will cease to exist... Islam is being destroyed...

The Jewish nation, religion and culture have survived the Nazis. It is not likely that the Afghan nation, religion, and culture will comparably survive the Soviets...

We Jews must cry out on behalf of Afghanistan, and do so davka as Jews. Jewish organizations must speak out, take out ads and organize demonstrations to remind the world that we who endured the first Holocaust, have the duty to scream the loudest at events that approach its unique evil.

In a speech at the Nixon Library Mary 14, 2012 about his fifth book Still The Best Hope, Dennis said: 

You know from my radio show, I do not say, I do not think, I do not argue, that people have bad motives who have different views than I. You have no idea how liberating that is. The only reason that I've been able to write this book is that in my first years in radio, I realized I have to assume that those I differ with mean well. The reason it is liberating is that it made me fight their ideas intellectually rather than ad hominen. If everybody you differ with is an idiot, is selfish, is despicable, is greedy, then why debate? That's what they think of us. That's why we always win the debates. I've had the biggest left-wing names in the world on my show.

Why would you debate somebody who is sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, racist and bigoted? Why would you do that? You don't debate a Klu Klux Klansman. That's how they feel about us. We're not worthy of debate. We're all these bad things.

This high-minded stance does not apply to people who subscribe to a realistic attitude towards racial differences. These folks Dennis is quick to call racist for such benign wishes as wanting to have children who look like you.

On Aug. 27, 1985, Prager debated Rabbi Meir Kahane on the Ray Briem show. “It was one of the ugliest debates of my life,” says Dennis in a 2004 lecture on Deuteronomy 15. “He was insulting the whole night.”

Here are some highlights of the debate as transcribed by Dennis Prager and published in his Fall 1985 edition of Ultimate Issues:

Briem: "Why in Israel, that always has had such compassion for people, invited the Arabs to come and stay in Israel when it was formed...would you want to kick them?"

Kahane: "Because the people of Israel and especially the Sephardic Jews of Israel, the Jews who came from Arab countries, didn't learn about Arabs in seminars on the West Coast. They lived with Arabs, they know what it means to have lived under Arabs, and they'd never again want to.

"The problem is that the Arabs who live inside Israel hate Israel. And they understand that the Arabs, if they could, would do the Jews what they do to themselves every day in Beirut. They don't want that to happen. They're not troubled by the niceties of Western democracy."

"I don't hate Arabs. I love Jews. And I intend to save the Jewish people, both from Arabs and from themselves."

"If there is anyone...who thinks that there is one Arab in Israel who would rather live in a country which is defined legally as the Jewish state, he has greater contempt for the Arabs than I thought that even liberals could have."

"There is a basic contradiction between Zionism and Western democracy. A Jewish state at the very minimum means a state with a majority of Jews, because only in that way can Jews solve their own destiny, be masters of their own fate. Western democracy postulates the basic axiom that it doesn't matter who's the majority. It doesn't matter if you're Jewish or non-Jewish, whoever's the majority is it. Therefore there is a basic contradiction, since most western Jews are basically schizophrenic, with one foot inside Judaism and the other half inside western culture, and they would like to believe that Judaism is Thomas Jefferson. It isn't."

Prager: "I'd like to defend Judaism from the smear campaign that Meir Kahane has directed against it."

"[Kahane] is [antisemitism's] tragic echo, produced to a large extent by the Holocaust and by the Arab desire to destroy Israel. He is a classic product of Jews being hated for all these centuries, and he has incorporated a mirror image of the non-Jew in his psyche. He hates non-Jews as he feels non-Jews hate him. His answer to Arafat is to be the Jewish Arafat."

"Ray, you asked him, and he dismissed it as a lunacy, what really differentiates Meir Kahane's attitude to Arabs from Hitler's to German Jews. He didn't answer you, because the difference is minimal."

"This is a Jewish fascist. It is a tragedy that he cites that he is rooted in Judaism when there isn't anything normative in Judaism -- Orthodox, Conservative or Reform -- that supports him."

"One could cry over the fact that there is some popularity to someone who has such views when the Torah instructs the Jew to love the stranger because the Jews themselves were strangers in Egypt and know how it feels to be one."

Kahane: "The Torah and the Talmud say any appointment of authority in Israel shall only be Jewish. That's not democracy. Maimonides states clearly that no non-Jew shall ever be appointed over a Jew, even as a clerk concerning the water carriers."

"Judaism states clearly that the Jews, when they create a Jewish state, will not grant citizenship to a non-Jew."

Brien: "Dennis, Rabbi Meir Kahane has said here recently that the rationale for wanting to push all of the 730,000 Arabs out of Israel and the occupied territories, is that they hate Israel and Israelies. They think it is still Palestine and they resent it, they can never coexist because of that, and because of their birthrate one of these days they are going to become a majority."

Prager; "It is the lie upon which Rabbi Kahane predicates his case, and it should be exposed as such. Let me cite just a handful of statistics. The Arab population of Israel was 11.1% in 1960. As of the last census last year it is 17%. In 1965, the average Israeli Arab had 8.4 children. In 1981 it went down to 5. The jews are at 2.7 and rising. They [the rates] are in fact going to meet as industrialization continues, Arabs leave their farms and so on. Basically, the rabbi bases his ideas on waht I have to call a lie, that Israel will cease to be a Jewish state given simple demographics."

"Rabbi Kahane is by and large considered in the Jewish world an immoral aberration."

Kahane: "Assuming the Arabs would become a majority, what would Dennis Prager say?"

Prager: "In theory, the Jewish state has a right to remain a Jewish state. Just as during WWII, England suspended certain democratic processes."

Caller1: "Mr. Prager, do you believe that the Arabs, if they have a chance to destroy Israel, will do that?'

Prager: "Most Arabs would."

Caller1: "Then from that standpoint alone you must admit that Mr. Kahane has a reason for doing that [throwing Arabs out] because the Arabs will unite and destroy Israel the first chance they get."

Prager: "Yes, but one of the reasons that it is important to have a Jewish state is in order to preserve Judaism. But if Israel becomes like its Arab neighbors in moral outlook, then the only difference between a Kahaneized Israel and an Arafatized Jordan is the language they speak. So Israel's reason for being, if it becomes a state as morally low as many of its neighbors, [is undermined]. Israel can continue to be a light unto the nations, as a democratic state in the midst of tyranny, and need not be compromised just because of its enemies."

Kahane: "If all the Arabs tomorrow become saints, and I was now living in a state with 730,000 Arab saints who in 20 years will be two and a half or three million Arab saints, and in 30 years will be the majority of the country but saintly, I don't want to live as a minority under any saints."

Caller4: "I would rather see a strong Israel that everybody hates, rather than an Auschwitz that everyone loves."

Prager: "I agree with you... Part of the giveaway on Rabbi Kahane's moral understanding is as he said, 'even if all the Arabs were saints.' In other words, the issue is not morality, it is race. It is Arab blood that is detested, not Arab morality. In other words, no matter how decent they might be, he wants to kick them out. Morality is foreign to his understanding. it is a blood-based understanding." 

Kahane: "You know very well taht if any Arab came to me and said, I would like to become Jewish, and he converted according to the proper standards, of course, just as any other non-Jew, that he would be welcome, blood and all... My problem with the Arabs has nothing to do with their blood. It's that they want Jewish blood."

Prager: "You respect [Arabs] so much that you want to chase them out."

Kahane: "Exactly."

Dennis concluded in his journal: "Neither rationally nor morally can Kahane be distinguished from other religious extremists, including antisemites. He is a Jewish version of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the medieval Christian crusader."

Dennis published a page showing parallels between Kahane's legislation and the Nazis laws against Jews.

Dec. 13, 2001, Prager said that almost all of Kahane's proposed laws for Israel (making it a crime for a Jew to sleep with a non-Jew, to swim in the ocean with a non-Jew, etc) came from Torah Law.

Wikipedia said: "Kahane's legislative proposals focused on transferring the Arab population out from the Land of Israel, revoking Israeli citizenship from non-Jews, and banning Jewish-Gentile marriages and sexual relations, based on the Code of Jewish Law compiled by Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah."

Rabbi Kahane realized that what Jared Taylor wrote about the white conquest of America would largely hold for the Jews in Israel (as well as for the Australians in Australia, the New Zealanders in New Zealand, etc):

The intentions of whites—sometimes good, often bad—really did not matter. The fundamental fact is that one people had the land, and another, more advanced and powerful people wanted the land. The result was dispossession, and even now, despite a great deal of intermixing, Indians are a distinct people with a distinct identity that shows how difficult assimilation is across racial lines, even after 400 years. Race relations mean conflict.

Trinity

In a 2004 lecture on Deuteronomy 16, Dennis said that for ten years on his radio show Religion on the Line, he asked Christians, “What does three in one mean?”
There is no answer because the Christian doctrine of the trinity is a logical impossibility.
Christians believe they believe in one God so who am I to say differently, said Dennis.
“I would ask the Christian clergy what does it mean. I almost started a fist fight between two Christians on this one. One Christian clergyman said, Dennis, here’s a rough idea. You are a father, a husband and a brother. Are there three of you? No.
“The other Christian said, that’s heretical. That’s a heresy. That heresy was wiped out in the fourth century. That is utterly unacceptable. Dennis, don’t listen to him.
“And I just sat there and knew the ratings were going up as they yelled at each other. I was a happy dude.”
In a 2010 interview at Stephen S. Wise temple, Dennis said: “One night, the topic I chose for the evening was lust. What does your religion say about lust? The minister quoted Jesus that a man who lusts after another woman it is as if he has committed adultery in his heart. How wrong it is to lust. How it is a sin. The Catholic priest said essentially the same thing. They both spoke beautifully.”
“That week, was not only an Orthodox rabbi, but a bearded right-wing Orthodox rabbi. He had a yiddish accent. He said, 'Dennis, lust, shmust.'
“It was my proudest moment as a Jew in my life. I still have a slight scar from biting my lip.”

Walter Martin

The Los Angeles Times wrote Feb. 19, 1989:

[Walter] Martin ran into a brief but intense firestorm several years ago when he appeared on Dennis Prager's "Religion on the Line" show on KABC radio in Los Angeles. Martin cited Scripture and other sources in assigning blame for Jesus' crucifixion to some Jewish authorities of the time, rather than the Romans. He insists that he did not suggest that the Jews as a people, then or since then, were responsible for the execution. "I wasn't holding Jews today accountable for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ," Martin says.

But Prager says this distinction is an odd and "subtle one, given that an innumerable number of Jews have been killed and tortured on the basis of that charge. Mr. Martin came very close to raising the specter of medieval Christian charges of deicide against the Jews."

According to a tape of the broadcast which Martin himself provided to The Times, he said that "any Jew or Gentile alive today that hears the gospel of Jesus Christ and turns away from God's love in the cross is participating in that crucifixion."

When pressed by Prager, Martin defended the passage in John 8:44, which characterizes the Jews who rejected the divinity of Jesus at the time of the crucifixion as children of the devil. Some liberal Christian scholars have pointed out the passage as an example of New Testament anti-Semitism. In the 6 1/2 years that he has been doing his own program, Prager says, "no Christian-whether fundamentalist Protestant or liberal Protestant, conservative or liberal Catholic-ever said anything approaching Mr. Martin's concept of the crucifixion."

Despite the controversy, though, on Prager's subsequent shows and in the local Jewish press, Prager has said the problem with Martin is more one of being a "misanthrope" than an anti-Semite.

"He doesn't have a good word for anyone who isn't identified with his theology," Prager says.

In a 1990 lecture series on how to be a good person, Dennis Prager said:
After your 400th show, you're entitled to some generalizations. One is - the Jew is usually the most talkative and the Protestant is usually the most quiet. There must be a reason.

The Jew is usually the most passionately involved in something, volatile, gets angry, verbalizes, lets out, etc.. The Protestant is usually the nicest. In eight years I heard one offensive word from a Protestant [Walter Martin]and he was a bona fide nut. These Protestants are the sweetest, nicest, most self-controlled people you will ever meet.

Catholics run in all directions. Some are controlled and some are volatile.

The religions produced these differences. Protestantism emphasizes the heart. Catholics are in the middle. Judaism emphasizes works. Therefore, the Jew has been the freest to make peace with his miserable thoughts. Protestants are the least free because they are sinful.

That's why when it came out that Jimmy Carter lusted for women other than his wife, Jews yawned and Protestants were horrified. A born again Christian and he lusts? Oh my God.

It seems weird for a Jew such as Prager to be so pro-Christian when on the face of things, Christianity is idolatry -- the worship of a man as divine. Historian Marc B. Shapiro, who teaches at a Jesuit university, said:
I see this up close. If you were to go into a church and see the worship and the rituals and the beliefs, from a Jewish perspective, this is idolatry.

If Christians get let off the hook for being idolaters and they believe that God assumes human form in the incarnation, then if you assume God manifests in a statute, how is that different?

Once you assume that Christianity is not idolatry for non-Jews, then I don’t know what is idolatry for non-Jews. I don’t know what else qualifies.

July 16, 2013, Dennis said: "There's a line that I get periodically from people who heard me moderate [Religion on the Line] -- 'When you moderated Religion on the Line, I really liked you. You were balanced. You weren't a big conservative. What happened?' And then they offer theories as to what happened.
"The reason is not that I wasn't conservative at the time, but because I am conservative, I don't inject politics into religion."

Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism

In 1983, Prager and Telushkin published their second book — Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism. They wrote:
Finally…our thanks to Janice Prager who, despite her time-consuming work on a book on Jewish moral values for children, was the single greatest source of suggestions, criticisms, and morale boosting...
...[T]hough numbering less than 3 percent of the American population, [Jews] have won 27% of the Nobel prizes awarded American scientists, that Jews are overrepresented in medicine by 231 percent in proportion to the general population, in psychiatry by 478 percent, in dentistry by 299 percent, in law by 265 percent, and in mathematics by 238 percent, that American Jews are twice as likely as non-Jews to go to college, and that they are represented in Ivy League schools over five times their percentage in the population. This Jewish passion for study in turn helps to explain why Jews have the highest income of any ethnic group in the United States, earning 72% more than the national average, and 40% more than the Japanese, the second highest earning ethnic group.
This unique intellectual achievement is not due, as is sometimes alleged, to some innately superior intellgience among Jews, but solely and directly to Judaism.
As a Steve Sailer reader noted: "I think the reason why Jewish commentators prefer this theory is obvious: they want to think that their achievement is due to cultural factors, because that means Jewish culture and religion (which they love) are objectively good things. If Jewish achievement is largely due to historical accident (Christian restrictions on Jewish occupations to moneylending and trade leading to natural selection for higher intelligence) then that's less flattering."

In late 1983, Prager replaced the retiring Hilly Rose on AM 790 KABC from 7-9 p.m. during the week (except Friday night). Initially the station balked at giving Dennis Friday night off, but he refused to do the show if it would force him to violate the Sabbath.
Prager wrote a regular column for the now defunct Los Angeles Herald-Tribune. He wanted to write a weekly column for the Jewish Journal but Editor Gene Lichtenstein thought Prager was not a good writer. Gene liked Dennis in person but found his writing pompous.
Dennis became convinced that he was turned down because of differing politics, even though Gene regularly published somebody far to the right of Dennis — Orthodox rabbi Dov Aharoni.

Ultimate Issues

In 1985 Dennis launched his personal journal of thought, the quarterly Ultimate Issues, which never quite achieved 10,000 subscribers. It became The Prager Perspective in 1996 and folded in the year 2000. “I wrote it because I never wanted to be edited…” (Prager CD)
In 1985 and 1986, Prager received commendations on his journal from William F. Buckley, Richard John Neuhaus, Martin Peretz, and rabbis W. Gunther Plaut, Rabbi Norman Lamm, and Rabbi Jakob J. Petuchowski.
Prager began selling cassette tapes and eventually VHS tapes of his lectures through Ultimate Issues. “It was actually the Ayatollah Khomeini who made me aware of the power of tapes. If he led an Islamic fundamentalist revolution through tapes, I figured, why not do the same for Judaism and ethical monotheism?” (Ultimate Issues, Jan – Mar 1991, pg. 11)

Janice Adelstein

In 1978, Dennis was on a date with a pretty blonde. He sensed that she would go to bed with him. Then he thought, “Is this what my life is about? Going to bed with pretty blondes?” (9/13/02)
"I was 30 years old. I was at Mario's Italian restaurant in Westwood. I was having pizza. I was with a very attractive blonde. It seemed to me that she was attracted to me and that we could've gotten something on. I remember thinking, 'Wow, if this was ten years ago or even a year ago, I'd be thrilled to know that I could have this woman. This is awesome. But I don't want to go through this over and over. It is about time I want to have something deeper in life. I want to get married. I had all these religious values inculcated. And I want depth in everything. I don't like the superficial'." (Second lecture in a Spring 1999 series on male sexuality)
In his 22nd lecture on Deuteronomy in 2004, Dennis said: “I wouldn’t say this on radio, I think. I say almost everything on radio but this is very personal. I was living a very active bachelor life while being a good guy. I was always a good guy. I don’t have a mean streak… One day it hits me, Dennis, you may be good, but you sure as hell ain’t holy, thinking about my social life and whatever you can guess. That is what started me on the road to getting married. It wasn’t, oh gee, I’m lonely, because there are ways of assuaging loneliness without getting married. I realized, D.P, you can’t fool yourself. If you believe in this book and its values, you are leading half of what it wants. What about holy? A few years later, I got married… Now you say, that’s not romantic. The decision isn’t romantic. It was a values-based decision. This is not the type of life I should be leading. It was based solely on this [Torah]. It didn’t come from my heart or from my conscience. Love? I could have love every night or however frequently I was in love. Love was hardly the thing to direct me to marriage. I loved her and her and her.”
In a 1992 lecture on Genesis 27, Dennis said: “Definitely partake in all permitted pleasures. It’s not even a question. God won’t even bother asking [me on Judgment Day]. He’ll ask, why did you partake of some non-permitted pleasures?”
March 24, 2008 at Nessah Synagogue, Dennis said: “The power of sex is so great that a lot of people who shouldn’t marry marry because the sex before marriage was so terrific and it blinded them to what really would’ve hurt their marriage because of the passion the sex engendered.”
Therapist Mark Smith says: "There are three ways you can be in a relationship with anybody and the first one is enmeshed [followed usually by emotional cut-off and possibly by inter-dependence]. When a couple becomes enmeshed, they fall in love. It's intoxicating. It's what all the songs on the radio are about. It changes your brain chemistry. The only downside to getting enmeshed is that it don't last."
"It starts with enmeshment and there's a slow fade. The shelf life for enmeshment in a young marriage is usually seven years. In second marriages, you get more like two years. When you're not talking, it becomes cut-off. To keep from feeling the pain, you fill in with other stuff such as work, the kid, the sister, and that third person being there stabilizes the system. Someone with a big empty hole might just give up and get divorced. We're shooting to be inter-dependent, which is not by working on the marriage, but by working on yourself. We espouse being in recovery. Everybody needs to be in recovery for something. Recovery is rebuilding your personality from the ground up. It's harder when you're 73, it's easier when you're in your 30s. When marriages cause enough pain that people seek therapy, usually starts at about 35. People under 30 generally haven't been run over by enough trucks and they're still well-defended psychologically and they're not ready."
"We arrange [to have stuff done to us]. We think about relationships as stuff is done to us...but we marry our issues. You choose to put yourself in a place where you are abandoned. Consciously nobody looks to be betrayed but unconsiously is where we make our decisions."
"When you're abandoned as a kid, and your spouse steps away from you, it can trigger rage."
Feb. 22, 2012, Dennis said: "In my late 20s, I was at dinner with a couple... They were just married. She said, 'How's racquetball going?' I said, 'It's great. We get great exercise. We're closely matched so we have great games. And we get a bonus. After a games, we go outside and sit on a bench in the hallway and watch these women go by.'
"Then she said, [My husband] does not look.' I was about to spit out the food I was eating when I got such a kick from [the hubby] under the table. The kick was clear. You are to answer what she wants to hear and not tell the truth.
"After choking, I said, 'Of course not. I look, but not [the husband].'
"I remember taking an internal vow that I would never marry where I had to hide who I was in that realm."
In his first of four lectures on male sexuality in 1999, Dennis said: "I talked to a lot of guys and realized I was normal on the perversion scale."
After reading George Gilder’s book, Men and Marriage, one of the five books he said that most influenced him, Dennis decided that he should marry quickly. “It was one of the reasons I said, 'I don’t care, I’m getting married soon. I’m doing it with my head if not my heart'.” (July 6, 2011)
Then Dennis met Janice Adelstein.
Though beautiful, Janice did not have a reputation for brilliance. “Don’t get sick, remember who’s the nurse,” was a joke at the time on campus.
All three of Prager's wives have been tall and striking. All three have aged well. The first was brunette and the last two have been blonde.
Max Prager wrote in chapter 35:
In the summer of 1980, Dennis met Janice Adelstein, a nurse at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute. Hilda and I were then visiting BBI and we both liked her immediately when our son informed us that he was interested in her as a prospective spouse. She was tall, pretty, charismatic and wise; a perfect candidate to be our daughter-in-law. We met her parents, Malvina and Jack and found them to be ideal machitonim (in-laws). Ten months later, on January 15, 1981, they were wed in the House of the Book at BBI which was situated on a hill with the most amazing scenery. Since Dennis was the Director, he invited all the members of the Institute to the wedding which was held around 1 PM.
The total number of guests including family, friends and members totaled a figure in excess of 500. After the ceremony, a reception was held with plenty of food and dancing. The two families then retired to their respective homes to redress and prepare for another reception at the Sephardic Temple on Wilshire Blvd. To this event, we invited 200 guests and had a wonderful evening with catered food, music and dancing.
Dennis's first marriage went bad quickly and the couple hoped that having a child would revive their fortunes. It did not. 
“It’s the tragedy of my life,” said Dennis. “I wish I was not divorced.” (June 22, 2010)
April 2, 2014, Dennis said that assuming two decent people, "in the overwhelming majority of instances, closing in on the word always, it is the wife who determines more whether the marriage will be a happy one... That's why we have the saying, 'Happy wife, happy life.' Most decent men want to come home to peace... Aside from my own life, [my theory that the wife determines the happiness of the marriage] has been true in every marriage I have known."
F. Roger Devlin wrote in 2006:
Women formally initiate divorce about two thirds of the time. Most observers agree, however, that this understates matters: In many cases where the husband formally initiates, it is because his wife wants out of the marriage. Exact data are elusive, but close observers tend to estimate that women are responsible for about nine-tenths of the divorcing and breakingup: Men do not love them and leave them, but love them and get left by them. Many young women, indeed, believe they want marriage when all they really want is a wedding (think of bridal magazines)...

Typically, the faithless wife does not intend to remain alone. But some men have scruples about involving themselves with divorcées; they wonder “Whose wife is this I’m dating?” There are also merely prudential considerations; a woman with a track record of abandoning her husband is hardly likely to be more faithful the second time around. And few men are eager to support another man’s children financially.

“I knew more about zebras than I did about women before I got married,” said Dennis in a 2003 lecture on Deut 7:22-8:10. “I didn’t know how they thought, how they felt. All I knew was how they looked.”
June 9, 2010, Dennis said he prefers a relationship with no conflict.
May 9, 2012, Dennis said: "The thought of coming home to non-peace is the nightmare of my life."
Sept. 16, 2013, Dennis said: "I took one of those [birth] breathing classes. I contended at the time I was the only person who took that class and failed. I read books. I can't tell you how boring I found it. Also, who lives by it? You have all these medical personnel around. What is this lay person going to tell his wife on breathing? For much of history, the guy waited outside the room and someone announced, 'It's a boy or girl' and the guy bought cigars and everyone went home."
"I was there at his birth and I didn't think it was a big deal."
"My father never saw me born. It didn't affect me. He was at the hospital."
Max Prager wrote in chapter 36:
On January 31, 1983, we were blessed with another grandchild, David, born to Dennis and Janice. Of course, we were delighted to travel to LA to participate in this great simcha (happy occasion) and bris (circumcision). I was honored to be the sandik (the person holding the child in his lap during the circumcision). I was extremely happy to have my brother Murry and Gert present at this enjoyable event in our lives.
Said Dennis in a 1995 lecture on Exodus 5:
I grew up Orthodox where it was taken for granted that every Jew who died in the Middle Ages because he wouldn’t convert to Christianity was a martyr sanctifying G-d’s name. And they were. I accept that totally.
When I had my first child, I saw them differently. As a single young man, martyrdom was clearly the option to take. If somebody said to me today, accept X or we will kill your family, I don’t know what I’d do.

Said Dennis in a 1992 lecture on Genesis 16-17: “When my son [David] was circumcised, I cried more than I ever recall crying from the deepest sense of meaning and joy. To know that I was doing what Jews have done for over 3,000 years… I was privy to circumcisions done in Russia in secret. My son’s circumcision was the most bonding thing I’ve done to the Jewish people. Nothing was as primal, as gut-wrenching emotion as that moment. I passionate believe in it.”
Said Dennis in a 1993 lecture on Genesis 29, “The amount of psychological garbage people bring to marriage. The choice is frequently not made even consciously, but subconsciously, things worked out from one’s upbringing, I am almost tempted to pass a law that you can not have a child in your first marriage for five years. Ideally, people will all start with their second marriage because so much nonsense is worked out with the first one.”
Janice co-authored the children’s book, Why Be Different: A Look Into Judaism.

According to her author bio: "Janice Prager -- nurse, writer, human rights activist, wife and mother -- had a chance to combine all her skills in Pakistan, where she worked among wounded and homeless refugees of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan."

In the Winter 1986 issue of Ultimate Issues, Janice wrote about her efforts on behalf of Afghans. "Though I am a Jew who has spent her life learning the lessons of the Holocaust, I came to realize that empathy with others' suffering is not automatic, even for Jews."

In August 1986, Dennis and Janice divorced after five years of marriage.

There's a whole cottage industry of people attacking Dennis Prager personally. Those who hate him look for his weaknesses and believe they've found them in his divorces. 

“Of course I am committed to it [sexual fidelity],” said Prager Dec. 9, 2009. “How could I do this show if I weren’t?”

May 23, 2012, Dennis said: "If I hear that a spouse had an affair, unless I know that this is a person who is simply a serial adulterer, I don't make any judgment. I don't know. From the few people I know personally who've had affairs, I do not know one who wanted to have it."

Oct. 11, 2010, Dennis told a caller named Sam: “I don’t judge people by their thoughts. I judge people by their actions. If a person has the most racist thoughts on earth, but acts beautifully towards people of every race that person is not a racist. In your view, that person is a racist.”
Sam: “That person is inhuman because it is impossible…”
Dennis: “No. You’re wrong. That is not true. Then it is inhuman for every man to stay faithful because every man wants to have an extra-marital affair.”
Sam: “Do you want to have extra-marital affairs? I don’t.”
Dennis: “Yes. You don’t? Then you are lying to me and you are lying to yourself. You are the only man I’ve met who has actually said that with a straight face.
“You have no desire for any woman then your wife?”
Sam: “I do not.”
Dennis: “OK. You are amazing. Then you are a phenomenon.”
“Sam represented something that I have noted since graduate school — a profound amount of fooling oneself because of unpleasant reality.”
“Sam’s call will be the subject of a male-female hour. I’m going to play it. Men who lie about their own nature to themselves and why would they do that. One huge thing that gay and heterosexual men have in common is a desire for variety and immediate stimulation through the visual. For a man to deny that he has any desire for another woman sexually is to lie to himself in a way that frightens me.”
“Obviously it is a statement about my wife that I can be so open about this on the radio and have zero thought about how would she react.”
“I knew as a bachelor in my twenties that I couldn’t live with someone from whom I had to hide my nature. And that’s what he has to do apparently. It shook me up. Truth is the most important value.”
Said Dennis Oct. 12, 2011: “That’s like saying you have no desire for any other kind of food. I like steak, I have no desire for pasta, pizza, lamb chops…”

In a (2008?) lecture on Deut. 23:19, Dennis said about his first divorce:

It’s a dramatic moment, even if all the civil stuff has been worked out.
Divorce is a Mitzva is a great book. [Rabbi Perry Netter] says that the beauty of Jewish ritual is that God is with you when you marry and He’s with you when you divorce.
We were at the Bet Din of Los Angeles. I arrived before my soon-to-be ex-wife. He starts talking to me. The man is an older man with a long grey beard from Poland. Classic Orthodox Jew rabbi [Shmuel Katz].
I come in and he says, ‘Dennis Prager! I love your show!’
I felt like I had entered the Twilight Zone. I could not believe the guy knew me from Adam let alone listen to the radio. He looked like a guy who didn’t even own a radio.
We make small talk. I said, ‘Rabbi, it must be difficult for you a traditional Orthodox rabbi to be the head of the Beit Din in Southern California. That must be really tough for you with all of these divorces.’
Then the man blew my mind. He said, ‘Mr. Prager, that’s not the case at all. There were a lot of marriage in the old country that should have ended in divorce and didn’t.’
To come out of this face behind a big grey beard, I was astonished, but that man spoke from the depths of Orthodoxy in a very Jewish manner. He knew many miserable couples in the old country because there was so much stigma.
As life would have it, he was the rabbi on this particular Religion on the Line [in 1988]… I pick the topic, what is your religion’s attitude to divorce? All three clergy, including him, said the same thing. People divorce too easily.
In round two, I asked, do you know anybody very well who divorced? The rabbi said his parents divorced. It was important that they do so.”
None of the clergy (including Father Gregory Coiro, whose parents divorced) knew anybody well who had divorced easily.
I don’t know anybody who divorced for trivia. Did Prince [Charles] divorce because he found a prettier woman? Or because the idiot royalty rules said he had to marry a virgin? Instead of marrying a partner in life who happened not to be a virgin. So everybody’s life got screwed up. And the royalty looked ridiculous. Nobody would now argue that the woman he is now married to [Camilla] is prettier than Diana. But that was his partner. That’s who he should have married.
We tend to overstate the effects of divorce on children over the long term. If the two parents don’t belittle each other…

The evidence does not bear out Prager's assertion that divorce isn't bad for kids. As W. Bradford Wilcox noted, "even privileged kids suffer when the family breaks down. ...[A]t every socioeconomic level, families headed by a continuously married couple will earn more money and accumulate more wealth than other types of families with similar educational and personal backgrounds."

"...[T]hey are less likely to graduate from college and less likely to maintain their privileged position on the economic ladder as adults." 

On Adam Carolla's podcast Jan. 24, 2012, Dennis Prager says: "One of my most embarrassing stories which might explain why that marriage didn't last as long as it should have.

"A previous wife [Janice?] came home one day. She looked in pain. She had severe cuts and bruises on her arm. I asked, what happened?

"She said, I was walking in a parking lot and there was a window open and I was bit by a dog. And I said, 'Bitten.'"

"I can't stand bad grammar. We all have our thing." 

The Monotony Of Monogamy

As a 2007 article noted, "Monogamy guarantees that every man can find a wife. True, less desirable men can marry only less desirable women, but that's much better than not marrying anyone at all.
"Men in monogamous societies imagine they would be better off under polygyny. What they don't realize is that, for most men who are not extremely desirable, polygyny means no wife at all, or, if they are lucky, a wife who is much less desirable than one they could get under monogamy." 

Aug. 19, 2010, Dennis said:

I had just entered my teens when Dr. No came out. And I vowed to attend every one in part because of the women. Whoever had the job of selecting the women for James Bond films, if you believe in karma, this person had to be a saint in a previous life.
One element of James Bond’s success is that you always know that good will triumph over the evil.
Second. Good guys are not usually having fun and he does. The good guy is rewarded in this world — look at those women, outfits, cars.
Author Sinclair McKay: “You wonder how sustainable a life that is? You’d worry if a friend of yours lived a life like that.”
Dennis: “Why not fantasize that?”
Sinclair: “The nature of the fantasy has changed over the years to the more austere Daniel Craig version we see today. He’s almost monogamous.”
Dennis groans. “I have to be monogamous. I don’t want James Bond to have to be.”
“I didn’t go to the [James Bond] film to watch monogamy.” (8/20/10)

March 22, 2013, Dennis said: "I'm a big believer in and pracitioner of monogamy, but there a lot of sins in marriage that could be worse [than adultery]. I'd rather live with someone who had a brief affair than somebody who mistreated me every day and stayed faithful. Whenever I hear of somebody decent who had an affair, I also want to know what if anything precipitated it... Decent people who have an affair, it's usually a symptom of something going on."
Dec. 18, 2013, Dennis said: "Married people should not flirt. My wife and I are so open [about what we think], there's no elephant in the room because I can be so honest with her. As liberal as I am with thought, that is how strict I am on behavior."
"My wife knows, we're driving along, and it will blow her mind that I will notice a woman in a short skirt two blocks away, and I don't mean little blocks. Or a woman is walking a dog and my wife will notice the dog and I'll notice the woman."
In a 1992 lecture on Genesis 2, Dennis said: “Watching my child grow up, I kept saying to my wife, ‘He’s still in the Garden of Eden.’ …The innocence overwhelmingly is a sexual innocence. It still amazes me that my son will run to the baseball magazine section at a newsstand because he’s not going to run to that section in a couple of years. There will be another section that he will gravitate to first. So long as he’s still running over with lust to Topp’s Baseball Weekly, I’ll know he’s not fully left the Garden of Eden, though I get some reports he’s moving in the other direction… I don’t want him to forever gravitate to the baseball magazine section. I’d be worried. On the other hand, I don’t want him to be a lecher.”
Steve Sailer wrote in 2005:
...[R]espectable publications have started to discuss a major reason why the AIDS rate is so high in black Africa: the tendency of women to have "multiple concurrent relationships."

...I speculate that, at least in the western half of Eurasia, Europe and Africa, there is a "cline" running from, say, Finland in the north to sub-Saharan Africa in the south, of decreasing personal tendency toward monogamousness.

...The mechanism, I would guess, is shyness. Finns are painfully shy, so chasing women is hard work. Once you've got one, you do what it takes to keep her happy so you don't have to go through the agony of meeting another woman.

The farther south you go, the more forward men become. 

...South of the Sahara, men tend to be extremely outgoing, and talented in the arts of seduction (chatting up girls, dancing, singing, and so forth).

...This is one of the reasons it's likely that Islamic fundamentalism will become even more popular in the slums of Europe. Its strictures can serve to prevent moral collapse in a welfare state. When American states followed the Scandinavian lead and boosted AFDC payments to single mothers in the early 1960s, the moral collapse of poor blacks was almost instantaneous. Crime, illegitimacy, and drug use shot upwards as many black men reverted to their forefathers' family structures and started to live off their women.

Very roughly speaking, the farther north a people originated, the slower the welfare state works its moral rot.

Divorce

Dennis: “I had religious relatives who did not sleep in the same room together for the last 20 years of their lives. They hated each other. That’s a marriage that was saved. They never divorced. And they didn’t divorce because it would’ve been a shanda in the Orthodox community in which they lived. They couldn’t show their face at shul if they divorced. So the children grew up with parents who hated each other and that took a terrible toll on those children.” (March 24, 2008)
Dec. 2, 2009, Dennis Prager said: “Conservatives read divorce statistics as an immediate indictment of the morality of a society. I see it more as tragedy than as evil. I don’t have this image that people just divorce at the drop of a hat. Maybe they exist. I never met them. Everybody I know who divorced divorced after hell, after years of therapy, of trying and hell, including me.”
Prager CD: “The week my marriage broke up [8/86], I was fired from my daily radio job, I had no money to speak of and was living at my friend’s [director Jerry Zucker] house because I could not afford an apartment.” 
After the divorce, an arrangement was made between the Pragers and the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC). Janice was hired as a fundraiser and Dennis agreed to speak regularly for the center. This helped him with the alimony and it gave them a speaker who attracted people to attend co-sponsored events at places such as the Stephen S. Wise temple.
Janice kept her last name of Prager. She dressed provocatively in her new role, much to the delight of the YULA boys next door. She particularly favored skintight pants that left little to the imagination.
Rabbi Meyer May had Sidney Green groom Janice and the bimbo squad. They’d dress sexy and go to parties and hook in male donors. They had a list to contact. The number one girl at this task was Janice. She would go to Palm Springs or wherever there was money to be raised. She got a paid membership at a pricey workout place thanks to the SWC.
Janice loved to tell spicy stories about the men she met. Janice said that prior to her marriage, she worked as a nurse in a fertility facility where her job was to distribute erotic magazines to the male patients and then collect the semen.
Janice’s relationship with Rabbi Meyer May was close. She could walk into his office any time without announcement. He might be heavy at work as she stuck her head in but he was always glad to see her. She’d open herself up to him, stretching her legs out over the sofa or chair. She’d open her mouth wide and say, “Meyer, I am so thirsty.”
At such moments, Rabbi May would say, “I’ve had enough of work. I want to play.” And he’d stay with Janice behind closed doors.
They’d go everywhere together, including trips. At times Janice would appear to be high. Rabbi May got moody and his weight would go up and down dramatically.
Rabbi May would change his staff like socks but Janice always stayed and she kept getting better salaries and better titles.
Rabbi May never wanted to go home. His frequent flier miles exceeded the other rabbis until Marvin Hier told him to cool it.
Rabbi May watched TV much of the day, favoring the girly crime dramas such as Charlie’s Angels. He’d still be in his office at 1 am. At home he did not have a TV. At home he lived like a Hasid. At work, he did what he liked.
At the time, Janice lived across the street from the SWC.
When she got money, she moved away and married a drug user from Hollywood. The marriage lasted a few months.
Through it all, including her new marriage, Janice kept the last name of Prager. It was money.
Despite being married to one of Judaism’s most eloquent spokesmen, Janice did not go on from her marriage to lead an observant Jewish life.
On May 13, 1987, Janice Prager sued Dennis Prager (Case Number: D191749).
During the late 1990s and until David Prager graduated in 2001, Janice, Dennis and his second wife Fran could be seen chatting together at Shalhevet events.

Therapy

In 1986, Dennis entered therapy for almost a year with the late psychiatrist Samuel Eisenstein. During his few intense sessions, Dennis at one point doubled up with pain. Another time, when he related a traumatic story from his childhood, Dr. Eisenstein replied that he doubted the story happened the way Prager described it. Dennis wanted to punch him. (Related by Prager at a Sabbath morning sermon he gave at Stephen S. Wise Temple in the Spring of 1998.)
Dr. Eisenstein published this letter in the Oct – Dec, 1990 edition of Ultimate Issues:
I read with great interest the article, “Judaism, Homosexuality and Civilization.” I was very impressed by the Jewish aspect of your work and also the way you dealt with the psychological problem. You managed to convey clearly where the issue stands at present. Of course, there will be psychiatrists who will disagree with you, but this usually doesn’t seem to bother you.
"Most people do [need therapy]," said Dennis July 12, 2013. "That included me. Very early on in my life, I wanted to figure out things that plagued me. It was brief but very powerful. The man I went to was a giant. I thought I was in the room with Freud. He had a German accent. He had a German-Jewish name. He was much older than me. All he needed was a cigar."
Stephen Marmer: "He went to medical school in Italy and he led a group of Jewish medical students out of Italy through the Alps. He was a great man."
On Dec. 24, 2010, Dennis said: “When my first marriage had ended [in 1986], I wanted to really try to insure I would never divorce again and that I would marry right so I went for counseling on these matters with the woman that I was dating, and [psychiatrist Stephen S. Marmer] was recommended, and after the session, I said to the woman, ‘I want this man as a friend, to hell with the therapy.’ At the same time, he was thinking, ‘I would really like to be friends with him.’
“And so that is what happened. The three of us, Dr. Marmer, Allen Estrin and our spouses have gotten together virtually every Sabbath for the past 20-something years. After synagogue, we get together. It is an anchor of happiness in my life.”
On Dec. 4, 2013, Dennis reacted with scorn to Deborah Solomon's biography of Norman Rockwell which alleged the illustrator might've been gay: "This is under the title of why I don't love the left. Norman Rockwell is one of my favorite artists. He painted the America I dream about, and which I think existed in large measure. We have produced the best society that humans make."
"I would've had the author on if she didn't do this."
"May I hereby announce that I Dennis Prager [also] have an intense need for emotional and physical closeness with men. It's not hidden... If I can't hug and be close to my male friends, I feel bereft and impoverished in my emotional life. And 'that his marriages might've been a strategy to control his homo-erotic desires'? Is that unbelievable? That I can't announce for myself. I am unaware of any homo-erotic desires in me but that's only because I'm probably not liberated enough. This is what I mean by the left damages whatever it touches... The sheer chutzpah. But she says, 'Of course I never suggested he was gay.' OK."
At the April 3, 2008 roast, Dr. Marmer said:
As a psychiatrist and psycho-analyst, I've been waiting for decades to find a subject who confirms Freud's stages of development -- oral, anal, phallic, oedipal and so forth. Finally, finally, I was able to find someone who was fixated in each and every one of Freud's stages -- Dennis Prager.
The anal phase... That's the time when people learn to be meticulous and neat and fastidious and parsimonious... Perhaps you do not know if you haven't actually visited him in his home, how meticulous and neat Dennis is with his office and his paperwork and how he keeps all of his financial records so obsessively up to date and how thorough he is checking all the contracts he signs...
Dennis has dedicated his life to Viking women. Hi Sue!
Normally children leave the Oedipus Complex and enter what is called latency phase. This is the time they leave their childhood anger, and childhood emotions and temper tantrums and infantile sexuality and buckle down to learning during the school years but Dennis broke that rule. He never left any of those things behind. One can say he continued his childhood right up to his arrival at adolescent rebellion and sexuality and has remained there eversince.
In the Summer 1987 edition of Ultimate Issues, Prager wrote that his four year-old son David, in the six months during which his parents separated, became obsessed with making and shooting toy guns. David asked his dad if there were “bad monsters.” Dennis said yes. David proceeded to kill them.
After six months, David said he did not have to kill any more bad monsters and showed no further interest in guns and shooting.
Said Dennis in a 2001 lecture on Numbers 22, 23:
I’ll give you the worst story. It’s now a family joke. I have rarely lost my temper at my kids. I don’t have much of a temper, or I control it well. But there was one time that I can recall when I did lose my temper with my older boy. He’s not one that provoked me much. He’s a very easy child. He was about four years old. It was about 3 a.m. and he wouldn’t go to bed. He kept coming in. When you lose sleep, you really lose control. I threw him into his bed. And he said to me, ‘Daddy, I’m not a baseball.’
I just lost control. I lay next to him. I stayed the whole night with him. He has no recollection of this.
“I raised my kids in Los Angeles,” said Dennis. “I remember when my older son had LA Laker pictures up in his room. One day I said to him, ‘David, what do you want to be when you grow up?’ He said, ‘Black’. I knew it was a good day in America.” (April 21, 2010)
When Prager’s kids told him they were bored, he often responded, “You’re not bored, you’re boring.” (Dec. 30, 2010)

Public Career In The 1980s

President Ronald Reagan appointed Dennis Prager a US delegate to the October 1986 Vienna Review Conference on the Helsinki Accords to negotiate human rights with the Soviet Union.
Cal-Tech's daily newspaper reported April 17, 1987:
A KABC Radio commentator recently spoke at Caltech about an unusual assignment that he was appointed to by President Reagan. He was sent to Vienna as an American delegate for the Helsinki review conference, and he spoke about this in the talk sponsored by the Caltech Y's Distinguished Speakers Fund and Hillel Extension.
Dennis Prager was one of 12 "public members," that is, nondiplomats, representing the United States at the Helsinki review conference in Vienna. Mr. Prager was a delegate during the opening weeks of the conference.
The conference, still going on, has been reviewing the human rights situation in the Europe. The 35 participating countries are all European with the exception of the Soviet Union, the United States, and Canada. The basis for their human rights judgments are contained in the Helsinki Accords of 1975 which guaranteed such basic human rights as freedom of religion and movement. The Accords also provided for official recognition of post-World War II borders, technological cooperation, and the monitoring of human rights.
Mr. Prager first spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of the Accords. Many people have been highly critical ofthe Accords because they feel that it has been ineffective in bringing about permanent human rights changes in the Soviet Union, that it gave the Soviets exactly what they wanted in terms of border recognition, that it has helped only the Eastern Bloc countries, and not the West, in technological development.
However, Mr. Prager gave reasons for why he thinks the Helsinki Accords is indeed better for human rights in the long run.
"Number one, you might recall that whenever the West attacked the Soviet Union for human rights violations, the Soviet response was, 'Those are internal affairs, and you may not meddle in our internal affairs.' Helsinki as rendered that unacceptable in international dialogue. For that alone I think Helsinki was worth it.
"Number two, it has made human rights an international issue. By their signing the Accords human rights has become, de facto, acceptable as an international concern . . .previously Western Europe had had a nonconfrontational attitude toward the Soviet Union in human rights. But the human rights issue has now been resurrected as an issue in Western Europe with regard to the Soviet Union thanks to the Helsinki Accords.
"In the final analysis, I ask the dissidents themselves. Those dissidents like Bukovsky who are against the Accords are in the minority among dissidents in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe who feel the Helsinki Accords have been ineffective."
Mr. Prager explained that Helsinki monitors are people who appoint themselves-certainly they are not appointed by government s - to monitor the compliance of their country's government to the Helsinki Accords.
He noted, "The Soviets still crack down on Helsinki monitors. If it wasn't important the Soviets would not have arrested 37 out of 38 of the monitors. One question is whether the Helsinki monitoring movement dead in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. That's a serious question especially if you expel all those who monitor them, which has happened with Orlov and Sharansky, for example.
"But there's no question the Helsinki Accords have revived the debate, on Soviet and Communist human r ight s violations, in Western Europe and partially in the United States and certainly in the Soviet Union and East Europe.
"Now there is something someone in the Soviet Union can hang his hat on- they can say, 'You published in Pravda and Isvestia that you would follow the Helsinki human rights agreements.' The publishing ofthe Accords was part of the agreement, and on that day, that one day, there was a ray of hope for human rights in those [Eastern bloc] countries."
Mr. Prager shared with the audience what he termed "the single most boring activity" he had undertaken in his adult life. The undertaking of this activity motivated him to remark, "Whatever part of me ever wanted to become a diplomat was destroyed. There are a thousand professions I could name off hand that I would prefer to being a diplomat."
The activity he was talking about was his compilation of report cards for all 35 foreign ministers who spoke. He rated each from "excellent" to "worthless." He gave "excellent" to those countries which sited specific violations in strong terms. The United States, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, W. Germany, and Great Britain were excellent for mentioning specifics, including the situation of dissidents, Soviet J ewry, the psychiatric hospitals in which Soviet dissidents have been put in, the Soviet Union's activity in Afghanistan, etc.
On Iceland's statement Mr. Prager said, "I get the chills when I recall this, since it is the greatest ongoing human rights violation going on at the moment. It's what has been described by even the Washington Post as 'genocide.' Iceland mentioned Afghanistan in a very touching context. The foreign minister mentioned that Iceland and Afghanistan were admitted to the U.N. on the same day, and he said, 'Look at the fates that have befallen our respective countries since then.'"
...Mr. Prager was disappointed but "sobered" by the human rights statement by the Vatican.
 "The Holy See, the Catholic church, said nothing on behalf of Christians in Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union. Being involved in this I can tell you that there are considerably more Christians in Soviet prison camps for being Christian than there are Jews for being Jewish, something by the way which is virtually unknown to Christians, Jews, or anybody else living in the West. In fact, so persecuted are the Christians that merely to be a a member of certain Christian sects in the Soviet Union is to be involved in an illegal act. To be a Jew is not illegal. To practice Judaism may be illegal, but to merely be a Ukrainian Catholic of whom there are 4 million is simply not allowed.
"And yet by and large, the Christian world is silent with regard to the persecution offellow Christians. And hearing the Holy See say nothing about persecution of Catholics helped me understand something that I've long suspected when Jews have asked about the Holy See's relative silence during the Holocaust. It was usually perceived as antisemitism. I tend not to think that it was. I tend to think that the Holy See is quiet when anybody is persecuted, and in this regard this statement is both a defense and an accusation. It's a defense of specific antisemitism in the Holocaust but it is also an indictment on its lack of moral vigor when anybody is being persecuted..."
Mr. Prager told a few vignettes, one about the ambassador from Liechtenstein (a country of 65 square miles next to Switzerland). "Ambassador Warren Zimmerman, the head of the U.S. delegation, gave a speech on November 14 which was entirely devoted to giving the names and stories of Soviet victims of oppression. He gave case after case with their addresses, and i f they existed, their phone numbers. So I was sitting there wondering how the Soviets would respond. But before that happened an amazing thing occurred.
"The Liechtenstinian ambassador asked the chairman for permission for everybody to stand for a minute of silence honoring all these victims listed by Ambassador Zimmerman! And I loved that moment, it was precious. It was a moment when reality and utter nondiplomacy to the point of Dostoevsky's Idiot's naivete, had actually entered the room. The man had reacted totally undiplomatically- even the Americans were stunned. The Soviets stand up for victims of their own government? It was a real likelihood. So there was mumbling, a silence except for me who was crunching at my teeth. I couldn't help smiling. No one else was smiling because diplomats learn not to smile or grimace.
"There's a hubbub at the chair. They mumbled something back about having to check the rules on this very unorthodox request, that they simply don't know the rules, and that they'll get back to him later, hoping the 'don't-call, we'll-call-you' approach would work. But the Liechtenstinian doesn't back down and insists on a ruling...
According to Mr. Prager, the East view of human rights is different from that of the West. "For years, I have been hearing, which they still say, that they have a very different concept of rights in the Communist world. That's true. But they will add, 'We believe that it is a basic human right to work. I t took me five years to figure out the response to that, because it is very hard to answer what I believe is demagoguery. But I realize what the answer is. 'Yes, in the Soviet Union you have the right to work. But in the West you have a right you don't have in the Soviet Union, the right not to work.' It was something which we then implemented in the list of standard U.S. answers to Soviet nonsense.
"In the Soviet Union, if you don't work you go to prison camp. In the United States if you don't work you get a check. It's a very big difference! This isn't a defense of unemployment, it is merely a statement of the difference. "There's an addition to this - the definition of a slave. The one right a slave has is the right to work! The second way that the Soviets respond to criticism, according to Mr. Prager, is to repeat, "You can talk about human rights all you like. The Soviet Union cares about the greatest human right of all, the right to survive, the right of the earth to survive, and therefore we must have arms control."
That has a staggering amount of acceptance in the West. All other issues are subsidiary to the issue of the survival of the human race. By arguing that, they sound like they really care and we're callous. That's the power of constantly raising in response to the human rights issue the nuclear weapons issue."
Religion on the Line II

In 1986, after four years hosting Religion on the Line, “something dawned on me,” said Prager. “And I said it on the air. ‘The moment you realize that there are people in other religions whom you consider to be at least as good as you think you are, at least as intelligent as you think you are and at least as religious as you think you are, you will never be the same.’ When I would meet Christians and Muslims and Catholics, Protestants and so on, and people whom I so respected and who so clearly were God- and decency-oriented, I could no longer say, ‘There is only one true religion.’ It in no way lessened my belief in Judaism, but I now see other religions as vehicles to God for other people.” (CSPAN Booknotes)
“Over the course of the next few years, I was given an increasing amount of radio time. First, an hour on Sunday night prior to Religion on the Line, then another hour, and then yet another hour. I ended up broadcasting for five hours – 7:00 PM to Midnight – on Sunday nights. Then I was given three hours on Saturday nights – for a total of eight hours on weekend nights. KABC’s Saturday and Sunday night listeners who didn’t like me must have been quite annoyed with how much I was on.” (CD)
“When I started in radio, I would actually smoke my pipe during the show.” (Dec. 16, 2010)
Mar. 23, 2012, Dennis said: "Through age 40 [1988], I made about $65,000 a year. I had a salary of $35,000 a year and I supplemented it with lectures."
In a May 14, 2012 lecture, Dennis said: "If I wanted to make a lot of money, I don't know what I'd do..., but everyone who knows me well knows that I've never been guided by money. I've been guided by doing more good."

Second Marriage

In September 1986, a month after he separated from Janice, “I was looking for an apartment, and I couldn’t find the landlord. I knocked on the first door in the apartment building to find out where the landlord was, and she opened the door. And I didn’t let her close it. And she let me in after 20 minutes – a stranger. But that’s the trust that was there so readily.”
“The dog who hated men jumped on my lap. This was a good sign.” (Jan. 2002 lecture)
Dennis had met the tall, blonde and beautiful actress Francine Stone, born a year before Dennis in 1947. (Los Angeles Times, 2/4/98). Within minutes Dennis knew that he wanted to marry her.
“He kept asking me questions,” she remembered.
They exchanged phone numbers that each then lost. A few days later, Dennis drove by and left a note on Fran’s door. She called him and they began dating.
Fran was initially disappointed that Dennis worked in the entertainment industry, a business that the actress (mainly TV commercials) had tired of. Raised Lutheran, Fran had married once before (to a secular Jew). They had a girl Anya (b. 1977) together, then divorced.
Prager had joint custody of David with his ex-wife Janice.
Helped by Aish HaTorah Rabbi Nahum Braverman, Fran converted to Orthodox Judaism. She and Dennis married September 4, 1988. They did not go on a honeymoon for several months. Dennis did his radio show the Sunday night of their wedding.
“My religion tells couples you can not leave,” said Dennis June 9, 2010. “You have to celebrate with family and friends for a week. Each night somebody else hosts the couple at a different home. We were told as kids that it’s a celebration for everybody. You don’t leave on your own. Marriage is not just about the two of you. That’s why I got so annoyed when I was a kid that religion was nonsense and that we would reinvent the wheel.”
Max Prager wrote:
In 1989, Dennis married Fran, a divorcee with a daughter Anya. Fran was born in Kansas whose parents were Lutheran. She was divorced from a Jew and, although it was possible that she converted to Judaism at the time of her first marriage, Dennis would not marry her unless she went through a year of study with an Orthodox rabbi. She consented and after a year she and Anya were converted according to Orthodox halacha (law).
The marriage ceremony was performed in the Young Israel of Century City by Rabbi Muskin, an Orthodox rabbi in Los Angeles. It was attended by many members of our family and Fran’s mother, brother and members of her family; her father had died many years ago. What amazed me was the joy and elation exhibited by her family at this very Orthodox wedding.
During the Persian Gulf War at the beginning of 1991, Fran Prager flew to Israel to volunteer at an institution for the retarded. She published excerpts of her journal in the Jan – Mar 1991 edition of Ultimate Issues:
…I have never seen so many different kinds of Jews gathered together in one enclosed place. All acting very Jewish. …Some of the black hats are also trying to change seats because they have been seated next to a female. The smokers put in the nonsmoking section are trying to make deals with the smokers in the smoking section.
The Myth Of Heterosexual AIDS

In the November 1987 issue of Commentary magazine, Michael Fumento published an essay entitled, “The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS.”
Dennis Prager immediately took up the topic on his radio show.
“I almost got fired because it was such a sensitive issue,” Dennis recalled Dec. 9, 2010.
Circa 1998, Dennis interviewed a city manager in Southern California where all city employees had to agree to not smoke. That way the city could reduce their health insurance bills. Aghast, Dennis asked the manager if all employees had to agree to avoid anal sex as that could transmit deadly disease. The manager said no. Prager later said he regretted his question.

Happiness

During 1986, Prager began assembling material for his third book – Why Don’t All Good People Hate Communism? But instead of doing a book on evil, he ended up writing one on happiness.
Prior to 1986, when Dennis was asked about happiness, he said it was a selfish pursuit. “People would ask me to speak on happiness and I would say no. Did I want to write a book on happiness? I would say no. And I would say why. I believed that the only people who got happier from lectures on happiness and books on happiness were the lecturers and the authors as they cashed their checks.
“I had the same view of happiness as I’m sure you do that it is nice to be happy but it is not a moral goal… I regarded it as a personal psychological selfish request.” (YICC lecture, June 13, 2010)
Shlomo Schwartz, the rabbi of the UCLA Chabad, called Dennis in 1986 to arrange for him to lecture to students at his Lubavitch synagogue on Gailey Ave.
“I assume you want me to speak on religion,” Dennis said.
“Oh no,” said Rabbi Schwartz, best known as ‘Schwartzie.’ “No one will show up if you do. I would like you to speak on a light subject.”
“Like what?”
“Like happiness.”
“But happiness isn’t a light subject,” said the newly divorced thinker. “Happiness is a serious problem.”
“That’s a great title,” said Schwartzie. (From Prager’s lecture on happiness to the UCLA Chabad)
On June 13, 2010, at YICC, Dennis Prager said: “
So I gave a talk to UCLA Jewish students… I don’t know how many showed up. It was not standing room only. I brought my recorder. I was sure I would never give another talk on happiness. I record all my talks. It’s a good thing because I am misquoted often and then I have proof whether I am misquoted or not. For 30 years, I have been sending out my lectures to people who subscribe to my lectures. I take the best of the month and I send them out. I figured, if this is good, I’ll send this one out. It’s so different from everything else I was talking about at the time — God’s existence, good and evil…
Not only did I like it, I did something that I had never done before and haven’t done since — I listened to my own talk through when I got home. I don’t like hearing me any more than you like hearing you.
Not only did I listen to it, but I kept going, ‘Yeah, good point.’ I was listening to somebody else tell me things about happiness.
I made it available to the subscribers and never thought about it again.
A half year later, I receive a call. ‘Dennis Prager, boy have I been hunting you down. This is so-and-so from Redbook magazine in New York… I heard your lecture on happiness… I never heard of you in my life. I heard it on the radio here in New York.
I said, ‘You heard my lecture on happiness on the radio in New York?’
It turns out at the time this Jewish run station WEVD, basically a bunch of ganafim, a bunch of crooks, they did something for which they could lose their license. They played an entire lecture with no permission, forget no fee. Believe me, I would’ve given them permission. I would’ve paid them to do it. But it was totally illegal. Absolutely illegal. Thanks to these crooks, my life has changed and I have changed thousands of lives.”
She said, ‘I sat in my car in front of my brownstone on the East Side till it was finished to find out who it was. Would you like to write an article for Redbook?’
I said, on what? I had no idea.
She said, on happiness. Is $3,000 OK?
You have to understand, it’s an immense amount today for an article. When I would write for Commentary [magazine], do you know what I would receive? Six copies of that issue to give to friends and relatives.
My reaction was — I was right. The only people who get happy from happiness lectures and from happiness books are the authors as they cash their checks. This was more than I made from all of my article writing put together.
Had the woman had said, $11.62, I would’ve said fine.
I wrote the article and it was published in Redbook.
Then I got a call from Reader’s Digest. Can we abridge your article and put it in our international editions? I thought, that’s really exciting. Me in Estonian! I said go ahead.
Then I got a call from Random House. We’d like you to write a book. These are great ideas.
People meantime are reacting to the lecture more than any other lecture I ever gave.
I thought, maybe I do have something to say here. I’ll test it out.
I decided to give an eight-session course on happiness at the University of Judaism. Do I have eight 90-minute statements to make? I did. I still wasn’t sure I had a book. So I gave a 16-session course on happiness. That’s 24 hours. If I can speak for 24 hours no baloney no fat on happiness, I convinced myself I had a book.
I said yes to Random House. Five years later, I didn’t have a book. I gave them all their money back, which was painful, because, needless to say, it was spent. Then Harper Collins asked again and it was published [in 1998] with Harper Collins.
Prager’s UCLA lecture tape on happiness fast became his best seller.
During 1989, Prager asked his listeners over KABC whether he should write his next book on goodness or happiness. Prager fans voted with their pocketbooks for happiness.
In the jacket of tapes that he sold, Prager predicted a publication date of 1990 for his book. He was off by over seven years. Writing Happiness Is A Serious Problem became a serious problem.
Dennis said: “We would have great art if people were happy but we wouldn’t have genocide if people were happy, we wouldn’t have lynchings if people were happy, we wouldn’t have anti-Semitism if people were happy. Happy people don’t walk around hating groups.”
“We Jews are more influenced by secular society than we influence secular society. It’s my single greatest lament about Jewish life. We don’t give out our values. We don’t even know which ones to give.”
On Jan. 29, 1999, Dennis Prager did his first dedicated happiness hour on his radio show. It became a weekly occurrence in the second hour of his Friday show. He even did it on the Friday following 9/11.
Said Dennis Jul. 29, 2011: “A general-themed [radio] show does not exist. This is the only one I know of… The breadth of subjects committed to is broader than other shows. I took a gamble when I did it.”
Mar. 28, 2013, Dennis said: "I comport with the conservative love of non-turbulence. I am not bored by my society enjoying itself, by my society continuing with obvious fixes where things are broken, but I don't want turbulence. In private life, every one of you knows a drama queen, people who thrive on emotional turbulence. The left thrives on social turbulence. It comports with every poll done -- people on the left are less happy than people on the right. When you are not happy, you think the world around you is awry and you thrive on turbulence. This feeds the left-wing love of change and drama and radical transformation because what exists now doesn't make them happy."

The Moral Bank Account

Dennis Prager does not get rattled in public. One of the foundations of his thinking is that each person has a moral bank account and he believes that his balance is formidable.
He wrote March 22, 2005: “Now, of course, some people make so many withdrawals — Hitler, for example — that no imaginable good act they can do will seriously change the balance from extremely negative to positive. But most people need to be assessed based on this bank account analogy. I first came up with this idea when Clarence Thomas was accused by Anita Hill and the Democratic Party of sexual harassment. Needless to say, no one knew for sure which party was telling the truth. But I made the argument on my radio show that given all the good Thomas had done, given the absence of indications of him ever acting indecently toward women employees, his moral bank account was, to the best our knowledge, quite in the black. Whether or not he said the words 'pubic hair' in a conversation with Anita Hill 10 years earlier was of absolutely no concern to me in assessing his moral character — i.e., the balance in his moral bank account.”
Dennis described the Clarence Thomas hearings as one of the five events that most influenced him. (Jul. 14, 2011)

Relationship With God

March 24, 2008, Dennis said: “I have a relationship with God, but it’s not the way people often use the term. My relationship with God is that I want to do what He wants to do. It doesn’t go much beyond that. We don’t talk a lot. He doesn’t answer a lot. There are people like my father who talk to God every night of their lives. I envy him.”
“Before I give a lecture and before my radio show, I [say] a little prayer. 'God, I would like to do what You would like me to do. Thank you. Just give me the strength to do what You would like.' That’s it. It makes me not nervous because I am not there for me… It’s a very centering thing. Am I in line with what I believe God wants me to do with my life? Will I meet my Maker and be able to say I did what You wanted?”
In his lecture on Gen. 41-42, Dennis said: “You’re a lot more confident in life when you think you are doing God’s work. Take it from someone who thinks he is doing God’s work.”

Fatwah Against Salman Rushdie

The death threat against the novelist was a big deal said Dennis Prager in early 1989. He wrote in the Jan-Mar 1989 edition of Ultimate Issues:
Few Muslim leaders have actually condemned Khomeini, and I know of none who have declared a would-be killer of Salman Rushdie a murderer.

...[E]ither there are relatively few Muslim believers, or they are numerous but very afraid of antagonizing their more vicious co-religionists. Neither scenario is comforting to the rest of us.
Central Park Five

From Wikipedia: "The Central Park jogger case involved the assault and rape of Trisha Meili, a female jogger in New York City's Central Park, on April 19, 1989. Five juvenile males—four black and one Hispanic—were tried and convicted for the crime and served their sentences fully. The convictions were vacated in 2002 when Matias Reyes, a convicted rapist and murderer serving a life sentence for other crimes, confessed to committing the crime alone and DNA evidence confirmed his involvement in the rape." 

After the young men were arrested, Dennis Prager blasted them for weeks on his radio show and in his speeches, calling them "rapists" and "torturers." It turned out that they were innocent of the crime. When their convictions were vacated in 2002, Dennis Prager gave it scant if any attention, and his on-air statements convicting people accused but not tried for murder did not diminish.

On Friday morning, Sept. 29, 2013, when little was publicly known about a stabbing death in San Francisco of a Dodger fan two days earlier, Dennis Prager said on his nationally syndicated radio show: “This is why I believe in capital punishment. They caught the guy already, a 21-year old, he stabbed a man to death he got into an argument with because the guy wore Dodger paraphernalia. I believe he should be executed. These are the things that trigger my passion for capital punishment. It makes me sick.”
The suspect was released from jail that night for lack of evidence.

On June 26, 2007, Dennis Prager wrote:
The rape of a name can be as vicious a crime and as destructive an act as the rape of a body. Sometimes the rape of a body is worse, sometimes the rape of a name is worse. But they are both rapes. And morally likening the two is in no way meant to lessen the horror of rape; it is meant only to heighten awareness of the horror of intentionally destroying the name of an innocent person.

What do we have in life, after all, that is more valuable than our name and reputation? What do good people work hardest at maintaining, if not their good name? 

Judaism, Homosexuality and Civilization

In the fall of 1989, Dennis Prager began speaking in depth on his radio show about homosexuality and he devoted the entire April-June 1990 edition (about 10,000 words) of Ultimate Issues to “Judaism, Homosexuality and Civilization.”
Generally speaking, I do not concern myself with the actions of consenting adults in the privacy of their homes, and I certainly oppose government involvement with what consenting adults do in private...
To a world which divided human sexuality between penetrator and penetrated, Judaism said, “You are wrong — sexuality is to be divided between male and female.” To a world which saw women as baby producers unworthy of romantic and sexual attention, Judaism said, “You are wrong — women must be the sole focus of men’s erotic love.” To a world which said that sensual feelings and physical beauty were life’s supreme values, Judaism said, “You are wrong — ethics and holines are the supreme values.”
Marcus called Dennis's show Dec. 16, 2013: "By just saying this is a war fighting the redefinition of marriage, you're losing the battle for marriage because really what you should be talking about is the real truth of the matter -- that it is an immoral, depraved and physically and mentally unhealthy relationship, especially between two men."
Dennis: "I think language like that only alienates all the people we need to win over and it is unfair to people who have it. I have sympathy and tolerance of the homosexual individual but I am opposed to same-sex marriage, but to call what they all do 'depraved'. I understand the Bible calls the male homosexual act an 'abomination.' I am a believer in the Bible. I juggle that but I don't think it is language we need to use. I don't know what it gains."

Jews Must Seek Converts

In 1990, Dennis Prager wrote that Jews should seek converts among non-Jews who are not active in a religion.
Reason Two: The More Jews The Better
We lost one out of every three Jews during the Holocaust. Today we continue to lose about the same percentage to assimilation. Obviously, we are in terrible need of more Jews. With more Jews every Jewish problem comes closer to solution.
More Jews means far more Jewish resources — more Jewish schools, more Jewish institutions of all types, more resources to resettle Jews, to help poor Jews, to fight anti-Semitism and to build Israel. Conversely, the fewer Jews there are, the more impotent and irrelevant to the world Jews become. With small numbers, Jews will become little more than a religious sect — much better known, but not much more influential — than the Amish. While large numbers do not ensure great influence, nations surely do not increase their influence while their already small numbers dwindle.
And, of course, more Jews means more Jewish security. Small groups invite big bullies. If Jewish numbers are great enough, antisemites will think twice before attacking Jews. That is why Arab countries that want to see Israel disappear fear Jewish immigration to Israel more than they fear any weapons given to Israel.
There are only two ways of increasing our numbers -- through a very high birth rate and by gaining converts.
The first method, however, is not working. Many of the Orthodox (especially the kharedim, the ultra-Orthodox) are reproducing in very high numbers, but that will not even make a dent on the overall demographic problem. Given the low birth rate among other Jews, and given the high rate of Jewish assimilation, the surging Orthodox birth rate will only mean that the ultra-Orthodox will constitute a significantly higher percentage of Jews.
On November 27, 2009, Dennis said: “A few years ago I had an idea — bring a Christian home for a Shabbat dinner. It ran into the following problem — Jews who had Christian friends didn’t have a Shabbat dinner. And Jews who make Shabbat dinner didn’t have Christian friends. That ended that brilliant idea, one of many felled before it was tried.”

The Arab Threat

In the Jul-Sept 1990 edition of Ultimate Issues, in the aftermath of Iraq's conquest of Kuwait, Dennis wrote an essay entitled, "And now...the Arab Threat."
The parallels between Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler are as true as they are often made...

Saddam's invasion of Kuwait is the test of the post Cold War era just as Italy's invasion of Ethiopia and Hitler's of Czechoslovakia were the tests of the pre-World War II era...

Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, like the invasions of the 1930s, will determine our future.
Given that the average Iraqi IQ is 87 and the average German IQ is 102 (and was probably higher before WWII when it had millions of Jews), it is impossible for Iraq and its ilk to pose a threat to the world in anything like the way Germany did in 1938.

Iraqis and Iranians (only in the last 30 years have a majority of their populations become literate) have lower average IQs than Mexicans and who worries about Mexico posing an existential threat to anyone? The Soviet Union developed a nuclear weapon just four years after America, while Iran (which last started a war in the 18th century) began its nuclear program in the 1950s and has yet to produce a bomb. Perhaps it has something to do with Russia's average IQ being 13 points higher than Iran's? As Steve Sailer wrote, "Muslims, for all their obnoxiousness, are simply too incompetent to be an existential threat to America."

Dec. 18, 2013, Dennis said, "You can't write on a more important subject in international affairs today than Iran." Well, Iran in 2014 has the world's 32nd largest GNP and the 31st biggest military budget and it has no nuclear weapons. What about China? Perhaps it is a more important topic than Iran as China has an average IQ of 100, the world's biggest population, second biggest economy and second biggest military.

Physicist Gregory Cochran does believe IQ measures something important. In a Sept. 9, 2007 interview, Dr. Cochran, who opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, said:
I think that most people writing about international politics don't have much useable history. They keep making the same two analogies (everything is either Munich or Vietnam)...

I also think that they have zero quantitative knowledge. Comparisons of Saddam's Iraq and Hitler's Germany used to bug me, since Germany had the second largest economy in the world and was a real contender, while Iraq had the fortieth largest GNP and didn't have a pot to piss in.

...In the same way, people who equate the dangers of jihadism with that of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union really don't know big from small, don't know anything about the roots of national power.

Rushton wrote in 2006:
These findings in [Richard] Lynn's latest book [Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis] have profound geopolitical significance. They imply it may simply not be possible to transmit Western-style democratic and economic systems to the populations of Latin America and Moslem North Africa and the Middle East, let alone sub-Saharan Africa. They mean that the world's long-term problems will stem from its populations' capabilities—much deeper and more intractable than any "Clash of Civilizations"-style competition between different political concepts.

The implications for immigration are obvious: it can have fundamental, and permanent, consequences.

In Vol. 9, No. 2 of Ultimate Issues in 1993, Dennis wrote: "To divide people by pigmentation, genitals and money is wrong. We should divide people only by good and bad. There are good Jews and bad Jews, good blacks and bad blacks, good Arabs and bad Arabs. If we see everything as Muslim/Jewish, or as black/white, or as male/female, we subvert what we Jews have worked for during 3200 years since Mount Sinai."

Such divisions may be wrong in Prager's view, but they are a fact of life. For instance, there's long been a separation between male and female in lavatories, sports, and religion. As for race, ethnicity and social class, Steve Sailer wrote:

- A racial group is a partly inbred extended biological family.

- An ethnic groups is defined by shared traits that are often passed down within biological families -- e.g., language, surname, religion, cuisine, accent, self-identification, historical or mythological heroes, musical styles, etc. -- but that don't have to be. (Thus, you can be adopted into an ethnic group, but not into a racial group.)

- A class is a group of potential in-laws, people who might turn out to be ancestors of mutual descendents. Contra Marx, one's class is less a function of one's segment in the economic market than of the marriage market.

In other words, from a genealogical perspective, a class is the mirror image of a race, looking forward into the future of your family tree rather than backward into the past.

Conservatives such as Dennis Prager err when they claim that the leftist trinity of sex, race and class has no significance. Sex, race and class may matter considerably depending on the question.

A Reform Temple 

Through 1991, the Pragers belonged to the Orthodox synagogue Young Israel of Century City (YICC) located at Pico Blvd and Rexford St (presided over by Rabbi Elazar Muskin). They played in the shul’s softball league.
A Jewish doctor remembers how Prager helped him. In 1989, the doctor phoned Dennis for advice on shepherding his kids through a divorce. Dennis invited the man to his office and gave him 90 minutes of his time. The doctor never forgot the good deed. Dennis told him about the type of woman he’d eventually marry and it turned out that Prager was right.
Largely under the influence of Prager, the doctor became an Orthodox Jew. 
Bored with prayer, Prager would wander in to YICC Saturday mornings near the end of the service. At 6’4, it was hard for him to be inconspicuous.
In his sermons on politics, Rabbi Muskin would frequently say, “I’m sure Mr. Prager would agree…”
Prager rarely prayed in a minyan (Jewish prayer quorum) during the week.
In 1991, Prager spent one Sabbath at the University of Judaism where he gave a speech. On Saturday morning, he walked up the hill to the “Mountain Top Minyan” (led by Rabbi Mordecai Finley) at the Reform synagogue Stephen S. Wise.
Prager fell in love with the minyan’s singing and use of musical instruments (prohibited by Orthodox Jewish law on the Sabbath and other holy days). He began driving there most Shabbos mornings, a public desecration of the holiness of the Sabbath according to traditional Jewish standards. For ten years previous, Prager would not drive on Shabbat.
I want to sing in synagogue. I am overcome with religious feeling when the entire congregation sings. A cantor who makes me sing makes me love going to shul. (Ultimate Issues, Spring 1985, pg. 12)
In an Oct. 31, 1989 lecture on Maimonides, Prager said:
God doesn’t need your prayer whatsoever. What? God sits up there and says, ‘Oh wow, what a wonderful day. Harry Ginzberg has prayed to me and called me great. Now I feel much better because Harry thinks I’m great.’
If you think that you don’t need to pray, I ask you to consider on the rare occasions that you have gone to an organized prayer service in your religion, how have you felt afterwards? Identical to the way you felt before you went? I doubt it.
I am bored by most of the services. Yet I go every Saturday morning, without exception. I go 99% out of obligation and 1% out of desire. But every single Saturday walking home from synagogue, I am very happy that I went.
And most of the time, I don’t pray as is notoriously known already. I read books on Judaism in my synagogue… And it is in good Jewish tradition to do that. I was raised in an ultra-Orthodox shtibl (a Hasidic little room). No cantor. No sermons. And these bearded elderly gentlemen would be sitting at tables during the prayer services studying Talmud.
Prager often gave the sermon at Stephen S. Wise and was the temple's star attraction.
In early 1998, a non-Jewish acquaintance of mine named Richard who was a regular at the Mountaintop Minyan’s Sabbath morning service, was ejected by the temple’s security guards when he refused Dennis Prager’s request that his talks not be taped.
As Richard was forcibly led out of the room, he screamed that the minyan members were being “brainwashed” by Dennis Prager.
When I asked Dennis via email in 1998 for permission to tape record and transcribe his sermons at Stephen S. Wise for publication on the internet, he said no because he needed the freedom to say things from the pulpit to his synagogue. He said security would be called and I would be escorted out of the temple if I brought a tape recorder. I never did.

Apr. 12, 2013, Dennis supported the tape recording of professors in their classrooms. "Why should they not be recorded? Everything I say is recorded. Why shouldn't everything they say in their profession be recorded? They have America's children."
"I taught at college. If someone had wanted to record what I said in class and then play it for the country? I would've been honored."
"I don't want the professor recorded outside of class."
Apr. 10, 2014, Dennis told his guest George Will: "I have been asked in virtually every one of thousands of lectures I have given over 40 years, 'Dennis, is it OK if we tape you?' I said of course. I'm not going to say to you something that I don't want others to hear and the university has now become the opposite. This notion you can't record what I say. Why not?"
Apr. 25, 2014, Dennis said: "I think every student should record their classes. This is nonsense. I taught at college. I wish kids would have recorded my lectures. What is it you want to hide professor? Especially at public universities. We pay your salary, sir. We're not recording your phone calls. We're recording what you say in public."
Oct. 3, 2013, Dennis said: "Tom Friedman of the Left. I was seated next to him on the people mover at Dulles Airport. I did not introduce who I was. I said to him, 'Would you ever go on talk radio?" He said, 'Oh no, I never do that sort of stuff.' And that week he went on NPR."
Dennis attracts a loyal following. He has presence and when he walks in the room, everybody notices and it seems unimaginable to not conduct yourself accordingly. In the conflict between Richard and Dennis, it was no contest. Richard never returned. In the summer of 1998, I stopped going to Stephen S. Wise.
On Mar. 14, 2013, a caller asked Dennis: "You talk about belonging to a liberal temple. You don't go to an Orthodox. How do they see you? How do you feel comfortable there? Are these the same people who want same-sex marriage and don't adhere to the laws of the Torah?"
Dennis: "Yeah, it's an issue. I've been a member for 20 years. It's a part of the Reform synagogue but it has its own service. There are about 50-100 people who attend each week and most of them are conservative. It may be the only conservative Reform group. I'm grateful for this temple for allowing me to teach Torah every month. It used to be more than that but now they want their rabbis to come to this group. I just find the traditional service too long. I share the Orthodox values but not their services."
Caller: "I don't know how you can stand it. It means you can only belong to this particular synagogue. If you go anywhere else?"
Dennis: "It may be."

After moving to Stephen S. Wise, Dennis told his old friends at YICC that he’d been fooling himself for years by attending traditional prayer services. That pathway to God rarely moved him.
Many of YICC’s congregants did not accept his explanation for his move to a Reform temple. They speculated that at Orthodox synagogues, Prager is surrounded by people of superior Torah learning, while at Reform and Conservative synagogues, Prager is the star.
Aug. 31, 2012, Dennis said: "I know from my own synagogue life that it is absolutely irrelevant what you do for a living or if you even make a living. You're another member of the congregation and we help you and you help me and we enjoy each other."
Dennis Prager’s oldest son David had his bar mitzvah at the Sephardic temple in Westwood on a Sabbath morning in 1995.
In a lecture on Exodus 12, Dennis said: “Jews have led enriched lives thanks to Judaism. My son’s bar mitzvah this weekend, one of my black friends who was at the bar mitzvah, said to me, ‘Dennis, I saw you, your father, your son’s other grandfather, up there at the Torah and I said, this is what is missing from most of our community. I saw all these fathers together.’
“I’m a lucky guy to have been born a Jew.”
May 11, 2012, Dennis said: "I don't like being catered to. I like being respected, being treated decently. I don't like being catered to. It gives me the willies, when there's obsequious behavior towards me. I don't think if you're healthy, it makes you happy, to have the world walk on eggshells in your presence."
As someone who went to temple with Dennis from 1994-1998, I can testify that he was treated as one of the gang. People didn't pester him and people didn't bow down to him. That camraderie happens in almost all synagogues once you belong, pay dues, and fit in. No matter how big of a star you are on the outside, inside the shul, once people get to know you, you are part of the family. The more traditional the shul, however, however, the more hierarchical. Serious students of the Torah (people with learning leagues beyond Dennis) get the most deference.
May 14, 2012, Dennis said: "I used to be regularly invited to [speak at] Reform synagogues...but when I came out as a Republican, all the invitations died. A Reform temple won't have a Republican speak there."
In a fall 2012 debate with Joe Klein and Avraham Burg, Dennis said: "I speak to non-Jews most of my life, through my radio and through my lecturing. Jewish life doesn't book me nearly as much as it used to because I am a conservative and for much of Jewish life in Reform and Conservative synagogues, conservative Jews are not to be invited."
Joe Klein: "Less true than five years ago, perhaps."
Dennis: "As true as five years ago."

The 1990s

In April 1990, the US State Department invited Prager to conduct the Passover Seder at the US embassy in Moscow.
“In 1992, George Green asked me if I would like to have a nightly show on KABC. I was, believe it or not, reluctant to say yes to this wonderful opportunity. I loved being home with my wife and children every day except when I went on the road lecturing; and I loved a life of writing, lecturing, and weekend radio. But I agreed, and in August, 1992, exactly ten years after doing my first Religion on the Line, I moderated my final Religion on the Line – alone with no guests. I took calls and delivered my valedictory address, telling my listeners how much Religion on the Line had meant to me (I still miss doing it). Not once in ten years – over 500 shows – did I ever not look forward to doing the show.” (Prager CD)
Prager’s harping on particular topics alienates many listeners. “I used to listen to his show, but I don’t anymore,” Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) told the Nov. 17, 1991 Los Angeles Times. “I got very tired of his knocking Stanford and the ACLU. I resent his using the airwaves to get back at people he doesn’t like. He’s very disparaging.”
“Dennis Prager is one of the few radio personalities whose intellect is clear,” actor Richard Dreyfuss said. “It’s his manner, his style, that I don’t like. He has this pomposity of delivery that, after a while, makes you want to reach through the radio and slap him across the face. He takes these moral positions and does not bother to explain them thoroughly. In his arguments, I want to hear the I’s dotted and T’s crossed. Because when he does put forth an explanation of something, whether I agree or not, it’s good.”
Prager’s weekend show regularly outpointed the nearest competition by two to one. His 10 to 15 share more than doubled the overall average for KABC, LA’s most popular AM station through 1992. Yet the station had trouble selling commercials. George Green said sponsors worried that their product would seem trivial in the midst of philosophical debate.
Ghost director Jerry Zucker said: “Prager is a very clear thinker. Not that you agree with all his conclusions, but he thinks in a very linear, logical way. Sometimes he’ll surprise you. You wouldn’t think of Dennis as being in favor of so-and-so, but then you realize the lines of thought are completely consistent with his beliefs.”
Zucker told the LA Times that his conceptions of good and evil were deeply influenced by Prager, and they affected the way he modified the script of Ghost to equate evil acts with eventual retribution.
The LA Times wrote:
It’s Sunday night, 15 minutes before his 7:06 air time. Dennis Prager walks into the station holding a gag mirror that laughs as it’s picked up. Laughing himself, he says he plans to use it on some callers (though he never does). He’s in a good mood tonight, not least because his eight-year-old son David, the child of his first marriage, is in tow.
Prager takes his place at the microphone, replacing restaurant critic Elmer Dills. David, who’s been watching his father work since he was four, comes in to share a Hostess cupcake he bought in the vending machine outside. He jumps on his father’s lap, and for the minute before the show begins, Prager rocks him gently. As the opening notes of Prager’s theme music can be heard through the monitor, David jumps off. They will continue to wave at each other and exchange signs of affection all through the show, whether David is in the studio or separated by the glass of the screener’s booth.
…Call after call after call, no matter what the subject, Prager’s response becomes a thread in a fabric that ultimately reveals his vision of a properly moral universe. With his grayish hair combed boyishly onto his forehead, his face reflecting the intensity with which he listens to every word, he is the portrait of sincerity; the man obviously loves his job.
…”My fondest wish,” says Prager, “is the wish of the Jewish prophets: All mankind will be one group to do what God most wants – be decent to each other.
“One of the reasons that I have a different view of the world than a lot of people is that I assume rottenness is normal. I am amazed that societies have been created that are democratic, that have abolished a lot of poverty… Miserable conduct – mass murder, rape, torture… – strikes me as part of the human species. Democracy was created; abolishing slavery was created.”
[In late 1991, Dennis launched the Micah Center for Ethical Monotheism.] The purpose of the activist educational center is to have “a place of activity” devoted to his life’s mission of spreading ethical monotheism through every available means. One of its first programs will be “Dinners in Black and White” to combat racism on a grassroots level by allowing otherwise unacquainted blacks and whites to eat in each other’s homes. Other aims are to develop ethics curricula for parochial and private schools; to defend Western culture against the “lies” propagated by multiculturalists; to battle religious extremism – as evinced by Khomeini-like Islamic fundamentalism; and to counter “secular extremism…”

On July 19, 2013, Dennis said: "Years ago, I wanted to start something called 'Dinners in Black and White' where people from different races got together and had dinner. One of the reasons that I didn't go forward with the program was that I was warned by lawyers that if something happened at one of these homes, I, the organizer, would be sued. Law has been a vehicle for the decline of our society. If somebody tripped, if somebody had food poisoning, if somebody got into an argument, I, the organizer, might've been sued into bankruptcy."

In 1992, Dennis was offered the 3-6 pm drive-time weekday slot on KABC. He turned it down because he would not broadcast on the Sabbath. Instead he took the 1-4 p.m. slot and then 12 – 3pm.
“My natural inclination is to go to bed about 3 – 4 am,” said Dennis (in a 2008 lecture on his 25 years in broadcasting).
“I loved broadcasting at night because nobody bothered you. You could talk about lima beans.”
“The only time I personally feel my blood pressure rising is if somebody says I lied because I am unbelievably passionate about the truth.”
Said Dennis in a 1996 lecture on Exodus 12: “When I take off from the radio on the first and last days [of Passover and Succoth], there’s a vague awareness of the first day of Passover because so many Jews have a seder, but when I take off the last day of Succoth, every year it’s what? What? Every year, it’s like I just made up a Jewish holiday. After so many years, it has no impact.”
Said Dennis in a 1995 lecture on Exodus 2, “I live at the Souplantation. We just love eating there. I like any place where you can have as much as you want. Pure freedom, where gluttony is expected.”
Said Dennis in a 2006 (?) lecture on Deut. 26: “I don’t spend a lot of money eating out but I like to eat out. The most common reaction I get at these places is, ‘You eat here?’ People think I’m at Spago’s for breakfast. ‘You’re at Denny’s?’ It’s my name. I like it.”
Reflecting on Moses in his lecture on Exodus 3, Dennis said: “I can’t stand injustice. It does drive me crazy. I do have to get involved. I chase cars. Not when they have bothered me. I chase cars when they have done something bad to another car. I don’t enjoy. I enjoy music, friends, travel, family. I would love to go to the furthest reaches of wilderness half the time. There are people who love causes. I don’t. I love hedonism.”
Said Dennis in 1997 in a lecture on Exodus 21: 35: “A guy hit our dog [with a car] and sued us for a door repair.”
Ten minutes later in the lecture, Dennis said: “My mother-in-law is applauding. That’s a good sign.”
Said Dennis in a 1998 lecture on Exodus 25, “I can’t use the word ‘sin’ on my radio show. If I used it enough, I’d be fired. I would be told to go do a religious show. As it is, I’m told I talk too much religion.”

In a 2008 lecture on Lev. 11, Dennis said:
Early in my life, I felt like it was my task to take what I knew and to try to bring it to the world.
When Jews rest from work on the Shabbat, they are stating that God made the world… If millions of Jews did that, the impact would be enormous.
Years ago I decided to start in Jewish life a program called ‘Bring a non-Jew home for Shabbat dinner.’ And I realized why it foundered. The Jews who kept Shabbat didn’t have non-Jewish friends to invite over and the Jews who had non-Jewish friends didn’t keep Shabbat. And that ended my program. I was the only one enrolled.
I had non-Jews over so often, and still do, for Shabbat dinner that my older son David, when he was about nine, before Shabbat one Friday afternoon, looked at me totally seriously and said, ‘Dad, any Jews coming for Shabbos?’
And then I realized it was a little disproportionate the visitors to my Shabbat table.
I have a running joke about how you can tell who the Jews and the non-Jews are at my Shabbat table among the visitors — the non-Jews are the ones wearing the yarmulkes.
The Jews would say no thanks. God forbid they should engage in a Jewish ritual associated with the Orthodox, but the non-Jews thought the more ritual, the better. Give me a yarmulke. Give me tzitzit. I’ll light a candle. You name it.

Nov. 4, 2011, Dennis said that for the past three decades, more than 50% of his Shabbat guests have been non-Jewish. "For about 70% of the time, I will go to synagogue Saturday morning."
In his 2009 lecture on Leviticus 26, 27, Dennis said: “I love Jewish ritual. I just don’t love the number. At a certain point of quantity, I start fantasizing about ham and cheese sandwiches. We’re built differently. Can religion maintain its integrity while acknowledging the different natures built into its adherents?” 

Larry Elder

In 1990, Dennis Prager co-hosted an early morning TV talkshow in Cleveland for a week and Larry, an attorney, came on to talk about sexual harassment in the workplace. 
July 30, 2009, Dennis said: “I’ve never pushed like I pushed to get Larry on radio. He was a lawyer who did a periodic guest appearance on a Cleveland TV show.”
“Wasn’t my co-host cute?”
Larry: “She was very attractive.”
Dennis: “I only remember three things [from that week's shows]. The dogs, the CO-host was cute, and Larry Elder.”
“I learned many years ago that I should not make quick first-impressions because I’ve often found that they were either too negative or too positive. On rare occasions, I’ve gone with the first impression. I thought this guy was terrific.
“I went back to Los Angeles and I told the [KABC] station manager, George Green, ‘I found this great guy, who happens to be black and is awesome and he comes from LA… Nothing happened.”
Larry: “I sent you a tape.”
Dennis: “I invited him on the show. I said, George, you have to listen. It was one of the great hours of radio. Among the things you talked about was your lack of great adulation for black leadership in America [such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton].
“A black guy called up who liked me but couldn’t stand you. The guy said to me, Dennis, where the hell did you find this guy?
“And you immediately answered:”
Larry: “Dennis was driving down the street. He saw me at the corner of Florence and Dinker holding up a sign, ‘Will speak negatively about black leaders for food.’”
Dennis: “I laughed so hard and so uncontrollably that we had to go to a break. I’ve never lost control. That was the one time. I knew I was going to bug George forever until you got a show.” 

Said Dennis in a 2009 lecture on Leviticus 22-23:

When I was on my old radio station [KABC] in the afternoon following me was the legendary Larry Elder. A highlight of my radio career was introducing Larry’s show every day.
Every time I did introduce him, I would insult him. For years.
For example, and now ladies and gentleman, the handsomest black man on radio here in Los Angeles.
And then he would insult me and we would have a ball.
One day I said, ‘Larry, I won’t be here tomorrow.’ He said, why not? Because it is a Jewish holiday. Shemini Atzeret.
Larry said, ‘Shemini what? Come on, Dennis. Is that yarmulke day? Let’s be honest. You want a day off so you made up a Jewish holiday.'
For Goodness Sake

The Micah Center for Ethical Monotheism (largely funded by a $250,000 donation from James Cayne, president of Bear Stearns according to the Jan – Mar 1991 edition of Ultimate Issues) produced four videos. The first was a 24-minute training video about ethics (produced by Dennis Prager and David Zucker), For Goodness Sake, which sold for $700 and was initially narrarated by O.J. Simpson. Just before its release, Simpson committed two murders and his narrarator role was removed. In 2001, Prager’s website began selling the tape for $29.95.
In 1991, producer Rich Markey introduced Dennis to screenwriter Allen Estrin to write Goodness. Allen and Dennis became good friends. They wrote and created two editions of For Goodness Sake and two corporate training videos on ethics: Character: Who Needs It? and Diversity Through Character. With a running time of 20 minutes, they sold for years for $700 each.
Prager wrote on his website:

The first video is a series of hilarious vignettes about goodness – from why babies aren’t naturally good to what we really remember about people after they die.
The second video defines character and explains how to get it. Ed Begley, Jr. almost steals the show with his rendition of a man who only fantasizes about doing kind things. He is in a straight jacket in a rubber room.
In addition to my playing me (as I do in all the videos), the third video – on what diversity should really mean – features another talk show host, Larry Elder. Larry is black and I am white and we deal with the touchy subject of diversity in a very different way than it is normally treated.
Said Dennis in a 1996 lecture on Exodus 20:
Allen Estrin and I have produced three films for a company [Mentor Media?] headed by two Christians. The videos are on ethics. We had such a big debate on the character film. We kept couching the ideas of character on what you shouldn’t do. And they kept saying, no, you should keep telling people what you should do to be good. And we kept saying, no, if people will just desist from doing bad things, the world will be terrific. It was a classic Jewish-Christian debate.
As Hillel stated the most important principle of Judaism, that which is hateful to you, do not do to others. That is the way Jews think.
It’s a fascinating issue. Do you get a better world by telling people what they should not do or by telling people what they should do? If people refrained from doing bad things, the world would be heavenly. There would be no crime.
In 2009, Dennis Prager created Prager University, a website offering five minute videos making the conservative argument on dozens of issues ranging from happiness to the war in Vietnam. 

Dennis often reached out to young people who disagree with him. In a column Oct. 30, 2007, he wrote about a speech he gave at UCSB:
Third, students told me afterward that I disarmed those who came to oppose me. Contrary to the demonized figure they had assumed I am — in one UCSB student newspaper column, I was compared to a Ku Klux Klanner for speaking on Islamo-Fascism — they saw a decent man, a sometimes funny guy, and heard a low-keyed, intellectual speech that contained not one word of gratuitous hatred.
It is worth mentioning that following my lecture, the student who wrote the column comparing me to a Ku Klux Klanner came over to me and said he was writing a column of apology to me and asked to be photographed with me.
DennisPrager.com

Dennis Prager never bothered to register DennisPrager.com. In 1997, when he decided he wanted it, he had to bargain with its owner, eventually letting the guy sit in on his radio show in exchange for giving Dennis the domain name.
Prager did not then bother (for at least a year) to register the other variants of his name such as DennisPrager.net and DennisPrager.org.
DennisPrager.com opened in Spring of 1998. Aside from offering Dennis Prager’s materials for purchase, it contained little content.
In August of 2009, Dennis Prager said for the first time that he was happy with his website. 

Adopting A Son

In his fourth issue of Ultimate Issues in 1992, Prager wrote: “My wife, Fran, and I have each been blessed with a child from a previous marriage. But we have always wanted to have more than two children, and to have children together. By Fran’s 44th birthday, and after a number of miscarriages, however, it became evident this was not going to be.”
The Pragers adopted a white infant. “In November, 1992, Fran and I were blessed with a son, Aaron Henry Prager. This beautiful boy was born on Friday, enabling me not even to miss a night of radio! The house was now quite a lively place, with a 16-year-old [Anya], a 9-year-old [David], and a newborn.” (Prager CD)
Max Prager wrote: “…Aaron was born to a young unwedded couple in the state of Washington. This event gave us our 6th grandchild.”
Apr. 13, 2010, Dennis said: “I did not give my kids sound financial advice… The one kid who is out of the house seems to be very responsible financially but I don’t take any credit for it. It was a lacunae in my parenting.”
In a 2006 (?) lecture on Deut. 26, Dennis said that he worries about how his three kids will earn a living. “It’s OK to worry that your kid will have a good job. I’m a parent of three and I worry about that all the time. Allen, we’ll strike that out. I’m fully confident that my kids will have no problems.”
“I wish I had more kids,” Dennis said Oct. 22, 2009. “It was not in my hands. If it had been in my hands, I would’ve had more.”
April 2, 2010, Dennis said he expected to grow up to have one marriage and four children.
Jan. 7, 2014, Dennis made the case for having more kids. "The kids are generally healthier [in large families]. Each of them has been lively, spirited, filled with love of life, and individual."
"After a certain number of kids, it gets easier because the older kids take care of the younger kids, which is unbelievably maturing for those kids. The helicopter parent can't exist with eight kids. You can't be at eight different sporting events at the same time so they don't show up and that's better for the children. The fewer the children, the more hovering you can do."
"This [argument] well, they [the kids] don't get the individual attention, I say that's great. That's an advantage."
Therapist Mark E. Smith disagreed: "Two people can't raise eleven people. That's insane. It's worse than alcoholism because the older ones don't get a childhood, they have to raise the younger ones and the middle ones get lost, and then by the time the younger ones come along, the parents are exhausted. Nobody gets what they need. If I hear of a family with more than five kids, I know they're insane. I know it is family full of broken empty people. It is wickedly dysfunctional."
July 16, 2013, in the aftermath of the not-guilty verdict for George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin, Dennis said: "I couldn't stand it when one of my sons wanted to wear a hoodie. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with any garb, it's the message it sends. We are what we portray ourselves. The way you dress communicates a message."
For similar reasons, Dennis didn't want his boys to wear their baseball caps backward.

In a May 14, 2012 speech at the Nixon Library, Dennis said: "I love people. Anybody who's in my life knows I love people. I love the people in the elevator. But the record of humanity is grotesque."

Dennis Prager stands 6’4 and his weight varies between 220 and 260 pounds. He drives a luxury car and frequently wears sandals to synagogue. He does his radio show while wearing a suit and tie, believing that it would be unfair for him to dress casually while everyone else at the radio station has to conform to a dress code.
In person, Dennis tends to be more low key and goofy than his talk show. He rarely gives his opinion. “I’ve always hugged guys and never felt the slightest degree of self-consciousness. I hug gay friends. I don’t have the slightest degree of self-consciousness. I don’t get that.” (March 26, 2010)

The biggest difference between Dennis Prager the person and Dennis Prager the public image is his sensitivity. When Dennis performs publicly, he straps on a persona where he denies how affected he is by what is said about him. While he's always been strong enough to keep going, if he is cut, he feels the pain like anyone else. Dennis reads carefully  everything published about him in the MSM. Personal criticisms such as that he is pompous tend to make his face fall (friends have told me).
Dennis Prager’s comments are more blunt in private than in public (particularly about failings in the black and Jewish communities).
“I don’t say things on the air that I don’t say privately and vice-versa,” said Dennis Dec. 20, 2010.

Apr. 28, 2014, Dennis said: "What we say privately matters to those people and to God... I've told you about the generalizations I've made about every group when I pass a bad driver. Whatever group that human being is in, I condemn -- gender, race, nationality, religion, I have a bad word to say about everybody if they're a bad driver, including my own group. If somebody put a recorder in my car, would that mean something about me?"

I've never heard Dennis say anything bigoted (nor have people close to him reported that to me) but he's not always the happy-go-lucky gracious guy he comes across as on the radio. Prager is a tough boss. Mark Wilcox told me in 1994 about Dennis scrunching up and throwing in the trash a paper of suggestions Mark wrote on one of Prager's essay drafts. 

Dec. 31, 2013, Dennis said:

I was not born thin. When I was a kid, men's clothing stores had a boys section and the boys section had a husky section and that was only section I ever knew. I was born husky. If I didn't watch what I ate my whole life, I would be the proverbial blimp. My brother is the same height as I and is 30 pounds lighter than I and he eats pints of icecream. His wife doesn't even give him a scooper. He simply eats out of the container. He has chocolate, vanilla, strawberry. We have different metabolic rates.

I am not a stranger to resolutions vis-a-vis diet.

For all intents and purposes, I have not eaten pasta or white bread or white rice in years.

I don't eat more than 1800 calories a day almost ever. I have a very low metabolic rate. 

July 3, 2012, Adam Carolla said: "If you see Dennis in person, you'll realize he's edgeless. You could never cut yourself on Dennis. There's not a sharp edge to him. He's a big lovable Jewish bar of soap."

Dennis is vulnerable in a handful of areas. He's touchy about his reputation and is quick to threaten a lawsuit. I sense my writing on him has  felt like one of the two major betrayals of his life (he used to say on the radio that only one friend had ever betrayed him, after I started blogging on him in late 1997, he started saying only two friends had ever betrayed him). I sense that some attacks by those to the right of him in Judaism annoy him particularly as Dennis knows and admits that Orthodox Judaism is the only brand of the Jewish religion that perpetuates itself and yet Dennis won't push it. He also seems aware (though I never remember him engaging in any self-deprecation on this score before making a major pronouncement on the virtues of marriage, etc) that his three marriages reduce his credibility. When he announced his second divorce on the radio, Dennis said through his tears that he feared some would no longer take him seriously.

You are what your record says you are and who you are in love and marriage is who you really are because that's where you are most vulnerable and least pompous. Love and marriage expose your weaknesses. Dennis Prager's approach to life sounds awesome in his talks but in real life, it doesn't work so well as his chaotic personal life attests.

"If you are miserably married, that's about you," said therapist Mark E. Smith Dec. 22, 2013. 

It's about who you picked  and why you picked them. It's just your turn to pay the marital piper. You are re-enacting old wounds from your family of origin. So do not make it all about my spouse had an affair, my spouse is an alcoholic, my spouse works too much, my wife won't clean the house. Your life is about you and this record of marital dysfunction, it's telling you that you need to address some things within yourself. Don't be Jerry Jones. Don't blame everyone else and miss the real problem. The real problem in your life is you and the real problem with the Dallas Cowboys is [the owner] Jerry Jones.  If you have burned through three marriages, that is truly all about you. You need to get to work on yourself immediately and you need to completely suspend yourself from all dating and you need to kick yourself off Match.com because you're dangerous... Your dysfunction is what gives you your record. 

So don't say it's bad luck and don't say you haven't found the right person. There is no right person out there for you to find that's going to heal your family of origin stuff without you doing the work. You have got to do the work and the best way to do that is to stay in the marriage you're in and roll up your sleaves and get to work. If you have an addiction that's ravaged your life, it's because there's a ravenous neediness and pain at the core of your soul and you're seeking to medicate it. You have a problem. Don't minimize it.

Smith said: "You fall in love because their brand of crazy matches your brand of crazy. You fall in love because the scars you got growing up match the brand of scars this one here is going to be dishing out in seven to ten years even if now she's all sweetie pie and sunshine. Our scars are in charge of falling in love. However we're loved by our parents, we will pick someone to love us like that. If you were brutally wounded in childhood, you're going to be brutally wounded in love. If you get rid of the first guy, don't tell yourself the second guy will be Prince Charming until you do the work to heal yourself. Shame does get better, abandonment issues not so much."

Many people who disagree with Dennis on political or religious matters find themselves charmed by him in person. As the extrovert's extrovert, Dennis likes people. If you throw a good dinner party, Dennis and his wife might be among the last people to leave.

May 9, 2014, Dennis said: "I've been hurt in life, but I've never had anybody who used my openness against me."

Mar. 29, 2012, Dennis Prager said: 

In the realm of ugly, there's a special place for what Spike Lee did. Despicable. Immoral. Vile. Ugly. That he tweeted what he thought was the address of George Zimmerman. This has been a tactic of the left... The left will attack people at their homes. Remember when the [SEIU] labor folks did this? They went to the homes of people involved in the company and demonstrated in front of them and scared the little kids the executive had. Because the left is so certain of the purity of their goodness..., we can do anything to demolish our opponents. Anyone we dislike can be hurt, destroyed. Giving addresses out of people? When has the right done this to their opponents? And Spike Lee will pay no price. Just as Al Sharpton has paid no price for his role in the Tawana Brawley hoax. The life of the prosecutor that he ruined with lies. He's never apologized and he has a job on MSNBC. Being on the left, means never having to say you're sorry.

Spike Lee doesn't apologize for sending the address.

Why would you send the address? So that their lives could be ruined. 

I've never read or met a person on the left who didn't think he was morally superior to right-wingers.

Said Dennis in a 1995 lecture on Exodus 7: “If I may be vivid, which I am known for being, I was in an airport bathroom recently and in the stall next to me, the guy was making a lot of noises. It was very touching because after about the fourth, he says, ‘Excuse me, I’m sorry.’ And I in my stall yell back, ‘It’s a bathroom. You do not have to be sorry.’ If he had done it in line at Delta, that would be a different story. That’s what makes civilization possible.”
Oct. 7, 2010, Dennis said: “There is no joy in me describing bad things. I’m a happy-go-lucky guy. I like to think nice things about everybody.”
Jan. 31, 2012, Dennis said: "I've been wronged in my life but I've never hated anyone in my life."
Jan. 7, 2010, Dennis said: “If we only did what we wanted to do, I don’t think we would be happy. I wouldn’t. If all I did was what I wanted to do, I would’ve wasted my life. I don’t mean drugs or alcohol or anything like that. I would’ve just engaged in my fun hobbies — spent today at a camera store, the next day at a stereo store, the next day test out new pens at the pen store. Didn’t I do all that this week? I did.
“I told my stepson the other day, ‘I am a very lazy man who has conquered it, not by changing his nature, by taking on at an early age an enormous number of have-tos. Have-tos have made my life possible. They have brought me the most happiness.”

Nov. 21, 2012, Dennis said: "I'm the only man I know who's never gotten drunk."

Dec. 31, 2010, Dennis said: “When you are a public figure, everything you do is scrutinized… I accept it. I try to act honorably at all times. It is doubly triply quadruply true for a public figure who speaks on moral issues because people want you to measure up. There are some who want you to fail…
“I speak to everybody. I am one of the only lecturers I know who stays in almost every instance, I stay until the last person has spoken to me. I often stay for as long after a speech as my speech was just to answer people’s questions.
“I particularly love when young people come to my lectures and particularly love to engage with them.”
“We who engage in ideas ache for the next generation to know of our ideas because then we know they will go on.”
June 10, 2010, Dennis said: “The single greatest battle I have on a show is not what to say, or what’s in the news, or what if it’s a slow days, it’s not to fool around for three hours. I am the goofiest person you have ever met. It is massive self-control to be as serious as I am for these three hours, and it doesn’t always work, which drives him (producer Allen Estrin) nuts.”

Dennis cries easily (Feb. 2, 2007). He said he’s teared up at least half a dozen times during lectures. During the first week in January 2011, Dennis said that the only times he has cried as an adult have been in public.
Prager’s best friends in Southern California include Stephen and Ruth Marmer, Allen and Susan Estrin, Izzie and Rita Eichenstein, Robert and Amy Florczak, and former priest Michael Nocita, now married, a father, and running a business in Los Angeles.
“All of my Catholic priest friends but one (Gregory Coiro) are married with kids,” said Dennis in a 1997 lecture on adultery and Exodus 20.
Dennis’s brother Kenny, a lung specialist at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, publishes in the Wall Street Journal and other forums. At times he envies his brother’s talk radio job, for he too would like to take his values to the world.
Kenny’s son Joshua, who was severely crippled in a 1992 (?) car accident, wrote for the Wall Street Journal for more than a decade.
“I have the most open life I know,” said Dennis Prager in his 2005 lecture on Deut. 28.

Bruce Herschensohn

In 1992, Prager sent out “my first and only political fundraising letter. It was on behalf of Bruce Herschensohn, a close friend and someone whom I have admired for over a decade.” (Think a Second Time, pg. 17)
In a close race that November, Bruce lost — possibly because of late-breaking revelations that the Herschensohn went to strip shows and bought porn magazines — to Democrat Barbara Boxer.
The Los Angeles Times reported Dec. 21, 1992: "In July, Mark Murray began hearing rumors from friends in Democratic circles that Republican Bruce Herschensohn regularly visited the Seventh Veil nude dancing club in Hollywood."

Mar. 25, 2010, Dennis described Bruce’s electoral loss as “one of the worst night of my life.”
Dennis said he and almost everyone he knew had been to a strip show, including his wife and mother. “Many kind, honorable and honest men sometimes go to strip shows, sometimes use curse words in private, sometimes play poker or go to a casino, and sometimes buy sexually explicit material; and the truly dishonorable men and women are those who pry into the lives of honorable people to ruin their good names.” (Think a Second Time, pg. 23)

Ultimate Issues

In his second edition of Ultimate Issues in 1993, Prager said that financial issues could force him to close his publication. This despite charging $25 a year for a subscription to his quarterly journal and $10 per lecture on cassette tape.
(In 1990, I became Ultimate Issues‘ biggest customer to that date according to his office staff by buying almost everything it had available — I spent about $4,000 — and sending it to my friends. In 1993, I donated $500 to the Micah Center for Ethical Monotheism.)
Prager wrote in the third issue of Ultimate Issues in 1993:

I was overwhelmed by your financial response. Enough orders came in to almost enable UI to erase its debt.
And I was overwhelmed by your words of support.
When I wrote the letter, I didn’t know whether I would continue writing UI, for, as I explained, it has been a financial sacrifice.
But your response made me aware of how important UI is to you. It may sound strange, but I didn’t know this.
The Oslo Accords

Dennis supported the Oslo Accords. He wrote in the third issue of UI of 1993:
The moment I saw the prime minister of Israel and the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization emerge from the White House on either side of the American president, I began to cry.
…Peace, not territory, has been my most fervent wish for Israel since the Six Day War in 1967.
In the 10 years that I have been writing Ultimate Issues, I have never commented on Israeli foreign policy. I have believed that Jews living 10,000 miles away from the Middle East, whose sons would not directly feel the consequences of Israeli policies, should not tell Israel what to do.
Now that peace accords have been signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, however, I want to explain why I strongly support the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Prager said during the 1980s and 1990s that he’s right of center in American political terms and left of center in Israeli political terms.

Los Angeles Riots

On April 29, 1992, the night of the LA Riots (which came within a mile of Prager’s home on Canfield Avenue at Airdrome in zip code 90035, driving home that night on the 405, Dennis watched his city burn), Dennis Prager began teaching the Torah 16 nights a year on average at what was then the University of Judaism (now known as American Jewish University).
In a speech to the Heritage Foundation May 26, 1992, Dennis said: “Outside my house, the entire sky was black with smoke.”
“I 
was so angry. I’m on the talk radio station for ten years. The station called me on the day of the rioting asking if I wanted to do two live hours, even though that is not my day to broadcast. I said yes and then my family begged me not to go. On the block of my station [3321 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016] was a Fedco, a big department store, being burned and looted and next door to my station was a Sees Candy being looted.
“I finally called the station and said, I can’t broadcast. I’m too angry. All I will do probably is just add to the anger. I calmed down to do a little commentary. I said I felt like I lived in a sea of lies, that good and evil didn’t take place.”
Aug. 11, 2011, Dennis said: “I was just blocks away living. I remember the house filled with the smell of smoke. As I watched the television and saw these people looting stores and the police in one case holding the door open, I came within a hair’s breadth of going to the area where people were looting with a big sign reading, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ I was talked out of it.”
One minister (Wally Tope) did just that and was beaten to death.
April 27, 2012, Dennis said: "The Rodney King broadcasts were some of the most difficult I ever broadcast. I was escorted to the radio station, because it was right near fires caused by the rioters, by policemen. Not because of what I said, but to protect me because of the area."
"I said that if you can't call a black thug a thug, you're the racist. These were thugs who were looting. If whites did it, they'd be thugs."
"All I got from black listeners and from the black community was respect... It was formative in my life. I was invited to speak in the midst of Watts and to speak at a supermarket precisely because I had made that the centerpiece of my broadcasts about the riots. The liberal patronizing of blacks as if they're not real, as though they're made of paper machet, just dolls who'll crumble at the truth..."

Northridge Earthquake 

Wikipedia: “The Northridge earthquake occurred on January 17, 1994, at 04:31 Pacific Standard Time in Reseda, a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, California, lasting for about 45 seconds.”
March 11, 2011, Dennis said: “That was unbelievably jolting. I’ve been through a lot of earthquakes living in Southern California but that one was scary and I don’t get scared easy. That shook my house to its foundations. I thought the house was going to fall down.
“For those of you who have never experienced an earthquake, one of the worst aspects is the sound.”


Teaching The Torah Verse-By-Verse

February 2, 2010, almost 18 years after beginning the project, Dennis Prager finished teaching the Torah. The total package of his Torah commentary runs to more than 300 CDs.
A check of DennisPrager.com on Jan. 22, 2010, revealed that the price to buy all of the CDs for Prager’s commentary on Genesis was $544 (if you download the content, it costs but $442). The price for Exodus on CD was $952. The price for Leviticus on CD was $640. The price for Numbers on CD was $476. The price for Deuteronomy on CD was $690.
Many of the lectures available are about half the length of what was delivered that night, making me wonder if these deletions were all technical difficulties or if Dennis said things he did not want spread.
If you listen to the whole commentary as I have, you'll hear Dennis Prager making the same points over and over again. The original content for each lecture averages less than 70%. By contrast, if you listen to historian Marc B. Shapiro's lectures for Torah in Motion on great rabbinic thinkers, virtually every lecture is unique.

Dennis: “I believe that the Torah is the most relevant guide to life available to us. I believe that the most esoteric and even “boring” sections have secrets of wisdom that when unlocked give any of us a happier, deeper, wiser life. The Torah is not merely an ancient holy book. It is life-changing in every one of its chapters. I invite you to take time out from the intensity of daily life and spend four nights with me in one of the most intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually exciting journeys any of us can make. No background or previous study is necessary.”
In his fifth lecture on Numbers, Dennis said: “I don’t fancy myself a scholar. I’m an educated layman.”
June, 2010, Dennis said: “I don’t think I’ve done anything more important in my life than that project and it is the least well-known thing I have done… There is greater wisdom that preceded the birth of Dennis Prager. I knew that by the age of five.”
Prager’s Torah course is far from verse-by-verse. Most verses, perhaps 80%, receive no commentary. Dennis instead took the verses that interested him. He planned to turn these talks into a book.
As of Mar. 17, 2012, the series has received few if any citations on Google Scholar. It received no media coverage. I can't find any rabbis citing it. 
In a 1993 lecture on Genesis 27, Dennis 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)
“Teaching Torah is the favorite thing I do,” said Dennis in his fourth lecture on Exodus. “This is a work of pure love and passion.”
“The number of times that I have prayed with real enthusiasm and passion could probably be counted on two hands. My form of prayer as a Jew is to study the Torah. This is how I connect with God in a religious manner. It is the one regular time.”
Said Dennis in a 1998 lecture on Exodus 25: “It may be odd that a talk show host teaches Bible at a seminary so you should know that this is a my favorite work. This is what ultimately truly matters. This is eternal. I touch the eternal. It is as significant though there is no fame and little money attached to it, it is as important to me as anything else I do. It is odd. To the best of my knowledge, Rush Limbaugh does not teach Bible. Neither does Howard Stern. And I have nothing against their work.”
In Prager’s first class in this series, about 95% of the attendees were Jewish. Within a couple of years, attendance evened out.
In his 2009 lecture on Leviticus 21, Dennis said:
There are more riveting chapters of the Torah. And there are less riveting ones.
A dear friend of mine, one of his two sons, had a bar mitzvah. The portion of that Sabbath was not one of the more scintillating ones in the Torah. He asked me if I would speak on the Torah.
It happens to be that while he is not Orthodox, his family is ultra-Orthodox. Black hat and beards. Very Orthodox. He’s the black sheep in the family for not being Orthodox. At least they came.
I got up and said this is one of the less riveting portions of the Torah. And his relatives got up and left. I felt so bad for my friend. They were not prepared to hear that one might say that one portion is more riveting than the next.
The traditional rabbis of Judaism knew that some portions were riveting and some were not. The traditional Torah text is found in books surrounded by commentary (Rashi, Rashbam, Rambam, Ramban, Onkelos, all sorts of medieval commentaries). There is the text in the middle surrounded by commentary. There are pages of the Torah that have no commentary. They have nothing to say. It could be just a bunch of genealogies.
In a May 2012 lecture, Dennis said:
How do you know what type of teacher should teach you Judaism? I have two criteria for whoever teaches me a Jewish text. They have to believe in the holiness of the text and they have to apply it to real life.
If you believe the Torah was written by men, that's fine. The vast majority of scholars believe it.
I read all the secular scholars. All those who believe it is written by documents. I got nothing from any of them in all of my life. I got nothing from J, E, P, D, and H. It's unwise. It's unhelpful.
If there is a group that embodies the two criteria, it is Chabad. We don't need another PhD in Biblical studies. It's not going to bring one Jew to Judaism and it is not going to bring one Jew to wisdom."
In his 2012 book Still the Best Hope, Dennis wrote in the Acknowledgments: "...Joel Alperson...who has devoted much of his life to preparing the publication of my forthcoming commentary on the Torah."

1990s Broadcasting


During 1994, Prager hosted an hour long radio talk show on WABC in New York. He got caught up in the controversy over racial comments made by Bob Grant. To the dismay of Grant and WABC, Prager refused to support Bob’s stance, and Dennis eventually decided that the frequent hassling he took from management and Grant was not worth it. He quit WABC in early 1995.
Bob Grant wrote on page ten of his book Let's Be Heard about one day in 1994:
Once the attacks began in full force, I can't say I was totally surprised by them. After all, liberals and anarchists are my natural enemies. That's why I decided after a while not to give any more interviews. They only fueled the fire. Then I got a call from a man named Dennis Prager. You may never have heard of him, but he is a fairly conservative fellow with a TV show based in Los Angeles. He and I even share the same manager. So when Prager called and asked me to come on his show, I agreed. He was a colleague, after all, and if anyone could sympathize with what I was going through, he'd be the one.
My understanding was that we were going to discuss the thing as two colleagues -- you know, "Hey Bob, how do you feel about all this ruckus?"
So we're on the air. He's in his studio in Los Angeles, and I'm in my studio in New York. He begins by holding up the damned [New York] magazine cover [alleging Grant hates blacks] and then proceeds to recite the slanderous charges against me exactly as they were made: "He's called blacks savages! He's done this! He's done that! Bob, what do you say about it?"
It was a rare moment for me -- I was at a loss for words. I said, "What do I say about it? My God -- do you want me to plead guilty right now?" I said, "Good heavens -- I didn't know you were going to do this."
Then -- then! -- he introduces a germ named Walter Fields, at the time an official of the New Jersey NAACP and the man who probably has more genuine hatred for me than any other human being in the world today. Over and over in the course of that broadcast, Fields said he was going to get me off the radio. Finally I said, "Well, look, you want my head on a platter, so what's the point of my saying anything?" It was a complete and total hatchet job. Dennis Prager is a son of a bitch and a snake. Because only a snake would do what he did.
It's hard to imagine anything worse than being on that show that night.
Internet poster "RB" wrote: "I seem to recall how in the mid nineties when (recently retired) talk show host Bob Grant ran afoul of the PC crowd, Prager turned on him. This despite the fact that Grant was very friendly toward him and had him on his program a number of times."
Jack Kerwick wrote
...[T]he one person on the right for whom he reserved the harshest condemnation is none other than Dennis Prager. During the controversy that New York magazine manufactured, Grant admitted to feeling lower than any at other point in his life. He had refused to do any more interviews — until Prager, who was not yet a syndicated talk radio host, invited Grant to appear on his Los Angeles television show. Because Prager was, as Grant understood him, “a fairly conservative fellow,” and because they even shared the same manager, Grant agreed to do the show.
After Bob Grant died in 2013, VDARE.com wrote:
Grant was notorious for controversial remarks. He referred to the now-sainted Martin Luther King Jr. as "this bum, this womanizer, this liar, this fake, this phony." He expressed great pessimism about the future of the country, because "the quality of the citizenry seems to be heading down." Finally, and most damningly, Grant noticed the great double standard you are not supposed to mention, saying, "You can talk all you want about ‘minorities’ rights,’ but heaven forbid you talk about white rights."
On Jan. 16, 2014, Dennis said: "This is the most important thing politically happening in the United States. The attempt is to silence conservative opposition in this country and I have a sense that talk radio is next."
"This silencing of conservative opposition by rather nefarious means, by ruining their reputations, by having mass campaigns against any advertiser..."

Prager’s KABC radio show attracted 300,000 persons who tuned in at any one time during the course of a three hour show. Its ratings trailed those of Dr. Laura Schlesinger, whose nationally syndicated show from KFI aired at the same time. A careful listener to Dr. Laura might note that many of her ideas and stories came from Dennis.

TV Show
 
Dennis wrote in a 1998 CD bio:
This was tougher – five days a week is very different from four days a week.
In 1994, I added a daily one-hour morning talk show [rated number one in its time slot] on WABC Radio in New York. To broadcast on the station I grew up listening to, in the city my family lives, was very moving to me. There was a problem, however. I now had to broadcast four hours daily, and much worse, the New York show was on at 10:00 AM New York time, which meant that I had to broadcast at 7:00 AM every day. For a night person, and for someone who wants a lot of free time to write and be with his family, this was becoming problematic.
Things soon got more problematic. In September 1994, Multimedia (syndicators of the Rush Limbaugh, Jerry Springer and Sally Jesse Raphael TV talk shows) created the Dennis Prager [television] Show. It was broadcast daily throughout the United States (at different times in each city).
My weekdays therefore went like this: broadcast on WABC to New York at 7:00 AM; broadcast from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on KABC in Los Angeles; then go to CBS Studios and tape my television show.
Though I am generally very healthy, this schedule quickly wore me down, and I repeatedly got sick – not to mention the price my family and I paid by having much less time together.
So, in January, 1995 I made the very difficult decision to leave WABC Radio. And by the spring, my TV show had been canceled (in my book Think a Second Time I wrote an essay on what I learned from my time on national television, and why my show didn’t stay on).
So, by March, 1995, my media career was back to three hours a day on KABC Radio (now shifted one hour earlier to Noon to 3:00 PM).”
For much of 1994, Dennis hosted a nationally syndicated TV talk show that was canceled after one season because of low ratings. The highest rated episode featured lingerie-clad models.
I can’t think of a funnier thing in TV-land than me having a daily show. They would ask me to have guests who I had never heard of…
To do a TV talk show on serious themes, like I do on the radio show, is almost impossible. Here is an example where conservatives have to be aware that free enterprise is not always on their side. When ratings are the only determinant, you don’t have much time to do much quality on commercial television. They give you, on radio, more time, but on TV you get about three months. You didn’t hit the ratings, goodbye. I got six months…
…Local station owners look at me and they look at “Geraldo”; look at me and they look at “Jenny Jones” or whatever and say, “Hey, this guy is good.” I was told at National TV conventions, “Dennis, love your show. Finally, something quality.” But Jenny draws the numbers.
Excellence is not enough. Gold, if it’s not found, is worthless. And I now realize that I have assumed my whole life, “I’ll just keep writing and talking, and then it’ll be good enough that, just on its own, it will find its larger and larger audience.’ But if you don’t publicize, it takes eons. The book will be buried without a book tour.” (C-SPAN Booknotes with Brian Lamb)
Though he comported himself in a classy way, Prager’s numerous demands for his TV show were exasperating to some of those who worked with him and they were glad to see it canceled.
Porn star Tyffany Million told me that Dennis Prager was nervous when he met her. She demanded to see him before consenting to do his TV show and they talked at the KABC AM 790 studio on La Cienega Blvd.
Said Dennis in a 2001 lecture on Numbers 27-29, “I have interviewed for this [tentative] book [on sex] strippers. Everyone said the first times were so hard they had to drink themselves drunk before they went out on the stage. By the third month, it was a non-issue.”
The wife of one screenwriter I know finally put her foot down when she believed her husband had done enough research with strippers and porn stars. Not many wives are cool with such things unless there's a big, fat and immediate payoff to the family.
Dennis condemns TV as shallow and yet he takes almost invitation extended to him to appear, sometimes flying to New York for the opportunity to speak for a couple of minutes on Sean Hannity's  program. "I decided many years ago when I went on television," Dennis said April 27, 2012, "I made sure that I came across well. Don't yell at anybody. Make your point as succintly as possible because you'll be given less than a minute to do so, and hope that you've left people with a desire to listen to you on the radio and to read what you've written."
Caller: "I was almost amused on the Hannity show, I could see you off to the side raising your hand to get in a word and often times you didn't."
Dennis: "That's fair. I no longer leave frustrated. Did you spell my name right? Did I get a point across?"
Prager’s TV show was all over the map until his friend Allen Estrin came on as a producer. 
In a Feb. 17, 2009 lecture on Lev. 19:17-18, Dennis said: “When I hired Allen Estrin, we had been friends for many years. His biggest hesitation was would I take criticism about the show if he became producer of the show. Am I a prima donna? Would I be ultra sensitive? Would it hurt the friendship? The friendship was more important.
“I told him, I’m good at this. Don’t worry about it. And I am. I do take criticism from people I love. I’m not saying I enjoy it. I know where they’re coming from.”


The Disney Years

The Disney years (beginning 8/5/95) at KABC were not a happy time for Dennis. May 2, 1997, he was ordered to talk about Eddie Murphy picking up a transvestite hooker and he refused, saying it was gossip. 
“Everybody hated it when Disney took over,” a former KABC employee told me. “[Program director] George Green left after running the show for about 35 years. Maureen Lesourd came in. Nobody liked her. She lasted 18 months. ‘Synergy’ is the word for Disney. It means that everybody supports everybody. It means that everybody is a tool for everybody. Disney only bought ABC as an outlet for their programming. It was a smaller, more friendly company, before Disney bought it. Then it became just another arm of a huge corporation.”
April 26, 2010, Dennis said:
I have a story about the word ‘thesis.’ This is a true radio story. I’m not sure that even my two spouses (Sue and Prager’s producer Allen Estrin) know this.
When I was with my first station, I was with ABC in Los Angeles for 17 years. I have only warm feelings for those years.
When Disney took over ABC, it decided that the only thing that mattered were ratings. And so they put in a general manager at the station who said, ‘None of this high-quality talk stuff. We’ve got to go down in the gutter.’
It was a very bad period. I thought I’d be let go because I wasn’t prepared to do everything this woman wanted me to talk about. It was a very tense time. She left eventually. I stayed.
I once used the word ‘thesis’. I was called in to the program director’s office. He said, ‘Dennis, I was listening to you today and you used the word ‘thesis.’
I remember thinking, what could possibly be wrong with that? Did he think I used the word ‘feces’?
He said, ‘Dennis, that is too highfalutin a word. If you want really high ratings, you don’t use the word ‘thesis.’
Whenever I have used the word on the radio since then, I see this program director in front of me. ‘Dennis, no, don’t use the word ‘thesis’.
Aug. 29, 2011, Dennis said:
I am surrounded by good men, folks. I’d rather be surrounded by good women but you can’t have everything. Actually, that’s not true. I don’t have a preference.
I think that both men and women would rather work with men…
Who would you rather work with and for? I had a female boss once in my life. She was the head of a previous station. It was a horror. She wanted me to lower in every way the level of the show. To speak about sex scandals in Hollywood. That was the big one. I’ll never forget. It was the only time in my life in 29 years of broadcasting that I thought I might be fired because I said no.
In his 2004 lecture on Deuteronomy 12, Dennis said:
What does God want me to do? I try that all the time. I don’t succeed all the time. I ask myself before every show, what does God want me to do?
I was torn. It was really an issue for a time. This is what God wants me to use the microphone for and this is what my employers’ want me to use the microphone for. Employers in the secular media want ratings.
I didn’t talk about the O.J. Simpson trial and I had an only-LA show one of the two prime stations in LA (KABC). I talked about the verdict.
I kept saying to myself, ‘Dennis, God didn’t give you the gift of speech to talk about Kato Kaelin.’
It was the end of my TV career because I wouldn’t do stuff they asked.
I’ve never deluded myself on the sin issue. I am and I’m enjoying myself. I never fooled myself that this is OK. That’s the road to ruin, not the sin.
Sept. 15, 2010, Dennis said: “At one place of work, I was in one of these seminars [at KABC], and I think I drove the woman crazy with her totalitarian talk about what was permitted. I can show you my breasts but you can not comment on them. That’s sexual harassment law in a nutshell.”
Variety reported July 13, 1997:
As villains go, Maureen Lesourd — prexy and G.M. of ABC-owned Los Angeles radio stations KABC, KTZN and KLOS-FM — is a somewhat unlikely one. She’s dabbled in advertising and in affiliate relations. She ran an ABC music station in Washington, D.C., for a while. And as far as anyone knows, she is kind to animals.
But earlier this month, Lesourd became one of the most disliked figures in L.A. broadcasting. Her sin: removing KABC personality Michael Jackson from the midday timeslot he had held down for nearly 31 years and shipping him to weekends, creating a firestorm of listener protest in the process.
…And the clunky manner in which a local icon was shoved off to weekend oblivion was typical of the lack of sensitivity that has defined the Lesourd era since her appointment nearly 15 months ago.
It has stood in stark contrast to the “We are family” style of Lesourd’s predecessor, 38-year ABC man George Green, who would mark birthdays by singing “Happy Birthday” and bestowing presents on each employee.
“Those days are gone, and it’s sad,” says Green, now a consultant.
Gone also are a majority of the talkradio personalities at both KABC and the former KMPC (now the female-skewed KTZN, a.k.a. “The Zone”).
…”The poor morale at the station created by Lesourd makes working there a depressing thing,” says one current KABC employee.
…Indeed, many in radio are questioning Disney’s decision to promote Lesourd — a woman with practically no experience working in talk and none in the complex L.A. radio market.
…One thing Lesourd has done that has proven surprising is to stick behind afternoon drivetime personality Larry Elder, whose targeting for advertiser boycott by an African-American pressure group has cost the station in excess of $1 million in lost revenue over the past year alone.
Dennis had many detractors at KABC. Some who worked with him claim that he was universally hated at the station for his arrogance.

The Nov. 24, 1995 issue of the Forward reported:

Dennis Prager is angry. The Los Angeles radio talk show host, author and pop theologian is on the air, discussing the effects of the O.J. Simpson verdict. ‘The fomenting of black anger is a direct road to self-destruction,’ he tells his KABC audience… ‘I say this with tears because I ache for a multiracial, multiethnic democracy to succeed: This will be a major turning point in American history. Black moral capital has been spent on a cause that virtually every non-black thinks was evil.
The performance is vintage Dennis Prager: bristling language, quick ripostes, instant empathy – but underneath, the zeal for promoting morality that has been his longtime crusade and stock in trade.
A large, silver-haired man many describe as ‘charismatic’ and ‘self-assured,’ Mr. Prager, 46, has made a career of taking bold stances on the issues of the day, not only on his 13-year old talk show but on Op-Ed pages across the country and as writer-editor of his own quarterly journal…

The father of neoconservatism, Irving Kristol, calls Dennis “our Jew on the West Coast.”
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz says of Prager, “To the extent that he portrays conservatism as the Jewish way, he’s misleading the public. Jews are entitled to pick and choose from the political spectrum. I hope no young people believe that to be a good Jew you have to believe Prager’s politics. That’s Pragerism, not Judaism.”
“Orthodoxy has tended to ignore the world,” said Dennis, “Reform has tended to ignore the soul, and Conservativism has ignored both. It [Conservative Judaism] is now almost as halachically preoccupied as Orthodoxy and as liberal socially as Reform.”
Prager said the Conservative University of Judaism’s 1995 decision to ordain rabbis is a “terrific idea. I’m a great believer in the diffusion of power. There should be 50 denominations because it is exceedingly rare that power is used morally.”
Rabbi Jacob Petuchowski, “a Reform Jew who criticized Reform,” and Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits, “an Orthodox Jew who criticized Orthodoxy,” influenced Prager’s Jewish thinking along with Conservative Rabbi Harold Kushner. Even more influential were such Christians as C.S. Lewis, Richard John Neuhaus, Michael Novak and George Gilder. “They, more than contemporary Jewish writers, have made me aware of how to bring God into the public square.”
Elliot Dorff, a Conservative thinker who turned against his Prager during a debate over ordaining openly homosexual rabbis, said Dennis “raises important questions and stimulates people to think… But the very advantage of his approach is also its drawback. He portrays issues in black-and-white ways… If your goal is to get people to think, his approach may be the right one. If your goal is to portray Judaism and morality accurately, then it seems to me you need to be more attuned to the grays in life than his work generally is.” (Forward, Nov. 24, 1995)
Frequent listener George Burns said that if he ever filmed a sequel to “Oh God,” Prager would get the title role. 

Peter Gast wrote in 2010:
For decades, “The 92nd St. Y”—as in Young Men’s Hebrew Association—has been a bastion of progressive thought in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The community center describes itself as “a proudly Jewish institution that reaches out to people of every race, ethnicity, religion, age and economic class.”

Last fall, the Y featured a revealing discussion on “the Left, the Right, and Judaism” between the conservative moralist Dennis Prager and superlawyer, liberal activist, and Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz. David Frum joined them as moderator. It was a discussion between Jews, for Jews, and about Jewish interests, which is something Jews do quite a bit of...

The discussion ultimately amounted to a friendly debate over whether conservatives or liberals were Best For The Jews (that is, most supportive of Zionism and least prone to “anti-Semitism). What I found most striking was that each man stressed just how happy he was that there were so many Jews in the opposing camp—and how he only hoped there might be more some day...

What becomes clear in discussions like this one is that Jews view Left and Right as static—as two components of a system they operate in. I don’t think Prager and Dershowitz are insincere in their beliefs and opinions. It’s simply a matter of issues like, say, abortion and social welfare policy being completely subordinated to the REAL issue (and you know what that is.) For this reason, they’re delighted to see more of their kind in prominent positions “on the other side.”

This metapolitics has obviously been successful for them. Note how in the second video, Prager says that the Jews ridiculed and attacked George W. Bush—but did so in full confidence that he would never stop standing up for Zionists and risking his political career on their behalf.

Europeans and European-Americans could do worse than learn something from a people whose political ideas are profoundly informed by racial consciousness.
Norman Podhoretz wrote in his book, Why Are Jews Liberal?, that Jews "back Republicans only so long as they adopted the liberal position on ’such bellwether issues … as immigration, abortion, gay rights and the separation of church and state."

John Murray Cuddihy wrote in The Ordeal of Civility: Freud, Marx, Levi-Strauss and the Jewish Struggle With Modernity: "With the advent of Jewish Emancipation, when ghetto walls crumble and the shtetlach begin to dissolve, Jewry – like some wide-eyed anthropologist – enters upon a strange world, to explore a strange people observing a strange halakah. They examine this world in dismay, with wonder, anger, and punitive objectivity. This wonder, this anger, and the vindictive objectivity of the marginal nonmember are recidivist; they continue unabated into our own time because Jewish Emancipation continues into our own time."
Kevin MacDonald wrote:
In other words, Jews have been opposed to the traditional culture of America and the West and are strong advocates for the displacement of Whites via immigration... In psychological terms, Jewish identity in the Diaspora is based on psychological mechanisms of between-group competition. A strong sense of Jewish identity has always been accompanied by negative attitudes toward non-Jews—ranging from the laws of cleanness in traditional Judaism (according to which anything associated with non-Jews was unclean) to the revolutionary hatred of the non-Jewish power structure by Jewish Marxists, to the adoption of values in opposition to the traditional culture of America and the West. These negative perceptions are exacerbated by the lachrymose theory of Jewish history accepted by Podhoretz and the mainstream Jewish community: It is not simply that Christianity is evil, but that Western culture itself is poisonous to Jews. The implication therefore is that Jews will be much more likely than non-Jews to have negative attitudes toward the traditional culture of America and the West. Importantly, Jewish voters are liberal on all issues, from government power to welfare.
A 1996 poll of Jewish attitudes showed that, in the words of Podhoretz, "Jews are firmly committed to permissive social codes, sexual codes in particular. The gap between Jews and others in polls regarding non-marital sexual behavior, marijuana, and divorce laws is quite substantial: 58 percent of Jews had liberal responses on these items as opposed to just 31 percent of non-Jews. In like fashion, huge gaps separate Jews from others on abortion (86 percent vs. 44 percent) and control of pornography (71 percent vs. 45 percent)." Kevin MacDonald wrote:
There are similar differences even when controlling for socio-economic class. Not surprisingly, support for gay marriage and for Roman Polanski are good career moves in Hollywood. Moreover, Jews are dead last among all American groups in “confidence in the military,” but they favor gun control laws more than any other American group. And Jewish antipathy to the culture of America and other Western Diaspora societies extends to hostility against the formerly dominant White Protestant elite. Podhoretz quotes sociologists Mark Lipsett and Earl Raab, noting that Jews “are more at ease with the kinds of people they find in the Democratic Party – their fellow ethnics with whom they grew up in America – than with the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants still predominant in the Republican Party.”

So it’s not just Christianity that keeps Jews away from social conservatism. Latino Catholics, Black Southern Baptists, and Asian Christians are much preferred to the formerly dominant WASPs, who represent the traditional American culture and erstwhile ruling class.

It’s not really about religion but ethnicity and race. Nevertheless, it is indeed the case that White Christians are an object of special Jewish hostility.

In the Commentary symposium, Michael Medved describes Jewish atavistic phobia about Christianity as the religion of the outgroup: “Jews fear the GOP as the ‘Christian party.’” And Jewish hostility towards Christianity unites the most Orthodox and conservative Jews with the most secular and liberal. It is the hostility of the outsider against the culture of the White majority. As a result, expressions of hostility toward Christianity have a special place of pride in the contemporary culture of the West.

A good recent example is Larry David pissing on a picture of Jesus in HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm—an event which evoked yawns from the rest of the media...

At the end of the day, Podhoretz’s enterprise is an exercise in deception. He erects an image of irrational Jewish liberals who cling to liberalism as a set of religious beliefs completely beyond the reach of logic or empirical data. In fact Jewish liberalism is quite clearly a Diaspora strategy designed to obtain power for Jews at least partly by building coalitions with non-White ethnic groups. Moreover, he erects an image of principled, rational Jewish conservatives as true conservatives, while in fact they are leftists who have been a prominent force in elbowing out true conservatives within the Republican Party in order to pursue their pro-Israel agenda and make the Republican Party into something they deem safe for Jews.

Celebrities

Dennis wrote Feb. 3, 2004: “When God gave out the normal human desire to meet celebrities and stars, I was in another line. Even as a young person I had no particular desire to meet famous ballplayers and get autographs from them or from any other famous persons. I have lived in Los Angeles for 28 years, am regularly on television, made three videos with major Hollywood actors, and have yet to attend one Hollywood party. I would rather bowl with my 11-year-old son than have lunch with an Academy Award-winner.”
Dennis said in 2004 in a lecture on Deut. 8, “A household name, a superstar of the 20th Century, not George Burns, listened to my show and invited me to his home. And I have no desire to be with superstars. I’d rather be with friends. I’d rather be alone. When God gave out the desire to be with the famous, I was in the other lane. He was so superstarish, it was simple curiosity. Remember, he invited me to his home because he liked hearing me on the radio. He’s no longer with us. The entire evening he only spoke about himself. I sat there. I had never encountered this in my life.”

During the 1980s, several celebrities invited Dennis to their homes and all but one spoke only of themselves. Dennis stopped going. (May 15, 2014)

Feb. 8, 2013, Dennis said: "Acting changes how you feel... Charlton Heston was the one actor I developed a true friendship with. He was a wonderful man. He's played the roles of great men, the most famous was Moses in The Ten Commandments. I asked him if it affected him and he said, of course it affected me. He led a particularly honorable life.

Morning Show

In July 1997, Dennis Prager began broadcasting from 9 a.m. to noon on KABC, replacing veteran host Michael Jackson

Dennis typically went to bed by midnight and rose by eight AM. “When I’m showering, I’m debating. I make a point. Then I hear the left-wing response.” (May 20, 2010)

Jan. 17, 2011, Dennis said: “Last night at 2 a.m., that’s when I do my good work. I’m still a high school boy. I consider going to sleep deprivation of fun. I can’t do any more fun things. I have to leave consciousness. What a bummer!
“That’s the reason I took a morning show. I originally had an afternoon show and then I begged and begged for a morning show to force me to get up earlier. And so what do I do? I just get less sleep.”
In a lecture on Deuteronomy in 2005 (Vol. 9:1), Dennis said: “I get up an hour before the show [which starts at 9:05 a.m.] and hope that nothing happened overnight. The second I wake up, I call Allen. ‘Allen, anything happen while I was sleeping?’”
Dennis told CSPAN in 1996 that he reads six daily papers:

...[T]he Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the editorial page — USA Today, editorial pages of The Orange County Register and [Los Angeles] Daily News. You will find me reading anywhere. There’s no one place — so long as I have one of my trusted, beloved fountain pens to mark up the article. I write almost everything straight off the computer. I use the fountain pen to mark things up and I also keep a note of every phone call on my radio show. That’s my greatest use for the fountain pen. I tape every show.
One of my dreams in life is to make Haydn more popular. Haydn is the glory — and I love Mozart; love Beethoven; love Bach. I love him so much that I would like to thank him. I mean, you know, I would like to give him a hug, the amount of joy he has brought to me. And I was just reading in Fanfare magazine, a magazine that classical nuts like me get — because it’s 500 pages of classical record reviews — and they had a letter from Haydn. They reprinted a letter where he said to someone that all he lives for is, in this difficult, difficult world, to bring people some measure of joy. And I thought, ‘My God, that’s what he does in this difficult, difficult world. He brings people joy.’
Americans have forgotten what America is about, and I would like to write a book something like that, The Nine Questions People Ask About America, to make the case for America like we [Joseph and Dennis] made the case for Judaism.

It was not until one day in 1995 that the uniqueness of American values struck Dennis Prager clearly (radio shows June 7 and 15, 2010). Emptying his pockets, he looked at his coins and realized that they contained the country’s core beliefs — e pluribus unum, In God We Trust and Liberty

Dennis said in 2005 in a lecture on Deut. 30: “A lot of people wonder why there is so much repetition [in the Torah]. The reason is pedagogic.
“When I make a new point [on the radio], I get no calls. It is as if I didn’t say anything. When I will say it for about the fifth time, I’ll start getting emails and calls. It might be the most brilliant point in the world, but if I make it once, it’s as if I never said it.”

As a regular listener to Dennis Prager since 1988 (and I bought hundreds of hours of highlights of the two years previous to that), I get frustrated that most of his shows are nothing but repetitions of points he's made hundreds of times previously. Most of his lectures are the same way. Prager's friend Joseph Telushkin is the same sort of repetition machine. Nice work if you can get it. 

Dennis said in a 1998 lecture on Exodus 22-23:

If I aimed to be liked on my radio show, I would have an entirely different radio show. Half of what I say I would not say. Because as I am speaking, this is not stuff I’d say on the radio, it’s too personal, but as I am speaking, I am thinking to myself, I am now making an enemy. I don’t get a thrill out of that. Everyone likes to be liked.
The reason I debate callers is never to change their mind. It is to change listeners’ minds who are wavering.”
People say to me, I can’t believe your patience with callers. And I say, I would have zero patience if we were together alone in a room, but knowing half a million people are listening, I am Mr. P. There is so much at stake in making a passionate and rational argument.”
I could never be a reporter. I would bite through my tongue with my opinions.
There was a guy I truly disliked. It hasn’t happened much in my life. I felt he had truly wronged me. Then I learned that a couple I adored were their closest friends. I was in cognitive dissonance. Maybe these people I adore are also disgusting. Then I realized, this guy was a putz to you. He did you wrong. There were bad things this guy did to me. But this is not Hitler. This is my enemy, but not a truly evil soul. When I learned what this guy had done for this couple, I was terribly wronged and they were terribled righted by this guy. And if I saw this guy’s donkey on Wilshire Blvd, I would try to return it to him because I try to live by Torah law.

Around 1996, Dennis Prager had a dinner he would refer to often in the years afterward. "He is a household name Democrat. He told me about 15 years ago that the unions run the Democratic party in California."

That sounds like Prager's acquaintance Henry Waxman.

Stephen S. Wise

In January 1998, Dennis Prager began preaching at Stephen S. Wise's "Mountaintop Minyan" most Saturday mornings.
Prager enjoyed the spirited music at his temple which was usually led by Cantor Linda Kates, married to pianist and composer David Kates.  Dennis often joined in on his accordion with the after lunch singalong.
Said Dennis in his 2004 lecture on Deuteronomy 12: “People say, if you have all these beliefs, how come you go to a Reform synagogue? The answer is — it is the briefest service.”
In a 2007 lecture on Leviticus 1, Dennis Prager said: “Two months ago, I was approached by St. Martin’s Press. They’re doing a series of books by people they consider important thinkers. They want us to talk about our biggest failure or challenge. So they got Elie Wiesel. He’s talking about his difficulty forgiving. He’s a survivor of the Holocaust. Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident who’s become a member of the Israeli parliament, talks about his difficulty with compromising.
“My difficulty [is] with prayer. As soon as I said it, the guy said, ‘Fantastic. So many people will relate to it.’”
This book has yet to be published (let alone written?).
Dennis Prager wrote in the July 30, 2010 Jewish Journal:

I can personally attest to the closed-mindedness among Jewish liberals. Despite having written two best-selling Jewish books and hundreds of articles on Jewish issues, and having lectured to virtually every major Jewish organization in North America for 35 years, and despite the fact that I have been an active member of a Reform synagogue for 20 years, I am almost never invited to speak at a Reform synagogue. I don’t take it personally — it isn’t personal. The Reform movement is essentially closed to politically conservative speakers even if, as in my case, they would be happy to speak only on Judaism. There is every reason to believe that far more Reform temples would invite a fervent Muslim speaker before a fervent conservative Jewish one.
Another example: Last year I was invited to be the speaker at the annual banquet of a Jewish day school in liberal Northern California. I have a 30-year record of raising funds for Jewish day schools and persuading Jewish parents to send their children to day schools. Nevertheless, the invitation was rescinded because some liberal members of the school’s board would not allow a prominent Jew who was known to be a conservative to speak — even though the entire talk would have been about supporting Jewish day schools. They actually threatened to withdraw financial support from the school unless the invitation was rescinded. Their view is that only liberals can speak at that school, just as only liberals can speak at almost any Reform synagogue. Open-minded?
Contrast this with the fact that two years ago, the Orthodox Union invited me, a non-Orthodox Jew, to address its annual West Coast convention. That would have been impressive enough. But far more impressive was the subject I was asked to speak on: “Why I am not Orthodox.”

Jonathan Pollard

Dennis Prager argued in an October 15, 1997 essay for the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from American prison: "An American who loved both America and Israel, used his access to American intelligence on those Arab regimes and passed it on to Israel. He spied on behalf of America's most loyal allies, not on behalf of any of America's enemies, and he gave away secrets about Arab regimes devoted to Israel's destruction not, to the best of our knowledge, about America. And, unlike spies whose espionage cost the lives of American and pro-American foreign agents, we know of no American and pro-American foreigner who lost his life because of Pollard."
Steve Sailer had a different view: "Pollard was a cokehead who stole some of the crown jewels of our national security secrets -- information relating to the our nuclear missile submarine deterrent -- in return for money from the Israelis. (The Israeli government is widely believed to have then bartered the American secrets to the Soviets.)" 

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin

Joseph Telushkin was acclaimed for his books Jewish Literacy, Biblical Literacy, Jewish Wisdom, Jewish Humor and Words That Wound, Words That Heal.
Both Dennis and Joseph served as mentors to the first Russian Jew ordained as a (Conservative) rabbi – Leonid Feldman who introduced Joseph to his wife. Leonid received semicha (rabbinic ordination) from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York where he was a classmate of Rabbi Toba August, the sister of Joseph’s future wife.
While at JTS, Leonid cut a wide swathe through the ladies. He later became famous for his high-flying ways as a well-compensated rabbi and for punching out the president of his shul.
In his book Still the Best Hope, Dennis wrote: "Leonid Feldman, my longtime friend whose path from atheist and Soviet dissident to prominent American rabbi is worthy of its own book."

In 1997, Joseph’s wife Dvorah published a memoir (Master of Dreams) about her twenty years working as a secretary and translator for Yiddish novelist Isaac Bashevis Singer. Dvorah’s blonde sister Tova gained rabbinic ordination through JTS and worked for years at Stephen S. Wise temple in Los Angeles.
Though largely observant of Orthodox Jewish Law, the Telushkins regard themselves as nondenominational. Their three children attended a Modern Orthodox day school in New York.
Rabbi Telushkin said to me circa 1995 that Prager’s 1993 essay condoning driving on Shabbat was written to him, and that he remained unconvinced. Joseph, a more traditional man than Dennis, does not drive on Sabbath, even though he serves as the rabbi for the liberal Synagogue of the Performing Arts, which meets the first Friday night of every month. Rabbi Telushkin uses a microphone at the synagogue, which is a violation of Orthodox Jewish Law.
Rabbi Telushkin studied and experimented with hypnotism during the 1990s.
During 1996, Joseph almost died from diabetes.

Like Dennis, he has no influence on Orthodox Judaism and is not considered a member of that fold. Many of those who grew up with him consider it sad that he drank the non-denominational kool aid, so cool-sounding in the 1970s, and went off the derech.

Rabbi Marc Gafni

Rabbi Joseph Telushkin put Dennis on friendly terms with the controversial non-deonminational rabbi Marc Gafni in 1998.
Rabbi Gafni was accused of sexual abuse by several women in a 2004 Jewish Week article by editor Gary Rosenblatt.
When Dennis Prager sent his step-daughter Anya to Israel circa 1998, he asked Marc Gafni to look after her.
I first saw Rabbi Gafni at UCLA during Passover week 2002.
After lecturing for an hour for Hillel’s yom limmud (day of learning), Marc chatted with Dennis Prager. They appeared friendly. That week, Gafni appeared on Prager’s radio show for half an hour to talk about his book The Mystery of Love. During the show, Prager shifted his position on the book and concluded that it was important.
Fran Prager loved Gafni’s book, but Dennis had a hard time with it.
In late 2004, two of Dennis Prager’s best friends (Rabbi Joseph Telushkin and Dr. Stephen Marmer) signed a public letter defending Gafni and attacking me. Here’s an excerpt:

The person who has partnered with Vicki in a number of unjustified and distortion-filled character assassinations has been Luke Ford, whom you have cooperated with as well, Rabbi Blau. Luke Ford is a discredited malicious gossip columnist for the pornography industry. He has made clear in his own writings that he does not check information, that he often reports information that is false, and that his definition of truth is that it expresses “the point of view” of the person telling him the information.
We find it shocking that you not only associate with Vicki Polin and Luke Ford, but that you are the major source of professional rabbinic credibility for Vicki Polin and the Awareness Center. Vicki Polin has written clearly that she only publishes materials from “reputable sources.” It is difficult to imagine that under any definition Luke Ford‘s blog and reports would fit into that category.
Just before Dennis Prager was scheduled to do a 2006 public dialogue with Marc Gafni at Stephen S. Wise temple, the rabbi stepped down from his organization Bayit Chadash, left Israel, and wrote a public letter (that he later retracted) saying he was sick.
In February of 2005, an acquaintance of mine saw a photo of me was up in the guard station at the S.S.W. temple. The notice said I was not welcome.
Until 2006, Prager and Telushkin had great sympathy for Gafni, believing he was a victim of sexual McCarthyism.
(Several rabbis Prager supported got into trouble for misbehavior. Leonid Feldman punched out his synagogue president. Daniel Gordis, whose early books sometimes sounded like warmed over Dennis Prager, repeatedly got in trouble for sexual messes and bullying. In the Jul-Sep 1990 edition of Ultimate Issues, Dennis Prager wrote to Orthodox rabbi Simcha Weinberg: "As I regard you as a model of living Judaism..." A few years later, Weinberg would lose his job at Lincoln Square synagogue for an affair with a congregant.)
Prager has never been the type to publicly sign on to letters condemning others, a favorite hobby of intellectuals. He is slow to take offense. While he fights for what he believes in, he doesn't indulge in feuds. He doesn't say ugly things in private that become public and embarrass him. He's never been caught in flagrantly unethical behavior. He's never had a scandal.
Contrast the great offense that Prager's friend Rabbi Shmuley Boteach took at Canadian intellectual Michael Coren with Dennis Prager's consistent love for Coren. "He is a very important part of the Canadian media," said Dennis May 6, 2013. 
I can't recall Dennis Prager walking out of a speaking engagement after getting a request to step farther away from the mic as Rabbi Boteach did Feb. 19, 2012 at LimmudLA. I also can't imagine Prager calling out an institution over its low speaking fee offer as Rabbi Boteach did with the American Jewish University in December of 2010. Dennis avoids these conflicts.
Prager, did, however, serve on the board of the Shmuley Boteach - Michael Jackson charity "Heal the Kids."

Michael Medved

Michael, 61 days younger, has been friends with Dennis since 1977. The men and their wives spent a lot of time together in the late 1980s and early 1990s, walking the Venice Beach among other activities. Medved, an Orthodox Jew, disagreed with the more laissez-faire attitude towards porn by Dennis and his second wife Fran, who admitted to watching X-rated material.

April 3, 2008, Michael said: "It really is because of Dennis that I'm on the radio. It was really Dennis who made it clear to me more than 20 years ago that this was the best means of communication."

"[Listening to Religion on the Line], a lightbulb went off in my head. Jewish guys arguing about religion? We do that for free. He gets paid for it. That inspired me. It's because of Dennis's example that I've had the great joy of doing my own show for almost 12 years now."

"I first met Dennis and Joseph [in 1977]. Dennis was this boy wonder director. It was one of the most exciting Jewish substantive places in the world... I was brought out there as a scholar in residence. It turned out that we had a great deal in common. When you are a geek about classical music but not a musician, to find someone else to talk to about that..."

Hugh Hewitt

April 3, 2008, Hugh Hewitt said, "Dennis is an extrovert's extrovert. He's the Saint Bernard of talkshow hosts."

"Dennis is the most evangelized Jew in the country."

Theodicy

“I’ve been troubled by theodicy since I was a child,” said Dennis in a 2010 public interview at Stephen S. Wise temple. “I finally gave up. Joseph Telushkin has a long-standing joke that Dennis will buy any book that has the terms 'God' and 'suffering' in it. I agree with Job. My wife doesn’t find Job as satisfying as I do. God says to Job, I’m God. You’re not. I understand it. You don’t. God is to me what I am to my basset hound. I’m fine with that. God told me how to live.”
In the same interview, Dennis mentioned that in 2008 the American Atheists annual convention brought him to debate their head in Minneapolis on Easter. “The atheists gave me my check right there. Most Jewish groups. Don’t knock it. That is a big deal. I’m still waiting for a certain shul. Three years.”
In his 2005 lecture on Deut. 24:5, Dennis said: “They are told by the lecture bureau, give Mr. Prager his check at the speech.
“Half the places don’t do it. It’s almost the same reason every time — ‘Ohmigod, our treasurer is on vacation.’ The number of times I speak at organizations where the treasurer is on vacation is almost lottery-like in its odds. I couldn’t care less but what happens is that we have to chase them down. That’s not right. It’s not dignified to me and to my staff.”

Think A Second Time (1995)

The back cover of Dennis Prager's third book (a collection of previously-published essays) did not stint with the self-praise:

Dennis Prager, theologian and philosopher turned talk-show host, is one of the most brilliant and compelling voices in America today. His extraordinarily popular radio show with the signature sign-off, "Think a second time," coupled with his own biweekly newsletter, has firmly established him as a fixture in intellectual communities nationwide. In Think a Second Time, Prager blends a rigorous and scholarly education with utterly original thinking on current events.

Baby Richard

Beginning in April 1995, Dennis devoted every hour of his radio show for six weeks, much to the dismay of his bosses and many of his listeners, to the Baby Richard controversy. Why this obsession? Because the story exemplified Prager's belief that blood means nothing and values mean everything.
In his March 25, 2002 column, Dennis wrote:

I took the news of the forced resignation of Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene — for having had sexual contact with an 18- or 19-year-old woman 11 years earlier — very hard.
You see, in 1995, Greene and I were the two most vocal voices in America in defense of a 4-year-old boy taken away from his family and given over to a birth father whom the boy had never seen. The boy, Danny Warburton, was known as “Baby Richard,” though at the age of four, he was hardly a baby.
The Illinois Supreme Court, in a vote of 5 to 2, overturned a lower-court ruling to leave Danny with his parents and his brother, and to hand him over forever to a birth father who soon after abandoned the boy again. The justices did not even provide a way for Danny to communicate with his family, the only family he had ever known.
At Danny’s birth, the birth mother had legally given adoption rights over to the Warburtons, a fireman and homemaker — his parents virtually from birth.
Bob Greene in the Chicago Tribune and I, through my radio talk show and writings, poured our hearts out for this boy. I devoted half a year to writing an analysis of that horrific decision and the blood-is-more-important-than-love thinking that made it possible.
How could these Illinois Supreme Court justices use their power to hurt, rather than protect, a child? As the case involved Chicago residents, Bob’s voice was uniquely powerful. Against the judgment of those in the media who believe that the public easily gets bored with any issue, he devoted column after column to making readers like me weep for Danny Warburton and for his mother, father and brother.
Were it not for Bob Greene, I would have known much less about the situation and not obtained the information I desperately needed to make my daily case against Illinois Supreme Court. Also, knowing that I had a major ally in the media enabled me to do something I have never done in 20 years on the radio — devote more than a month to the same subject, every day, for three hours. 
Said Dennis Sept. 17, 2010: “I spoke at a rally [for Baby Richard] in Chicago. And I cried in the middle of my own talk, it was so painful, that whole issue, in part because my child [Aaron] was the same age and also adopted at birth and the thought of his being taken away was nightmarish.”
According to Wikipedia: "Karen Moriarty, a therapist for the biological parents, told the Chicago Sun-Times in 2003 that Danny has adjusted well to life after the custody battle. She documented the case in the book Baby Richard -- A Four-Year-Old Comes Home. Moriarty decried the media's treatment of the Kirchners, claiming that Bob Greene never spoke to Kirchner or Janikova in spite of writing so frequently on the case."
Susan Brandenburg reported July 4, 2007:
Moriarty's dramatic account of the four-year battle by Czechoslovakian immigrant Otto Kirchner to regain custody of his son from the couple who had adopted him at birth is in direct contrast to the condemnation of him that defined the case back in the mid-1990's. It ultimately changed adoption laws in several states.

Although it appeared to the public that the biological father of the boy had suddenly appeared on the scene to rip his 4-year-old son from the loving arms of his adoptive parents, the father's court battle for custody actually began before his child was three months old.

One aspect of Moriarty's "rest of the story" is that the adoptive parents, Kim and Jay Warburton, and their attorney had actually coerced Daniela Kirchner, a young, vulnerable, then-single immigrant mother, into signing away rights to her baby without the knowledge or permission of the birth father. For years, beginning when the child was a tiny infant, the conflict between the adoptive parents and the biological parents raged through courts and state legislatures, fueled by intense media coverage of a highly toxic nature against the biological parents.

In Think A Second Time, Dennis wrote:
Nothing in the history of the human race has caused more evil than the belief in the importance of blood.
Many of the greatest evils in history -- from the universal practice of slavery to the caste system that has permeated the Hindu world -- have emanated from the blood-based belief that I owe allegiance only to my group.
But it is in the twentiest century that blood-based beliefs have caused the most cruelty and destruction:
* The Turkish slaughter of the Armenians.
* The German near-extermination of the Jews of Europe (the Holocaust).
* The Japanese mass slaughter and enslavement of other Asians.
* The Chinese slaughter of the Tibetans.
* The mutual mass slaughter of Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda.
* Apartheid in South Africa and racist laws against blacks in America.
* The enslavement and mass slaughter of blacks in the Sudan.
* The "ethnic cleansing" by Serbians in Bosnia.
Every one of these evils was a result of blood-based beliefs.
The only great twentieth-century evil that did not result from blood-based beliefs was communism, which dehumanized people by defining them according to class or Party affiliation rather than race.
As regards children, blood-based thinking has been at the root of the belief in parental ownership of children -- "you are my blood, I own you." A feeling of ownership over children has led to or justified the enormous amount of abuse and humiliation of children and to such practices as male relatives murdering a daughter/sister for losing her virginity before marrying.
Of course, blood-based values aren't entirely destructive... They have led to one positive development: the fostering of love and responsibility toward family members. Yet even these two positive results have often had negative consequences...
Obligations toward blood relations have frequently led to believing that one has no obligations to non-blood. The more people have based love for people on blood, the more they have tended to diminish the value of people who are not blood related. Hence, the great amount of inter-tribal, inter-clan, inter-racial, inter-ethnic, and inter-national hatreds.
Another negative consequence of blood-based values has been described...as "familism", not trusting anyone outside of one's family... [A] major explanation for the development of North America and the relative non-development of South America has been the prevalence of familism in South America.
...[F]eelings of responsibility and even love toward family members are created; they are not the "natural" result of blood relationships...
When people do care for family members it is because they are family members, not because they are blood (even though most people believe that it is blood that is the source of that caring). We think that blood love is natural, almost instinctive. It isn't.
The desire to eat or to engage in sexual relations is natural, but caring for blood relations has been culturally cultivated...
If blood were a factor of any significance in determining family love, biological parents would be considerably more likely than adoptive parents to love their children. However, by any measurement we are capable of making, parents of both adopted and biological children love them identically...
Adoption also provides proof that obligation toward family members emanates more from cultural values than from blood ties. Members of adoptive families feel just as obligated toward (and close to) family members as do members of blood families...
Husbands and wives are family -- indeed, they are often the individual to whom one feels closest in life -- yet they are not blood related...
Throughout the world the family of one's spouse is considered one's family -- yet, like our spouse, none of this family is blood related...
Friends provide the most obvious example of non-blood love...
If parents loved their children because they are blood related, why do they continue to love their child even if they come to loathe the child's other blood parent?
All the evils Prager lists above are the flip side of altruism -- sacrificing for your own.

Prager's theses are easy to test. Does genetic similarity predict closer ties or not? For instance, "preschool children are 40 times more likely to be assaulted by a step parent — that is to say, a genetic stranger — than by a biological parent."

Rushton found:
For Homo sapiens, inclusive fitness theory goes well beyond ‘kin’. As William Hamilton hypothesized, genes can increase the probability of their own survival by bringing about the reproduction of not only family members with whom they share copies, but also of any individuals with whom they share copies. Research with Hamilton’s theory on people is less well known and remains controversial. This review shows: (1) spouses and close friends assort on blood groups and that similarity predicts fertility; (2) twin and adoption studies find genes rather than upbringing cause people to positively assort; (3) phenotype matching is more pronounced on more heritable items within sets of homogeneous traits; (4) bereavement studies find grief is greater following the death of a more similar co-twin or child; (5) studies of face perception find people prefer and trust those who look like them; and (6) DNA variance within and between ethnic groups is equivalent to that within and between families.

Kin-selection theory predicts that animals increase their fitness by allocating more cooperation to kin than to non-kin. Hamilton (1964) showed that altruism (or, conversely, reduced aggression) is favored when rb - c > 0, where r is the genetic relatedness between two individuals, b is the (genetic) fitness benefit to the beneficiary, and c is the fitness cost to the altruist. However, to benefit kin over non-kin, altruists must be able to detect genetic relatedness. Mechanisms proposed for this to occur include familiarity, imprinting on self or others, and innate feature detectors that work in the absence of learning...

A study of 263 child bereavements found that: (1) spouses agreed 74% of the time on which side of the family a child ‘took after’ the most, their own or that of their spouse, and (2) the grief intensity reported by mothers, fathers, and grandparents was greater for children who resembled their side of the family than for children resembling the other side of the family...

Several studies have found that people rate faces as more attractive when they resemble their own. Platek et al. (2002) morphed people’s faces with those of toddlers and asked questions such as ‘Which one of these children would you like to spend time with?’ and ‘Which child would you adopt?’ People responded more positively toward children’s faces that had been morphed with their own. During debriefing, the participants expressed surprise that any morphing had occurred. DeBruine (2002) found people trusted a stranger’s face more when it had been morphed with their own than when it was left unchanged...

The pull of genetic similarity does not stop at family and friends. Malat & Hamilton (2006) found that people prefer same-race health providers and perceive them as more trustworthy. Putnam (2004) found that the more ethnically diverse a community, the less likely its inhabitants are to trust others, from nextdoor neighbours to local governments.

Inclusive fitness theory has been used to explain why members of ethnic groups move into the same neighbourhoods, join together in clubs and societies, and are prone to develop ethnocentric attitudes toward those who differ in dress, dialect, and other appearance...

In retrospect, it is not surprising that people are able to detect and prefer those who resemble themselves. Similarity, whether actual or perceived, is one of the most important factors in human relationships. It is more surprising to find just how fine-tuned the recognition process can be. The studies reviewed above show that the preference for similarity occurs within ethnic groups and within families and on the more heritable items from within sets of related traits.

In another paper, Rushton found:
Genetic Similarity Theory extends Anthony D. Smith’s theory of ethno-symbolism by anchoring ethnic nepotism in the evolutionary psychology of altruism. Altruism toward kin and similar others evolved in order to help replicate shared genes. Since ethnic groups are repositories of shared genes, xenophobia is the ‘dark side’ of human altruism. A review of the literature demonstrates the pull of genetic similarity in dyads such as marriage partners and friendships, and even large groups, both national and international. The evidence that genes incline people to prefer others who are genetically similar to themselves comes from studies of social assortment, differential heritabilities, the comparison of identical and fraternal twins, blood tests, and family bereavements. DNA sequencing studies confirm some origin myths and disconfirm others; they also show that in comparison to the total genetic variance around the world, random co-ethnics are related to each other on the order of first cousins.

Most theories of ethno-political conflict and nationalism focus on cultural, cognitive and economic factors, often with the assumption that modernisation will gradually reduce the effect of local antagonisms and promote the growth of more universalistic societies (Smith 1998). However, purely socio-economic explanations seem inadequate to account for the rapid rise of nationalism in the former Soviet Bloc and too weak to explain the lethality of the conflicts between Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs in the Indian subcontinent, and Croats, Serbs, Bosnians and Albanians in the former Yugoslavia, or even the level of animosity between Blacks, Whites and Hispanics in the US...

Patriotism is almost always seen as a virtue and extension of family loyalty and is typically preached using kinship terms. Countries are called the ‘motherland’ or the ‘fatherland’. Ethnic identity builds on real as well as putative similarity. At the core of human nature, people are genetically motivated to prefer others genetically similar to themselves...

In 1964, evolutionary biologist William Hamilton finally provided a generally accepted solution to the problem of altruism based on the concept of inclusive fitness, not just individual fitness. It is the genes that survive and are passed on. Some of the individual’s most distinctive genes will be found in siblings, nephews, cousins and grandchildren as well as in offspring. Siblings share fifty per cent, nephews and nieces twenty-five per cent, and cousins about twelve and a half per cent of their distinctive genes. So when an altruist sacrifices its life for its kin, it ensures the survival of these common genes. The vehicle has been sacrificed to preserve copies of its precious cargo. From an evolutionary point of view, an individual organism is only a vehicle, part of an elaborate device, which ensures the survival and reproduction of genes with the least possible biochemical alteration.

‘Hamilton’s Rule’ states that across all species, altruism (or, conversely, reduced aggression) is favoured when rbc40, where r is the genetic relatedness between two individuals, b is the (genetic) fitness benefit to the beneficiary, and c is the fitness cost to the altruist. Evolutionary biologists have used Hamilton’s ‘gene’s eye’ point of view to carry out research on a wide range of social interactions including altruism, aggression, selfishness and spite. The formulation was dubbed ‘kin selection theory’ by John Maynard Smith (1964) and became widely known through influential books such as The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (1976) and Sociobiology: the New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson (1975).

With Arthur Jensen, Rushton sketched:
...the poverty of predictions from culture-only explanations. The preponderance of evidence demonstrates that in intelligence, brain size, and other life-history variables, East Asians average a higher IQ and larger brain than Europeans who average a higher IQ and larger brain than Africans. Further, these group differences are 50–80% heritable. These are facts, not opinions and science must be governed by data. There is no place for the ‘‘moralistic fallacy’’ that reality must conform to our social, political, or ethical desires.

[James Watson] is but the latest in a long line of academics that have been pilloried and defamed. The others include Nobel-Prize winner William Shockley, Hans Eysenck, Linda Gottfredson, Richard Lynn, Richard Hernstein, Charles Murray, Christopher Brand, Glayde Whitney, Helmuth Nyborg, and Tatu Vanhanen. The present writers too have endured their share of attacks. The taboo on race will surely become a major topic of investigation by sociologists of knowledge. There is no parallel to it in the history of science. It is uniquely imposed, mainly through self-censorship, by members of the Western intelligentsia in their own academy – which prides itself on a tradition of academic freedom, open inquiry, and the unfettered discovery, systematization, and pursuit of knowledge and its dissemination to the general public.

Black babies sit, crawl, walk, and put on their clothes earlier than Whites or East Asians. These racial group differences have been found to be heritable. For example, children of mixed Black–Japanese ancestry average a faster rate of skeletal development than do children of mixed Japanese–White ancestry, who average a faster rate of skeletal development than do children with two Japanese parents [12]. For walking: East Asians, 13 months; Whites, 12 months; Blacks, 11 months. Blacks also have an earlier age of sexual maturity than do Whites, who in turn have an earlier age than do East Asians, whether measured by age of first menstruation, first sexual experience, or first pregnancy...
If blood is meaningless, why is Africa so backward? "Neglect and decay are seen everywhere in Africa and much of the West Indies. International corporations often have to provide their own power, their own water, and their own phones." (Race, Evolution & Behavior)

In the United States, Orientals "have fewer divorces, fewer out-of-wedlock births, and fewer reports of child abuse than Whites. More Orientals graduate from college and fewer go to prison.

"On the other hand, Blacks are 12% of the American population and make up 50% of the prison population. In the U.S., one out of every three Black men is either in jail, on probation, or awaiting trial. That is much more than the number who graduate from college." (Race, Evolution & Behavior)

It seems that when you look around, blood is significant and shapes culture. "Why does history show Africa trailing behind Asia and Europe? Why do Whites average between Orientals and Blacks in so many areas? Why do the groups with larger brains have lower rates of two-egg twinning? To know the answer you must look at all of the traits taken together." (Race, Evolution & Behavior)

Phil Rushton wrote:

Evolutionary biologists call it the r-K scale of reproductive strategies. At one end of this scale are r-strategies that rely on high reproductive rates. At the other end are K-strategies that rely on high levels of parental care. This scale is generally used to compare the life histories of different species of animals. I have used it to explain the smaller but real differences between the human races.

On this scale, Orientals are more K-selected than Whites, while Whites are more K-selected than Blacks. Highly K-selected women produce fewer eggs (and have bigger brains) than r-selected women. Highly K-selected men invest time and energy in their children rather than the pursuit of sexual thrills. They are “dads” rather than “cads.”

Chapter 7 shows that the race differences in reproductive strategies make sense in terms of human evolution. Modern humans evolved in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Africans and non-Africans then split about 100,000 years ago. Orientals and Whites split about 40,000 years ago.

The more north the people went “Out of Africa,” the harder it was to get food, gain shelter, make clothes, and raise children. So the groups that evolved into today’s Whites and Orientals needed larger brains, more family stability, and a longer life. But building a bigger brain takes time and energy during a person’s development. So, these changes were balanced by slower rates of growth, lower levels of sex hormones, less aggression, and less sexual activity.

Why? Because Africa, Europe, and Asia had very different climates and geographies that called for different skills, resource usage, and lifestyles. Blacks evolved in a tropical climate which contrasted with the cooler one of Europe in which Whites evolved and even more so with the cold Arctic lands where Orientals evolved.

Because intelligence increased the chances of survival in harsh winter environments, the groups that left Africa had to evolve greater intelligence and family stability. This called for larger brains, slower growth rates, lower hormone levels, less sexual potency, less aggression, and less impulsivity. Advanced planning, self-control, rule-following, and longevity all increased in the non-Africans...

Race is more than “just skin deep.” The pattern of Oriental-White-Black differences is found across history, geographic boundaries, and political-economic systems. It proves the biological reality of race. Theories based only on culture cannot explain all the data...

Testosterone may be a master switch that sets the position of the races on the r-K scale. We know that this male sex hormone affects self-concept, temperament, sexuality, aggression and altruism. It controls the development of muscles and the deepening of the voice. It can also contribute to aggression and problem behavior. A study of over 4,000 military veterans found high testosterone levels predicted greater criminality, alcohol and drug abuse, military misconduct, and having many sex partners. We can now see how different testosterone levels among the three races might explain the r-K behavioral differences. With higher testosterone levels, Blacks are more likely to put time and energy into having offspring. On the other hand, Asians and Whites with lower testosterone levels put more time and energy into caring for a few offspring and making long term plans...

To survive the long winters, the ancestors of today's Whites and Orientals made complex tools and weapons to fish and hunt animals. They made spearheads that could kill big game from a greater distance and knives for cutting and skinning. Fires, clothes and shelters were made for warmth. Bone needles were used to sew animal skins together and shelters were made from large bones and skins.

Making special tools, fires, clothing and shelters called for higher intelligence. Moving “Out of Africa” meant moving into a K-type life-history strategy. That meant higher IQ, larger brains, slower growth, and lower hormone levels. It also meant lower levels of sexuality, aggression, and impulsive behavior. More family stability, advanced planning, self-control, rule-following, and longevity were needed...

Hereditarians, like myself, think the best explanation of why the races differ involves both genes and environment. Egalitarians claim the races differ for 100% cultural reasons and some of them feel so strongly about it that they try to stop even discussion or research on the genetics of race...

Well-to-do college-educated Black women have more sexual intercourse at an earlier age and suffer greater infant mortality than do poorer White women who haven't gone to college. That fits with the r-K theory of race differences, but not with an environmental r-K theory. Orientals who have a poorer environment than Whites, have less sexual intercourse, start at a later age, and have lower infant mortality.

The Nazis and others used their supposed racial superiority to justify war and genocide. But just about every idea -- nationalism, religion, egalitarianism, even self-defence -- has been used as an excuse for war, oppression or genocide. Science, however, is objective. It can’t give us our goals, but it can tell us how easy or difficult it will be to reach our goals. Knowing more about race differences may help us to give every child the best possible education and help us to understand some of our chronic social problems better.

Treating others as we would like to be treated is one of our highest ethical rules. So is telling the truth. The fact is that each of us is influenced by our genes and our environment. Treating people as individuals does not mean we should ignore or lie about race differences...(Race, Evolution & Behavior)

The Texas Adoption Project "followed 300 Texas families who had adopted one or more children from a home for unwed mothers. The first phase of the study tested personality and intelligence of adopted children between three and fourteen years old; ten years later, they were tested again as adolescents and young adults. Not only were adoptees found to be much more like their biological mothers than their adoptive families, but as the adopted children grew older, they also became increasingly similar to the biological parents from whom they had been separated shortly after birth, and less like their adoptive parents. By adolescence, the adoptees showed virtually no similarity to the parents or siblings with whom they had been raised." (Rushton)

Dennis Prager advocates the "proposition nation" (a country primarily united by common beliefs) as well as the "proposition family" (a unit primarily based upon shared morals). He wrote: "As a father, my purpose is not to pass on my seed, but to pass on my values."
James Kirkpatrick argued: "Nor can any real family hold together on the ground of ideology. We love our parents and our children because they are ours—not because we agree with their view of the Constitution."
In the second edition of Ultimate Issues, Prager wrote that the Jews' greatest problem is that "fewer Jews know that they have a message." The solution? "Jews must be taught why to be Jewish." In other words, Jews must be taught that they are a proposition nation.
In the Spring/Summer 1986 issue, Prager wrote:

I would say that the Jewish identity of Jews, including Jewish leaders, let us say, fifty-five and older, is overwhelmingly ethnic. They were born and raised in a Jewish world and they are Jewish only for this reason. Few have gone through the soul searching of asking "Why am I a Jew?"
If I am Jewish, I said, I want to be Jewish because I chose to, not because I was raised in it. That's why I studied all these other religions. I wanted to come to Judaism on my own.
This is like wanting to be a member of your family because you chose your parents, not because you were born to them. Few people with IQs under 130 (about 2% of whites and orientals) are going to spend much time thinking, "Why am I a Jew/American/whatever?" This exquisite agony is the luxury of the comfortably-off, high-IQ abstract such as Prager with time on his hands.
It seems literally racist to object to [intermarriage]... And the truth is, for irreligious Jews, it is racist because their argument against intermarriage is purely ethnic and racial, not religious and ethical. The only reason that I am ultimately opposed to intermarriage is because I want to see somebody carry on Judaism, not ethnicity.
In the Winter 1986 edition of Ultimate Issues, Dennis wrote that the Mormons should be allowed to build a study center in Jerusalem:
The opposition to the building of a non-Jewish center in the Jewish state is very instructive of the moral and psychological state of many Jews today. Most obviously, it reveals a strong strain of intolerance. Just imagine, for example, if another country forbade the construction of a Jewish center. Wouldn't these very same Jews cry -- correctly -- "bigotry" and "anti-semitism"? Apparently, to many Jews the tolerance that is demanded of non-Jews is not be demanded of Jews...
Israel and Jewry would appear [if they back out of the deal] -- not without reason -- to non-Jews as religious bigots and as a people that demands rights for itself that it is unwilling to extend to others...
Between the illusory assurances of a non-democratic, hermetically sealed Jewish state and the risks of an open and democratic one, I choose the latter...
Finally, as far as this religious Jew is concerned, let every religion on earth set up a center in Jerusalem and thereby become acquainted with Jews and Judaism...
There is...an unfortunate movement among some Jews toward the elevation of nation and land to a value coequal with God and above ethical monotheism.
A critique of Jews is that they stand for racism for us, multi-racialism for you. In this video put on Youtube in 2013, an Englishman asks Jared Taylor: “You mentioned dual standards… You have a situation where America like our country [Britain] is dominated by a particular ethnic group… You say the Jews have their homeland and they have announced it is a homeland for Jews. Yet the same people in America through their various organizations like AIPAC and all the rest of it have announced that they want America to ease its immigration controls and to proclaim an amnesty for illegal immigrants. That’s millions and millions of people. In our country, the Board of Deputies of British Jews in the early 1950s promulgated the first draft of what was to become the notorious Race Relations Act in the Group Libel bill, and this is now part of our law, part of the Public Order act, whereby if you criticize particular ethnic groups, particularly the Jews themselves, you face on conviction for a first offense, going to prison for six months. These people are an ethnic group, they play the ethnic minority card, and their behavior in Palestine and Israel and their behavior outside Palestine, in Britain and America, is racism for us, but multi-racialism for you. Now it wouldn’t matter if an ethnic group in America like the Eskimos or the Red Indians or the Navajo or even the Mexicans had that sort of hypocritical view because they haven’t got the clout, the power, the money power and the media power and therefore the political power of Jewry, but they have got that power and therefore what they do and what they think and how they’re brainwashing our people is very important. I don’t think you can get to grips of how our people are stampeding to the cliff like lemmings, you can’t get to the nub of this matter until you address Jewish duplicity on the question of race.”

Jared Taylor: “There is no question that the aggregate impact of Jews has been overwhelmingly unfavorable on all of the questions that I touched on. There’s no question that Jews have been extremely vocal about promoting diversity in the United States while maintaining homogeneity in Israel. As far as American Renaissance, we have been focused exclusively on race. One can’t afford to be a crank on more than one subject at a time. There are a plenty of places where one can learn about the Jewish question." 

Another reason that Dennis supported the Mormons building a center in Jerusalem corresponds with his desire for increased immigration to America: "I want members of other religions exposed to Judaism. I believe that Judaism is so impressive..."

Jared Taylor wrote in 2012:

Any American or European who wants an ethnostate of his own is a frothing bigot, whereas Israelis who want the same thing are heroes in their own country and respectable statesmen here. It is entirely understandable that American patriots should be angry about the double standard, but it is more useful to laud the Israeli example than to complain about it. The Israeli government is doing exactly what we would like our government to do. We should point to Israel as a model and encourage our rulers to copy it rather than grouse about others getting away with things we can’t do. We should celebrate this Israeli policy just as we would a similar outbreak of sanity in Canada or Australia.

Many Muslims, including the 9/11 terrorists and Sayyid Qutb, a founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, came to America, hated it, and set about to murder Americans. Not every group is equally suited to appreciating the First World. 

So what best predicts a child's education attainment (and with it future income and family stability)? Blood or home? As the Times of London reported: "NATURE not nurture is the main determinant of how well children perform at school and university..."
Rushton said:

It doesn't matter whether you look at longevity or obesity, studies on thousands of children show that the best predictor of whether or not you are obese or die early is the biological parent you never saw. Absolutely no prediction occurs from knowledge of the adopting parents...
IQ and educational achievement is the same as longevity and obesity. Biological parents are the best predictors for how children perform, not the parents who bring them up for 17 or 20 years.
"Russell W." wrote to Lawrence Auster about Prager:
He also has a sometimes bizarre anti-biology approach to all ethical matters. For instance, he considers racism as the most grievous human sin throughout history, and so anything at all that even acknowledges race as a reality is offensive. He was (completely rightly, in my opinion) appalled at the “Baby Richard” episode during the 90s, where an adopted child who had lived with his new parents from near-infancy to around age four or five was removed and given back to the formerly absentee biological father. He described the danger in ascribing so much importance to blood (and again, this seems like a perfectly valid point), but he takes this view to the extreme and says blood is completely meaningless. For instance, he has said many times that if the hospital mistakenly gave him another person’s baby and he kept that child for a day, he would not want to bring it back to switch it for his biological child. Of course, for every sane and decent person there’s a threshold of time after which the emotional connection overrides biology, but one day?

Auster replied:

I was just talking with a Jewish friend the last couple of days who has the same absolute opposition to the slightest hint that “blood,” i.e., descent, matters in the definition of a people, particularly the Jewish people. He said this rejection of any racial or ethnic component is central to Judaism, since what makes a Jew is the covenant with God. To non-Jews, of course, this staunch Jewish rejection of ethnic tribalism seems risible, as Jews are the oldest and most famous tribal people on earth. 
Economist Gregory Clark wrote in the New York Times Feb. 21, 2014:
To a striking extent, your overall life chances can be predicted not just from your parents’ status but also from your great-great-great-grandparents’. The recent study suggests that 10 percent of variation in income can be predicted based on your parents’ earnings. In contrast, my colleagues and I estimate that 50 to 60 percent of variation in overall status is determined by your lineage...

Does this imply that individuals have no control over their life outcomes? No. In modern meritocratic societies, success still depends on individual effort. Our findings suggest, however, that the compulsion to strive, the talent to prosper and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited. We can’t know for certain what the mechanism of that inheritance is, though we know that genetics plays a surprisingly strong role. Alternative explanations that are in vogue — cultural traits, family economic resources, social networks — don’t hold up to scrutiny.

Family names tell you, for better or worse, a lot: The average life span of an American with the typically Jewish surname Katz is 80.2 years, compared with 64.6 years for those with the surname Begay (or Begaye), which is strongly associated with Native Americans. Heberts, whites of New France descent, live on average three years less than Dohertys, whites of Irish descent...

The notion of genetic transmission of “social competence” — some mysterious mix of drive and ability — may unsettle us. But studies of adoption, in some ways the most dramatic of social interventions, support this view. A number of studies of adopted children in the United States and Nordic countries show convincingly that their life chances are more strongly predicted from their biological parents than their adoptive families. In America, for example, the I.Q. of adopted children correlates with their adoptive parents’ when they are young, but the correlation is close to zero by adulthood. There is a low correlation between the incomes and educational attainment of adopted children and those of their adoptive parents.

These studies, along with studies of correlations across various types of siblings (identical twins, fraternal twins, half siblings) suggest that genetics is the main carrier of social status.

Mar. 25, 2014, Dennis said: "Good values are not permanent. Good values have to be reinforced every generation. Nothing lasts unless it is restated for every generation. Every child is a blank slate. They are not born with the existing values of the parents and the parents' society."

As John Derbyshire wrote about people like Dennis: "The bloodless, deracinated, group-indifferent, 'blank slate,' omnisympathetic creature promoted by the merchants of Political Correctness is one I do not recognize as human... Their lofty pretensions to have risen high above us grubby group-identifying lesser beings strike me as just another form, a particularly obnoxious form, of in-group status-striving."

In the Fall 1986 edition of Ultimate Issues, Dennis wrote:

I, for one, had always tended to side with the nurture crowd... Moreover, I wanted to believe that people, not uncontrollable forces such as genes, determine their own and others' personalities.

My thinking all changed in one day -- the day my son was born. He came out with a personality! Without parental influence, without watching a single television show, and without a single word of wisdom from me, he already had a personality. And, my God, so did all the other kids born that day at that hospital....

Sure enough, my common sense observation was recently confirmed by the latest scientific data on the issue. the December 2, 1986 issue of the New York Times, published an article under the title: "Major Personality Study Finds That Traits Are Mostly Inherited."

"The genetic makeup of a child," the article begins, "is a stronger influence on a child than child rearing, according to the first study to examine identical twins reared in different families."

The study goes on to explain this study and delineate which traits are more inherited than others. These traits include virtually everything we associate with human personality.

O.J. Simpson Not Guilty Verdict Oct. 3, 1995

Dennis Prager wrote June 10, 2008:
The day the O.J. Simpson verdict was announced, I said to my then-teenage son, “David, please forgive me. I am handing over to you a worse America than my father handed over to me.”
Unfortunately, I still feel this way.
With the important exception of racial discrimination — which was already dying a natural death when I was young — it is difficult to come up with an important area in which America is significantly better than when I was a boy. But I can think of many in which its quality of life has deteriorated.
Judaism, Homosexuality & Civilization II

In mid-November 1996, Dennis Prager told the editor of the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, Gene Lichtenstein, that he wanted to submit an article on Judaism and homosexuality. Gene said he’d publish it. Two weeks went by and nothing appeared. Prager called Gene and asked what happened. Lichtenstein said that he so disagreed with the piece that he would not publish it without publishing a rebuttal in the same issue.
Gene sought a rabbi to write a rebuttal, but none of them would, despite their strong disagreement with Prager’s ideas. So Lichtenstein wrote a rebuttal which he published with Prager’s essay in the Journal’s November 22nd issue.
The Jewish Journal then published a series of letters, almost all attacking Dennis. The most significant was signed by sixteen rabbis, four Conservative and 12 Reform. “Apparently,” wrote Dennis afterwards in his journal The Prager Perspective, “Mr. Lichtenstein does not believe that the letters he publishes need engage issues or even approximate respectful dialogue. The letters… were of a level so low, so filled with invective and even hatred toward me that I wonder if Mr. Lichtenstein wonders about the moral level of his ideological allies. I wonder whether he was embarrassed by what he published week after week. Or perhaps, he took the high road in engaging me, while happily publishing all those who took the low road.”
I remember the Sabbath morning at Stephen S. Wise temple after these letters were published. There was something completely different about Dennis Prager’s demeanor. He was shaken in a way I had never seen before. It was the rabbis’ letter that did it, I suspect. Two of the rabbis who signed it were friends — Neal Weinberg and Elliot Dorff. 
Prager’s allies at the Mountaintop Minyan were stirred up on his behalf. I saw a furious Dr. Stephen Marmer go to Prager’s defense, pulling outside one of Stephen S. Wise’s rabbis (Tova August) to have a long talk. The Stephen S. Wise rabbis had signed a letter to the Jewish Journal calling for respectful dialogue by both sides on the issue yet only side in the fight had demonstrated a lack of respect.
The 16 rabbis signed this letter:
Recently, the Jewish Journal provided coverage to a diatribe by Dennis Prager, who attacked gay and lesbian rabbis. We Los Angeles-area rabbis feel that we can respond more fully and more appropriately within our own constituencies to the specifics of Prager’s poorly argued, homophobic, indeed cruel, reading of Jewish values.
We are rabbis, male and female.
We are rabbis, heterosexual, gay, lesbian and bisexual.
We are rabbis, discharging holy tasks that we feel called upon to do.
We are rabbis, serving in different movements.
We are rabbis, serving various constituencies.
We are rabbis, reflecting diverse theologies.
We are rabbis, embodying tradition in distinct ways.
We are rabbis, committed to teaching and perpetuating our glorious heritage.
We rabbis affirm one another in the work that we do.
We rabbis support each other in our personal lives.
We rabbis glory in the diversity of the rabbinate.
We rabbis honor the different talents that we each bring to our ministries.
We rabbis recognize that each bring strengths to our people.
We rabbis acknowledge that each rabbi is a bearer of Torah.
We rabbis celebrate that we include so many who are so qualified and so caring.
May every Jew find the rabbi who best suits his/her needs. May every Jew be grateful that other Jews find rabbis who meet their needs. May every rabbi be granted the insight, wisdom and sensitivity to meet the spectrum of religious, educational, cultural, social, intellectual, emotional and spiritual needs of our people, to the best of our capacities.
Rabbi Leslie Bergson, Claremont Colleges
Rabbi L.B. Sacks-Rosen, Congregation Shaarei Torah
Rabbi Elliot Dorff, University of Judaism
Rabbi Don Goor, Temple Isaiah
Rabbi Moshe Halfon, Temple Ami-Shalom
Rabbi Avi Levine, Temple Beth Israel
Rabbi Jane Litman, Kol Simchah of Orange County
Rabbi Debra Orenstein, Wilstein Institute for Jewish Family Policy
Rabbi Arnold Rachlis, University Syngagogue }
Rabbi Joel Rembaum, Temple Beth Am Rabbi
Steven Carr Reuben, JCC of Pacific Palisades
Rabbi Lisa Edwards, Beth Chayim Chadashim
Rabbi Rafael Goldstein, Los Angeles Jewish AIDS Services
Rabbi Steve Tucker, Temple Ramat Zion
Rabbi Neal Weinberg, University of Judaism
Rabbi Bridgit Wynne, Leo Baeck Temple
Dennis Prager wrote in his journal The Prager Perspective:
By the end of January [1997], the Jewish Journal had published my one essay on homosexuality and rabbis, and then published an editor’s rebuttal, a statement on the low moral level of my ideas signed by 16 rabbis, seven letters attacking my decency, and one letter agreeing with me.
Had I written that Israel should make Jerusalem a bi-national city; or that Jews should consider adding Buddhism to their Jewish identity; or that Jews should observe the Sabbath on any day of the week that best suits them, I would not have received more opprobrium.
There are a number of reasons for this:
First, Los Angeles has a particularly large concentration of left-wing rabbis.
Second, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal is the most monolithically left of any mainstream big-city Jewish newspaper. That is why the editor would not publish my piece unless accompanied by a rebuttal. While pieces from the Left are published every week without rebuttal, a piece against the Left cannot be published alone.
Third, while most practicing Jews agree with me, most Jews, like most non-Jews, have been rendered publicly silent by the ferocity of leftist invective on the gay issue. No decent person wants to be called “homophobe.”
Fourth, few people know either the need for, or the importance of, making the case for preserving the heterosexual ideal. I have been writing on Judaism for 25 years, and have only recently come to understand the heterosexual revolution that the Torah and Judaism wrought.
I had decided not to reply to any of the letters that maligned me (not one dealt with issues I actually raised), but when the 16 rabbis maligned me, I knew that a response was necessary.
Prager’s response in the Jewish Journal was headlined: “Dennis Prager: Firing Salvos at his Rabbinic Critics”
Sixteen “heterosexual, gay, lesbian and bisexual” rabbis signed a letter to The Jewish Journal, calling my piece on homosexuality and Judaism “cruel,” a “homophobic diatribe” and “poorly reasoned.”
Concerning the charge of “cruelty,” my article did not contain a harsh word, let alone words of cruelty. In fact, I wrote that a homosexual Jew is, of course, as much a Jew as any of us, and that gay-bashing is a moral offense. I wrote that Judaism is rooted in the ideal of heterosexuality, but there is not a shred of cruelty in that. The only cruelty in this whole issue is in the rabbi’s letter.
As for “homophobic,” shame on these rabbis for emulating the McCarthy right by giving someone they disagree with a horrible label instead of responding to arguments. The rabbis did not quote me once. They wouldn’t, because if they did, it would be obvious that they engage only in ad hominem attacks, not intellectual or religious responses.
“Poorly reasoned”? Andrew Sullivan, a prominent gay spokesman and former editor of the New Republic, publicly lauded my arguments as a model of fair debate on the issue. And if my article was so poorly argued, why didn’t any one of these rabbis write a response showing the world just how poor my arguments are?
And, now, bisexuality is defined as Jewish too. I thought the argument on behalf of Judaism holding homosexuality as just as Jewish a practice as heterosexuality as just as Jewish a practice as heterosexuality rested on homosexuals not having a choice. But don’t bisexuals, by definition, have a choice of which sex to love?
What depressed me about the letter was not the name-calling instead of dialogue. I experienced that when I debated the Jewish rightist, the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, and I experience it from the Jewish left. I am used to being attacked, since, unlike these rabbis who work and live among those who agree with them, I am used to debating my positions and being attacked every day, three hours a day.
What is most depressing is to see three respected Conservative signatories to the letter. With my friend Elliot Dorff’s signature on this letter, and that of the Conservative movement’s teacher of prospective converts, another friend, Rabbi Neal Weinberg, and the signature of one of the seminary’s former heads, one wonders what has become of Conservative Judaism. Does it only differ from the left wing of Reform in its commitment to religious rituals? Does Conservative Judaism actually now hold that drinking milk after eating chicken is religiously wrong, but a person having sex with both sexes is religiously acceptable? Does Rabbi Weinberg teach prospective converts to Judaism that Judaism doesn’t care whether a Jew has sex with the same sex or even with both sexes? Would Rabbi Rembaum perform a same-sex marriage? If he would perform such a marriage, has he told his congregants? And if he wouldn’t, why isn’t he labeled a “homophobe”?
Most Jews, myself included, were appalled at the hate-filled descriptions of the late Yitzhak Rabin that emanated from parts of the Jewish right. In what way do the hate-filled descriptions of me by these rabbis and all the other nine letters you published against me differ?
I am disappointed by something else – the absence of public support from the many rabbis who I know agree with me. Hopefully, The Journal will now receive a letter signed by twice as many rabbis in support of what I wrote. But if the Los Angeles Jewish community and its rabbis do not find maintaining the Jewish male-female ideal worthy of their attention, I do not want to be a voice crying in the wilderness, while those arguing for acceptance of bisexual behavior among rabbis are considered mainstream.
Five of the 16 rabbis (Orenstein, Dorff, Sacks-Rosen, Weinberg, Wynne) responded:
We signed the substantive portion of the original rabbinic response…[that] affirmed our desire for a pluralistic and inclusive rabbinate, made up of…various sexual orientations…
We neither saw nor approved, and from what we have gathered, at least a few other colleagues neither saw nor approved, a preamble that characterized Dennis Prager’s position in unfortunate and unjustified terms. While we disagree profoundly with Dennis Prager’s argument, we regret that out names were attached to those personal remarks and, more important, that they were printed at all.
We hope that people on all sides of this issue will avoid provocative rhetoric and engage in this important communal discussion with respect and civility.
One rabbi apologized to Dennis -- Neal Weinberg -- and letters poured into the Jewish Journal, supporting Dennis and his position. Rabbi Joseph Telushkin wrote:
The letter you published charging Dennis Prager with being homophobic is so untrue that I find it painful to see that it was signed by no less than 16 rabbis, all of them bearers of a tradition that regards spreading a damaging untruth about a person, as one of the most serious offenses a Jew can commit.

I do not know most of the rabbis on the list, but there are four whom I do know and for whom I have sincere affection and respect: Rabbis Elliot Dorff, Debra Orenstein, Joel Rembaum and Neal Weinberg. I turn to these four people - I am sorry to do so in a public forum, but since Dennis was attacked in public, I feel the need to respond in public - to ask if they carefully read Dennis' original article. And if they did, could they please cite what it is that he wrote that justifies them labeling him homophobic, a label as ugly as antisemitic.

Conservative Rabbi Michael Gotlieb of Congregation Kehilat Ma'Arav, Santa Monica, wrote in:
I have known Dennis Prager for 18 years. I worked for him for 11 summer sessions at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, where he served as the director up until 1983. He has influenced countless numbers of Jews (myself included), many of whom went on to the rabbinate and other key posts of leadership throughout the Jewish community. Say what you will about Dennis, one thing he is not: homophobic.

What pains me about the letter, "Rabbis, One and All," is its tone. Who should know the power of words and the pain they can inflict, more than my fellow rabbis? My 16 colleagues who signed the letter did nothing more than attack Prager personally. They offered nothing in the way of an alternative point of view. … To merely discredit someone with whom you disagree on such a sensitive issue is as unsophisticated as it is ungodly.

More than a decade later, Rabbi Gotlieb would perform Prager's third wedding.
Rabbi Leonid Feldman of Temple Emanu-El of Palm Beach, FL, wrote: 
As a Conservative rabbi, I was ashamed that some of my classmates at the seminary participated in the ugly personal attack against Dennis Prager. I was also shocked to find that one of the teachers I used to respect [Dr. Dorf], also participated in unfairly discrediting an opponent instead of addressing the issues.

As a former Soviet citizen and a Refusenik, I was horrified by the similarity between the letter signed by the rabbis and the letters against Refuseniks and dissidents that used to be printed in Pravda.

Reform Rabbi Mordecai Finely, of Ohr Torah, wrote:
…Dennis has conducted his side of the debate responsibly, accurately, thoughtfully and, considering that he is taking a side that can hurt people's feelings, humanely. …Rabbi Dorf stated that Mr. Prager "maligned" Conservative Judaism. I could find no maligning whatsoever in Dennis' response to his detractors. Rabbi Dorff states: "Prager accuses the Conservative movement of restricting itself to ritual matters alone." In fact, Prager only asked if Conservative different from Reform in matters of ritual alone…

Indeed, the greatest irony of this whole debate is found in another part of Rabbi Dorff's response to Prager. Dorff states, "…rabbinical schools of the [Conservative] movement do not admit sexually active homosexuals to their student bodies…" This is precisely the stance which Prager has advocated, but one that Dorff labels…as "morally odious and deeply un-Jewish."
Rabbi Daniel Gordis took on his colleague Elliot Dorff in an essay that he submitted to the Jewish Journal, but the editor, Gene Lichtenstein, refused to print unedited. So Gordis decided to not publish it there.

Dennis asked, where were the Orthodox? He emailed a rabbi on the Orthodox right, a friend [perhaps Yitzhock Adlerstein], who responded:

You don't REALLY have any doubts about the Orthodox position on homosexuality, do? The number of Orthodox rabbis who still bother to look at the Journal, though, is probably less than five. I am not kidding.

And you haven't exactly made it easy, over time, for people in the Orthodox camp to run into your corner of the ring and help hold your hand aloft. There are too many other positions that come with your territory that we have to distance ourselves from.

So we are all in a bind. You're discovering that the only ones who will hold a line in the final analysis are the Orthodox. But you don't always like that line, and then do exactly what the Conservatives are doing on this issue: pick and choose. So you are left out in the cold.

And so are we. We completely, categorically, enthusiastically support what you are saying about homosexuality - and can't find a safe way to say it.

So all I can do is offer you a personal congratulations; an invitation to join Truth any time you want; and the satisfaction of knowing that outside of the pages of the Jewish Journal there is no question that you have the complete support of the frum community. Hopefully of the Ribbono Shel Olam {Master of the Universe] as well.

“I have actually introduced gay male friends to other men,” said Dennis in a 2009 (?) lecture on “Feelings: Key to the Liberal Mind.”

Feb. 7, 2013, Dennis Prager said: 
If you had a son in the Scouts and his Scoutmaster was openly gay would you be comfortable sending your son and his troop on the overnight with that Scoutmaster? If so, would you be okay with sending your daughter and her troop on an overnight with a male Scoutmaster?

If gay Scoutmasters are admitted, a lot of people won't put their kids into the Scouts. Not out of hatred of gays, but concern that Scout leaders would be a problem if they were gay. Not because all gays are pedophiles, but only men, straight or gay, have any proclivity to pedophilia. The issue is male sexuality, not gays.

I know this is much too complex for the ACLU. They are so blinded by ideology and corrupted their ability to use common sense, that they don't understand what I've said. As soon as they hear a word, a buzzer goes off. The left-wing brain is composed to respond on cue.
Mar. 20, 2013, Dennis described the ACLU "as the single most destructive organization in the United States."
"The ACLU has more money than any school district. They just bully their way. People are just intimidated. The ACLU are left-wing bullies. Anything that represents traditional values must be destroyed."
"Civil liberties in this country are so well protected that they have nothing left to do but to destroy Judeo-Christian civilization as we have known it. They loathe it."

Is God In Trees?

In the Spring of 1997, I sat near Dennis Prager on a Saturday morning at Stephen S. Wise temple while he took furious notes (it is a violation of Jewish law to write on the Sabbath and Prager rarely breaks this law except when he’s pushed to sign an autograph, etc) on the sermon by atheist professor Daniel Matt on the Big Bang. Dr. Matt saw spiritual significance and ultimate meaning in such natural phenomena.
Prager disagreed and devoted the June 1, 1997 edition of his newsletter The Prager Perspective to the question, “Is God in Trees?”
I recently heard a Jewish professor/author lecture on the Kabbalah. Like many other non-traditional Jews, he uses the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) to sustain his nature-centered views. “God is in the bark of a tree,” he told the audience.
Many nontraditional Jews and Christians, not to mention followers of New Age thinking, maintain as this professor does, that “God is in the trees” and “Trees are divine.”
There are three problems with this view: theological, logical, and moral.
In a 1995 lecture on why God is important (tenth lecture on Exodus), Dennis said: “When I look at a mountain, I want to [bow down]. I feel insignificant. When I visited the Himalayas, I was shaken… The tops are where jet planes fly. I am not a nature worshiper. I am a God believer, a supernatural God, and I am standing there and this is awesome. I am insignificant. This is where it’s at.”

Happiness Is A Serious Problem

In January 1998, Dennis published his fourth book Happiness Is A Serious Problem. “My wife Fran has had to endure my preoccupation with happiness for some times,” Dennis wrote in the introduction to his book. “She has also graciously sat through many of my lectures on the subject, including four consecutive nights in four South American countries (in slower English, no less) and has read every word and made critical suggestions. She and our wonderful children, Anya, David, and Aaron, are already happier people – thanks to my finally finishing this book.
“…My wife is often dissatisfied with the level of communication in our marriage. In her view, we could almost always be more open and honest about our feelings and spend more time together. While she is happy in our marriage, her dissatisfaction with the level of our communication ensures ever greater intimacy and therefore a better marriage.”
“Religion is supposed to give you moral standards and peace,” Prager told the Jan. 22, 1998 Washington Times. “If you walk around distraught, your religion has failed.”
But why are people more unhappy than ever?
“I think the expectations are simply greater,” he says. “People expect just about everything, and they don’t stop to do the things that make them happy.
“People would be happier if they asked, before they do anything, `Will this make me happier?’ If they did, they’d watch less TV. They’d learn an instrument, spend time with friends, read books, get deeper, do things that last. Happiness comes with doing things that last.”
Prager said that writing Happiness Is A Serious Problem was his most difficult professional accomplishment. Dennis said that if he was naturally ecstatic, he could never have written the book because he would not have thought up most of his happiness tips.
Prager’s friend Joseph Telushkin helped edit his book. “Joseph scrawled on every page: ‘Good point. Bad point. Dumb point. Simple point…’ And he was always right.”
How does Dennis cope with grave disappointments? “At least I have God. I can still study my Torah. I can still listen to Bach,” he says. “I have to feel that I am growing. I argued about this on my talk show. People were saying they’d be dead rather than in Christopher Reeve’s position,” referring to the popular actor whose fall from a horse made him a quadriplegic.
“There isn’t any part of me that’d rather be dead than a quad,” Prager says. “There’s a lot we have, and I love life.” (Washington Times)

Employees

Dennis Prager usually employs women. Slender blonde Laurie B. Zimmet, born in June, 1963, served as Prager’s personal assistant from 1995 – 2000. The former mountain climber taught for several years at the day school of the Pacific Jewish Center, founded by Michael Medved. She met Dennis and Fran at Brandeis-Bardin in 1991, establishing immediate rapport. The Pragers’ boy Aaron calls her “Aunt.”
“My assistant, Laurie Zimmet,” wrote Prager in his introduction to Think a Second Time, “is more than my right arm, she is a source of ideas, a proofreader; and a one-person support system.”
Almost all of Prager’s employees Think a Second Time have been attractive women including a lesbian proofreader. 
Dennis said to Laurie in a 1996 lecture on Exodus 20: “If I don’t [do a good job repeating your point], feel free to resign. Did I tell you that she sent me to New York for no reason? I don’t even want to tell you because it would hurt her feelings that she got the date wrong and I went to New York for no speech. Do you know what it is like to walk on 33rd St. for no reason. It’s a phenomenon very few of you will experience in your life, being 3,000 miles from home for no reason. She’s the best though. She really is. You just have to live with that stuff. Everyone of us a quota of flat tires and you have to meet it.”
Reacting to the Congressman Mark Foley scandal, Dennis wrote Oct. 24, 2006: “…I oppose any sexual activity between a politician and a page, even of majority age. In my capacity as a nationally syndicated radio talk show host I have had numerous young women (and men, but they are not relevant to this discussion in my case) serve as interns. I have always believed that in their eyes I was supposed to represent the ideals that I stand for, not a man on the hunt for young flesh.”
Prager’s one prominent male assistant was Mark Wilcox who developed the Micah Center for Ethical Monotheism. Prager and Wilcox left on bad terms in late 1994. Said one source who worked with both of them, “Mark hates Dennis.”
While some former employees and work associates of Dennis Prager are happy to trash Prager to me privately, they are not willing to go on the record with their criticisms for fear he will sue them. Prager is quick to threaten lawsuits to defend his reputation.
“Most men do not like to be vilified,” said Dennis May 7, 2010. “I am vilified. While I get to hear many beautiful warm things said to me on the radio, if you look me up on the Internet and any expletive you can think of put in with my name and you will get thousands of hits. Do I enjoy it? I don’t enjoy it. Do I lose sleep over it? The only thing I ever lose sleep over is when I am misquoted. It drives me crazy for idealistic reasons. I live so that I can have a good influence on people. If people change what I say, they undermine my ability to do good and that really does make me angry. If people call me names, that truly doesn’t bother me.”
Dennis Prager has an insatiable desire for appreciation. You can hear it in his voice when he gets a thoughtful and genuine compliment on his radio show. Every year on his birthday (since about 2001?), he has asked for the birthday present of letting him know how he has touched your life.
Dennis said June 23, 2010, “The original sin [by General Stanley McChrystal]… you don’t have a guy from Rolling Stone live with you for a month. If a guy from Rolling Stone lived with me for a month, it would be devastating, and I have a very clean and happy-go-lucky life but I know it would be portrayed in profoundly dark ways.”
People who’ve worked with Dennis Prager seem evenly split between those who hate him and those who love him.
After more than five years of listening to him on the radio, I met Dennis Prager in person the Super Bowl weekend of 1994 in Tampa Bay. We spoke several times that weekend. He said that if I ever moved to Los Angeles, he might have work for me.
I moved to Los Angeles in March. I had my job interview with Mark Wilcox in April. I did not get the job.
Mark and I talked for about two hours that afternoon. Mark said that Dennis was not an easy man to work for. Mark recounted offering some unsolicited feedback on one of Prager’s essays in progress and that Dennis had crumpled the paper up in front of him and thrown it in the trash.
Mark said that he was responsible for getting Dennis to change his party affiliation to Republican in 1993.
(In a 2010 interview at Stephen S. Wise temple, Dennis said: “It was a black woman Republican who came over to me at a speech and said, ‘It is time for you to register as a Republican. Put your registration where your mouth is.’ She was right. She gave me the form.”)
Around this time, Dennis stopped describing himself as a “passionate centrist”, a phrase he’d used for more than 15 years.
Jan. 15, 2011, Dennis said: “I still think of myself as a passionate centrist. I dropped the term because in modern terminology, there’s no question I am a conservative. I thought it would not sound terribly honest if I agree with conservatives 92% of the time and called myself a centrist.
“I still think I’m a liberal, but liberalism has been taken over by leftism. I’ve always been anti-left.
“What I am today in terms of positions is conservative.
“I do recall making a conscious decision. I don’t think any one event did it. I recall saying to myself, ‘Dennis, it won’t sound real. You keep taking conservative positions. Call yourself that.’ I always want to sound real even though in my heart and mind I know I am [a centrist].
“Religiously, I really am a passionate centrist.
“Conservative works. That is more received as honestly given. I’m happy to take the term.”
As a moral leader, Dennis Prager offers a big fat juicy target for those who want to allege he does not live up to his teachings. As someone who has followed Dennis Prager closely since the fall of 1988 and has always been as open to hearing criticism of him as praise, I’ve never seen any evidence of serious wrongdoing on Prager’s part. According to the best I know, Dennis Prager largely lives up to his public ideals in his private life.
A lot of people like to test Dennis Prager’s ethics by asking him for favors. I can only imagine how annoying this must get for Dennis. People ask him for rides. They ask for free copies of his books and lectures. They ask for loans. I once asked Dennis Prager for a loan. It was for about $40 (in 1995, I was really broke at the time) and I paid him back a few months later.
I’ve heard Dennis say that some of the biggest mistakes he’s made came from a desire to do good.
The following was not a big mistake, but it is a good example of his problem. On a Sabbath morning in 1995, Dennis picked up a hitchhiking Jew and gave him a ride to Stephen S. Wise temple. At the end of services, Dennis got up and gave a little talk to raise money for the guy who was apparently in dire need.
A lot of people gave money.
I was there but I didn’t give.
The guy turned out to be a jerk, hassling the female rabbi Tova August and security had to be called to get rid of him. 
In a 2004 lecture on Deuteronomy 13, Dennis said:
One of the great lines ever comes from a Christian pastor.
I did an hour this week [on the radio] about my disappointing people. Because I got this email from someone and I never answered his email, which was apparently very warm about how I had touched his life. I apparently didn’t reply to his email. I get 200 emails a day… It’s impossible.
He wrote me another letter — you’re a phony.
Folks, I’ve been disappointed by the same thing in my life. I wrote this Christian pastor a long letter telling him how great this idea was and that I was going to use it in my own work. I never heard from him. Do you think I think any less of him? I don’t know if he got it. I don’t know if he read it. If he did, I hope it touched his life. It’s narcissistic to expect that everybody will react because you wrote a letter.
And the great line? When God says about Adam it is not good for man to be alone, it is a statement that even God is not enough.
After living 79 years of their lives in Brooklyn, Prager’s parents moved to Englewood, New Jersey (near Dennis’ brother Kenny) in 1997.
Max got an hour almost every year on Prager’s radio show.
On August 2, 1998, Dennis Prager turned 50. “Fifty did hit me,” Dennis said Aug. 3, 2010. “I had such a great time when I was young… There was a real great time then because it was much less burdened by any issues. You just realize that that can not go on forever. There was a book that made an impression on me early on — Necessary Losses by Judith Viorst.

Bill Clinton – Monica Lewinsky Scandal

March 23, 2010, Dennis said: “It was the most uncomfortable, miserable time I had as a radio talk show host in 29 years of broadcasting. The entire thing was troubling to me on all grounds.”
“It was the only time I ever went to work not wanting to go to work. All of you know how much I love and treasure my job, but I felt everybody was brought down by this whole thing. I said at the time, ‘I can’t believe America is preoccupied with a stained dress. This is what we’ve come to?’ It was a plague on everybody.”
Dennis wrote Jan. 13, 2004: “...I have never attributed a statement to anyone for which I did not have a reputable source. Furthermore, I have particularly high standards to protect the dignity of public figures. For example, I may have been the only talk show host who never allowed a Monica Lewinsky joke to be broadcast on my show.”
Dennis wrote April 20, 2010:
In 28 years as a radio talk-show host, I have not consciously humiliated a single person — whether a caller to my show or a public figure.
…From the day I started on radio, I realized how easy it would be to violate this fundamental principle of Judaism. When the rabbis came up with the dictum equating humiliating a person with killing him they could not have imagined a time when one person could humiliate another before millions of people at one time. Yet, of course, that is exactly what a broadcaster can do.
Syndication

When Prager’s radio show went national in 1999, Laurie Zimmet sought and achieved the role and title of producer, but when Prager was dropped by his syndicator (Jones Radio Network) in late 2000, and picked up by the Christian organization (Salem Communications Corporation), the new group balked at picking up several of the expenses of their predecessor, including Laurie as producer. Prager’s biweekly newsletter, The Prager Perspective, also ceased publication because the new syndicator did not want to pick up the tab.
By that time, such print publications seemed quaint.
Zimmet took other work, eventually serving in Iraq. On August 5, 2009 Lubavitch.com published:
It is as unlikely a place as any, but for Laurie Zimmet and Moshe Lans, Iraq will always remind them of how much they have in common and what brought them together. Zimmet enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve in August of 2001, two weeks shy of 9/11. She worked in various military positions and was sent to the Persian Gulf, including Iraq in 2003. After seven months, she returned to the United States, eventually returning for a year of service in Iraq in 2005. Within a few weeks of her and Lans’ arrival, serendipity struck.
KABC radio in Los Angeles decided in 2000 that they wanted all local programming. With the choice to drop syndication or KABC, Prager moved November 10, 2000 to KIEV, soon KRLA, 870 AM in Glendale in November, a less prestigious Los Angeles radio station. KRLA has the weakest signal of any of LA’s talk radio stations.
“It has never been done before and I doubt it will be done again, but [KABC] allowed me to stay on the radio knowing I was leaving.” (Jan. 2002)
With a longer drive to work, and with a tendency to arrive at the station just a few minutes before going on air, Prager got caught in traffic several times and did not make it to his show on time. Either somebody would fill in for him or Prager would be patched through via his cell phone.
In 2003, Allen Estrin became Prager’s radio show producer. He pushed Dennis to get enough sleep. He said he can tell a drop in the quality of the show when Dennis does not.
“I have basically married Allen,” Dennis said Nov. 11, 2009.
Prager earns about a million dollars a year from his radio show (somebody who worked with Prager told me circa 2000 that Dennis earned about $600,000 a year from his radio show).
May 14, 2012, Dennis told Hugh Hewitt that the previous year he paid $30,000 in taxes to California.
Said Dennis Oct. 7, 2010: “I’m on well over 100 stations, 120, whatever it is. If I read an ad, I am putting my name behind what I am endorsing. I think I have a 100% batting average that what I have personally endorsed has been worthy of endorsement… There have been sponsors that I stopped endorsing.”

Y2K

Said Dennis Oct. 7, 2010: “I will admit that that was the one time I fell for a hysteria. You know why? It made perfect sense.”

Breast Implants

Apr. 20, 2012, Dennis Prager was asked: "I was calling to get your opinion of breast augmentation?"

Dennis: "Here's my question for a mature woman, not a high school girl: Why would there be a reason not to?"

Mary: "I guess the opinions of other people thinking you're being vain?"

Dennis: "What does being vain mean?"

Mary: "That you are more concerned with your outward appearance than what you are inwardly?"

Dennis: "That's weird."

"If you shampoo and do your hair, are you not concerned with other people?"

"I don't know a good argument against a mature woman getting breast augmentation unless she has beautiful breasts."

Mary: "What about people who say, 'You should just be happy with what God gave you'?"

Dennis: "I think it is one of the ten stupidest lines I've heard in my life."

"What if God gave you essentially no breasts?"

Mary: "That's pretty much what I've got."

Dennis: "What if you're born deaf?"

"I would ask somebody, 'Why would God want to handicap me in attracting men?'"

"I think you care more about others if you do want to look good. Why should you brush your teeth as often or use mouthwash or deodorant? What does vain mean? Does it mean you care how you look? If so, I'm vain. I care how I look."

"Exactly how you came out is how God made you and you should do no alteration? What about Siamese twins? Did God make them Siamese twins? Did God make people deaf? Did God make people with all sorts of impediments? It is an insult to God to say that the way you came out of the womb is what God wants. Did God make you a brunette?"

Apr. 18, 2012, relationship expert Alison Armstrong said: "When a man's female type walks by, procreate breaks through the focus of providing and protecting... I've watched it happen to you during the show. You're in the middle of providing your show when your type shows up on the TV screen... They put up a lot of your type on TV."

Dennis: "On Fox News."


Dennis Prager & Orthodoxy II

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Dennis spoke regularly for Aish HaTorah, then he said something that went too far for its tastes, and I don’t believe he’s spoken for Aish since 1992.
“We failed with Dennis,” Aish founder Rabbi Noah Weinberg is reputed to have said to his faithful (relayed to me by several Aish HaTorah sources between 1994-1997).

In 2000, Prager rejoiced in the Democrats’ nomination of Orthodox Jew Joseph Lieberman for vice-president. He wrote in the September 2000 issue of The Prager Perspective:
If Senator Joseph Lieberman is indeed Orthodox, it is an Orthodoxy that is considerably more elastic than the modern Orthodoxy…that I studied and saw practiced 12 years of yeshiva…
…Had I been cut this much slack growing up in the Orthodox world, I might still call myself Orthodox.

Around the year 2000, Dennis Prager helped found a Chabad day school in the Conejo Valley. On the radio, he occasionally tells the story of a secretary suing the school (under the Americans with Disabilities Act) because she had to walk up a small hill to go to the bathroom.
By contrast with his long friendship with Chabad rabbi Shlomo Schwartz, Dennis has long had a love-hate relationship with Rabbi Shlomo Cunin, the head of the Chabad Lubavitch movement in Southern California. Around the year 1995, Rabbi Cunin prevented a talk Dennis was going to give for Chabad (in the San Francisco Bay Area?).
Around the year 2006, Dennis became a monthly speaker on Sabbath mornings at the Persian nominally Orthodox Nessah synagogue in Beverly Hills. Even though it is against Orthodox Jewish law, Dennis would drive to the shul on Saturdays to give his talks until the shul was forced to stop this (even though most of its members drive to the shul on the Sabbath), and insist that Dennis not drive if he was going to speak in shul on Shabbos.
“I am part of a religion that has roles,” Dennis said Apr. 13, 2010. “While I am not Orthodox, I am a fellow traveler in many ways. I have great admiration for things that they do. I happen to endorse the idea of roles. I don’t know what would be gained in Orthodox Judaism if women became rabbis. You say equality. All right, but equality and sameness are not the same thing. There’s nothing that argues that women are not equal. Maybe it is good that men have some specific roles because then they embrace them. Men deeply need an area to carve out as their own and it is very good for boys to see men in religion. Everybody knows that women gravitate to religion more than men, so it is particularly important that boys have male models of men in religion.”

9/11

Dennis got up on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, expecting to take the day off the radio so he could take his son David to the airport to fly to Israel to enroll in yeshiva.
In a lecture on “Secular Religions”, Dennis said: “We allowed our oldest son to go to Israel during the worst of the terror. He spent six months in Jerusalem. He heard two terror bombings. He felt he wanted to go. It had been scheduled for years. His ticket to Israel was 9/11/01. I was going to take the day off from radio to take him to the airport to say goodbye to send him off to terror-filled Israel. Then it was terror-filled America and his flight was delayed for a month.”
Between 1995 and 9/11, terrorism expert Steve Emerson said that Dennis Prager and Geraldo Rivera were the only broadcasters to have him on. (May 5, 2010)
On the Sabbath morning after 9/11, Dennis Prager told the Mountaintop Minyan at Stephen S. Wise temple, “I stand before you as a proud member of the world’s two most hated peoples — Americans and Jews.”
Dennis said in a January 2002 lecture on his ideological autobiography, “Before September 11, I was very pessimistic about this country. I believe Osama Bin Laden did more good for America than any other single person in my lifetime. He has turned this country around. People are asking what’s so special about us? People are allowed to be patriotic now.”
Sept. 11, 2002, Dennis wrote that "it is clear that 9-11 did far more good than harm. America has become a better place because of that attack."
In a 2004 lecture on the 13th chapter of Deuteronomy, Dennis said:

Nine eleven changed Jewish life… The things that I can say in lectures to Jews now that do not elicit hoots and boos and derision is unbelievable. I could not talk about Jewish choseness before 9/11. Nowhere do Jewish audiences now find this bizarre. Real evil has confronted them. The centrality of Jew hatred in the world has made it evident that there may be some truth that Jews walk a different path. Any Jew with any Jewish identity is now prepared to hear this without laughing or bouncing the lecture fee. I am stunned. I speak more now in Jewish life than ever before. Sixty two Jewish communities last year and I don’t take all the ones I’m invited to. I can’t obviously.
I say this almost all the time and it’s unbelievable to me. I’m pinching myself. They’re not yelling at me? They are giving this a standing ovation in Dallas? The largest group of Jews ever to convene in Texas I spoke to last year and I spoke about [Jewish choseness]. There is no other way to understand Israel and the centrality of Jews in the world and the hatred? I believe America is hated because it is the one society in history to affirm Jewish choseness. It is the one Judeo-Christian society in history. You latch on to the Jews, and you get the blessings and the hatred of a lot of people.
It’s not just 9/11. It’s the eruption of Jew-hatred and Israel-hatred and America-hatred so that all of it wrapped together is shaking people up. Not only can I say to Jews certain things that I couldn’t say before, but to non-Jews. I couldn’t talk about America being chosen before 9/11. I would’ve been dismissed as a kook and set off to some weird radio station.
In 2004, Dennis took his 11-year old son Aaron to Israel.
I wanted him to see Israel and it had some of the effect.
It is a very powerful thing for an identifying Jew to go into a world that is Jewish. You never have that experience [outside of Israel].
Let’s take Hebrew. When he was watching Dragon Ball Z in Hebrew, I had a big smile on my face. He didn’t understand the dubbed language. For him to know that Hebrew is alive. It’s not just the language he’s learning for his bar mitzvah was a powerful experience. Wow, they even do cartoons. Not just Isaiah.
One time he said, Dad, do you realize that five of the letters between one and ten begin with the letter shin? He was starting to think about the Hebrew language as he had never done before except under semi-coercion. 

He learned for the first time that there are people who want to kill Jews. It wasn’t abstract.
We were taken, because of the nature of my work, to see the last bus blown up by the Palestinian terrorists in which eight people were murdered and many maimed. He didn’t have a supercilious attitude. He saw holes in the seats where human beings were maimed and killed.
He told me at times that he was nervous when we drove by a bus. I’m happy for that. Life isn’t just Dragon Ball Z cartoons. He’s old enough now.
He slept perfectly well at night. He didn’t have nightmares.
He even worried about eating in any restaurant. He was happy when we went to restaurants where there weren’t a lot of people because he understood that they want to blow up a lot of people. I told him about choseness and that this is the price we pay but look at how everybody goes around normally.
He saw the fence being built. He asked a tremendous number of questions.
This was my 15th trip to Israel. It has always been a religious battery-charger for me. I am the battery-charger for a lot of people. People tune in to me and I charge them up as Americans, Christians, Jews, but I’ve got to get my batteries charged too.
My son [David] went there at the height of the terror and it changed his life. He said, ‘Dad, before I went, pretty much the biggest issue in my life was would the Lakers win another championship. And now the biggest issues in my life have to do with God, good and evil.’
That’s pretty good for eight months abroad. That’s what Israel would do when you’re studying Torah in Jerusalem and you hear the blasts three times in a year, you hear people blown up. You take life seriously. There are epic battles going on with Israel as the fulcrum.
I was across the street [in Bethlehem in April 2002 when the Church of the Nativity was taken over by Palestinian gunmen]. It was a rather harrowing moment. When Israeli soldiers say, ‘Run, there are snipers’, you really run. I’m not sure it was wise to visit. My wife is shaking her head. (2005 lecture on Deut. 19)

Apr. 11, 2012, Dennis Prager said: "As countries become more left, two of the characteristics they embrace are secularism and internationalism. The reason that ends up with vast support for the United Nations -- you don't believe in any transcendent ethic because you don't believe in God. God is the source of a transcendent morality. But they know that you have to have a transcendent morality or there is no such thing. You can't say that what is right for me is right for me, because then you have no argument against mass torture, mass rape, mass genocide.

"Since there is no God who is the source of a trans-national and trans-individual morality, the United Nations supplants God, supplants religion. The United Nations gives you a transnational and trans-individual morality. What is right? What the United Nations says is right." 

Life Lectures

In January 2002, Dennis Prager decided to do something he had never done before — give speeches primarily about himself. They took place on a listener cruise to Antarctica. One speech was on his personal life. The other speech was on his ideological journey.

In the first, Dennis said: “Fran thinks I say everything on the radio…”

“I bought my father a computer about eight years ago with only one intention — dad, please write your autobiography. You have an interesting life. Please tell it. It will be good for you and good for your descendants.

“After eight years learning everything about the Internet and computing, now he’s starting to write his autobiography. He says he is so enamored of technology and one big reason he doesn’t want to die is that he wants to see what the next operating system will be like. I totally relate to that.”

George W. Bush

Dennis Prager loved President George W. Bush whose dubious legacy includes occupying Iraq and Afghanistan at a cost of trillions of dollars on the false premises that these countries threatened America, removing standards for mortgage lending to racial minorities unlikely to repay such loans sending America into the worst recession since the Great Depression, allowing in millions of low-achieving illegal immigrants from Mexico, and campaigning in 2000 against profiling Arabs at airports.

Dennis wrote Mar. 11, 2003: "I believe that either divine intervention or good luck on the magnitude of a lottery win explains George W. Bush’s rise to the position of president."

Dennis wrote Feb. 3, 2004:

I have loved and admired this man [George W. Bush] ever since I felt that I got to know him during his presidential campaign. (Before his winning the Republican nomination, I knew so little about him and thought so little of his chances of defeating Al Gore that I voted in the California primary for John McCain.) I believe that this man is changing history for the better, that he is the dam holding back the waters of chaos, that he saved this country at a time when Democrats would have failed it, and that he is both kind and strong, real and decent, powerful and humble.
So when I had the opportunity to stand in line with my wife and youngest child to simply shake this man’s hand, I rushed at the opportunity. I waited in line as excited as most people would be to greet their favorite Hollywood star. Wearing a silly grin, I told the congressmen and senators around me that I felt like a 7-year-old about to meet Willie Mays or Derek Jeter. I even broke into a sweat.
…My wife told him that when she lights the Sabbath candles every Friday night in our home, she says a prayer for him. And I told him that I say a prayer for him each week at synagogue.
Unless he is a faker — and I believe that I can sense a faker a mile away — it was clear that the president was moved. Which is exactly what we hoped for. We know how much he values prayer, we know how much hatred he receives, and we suspect that he does not often associate Jews with those prayerfully supporting him.
He stopped and told us that only those who understand prayer could understand how much this means to him and asked if we would like a family photo with him. Imagine your child getting to take a photo with every member on his favorite baseball or football team and you can imagine my excitement.

Lawrence Auster wrote in 2005 that folks like Dennis had already given away the game:

Our quasi-religious faith in America as the spreader of freedom around the world grows in proportion as our actual America loses its culture, its morality, its spiritual and historical cohesion, and its will to defend itself, not to mention its real liberties, which are not to be confused with its modern, liberationist liberties. We can’t defend the actual America anymore, because we fear that we’ve already given so much of it away that the attempt to bring it back would make us seem like extremists or cranks. So, needing something to believe in, but no longer having a real country to believe in, we turn what’s left of our country into a mission to achieve universal democracy, and we believe in that instead.

The more we empty our country of its historical meaning, the more hysterical becomes our embrace of Bush’s messianic rhetoric, which is not about America, but about the world.

After 2007, few people aside from Prager saw Bush in a positive light. Steve Sailer, for instance, saw W. as "Chauncey Gardiner with a mean streak", "irresponsible" and "uninterested in proficiency and honesty". 

As a Sailer reader wrote in 2006:

...[T]he pundits look like complete fools: the conservative pundits who decided to become Bush cultists in 2002-4 are now forced to grapple with the fact that they've been defending a complete failure, and the milquetoast "liberal" pundits -- the ones who wrote that Bush was basically a good guy, beloved by all, and the Democrats needed to go along with the Iraq war but pledge to do it more competently (the TNR/Washington Post type of "liberals") -- are also looking like idiots.

Among the mainstream punditariat I'm now seeing a certain amount of incoherent rage, usually directed at the "isolationist right" (if the pundit's conservative) or the "angry left" (if the pundit's liberal). It's the rage of bubble-dwelling pundits who can't forgive the "extreme" left and right for having been right all along while they were busy writing about what a swell guy Bush is.

Looking back from 2014, the careers of the pundits who were wrong about invading Iraq (Charles Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg, Rich Lowry, Fred Kagan, Robert Kagan, Victor Davis Hanson, John Podhoretz, William Kristol, David Brooks, Thomas Friedman, Peter Beinart, Jeffrey Goldberg, and Fareed Zakaria) have prospered while those who were right (William S. Lind, Robert Scheer, Jonathan Schell, and Scott Ritter) have had few rewards. The pro-invasion pundits appearing on Prager's radio show between 2002-2012 outnumbered the opposed by about ten to one and being massively wrong did nothing to diminish their air time (on Prager's show and elsewhere).

As with prostitution, punditry has nothing to do with being right (witness the success of frauds Malcolm Gladwell and Steven "Freakanomics" Levitt) and everything to do with serving customers.

Dennis supported invading and occupying Afghanistan after 9/11 ("I'd rather die fighting evil than live ignoring it, and that goes for my children," said Dennis May 9, 2014 in support of American intervention in Afghanistan and elsewhere) but he had no position on the invasion of Iraq in 2003, calling it the greatest gamble by a president in a century. Once the battle joined, Dennis said America had to win for the sake of its prestige. In other words, "keep shoving American troops and money into a meatgrinder" for honor.
John Mearsheimer wrote in 2014:
As Daryl G. Press notes in his important book, Calculating Credibility, when a country backs down in a crisis, its credibility in subsequent crises is not reduced. “A country’s credibility, at least during crises,” he writes, “is driven not by its past behavior but rather by power and interests." Thus, the fact that America suffered a humiliating defeat in the Vietnam War did not lead Moscow to think that the U.S. commitment to defend Western Europe was not credible."
Nov. 1, 2010, Dennis said: “When George W. Bush won the second time, I came close to sobbing on the air out of relief because I knew we would’ve left Iraq, among other things.”
After the last American troops left Iraq August 18, 2010, what exactly was accomplished at the cost of seven trillion dollars? On Feb. 20, 2014, Dennis said: "In Iraq we fought the greatest evil of our time today, the violent Islamists, we defeated them, we defeated one of the most grotesque dictators of the 20th Century, and if we had stayed there, just as we did in Japan, Korea and Germany, there would have been a lot more peace today."
Dennis said October 28, 2008: “If John Kerry had won [in 2004], we would’ve been defeated in Iraq. A defeat in Iraq would have reverberated around in the world in a massive renaissance of Islamic terror. The United States of America would’ve been defeated by Al Qaeda and other terrorists and it would not end. This war would’ve only increased.”

The Passion

Dennis Prager played an important role in the controversy over this 2004 film. Prior to his weighing in, the Jewish Right (as represented by such figures as Rabbi David Lapin and Michael Medved) appeared united with their Christian peers in arguing that Gibson was a victim of left-wing smears, but Prager wrote:
Early this past summer, Mel Gibson invited me to see “The Passion,” his film on the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. The invitation was significant in that I was the first practicing Jew and active member of the American Jewish community to be invited. He did so because he believed, correctly, that he could trust me. I have long worked to build trust between Jews and Christians, especially traditional Christians.
…I cannot say that I am happy this film was made. Nevertheless, if the vast majority of Christians and Jews of goodwill try hard to understand what film the other is watching, some good can yet result. The last thing Jews need is to create tension with their best friends. And the last thing Christians need is a renewal of Christian hatred toward Jesus’ people.
Miami Yom Kippur 2004

Dennis wrote Sept. 28, 2004:
I was in Miami Beach, Florida, this past weekend.
And I got evicted from my hotel.
Yes, the Trump International Hotel notified me and its other guests that we all had to leave the hotel because Hurricane Jeanne was headed to the South Florida coast.
…I was in Miami Beach to serve as scholar in residence at a prominent local synagogue for Yom Kippur. Upon arrival at the synagogue Saturday (the holiday began at sunset Friday evening), the 700 or so people were told that the synagogue was closed due to the impending hurricane. Many other synagogues closed in mid-afternoon. Why? Largely because of fear of liability engendered by the local government (that itself was afraid of liability) that declared a “mandatory evacuation.”
I wonder if Dennis Prager rethought his position after Hurricane Katrina took 1,836 lives in August 2005.

In The Courts

On January 17, 2007, I shelled out $4:75 to search “Dennis Prager” on the LA Superior Court website and found nine cases.
Here’s Dennis Prager (Aug. 6, 2006) vs. The Prager Perspective. Here’s the TPP cross-complaint for breach of oral contract and misrepresentation (filed Oct. 5, 2006). Dennis Prager answers were filed Nov. 8, 2006.
The dispute has since been settled.
In a case filed May 15, 2000, Bank of America sued Dennis Prager for not paying back a loan of over $30,000. The plaintiff filed to dismiss the suit in September, 2000. I assume there was a settlement.
In case number SC 033536 filed November 7, 1994 (EARL KORCHAK, ET AL VS LIGHT MANAGMENT SERVICES, INC ET AL) Dennis Prager was one of four plaintiffs in this lawsuit that would be dismissed August 2, 1995.
On December 23, 1994, Dennis Prager along with MULTIMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT INC. were defendants in the case (BC 118757) TIM STEPHEN VS MULTIMEDIA ENTERTAINMENT INC ET AL. The plaintiff asked for dismissal of the case with prejudice on September 9, 1996.
Around 1999, Dennis met Scott Webley, a former actor on General Hospital (1977-1978) who owned a production company (ShowBiz Studios) and several Internet businesses (Showbiz.com, etc).
According to Los Angeles Superior Court case BC 357131 (in an Oct. 5, 2006 filing by Scott Webley’s attorneys, responding to this August 6, 2006 filing by Dennis Prager’s attorneys), Prager and Webley agreed orally in late 2000 or early 2001 to operate The Prager Perspective Limited Liability Company to sell Prager’s writings, radio show, and talks via dennisprager.com, etc, and to split the revenues.
17. Beginning, in or about January 2001 through in or about late 2003 or early 2004, Prager and his assistant Alan Briese delivered the master tapes of the Radio Show to Prager LLC’s office. During this time, Prager and his assistant Alan Briese represented to Cross-Complainants that these master tapes were lawfully taken from the Radio Station [KRLA] and Cross-Complainants [Scott Webley and TPP] were to transfer these recordings onto cassette tapes and/or CD for sale and distribution.
18. Salem, with Prager’s knowledge, consent, and/or direction, knowingly and intentionally, and to further the business of Prager LLC, Salem uploaded electronic feeds of each daily broadcast from the Radio Show directly onto the Website in or about late 2003 or early 2004. …to on or about January 13, 2006. Prager LLC made the Radio Show available to its customers by way of electronic downloads…
21. …Prager LLC offered a membership subscription for a variety of services.
22. Cross-Complainants…believe…that Salem discovered in or about the summer of 2005 that Prager LLC was a successful and profitable business venture….
23. At this same time…Cross-Complainants learned Prager had entered into an agreement with Salem regarding the Radio Show… Salem contended Prager had transferred all production and syndication rights to the Radio Show… Salem wrongfully demanded that Prager LLC, including its members Webley and Prager, turn over the Website and anything related to the Radio Show to Salem…
24. On or about January 13, 2006, Salem discontinued the uploads of electronic recordings of the Radio Show onto the Website.
25. Shortly thereafter, customers contacted Prager LLC and complained that they could not access the downloads of the Radio Show. Because the downloads of the Radio Show ere no longer available, Prager LLC was forced to refund membership subscriptions…
27. On or about June 14, 2006, Salem Radio filed an action in the Ventura County Superior Court entitled Salem Radio Network Incorporated v. The Prager Perspective, LLC and Scott Webley…transferred to Central District of the Los Angeles Superior Court…BC 358558. The Salem Lawsuit alleges in part:
a. Salem Radio and Prager entered into an agreement on or about November 6, 2000 that only Salem Radio would produce and syndicate the Radio Show.
c. Webley and Prager LLC, not Prager, wrongfully copied the Radio Show from 2001 to January 2006 onto the Website. Webley and Prager LLC then marketed, sold, and distributed electronic and tangible expressions of the Radio Show on the Website and collected $300,000 in revenue without compensating Salem Radio.
34. Prager breached the Agreement [with Scott Webley] by entering into the Salem agreement…conspiring with Salem to stop the electronic downloads of the Radio Show onto the Website, and conspiring with Salem to sue Webley…
41. Prager made these representations with knowledge that they were false when made…with an intent to deceive Cross-Complaints to market, sell and distribute such materials.
44. Prager’s misrepresentations were willful and malicious…
The dispute was settled in early 2007. Dennis felt like he had been massively betrayed by Scott Webbley. It was unlike anything he experienced before.

The Grand Canyon

Dennis Prager wrote Aug. 5, 2003:
…That the ACLU would write a letter protesting three little plaques at the Grand Canyon with verses from the book of Psalms provides a clear example of how intent the organization is on destroying the Judeo-Christian moral foundations of this society. This, after all, is the same ACLU that went to court in Florida to protect a Muslim woman’s right to be photographed for her driver’s license ID wearing a veil! If it ain’t Judeo-Christian, the ACLU is a big fan of religion.
…But I was incensed that the National Park Service of the United States of America would remove plaques acknowledging the Divine as the author of natural beauty (“How varied are your works, Lord! In wisdom you have wrought them all; the earth is full of your creatures” was the subversive inscription on one of the plaques). I therefore devoted an hour of my radio show to this subject on the day the news item appeared, and asked my listeners (especially those who hear me on KKNT in Phoenix and KVOI in Tucson) to send me an e-mail if they were prepared to join me on a march to the Grand Canyon. I also urged all my listeners to call the Park Service in Washington, D.C.
Said Dennis in a 2007 lecture on Leviticus 1: “I battled for the plaque and they reinstated it. I went to Phoenix to give a speech at a synagogue. About ten nuns showed up from the local order that had put the plaque there originally. They came to thank me and they did a dance around me.”

Breastfeeding

In 2003, Dennis Prager devoted two columns to breastfeeding: "The religious-like fervor for breast-feeding and loathing of bottle-feeding need to be explained. I acknowledge having no scientific basis on which to challenge the many scientific studies that point to the health benefits of breast-feeding -- such as fewer infant infections, fewer early allergies, getting the mother's antibodies, and so on. I do, however, believe that in a health-conscious home, these benefits are negligible."

The blog Gene Expression wrote in 2006 that breastfeeding "is practiced almost three times as much among white Americans than African-Americans and has been associated with IQ gains of nearly 10 points. It is likely that effectively encouraging breast-feeding would have a positive impact on the next generation of African-Americans."

Linda Gottfredson said that breastfeeding is the evolutionary norm. Not breastfeeding lowers intelligence.

American Renaissance magazine reported in 2010:

Professors Charlie Reeve and Debra Basalik of the University of North Carolina have compared state IQs to several different health measures. For example, more mothers in states with high IQs breastfeed their babies (0.33), ensure that their infants are immunized (0.20), take better care of their teeth (0.51), get more exercise (0.51), and refrain from smoking (0.29). At the same time, high-IQ states have lower infant mortality (0.54), lower rates of HIV infection and AIDS (0.39), lower overall mortality (0.46), lower rates of heart disease (0.56), and lower rates of adult obesity (0.36) and child obesity (0.46).
Immigration

When it comes to Israel, Dennis wants to keep it a Jewish state. Mar. 24, 2014, Dennis's questions to his guest Caroline Glick revealed his concerns: "Everybody thinks one-state is the end of the Jewish state."

"On what do you base that? Why have we been fed the wrong [demographic] figures all these years?"

"If the [demographic] numbers had not been false, you would not be advocating the one-state solution?"

"[Her book] is primarily based on what she contends are the real numbers of Jews and Palestinians in the area west of the Jordan river, west of the state of Jordan, and if everybody was in one state, there would still be a two-thirds Jewish majority."

"The notion of a Palestinian state would end... What's in this for a Palestinian?"

Caroline: "Full civil rights. Freedom. Everything."

Dennis: "Everything but their own national expression."

"What do you say to having millions of people in your population who want to annihilate your state?"

Caroline: "We're talking about three million people and a lot of them do but what can you do? You have to prevent them doing that... I don't understand why we should have sympathy for aspirations of people whose aspirations are based upon negating us and destroying us."

Dennis: "Having within your population millions of people who loathe you and feel they were cheated out of their own national expression, you don't worry about that?"

Yet, when it comes to America, Dennis has long supported mass immigration and he has expressed no interest in maintaining a majority population of whites and a dominantly white culture (even though it was dominantly whites who created the United States of America). Echoing Bill Bennett, Dennis Prager has often said he is "more afraid of what America will do to immigrants than what immigrants will do to America."

Jan. 9, 2014, Dennis said: "It's a nation of immigrants. The difference is us, not them. We tried to Americanize them then."

Au contraire, wrote Steve Sailer in 2004:
But look at Europe. Its experience proves that the different immigrant approaches of the host countries matters less than what the immigrants bring with them...

Finally, the French have traditionally tried to do with their immigrants almost exactly what the neocons recommend here: cultural assimilation, education in civics theories, monolingualism, meritocracy, separation of church and state, and all the rest...

Officially, France is what the neocons say America is: a "Proposition Nation" defined by adherence to ideological concepts rather than by descent. Indeed, the American and French "propositions" are basically identical...

But they've failed miserably with their huge North African Muslim population, which now makes up somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the population. (The French are so neocon that they refuse to count by ethnicity.)

Indeed, this French neocon philosophy probably can't survive the impact of the Muslims. France's Muslims are now so poor and hostile that the most dynamic political figure, the center-right Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy (himself the son of aristocratic Hungarian immigrants), has called for France to junk its tradition of equality under the law and institute affirmative action for Muslims.

Similarly, Brazil, despite its endless boasting about having no race problem, recently imposed racial preferences.

The trend in France, and Brazil, follows Sailer's Law of Quotas:

"In the long run, ideology is irrelevant; instead, there will be affirmative action if at least one politically significant ethnic group is well below average in competitive ability."

What Mexicans in particular and Latin Americans (outside of Cubans) have done in general in America mirrors their low achievement in their native lands. Edward S. Rubinstein wrote in 2004:
A new study by the United Way of Los Angeles finds that 53 percent of the city's adult population—3.8 million people—are functionally illiterate. [United Way, Literacy@Work: The L.A. Workforce Literacy Project, September 2004.]

The percentage soars to 84 percent in heavily Hispanic south L.A., dropping to 44 percent in the greater San Fernando Valley. 

When we last checked, only 41 percent of Los Angeles' population was foreign-born. Thus the illiteracy problem in that city is not limited to immigrants. Many of their U.S.-born children must also be functionally illiterate.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about half of hispanics in America are basically illiterate, and the problem is getting worse. "Among Hispanics, the percentage with Below Basic prose literacy increased 9 percentage points between 1992 and 2003..." By contrast, only 7% of whites and 24% of blacks are this illiterate.

Oct. 5, 2010, Dennis wrote an open letter to American hispanics. Though for high rates of legal immigration, Dennis said: "No country in the world can allow unlimited immigration. If America opened its borders to all those who wish to live here, hundreds of millions of people would come in. That would, of course, mean the end of the United States economically and culturally."

Hispanic-Americans, along with blacks, are located primarily at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. They consume more government services than they pay for in taxes and it seems to be in their group interest to vote for higher taxes and more welfare. By contrast, it is in America's group interest to restrict such immigration.

Prager's pro-immigration position is closer to the neoconservatives (William Kristol, John Podhoretz, Charles Krauthammer, etc) than to the conservatives such as Steve Sailer:
The neocons argue that immigrants should be admitted based on their current—or eventual —assent to the propositions underlying the United States government, such as “All men are created equal.” But the neocons have failed to answer numerous questions about how their philosophy would work...

President Bush has asserted that most Iraqis share our fundamental political values. If that’s true of the furious Iraqis, who are notorious even among other Arabs for self-destructive lunacy, then how many billions of other foreigners qualify to move to America?

And exactly whom would the propositionists keep out, other than the most fanatical Muslim fundamentalists? With the exception of a handful of refugee dissidents, the vast majority of immigrants to America are in it for the money and are willing to mouth whatever platitudes would be required to get in.

Finally, there’s an insidiously Jacobin implication to propositionism. If believing in neoconservative theories should make anyone in the world eligible for immigration, what should disbelieving in them make thought criminals like you and me? 

Ultimately, propositionism seems less like a well thought-through philosophy and more like ethnocentric nostalgia, an intellectualized exercise in ancestor-worship. Emotionally, the neocons abhor asking tough questions about today’s immigrants because they see that as the equivalent of asking tough questions about their own Ellis Island immigrant forebears and, thus, about themselves.

Internet poster Stephen T. wrote about Prager to Lawrence Auster Nov. 24, 2006: "If his wife needed some chores done while he was out of town and told him she intended to go to a street corner and randomly hire a Mestizo Mexican day laborer in the country illegally to work around the house with her in his absence, he would feel completely relaxed and have no worry whatsoever about her safety. However, if she said she was going to hire an American man to do the same thing, Prager said he would greatly fear for her well-being."

Auster replied: "That is one sick liberal. He has not even read in the papers of the endless series of rapes and murders of white Americans, not to mention lesser crimes, performed by Mexican and other Hispanic illegal aliens, including murders of their white employers?"

Another poster replied:

Dennis Prager...has a deeply heartfelt, emotional investment in believing that, while Americans are turning their backs on “conservative values,” there is somewhere else on the face of this earth a superior “other” culture—a simple, pious, goodhearted folk, who will work as servants for his family for practically nothing and who embody the old-time values he reveres... When reminded of the rampant corruption, immorality, violence, and cruelty which these same Mexicans have created in abundance in their failed, backwards country of origin, Prager typically excuses it all as entirely the accidental quirks and flukes of a broken political system—having nothing to do with any sort of cultural or societal ills of Mexicans at large. I live in Los Angeles and I also know where Dennis Prager lives: it’s an outlying, heavily private security-guarded community nowhere NEAR any of these “other” people whose values he supposedly admires so much. His kids have all attended exclusive private schools (not the LAUSD, with its Mexican-style 60% dropout rate) and I doubt Mr Prager socializes with many of the working Americans he delights in seeing downgraded from middle-class status to the level of third world peasants.

Internet poster "Gary M." wrote to Lawrence Auster in 2008

Prager interviewed Michelle Malkin a number of years ago on his radio show about her book, Invasion. At one point, Malkin became so distressed by what she was hearing from him, that she stopped and asked, “Mr. Prager, do you even believe we should have a southern border?”

...Prager seldom, if ever, has anything but gushing praise for immigrants of the Mexican variety. He says he favors a border fence, but... he is one of these people who also supports a huge increase in legal immigration to go along with any reductions a fence might provide in illegal immigration.

On Nov. 12, 2013, Dennis said: "Why is the [American] latino population so left of center? Because they left countries whose culture is big government. We have not taught them. We haven't taught anglos, or the people who have been here the longest -- blacks. We haven't taught anybody what American values are, so why would we expect a latino to be in favor of a small government United States?

"They have not asked the question -- why is America prosperous and Mexico not? And El Salvador not? Guatemala not? Nicaragua not? Colombia not? Why?"

To Dennis, the answer is simple -- values. Jan. 3, 2014, Dennis said: "Latin America is the greatest enigma in the world. The most exhilirating people as a rule. You can't go to Latin America and not fall in love with the people. The sum is worse than its parts. They produce terrible governments and terrible ideas and an inordinate number of terrific people."

Latin America does not produce ideas. It borrows them from westerners. Steve Sailer wrote:
For his encyclopedic Modern Mind: An Intellectual History of the 20th Century, Peter Watson interviewed 150 scholars from around the world about who was responsible for the great innovations. Watson recounted that "…all of them—there were no exceptions—said the same thing. In the 20th century, in the modern world, there were no non-western ideas of note."
Latin Americans tend to under-achieve -- both inside and outside of Latin America -- their IQs (Venezuela's average IQ is 84, Mexico's 87, Brazil's 87, Colombia 89, Chile 90, Argentina 96 while the United States is 98). 

Sailer wrote in 2005: "Latin American politics was long dominated by imported ideologies, such as Marxism in the 1960s and 1970s and laissez-faire in the 1990s. They were largely irrelevant because none of them dealt directly with Latin America's essential political problem: the enduring racial conflict originating in the Conquest of a half millennium ago."

Sailer wrote in 2006: "Latin Americans do the worst on school achievement tests relative to their IQs than any other large group of people. Some of that is cultural -- Mexicans, especially, don't like to read and don't like to go to school..."

Sailer wrote in 2005 about American Hispanics, noting "a gap of 10.8 IQ points, or an IQ of 89 on the Lynn-Vanhanen scale where white Americans equal 100. That would imply the average Hispanic would fall at the 24th percentile of the white IQ distribution. This inequality gets worse at higher IQs Assuming a normal distribution, 4.8% of whites would fall above 125 IQ versus only 0.9% of Hispanics..."

Mar. 26, 2014, Dennis said: "Why did North America prosper and South America did not? In North America, they had private property. In South America, it went back to the king. The state was gigantic in South America and the individual was gigantic in North America and that's the difference to this day."

"Why is America prosperous and El Salvador not? The answer to that will explain everything. That is the Republican/Democrat divide. It's not the people. Your people are as bright and industrious as ours. It can only be the values. People from Latin America bring the values of Latin America to the United States and there is a receptive community that shares those values -- the left."

"It used to be that when people came to this country, they didn't have those [leftist] values. They came to America and they knew, wow, this country is prosperous. I want to be prosperous. So therefore I am going to go into business and I will make a first generation business and I will work 18 hours a day and then my children will be prosperous. And that's exactly what happened, whether you were an Italian immigrant, a Russian immigrant, a Jewish immigrant. But now it's different. Values are brought that have a receptive audience. The more that latino immigrants decide to exalt the individual, the worse it is for the Democrat party."

On May 16, 2006, the AP reported: "With guns drawn, plainclothes police in a suburb of South America's largest city stopped and frisked motorists in a hunt for gang members who set off a five-day wave of violence that left at least 133 dead by Tuesday."

Sailer headlined: "Ahh, the Sweet Life in Latin America!"

He continued: "Real life is making the Brazilian gangster cult film City of God look like Sesame Street."

"I can't wait for the Senate immigration bill to pass so we can start importing more Latin Americans."

Why do civilizations decline? Rushton described one 19th Century theory:

The character of a civilization was determined by the traits of the dominant race, often created by the union of several related tribes. If wealth grows, cities develop, and an international society forms. Among the new arrivals are persons belonging to ethnic taxa that have never initiated a civilization. Degeneration sets in and the intrinsic worth the people originally possessed becomes lost, for the population no longer has in its veins the same quality blood with which it began. (Race, Evolution and Behavior, pg. 274)

Jan. 28, 2014, Dennis said: "How could blood have culture? That's pure racism. That's what the Nazis believed."

"I have never found blood important. I have always believed love and values infinitely more important than blood or sperm or egg. I'm always amazed by people who live in the modern era and have such primitive beliefs."

"I don't say genes have no impact on the way people behave. I think genes are significant. I'm talking about blood. Blood and genes are not the same thing. I want my children to have my values. I don't care if they have anything biological about me."

"Everything in life is ultimately values. That's all that matters... Do you fight for the good versus the bad? Race is one of the least significant things in the human species, up there with shoe size."

Prager's distinction between "blood" and "genes" makes no sense. Genes determine a man's blood. Blood is just one of many reflections of genes. A single gene, for instance, determines the ABO blood type. According to Wikipedia: "Genes hold the information to build and maintain an organism's cells and pass genetic traits to offspring. All organisms have genes corresponding to various biological traits, some of which are immediately visible, such as eye color or number of limbs, and some of which are not, such as blood type..."

Gene Expression wrote:

The median IQ of European peoples is now listed as 99, and this mostly holds for rich countries in the North and poor ex-Communist ones in the East, as well as white Americans, Australians, etc., and whites in six different Latin American nations.

In World on Fire Amy Chua describes the relationship between economic status and "Indian-blood" throughout Latin America: "Latin American society is fundamentally pigmentocratic: characterized by a social spectrum with taller, lighter-skinned, European-blooded elites at one end; shorter, darker, Indian-blooded masses at the other end..." (p 57). 

As an example she describes her experience in Mexico: "Almost without exception the Mexican officials, lawyers, and business executives we dealt with were light-skinned and foreign educated, with elegant European names. Meanwhile, the people doing the photocopying and cleaning the floors were all shorter, darker, and plainly more "Indian- blooded." While considerable social fluidity exists in Mexico, it is also true that lightness of skin correlates directly and glaringly with increasing wealth and social status." (p 59)

The trends Chua observes within Latin American countries also appear to operate between these countries, with countries with mostly European populations, like Chile and Uruguay, being the most economically developed and countries with largely Amerindian populations, such as Bolivia and Ecuador being the least economically developed. Coblogger emeritus Godless Capitalist once compared 12 South American countries and found a correlation of .96 between GDP-per-capita and percentage of the population that is white.

Lynn's data confirms this general picture with intelligence as well. Both with between country differences (e.g. Uruguay (96) and Chile (99) score like European countries, while Ecuador's IQ scores range within the 80s), and within country differences; to use Chua's Mexico as an example, last year Lynn tested a representative sample of 920 in Mexico with the Standard Progressive Matrices and found that whites had an IQ of 98, Mestizo (mixed race) 94, and Native Indians 83 - all compatible with Chua's observations of a "spectrum" of "social status" by amount of "Indian-blood".

On Nov. 14, 2013, Dennis Prager said: "Importing people, large numbers of whom don't share your values, is not a good answer for these [European] countries."

If the values of big government are the problem, how come big government societies like the Scandinavian countries such as Sweden and Norway are prosperous? And when Scandinavians move to the United States, how come they prosper while fourth-generation Mexican-Americans do not? How come 65% of American Jewish adults over 25 graduate from college and 50% of Asians, 30% of non-Hispanic whites, 18% of blacks and only six percent of fourth-generation Mexican-Americans (with similar statistics for other good things in life like wealth, health, credit worthiness, which largely fall in accord with IQ scores)? Perhaps big government has less to do with it than human capital.

Dennis has historically spent more time on his radio show talking about adultery than about immigration (the index to his books Think A Second Time and  Still the Best Hope contain no entry for "immigration" nor is the topic ever tackled in Prager's 16 years of publishing a personal journal) even though the human capital of a country will have more effect on its welfare than 99% of political legislation. You won't find many prosperous countries, for instance, where the average IQ is under 90.

In 2013 and 2014, Dennis opposed immigration reform aka amnesty because it would predominantly legalize immigrants from Latin America "with left-wing values" who were unlikely to vote Republican. (Feb. 4, 2014)

A major reason Dennis supports a big increase in legal immigration to the United States is demography. "We're not reproducing and we'll increasingly have an older population and that has tremendous economic implications, all of which are negative." (Feb. 4, 2014)

Here are the world's youngest countries:

 Liberia 18.4 18.3 18.4 2010 est.
 Tanzania 18.3 18.0 18.5 2010 est.
 Madagascar 18.1 17.8 18.3 2010 est.
 Angola 18.0 18.0 18.0 2010 est.
 Gambia, The 18.0 17.9 18.2 2010 est.
 Afghanistan 18.0 17.9 18.1 2010 est.
 Zimbabwe 17.8 16.7 18.9 2010 est.
 Somalia 17.6 17.4 17.7 2010 est.
 Gaza Strip 17.5 17.4 17.7 2010 est.
 Mozambique 17.5 17.1 17.9 2010 est.
 Sao Tome and Principe 17.5 17.0 17.9 2010 est.
 Benin 17.3 16.9 17.8 2010 est.
 Mayotte 17.3 18.1 16.5 2010 est.
 Zambia 17.2 17.1 17.3 2010 est.
 Malawi 17.1 17.0 17.3 2010 est.
 Ethiopia 16.8 16.5 17.2 2010 est.
 Burkina Faso 16.8 16.6 17.0 2010 est.
 Congo, Republic of the 16.9 16.7 17.2 2010 est.
 Burundi 16.8 16.6 17.0 2010 est.
 Chad 16.6 15.5 17.8 2010 est.
 Congo, Democratic Republic of the 16.5 16.3 16.7 2010 est.
 Yemen 16.4 16.8 16.0 2010 est.
 Mali 16.2 15.8 16.6 2010 est.
 Niger 15.2 15.0 15.4 2010 est.
 Uganda 15.0 14.9 15.1 2010 est.

Would you like to live in any of these countries? Would you like America to become more like them?

By contrast, here is a list of the world's oldest countries:

 Monaco 48.9 48.0 49.9 2010 est.
 Japan 44.6 42.9 46.5 2010 est.
 Italy 44.3 43.0 45.6 2010 est.
 Germany 43.7 42.3 45.3 2010 est.
 Jersey 43.4 42.5 44.2 2010 est.
 Hong Kong 42.8 42.4 43.2 2010 est.
 Guernsey 42.7 41.8 43.5 2010 est.
 Austria 42.6 41.5 43.6 2010 est.
 Finland 41.6 40.2 43.0 2011 est.
 Greece 42.2 41.1 43.2 2010 est.
 San Marino 42.1 41.3 42.8 2010 est.
 Slovenia 42.1 40.4 43.7 2010 est.
 Belgium 42.0 40.7 43.3 2010 est.
 Sweden 41.7 40.6 42.9 2010 est.
 Bermuda 41.6 40.2 43.1 2010 est.
 Bulgaria 41.6 39.4 43.9 2010 est.
 Spain 41.5 40.1 42.9 2010 est.
 Liechtenstein 41.4 40.8 41.9 2010 est.
 Hungary 41.3 39.1 43.2 2011 est.[3]
  Switzerland 41.3 40.3 42.4 2010 est.
 Croatia 41.2 39.3 43.0 2010 est.
 Serbia 41.1 39.4 42.9 2010 est.
 Netherlands 40.8 40.0 41.6 2010 est.
 Denmark 40.7 39.8 41.6 2010 est.
 Canada 40.7 39.6 41.8 2010 est.
 United Kingdom 40.5 39.4 41.5 2010 est.

Which countries are more likely to be prosperous in 100 years? The old countries listed above or the young countries?

All things being equal
, notes the book Race, Evolution and Behavior, blacks have more kids and younger populations than whites, who in turn have more kids and younger populations than orientals. On average, orientals invest more in their kids than whites, and whites invest more in their kids than blacks.

On Dec. 2, 2013, Dennis said: "I would like more black African immigration to the United States to bring those family values here."

Which African family values? Africa is a disaster with an 8% rate of AIDS infection. Africa has 18% of the world's land, 15% of the world's population and 1% of the world's GNP. Who wants to import that primitive way of life?

Gene Expression wrote:

References to the subject from the 60s and 70s typically gave Africans an IQ much like African Americans, thus Jensen (1973) wrote: "We do know that studies of the intelligence of Negroes in Africa have found them to average at least one sigma below Europeans on a variety of tests" (p. 66). Lynn (1978) is no exception. It wasn't until 1991, that Lynn had revised this estimate dramatically to minus 2 standard deviations, which has been the source of much anger and controversy ever since. Well, the current volume drops it a little bit lower even, to an IQ of 67 as the median score from 57 studies collected from 18 different African countries. Similarly, the average IQ of black populations from 6 locations in Latin America and the Caribbean is 71. This is virtually the same as the score for Ethiopians in Israel. In developed, predominately white countries, a second cluster of scores emerge for black Africans. African-Americans, of course, score about 85, while the median IQ from 20 studies of blacks in Britain is 86.

Ernest Van Den Haag, who Prager often cites in other matters, wrote in National Review in 1965:

One need not believe that one’s own ethnic group, or any ethnic group, is superior to others... in order to wish one’s country to continue to be made up of the same ethnic strains in the same proportions as before. And, conversely, the wish not to see one’s country overrun by groups one regards as alien need not be based on feelings of superiority or ‘racism’. ...The wish to preserve one’s identity and the identity of one’s nation requires no justification...any more than the wish to have one’s own children, and to continue one’s family through them need be justified or rationalized by a belief that they are superior to the children of others.

Van Den Haag wrote in the Dec. 1, 1964 issue that intelligence could be accurately gauged by IQ tests, that it is largely heritable and that integrated education hurts whites and "demoralizes" blacks. "I am all in favor of improving the quality of education for all. But this can be done only if pupils are separated according to ability (whatever determines it). And this means very largely according to race."

Feb. 27, 2014, Dennis said: "The best explanation [for anti-Semitism] was given by a non-Jew, Ernest van den Haag. He was a major thinker that not everyone remembers today and it is too bad. He was quite something. Whatever he wrote on, he wrote with brilliant clarity. He wrote The Jewish Mystique. He said the Jews introduced a universal Judge Who demands certain behaviors and for this they have never been forgiven."

On pg. 165 of his book on James J. Kilpatrick, William P. Hustwit wrote:

The northern newconservative journalist Irving Kristol cautioned William F. Buckley to drop any criticism of the 1964 Civil Rights Act "in terms of racial differences." To do otherwise would be "political folly" and injure the conservative movement.

William Buckley wrote an April 8, 1969 column called “On Negro Inferiority." He praised Arthur Jensen’s research about race and IQ as “massive, apparently authoritative." He added: "Professor Ernest van den Haag, writing in National Review...brilliantly anticipated the findings of Dr. Jensen and brilliantly coped with their implications."

This kind of talk about race kept Prager from identifying as conservative until the conservative movement changed to a color-blind perspective in the 1980s. 

Mar. 21, 2014, Dennis said: "One of my heroes [was] William Buckley Jr. He was a great man and a great thinker. I had the occasion to have dinner with him and it was a highlight of my young life."

Dennis Prager wrote a July 17, 2002 column entitled, "Why My Son's Best Friend Is Black."

...[B]lack Americans have been choosing segregation. You can see it at lunch tables in many schools, in the separate black graduation ceremonies and dorms at colleges, in the proliferating number of race-based professional organizations, and in choosing to live in racially segregated neighborhoods. ...I still believe in the racial ideal I was raised with -- integration.

...Second, it is most relevant that my son is a religious Jew and that his friend is a religious Christian. 

...Steven is a wonderful boy who happens to be black. My son is a wonderful boy who happens to be white. Race is a non-issue to them, as it always should be among good people. For both boys, their religious identity is more important than their racial identity. Because Steven and my son are both religious, they have, often unwittingly to be sure, many values in common. When we explain to Aaron that Steven cannot play on Sunday mornings because he is at church, Aaron entirely understands; he was at synagogue the day before and couldn't play with Steven at that time. Both boys know the importance of watching their language, making blessings before eating, and much more. Steven and his little brother usually join my family at our Friday night Sabbath dinner, and almost always wear a yarmulke at the table. In fact, Steven expresses more interest in the religious rituals than the average secular Jewish guest -- once again illustrating that values, especially transcendent ones, are far more humanly unifying than race or ethnicity. Any member of my family is more likely to bond with an African-American Christian than with an irreligious Jew.

It is difficult to overstate my pleasure at seeing these two boys becoming close friends. All credit must go to Steven's mother. She has chosen to live among non-blacks and to raise a son with Christian, human and American identities that are at least as strong as his African-American identity (which, for the record, she hardly ignores -- Steven speaks fluent French in order to keep alive the language of his Haitian grandparents).

At our Sabbath table I see the real American dream unfold, and only wish more Americans of all colors and ethnicities would share this dream. Why is my son's best friend black? Because they share values that transcend race, and because they live near each other.

I wonder what would happen to this neighborhood if six Haitian families (with great values like the family above) moved in? What would happen to property values? Prager's Haitian friends sound like lovely people, but statistically speaking, Haitians, inside America or inside Haiti, are a disaster, with sky-high rates of crime, including murder, and STDS, including AIDS.

And what happened to this friendship as the two kids grew up? As About.com pointed out: "The older children get, the more likely they are not to socialize closely with peers of a different race." Aaron is now in his 20s. I suspect his closest friends are not black just as Dennis's closest friends are not black.

Would Dennis ever write a column about his son's best friend being white? No, that's too boring. This wonderful black family that stimulated his column is the exception that proves the rule that everywhere in the world, including Africa, as compared to whites and orientals, blacks throughout history have tended to low levels of achievement and literacy and to high levels of crime and dysfunction, whatever the cause. No society, including America, and no neighborhood, has been able to import large numbers of blacks without importing those higher levels of crime, dependency and dysfunction. Despite trillions of dollars of social experiments, these problems have proved intractable.

No white or asian country has successfully assimilated blacks as a group to life results that match the majority population (just as whites and orientals as a group have not matched black strengths in preaching, rhetoric, sports, improvisation, charisma, dance, rap, jazz, etc). Blacks, whether as communities or countries, have never, statistically, met the levels of literacy, education, income, and lawfulness of their white and asian neighbors. 

Despite these universal and obvious differences in behavior between the races through all times and in all places, according to Dennis, race should be a non-issue to all good people. "I'd be happy to have five kids from different races so long as they had my values," said Dennis Jan. 22, 2014.

Who are you going to believe about the unimportance of race? Dennis Prager or history? Surely you won't believe your lying eyes? Good people don't notice patterns. That's racist.

Different races have different strengths. As the black reverend and former NFL star Reggie White said:
Why did God create us differently? Why did God make me black and you white? Why did God make the next guy Korean and the next guy Asian and the other guy Hispanic? Why did God create the Indians?

Well, it's interesting to me to know why now. When you look at the black race, black people are very gifted in what we call worship and celebration. A lot of us like to dance, and if you go to black churches, you see people jumping up and down, because they really get into it.

White people were blessed with the gift of structure and organization. You guys do a good job of building businesses and things of that nature and you know how to tap into money pretty much better than a lot of people do around the world.

Hispanics are gifted in family structure. You can see a Hispanic person and they can put 20 or 30 people in one home. They were gifted in the family structure.

When you look at the Asians, the Asian is very gifted in creation, creativity and inventions. If you go to Japan or any Asian country, they can turn a television into a watch. They're very creative. And you look at the Indians, they have been very gifted in the spirituality.

When you put all of that together, guess what it makes. It forms a complete image of God. God made us different because he was trying to create himself. He was trying to form himself, and then we got kind of knuckleheaded and kind of pushed everything aside.

Steve Sailer holds by Reggie White's thinking and hence he's more real about life than Dennis:
As a Reggieist (i.e., one who considers human biodiversity both a reality and a net blessing), I'm pleased to point out that IQ tests can't accurately measure at least one mental faculty in which blacks tend to outperform whites and Asians in real life. Despite lower mean IQ's, African-Americans are not a race of talentless dullards, but are instead the most charismatic contributors to 20th Century popular culture. What mental factor underlies the black revolutions in music, sport, oratory, dance, and slang? Subjective, improvisatory creativity.

For example, like a lot of NBA stars, Scottie Pippen's below-market contract, ill-timed trade demands, team-damaging pouts, and numerous child-support obligations imply that when given time to think, he often chooses unwisely. Yet, in the flow of the game, he's a Talleyrand at real-time decision-making. Leading a fast break, there are no permanent right answers. Even "Pass the ball to Michael Jordan" gets old fast as defenses habituate. Similarly, the NFL running back, the jazz soloist, the preacher, and the rapping DJ all must heed others' expectations and instantly respond with something a little unexpected. IQ tests -- by necessity objective and standardized -- can never measure this adequately.

Further, despite his data's inevitable shortcomings in this regard, Jensen does report that blacks possess particular mental weaknesses and strengths. Among individuals with equal g's, whites and Asians (like males) are typically stronger in those visual-spatial skills so useful in engineering and many skilled trades. In contrast, blacks (like females) often enjoy better short-term memories and thus can mentally juggle more balls in social situations. (This probably contributes to the black advantage in improvisation). Jensen's findings confirm my intuition (NR, 4/6/98) that while whites and Asians tend to be less masculine than blacks in physique and personality, they are typically more masculine than blacks in mental abilities. Put bluntly, whites and Asians tend to be nerdier than blacks. How many blacks would sincerely disagree?

Good thing that doctors don't follow Dennis Prager's color-blind approach as different medicines often work differently for different races who frequently have different health challenges. As Dr. Sally Satel wrote (with assistance from Steve Sailer) in the New York Times in 2002: "In practicing medicine, I am not colorblind. I always take note of my patient's race. So do many of my colleagues. We do it because certain diseases and treatment responses cluster by ethnicity. Recognizing these patterns can help us diagnose disease more efficiently and prescribe medications more effectively. When it comes to practicing medicine, stereotyping often works."

Forbes reported in 2005: "A flood of studies has emerged showing racial differences in how patients suffer from disease--or benefit from drugs--in ailments ranging from osteoporosis to cancer. And several more have looked at the effects of drugs on particular racial groups. Many of the doctors conducting the studies are African-American."

Steve Sailer wrote: "Knowledge of racial differences in genes is a good thing: it tells blacks that they should be extra careful to limit salt intake, that they should get checkups for prostate cancer, that they should imitate Jews with their Tay-Sachs disease testing and find out if they are heterozygous for sickle-cell anemia, etc."

So in matters of life and death, race can matter very much.

J. Philippe Rushton, Canada's most famous professor, wrote:
Just as women doctors have advocated that to conceptualize women as being the same as men leads to a neglect of women’s problems and their treatment (e.g., premenstrual symptoms and menopause and hormone replacement therapy), so black doctors have become concerned that treating blacks the same as whites is to neglect black problems. For example, 30 percent of the people who have kidney failure and undergo dialysis are black, but estimates are that fewer than 10 percent of organ donors are black. Blacks fare better with organs donated from blacks.

Another example is that genetics contributes to black hypertension. Black men experience a faster heart rate when performing moderate exercise, although the pulse rates of the black and white men while resting showed no significant differences. Black men have higher rates of cancer of the prostate than white men who in turn have higher rates than Oriental men, one determinant of which is testosterone (Polednak, 1989).

Racial differences exist in risk for AIDS with blacks being most at risk and Asians least so. In the United States, blacks, who make up 12 percent of the population, represent 30 percent of those with AIDS. Among women, 53 percent of those with AIDS are black. Fifty-five percent of children with AIDS are black.

Race is also a critical factor in the success of many medicines. For example, Asians are more sensitive to the drugs used to treat anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia, requiring lower dosages; they are also more likely to have side effects with lower dosages (Levy, 1993). Another widely cited example is that Asians are more sensitive to the adverse effects of alcohol, especially to marked facial flushing, palpitation, and tachycardia. Levy (1993: 143) argues that ethnicity should be taken into account in formulary selection and prescribing decisions for individual patients.(Race, Evolution and Behavior, pg. 8)

Another way to see the importance of race is in sports. As the former black star Darryl Dawkins said: "Black basketball is much more individualistic. With so many other opportunities closed to young black kids, … if somebody makes you look bad with a shake-and-bake move, then you've got to come right back at him with something better, something more stylish… It's all about honor, pride, and establishing yourself as a man."

Regarding high school basketball, Dawkins said: "So if you're not scoring beaucoup points, if your picture isn't in the papers, if you don't have a trophy, then you ain't the man and you ain't nothing. Being second-best is just as bad as being last. And if a teammate hits nine shots in a row, the black attitude is, 'Screw him. Now it's my turn to get it on.'"

Why is white basketball more structured? "Because the white culture places more of a premium on winning and less on self-indulgent preening and chest-beating." 

In the 1977 NBA championships, the Portland Trailblazer (with a largely white core) matched up with the largely black Philadelphia 76ers. "They beat us in six games," Dawkins said, "and the series marked the most blatant example of the racial difference in NBA game plans. We were much more flamboyant than Portland, and certainly more talented. We had more individual moves, more off-balance shots, more fancy passes, more dunks, and more entertaining stuff. But everybody wanted to shoot and be a star (including me), and nobody was willing to do the behind-the-scenes dirty work."

"The black game by itself is too chaotic and much too selfish. No one player is good enough to beat five opponents on a consistent basis. The black style also creates animosities among the players because everybody ends up arguing about who's shooting too much and who's not shooting enough."

When black Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman made an epic rant Jan. 19, 2014 after his team defeated San Francisco in the NFC championship game, Dennis Prager said: "I expect human decency [from athletes]. Perhaps I am spoiled because the sport I follow most avidly is hockey and you don't get this [way of talking after a game] in hockey."

Hockey is overwhelmingly a white game and professional football is overwhelmingly a black game. Blacks are better at rhetoric (visit a black church for example) and trash talking than are whites, who tend to be better at team work.

In the Olympic 100 meter dash going back to 1984, all 64 finalists have been black (and of West African descent). In the NFL, former Giant Jason Sehorn is the only white starting cornerback over the past 15 years.

Another way to see the importance of race is to look for flourishing cities, states or countries with majority black populations. I can't think of any.

Another way to see the importance of race is to look at the two places leading the way in America in volunteering -- the white cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul and Salt Lake City. Whites tend to be more altruistic than other races and the least interested in organizing in their own racial interest. The societies they create tend to be prosperous and therefore attractive to non-white immigrants, while blacks never create affluent countries.

As Steve Sailer wrote: "Contemporary American mainstream conservatism has been deformed by its allergy to leftist identity politics into arguing that traditional concepts of identity, such as ethnicity, race, kinship, sex, religious membership, and class, not only shouldn't mean anything, but that they don't mean anything, which is awfully silly."

Thinkers such as Sailer see the world more clearly in some ways than does Dennis because they give race its due. As Sailer wrote in 2007: "We realize that race is an inextricable part of human nature. Why? Because 'race' is the inevitable outgrowth of 'family.' A racial group is an extremely extended family that is inbred to some degree. When you start from this simple but profound definition, you can begin to answer all those questions that baffle and irritate...about why humans continue to act as if blood relations were important to them. (Quick answer: because they are.)"

Why bother to talk about the realities of race when it will only hurt your career? Sailer answered: "I believe truth is more beneficial to humanity than lies, obfuscation, ignorance, wishful thinking – and even hipness."

With a nod to the Tom Wolfe insight above, a Steve Sailer reader emailed him:
Maybe each particular group must feel that they have a theoretical chance to dominate or else there will be a psychological schism too large to bridge without overt domination of one group over another.

A diverse society therefore has two options: living a lie that every group is equal in ability (eventually backed by force as it fails) or a caste system backed by force.

This would seem to argue against neoconservative color blind society that ignores group differences.

A Sailer reader emailed: "If a critical mass of blacks decides to abide by the White egocosmos, it will damage the credibility of its black counterpart, and thus compell (eventually) blacks to accept being in second place in the dominant paradigm. Thus where going by the book might be the better individual strategy, the preservation of group vanity requires the instillment of an alternative paradigm reflecting the endowments of African-Americans, where they come in first and whites in second." 

In a September 23, 2008 column, Dennis Prager predicted black race riots if Barack Obama is not elected:

And it could become a rage the likes of which America has not seen in a long time, if ever. It will first and foremost come from within black America. The deep emotional connection that nearly every black American has to an Obama victory is difficult for even empathetic non-blacks to measure. A major evangelical pastor told me that even evangelical black pastors who share every conservative value with white evangelical pastors, including pro-life views on abortion, will vote for Obama. They feel their very dignity is on the line.

Compared to East Asians at the furthest extreme and then whites, blacks, said the book Race, Evoluation & Behavior, have:

• _ shorter gestation periods
• _ earlier physical maturation (muscular control, bone and dental development)
• _ smaller brains
• _ earlier puberty (age at first menstruation, first intercourse, first pregnancy)
• _ more developed primary sexual characteristics (size of penis, vagina, testes, ovaries)
• _ more developed secondary sexual characteristics (voice, muscularity, buttocks, breasts)
• _ more biological than social control of behavior (length of menstrual cycle, periodicity of sexual response, predictability of life history from start of puberty)
• _ higher levels of sex hormones (testosterone, gonadotropins, follicle stimulating hormone)
• _ higher levels of individuality (lower law abidingness)
• _ more permissive sexual attitudes
• _ higher intercourse frequencies (premarital, marital, extramarital)
• _ weaker pair bonds
• _ more siblings
• _ higher rates of child neglect and abandonment
• _ greater frequency of disease
• _ shorter life expectancy

Isn't race just skin-deep? Rushton wrote: "Biological evidence shows that race is not a social construct. Coroners in crime labs can identify race from a skeleton or even just the skull. They can identify race from blood, hair, or semen as well. To deny the existence of race is unscientific and unrealistic."

What about crime? Rushton wrote:
Most people of any race are hard-working and law abiding. There is no “criminal race.” However, the difference in average crime rate means that a much higher percentage of Blacks can fall into a life of crime. The 85 average IQ of criminals is almost identical with the 85 average IQ of Blacks, so IQ is related to crime. Although Blacks make up only about 12% of the U.S. population, each year they commit about half of all crimes.

INTERPOL Yearbooks show the same three-way pattern of race differences in crime. African and Caribbean countries have twice as many violent crimes per person as do European countries and three times as many as do the Asian Pacific Rim countries like Japan and China.

U. S. Department of Justice statistics report that Blacks are 60 times more likely to attack Whites than Whites are to attack Blacks. For the 20% of violent crimes that are interracial, 15% involve Black offenders and White victims; 2% involve White offenders and Black victims.

Recalling his 1985 meeting with George Kennan, architect of America's containment policy against the Soviet Union, Vincent Chiarello wrote:

I remember...Kennan’s deep pessimism about the future of the United States. Time and time again, he came back to the same theme: that unfettered immigration from non-European nations would be a disaster, and that the thin line that separated the U.S. from the rest of the world would disappear. ... [Harvard political scientist Samuel] Huntington was fiercely opposed to the notion of America as “a propositional nation.” Kennan emphasized that same objection by repeatedly pointing out our Anglo-Saxon roots and cultural heritage. I cannot help but believe that, toward the end of that session, Kennan, who was to live to more than 100 years, was saying that Anglo-Saxons, that is, the white race, were being endangered by a flood of unassimilable strangers that would shake the nation to its very foundational core.
In his 1993 memoir, Kennan wrote:
There will be those who will say, 'Oh, it is our duty to receive as many as possible of these people and to share our prosperity with them, as we have so long been doing.' But suppose there are limits to our capacity to absorb. Suppose the effect of such a policy is to create, in the end, conditions within this country no better than those of the places the masses of immigrants have left: the same poverty, the same distress. What we shall then have accomplished is not to have appreciably improved conditions in the Third World (for even the maximum numbers we could conceivably take would be only a drop from the bucket of the planet's overpopulation) but to make this country itself a part of the Third World (as certain parts of it already are) thus depriving the planet of one of the few great regions that might have continued, as it now does, to be helpful to much of the remainder of the world by its relatively high standard of civilization, by its quality as example, by its ability to shed insight on the problems of the others and to help them find their answers to their own problems.

Intelligence

Like all of the Western world's public intellectuals who are more interested in status than in truth (see Jason Richwine's 2013 dismissal from the Heritage Foundation for an example of what obvious truths one should not say publicly if you want to get ahead), Dennis Prager says he cares little about IQ. By being deliberately obtuse, he gets to have a nice life, make millions of dollars, enjoy vast popularity and go on television regularly. On the other hand, he sacrifices truth for cant.

As Jared Taylor wrote: "All people who hedge their opinions in the hope of a larger audience convince themselves that discretion is the price of influence—as they bank their honoraria and swan through the corridors of power. And, like [James J.] Kilpatrick, they build oases far from the racial chaos they no longer combat with all their strength."

Jan. 27, 2014, Dennis said: "All of my life I have said that the most important macro value, societal value, is truth. Virtually all evil emanates from lies."

Feb. 18, 2014, Dennis said: "People think brains are more important than everything. I knew at such a young age that was not true. I saw these kids in high school, some of them had such magnificent brains, but they couldn't navigate life. There were kids with great brains who cheated on tests..."

"I think those studies [that show a correlation between IQ and delayed gratification], if they exist, are crap. The idea that IQ correlates with character sickens me. You think a person of normal intelligence doesn't understand delayed gratification but a person with an Einstein IQ understands it better?"

Caller: "I think they're able to live in the future a little bit more."

Dennis: "Do you know how many brilliant Nazis and Communists there were? There were more intellectuals who supported Stalin than hardhats. I'm giving you a powerful example of the lack of correlation between brilliance, great brains, and decency. There is no correlation."

Caller: "Maybe it works better in the other direction and say that most people who become petty criminals and live lives of characterless drift tend to not have high intelligence."

Dennis: "That's a good question. I don't think it's necessary. I think people of completely average intelligence can be superior human beings. I don't think the saints of the 20th Century, like those who rescued Jews in the Holocaust, had extraordinary IQs."

"The brains thing blows my mind. I know I have a good brain, but I have rarely been impressed with brains. So what? It's a blessing like a good voice is a blessing. It never excited me when I would meet brilliant people. If they weren't good, they were boring. I felt that as a child and I feel that today. Goodness interests me more than brilliance."

"This reveling in brains drives me crazy. It's like revelling in baseball ability. If you have it, great, but it doesn't make you who you are."

"The stupid stupid notion that brains determine your life. Common sense is more important than brains. Wisdom is more important than brains... The average person is perfectly intelligent enough to deal with life. I have met very very few people that I walked away thinking, that person has a very low IQ. Everybody I work with at my home radio station is bright. Every single person. Since it runs across the gamut of human background, I have to believe that the vast majority of people are bright... I know one rocket scientist who is an emotional and psychological basketcase. It's a very narrow greatness, brains. Without wisdom, common sense, and character, it's nothing."

"If you don't know what to do with your IQ, what's the good of having a Stradivarius IQ?"

"People put up bumper stickers, 'My child is on the honor roll.' I've never been impressed with that. How about, 'My child is honorable.'"

Psychologist James Thompson wrote: "Rindermann found that higher IQ countries (not just East Asian ones) tended to be more moral, less corrupt, more humane and more liberal in their approach to human freedoms. One can certainly argue that intelligence does not guarantee morality, but that is a different point."

Gedaliah Braun wrote in 2009:

I am an American who taught philosophy in several African universities from 1976 to 1988, and have lived since that time in South Africa. When I first came to Africa, I knew virtually nothing about the continent or its people, but I began learning quickly. I noticed, for example, that Africans rarely kept promises and saw no need to apologize when they broke them. It was as if they were unaware they had done anything that called for an apology.

It took many years for me to understand why Africans behaved this way but I think I can now explain this and other behavior that characterizes Africa. I believe that morality requires abstract thinking—as does planning for the future—and that a relative deficiency in abstract thinking may explain many things that are typically African...

It has long seemed to me that blacks tend to lack self-awareness. If such awareness is necessary for developing abstract concepts it is not surprising that African languages have so few abstract terms. A lack of self-awareness—or introspection—has advantages. In my experience neurotic behavior, characterized by excessive and unhealthy self-consciousness, is uncommon among blacks. I am also confident that sexual dysfunction, which is characterized by excessive self-consciousness, is less common among blacks than whites.

Time is another abstract concept with which Africans seem to have difficulties... It appears that the Zulu word for “future”—isikhati—is the same as the word for time, as well as for space. Realistically, this means that these concepts probably do not exist in Zulu thought. It also appears that there is no word for the past—meaning, the time preceding the present. The past did exist, but no longer exists. Hence, people who may have problems thinking of things that do not exist will have trouble thinking of the past as well as the future.

This has an obvious bearing on such sentiments as gratitude and loyalty, which I have long noticed are uncommon among Africans. We feel gratitude for things that happened in the past, but for those with little sense of the past such feelings are less likely to arise...

In America, blacks are said to have a “tendency to approximate space, numbers and time instead of aiming for complete accuracy.” (Star, June 8, 1988, p.10.) In other words, they are also poor at math. Notice the identical triumvirate—space, numbers, and time. Is it just a coincidence that these three highly abstract concepts are the ones with which blacks — everywhere — seem to have such difficulties?

White rule in South Africa ended in 1994. It was about ten years later that power outages began, which eventually reached crisis proportions. The principle reason for this is simply lack of maintenance on the generating equipment... In short, there is no such thing as maintenance in Zulu thought, and it would be hard to argue that this is wholly unrelated to the fact that when people throughout Africa say “nothing works,” it is only an exaggeration. 

Whereas Western cultures internalize norms—“Don’t do that!” for a child, eventually becomes “I mustn’t do that” for an adult—African cultures do not. They rely entirely on external controls on behavior from tribal elders and other sources of authority. When Africans were detribalized, these external constraints disappeared, and since there never were internal constraints, the results were crime, drugs, promiscuity, etc. Where there have been other forms of control—as in white-ruled South Africa, colonial Africa, or the segregated American South—this behavior was kept within tolerable limits. But when even these controls disappear there is often unbridled violence...

One explanation for this lack of abstract thinking, including the diminished understanding of time, is that Africans evolved in a climate where they could live day to day without having to think ahead. They never developed this ability because they had no need for it. Whites, on the other hand, evolved under circumstances in which they had to consider what would happen if they didn’t build stout houses and store enough fuel and food for the winter. For them it was sink or swim...

According to now-discredited folk wisdom, blacks are “children in adult bodies,” but there may be some foundation to this view. The average African adult has the raw IQ score of the average 11-year-old white child. This is about the age at which white children begin to internalize morality and no longer need such strong external enforcers...

Another aspect of African behavior that liberals do their best to ignore but that nevertheless requires an explanation is gratuitous cruelty. A reviewer of Driving South, a 1993 book by David Robbins, writes:

"A Cape social worker sees elements that revel in violence ... It’s like a cult which has embraced a lot of people who otherwise appear normal. ... At the slightest provocation their blood-lust is aroused. And then they want to see death, and they jeer and mock at the suffering involved, especially the suffering of a slow and agonizing death.” (Citizen [Johannesburg], July 12, 1993, p.6.)"

There is something so unspeakably vile about this, something so beyond depravity, that the human brain recoils. This is not merely the absence of human empathy, but the positive enjoyment of human suffering, all the more so when it is “slow and agonizing.” Can you imagine jeering at and mocking someone in such horrible agony? During the apartheid era, black activists used to kill traitors and enemies by “necklacing” them. An old tire was put around the victim’s neck, filled with gasoline, and—but it is best to let an eye-witness describe what happened next:

“The petrol-filled tyre is jammed on your shoulders and a lighter is placed within reach . ... Your fingers are broken, needles are pushed up your nose and you are tortured until you put the lighter to the petrol yourself.” (Citizen; “SA’s New Nazis,” August 10, 1993, p.18.)

The author of an article in the Chicago Tribune, describing the equally gruesome way the Hutu killed Tutsi in the Burundi massacres, marveled at “the ecstasy of killing, the lust for blood; this is the most horrible thought. It’s beyond my reach.” (“Hutu Killers Danced In Blood Of Victims, Videotapes Show,” Chicago Tribune, September 14, 1995, p.8.) The lack of any moral sense is further evidenced by their having videotaped their crimes, “apparently want[ing] to record ... [them] for posterity.” Unlike Nazi war criminals, who hid their deeds, these people apparently took pride in their work...

In 1993, Amy Biehl, a 26-year-old American on a Fulbright scholarship, was living in South Africa, where she spent most of her time in black townships helping blacks. One day when she was driving three African friends home, young blacks stopped the car, dragged her out, and killed her because she was white. A retired senior South African judge, Rex van Schalkwyk, in his 1998 book One Miracle is Not Enough, quotes from a newspaper report on the trial of her killers: “Supporters of the three men accused of murdering [her] ... burst out laughing in the public gallery of the Supreme Court today when a witness told how the battered woman groaned in pain.” This behavior, Van Schalkwyk wrote, “is impossible to explain in terms accessible to rational minds.” (pp. 188-89.)

These incidents and the responses they evoke—“the human brain recoils,” “beyond my reach,” “impossible to explain to rational minds” — represent a pattern of behavior and thinking that cannot be wished away, and offer additional support for my claim that Africans are deficient in moral consciousness.

I have long suspected that the idea of rape is not the same in Africa as elsewhere, and now I find confirmation of this in Newsweek:

“According to a three-year study [in Johannesburg] ... more than half of the young people interviewed — both male and female — believe that forcing sex with someone you know does not constitute sexual violence ... [T]he casual manner in which South African teens discuss coercive relationships and unprotected sex is staggering.” (Tom Masland, “Breaking The Silence,” Newsweek, July 9, 2000.)

Clearly, many blacks do not think rape is anything to be ashamed of.

The Newsweek author is puzzled by widespread behavior that is known to lead to AIDS, asking “Why has the safe-sex effort failed so abjectly?” Well, aside from their profoundly different attitudes towards sex and violence and their heightened libido, a major factor could be their diminished concept of time and reduced ability to think ahead...

An article about gang rape in the left-wing British paper, the Guardian, confirms this when it quotes a young black woman: “The thing is, they [black men] don’t see it as rape, as us being forced. They just see it as pleasure for them.” (Rose George, “They Don’t See it as Rape. They Just See it as Pleasure for Them,” June 5, 2004.) A similar attitude seems to be shared among some American blacks who casually refer to gang rape as “running a train.” (Nathan McCall, Makes Me Wanna Holler, Vintage Books, 1995.)

Africans, I believe, may generally lack the concepts of subjunctivity and counterfactuality. Subjunctivity is conveyed in such statements as, “What would you have done if I hadn’t showed up?” This is contrary to fact because I did show up, and it is now impossible for me not to have shown up. We are asking someone to imagine what he would have done if something that didn’t happen (and now couldn’t happen) had happened. This requires self-consciousness, and I have already described blacks’ possible deficiency in this respect. It is obvious that animals, for example, cannot think counterfactually, because of their complete lack of self-awareness...

In his 1990 book Devil’s Night, Ze’ev Chafets quotes a black woman speaking about the problems of Detroit: “I know some people won’t like this, but whenever you get a whole lot of black people, you’re gonna have problems. Blacks are ignorant and rude.” (pp. 76-77.)

If some Africans cannot clearly imagine what their own rude behavior feels like to others—in other words, if they cannot put themselves in the other person’s shoes—they will be incapable of understanding what rudeness is. For them, what we call rude may be normal and therefore, from their perspective, not really rude. Africans may therefore not be offended by behavior we would consider rude — not keeping appointments, for example. One might even conjecture that African cruelty is not the same as white cruelty, since Africans may not be fully aware of the nature of their behavior, whereas such awareness is an essential part of “real” cruelty.

I am hardly the only one to notice this obliviousness to others that sometimes characterizes black behavior. Walt Harrington, a white liberal married to a light-skinned black, makes some surprising admissions in his 1994 book, Crossings: A White Man’s Journey Into Black America:

“I notice a small car ... in the distance. Suddenly ... a bag of garbage flies out its window . ... I think, I’ll bet they’re blacks. Over the years I’ve noticed more blacks littering than whites. I hate to admit this because it is a prejudice. But as I pass the car, I see that my reflex was correct—[they are blacks].

“[As I pull] into a McDonald’s drive-through ... [I see that] the car in front of me had four black[s] in it. Again ... my mind made its unconscious calculation: We’ll be sitting here forever while these people decide what to order. I literally shook my head . ... My God, my kids are half black! But then the kicker: we waited and waited and waited. Each of the four ... leaned out the window and ordered individually. The order was changed several times. We sat and sat, and I again shook my head, this time at the conundrum that is race in America.

“I knew that the buried sentiment that had made me predict this disorganization ... was ... racist. ... But my prediction was right.” (pp. 234-35.)

Africans also tend to litter. To understand this we must ask why whites don’t litter, at least not as much. We ask ourselves: “What would happen if everyone threw rubbish everywhere? It would be a mess. So you shouldn’t do it!” Blacks’ possible deficiency in abstract thinking makes such reasoning more difficult, so any behavior requiring such thinking is less likely to develop in their cultures. Even after living for generations in societies where such thinking is commonplace, many may still fail to absorb it.

According to Dennis: "Use your common sense. Whenever you hear the words, studies show' -- outside of the natural sciences -- and you find that these studies show the opposite of what common sense suggests, be very skeptical. I do not recall ever coming across a valid that contravened common sense."

Say the authors of the book, 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, "Contrary to Dennis Prager, psychological studies that overturn our common sense are sometimes right. Indeed, one of our primary goals in this book is to encourage you to mistrust your common sense when evaluating psychological claims. As a general rule, you should consult research evidence, not your intuitions, when deciding whether a scientific claim is correct. Research suggests that snap judgments are often helpful in sizing up people and in forecasting our likes and dislikes, but they can be wildly inaccurate when it comes to gauging the accuracy of psychological theories or assertions."

When it comes to studies Dennis likes, he has a difference attitude. Mar. 26, 2014, he said: "There is no evidence to support the notion that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. I have been eschewing chicken skin for the past 25 years. It makes me sick to think of all the boring chicken I've been eating when all the taste is in the skin. You don't know how much importance I attach to this that this is the new study. It applies to so much."

"I bought the saturated fat issue. I've been eating non-fat yoghurt, which, with one or two exceptions, is white paste. The ultimate -- non-fat milk. Why not ask for white water?"

According to Steve Sailer: "The greatest trick the intelligent ever pulled was convincing the world intelligence doesn't exist."

Sailer wrote: "Jewish intellectuals have a tendency that on any topic related to Jews, they tend to think baroquely many steps down the line. Thus, the full panoply of the subjects that have been assumed to be bad-for-the-Jews and therefore ruled out of discussion in polite society is breathtakingly broad -- for example, IQ has been driven out of the media in large part because it is feared that mentioning that Jews have higher average IQs would lead, many steps down the line, to pogroms."

Sailer wrote:

To quantify the statement that "Jews are a small group, but influential in their areas of concentration," in 2009, the Atlantic Monthly came up with a list of the top 50 opinion pundits: half are of Jewish background.

Over 1/3rd of the 2009 Forbes 400 are of Jewish background, according to the Jewish Telegraph Agency's reporter who covers Jewish philanthropy.

Joel Stein of the LA Times found in 2007 that people of Jewish background hold a large majority of the most powerful positions in Hollywood.

This is not to say that influential Jews are at all united in what they favor. On the other hand, it is more or less true that Jews hold something of a veto over what topics are considered appropriate for discussion in the press, Jewish influence itself being the most obvious example of a topic that is off the table in polite society.

John Derbyshire wrote: "I can absolutely assure you that anyone who made general, mildly negative, remarks about Jews would NOT—not ever again—be published in the Wall Street Journal opinion pages, The Weekly Standard, National Review, The New York Sun, The New York Post, or The Washington Times. I know the actual people, the editors, involved here, and I can assert this confidently."

Experts in IQ such as Richwine note: "IQ scores can be thought of as individual probabilities that aggregate into certainties in large groups." In the words of NYU's Steven Goldberg, IQ is to achievement in people what weight is to achievement in offensive tackles in the NFL.

Slate published an essay by two Psychology professors Apr. 14, 2014:

IQ predicts many different measures of success. Exhibit A is evidence from research on job performance by the University of Iowa industrial psychologist Frank Schmidt and his late colleague John Hunter. Synthesizing evidence from nearly a century of empirical studies, Schmidt and Hunter established that general mental ability—the psychological trait that IQ scores reflect—is the single best predictor of job training success, and that it accounts for differences in job performance even in workers with more than a decade of experience. It’s more predictive than interests, personality, reference checks, and interview performance. Smart people don’t just make better mathematicians, as Brooks observed—they make better managers, clerks, salespeople, service workers, vehicle operators, and soldiers.

IQ predicts other things that matter, too, like income, employment, health, and even longevity. In a 2001 study published in the British Medical Journal, Scottish researchers Lawrence Whalley and Ian Deary identified more than 2,000 people who had taken part in the Scottish Mental Survey of 1932, a nationwide assessment of IQ. Remarkably, people with high IQs at age 11 were more considerably more likely to survive to old age than were people with lower IQs. For example, a person with an IQ of 100 (the average for the general population) was 21 percent more likely to live to age 76 than a person with an IQ of 85. And the relationship between IQ and longevity remains statistically significant even after taking SES into account. Perhaps IQ reflects the mental resources—the reasoning and problem-solving skills—that people can bring to bear on maintaining their health and making wise decisions throughout life. This explanation is supported by evidence that higher-IQ individuals engage in more positive health behaviors, such as deciding to quit smoking...

Given everything that social scientists have learned about IQ and its broad predictive validity, it is reasonable to make it a factor in decisions such as whom to hire for a particular job or admit to a particular college or university. In fact, disregarding IQ—by admitting students to colleges or hiring people for jobs in which they are very likely to fail—is harmful both to individuals and to society. For example, in occupations where safety is paramount, employers could be incentivized to incorporate measures of cognitive ability into the recruitment process.

Linda Gottfredson wrote:

1. IQ (as long as it's a good measure of g) predicts a broad range of life outcomes better than does SES [socio-economic status], from GPA to longevity. Corollary: You can wash out IQ's apparent predictive superiority only if you load your SES battery with additional surrogates for parents' or own g.

2. The phenotypic correlations between IQ and measures of social class (education, occupational prestige, income) are from a half to two-thirds genetic in origin.

3. SES cannot explain the big IQ differences among siblings growing up in the same household: They differ two-thirds as much in IQ, on the average (11-12 points), as do any two random strangers (~17 points). This is a glaring fact that SES enthusiasts have studiously ignored.

4. Adult functional literacy (e.g., see the fed's NALS survey) predicts life outcomes in exactly the same pattern as does IQ, though they won't tell you that. Functional literacy is measured by having subjects carry out everyday life tasks, such as using a menu to figure out the price for something. Persons scoring at levels 1-2 (out of 5) have been described as not having the ability to use their rights or meet their responsibilities in the modern world (40% of whites, 80% of blacks). Pick out a few NALS tasks at various levels and ask your critic what % of adults s/he thinks can perform them. They will be shocked and so will you when you see the data--go to my 1997 "Why g matters" article for NALS, or my 2002 "highly general and highly practical" chapter for health literacy items--e.g., on diabetes.

5. IQ predicts on-the-job performance better overall than any other single predictor (SES isn't even in the running), it predicts better when performance is objectively rather than subjectively measured, and when the tasks/occupations are more complex in what they require workers to do. At the same cognitive complexity level, IQ predicts job performance equally well in manual and non-manual jobs (e.g., trades vs. clerical. The exact same complexity pattern is found with functional literacy--the hardest items are the most complex (require more inference, are abstract rather than concrete, contain more distracting irrelevant information, etc.)

6. A large followup of Australian veterans found that IQ was the best predictor of death by age 40 (had 50+ predictors). Vehicle fatalities were the biggest cause (as is typical), and, compared to men with IQs of 100+, men of IQ85-100 had twice the rate and men IQ 80-85 had three times the rate. (Remember, SES could not explain this.) The US (and apparently Australia) forbid induction of persons below IQ 80 because they are not sufficiently trainable--found out the hard way.

7. Finally, if you succeed in describing g as a general learning and reasoning ability (one that gives high g people an increasing edge when tasks are more complex), then it is easy to show g's life and death relevance when you describe how health self-care and accident prevention are highly dependent on learning and reasoning. Consider what it takes to be an effective diabetic--lots and lots of judgment on a daily basis, or you're likely to lose your sight, your limbs, etc.

Gottfredson wrote:

Of all human traits, variation in general intelligence (g) is the functionally most important in modern life. The first question that behavior genetics tackled was ‘‘how heritable are within-group differences in intelligence?’’—the answer: ‘‘very.’’

Gottfredson said: "Keep in mind that false belief in infinite human malleability led to some of the worst horrors of the 20th century. I also think it is patronizing and usually self-serving when elites contend that the American public cannot be trusted with certain facts."

Gottfredson wrote:

If all 13‐year‐olds took the same 15‐minute test (WASI), I could give you each child’s odds for all these adult outcomes without knowing anything else about them.
– Drops out of high school,
– Holds mostly unskilled jobs, skilled jobs vs. professional jobs
– Performs those jobs well
– Lives in poverty AND
– Can find a particular intersection on a map, or grams of carbohydrate per serving on a food label
– Adheres to a medical treatment regimen for diabetes or other chronic illness
– Dies prematurely

Gottfredson wrote:

The first step in assessing the real-life importance of g/IQ is to determine whether scores on highly g-loaded tests (tests that measure g well) predict differences in valued life outcomes. Correlations do not prove causation, but they are a first step in doing so. The most studied outcomes are performance in school (such as school marks and achievement test scores), performance on the job (mostly supervisor ratings), socioeconomic advancement (level of education, occupation, and income), and social pathology (adult criminality, poverty, unemployment, dependence on welfare, children outside of marriage). The relations of intelligence to health, health behavior, resilience in the face of extreme adversity, longevity (length of life), and functional literacy (the ability to do routine reading, writing, and arithmetic tasks in modern societies) have also begun to draw much attention. Thousands of studies have looked at the impact of mental abilities on school and job performance, and large national longitudinal studies in both Europe and the United States have shown that IQ is related to various forms of socioeconomic success and failure. Here are their most general findings about g’s association with life outcomes.

Correlations with IQ are pervasive. IQ predicts all the foregoing outcomes to some degree. Subjective well-being (happiness) is the rare exception: it is regularly found not to correlate meaningfully with IQ level. In general, g relates more to instrumental behavior than emotional reactions.

Correlations with IQ vary systematically by type of outcome. IQ’s predictive value ranges widely, depending on the outcome in question. For example, when averaged over several years, performance on standardized tests of academic achievement correlates about as highly with IQ as two IQ tests do with each other (over .8 on a scale of -1.0 to 1.0). In contrast, correlations with IQ are closer to .6-.7 for school marks, years of education completed, and longevity. They are about .5 with prestige level of occupation, .3 to .4 with income (the correlations rising with age), and .2 with law-abidingness.

Correlations with IQ are higher when tasks are more complex. To illustrate, when jobs are ranked in overall complexity of work, the correlations between IQ and job performance rise from .2 for simple, unskilled jobs, to .5 in middle-level jobs (skilled trades, most clerical work), to .8 in the most complex (doctors, engineers, top executives). Stated another way, it matters little how intelligent workers are in low-level jobs, but it matters a great deal in high-level jobs, regardless of whether the job seems academic or not.

IQ/g is best single predictor, mental or non-mental. IQ/g usually predicts major life outcomes better than does any other single predictor in broad samples of individuals. For example, whether IQ predicts strongly (educational performance) or weakly (law-abidingness), it predicts better than does social class background...

Social privilege theory also predicts that the impact of environmental conditions will accumulate with age, but longitudinal studies show that IQ actually becomes more heritable over the life span (from 40% before entering elementary school to 80% by mid-adulthood). Perhaps most surprising of all, differences in family advantage have no lasting effect on IQ by adolescence, at least in the U.S. and Europe, so family members are no more alike in IQ by adulthood than their genetic relatedness would predict...To take one example, the post-World War II communist government of Warsaw, Poland, assigned families of all social classes to the same housing, schools, and health services, but this social leveling failed to narrow intelligence differences in the next generation...

The pattern is that, when two groups differ in average IQ, the proportions of their populations found at each point on the IQ distribution differ most at the extremes, or tails, of the IQ distribution. This is seen most clearly by looking at the ratios in the bottom three rows of Figure 3. Take, for example, blacks and whites above IQ 100. Blacks become progressively rarer, relative to whites, at higher IQ levels: 1:3 above IQ 100, 1:7 above IQ 110, and only 1:30 above IQ 125...

IQ 75 signals the ability level below which individuals are not likely to master the elementary school curriculum or function independently in adulthood in modern societies. They are likely to be eligible for special educational services in school and for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the U.S. government, which is financial support provided to mentally and physically disabled adults. Of course, many do marry, hold a job, raise children, and otherwise function adequately as adults. However, their independence is precarious because they have difficulty getting and keeping jobs that pay a living wage. They are difficult to train except for the simplest tasks, so they are fortunate in industrialized nations to get any paying job at all. While only 1 out of 50 Asian-Americans faces such risk, Figure 3 shows that 1 out of 6 black- Americans does.

IQ 85 is a second important minimum threshold because the U.S. military sets its minimum enlistment standards at about this level. Although the military is often viewed as the employer of last resort, this minimum standard rules out almost half of blacks (44%) and a third of Hispanics (34%), but far fewer whites (13%) and Asians (8%). The U.S. military has twice experimented with recruiting men of IQ 80-85 (the first time on purpose and the second time by accident), but both times it found that such men could not master soldiering well enough to justify their costs. Individuals in this IQ range are not considered mentally retarded and they therefore receive no special educational or social services, but their poor learning and reasoning abilities mean that they are not competitive for many jobs, if any, in the civilian economy. They live at the edge of unemployability in modern nations, and the jobs they do get are typically the least prestigious and lowest paying: for example, janitor, food service worker, hospital orderly, or parts assembler in a factory.

IQ 85 is also close to the upper boundary for Level 1 functional literacy, the lowest of five levels in the U.S. government’s 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS). Adults at this literacy level are typically able to carry out only very simple tasks, such as locating the expiration date on a driver’s license or totaling a bank deposit slip, but they typically cannot perform more difficult tasks, such as locating two particular pieces of information in a sports article (Level 2), writing a brief letter explaining an error in a credit card bill (Level 3), determining correct change using information in a menu (Level 4), or determining shipping and total costs on an order form for items in a catalog (Level 5). Most routine communications with businesses and social service agencies, including job applications, are thus beyond the capabilities of persons with only Level 1 literacy. Their problem is not that they cannot read the words, but that they are not able to understand or use the ideas that the words convey...

IQ 105 can be viewed as the minimum threshold for achieving moderately high levels of success. It has been estimated to be the point at which individuals have a 50-50 chance of doing well enough in secondary school to be admitted to a four-year university in the United States. People above this level are highly competitive for middle-level jobs (clerical, crafts and repair, sales, police and firefighting), and they are good contenders for the lower tiers of managerial and professional work (supervisory, technical, accounting, nursing, teaching). Figure 3 shows that Asian-Americans are 6-7 times more likely than blacks to exceed the IQ 105 threshold. The percentages are 53%, 40%, 27%, and 8%, respectively, for Asians, whites, Hispanics, and blacks.

IQ 115 marks the ability threshold for being competitive as a candidate for graduate or professional school in the U.S. and thus for high levels of socioeconomic success. Partly because of their higher educational promise, individuals above this IQ level have the best prospects for gaining the most coveted occupational positions in a society. This is the IQ range in which individuals can be self-instructing and are, in fact, expected to instruct, advise, and supervise others in their community and work environments. This is therefore the IQ range from which cultural leaders tend to emerge and be recruited. The percentages exceeding this threshold are, respectively, 40% (Asians), 28% (whites), 10% (Hispanics), and 4% (blacks).

Psychologist Byron M. Roth wrote:
The most notable difference among Jewish groups is average IQ. While the Ashkenazi average is 110, the Sephardic average is about 99, close to that of Europeans. The Mizrahim score about 91, markedly lower than Europeans, but higher than the Arabs with whom they have lived, whose average is about 84. The genetically distinct Falashas have IQs of about 70, typical of sub-Saharan people.

These IQ differences have had an important impact on the achievement of each group. This is especially clear in Israel, where they live side by side. The Israeli population of about 6 million people (in 2000) is about 40 percent Mizrahim, about 40 percent “European,” and about 20 percent Arab Muslims. Comparisons are complicated, however, because the 2.4 million characterized as European include 110,000 Sephardim. Furthermore, many in the group classified as European Jews are immigrants from Russia, a large number of whom—some Israeli demographers estimate as many as 900,000—are not Jews at all. They are ethnic Russians “who pretended to be Jews in order to obtain permission to leave the Soviet Union.” For these reasons the average IQ of those classified as European Jews is estimated to be about 106, lower than would be the case if all were Ashkenazim.

Nevertheless, on all measures of social and educational success, the Europeans do better than the Mizrahim, who in turn do better than the Arab citizens, a ranking perfectly consistent with IQ estimates. Of particular interest are the Ethiopians, who do very poorly, and behave like American blacks. According to an Israeli researcher, many “identify with an ‘aggressive and semi-criminal African-American youth culture’ and have become a ‘kind of ethnic underclass.’"

Charles Murray said:"IQ is a raw material to which you add all sorts of other things [such as ethics and industriousness] which we don't know how to measure well."

"Half of the children are below average, which by the way, I have gotten hissed for saying on college campuses... The limits on the ability to learn are quite strict... There are sharp constraints on what anybody who is average to below can learn."

Dennis refuses to read the 1994 book by Charles Murray and Richard Hernstein, The Bell Curve. Best not to know. 

Yet when it came to a topic he cared about -- marijuana use -- Dennis read approvingly from the Wall Street Journal Jan. 23, 2014 that marijuana lowered teenager's IQ: "I believe that."

So in Prager's view, IQ matters not at all except for when it does.

Steve Sailer wrote in 2009:

Have you ever noticed how in the New York Times' universe, IQ is unquestionably valid and terribly, terribly important in the Health section of the newspaper? (See, for example, the NYT's recurrent coverage of the effects of the exposure to lead in reducing I.Q.) In this Health section article, for example, the Times is getting worked up over an IQ test given to 2-3 year olds, which is pushing the age limits of IQ testing. And the sample size is only 53. And yet, there's absolutely zero quibbling about the usefulness of IQ testing in this article. It's simply assumed that, of course, everybody knows that a difference in average IQ scores of about eight points is a big deal. Yet, in the Education section of the Times, where you might think IQ would be even more relevant, it rarely comes up. And when it does put in an unwelcome appearance, it is often dismissed as discredited.

Dennis has math skills below that of the average crack dealer. In that respect, he's the opposite of Charles Murray, who has an MIT PhD in quantitative analysis. One way of understanding Prager's veneration of common sense over studies is that Dennis can't analyze statistics and therefore he prioritizes his gut. 

In a 2009 interview at the International Society for Intelligence Research, Dr. Murray said: "Intelligence is absolutely essential in economics and political science except it is always called 'educational attainment.' It is the construct that dare not speak its name because people will not confront that educational attainment is statistically highly correlated with cognitive ability and it just might be the cognitive ability that is responsible for social outcomes."

"People who deal with public policy on the right are every bit as scared of IQ as people on the left. I keep thinking this is bound to end real soon, within the next decade, as neuro-scientists and geneticists unravel this story."

"The ability of social scientists to not look at things they don't want to look at is stunning."

"You do not have to make a choice between writing about these topics and sacrificing your devotion to the truth. You can write about almost anything as long you write it obscurely enough. The great example of that was David C. Rowe. He wrote a piece for one of the major psychological magazines about the architecture of the black-white difference and it was an incredibly powerful argument that what you were looking at was not the result of environmental differences. It was an elegant piece of work but it was also very difficult. David did not go out of his way to make it obvious what he was saying and it got no flack."

"If you decide you are going to write for a general audience and you are on some of these taboo topics, you better be the right personality type. Arthur Jensen has such great equanimity that it never touched him. Phil Rushton just has a great time with the whole thing and thoroughly enjoys the fight. I was clinically depressed for about six months after The Bell Curve came out. I hated it. It was no fun."

"I've got a book in the works, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. I have now figured out a way to avoid being called a racist. I'm just going to talk about non-Hispanic whites... It just makes the whole interpretative process easier."

"If you want to compare the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa with Singapore, Japan and China, I think the differences in IQ explain a significant part of that difference. If you want to compare Italy and Germany and Sweden, I don't think that's going to buy you a lot. IQ is a fairly blunt instrument."

If IQ shapes how people turn out more than preaching does, than Dennis Prager is less important, but if what America most needs is moral instruction, then Prager is the man.

Dennis said on his radio show (circa 1995) that anyone who believes that blacks have on average a lower intelligence is a racist. He was embarrassed to have had a guest on his show (circa 1994) who said that different races have different statistical IQ (accepted by virtually all psychometricians).

On Oct. 23, 2013, Dennis said to his guest, John Alford, associate professor of political science at Rice University and one of three authors of the new book, Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences: "Isn't that a risky thing that you undertook to argue that there are biological bases for political positions?"

Why would Dennis regard this inquiry as "risky?" Dr. Rushton explained in a 2002 article for the Albany Law Review:

Although it was in England that Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911),coined the word "eugenics" (meaning "well-born" or of "goodbreeding"), the concept itself goes back at least to the Ancient Greeks. Plato and his pupil Aristotle held decidedly strong views on eugenics that went far beyond anything proposed by Galton orLaughlin. The eugenics movement of the early twentieth centurywas a worldwide phenomenon spanning the political spectrum from Tory to Socialist. The First International Eugenics Congress was held in London in 1912 with ex-British Prime Minister Arthur Balfour delivering the inaugural address, and with Winston Churchill, a later British Prime Minister, as Honorary President.

In the early twentieth century, eugenic laws were enacted in Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Canada, Australia,and Latin America and just recently, in Communist China. In Sweden, for example, between 1935 and 1976 about 60,000 youngwomen deemed mentally retarded or otherwise handicapped weresterilized to ensure they did not produce defective offspring thatwould need to be supported by the state. These laws remained on their statute books until 1976.

In the U.S., the first sterilization law was passed in Indiana in 1907... By 1917 laws had been enacted in fifteen more states that applied to "socially inadequate" people, "mental defectives" and others. In Washington and Nevada the laws were particularly stringent, and in Missouri they bizarrely includedchicken thieves... In 1922, to rule out such anomalies, Laughlin codified many of these into a model sterilization law that wouldinclude: the feeble minded, the insane, criminals (including the delinquent and wayward), the epileptic (which included Laughlin himself), the inebriate, the diseased, the blind, the deaf, the deformed, and the dependant (including orphans, ne»er-do-wells, the homeless, tramps and paupers). By these standards a large partof the American population might qualify. Seen as excessive, this was part of the reason eugenics began to fall out of favor.

Eugenic thinking was still well established during the 1920s. In 1927, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes supported state-mandated sterilization of the mentally retarded in the Buck v.Bell decision. Writing for an eight-to-one majority that includednoted civil libertarian Louis Brandeis, Holmes penned the often quoted line; "[t]hree generations of imbeciles are enough."

Although many conservative Americans at that time, such as Teddy Roosevelt, Alexander Graham Bell, J. C. Penney, and Oliver Wendell Holmes were enthusiastic about eugenics, so were many left-of-center Americans such as Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) and even radicals like Emma Goldman and Hermann J. Muller, a future Nobel laureate for his work ingenetics, who was a Marxian Socialist and an admirer of the SovietUnion where he worked for several years. Even some religious thinkers of both the Christian and Jewish persuasions advocated eugenic principles. For all their political differences, eugenicists shared a concern for promoting the fertility of healthy and productive individuals and for discouraging the fertility of the sick and dependent.

The Great Depression (1929-1932) hastened the decline of eugenic thinking because it became obvious that socio-economic forces also played a major role in people's life outcomes. Millions who had been productive workers suddenly found themselves unemployed and dependent. After World War II eugenics fell into further disrepute, because it became associated with Hitler's genocide... Most historians of the eugenics movement recognizethat the scientists involved embraced the study of biology,demography and genetics. Many eugenic scientists continued their work but jettisoned the term, now one of opprobrium.

In 1921, the soon-to-be President Calvin Coolidge expressed his fear in a popular magazine that "[b]iological laws show . . . that Nordics deteriorate when mixed with other races." An earlier president, Theodore Roosevelt, was hoping to unite thewhite settlers from diverse European nations into a purely Caucasian nation. He opposed the immigration and settlement of non-Europeans in what he wanted to be an America populated by peoples of European descent. These were consensus views among "Old Americans." Many prominent psychologists saw the continuing ascendancy of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants as consistent with their analyses ofthe World War I (1917-1918) data from the military conscription, in which tens of thousands of young men were tested on verbal and non-verbal IQ tests. European groups such as the Italians, Greeks, Russians, and Eastern Europeans scored lower, and they along with the Jews were popularly thought to be inferior, subversive, or otherwise a threat to the earlier immigrants of Nordic and Anglo-Saxon stock. Discrimination against these recent immigrants and the resident Native American and African populations whose ancestors had been dispossessed and enslaved, led to measures meant to protect the resident White Americans from "degeneration." Strong legislation was enacted against African Americans enforcing segregation in the Southern States, while other state legislatures passed laws prohibiting marriages between African Americans and Whites. In several states, marriages were prohibited between individuals deemed to be "feeble minded", mentally defective, or suffering from venereal disease.

Now that eugenics is out of favor and has few defenders, there is little to prevent those like Lombardo from adopting the extreme anddistorted position that all of its multifarious facets can be dismissedas nothing more than a smokescreen for "pro-Nazi" and "white supremacist" prejudice. In this writer's opinion, The Great Depression led many to over-react to the point that they believed free market economies had to be replaced by centrally planned socialist ones and likewise, that hereditarian theories had to becompletely replaced by culture-only theories. When legally enforced school segregation of Blacks and Whites in the Deep South was overturned in the 1954 Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, many over-reacted again confusing the ethical concept of equality before the law with the empirical question of whether there is evidence of a genetic component in the average difference between Blacks and Whites in cognitive ability. Lombardo's equating of eugenics with Nazism does not hold. Undoubtedly, the eugenics movement includes several dark episodes in American history. However harshly today we may judge support for policies such as sterilization of those deemed to be unfit, prohibition of racial intermarriage, repatriation of Blacks to Africa, and much more restrictions on immigration policy, it iswrong to equate these ideas with Nazism, gas chambers, and someof the worst mass murders, war crimes and crimes against humanity ever committed. Expressions of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) ethnocentrism, and even admiration for the Nordic founders of America, are a long way from supporting Nazi exterminations. There is a clear difference between ethnic pride, or even ethnocentrism, on the one hand, and xenophobia on the other.

Nothing in the history of the behavioral sciences has been as contentious as the question of how much genes play a role in humanbehavior, especially regarding ethnic and racial group differences. Ever since World War I and the widespread use of standardized mental tests, mean group differences in cognitive performance have been regularly discovered. The vexing question that still remains is whether the cause of group differences in achievement is purely social, economic, and cultural, or whether genetic factors are also involved.

In the 1920s and 1930s the Franz Boas culture-onlyschool of anthropology succeeded in decoupling the biological from the social sciences. Darwinism as a whole became marginalized in the human sciences, swept away by various environmentalist doctrines... In the 1950s, revulsion at the record of Nazi racial atrocities tainted any attempt to restore Darwinism to the social sciences. From that time on, it became increasingly difficult to suggest that individuals or groups might differ genetically in behavior without being accused of harboring Nazi or racist sympathies. Those who opposed the genetic-evolutionary perspective and who believed in the biological sameness of people remained free to write what they liked, without fear of vilification. In the intervening decades the idea of a genetically based core of human nature, on which individuals and groups might differ, was derogated. From the above it is easy to see why the egalitarian culture-only perspective became politically enmeshed with Third World decolonization, the U.S. civil rights movement, the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and the renewed debates over immigration. Playing the "Nazi race card" against scientists who have investigated the genetic and evolutionary basis of human behavior has been a repeated occurrence...

Today most scientists and historians engaged in the serious study of race do so from either the race-realist or the hermeneutical perspective. On one side, those I have termed race-realists view race as a natural phenomenon to be observed, studied, and explained. They believe human race is a valid biological concept, similar to sub-species or breeds or strains. On the other side, those I term the hermeneuticists view race as an epiphenomenon, (like gender as opposed to sex ) a mere social construction, with political and economic forces as the real causal agents. Rather than actually research race, hermeneuticists research those who study race. Alternative and intermediate positions certainly exist, but the most heated debate currently takes place between advocates of these polar positions...

Because Dennis refuses to learn about IQ, much of reality befuddles him. For instance, he doesn't know why many employers require a college degree as a substitute for banned IQ testing of potential workers.

Law professor Amy L. Wax wrote in 2012:

Although non-cognitive capacities make some difference, general intelligence is simply a more important variable for achieving proficiency in a wide range of occupations. This is true even in professions, such as nursing or teaching, that would seem to depend heavily on special non-cognitive skills like compassion or patience. Indeed, it is safe to say that cognitive ability better predicts on-the-job performance than does any personality trait or talent that IOP experts have yet identified. Conscientiousness — the personality trait with the strongest documented link to job success — shows a correlation with job performance in the range of about 0.2 to 0.4, in contrast with the significantly higher correlation of 0.5 or more for IQ. Contrary to the Supreme Court's assumption in Griggs, the comparative power of IQ extends even to relatively uncomplicated positions requiring modest skills, such as clerical or retail work. What this means is that hiring on the basis of intelligence — as opposed to other, non-cognitive personal attributes or talents — will almost always produce better-performing workers.

On Oct. 31, 2013, a caller asked: "Why I agree with everything you said about the educational system in the United States and how you could much more wisely spend $50,000 a year on education, the bottom line still in this country is that you cannot get a substantial job in this country without a degree. How do you get around that?"

Dennis: "There is an answer -- social pressure on companies to drop that awful that awful policy that you have to have a college degree when it is irrelevant to 99% of the jobs that people do with a college degree. I would like to know why you need a college degree for almost any job in this country?"

As James Taranto doesn't stick his head in the sand on this issue, he can describe in the Wall Street Journal "the historic origins of the higher-ed industry's credential cartel. As we've explained before, it goes back to Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (1971), in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that companies could not administer IQ tests because they had a racially "disparate impact"--that is, it discriminates against blacks because they score more poorly on average than whites do.

"The disparate-impact test in Griggs, written into law in the Civil Rights Act of 1991, applies only to employers. Educational institutions are free to administer IQ tests, which is essentially what the SAT and other entrance exams are. To assure that their degrees pass muster as a condition of employment, colleges and universities go to extreme lengths to ensure a "diverse" student body, including discriminating in favor of blacks (and selected other minorities) in admissions."

On Dec. 2, 2013, Dennis said: "We have in the United States a certain percentage of conscienceless people. When I think about this knockout game and the laughter that accompanies it, we have a certain percentage of young people, disproportionately among blacks, that are conscienceless. At some point are we going to drop this notion that racism causes this and just confront this terrible fact?"

Former Heritage Foundation policy analyst Jason Richwine points how IQ affects morality:

IQ, a construct that psychologists use to estimate general intelligence, has been separately linked to elements of social capital, such as sophisticated ethical thinking, altruism, planning for the future, political awareness, adherence to informal community standards of behavior, and cooperation for the greater good.

The social attitudes of citizens are the building blocks of social capital, and IQ plays a role in shaping many of them. For example, psychologists have developed measures of moral reasoning that overlap substantially with IQ. When confronted with a moral dilemma, a person operating at the lowest level of moral reasoning would consider only his own self-interest. As moral reasoning becomes more sophisticated, people tend to give more consideration to community welfare, and to apply abstract principles to resolve moral dilemmas. Because of the cognitive demands of such reasoning, smarter people are much more likely to transcend simple self-interest in their ethical thinking. People who do so are likely to be better neighbors and better citizens.

Intelligent people are also likely to be more altruistic, which could help form tighter bonds within communities...

It makes intuitive sense that smarter people should be able to internalize future rewards more easily. They are probably more future-oriented because they can better manipulate their surroundings, whereas incompetent people exert less control on their future, making it murky and unknown. Whatever the cause, the impulsivity of low-IQ people has serious implications for social capital. People in less intelligent populations will be less willing to set up networks for potential long-term payoffs, make personal investments in the community, and follow basic norms of behavior with the expectation of future reciprocity.

On Dec. 6, 2013, Dennis said: "In the car crash of the Fast & Furious star [Paul Walker], there were kids who went by and stole from the crash afterward and I always think this, what happens to the conscience in such persons? You're a living vulture? There's a car crash and two dead people and you go and steal from it? I admit this is silly, but it is always my initial reaction that I want to interview them."

An interview with such criminals would likely show they have an IQ in the retarded category and don't think about consequences.

"I think America is deterioriating... When there are bunches of kids walking around playing the knockout game...and then videoing it and putting it on the Youtube... The number of children born from mothers who are not married."

Where are these problems at their worst in America? In black and latino life. As America allows in more immigrants with low IQs, the country gets more problems as it heads towards Idiocracy.

As Jason Richwine wrote for Politico:
The American Psychological Association (APA) tried to set the record straight in 1996 with a report written by a committee of experts. Among the specific conclusions drawn by the APA were that IQ tests reliably measure a real human trait, that ethnic differences in average IQ exist, that good tests of IQ are not culturally biased against minority groups, and that IQ is a product of both genetic inheritance and early childhood environment. Another report signed by 52 experts, entitled “Mainstream Science on Intelligence,” stated similar facts and was printed in the Wall Street Journal.

So when Larry Summers, then the president of Harvard University, speculated in 2005 that women might be naturally less gifted in math and science, the intense backlash contributed to his ouster.

Two years later, when famed scientist James Watson noted the low average IQ scores of sub-Saharan Africans, he was forced to resign from his lab, taking his Nobel Prize with him.

When a Harvard law student was discovered in 2010 to have suggested in a private email that the black-white IQ gap might have a genetic component, the dean publicly condemned her amid a campus-wide outcry. Only profuse apologies seem to have saved her career.

In none of these cases did an appeal to science tamp down the controversy or help to prevent future ones. My own time in the media crosshairs would be no different.

So what did I write that created such a fuss? In brief, my dissertation shows that recent immigrants score lower than U.S.-born whites on a variety of cognitive tests. Using statistical analysis, it suggests that the test-score differential is due primarily to a real cognitive deficit rather than to culture or language bias. It analyzes how that deficit could affect socioeconomic assimilation, and concludes by exploring how IQ selection might be incorporated, as one factor among many, into immigration policy.

Because a large number of recent immigrants are from Latin America, I reviewed the literature showing that Hispanic IQ scores fall between white and black scores in the United States. This fact isn’t controversial among experts, but citing it seems to have fueled much of the media backlash.

Dennis Prager is squarely among those denouncing the above experts in IQ while freely admitting he knows nothing about IQ. He showed his obliviousness in this June 7, 2011 column:
While dining out last week, I periodically looked up at one of the television monitors to see the score of the first game of the NBA finals. As there was no sound on to interrupt diners’ conversations, the monitor was in caption mode: One could read rather than hear the words spoken. At the conclusion of the game, an announcer was interviewing a member of the victorious Miami Heat players. I saw from the captions the player saying the words “they isn’t.”

Closed captions display the words spoken. They don’t correct for poor grammar.

All I could think was: How can a grown man in America today say “they isn’t” rather than “they aren’t”?

First, how is it possible for anyone to graduate an American elementary school, not to mention a high school or, most incredibly, attend college, and leave with an inability to conjugate the verb “to be”?

Second, has anyone — a parent or another relative, a teacher, a friend, a coach — in that player’s life ever corrected his grammar?

I assume that the answer to the second question is “No.”

And I assume that the answers to both questions are related: The left, which dominates our culture and educational institutions, has too often lowered standards for black Americans. Even worse, it has declared that if you are black, “they isn’t” is not only not to be corrected, but many in academia have declared it an acceptable form of English, i.e., Ebonics, or Black English.

It doesn’t end. I saw “they isn’t” the same week the Democrats and others on the left virtually unanimously condemned all Republican attempts in state legislatures to pass legislation requiring voters to show a photo ID. The Democrats labeled it a means of “disenfranchising” blacks. Many Democrats compared it to Jim Crow laws.

“Jim Crow, move over — the Wisconsin Republicans have taken your place,” charged Wisconsin Democratic State Sen. Bob Jauch, referring to his state’s new voter ID law.

It is hard to imagine a more demeaning statement about black America than labeling demands that all voters show a photo ID anti-black.

Reality reveals, however, that neither leftism nor America's education system is failing blacks (or whites or Asians or Latinos), because, according to the 2013 PISA test results (with life results to match), "Asian Americans outscored all large Asian countries (with the exception of three rich cities); white Americans outperformed most, but not all, traditionally white countries; and Latino Americans did better than all Latin American countries. African Americans almost certainly scored higher than any black majority country would have performed."
People with low IQs of any race are going to have more difficulty with grammar and getting photo identification and other tasks of life, whatever the education and political system.
Fifty two of the leading thinkers on intelligence published this essay in the Wall Street Journal Dec. 13, 1994 in support of 
The Bell Curve:
Intelligence tests are not culturally biased against American blacks or other native-born, English-speaking peoples in the U.S.. Rather, IQ scores predict equally accurately for all such Americans, regardless of race and social class. Individuals who do not understand English well can be given either a nonverbal test or one in their native language...

The bell curves for some groups (Jews and East Asians) are centered somewhat higher than for whites in general. Other groups (blacks and Hispanics) are centered somewhat lower than non-Hispanic whites...

The bell curve for whites is centered roughly around IQ 100; the bell curve for American blacks roughly around 85; and those for different subgroups of Hispanics roughly midway between those for whites and blacks...

IQ is strongly related, probably more so than any other single measurable human trait, to many important educational, occupational, economic, and social outcomes. Its relation to the welfare and performance of individuals is very strong in some arenas in life (education, military training), moderate but robust in others (social competence), and modest but consistent in others (law-abidingness). Whatever IQ tests measure, it is of great practical and social importance.

A high IQ is an advantage in life because virtually all activities require some reasoning and decision-making. Conversely, a low IQ is often a disadvantage, especially in disorganized environments. Of course, a high IQ no more guarantees success than a low IQ guarantees failure in life. There are many exceptions, but the odds for success in our society greatly favor individuals with higher IQs.

The practical advantages of having a higher IQ increase as life settings become more complex (novel, ambiguous, changing, unpredictable, or multifaceted). For example, a high IQ is generally necessary to perform well in highly complex or fluid jobs (the professions, management); it is a considerable advantage in moderately complex jobs (crafts, clerical and police work); but it provides less advantage in settings that require only routine decision making or simple problem solving (unskilled work).

There is no persuasive evidence that the IQ bell curves for different racial-ethnic groups are converging.

Linda Gottfredson wrote:

Adults near the threshold for mild mental retardation (IQ 70) can usually learn simple work tasks (mopping a floor, answering a telephone, etc) if given sufficient hands-on, one-on-one, repetitive instruction and supervision. People of average psychometric intelligence (IQ 100) can learn a wide variety of routine procedures via written materials and demonstration. Individuals near the threshold for mild giftedness (IQ 130) can be self-instructing...

On the whole, g is not correlated with differences in personality, temperament, or physical strength, and it is only moderately correlated with interpersonal... skills...

Finally, g level has highly generalized effects on individuals' wellbeing, from physical health to social status... g...is generally the best single predictor -- better than socioeconomic status -- of both the good and the bad life outcomes that concern policymakers (e.g. success in school and work, delinquency)... Compare, for instance, the risks facing young white adults of very low IQ (below 75) to those of very high IQ (above 125). The former are twice as likely to become divorced within five years (21% versus 9%), but their risk of unemployment is 6-fold (12% versus 2%) and living in poverty is 15-fold (30% versus 2%)...

Cohort studies reveal robust relations between childhood IQ and adult mortality... [E]ach additional IQ point was associated with a 1% reduction in relative risk of death...

IQ was the best predictor of motor vehicle fatalities [three times as high for people with IQs 80-85 as compared to those scoring 100-115].

Mar. 20, 2014, Dennis said: "Very few people are stupid... What renders people to stupid conclusions is agendas."

According to Linda Gottfredson, 40% of urban out-patients don't understand when their next doctor's appointment is scheduled, 70% don't understand how many pills of a prescription to take, and 95% don't understand the informed consent form. Stupidity kills and it is not evenly distributed among the races. 

According to the results of the NALS 1993, most blacks can't write a brief letter explaining an error in a credit card bill, let alone use an eligibility pamphlet to calculate SSI benefits. About half will struggle to locate an intersection on a map.

When I worked in insurance and law offices, many of our black and latino clients didn't know how to use a self-sealing envelope. I had to include instructions in our letters. Many couldn't spell the street they lived on. One latino client got a big settlement, spent it all on cocaine, and promptly got arrested for raping a girl in a park.

Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times Mar. 16, 2014:

So it’s comical, in a way, to see Mr. Ryan trying to explain away some recent remarks in which he attributed persistent poverty to a “culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working.” He was, he says, simply being “inarticulate.” How could anyone suggest that it was a racial dog-whistle? Why, he even cited the work of serious scholars — people like Charles Murray, most famous for arguing that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Oh, wait.
Dennis responded: "Charles Murray talked about IQ in one of his books. He spoke about average IQs among blacks in America and whites in America, but Krugman might as well argue that Charles Murray argued for the genetic inferiority of whites to asians because asians have higher IQs than whites."

"I don't care about IQ. I admire Charles Murray. He's one of the important thinkers of our old time but I do not find that important. IQ does not make you inferior or superior. Is there one person listening to this program of any race who believes that the measure of a person's worth is IQ?

"I've always argued that IQ is largely irrelevant. I am so committed to that that I do not know my IQ and I do not know my children's IQs nor do I give a damn. What difference does it make? Does it make you wiser? No. Does it make you happier? No. Does it make you more decent, kind or moral? No. It's one tiny little tool. That's all. It may be very helpful if you are going to do rocket science or higher mathematics."

Martin Luther King

Dennis Prager often praises Martin Luther King. On Jan. 27, 2011, Dennis's Facebook page said: "Celebrate Martin Luther King day today by reading and sharing the profound 'Letter from a Birmingham Jail.' Print it out and put it on the kitchen table for the kids to read. It's an important national holiday. Put the flag out and talk about the Reverend and read excerpts at dinner tonight."

National Review through the 1970s supported white segregation around the world while Dennis has always called such segregation "evil", including in his first edition of Ultimate Issues.
Will Herberg, who Prager often cites about Judaism, blamed Martin Luther King for the 1965 Los Angeles Riots, writing in the Sept. 7, 1965 National Review:

For years now, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates have been deliberately undermining the foundations of internal order in this country. With their rabble-rousing demagoguery, they have been cracking the ‘cake of custom’ that holds us together. With their doctrine of ‘civil disobedience’ they have been teaching hundreds of thousands of Negroes...that it is perfectly all right to break the law and defy constituted authority if you are a Negro-with-a-grievance... And they have done more than talk. They have on occasion after occasion, in almost every part of the country, called out their mobs on the streets, promoted ‘school strikes’ sit-ins, lie-ins, in explicit violation of the law and in explicit violation of the public authority. They have taught anarchy and chaos by word and deed.

In its August 24, 1957 issue, National Review's editorialized against giving blacks the right to vote because it would threaten civilization in the South: 

The central question that emerges... is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not prevail numerically? The sobering answer is Yes–the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, t