The Palestinian Argument
Chaim Amalek writes for the Palestinians: We are terribly sad that Adolf Hitler, the European, slaughtered millions of jews, but why take it out on us? Why dispossess us of OUR land to compensate the Jews for what Europeans did to them on the soil of Europe? The fact is that the zionist slogan "a land without a people for a people without a land" was never more than half true, if that, as WE were already here. If you wanted to give the Jews a land of their own, why didn't you carve it out of Germany, the land whose people were directly responsible for the holocaust? At least that would have been morally defensible. (And in fact, the Poles were given lots of German land. You could have given some more to the Jews.) Stealing OUR land and expelling our people was not. (And please don't lecture us on what your bible says. Most of you jews don't even believe in the bible anyway and often don't even believe in Alah. And you are on the forefront of anti-bible movements of social degeneracy everywhere. For example, it is you jews who are the sword and shield of homosexual rights movements everywhere, even though your holy books proscribe such behavior under penalty of death.)
How would YOU Americans feel if the United Nations had decided to turn Long Island and Manhattan (where far more jews lived even then than in Palestine), or California, into an independent jewish country to which jews and only jews had an automatic right of settlement, as "punishment" for the failure of Christian America to prevent the holocaust and for not giving jewish refugees sanctuary? Would YOU accept this division of your land? Or would you fight back with every weapon at your disposal for as long as it took?
It took us 80 years to rid our land of the Crusader states, but rid ourselves of them we did. You jews are not strong enough and not tough enough to hold out against 100,000,000 angry Arabs and hundreds of millions more Muslims forever. Like the whites of Rhodesia and (soon enough) of South Africa, you will be driven out.
Luke Gets Mail
Eergi writes: Luke You screwed up! All your previous work which you have allowed to go to shit..... I can't imagine what happened to you. I remember the early days of Lukeford.com when your writing was pure and unadulterated by private qualms or religious doctrine, when you were content to standby and chronicle as you observed. Luke, that was the time of your best work and if only you were disciplined enough it would have become even better! None of the picture censoring and religious crap.....If only you had remained detached from the enterprise!
Louis Scorbick writes: Lukey- As a long-ago contributor and casual fan of Luke Ford.com aka: you, let me wish you a belated good luck and congrats on leaving your position as President/CEO/Office-Boy/TT-Boy at The-Only-Dot-Com-to-Make-Money, the academic and benevolent Lukeford.com. I'm sorry to see unfunny self-hating Amalek has followed you, but pleased to see some of the rest of the characters sticking around.
I'm writing to highly recommend "Constantine's Sword" by James Carroll, an unbelievably accurate and painfully truthful reexamination of the history of anti-Semitism as the necessary foundation of the Christian religion. Carroll is a former Priest who's attempts at self-exploration are transcendent, noble and accurate. His insights as to the manipulation of images of Jews to define Christians is utter brilliance. Much like you, Lukey, he is attempting to make peace with his Christian past by understanding the very basis by which Christians define themselves -- the anti-Jews. He understands that Chrisitanity as a religion could not exist without the demonization of an enemy -- the Jewish Judas. A phenomenal read. Should be mandatory in all Christian religious studies. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the book.
Recently I attended a party with a group of Europeans who, not apparently recognizing my Semitic good looks, proceeded to rant and rave to me how the Jews (not the Israelis mind you, all Jews) are hypocrites for "massacring" Palestinian innocents while asking for sympathy for the deeds of the past. A core tenet of anti-Semitism exposed once again -- lack of sympathy for the Jews followed by Israel bring held to a much higher standard than the rest of the world, in which terrorist acts are somehow expected to be responded to without retaliation. This idea that Palestinians are innocent victims and an oppressed nation is so desperately needed by the rest of the world to assuage their guilt over 2 Millennium of massacres through the misteachings of the distorted Christian religion as presented by the demagogues of the Church that whether it's true or not is irrelevant. Legit points about Palestinian rights are no matter, although there are legitimate ones to be made. What matters is that the Palestinians have to exist. And they have to be persecuted. Or else the rest of the world has to face their guilt. So long as Jews are not "perfect", the rest of the world can point like children and say, "See? It's not just us, mommy! They're bad too, so we're not sorry!" Even if they have to distort facts to get there. No matter. They've done it for 2000 years. Just read Carroll's book.
So long as the Jews in Israel can be seen as "no better than the rest of us" through perceived acts of persecution (legit or not doesn't matter), the rest of the world can breathe a sigh of relief and look themselves in the mirror. That's what Carroll grasps. In spite of his own education, he's been able to rise above through a method of free thinking that Rabbinical Tradition would honor. Read the book, Luke. You'll love it.
The great exemplar of modern Orthodoxy at Yeshiva University was Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903–1993), who combined phenomenal talmudic learning with deep philosophical knowledge. My own guide in this domain, however, was Rabbi Irving “Yitz” Greenberg (currently chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum), who had just arrived at Yeshiva as a Harvard–trained historian. Central to Greenberg’s message was the call for a culturally engaged Orthodoxy:
"Orthodoxy must change its identity from a fundamentalism to a religion, from preserving Judaism to affirming it and its sovereignty in modern culture. . . . There is a need for the renewal of the process of imbuing the contemporary experience with religious import by applying religious values and practices to all areas of secular life. But this can only be done when Orthodoxy works through, in depth, the modern experience so that it speaks to this generation and in it. . . . It must be crystal clear that [Orthodoxy’s] affirmations do not proceed from being a cultural backwater, or because [it] does not yet recognize the problems that have been raised."
Greenberg’s sense of what Orthodoxy might become—and it was a view shared by such others as Emanuel Rackman, Eliezer Berkovits, Michael Wyschogrod, and David Hartman—elicited an enthusiastic response among a broad segment of the Orthodox public during the glory years of modern Orthodoxy in the 1960s and 1970s. After that, however, the ground began to shift rapidly, as traditionalist Orthodox elements started making their presence felt. By the 1990s, the fortunes of modern Orthodoxy were in sharp decline, with the word “modern” actually becoming taboo. (“Centrist” was now the term of choice.) Today modern Orthodoxy is, so to speak, on the respirator. It is no accident that an organization currently working to revive the modern Orthodox enterprise has as its motto “the courage to be modern and Orthodox.” Courage indeed!
In a very real sense, the private agony that Rabbi Weinberg experienced in the last years of his life has become the public agony of today’s modern Orthodoxy. But it is precisely a modern Orthodoxy in crisis that has need of Weinberg as a positive role model. Crucial in this context is not this or that particular of Weinberg’s intellectual stance, but the overall trajectory of his career. To a modern Orthodoxy suffering a collapse of faith in its own legitimacy, Weinberg offers the edifying example of a traditionalist Orthodox Jew who freely chose to embrace modern Orthodoxy. Having begun his career as an apologist for the culture–negating Orthodoxy of Eastern Europe, Rabbi Weinberg became a champion of the culture–embracing Orthodoxy of Germany. With his University of Giessen doctorate in hand, Weinberg defended Hirsch’s “Torah and secular culture” philosophy against any and all in the Orthodox world who sought to delegitimate it. Weinberg’s standing as a world–class talmudist—something fully acknowledged in the ranks of Orthodox traditionalism—guaranteed him a respectful hearing as an advocate of modern Orthodoxy.
In his prime, Weinberg held forth the vision of a modern Orthodoxy that would achieve “a complete synthesis of Torah and life.” Is it still possible to hope that such an Orthodoxy may yet emerge?
A Crash Course in the Real Facts About the Middle East
1. Nationhood and Jerusalem: Israel became a nation around 1300 BCE., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the Modern State of Israel.
3. Since the Jewish conquest around 1270 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 CE lasted no more than 22 years.
5. For over 3000 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Koran.
7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution, and pogroms.
11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.
12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the total of 100 million worldwide refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.
13. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.
14. The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians autonomy under the Palestinian Authority in most of the West Bank land and has supplied them with weapons for a police force.
15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated, and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
16. The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs: Of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
18. The U.N was silent while 58 Jerusalem synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.
19. Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
21. Israel is the only member of the U.N. that is not permitted membership on the Security Council.
22. Israel has never been permitted membership in the International Red Cross.
Time To Load Up The Dodge Dart
Chaim Amalek writes: Fred, if you have but three or four clients, why would moving be a big deal? They either follow you or they don't. (And if they don't, it sounds like so much the better for you.) And selling your home NOW, instead of waiting for it to depreciate even more, might be a blessing for you. But the real question is this - would moving to LA help you hook up with a sexually desireable LIVE human female or not? If yes, you ought to load up the Dodge Dart and make the trek NOW. You must have tons and tons of gelt saved up from working all those boring hours.
But don't count on Luke to help out - he is an awful, humorless host, at least where jewish guests are concerned. He will try to take you davening, he will preach the oral law to you, and the only women you will meet through him are the maiden aunts of the women he dates. (Even so, that sounds better than what you are doing, though not by much.) If you make the move to LA (which I doubt you will), focus on Mexican women, to whom you would be a catch. Leave the young, non-porn white women to younger hard-bodied men who have never soiled themselves with the study of engineering. And get involved with a Church group to meet people. (We know from Luke's many letters on the topic that LA Jews are aloof and unwelcoming to the outsider. Christians, it cannot be denied, are MUCH more welcoming to Jews than are other Jews. I myself have decided to become Christian after considering, among other things, the manner in which the rabbeim et al. have treated Luke Ford.)
And in answer to your question, I have way too damn many books and need to get rid of most of them. Plus I need the sort of lifestyle that makes little use of books. Sinks of life-force, books are for losers, and I am NOT kidding about that. The writings on Lukeford.net have really opened up my eyes on this!
Fred writes: - All my clients are in silicon valley. Moving would > be > tantamount to dumping them, I think.
Chaim replies: I have a few friends who are patent lawyers, and their clients are scattered all over the US (and abroad, I think). So why should your few clients regard your moving a few hundred miles as equivalent to being dumped by you? Sorry, but this sounds pretty lame. You really don't plan on moving.
Fred writes: You might be right. I've never tried a Christian > single's group before.
Chaim replies: DON'T go to ANY "single's" group. They are all for losers, by definition. I meant that Christians, as a community, are more welcoming to outsiders than are jews. It simply is the difference in mind-set between a religion that regards itself as universal (catholic, if you please), and one which regards itself as "chosen", and which raises all manner of barriers to those who might otherwise join them. Christianity is by its nature more convivial as it seeks to spread the Good Word of Christ's message; Judaism is hostile and paranoid, it is the coworker who spends his days behind closed doors, seldom saying "hello" and eating alone. Christian worship is generally conducted entirely in english, and is much more rooted to our culture and way of life than judaism.
Torah-true judaism is essentially a fossil faith, cold and hateful towards most of humanity (Palestinians are human, are they not?) even if it is warm to the few within, and it is utterly incapable of reform. Just consider the absolutely shameful way in which torah - judaism treats agunot - "chained women" who have been dumped by their husbands. The men are perfectly free to remarry; the women can NEVER remarry unless their husband gives permission. Many of the orthodox know that this is evil, yet they refuse to do anything about it theologically, because they assert that nothing that was done by rabbis past can be undone by them.
It all comes down to their cultivated obsession with the so-called "oral" law, i.e., talmud study of the words of human rabbis, which are declared to REALLY be the words of God, whispered into Moses's ear at Mt. Sinai. Jewish orthodoxy thus elevates dead rabbis to the level of deities, which must give offense to God.
Jewish orthodoxy also cultivates hypocrisy to an amazing degree in its liturgy, as few of the jews who spend hours in "prayer" on various occasions really pray to God with their hearts. With such long, repetitious and (for most jews, literally) meaningless prayers, how could it be otherwise? Praying in such temples is like deeply inhaling and swallowing several thousand year old dust.
Yes, you could try "reform" or "conservative" judaism, but as many have noted, these are weirdly unsatisfying places to be, temples more to a materialistic jewish secular culture than to a supreme being, and very inauthentic. Most of the jews in reform temples give off the vibe of wishing they were doing something else, and indeed these places often appear merely to be transit points for jews on their way out entirely. So load up the Dodge Dart, dump the patent crap as fast as you can (do some sort of law that puts you into contact with normal people), and give other religions a try (for clearly Judaism has failed you).
Just don't expect any social help from Luke, because having assimilated the aloofness of real Jews, he will not be interested in helping you personally.
Lynne writes: Apparently that He-man woman-haters group from which I'm blessedly excluded has been discussing the possibility of Fred moving to Los Angeles. Now that they've distilled their thinking into coherent posts, I'm invited to comment.
Fred, do not move to Los Angeles. It's a lousy place for living. That's why I left. Los Angeles is dirty, crowded and full of non-English people who send money home to their country. Housing is expensive and, so I hear, are women. As to women, if you expect Luke to be of help there, look at reality: Luke is thirty-five, unmarried, no long-term relationships. He knows as much about women as I do about the genetics of cucumbers. His pretty face and lean body win him a first date with an unsuspecting woman who, desperate for marriage as she reaches her thirties, will try anyone once. But after she realizes that he prefers Torah study to either tennis or sex, Luke finds himself on the curb, footprint clearly visible on goyishe butt.
And to religion, any religion would reject a self-professed pious pornographer, and Luke only values what he cannot have. Chabad will welcome you, but having meaningless sex with members of their shuls is out of the question. Associating with Luke in public at any shul won't be of benefit -- I suggest shopping at Trader Joe's and approaching women with grocery or wine questions. Or you could do like everyone else and move to Portland, where the women are prettier, the real estate is much cheaper, the Orthodox shuls are friendly and the sky is a clear shade of blue. But remember, books are extremely expensive to move, so start discarding them now, before you make further plans. I hear bonfires work extremely well...
MORE ON LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND ILLITERATE
I had the occasion to visit three more homes, two with books, one without, and here's what I found: In Home A, belonging to an average looking retired couple who had been married for forty or fifty years, books were present, as well as a poster singing the praises of books. In Home B, belonging to a couple with no pictures whatsoever of themselves (infer what you will, but they probably weren't supermodels), the two guest bedrooms contained built-in, wall-to-ceiling bookshelves full of novels and non-fiction dating from the seventies. This upper-middle-class Jewish couple also had Judaic art and good original art, though when I greeted the owner on Friday afternoon with "Good Shabbas," he didn't respond, which I thought was funny for someone who had a collection of menorahs in his entryway. Home C was a shocker. The home was obviously centered around the children. Their projects and artwork were everywhere. The only bookcase in the home contained both childrens' tutorial material but a few law books, leading me to surmise that someone was perhaps a legal secretary. Wedding photographs showed an adorable, petite redheaded cutie.
I have learned recently is that having two or three children usually, but not always, causes a woman to gain considerable weight. My feeling is that it is G-d's survival mechanism, allowing Mom to go without in times of little food, so that her children and her husband can be fed. In my case, I feel secure in knowing that, should I have only a dollar or two for food, I can spend it on Alpo and America On Line, as I could withstand the seige of Leningrad with what I have stored in my thighs alone.
Asking Luke to help Fred meet a "real live female" is like asking a blind man to choose your wallpaper. How do we know Fred even wants a real live female? And, if he does, does he want her for meaningless casual sex? Or for a committed relationship that would allow his parents to die happy?
Being that Silicon Valley, where I infer Fred lives, does suffer from an unusual gender imbalance, I shall assume Fred is having trouble meeting women. My suggestion to Fred is that, with Rumdar's assistance, he import a bride. Filipina women are fabulous. They cook, they clean, they honor their husbands, and all they ask is that they be able to send a little money home. And importing a Filipina is a lot cheaper than moving all those books to Los Angeles....
Dennis Prager On Life
I found this on DennisPrager.com:
The Nature of the Islamic Republic of Iran
The prostitutes' bodies are thrown on Iran's roadsides, or more often in open sewers. It has been a year since the first bodies were discovered-in Mashhad, Iran's holiest city. To date, there have been 21. One suspect recently confessed to 16 of the murders. But the mystery-and the horror-extend far beyond the individual killer or killers. Many hard-line supporters of the regime have publicly cheered the murder spree, which last month claimed two new victims in Tehran, as a moral cleanup campaign. "Who is to be judged?" demanded the conservative newspaper Jomhuri Islami. "Those who look to eradicate the sickness [like the killer] or those who stand at the root of the corruption [like his victims]?"
The main suspect in the Spider case is Saeed Hanaei, a 39-year-old construction worker with a background of mental illness and a criminal record.. Hanaei has no regrets. "Why should I feel remorse?" he says. "After killing them I removed all trace of them. They had no value to me." In another country, such remarks might be dismissed as the musings of a psychopath. But there are justifications for such heedless killing in Iran's Islamic criminal code, which declares some people unworthy of the blood that runs in their veins. Therefore their lives can be taken with impunity. "If the killer can prove that the victim was a 'waste of blood'," says one legal scholar who asked not to be named, "then there will be no charges against the killer."
Newsweek, August 20, 2001
How the Oslo Peace Accords (which I supported) Hurt Israel
We have finally acknowledged the terrible truth of Oslo: We are trapped.Yitzhak Rabin assured us that, if the Palestinians reneged on their commitments, Oslo could be reversed. But he forgot one detail: the price. To uproot the terrorist state in the making will turn us into international pariahs. Oslo has created the worst of all possible scenarios: It has empowered the Palestinians to threaten our safety and embitter our lives but left them weak enough to hide behind international immunity. Oslo tempted us with its promise of a rational Middle East, and we admitted that we live in the Arab world. We lowered our guard, celebrating our ordinariness and stripping ourselves of sustaining myths of heroism and self-sacrifice. The terror of this time is that we find ourselves stranded in one of the world's most irrational and intolerant regions--without the Zionist self-sufficiency that made us confident we could endure the Arab world's enmity, and without the faith in a new Middle East that made us confident we could overcome it.
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic, August 6, 2001
Lynne writes: Correct me if I'm wrong, Reb Levi, but I thought we Jews had been international pariahs for hundreds of years already... Rational Arabs? Obviously I am needed in the Middle East, where I can put my reputation for being a trigger-happy stalker of oxymorons to good use.
Unabomber's Brother "Doesn't Defend Himself"
There is a gentleness to Mr. Kaczynski. He is a vegetarian and a Buddhist with a soft, flat Midwestern voice. He'll open the door for you before getting in the driver's side of his plain Chevy Prizm. When troubled youths asked, "How can you turn in your brother?" he didn't defend himself, he said, but told them, "Sometimes you have to be in a situation before you can figure out what you would do." New York Times, August 5, 2001
The Prager Perspective: If even David Kaczynski, one of the true moral heroes in America, does not know how to defend the most obviously right thing a human being can do - stop a brother from slaughtering and maiming innocent people - we are in worse shape than I thought. See my article on David Kaczynski from The Prager Perspective, June 1, 1996.
Atheist Converts to Judaism!
I try hard to keep any latent theological concerns out of my work. I started in a fundamentalist home. I went to a very conservative church school. But I went to a liberal theological school, at Harvard. And then I converted to Judaism. I'm not a theist. I don't have any faith issues at stake. Archaeologist William G. Dever, in an interview published in the New York Times, August 4, 2001
The Prager Perspective: How on God's earth does a proclaimed atheist convert to a monotheistic religion? I would love to know the rabbi who "converted" Professor Dever. Is the rabbi an atheist? Does the rabbi think a a person becoming a Jew ought to at least be able to say the shma (the Jewish credo, "Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord is God, The Lord alone")? And why would someone want to join the religion that introduced the world to God, if he doesn't believe in God?
Luke says: Reform and Conservative rabbis don't have a problem converting atheists. Yet Prager says that it is no more preferable to him that a Jew channels his religiosity through Orthodoxy or Conservative or Reform Judaism.
Monica Lewinsky was an Israeli agent -- Syrian defense ministry
The Syrian defense minister, too, announced that the affair was a Zionist plot. "Monica Lewinsky is a young Jewish girl that Mossad hired and pushed into working as an intern in the White House." Marjorie Garber, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at Harvard University and the director of Harvard's Center for Literary and Culture Studies (cited in the New York Times, August 5, 2001).
Shimon Peres, dove, puts the nations' condemnations of Israel into as clear a perspective as one can:
"We have a problem the Irish, English, Spaniards and Russians don't have - we have suicide bombers," said Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, among the most dovish members of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government. "What can you do about a suicide bomber? Threaten to kill him? Will it scare him? Once he starts out on his journey, there is nothing we can do to stop him," he said.
Washington Times, August 2, 2001
Those Progressive Muslims
Mr Hollywood Jew forwards me this:
The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was apparently a man much obsessed with unique sexual legislation especially the more loony kind. He dreamed up quite a number of oddball laws with which he could further subjugate his fellow Iranians. According to one of the great Ayatollah's decrees, lovemaking during times of fasting was illegal in Iran. His edict read: "Coitus invalidates the fast, even if the penis has penetrated the vagina only as far as the circumcision scar, and even if ejaculation does not occur. If the penis does not penetrate up to the circumcision scar, and no ejaculation takes place, the fast is valid. If a man cannot determine with certainty to what length his penis has penetrated the vagina, even if he has gone past the circumcision scar, the fast is nonetheless valid. Lawmakers in Jordan have legislated what they consider to be the most desirable amount of sexual activity between married couples. A husband, they order, is to make love "with the wife at least once every four months."
In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the police can arrest a person for "committing an action that would be harmful to the general public." This might be the official charge for something as harmless as kissing a woman on her cheek in a public place. The penalty is ten days in jail for both the kisser and the kissee. The action could even be adultery! And adultery in Abu Dhabi is punishable by death. It's all according to who makes the arrest and what the arresting officer happens to write down at the time. Conviction of adultery in an Islamic court depends entirely on the testimony of four male witnesses or eight female witnesses. Or an accused woman can condemn herself. All she must do is stand and admit three times that she actually committed the criminal act!
Saudi Arabia treats adulterers with firmness. Both of the guilty parties are quickly picked up by the authorities. They are securely tied in a cloth sack and stoned to death. Or the penalty for adultery might be somewhat more humane, according to the way the Saudis look at things. The guilty woman may be shot in front of her illicit lover, who is then publicly beheaded. "Sperm is always impure," decreed the Ayatollah Khomeini, "whether it comes from coitus or from involuntary emissions while asleep." Therefore, Iranians are forced by law to go through ablution-or the ritualistic washing away of impurities as in a religious rite-after being involved in certain kinds of sexual activities. (Ablution isn't necessary, however, if the sperm stays inside the woman's vagina after lovemaking is completed.)
According to Iranian law, a man is required to perform his ablutions if he ejaculates while having sexual relations with an animal. Citizens of most Middle Eastern countries are forbidden to eat lamb under certain circumstances covered by Islamic law. The law reads, "After having sexual relations with a lamb, it is a mortal sin to eat its flesh."
In Oman, if a man has sex with a camel, a cow, or a ewe, the law says that the animal's milk becomes impure and is no longer suitable for human consumption. Oman law requires that the animal must immediately be killed and then burned! The person who sodomized the beast is required to pay its owner the dead animal's full market value. The law in Doha, Qatar, requires that if a naked Muslim woman is surprised by a man while bathing or dressing, she must first cover her face, not her body. In Lebanon, only men are legally allowed to have sex with animals. But the gender of the animal is important-it must always be female.
A man's having sexual relations with a male animal is considered a mortal sin and brings a death penalty for those who get caught. Also according to Lebanese law, a woman must be executed for fornicating with any animal-wild or domesticated. And to end this treatise on animals and sex, the law in Iran actually suggests that sex play by their male population "with wild animals is not recommended, especially with a lioness." What is recommended instead is coitus with domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, donkeys, lambs and, yes, of all things-pigeons.
Sodomy is also commonplace in parts of the Middle East. Again, special legislation can be found in Iran to cover this form of sexual activity. The law declares that if a man's penis fully penetrates another man's anus, ablution is also a necessity, but this time for both parties to the sex act. Kuwait covers all the bases when it comes to sexual feelings. It's illegal there for a married man to glance at another woman "in a sensual manner." Nor can any male, married or single, lustfully look at a statue of a female or at a female animal. In Syria, a man is forbidden to "look at the body of a woman who is not his wife under any circumstances. It is also forbidden for a woman to look at the body of a man who is not her husband. It is forbidden to look at the genitals of others, even in the mirror or in a pool's reflection."
According to Iranian law, Islamic religious laws "must be obeyed and carried out by all-without exception and without argument. There is no other right, no other duty but obedience." This Middle Eastern country's Retribution Bill details the punishments for sex-related crimes such as fornication, homosexual activity, prostitution, and being a pimp. Each of these is punishable by death. Public morality is strictly enforced. Any man or woman even accused of adultery is shot.
Prostitution is a serious criminal offense in Yemen. Transgressors are simply rounded up and publicly beheaded. No type of contraceptive may be brought into Saudi Arabia under any circumstances. The passage of legislation banning contraceptives quickly followed a World Moslem League ruling that "birth control was invented by the enemies of Islam." Anyone caught smuggling condoms, other contraceptive devices, or birth-control pills into the country is punished with a term of six months in prison. Any and all forms of preventing conception are strictly prohibited by law throughout Qatar: "The kingdom needs more and more males for work, and more and more females to bear and raise babies."
Even physicians are thoroughly covered by Middle Eastern law when it comes to checking a woman's pubic area. Lawmakers in Bahrain have decreed that a male doctor can legally examine a woman's genitals. But any examination must be done indirectly. Says the law, "If a doctor must touch a woman's genitalia for medical reasons, he must not look directly at her genitals. He may do this only by seeing their reflection in a mirror." Egypt has an unusual piece of legislation that prohibits a woman from belly dancing unless her navel is covered with gauze. Technically, according to this law, a female in Egypt may dance in public while wearing absolutely nothing more than a piece of gauze on her belly button.
Colonel Muammar el Qaddafi's Libya has a scale of prices to be paid for prospective wives by eligible single men. They must be willing to pay the equivalent of as much as $35,000, a handful of gold coins, one healthy camel, and a number of sheep. All of these things go to the bride-to-be's father. Many Libyan males who can't afford these prices travel to Egypt and Tunisia, where a wife can be had for around $200. The law in Doha, Qatar, requires that if a naked Muslim woman is surprised by a man while bathing or dressing, she must first cover her face, not her body. In King Ibn Saud's Saudi Arabia, rapists are held in jail until Friday of each week (Friday in Saudi Arabia is the Sabbath). They are then taken from the jail and dragged to the town square. Each rapist is unceremoniously beheaded right after the midday prayers are concluded.
No unmarried woman in Qatar is allowed to give birth. Such a woman is banned from using any hospital in the region. Nor can she receive any kind of medical assistance. A pregnant female who happens to be single must either flee the country or do the best she can by going it alone. A rigorous code of Muslim sexual behavior was passed down by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. His followers in Iran and throughout the Middle East uphold these as holy laws to be applied sternly. They are to be obeyed and are not subject to change.
Here are a number of Khomeini's most unusual sex-related laws. What does a person who isn't able to hide his or her genitals with "anything in particular when undressed" do? The hand is a suitable covering, according to the law. Eating the meat of donkeys, horses, or mules is against the law if the animal when alive was sodomized by a Muslim man. If this transpired, the animal must immediately "be taken outside the city and sold." A man who perspires when he ejaculates doesn't have to worry according to Muslim law. His sweat isn't impure, but he's not allowed to pray so long as his clothing or body are still sweaty.
What must a Muslim man do who makes love to his wife when he should be abstaining? The fellow is required to avoid praying so long as he feels or looks as if he is still sweating from the illicit activity. The law clearly states that a Muslim man can't marry a woman who was breast-fed as a baby by his grandmother or his mother. Muslims are banned from looking at the genitals of a corpse. The person undertaking the cleansing ritual commits a serious violation of the law if he or she sneaks a peek. The sex organs of a dead person must always be covered with a brick or a piece of wood during the ritual.
A Muslim man who makes love to his aunt isn't allowed to marry her daughters, his first cousins. But a man who marries his first cousin and then commits adultery with her mother can't get an annulment. A Muslim man who gets married and then makes love to his wife is somewhat restrained insofar as his future sex life. He is strictly prohibited from making love to his wife's daughter or granddaughter, even if they are hers by a previous marriage. Muslim males are also banned from marrying their own mother, sister, stepmother, or mother-in-law. Nor may they make love to their wife's paternal or maternal grandmothers or her great-grandmothers.
When a Muslim woman begins to menstruate while having sex, the man must immediately withdraw. If he can't and ejaculates instead, the fellow must, per the law, donate money to the poor. If he can¹t afford this, then something, however little, must be given to a beggar on the streets. Should this not be possible, the man then must, as a last resort, beg for God's forgiveness.
Marriage contracts commonly guarantee a wife's virginity in the Middle East. If the woman turns out not to be a virgin as promised, the husband may have their marriage annulled. A Muslim husband is in serious trouble if he's incapable of making love to his wife. Under these circumstances, she's allowed by law to have the marriage annulled, and the husband is required to pay her damages (one-half of the dowry as spelled out in the marriage contract).
A married Muslim woman who is caught committing adultery must be sternly repudiated by her husband. After the husband finally divorces the unfaithful woman, however, he must pay her the full amount of her dowry. No Muslim wife may refuse or even ignore her husband's sexual advances. Any woman who does is to be judged guilty and can't get food, clothing, and a place to live from him. Nor can such a woman ask her husband to have sex with her in the future. However, should they divorce, he must pay her damages that constitute part or all of her dowry.
chrisenglish1: You better watch it my boy. First it was a bunch of smut mongers out to lynch you , now the Ayatollahs are going to call for a Luke Ford Fattwa!
Luke's Mom Defends Luke's Dad From Luke
My mom writes: Hi Luke: To add to the record--I have read what you said comparing your switch from porn and your dad's [Desmond Ford at www.goodnewsunlimited.org] being ousted as a licensed minister of the SDA church as your trekking opposite paths. It could give the idea that there was a moral question about your dad when he left (if it was the opposite of what you did). Also the impression you gave about him when you said he was "thrown out of his community" and that he "sacrificed his family." It makes good journalistic reading, Luke, but it's a bit of overkill. Your dad was very willing to work with the church at the time he was ousted; they made conditions that were impossible for anyone with principles to keep. Your dad did not lose his membership (get thrown out of his community); he lost his ministerial license on theological grounds only. He surrendered his actual membership himself twenty years later last August when the family moved to Australia. The church minister told me we could leave our membership where it was in the U.S. even though we were moving. Dad felt it wasn't fair since we had moved permanently overseas.
For the previous 20 years prior to being defrocked, your dad was the golden haired boy of the Australasian division, and no criticism of him came from either of the major colleges he worked for. His ousting from the church was highly political through the thorough work of certain right wing individuals. Your father's scholarly peers generally agreed with him. The church had differences with your father theologically but stated at the time in 1980 that he had always behaved as a Christian gentleman. There has never been a trace of moral stigma over your father for good reason; he has the highest principles.
Not only that, but he has always treated you with the greatest kindness. You lived with a man who was not torn by mood swings, was not petty, crabby or irritable ever. What people saw in public, he was in private. You know I had a father who was verbally violent. You were never exposed to a man like that. And don't seem to appreciate what you did have. Your father was and is very tolerant of your beliefs. If your readers met or lived in close contact with your dad, they would be very surprised at what you imply. Anyone who lives with a man in a busy position makes certain sacrifices (true whether in religious circles or secular), but there is no way we were sacrificed.
Lynne writes: But there was a moral question! Basically, it was does one stick to his priniciples or cave in to peers? Des stuck and got the boot, because he believed he was theologically and morally correct (from what you've shared, and from my reading on SDA, I agree.) You knew you were morally incorrect, got the boot, made changes and, so far, are still excluded, which drives you nuts, because you are drawn to what you can't have, as if receiving it would be validation. Trust Hashem -- you get what HE wants for you, nothing less, nothing more. For a while you did seek "wiggle room" and tried to justify your work on various grounds, none of which were appropriate, and in retrospect will make interesting fodder for an epilogue.
Luke's dad was ostracized and thrown out of the community. He was no longer respected. He was no longer the SDA "golden haired boy." He was sent to America, away from where he was entrenched, and was told he could leave his membership in another country after he returned home. That's ostracism, rejection, exclusion, whatever you want to call it. He was not allowed to be an SDA and return home in his old age. Cruel....
Fred and his Parents
Fred writes: Well, getting thrown out all the time was when I was in high school, about 25 years ago. I think Dad has gotten over it by now.
Interestingly enough, when I moved out to California, my parents were fairly intent on seeing me marry a nice Jewish girl. For a while, I was dating a Chinese girl. It became fairly serious, so I thought I had should let my parents know. I sent them a letter that said "Dear Mom & Dad--I'm dating someone. Thought you would like to know. Love, Fred"
The first letter they sent back was "Dear Fred--Is she Jewish?" I came fairly close to writing back, "Is she Jewish? She isn't even white!" In the interest of preventing a coronary, I decided not to send that letter. Instead, I wrote back and said, "Ya know, I never asked her." They replied, "Well, if she converts, it's OK with us." I dropped the subject after that.
Some time later, my sister told me, "I think Mom and Dad have reached the point where they'll be happy if you come home with something female, human and alive. And they may be willing to waive one of those requirements."
So I think that they have begun to moderate their expectations, thereby minimizing any possible dissapointments in their errant son. Just out of curiosity, I assume your writing on pornography and your abandoning Christianity have been something of a dissapointment to your father. Which do you suppose was the biggest dissapointment? What sort of conversations have you had with him over these subjects?
Luke says: The writing on pornography was by far the bigger disappointment. I've always had fairly open communication with my parents and family.
Lynne Reaches Out To God
Lynne writes: To submerge one's self in Orthodox custom, where one's desire to hold one day holy is respected by all in the community! So I reach out to Hashem...come close to me here and now where I am...trying to care for my home in the few hours I have in it...in peace and quiet...not attending to anyone else's needs. I am putting my miniskirts of two years previous in a box...I am no longer a size four and I am closer to 50 than forty...and I am not wearing these things again. Time to sell them. Time to pay G-d respect for bringing me to this age with the maturity to be valuable to him by being valuable to my loved ones.
I cannot join the community in flesh today, but in spirit -- please, Hashem? I pour myself a glass of Mogen David and reach out to Luke, who understands EXACTLY what I mean. Should Luke stop thinking of himself for a moment, he would share my distress and "pitch in" in some way so that I, too, would be free to enjoy MY Shabbat. Not picking up my clothes, not doing my housework, not lecturing my mother on her failures as a parent and a Jew, but by realizing that, as my spiritual leader, his nurturing is irreplacable.
I pray..."G-d. you do understand, don't you? That I need to have my house in order, too? To better honor You? That as I go through my clothes and say, "Too short, too clingy, too bare," I am honoring You? That reaching out to Luke who understands...is a way of refueling?" Silence.
I know that I have chosen to let the outside world intrude, that it has intruded, and I expected no less. "You are only safe inside the community," I hear a very faint Voice saying... "I reach out to Luke." "Luke will draw you in..." Tears streaming... "Focus (your thoughts) on Luke...Luke will draw you in... Go and finish your work. Sometimes only one can pray..." Luke, be grateful for the way things have evolved that you CAN be that one...and I'll go back to work...
From Friday's LA Times:
Although army service here is compulsory for both men and women, for decades women were restricted to noncombat units, where they mostly handled clerical tasks. Not anymore.
Late last year, under the direction of the army's chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Shaul Mofaz, the military began opening combat and high-tech units to women. Mofaz disbanded the Women's Corps that all women served in, a move meant to symbolize their full integration into the army.
Mofaz's campaign has been hailed by Israeli feminists but has run into a wall of opposition from rabbis of the so-called national religious movement, who say women in combat units may make it impossible for observant Jewish men to serve in the army they revere. The close proximity of men and women in the units violates Jewish religious laws on modesty, the rabbis say.
Luke says: I generally believe in separate roles for men and women and I think separate roles for the armed forces are particularly important, not just in Israel but in any country that wants an efficient military.
My primary arguments are not based on halacha (Jewish Law) but on sociology. It is inefficient and demoralizing for men to compete with women and to worry about specially protecting them in combat. Integrating the US Armed Forces has reduced morale and efficiency here.
Work that requires men and women to work closely together in private quarters will inevitably lead to problems. It is a lousy idea, in my opinion, to have a man and a woman working in the same patrol car for eight hours a day.
Allowing women to count in a minyan (prayer quorum) as Reform and Conservative Judaism do, leads men to drop out. Men will not volunteer to do things unless special roles are held just for them. More than half the students now at Reform and Conservative seminaries are women. And far more than half of those who attend Reform and Conservative synagogues are women. Often old women.
I find it nearly impossible to seriously pray when women are around. I find it much easier to think about sex than about an invisible God.
Now, I've found that women often respond, 'Well, that's your problem. We women don't like to be excluded.' But men's problems are women's problems too. If men drop out of religion, that's bad for women and society. We can't only ask, 'What is good for individuals or for women?' We also have to worry about what is good for society.
It is good for society for men to be actively involved in their religion, working in all-male environments and serving in all-male police and defence units. It is also important for men to be married to a woman and saddled with the responsibility of raising kids.
Lynne writes: When men, from an early age, are raised to believe that women are inferior, it is indeed demoralizing for them to have to compete with women, because, in reality, women are NOT inferior. To be bested by one's inferior is seriously demoralizing, but if we would accord women egalitarian respect, it would be easier for both men and women. Men could accept women for their strengths, and women would have more self-respect, hence alleviating the need to become strident, pushy, and competitive in a masculine manner.
Men and women who respect one another's differing but equally important skills have no problems working together. Doctors in surgery depend on a crew of nurses; even men and women on police patrol learn that using the woman's superior negotiating skills becomes an asset in resolving citizen disputes.
Personally I would love to be in the Israeli Army in a combat position. I'd like to be a sniper. I have infinite patience, and I like guns. I certainly don't need any man to protect me -- and I find that the best way to keep men from reacting traditionally to me ("Sweet little lady") is to have armpit hair (an obvious signal that I'm not in the market for a "dating relationship.") Men who will not volunteer to do things unless they get special attention are not men, but babies. More than half the world is female, and there are now more females in law school and in universities in general than there are males. There are more women in Christian churches than men as well -- because women perceive the need to have community even when they are unmarried, and to set an example for their children even when Daddy is too tired to attend church (or no longer part of the household...) Women live longer and are healthier than men in their old age. Old men without wives become feeble and drift away from society.
As to your ability to pray when women are around, Luke, I shall respond, "That IS YOUR problem." I have no difficulty praying with men around, but that is because I am not a thirty-five year old man desperately searching for the "one perfect soulmate" who will relieve my loneliness and keep a Jewish home for me. Should you be marooned in a lifeboat on the high seas in mixed company, I guarantee you would have no trouble reaching out to G-d, invisible or not.
Women are not responsible for men's inability to resolve their problems. We are not collectively men's mothers, and we are not to be disrespected or belittled at the expense of our self-esteem so that men can feel more competent in a world which no longer values them as individuals. Luke, in your personal life, you turned to Mommy to make things right for years on end, and you try to extrapolate that into the world at large. If men drop out of religion, it is because the schism between religion and their secular lives has grown too great, not because women need to feel included. It is good for society to have all its members contributing to their fullest extent regardless of gender. It is bad for society to make any professional environment the sole province of one gender if that profession serves a populace composed of both. You'd be surprised how well men and women get along, even in a closed environment such as a floating cannery, when the rules are explained and the mission is in focus.
Your last sentence, my dear, is telling, typo and all: "It is also important for men to be married to a woman and sadled with the responsibility of raising kids." You treat marriage as an afterthought, and child-rearing as an imposition, yet you cannot pray in mixed company because you can't keep your mind off sex? Do you really think of women only as sexual objects? Are you that afraid of us as people that you cannot see our value as anything but masturbatory fantasies? I don't look at men that way, and NEVER would I "sadle" any man with the responsibility of children. It is important for men to love and respect women. It is good for them to be married to a woman who loves and respects them in return. It is a blessing for both men and women to be given the opportunity to raise children, preferably as a team. Two, together, can accomplish so much more than one, in the squad car or the home.
Judaism Is A Tribal Religion
Khunrum writes: Levi... Aren't you tired of being beaten up by the orthodox ? Why not add some variety to your life. Take your Talmud scrolls and walk into an exclusive country club. Sit down and begin studying. It won't take long for a burly security guard to toss your ass into the street. I think you would find it refreshing to have an entirely new group of people reject you.
Fred writes: Can you spell "pariah" boys and girls?
It would be interesting to know how they recognized you. I think you should run out and get a Groucho Marx glass-nose-and-mustache, die your hair grey or blond, and try to learn to talk in a different accent. They'll never spot you.
Whoever is writing essays and articles for moralleader.com for subjects beginning with the letter p (pariah), o (outcast) and e (excommunicant) should begin writing their essays. (I think you gave me y-z, or some such thing, so I'm excused.)
I was a discipline problem in religious school, and I kept getting thrown out. (Although the nature of my being a discipline problem was a bit different from Luke's problem. My problem was exacerbated somewhat by the fact that my father was the president of the shul. This created certain problems.)
Chaim Amalek writes: Luke, what you really lack is Jewish blood. If you had some jewish mitochondrial DNA, these racists would have no choice but to accept you. They fear you. You are the Ger, the forbidden "outsider" who might spark all manner of lusts in the bosoms of their wives and especially their daughters. And THAT is why they seek to keep you out. They would much rather continue their morbidly dysgenic policy of inbreeding than welcome a new committed jew from Christendom.
God HATES these jews, and do you know what the proof of His hatred for them is? That he permitted so many of them to be slaughtered by his taller, blonder children the Germans. It is a historical fact that while all manner of jews were killed in the war, the kill rate was highest among the most rabbi-centric of the Juden. The more assimilated the Jew, the better the odds of his surviving the war. Yup, God HATES the sorts of Jews who spend their time keeping out sincere converts like Luke Ford, yet who remain silent at every manner of Jewish depravity under the sun.
On a more personal note, I have to admit that the more I see you grovel before these rabbis, the less respect I have for you as a man. Why don't you just for once try to stand your ground like a man and make them call the police or whine to their lawyers or the ADL to get rid of you for them? You will feel so much the better for it, and become a hero to many a moist jewish girl looking for a REAL man to be father to her children. Luke, your Christian ancestors were real men - time you showed these jews what a real man is capable of!
Why Did Gary Condit Go On TV?
Chaim Amalek writes: You know why he did it - I mean agreed to appear on television? the chicks. Chicks dig congressmen with the kahones to do this. Does not matter that he is under suspicion of murder - chicks dig men who mistreat women (unless they own lots of "books").
Where's The LA Times?
I remember when I first took a journalism class in high school - it was the fall of 1981. And the Los Angeles Times was then regarded as a great paper. It lost its bite in the late 1980s when Shelbee Coffee took over as editor, succeeded by the overmatched Michael Parks.
The LA Times has always been soft on the entertainment industry. Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, on a tour to promote his 1983 book Wired: The Fast Times and Short Life of John Belushi, excoriated the Times for not covering Hollywood seriously. Not much has changed since then. When was the last time the Times broke a significant story about the entertainment industry? What a yawn.
John Powers writes a column on the media for the LA Weekly:
The only sure winner from the [Peter] Bart affair is Los Angeles, and I can only imagine the forehead-clutching mortification over at the L.A. Times, which has been scooped (again) on a hot industry story, this time by an ex–Times reporter at a monthly publication with nowhere near its resources. Saturday’s front-page coverage on Bart’s suspension was written by Wallace’s successor, Rachel Abramowitz (“And what have you been working on, dear?” you can almost hear her editors hissing) and media critic David Shaw, who earlier this year wrote a portentously obvious four-part series on industry journalism that’s fondly remembered for the laughter it inspired. That series did trot out some of the charges made against Bart, but unlike Amy Wallace, the Pulitzer Prize winner didn’t really investigate them. In fact, he seemed less concerned to dig up anything new than to assure readers that his new bosses at the Times were more committed to serious industry coverage than were his old ones (though I don’t remember him criticizing those earlier guys’ slackness back when they were paying his check). Maybe the paper is trying harder, but given the Times’ longtime fealty to the entertainment business, you have to wonder if its editors would have printed Wallace’s piece if she’d handed it to them. I’m not convinced that they really want serious industry coverage.
Then again, who does? I sometimes like to picture the look on the studio bosses’ faces if they suddenly heard that one of the trades had hired as its editor Seymour Hersh.
Not that this could ever happen. At the moment, we’re in the bizarre situation that both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter will probably be looking for new editors at the same time. One assumes that Variety will get the better one simply because, well, the Reporter’s the Reporter — its niche is to be less good than Variety. The one sure thing is that neither paper will hire anyone whose editorial agenda might threaten its profits by threatening the industry. Because of the recent scandals, they’ll naturally be looking for someone with a good reputation — image counts for a lot here — but they’ll also want this paragon to be a courtier, a journalistic softy with a taste for the good life. David Shaw, come on down!
Lynne L-patin: The LA Times covers Hollywood like Adult Video News covers adult entertainment...lots of ass kissing and no desire to offend ANYONE.
San Francisco Man Becomes First American To Grasp Significance Of Irony
SAN FRANCISCO - Herdofsheep spoke to Jay Fullmer, 38, who became the first American to get to grips with the concept of irony yesterday.
"It was weird," Fullmer said, "I was in London and, like, talking to this guy and it was raining and shit and he said, like, great weather, or something like that."
Said Fullmer: "And I thought - wait a minute, it's like, no way is it great weather." Fullmer soon realised that the other man's 'mistake' was deliberate. "This guy was pretty cool about it," Fullmer said.
Fullmer, who is 39 next month and married with two children, aged 8 and 3, planned to use irony himself in future. "I'm like saying it all the time." he said. "Weekend last I was like grilling steaks and I like burned them to shit and I said 'great weather'."
Is Luke An Adult?
I was playing with my friend's three-year old girl Lilly Wednesday evening, swinging her through the air and going "wheee."
"Are you an adult?" Lilly asked me.
"Then why do you say 'wheee' like a baby?"
Luke Gets Mail
Lynne writes: During the last couple weeks I have had the occasion to visit five homes that are definitely well above the "hovel" category. They're the kind of houses Luke claims he wants -- big, expensive, immaculate. As I go through these homes, I notice photographs of the owners everywhere. The women, too, are what Luke claims he wants -- all blonde, with straight, glossy hair (except for a former beauty pageant contestant with naturally light brown hair, who owned the smallest home). And there are few to no books anywhere outside the childrens' rooms. Three of the homes had some adult books; two (those of the thinnest, prettiest blondes) had none.
Of the homes with books, two had a small selection of popular current novels. Only one (again, the smallest), had a few actual books relating to the owner's interests (astrology, diet, health). The homes with popular novels belonged to college graduates, one of whom had his professional books in his office, though his wife's magazines centered around child rearing (I wonder what they talk about when he gets home?) The personal offices in the other homes had nary a book nor a bookshelf. The childrens' book collections ranged from floor to ceiling bookshelves stuffed full of picture books to a few books stacked neatly on the floor, to a bookshelf strewn with books every which way. I wonder what children who never see their parents reading think of books? Perhaps books, like eating vegetables, are another punishment children must endure because they are children? When we grow up, we won't HAVE to read anymore!
My insight is this: if a man wants success, a huge home and a thin blonde trophy wife with good bones, he must at all costs avoid books. In addition, he must play sports and be an outdoorsy, athletic kind of guy. Football, golf and motorcycles, not Torah, are the way to go, Luke, if you want to attract a shiksa supermodel. Sitting around reading and moralizing are only gonna attract some woman with her own library card, half a dozen bookcases and boxes of unhoused volumes piled around the house where the artifical greenery should be...
You are thinking about your effect on others and that's good. Yes, you have the potential to corrupt the Yeshiva Girls, but they probably have the strength to resist you. But by glamorizing the sordid through paying attention to it, you encouraged the already somewhat corrupt to become more so, and they DON'T have the strength to resist. When you posted anything, regardless of who or how it would hurt, and then make the excuse that you weren't responsible because you were just the editor, you did damage. And Hashem doesn't excuse damage because it is done to the weak -- in fact, it is just the opposite.
Luke Ford - Your Moral Leader Dot Con
Wednesday I bought the domain names MoralLeader.com and YourMoralLeader.com. That should tell you about the future direction of this web site and of my life.
Khunrum writes: As much as I like you buddy you could never be my moral leader. Morals on this end are in short supply. I try to keep them to a minimum. They are not to be avoided altogether like say guilt. But I am really not searching for a guru. I wonder if you could be a moral leader to the rest of the boys?
Putative Marc writes: as a person, i sense i'd get along with rum better than luke. but i'd rather luke be my moral leader.
Khunrum writes: Master W., thanks for the vote of no confidence. Being someone's moral leader is a huge responsibility. I want no part of it. You put your trust in the right man:)
Fred writes: Luke, that depends upon what your goal is. What is your goal? Is this for business purposes or for a crusade? (I wonder what kind of banner advertisements you would get for someone holding themself out as a moral leader.)
So what are your plans for moralleader.com? Articles and essays? Guest columns? Ya know what--maybe you want to be like a conservative radio talk show host--kinda like Dr. Laura with an Australian accent. But to do that, you need some immoral foils to send you stuff so you can rant just like Dr. Laura. We could send you phony letters asking whether we should get abortions, and you can rant and rail at us. Maybe that would be a good plan.
JRob writes: The most important quality a "moral leader" has is absolute certainty. He may be (and usually is) factually wrong, but he can look you serenely in the eye and completely ignore his error, comfortable in his immutable certainty. Hence, moral leaders don't go to therapists and say, "I'm so conflicted, I'm so conflicted! Help me."
Lynne writes: Lynne writes: Gentlemen, you miss the point. Luke didn't say he WAS your moral leader. He said he WANTED TO BE your moral leader. He wants you to accompany him on the process as he becomes a more moral person. Meanwhile, he will present you with moral issues and conundrums so that you, too, may learn how to make moral decisions.
I am definitely not a "He," and I may be occasionally factually wrong, and I would never look anyone serenely in the eye and ignore a factual error. That's lying, and lying to prove a point is immoral. But I am very certain that I make the best possible moral decisions when I make them. I've never been to a therapist because I am conflicted; only because I do not understand why I am so depressed when things go well for me, or because I do not understand why people treat me so badly. Perhaps these issues are not for therapeutic resolution -- maybe they are properly meant to be brought to G-d.
When Luke and I met, despite our mutual involvement in the adult entertainment industry, Luke was spiritual but immoral, and I was moral but not spiritual. We continue to learn from one another and respect our shared struggle to become better people. Luke fears that he could do to me what all those years of pornography could not: taint my soul (a funny perspective for a person who wants to be a "moral leader"). (Not to mention that a true moral leader is modest and humble, and would never proclaim themselves anything, let alone a moral leader... Silly man...where DO you get your moral perspective? And be honest!)
Books Are For Losers
Lynne L-patin: I'm not joking when I say you have no morals, you know. Narcissists usually don't.
Chaim Amalek writes: FUCKFUCKFUCK - NOW they tell me. (Fred, NOW do you understand the error of your ways? I'll bet you have lots and lots of books in your Silicon Valley abode.) Luke, which would you rather in your home at the end of the day - a pile of books you either have already read or never will read, or a hot blonde with great bones to make love to? Books really are for losers, and this should not be read as sarcasm.
Rabbi Rabinowitz Confronts Luke Ford
So Luke was an hour into therapy this morning with his psychiatrist Rabbi Rabinowitz when they confronted Luke's major issues. That's why Luke always schedules a double session. It usually takes him an hour or so to truly get to the bottom of what's bothering him.
Rabbi: "So if you had a choice between media attention and belonging to your former shul, which would you prefer?"
Luke: "Well, I don't really have that choice. Rabbi Gadol at Beth Hollywood Gedolim just booted me out, no questions, no request for explanations, no concern about my feelings. Boom. I was out. And my friends at the shul abandoned me. They monitor my site but they don't call, they don't write. They don't care about me. They're just fascinated by the car wreck."
Rabbi: "I know that. But if you had that choice?"
Luke: "Yeah, let's say I had a choice between profiles in three national publications or Beth Hollywood and all my friends there? I'm embarrassed to admit that I'd have to think about that."
Rabbi: "I know you love the attention."
Luke: "Yeah, it feeds me. It catapaults me out of the grind of daily existence into the stratosphere where I momentarily feel important. For a little while, I feel like somebody.
"Just a moment, I have to go to the bathroom."
Five minutes later Luke returns.
Luke: "I know what I should answer to your question. That community is more important than fame. The higher part of me answers community. The wiser older smarter deeper finer kinder more mature part of me says community. My immediate gut instinct is fame. Yeah, more attention for me. Yummmm, hmmm, ummmm. More attention for me. Yeah!"
The egomaniac smiles, sits more erect in his chair, flexes his muscles and puffs out his chest. "Yeah, more attention for me."
Rabbi: "Which choice do you think is more likely to bring you happiness?"
Luke: "Community. But what good is it asking these questions? I'm already out of my two favorite shuls and neither are taking me back."
Rabbi: "Well, if you become clearer in your values, you could make choices in the future that will serve you and take you where you want to go."
Luke: "I read a great phrase the other day by a great 20th Century Jewish philosopher who said something that applies to my life. 'The people I pray with, I can't talk to. And the people I talk to, I can't pray with.' That's the conflict I face. I prefer to live within Orthodox Jewish community but as an artist, an intellectual, a writer, I need more moral wiggle room. And if I get more media attention, that bolsters my claim to be an artist, and therefore more deserving of moral wiggle room.
"Writers need more wriggle room than the average person because our task is to reveal life. To write the truth. And often the truth is not pretty and not halakhic and not blessed by the Torah. The truth is often ugly and obscene. And as writers we have to reveal that. If we don't, we're failing our one obligation as writers.
"And for me to live fully within Orthodox Judaism would stifle my creativity. I could not write honestly. That's why there are very few writers of any renown within Orthodoxy. Where's the Orthodox Phillip Roth or John Updike or I.B. Singer?"
Rabbi: "How convenient for you. I understand the appeal of such a perspective. But is it the only true one?"
Luke: "No, I guess not. I loved my year at Beth Hollywood. I loved the people there. Such a community would serve as a tremendous inspiration to create and be much more than I could be on my own. And I'm not convinced that writers necessarily deserve more wriggle room. The Torah doesn't say 'And you shall keep these commandments unless you're a writer, than you have more discretion.' Certainly the rabbis won't go for that. They're not easy folks to fake out.
"I would rather be spurned by the Orthodox than welcomed by the non-Orthodox. I would rather be a pariah within Orthodox community than a member in good standing at a non-Orthodox shul. I would rather be a tail to lions than the leader of rats.
"Since childhood, I've had these day dreams of growing up to be a martyr tortured and put to death by his religious community for heresy. I was raised on images of martyrs as the ultimate heroes. I read all these books on Martin Luther and saw films about him. And they all included his memorable line, when asked by the Church to recant - 'Here I stand. I can do no other. So help me God.'
"My father gave the same line when he was asked by the leaders of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1980 to recant his views. 'Here I stand. I can do no other. So help me God.' That's how I was raised. My father lived that life - sacrificing everything, including his family, for his beliefs. And he was ejected from his religious community and exiled to a lonely and unhappy life. And I've instinctively come to regard martyrs as the ultimate heroes. The idea of sacrificing one's opinions for the sake of one's community was not a praiseworthy one in my home.
"I feel like I am recreating my father's life. Doesn't the Torah say, 'The sins of the fathers will be visited on the sons for several generations'?"
Rabbi: "Yes, but only if the sons follow in their fathers' sins. You don't have to do that. I wouldn't want your father's life for all the riches in the Church of England. Why would you want to recreate that?"
Luke: "I guess I've been acting the tortured martyr. I have been recreating my father's life. It makes for compelling art and media coverage but for a lousy unhappy painful life."
Rabbi: "Tragedy is always based on conflict and pain. And you seek that out."
Luke: "Yep. So long as I can squeeze some attention out of it. I create conflict and pain whereever I go. And that would be morally ok if I shouldered all of it myself. But I create waves of havoc around me. My independent writings published on far away reaches of the internet come back to bite members of my religious community.
"I went to this day of learning on Sunday at a local orthodox shul. My rabbi gave a talk on the power of repentance. And the crowd was composed of 60 yeshiva girls, two yeshiva guys, two older men and me. My rabbi must've been appalled to see me in such close proximity to so many innocent yeshiva kids. On the one hand, he didn't want to embarrass me publicly by asking me to leave. On the other hand, could he just leave me, a wolf, in the midsty of all these lambs? I put him in a tough spot. He left me alone and I repaid him by behaving myself."
Rabbi: "My 15-year old son got an email from my ex-wife. She saw the article about you in the Jerusalem Report and emailed my son, 'Is your dad still hanging out with that Luke Ford fellow?' And my son said, 'Yeah. And we've already seen the article and we think Luke is a cool guy.'
"Then my ten year old came into the room and asked what we were talking about. And my 15-year old had to say, 'Nothing.'"
Luke winces. "You see, that's one of the reasons I quit writing on porn. I couldn't keep making other people, particularly their children, pay the price for my explorations of the forbidden. It would've been fine to write on porn and it would've been fine to belong to the Orthodox community. But you cannot do both. I was fine until I tried to do both. And then I devastated those around me, who felt burned when they found out the truth about what I wrote on."
Rabbi: "For a year you behaved yourself at Beth Hollywood. There were no problems. You stayed mindful. You can do that."
Luke: "I can. That's part of me too. I'm not just a terroristic attention seeker. I guess I can reconsider my negative attention seeking behavior."
Rabbi: "You can seek attention for doing positive things."
Luke: "Yeah, I've just always found it easier to get people's attention by doing something shocking."
Rabbi: "You could do Jewish things and get honored at a community banquet."
Luke: "Yep. Six years I set myself the goal of making a name for myself. I've achieved that. Now I'm setting myself the goal of finding an honored place within the community."
Luke glances at the clock. There are five minutes left in the 90-minute session.
Luke: "I feel like these new profiles of me and my memoir could give me a chance to explain and defend myself. I liked 60% of that Jerusalem Report article. It explained who I was. But oy, that other 40%. It did me no good within the community."
Rabbi: "Explain yourself to who?"
Luke: "To my religious community primarily. Everybody else is secondary.
"I feel I've been defending myself all my life. That's why I write. I write beautiful words to exculpate myself from bad things I've done."
Rabbi: "That's interesting. You should write that down.
"Time's up for this week."
Michael writes: I was just reading your session with the rabbi. I don't know if it's fictitious or not, the name of the rabi leads me into that direction. But nevertheless it's interesting. What really stuck to me was your quote about your religious community as the most important and the rest being of secondary importance. I find this somewhat strange. Your non-religious following are by far your most loyal and trusted people you know. Yet the religious people that rejected you with no recourse for defence in ever which way you percieve as the most important. How can you rhyme this?
Luke says: Good point but I live with my religious community, i have meals with them, I worship with them. I spend most of my time with them.
From the New York Observer:
Not long ago, a rabbi’s son from New Jersey named David Rosenthal was one of the hottest writers in television. He made millions of dollars and played a key role in the success of sitcoms like Ellen and Spin City. He was young, funny and smart, and important people like Jeffrey Katzenberg loved his work. People wanted to be in the David Rosenthal business.
Today, some people think David Rosenthal is crazy. It has been nearly a year since Mr. Rosenthal, 33, left his marriage and abandoned Hollywood, leaving barely a trace. He estranged himself from close friends and colleagues, moved into posh hotels and gave away a million dollars to young women, some of whom he barely knew. He wrote an angry play called Love, which contains an extraordinary amount of cursing. Love also details Mr. Rosenthal’s feelings about faith, monogamy and his desire to have intercourse with the supermodel Heidi Klum. Mr. Rosenthal said that after he sent a copy of the play to his father, his father took him to a mental hospital, where Mr. Rosenthal was kept for 48 hours.
Mr. Rosenthal believes his story is relatively easy to explain.
"One day I was like, ‘Wait a minute!’" he said. It was late on the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 15, and Mr. Rosenthal was sitting in an easy chair in the lobby of the Four Seasons. "‘I don’t care about money. I don’t care about power. I don’t care about success. What do I care about?’ You know what I realized?
"I wanted to have sex with Heidi Klum," he said. "I was sitting there in my five-bedroom house, with my pool and my brand-new Porsche convertible in the driveway and my two-and-a-half-million-dollar-a-year job at Twentieth Century Fox studios, and I realized that I would rather be having sex with Heidi Klum. I would give all of this up right now to go have sex with Heidi Klum … and so I sat down and wrote this play."
Heidi Are You Listening to Me? Well I am the Only One Here...
Chaim Amalek writes: Not to be mean, but Luke never approached this guy in terms of success. (TV Jew was pulling in a double-comma income doing work that others admire - what did Luke ever do?) Now let's be honest here. If given the choice between doing whatever it is you are doing and having sex with blonde shiksa goddess Heidi Klum, woudn't you go for the sex? Sex is what life is all about - not davening, not becoming a better person, not even becoming rich. Just sex. Especially with genetically superior blonde aryan shiksa goddesses, the women we REALLY want to have our children. (By the way, I envy future generations of men, for the only females who will be born in the distant future are those who look like Heidi Klum. The rest will be aborted, or sent to third world lands.)
The prospect, no matter how unlikely, of sex with such beautiful women is what drives men to try to become rich. If there were no beautiful women in this country our whole economy would collapse. If Heidi Klum agrees to have sex with me I will do whatever she wants me to do. Heidi, are you listening?
Josh Kun - A Good Writer But No William Pierce
Check out these musings in the San Francisco Bay Guardian by UC Riverside English professor Josh Kun, a secular Jew:
PERRY BERNSTEIN WAS once just the skinny Jewish son of a jeweler in Queens. But after he moved west to California with a new name, he became something else: Perry Farrell, a tribalist Zen surfer who wailed about pigs and prostitutes, a dreadlocked and cross-dressing late-'80s Sunset Strip Dionysus whose excesses in the back of a limo would one day end up on a pirated videotape.
And now, like David Kepesh, the wandering Jewish eroticist in Philip Roth's novel The Professor of Desire, who continually moves on to "the next me," Farrell has moved on to the next him – a ba'al teshuva, a Jew who's chosen to pursue "the path of return" to a spiritual life in Judaism. Farrell now lays tefillin, uses his Hebrew name, Peretz, and meditates on the Zohar. His new album of born-again Jewish electro-mysticism, Song Yet to Be Sung, sounds like a Purim carnival thrown as a desert rave, complete with references to red heifers, King Zadek, shekinah (the supreme vision of divine light, whom Farrell commands to "shake your mother hips for me"), and every 50-year messianic jubilee celebration commanded in Leviticus when the sounding of the horn signals the liberation of God's people from debt and slavery. Farrell has named his son Yobel ("jubilee" in Hebrew), and on the album's cover Farrell is blowing a long gold horn in the middle of a mock Judaean desert.
No matter what you make of Farrell's sudden reconversion or the Old Testament trance rock that he's made its soundtrack, Song Yet to Be Sung is that rare rock document: an album of Jewish unassimilation, where a Jewish performer flaunts his Jewishness instead of obscuring it.
I WATCHED ISTVAN Szabo's film Sunshine while sitting next to my father. Sunshine, newly available on DVD and VHS, chronicles three generations of Jewish Hungarian fathers and sons who balance the rewards and terrors of assimilation during the first half of the last century and who hide their Jewishness behind the mask of an invented last name in order to rise in the ranks of a Hungarian national society that never fully accepts them.
My father is the Bronx-born son of Jewish Hungarians who left Budapest in the late '30s. His father was a maître d' at the Ramada Inn and modern Orthodox. My father grew up to be a doctor and, save for unpredictable moments of intense religiosity, a secular reform Jew.
When the film was over, neither of us knew where to look. We had just watched a film about our own family (the old Jews had long white beards like the old Jews in our family photos; the matriarch was thick, short, powerful, and impossible just like my grandmother; the great grandfather tore challah with the same tender ferocity as my grandfather) and had seen versions of ourselves that neither of us were particularly comfortable with. I had identified with the film's young narrator – the son who hunts down Nazi war criminals out of guilt, becomes a Stalinist, then a political prisoner – who is the only character allowed any redemption, any freedom, and certainly any revenge, the only one of the fathers and sons who realizes the violence and tragedy of assimilation and rejects it by reverting to his original family name.
Chaim Amalek writes: Very well written - now that guy is what I call a writer. I wrote to you about that movie when it came out, and he is correct - it is a thousand times more honest than any of the "jewish" movies the Juden of Hollywood crank out. (Honestly, most of the self-satisfied Hollywood/Wall Street/Hamptons Jews I have met make me want to reach for a cannister of insecticide developed by the German Jew Fritz Haber.)
And regarding jews in the closet, they exist to this day. I know one in particular who pretends to be "German", when he is Jewish and looks it.
Anyway, this guy is a pretty good writer. But does he have the fire in the belly of a William Pierce?
From QuasarmanRants.com, the only industry related site I've kept on my Favorites list:
Quasarman attended his first Jewish wedding this past weekend and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I even found the lengthy and at times bizarre ceremony to be extremely entertaining. At one point I was even given the coveted task of distributing yarmulkes to the guests. When I protested that perhaps a gentile should not be in charge of such a sacred duty I was told, "Don’t worry about it. They’ll go fast. They’re free". And this by the Groom’s sister no less. More accurate words were never spoken by Jew or Gentile alike because as soon as I emerged with the basket of beanies a thousand Hebrew hands came thrusting toward me as though I was some sort of Kosher Ricky Martin.
Prior to the ceremony the Rabbi made a very off-color remark regarding his beard and the female genitalia demonstrating to me that Luke Ford is not the only person of chosen persuasion who hides his almost-crippling deviancy behind his religious beliefs.
All in all a good time was had by everyone and I feel that I have gained even more credibility with the Jewish community and I do hope that this website will be your one-stop destination for all of your pornographic and talmudic discussion.
Metro's Harry Weiss writes...
Quaze, I am happy to see that you have offered your site to us Jews. Luke Ford was a pseudo-Jew at best, at worst; a pretender and philistine. I submit the following examples that prove you are "more Jewish" than Luke ever was.
*Luke studied the Torah 3 times a week and attended prayer services regularly. The vast majority of us Jews, and the Quaze, do not do that.
*Luke parks 10 blocks from where he is going just to get free parking. I don't know any Jew too cheap to pay $5 to valet, instead choosing to walk 10 blocks in the midday L.A. sun for free parking. I know the Quaze isn't walking any farther than necessary.
Luke Seeks A Job
I'm a lost and wandering Jew without my beloved lukeford.com and I seek a real job. Does anybody need a Moral Leader?
Lynne writes: Luke, you are missing an essential qualification for the position of "moral leader" -- one needs morals to be a moral leader. You have yet to develop any. But if you really think this would be the right career for you, I'm happy to lend you my morality and do all your ghostwriting. After all, Ronald Reagan had no political leadership ability and he did just fine with ghostwriters. Of course, I'd expect to be paid for my work, and I'm not sure there's any money in the field of moral leadership.
Khunrum writes: I haven't seen any slots open for moral leader but....I am cruising the singles sites looking for FRESH...Love@aol.com (Asian section, best site ever), Asia Friend Finder.com (good site but not as good as AOL) Filipino Friend Finder.com (not bad if Filipinas are your thing, I love em') Personals.Yahoo.com (small but comprehensive selection of Asians)...That was it for me. They also have German, Senior, Gay, and Sports Friend Finder. You know what I have not come across yet? Jewish Friend Finder. Yiddisha Friend Finders....Luke, Get busy, This could be your new thing. Turning a nice profit bringing lonely Hebrew singles together. Horny swinging Yiddishas. Old Senior Yiddles. Whatever. I think with your web experience you could pull it off and do a great service to the Jewish community at large. All the Rabbis who shunned you and Mr. Hollywood Jew will welcome you back into the fold. What do the remaining members of the Advisory Committee (those of you who have not defected to Quasarman) think of my idea?