Email Luke Luke Ford Essays Profiles Archives Dennis Prager Dec 13 Luke's new job NJG's website

Meek Luke Fades Away, Manly Luke Is Born Again

Last night I felt a surge of testosterone and aggression last night and today I am determind the fight the good fight.

Chaim writes: The site has suddenly gotten much, much better. Speak in your own voice without fear of offending Hollywood Juden who hate you anyway, and you will do well. I want you to wield the dildo of truth to penetrate the rectum of lies and self-deceptions of the enemies of Amalek!

Now that I am actually am writing some stuff for my site, I need to spread the word. How am I marketing it? I ought to put up notices on the bulletin boards of all the shuls that ejected me.

Why go to some goyishe sporting event like the Clippers tonight when I could be weeping on my rabbi's doorstep, mewling that I seek forgiveness to return to the fold?


Year 2001 really sucked for me in many ways. I thought I would have this smart computer named HAL and get to go to the moon and do all that cool stuff Arthur C. Clarke promised me in his books. And look at what I get instead.

I think I'll change my name to Dennis Praeger.

I should start a rumor that I am his illegitimate son and he has rejected me. An old story in my life. In fact, I should write up my rejections in an article for Tikkun or Oxygen. They love crap like that.

Australia's Test Cricket Best In World

Reuters: MELBOURNE, Australia (Dec. 29) -- South Africa captain Shaun Pollock said Australia deserved to be hailed as the top team in test cricket after crushing his side in the first two tests of their three-match series. Pollock said his side had struggled with the pressure it had put on itself to topple Steve Waugh's team. Australia retained its top ranking by winning the first test against the second-ranked Proteas by 246 runs in Adelaide earlier this month and scoring a nine-wicket victory in the second test in Melbourne on Saturday to seal the series.

Chaim Amalek Come Home

Dear Chaim:

I had my therapist in hysterics today when I relayed your comments about changing my name to Dennis Praeger...his bastard son... she was about to cry she was laughing so hard. Chaim Amalek, come on home.

I spent about 25 minutes talking about you...and the little PLAGIARISM thingy... We worked out that I have this pattern. I push people to the limit...They respond by putting limits on me. I get angry and push the limits. They leave and abandon me. I'm sorry about breaking the secret code on that chat, but you truly can't accuse me of plagiarism on Wednesday night...because it did run under your name...and then I took it all off, so you can't stay mad... So say hello to me before shabbat...

Did Sir Donald Bradman Toss His Wicket?

MUMBAI, Thursday: The cricket world is again in turmoil after reports that Sir Donald Bradman accepted money from bookmakers to throw his own life. The world-renowned batsman was looking very comfortable on 92, when he all of a sudden died carelessly. The death has raised the suspicions of Indian police who thought it was unusual for Bradman not to reach 100. "If you watch replays of the death very closely," said one police investigator, "you'll notice how dubious it looks. In all his life he'd never once died before. It's completely out of character."

The International Cricket Committee has questioned whether the coroners were too quick to attribute the death to pneumonia. It thinks they should instead have called on the third coroner to give the decision. The possibility that Bradman was involved in death-fixing has indelibly shaken the Australian Test team. "I always thought I was our country's only corruptible player," said Mark Waugh. It's believed Waugh recently received some new cash payments in return for providing corruption information to police. Waugh was interviewed extensively last night about a man who approached Bradman shortly before his death, and who only identified himself as "John". Police were told by Waugh that this was just the Prime Minister.

Spin bowler Shane Warne was also approached by police, but declined to answer their questions. He told them he had nothing but the utmost respect for Bradman, who he described as "Australia's greatest ever f#%king arsy c%nt". Former Test captain Mark Taylor also paid tribute to the late Sir Donald, vowing to kill himself when he turns 92 so as to never outdo the Bradman legacy.

Was Rabbi Meir Kahane Moshiach Ben Yosef?

According to Judaism, there will be two Messiahs. Moshiach Ben Yosef and Moshiach Ben David. Moshiach Ben Yosef will be the teacher who will point the way to the coming messianic era. And Moshiach Ben David will usher in peace on earth.

A Jewish friend points out to me that Rabbi Kahane may be the Moshiach Ben Yosef.

Rabbi Kahane was the first victim of Osama Bin Laden. He was assassinated in New York in November 1990 by Egyptian El Sayyid Nosair. Tapes and books were found at Nosair's home connecting him to Bin Laden, says a 1998 AP report.

The murder of Kahane was first thought to be an isolated attack but now it's seen as the beginning of an Islamic terrorist campaign against the United States.

According to Jewish tradition, Moshiach Ben Yosef will be killed at the beginning of the war of Gog and Magog. Though he won't have many followers, his message will be one that galvanizes the people to prepare for Moshiach Ben David.

When Israelis understand that Arafat and the Arabs don't want peace, then they might say that Kahane was right.

Rabbi Kahane never said in his life that Israel should kill Arabs. Rather, he said that he respected Arabs so much, and their desires for an autonomous Arab state where there is now a Jewish state, that he wanted to expel them from Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

I surfed over to the Jewish Defense League website JDL.org this evening and read this:

The U.S. government has charged Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel with conspiring to bomb a mosque in Culver City and Congressman Darrell Issa's office. We believe that these charges are false and that both of these men will be acquitted once a full and fair airing of the facts is presented in a court of law.

Here is the truth about this case: Irv (age 56) and Earl (age 59) have spent their lives fighting anti-Semitism, not committing terrorist acts. Never before have either of these dedicated Jewish activists been tried or convicted of any violent activity.

What happened here is that in the wake of the tragic events of September 11, the FBI used the services of a "snitch" with an admitted violent background to set up Irv and Earl. The snitch tried to induce Irv and Earl to participate in these bomb plots. In fact, it was the government snitch who delivered bomb-making material to Earl's home just hours before the government raid that led to the arrests. Importantly, no bombs were ever constructed and nobody was hurt.

If convicted of the current charges, Irv and Earl are facing a minimum of 35 years in federal prison with no possibility of parole. Given their ages, this means that if they are convicted, Irv and Earl will spend the rest of their lives in federal prison.

West Slowly Takes Notice Of Amalek

Chaim Amalek writes: Very, very slowwwwwwwly, the West is beginning to take notice. Sadly though, it will take another three great blows from the Scimitar of Allah's Warriors, delivered in rapid succession, for most of us to awaken from our slumber. This is where, for once, Jewish control over media can be of help to the white race. But the Juden who control media are especially impervious to the truth of what they helped create through their support of "diversity" and "multiculturalism." Well educated jews like Luke's...journalist... simply try to pretend that this issue does not even exist. (As proof, I received several emails from her asking me to submit to an interview. These requests came to a dead halt when I answered that I would, PROVIDED she shared with me her opinion on the question of "diversity." Typical cowardly jewish liberal.)

Other gutless liberals in the same mold include Luke's former "friend"...who turned his back on Luke as soon as he was told to by his rabbi. Meanwhile, the Rivers of Blood continue to churn and swell.

A Tale Of Modern Orthodox Jews

A group of Lithuanian Jews moved to town and set up a synagogue and a Modern Orthodox community. They shaved and spoke in English and mowed their lawns and were good citizens. They greeted their Gentile neighbors and though they couldn't eat at their homes, they invited their non-Jewish neighbors into their Jewish homes for the Sabbath and various holidays.

Their Modern Orthodox shul prospered. After September 11th, the Jews realized they needed even closer and better relationships with their Gentile neighbors. So the Jews adopted a "sister church" - a fundamentalist Assembly of God congregation down the road. They had picnics together and played softball. They did business together.

Occasionally the Christians tried to proselytize Christianity but the Jews were secure in their faith, and accepting of the Christians' faith. Nothing bad happened beyond some passing moments of awkwardness. The Jews found that they could hear a Christian say the name "Jesus" and no pogroms followed.

The Jews put American flags on their cars, home and shul. In their Saturday morning prayer services, they sang God Bless America. The Modern Orthodox Jews even developed friendships with many non-Jews who in turn developed a new appreciation for the Jewish tradition and for Israel.

When bad times came, the Gentiles rallied to the Jews defense and supported the state of Israel. And God and goodness ruled.

A Tale Of Hasidic Jews

A group of Hasidic Jews moved to the mid-West town of Pleasantville, composed overwhelmingly of white Christians. The Hasidim set up a meat manufacturing plant and hired immigrant, frequently illegal, latino labor. The Hasidim did not mow their lawns or say hello to their non-Jewish neighbors. They held to one high standard for how they should treat each other and a low moral standard for dealing with non-Jews. The Hasidim viewed the purpose of non-Jews was to serve the Jews.

The Hasidim spoke in Yiddish and kept to themselves. They only interacted with non-Jews to make money off them.

The non-Jews grew to resent the newcomers and developed hatred of Jews.

Fifth Column Islamic Militants

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Muslim migration to Britain, chiefly from Pakistan, began more than 30 years ago. The immigrants, most from peasant backgrounds, took it for granted that they would have the right to work and live within the cultural and religious freedom that Britain's liberal civilization guaranteed.

Before the fatwa [death sentence against author Salmon Rushdie], the politically correct position was that, with a few concessions, and with some welcome additions to British cuisine, the new immigrant communities would be assimilated into British life with hiccups but not convulsions. The fatwa affair--when the entire Islamic community united behind the condemnation--should have put an end to the idea. After all, if you prostrate yourself to an all-powerful being five times a day, if you are constantly told that you live in the world of Satan, if those around you are impervious to literature, art, historical debate and the values of Western civilization, your mind becomes susceptible to fanaticism. Your mind rots. Worse, it can become the instrument of others who send you on suicidal missions.

Fred Nek writes: During the course of my day-to-day work, I run across Moslems, some from Pakistan, some from India, some from Iran, some from elsewhere. Of course, it is impossible to read anyone's mind. Obviously, an engineer in the XYZ corporation is not about to start espousing radical rhetoric to his company's infidel patent attorney.

I believe that few professional class Moslems have any interest in radicalism. I think Britain may be in a different class. They have tended to let all kinds of Pakistanis into the United Kingdom. I certainly agree that many Islamic cultures (Arab, Pakistani, etc.) are badly screwed up and in need of a reformation. And I think that Britain is foolish for letting so many of these folks into their country no matter how much they think they need cheap labor.

I'll say this about the American influx of Mexican illegal immigrants--at least they don't have a wierd pernicious ideology and religion, and they are not inclined to crash airplanes into buildings.

Great Put-Downs In Martin Amis's Book The War Against Cliche

Philip Roth's "My Life as a Man" (1974) "sags with the minutiae that belong to life and not to art; it displays a wooden fidelity to the inconsequential, a scrupulousness about detail which isn't significant, but merely true."

About Norman Mailer: "If every writer has a private thesaurus, a slim volume of key word-clusters, then Mailer's would read as follows: ego, bitch, blood, obscenity, psyche, hip, soul, tears, risk, dare, danger, death. Especially death. Film reminds Mailer of death because everything reminds Mailer of death, danger, dare, etc. 'One kissed the devil indeed,' says Mailer. What is he writing about? Prize-fighting? Crossing the road? 'Brutal-coarse, intimate, snide, grasping, groping, slavering . . . ' It turns out that Mailer is writing about book-reviewing. But then he does tend to take things personally."

A Tale About Tired Old Jews

A group of tired old Jew woke up one morning and discovered that nobody under 50 years of age was joining their synagogue. So they formed a committee and held meetings and auditioned new rabbis and finally decided on a dynamic young man in his 20s with six kids.

So the new rabbi began attracting young people to synagogue, some of whom weren't even halakhicly Jewish in Orthodox terms. And these young people were not content to snore their way through the prayers like the altakakers. Instead they wanted to sing the prayers and dance and clap their hands.

And when the young people studied Torah, they asked questions. Tough questions. And sometimes the young rabbi didn't have all the answers.

This disturbed the altakakers, who dominated the board of the synagogue, and they insisted that the young rabbi throw out everybody under 40 years of age who liked to sing and dance and clap during davening. The altakakers also insisted that no converts who asked questions should be accepted.

The rabbi said that he had no basis in Jewish Law for doing such a thing and the altakakers replied that perhaps he should start looking for another job. So the rabbi acquiesced.

Eventually all the altakakers died and their precious synagogue was flushed down the toilet bowl of history.

Luke Parties With The Jews

I went to two Jewish singles events Sunday night and Monday night... I got three phone numbers from attractive jewesses sunday night and two monday night...but so far none have called me back.

I hate these type of events because of the loud incomprehensible music. What is the junk music that they play in clubs now? I don't understand this music. Did all good rock music end in 1988?

The atmosphere is loud and it is hard to make meaningful conversation about the teachings of Chaim Amalek or other matters important for these trying times. I much prefer meeting Jewish chicks at sacred religious events.

Many of the chicks I spoke to the last two nights were smashed and kept holding my body close to them in violation of important Torah precepts.

Fred writes: Oh, that's terrible. I don't blame you for recoiling at the thought of such an event.

Should A Real Man Fight Back?

Tuesday Dennis Prager and his family went to see the movie Joe Somebody, starring Tim Allen.

When Joe (Allen), a divorced, listless, Minneapolis corporate drone, gets beat up by a coworker (Warburton) over a parking space, humiliating him in front of his daughter (Panettiere) on "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day", he decides to fight back. His new quest for vengeance revitalizes him, even leading to romance with Meg Harper (Bowen), a young office counselor... (Belushi plays a "former B-movie star turned martial arts expert who becomes Joe's mentor and helps him prepare for his rematch with his coworker." (source: The Hollywood Reporter, 3/7/01)

On his nationally syndicated radio show, DP says Hollywood films reflect society more than they push society. Hollywood particularly reflects urban liberal opinion, as the people who write and make the movies are urban liberals (aka Jews).

DP says we can live without "Bring Your Daughter To Work" day.

As for the movie, Allen's about to park in the lot for employees who've served more than ten years when a new employee takes his place. Then the bully smacks Allen down.

Allen is humiliated and he resolves to fight the bully again and beat him. DP asks: What does the movie want you to think about Allen's desire to fight the bully? Do women prefer men who fight bullies? What is the right thing to do?

The movie teaches that if you are a real man, you don't hit back. You are gentle. You're a peace maker.

To DP, sometimes it is right to hit back and sometimes it is right to be a peacemaker. But to the Hollywood mindset, to be a real man is to be essentially pacifistic.

It is the burning desire of men to attract lovely women. And the beautiful woman in this movie pushes Allen in the direction of a non-physical response. But if a bully hits you and humiliates you, it is a good idea to hit the bully.

Recent articles have claimed that protector-men are now in. Women want men like the New York City firefighters or police. And men will do almost anything to get women. Women's primary power is in signalling to men what they want.

Joe Somebody says you get the beautiful woman if you don't hit back.

DP says it is important to see ordinary and boring Hollywood movies as well as great ones, because boring movies heighten your sense of great movies. Just like it is good to go on a few boring dates.

In Prager's second hour, he wondered why more media attention has not been given to the fact that John Walker's father Frank Lindh, when John was 16, left home and his marriage to live with a man in a homosexual relationship.

San Francisco Examiner columnist P. J. Corkery wrote:

NOT THAT IT MATTERS a whit to us here in the cool, gray city of love what Frank Lindh, daddy of the Taliban warrior from Marin, does, did or dreams of doing with other consenting adults, but shouldn't he come clean with us about all the facts in the odd odyssey of his son?

Frank Lindh has been quoted time and again as saying it was his son John's reading of the "Autobiography of Malcolm X" when John was 16 in 1997 that turned his son's head and heart towards Islam. But something else then going on in the family's life may be have been just as pertinent.

When Frank Lindh left his family in 1997, it was to move in with a male companion. Yep. ... The man with whom Lindh lived has since been described as "a family friend," but other family friends say the men lived as a gay couple.

It would take a specialist in family issues to map the constellations of feelings and problems that would describe John Walker's path toward Islam in 1997, but sources close to the family say the father's turn of life from married man to modern gay man startled and flustered the 16-year-old.

Given the pummeling that the Walkers and marvy Marin County have taken from the national press over their wayward son, you can't blame the old man for wanting to suppress reporting on his sexuality. ...

Luke says: Prager often blasts the news media for reporting gossip about people's private sexual lives. Today he blasted the media for not reporting gossip.

Journalist Ed Walsh writes on Medianews.org: "I thought San Francisco Examiner columnist PJ Corkery did a great job reporting with the Johnny Walker/Lindh item on Tuesday. Since everyone is speculating about why Walker would convert to Islam and eventually join the Taliban, I think it is germane that Walker's conversion to an extremely antigay religion came at the same time his father separated from his mother to be in a gay relationship. Walker signing up with the Taliban is like the son of a Jewish man signing up with the Nazis."

Gay journalist David Ehrenstein writes: There was nothing "disgusting" (Jayne Afrate) or "unnecessary" (Jason Lloren) about P.J.Corkery's mention of Frank Lindh's gayness. No "outing" is involved when someone is already "out." Of course to Afrate and Lloren being gay is truly shameful and the status quo of secrecy -- called "privacy" -- must be maintained at all costs. Truth to tell, they've actually got a lot in common with Lindh's son who joined a group of religious extermists that execute Afganistan gays by dumping brick walls on them.

DENNIS PRAGER said that John's attraction to the Taliban may partly stem from the Taliban's degradation of women. A caller thought it may have stemmed from the Taliban's policy of executing homosexuals.

DP called Lindh's leaving home to live an authentic homosexual life narcissistic. He should've stayed with his wife until his son was at least 18. Sometimes it is good to stay in the closet. Usually it is best to be out of the closet but in some instances it is best to stay quiet.

Prager said it was more likely that Lindh's leaving home to live with a man was more influential on John Walker's psyche than reading the Malcom X autobiography.

The NJG: Ummm, Luke, I had that scoop (NJG's website) about Lindh LIKE OVER A WEEK AGO! Before Corkery!!! Hello, do you even READ my site?? I knew!!!
The NJG: hey, did you read what I wrote? that's like way old news, the National Enquirer even phoned me up about it.
Father is a corporate attorney with a *roommate*. The roommate is an owner of a gay bathhouse (gay sex establishment). Son has big issues with father and changes name to Walker, mother's maiden name. Father and mother divorce about 3 years ago, father moves into *roommates* house. Enquiring minds want to know!!!
The NJG: it makes sense though, about what happened to walker, what sends kids over the edge, esp. sensitive teens is something like this. His world fell apart.
The NJG: his father is a pr--k and should be tried for treason as well...imho....

Fred writes: Please ask NJG why she thinks Walker, Sr. is a pr---k, and why he should be tried for treason as well?

Portnoy's Complaint

I reread Phillip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint and this is truly a classic that stands the test of time. A terrific book on what it means to be a Jewish man.

Emasculated Men

At the beginning of the 21st century it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that men are in serious trouble. Throughout the world, developed and developing, antisocial behaviour is essentially male. Violence, sexual abuse of children, illicit drug use, alcohol misuse, gambling, all are overwhelmingly male activities. The courts and prisons bulge with men. When it comes to aggression, delinquent behaviour, risk taking and social mayhem, men win gold.

Male angst can be reduced to three grievances. Men have been emasculated by the loss of traditional functions, women have not; women have choices, men do not; men are emotionally illiterate, women are not.

This diminished male, call him Luke Ford, makes a poor mate. His wallet is thin, his self-esteem deflated, his masculinity shrunken.

“At your age,” says the female lead to Johnny Downs, a single 30-something New Yorker in “The Catsitters”, a recent novel by James Wolcott, cultural critic of Vanity Fair, “women suspect that if you haven't gotten married or at least engaged, there may be something wrong with you.”

A more important emotional catalyst appears to be the death of a father. A generation of men has been brought up by women, with shadowy fathers who were either physically absent, because of divorce or long working hours, or absent in spirit, because that was how fathers behaved. The death of a father, by causing men to confront the gaps in that relationship, can make them try to improve their relations with their own sons. After travelling America talking to scores of ordinary men, Ms Faludi found that “a broken relationship with a father almost always surfaced as the primary preoccupation underlying all others.”

Luke Speaks His Mind

For the past six months, I've been snivelling and pleading and apologizing and grovelling to try to get back into my favorite Orthodox synagogues. All to no avail. I'm now banned from four in my neighborhood for my controversial writings.

So let meek Luke fade away. Manly Luke is born anew.

Here is the inside scoop on Orthodox Judaism.

Most Jews who take their Jewishness seriously are Orthodox. Most of the holy and finest people I know are Orthodox. Most of my friends are Orthodox. Most of the people I most want to hang with are Orthodox.

That said, here are a few criticisms. After spending years praying in Orthodox shuls, I conclude that most of these ritualized prayers for most of the participants are not an inspiring experience. I'm almost tempted to describe this prayer as meaningless, yet I know that even though I find it difficult to find inspiration in my prayers, I know that I always walk out of shul feeling better than when I went in.

Most Modern Orthodox Jews seem no more interested in Torah study than secular Jews - meaning not at all. I would wager that most Modern Orthodox Jews spend less than an hour a week studying Torah, which for me is the most exciting part of Judaism.

One Orthodox shul I attended regularly required its members to go to one Torah class a week, but I bet most of the congregation didn't even do that.

And much, perhaps most, of the study that does go on in Modern Orthodox shuls is almost meaningless. It seems more of a socializing ritual than study. The teacher teaches by rote and the congregants listen and nod and mutter by rote and nobody comes away any the wiser.

Many rabbis don't like to take challenging questions and many Modern Orthodox Jews don't like to hear their rabbis or their sacred texts challenged. They prefer to live in an insular unthinking world.

I guess I'd have to fault the Modern Orthodox rabbinate, particularly the rabbis who teach in Orthodox day schools, for turning off most Modern Orthodox Jews from real Torah study. Because I know how exciting Torah study can be, I refuse to hang around the majority of rabbis who are boring teachers.

For most Modern Orthodox Jews, I sense that Orthodox Judaism is more of a burden than a privilege. That's why they can't understand why anyone would want to convert to Orthodox Judaism. They don't enjoy their Jewish life and live it more out of obligation than desire.

Their inherent suspicion of outsiders leads many to conclude that I am a spy, who only wants to hang around Jews so I can write bad things about them.

I find it particularly sad that I have a greater commitment to Torah study than 95% of American Jews, yet can't take advantage of the classes at four local synagogues. I have a greater interest and commitment to studying Torah than most Orthodox Jews and yet I can't because certain rabbis have banned me.

Well, you can say that I violated Jewish law by writing on forbidden topics. Sure, but by that reasoning, you can use Jewish Law to expel many Jews. It's against Jewish Law to read the Los Angeles Times or any newspaper that has bra ads. Looking at those ads violates Jewish Laws of modesty.

You can say that my conversion was not kosher and that I'm not Jewish. Well, if you really want to dig just as hard into the backgrounds of many congregants, you'll find things that are not kosher. Perhaps many of them are Mamzerim (bastards). It all comes down to what you want to do with Jewish Law. Do you want to use it to exclude?

There are about 40 Orthodox screenwriters and I dare say that most of them make programs that violate Jewish Laws regarding holiness, modesty, proper speech, etc. Now I don't want these guys banned for writing or making R-rated movies. I'm just using them as an example of my point - that you can use Jewish Law to exclude and humiliate people or you can use it to increase loving kindness between people.

If a shul wants to keep somebody, they will keep him, no matter how many Jewish laws he violates. Particularly if he donates big. And if shul politics dictate ejecting somebody, it doesn't matter how much of a tzaddik he is, the rabbi will send the man out the door.

I can think of one Orthodox outreach organization that prominently uses endorsements from Director Steve Spieldberg and talkshow host Larry King. Spieldberg makes movies that observant Jews are forbidden from watching, like Schindler's List. The sex and nudity scenes makes it out of bounds for the fully observant Torah Jew. And Larry King endorses pornography. He says on the air that he'd take a porn video with him to a desert island as one of his three movie favorites, and the like. But because he's got a big name with the goyim, he can be used to pitch Orthodox outreach.

Now I have no complaint with using King and Spieldberg to pitch Orthodox outreach. Whatever works. But let's not pretend here that we don't have some flexibility with how we apply Jewish Law. If we want to use religion to hurt or exclude people, we can do that. But don't pretend that the religion demands such exclusion.

I remember an essay Dennis Prager wrote about the tolerant attitudes of Orthodox authorities to the transgression of putatively Orthodox Jew Joe Lieberman, Al Gore's running mate. Dennis noted that if Orthodox authorities had taken a similarly relaxed attitude with him, he'd still be Orthodox. Instead, Prager got tired of being hounded over minutaie by Orthodox zealots. He moved the hell out of his Orthodox neighborhood in 1997, got a nice big place in the country, and found himself a nice relaxed Reform temple he could drive to every Sabbath morning.

Dennis Prager Speaks To Orthodox Union

The only time, to my knowledge, the Orthodox Union (group of over 1000 centrist Orthodox synagogues in North America) has invited a non-Orthodox Jew to speak to them was Sunday afternoon, December 23rd, when Dennis Prager spoke about why many Muslims hate Jews and Israel.

Prager's speech was the climax of the convention. Nobody can pack a Jewish crowd like Prager. While up to his speech, there were three sessions going simultaneously, for Prager's talk, they opened up all the dividers and packed everyone into one room.

Aguda's Rabbi Yitzhock Adlerstein delivered a teasing, even insulting introduction to Prager. Rabbi Adlerstein said that Torah knowledge is not the only type of knowledge you need, and that Prager was here to deliver the non-Torah perspective. That was an insult of Prager but Dennis took in good humor.

The rabbi described Prager as a gafly, outside the camp of Orthodoxy, all true.

Dennis and Rabbi Adlerstein have known each other over two decades and regularly studied Talmud together for some time. Dennis often refers in his speeches to his Orthodox right-of-center rabbi friend and this usually refers to Rabbi Adlerstein.

Rabbi Adlerstein said Prager has brought more people to Orthodox Judaism than any group in Southern California. Rabbi Cunin, leader of West Coast Chabad, says the same thing.

Rabbi Adlerstein said he agreed with Prager on almost nothing. Prager got up and claimed they agreed on a good many things. Prager has more freedom to speak his mind than Rabbi Adlerstein because he's not beholden to any one constituency. It was kinda sad to see how Rabbi Adlerstein had to pander to his religious right wing to get away with introducing Prager to the Orthodox audience.

Prager and the rabbi are not such good friends that they don't go years without seeing each other.

As Dennis began to speak, he asked how much time he had. Rabbi Adlerstein said he had until Mincha (the afternoon prayers). Dennis smiled. "He just wants to find out if I know when Mincha is."

DP recounted how he lived in this Pico-Robertson Orthodox neighborhood for 12 years (1985-1997). Now he lives in Calabassas, which boasts the fastest growing Jewish population of any US zip code.

Prager said it is morally wrong for Jews to not visit Israel at this time of its distress and to not send their kids to Israel. Prager's son David is studying for a year at a yeshiva in Jerusalem. Though Prager strongly urged David to go to Israel, after the latest attacks, Dennis told David he was leaving the decision up to him. David chose to go.

On the phone a few days ago to Dennis, David described his safety on a recent bus trip to Haifa as being "in the hands of God."

Dennis then delivered his familiar speech on anti-Semitism. It was 30 minutes in before he got his first response from the audience. He got cheers when he said that Europe stinks. They're morally confused. This is the continent that had the French revolution, the Russian revolution, WWI, fascism, Nazism, WWII, the Holocaust and communism. And it still hasn't been morally chastened.

Prager quoted the French government official in England who called Israel "a shitty little country."

DP emphasized, and he was speaking to a group overwhelmingly composed of Orthodox Jews, that we should sharply distinguish between American Christianity and European Christianity.

DP noted that probably a higher percentage of evangelical Christians support Israel than do Jews. DP said that every shul should have a sister Church.

Rabbi Adlerstein shook his head at that and some of Prager's other points.

LA Times Profiles Aish HaTorah

For about the third time in the last eight years, the Los Angeles Times recently profiled the fervently religious outreach organization Aish HaTorah and its prominent rabbi - author Nahum Braverman.

Here are some excerpts:

"[Aish HaTorah] born in part of a "Jewish rebuttal of modernity," said Rabbi Chaim Beliak of the Conservative congregations Beth Shalom in Whittier and Adat Chaderim in Los Alamitos. "Jews, like all people that became part of modernity, made certain trade-offs, for some largely at the expense of Jewish distinctiveness."

Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Westwood, the largest Conservative congregation on the Westside, sees much of what Aish HaTorah does as good for the Jewish community. "Let me put it this way: I don't agree with their particular approach to Judaism, but they bring people into the larger tent of Judaism, and that's a great mitzvah [good deed]," Wolpe said. "Many of my congregants were first inspired to Judaism by Aish HaTorah."

But he and Beliak, like others, question the acceptance by Aish HaTorah and other groups of "Torah codes," supposed coded messages in the Hebrew Bible that some say prove God's existence and predict certain events and people--such as Adolf Hitler. Code supporters say computers were used to find the supposedly encrypted words. Proponents of Torah codes encourage people to believe in God because of "numerical legerdemain" rather than faith, Wolpe said. The international Aish HaTorah organization defends the validity of the codes, asserting that "encoded information and a hidden text in the Torah is a well-known and established part of Jewish tradition."

Luke's Synagogue Bulletin

Here are some excerpts from my synagogue's weekly bulletin:

1. Don't let worry kill you. Let your synagogue help. Join us for our Oneg after services. Prayer and medication to follow. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our congregation.

2. For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

3. We are pleased to announce the birth of David Weiss, the sin of Rabbi and Mrs. Abe Weiss.

4. Thursday at 5:00pm, there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All women wishing to become Little Mothers please see the rabbi in his private study.

5. The ladies of Hadassah have cast off clothing of every kind and they may be seen in the basement on Tuesdays.

6. A bean supper will be held Wednesday evening in the community center. Music will follow.

7. Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the JCC. Please use the large double door at the side entrance.

8. Rabbi is on vacation. Massages can be given to his secretary.

9. Goldblum will be entering the hospital this week for testes.

10. The Men's Club is warmly invited to the Oneg hosted by Hadassah. Refreshments will be served for a nominal feel.

11. Please join us as we show our support for Amy and Rob, who are preparing for the girth of their first child.

12. We are taking up a collection to defray the cost of the new carpet in the sanctuary. All those wishing to do something on the carpet will come forward and get a piece of paper.

13. If you enjoy sinning, the choir is looking for you!

14. The Associate Rabbi unveiled the synagogue's new fund-raising campaign slogan this week: "I Upped My Pledge. Up Yours."

Are Jews Allowed To Gossip About Non-Jews?

From soc.culture.jewish.moderated: Tom writes: On most of the other newsgroups and mailing list that I read, there are long threads defaming Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, Davy Jones, Lou Reed, etc. Since most of these people aren't Jewish, do the laws [against gossip] lashon hara apply?

Henry writes: I asked my rabbi about this some years ago concerning the sort of gossip that went on in the office. He said that the halachot of lashon hara to not apply to non-Jews; i.e. there is no problem in listening to and even joining in such gossip which would be lashon hara if said about Jews.

Dr Shlomo writes: This seems like a dangerous attitude to take, from a mussar perspective. Joining in such gossip sessions would tend to reinforce negative character traits and produce a negative effect on one's ethical personality. Hence, even if me`iqar hadin (de jure) it's permissible, I'd think one who does gossip often about non-Jews is (at least close to) menuval bireshut haTorah [disgusting within the limits of the Torah]. Besides which, what if someone is Jewish and you don't know it? Or if discussion turns to a Jewish coworker in the middle? Blanket heterim for icky bnehavior like this really bother me (could you tell? :-).

Tom writes: Do you know what his reasoning was? If you examine it, you're forced to come to one of two conclusions, neither of which sounds right. Either a) Jews are not required to behave morally toward non-Jews, or b) there isn't a moral basis for halacha, at least in this case. That's especially true the way you put it, that joining in such gossip wouldn't even be discouraged.

Henry writes: I do remember there is a posuk 'lo telech rachil b'amecha' (you shall not be a tale-bearer in your people) so it could be learnt from 'amecha' which is there to exclude non-Jews.

Is The Rebbe The Messiah?

Rabbi Yitzhock Adlerstein writes to Commentary magazine: The extraordinary accomplishments of Chabad over the last decades, as well as the perspicacity and vision of the Rebbe, force even those outside the Chabad community to look on in awe and appreciation. Yet David Berger breathes new life into the old saying that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Mr. Berger is surprised that the Orthodox community has not rushed fully and publicly to his side. But he has overlooked several factors.

Tension between Chabad and other Orthodox groups did not begin with the recent wave of messianism. Many began to think of Chabad as a movement doing its own thing, ideologically and practically, even during the reign of the Rebbe’s predecessor. Indeed, the marginalizing of Chabad was aided by Chabad itself, which refused to call itself “Orthodox” in community listings, insisting instead on the sui generis designation “hasidic.”

This divergence led to two kinds of response. In some circles, fears abounded that elements of Chabad were so extreme that, if pushed by other Orthodox Jews, they might walk out of the traditional community entirely, taking tens of thousands along with them. Better, it was argued, to allow the pendulum to swing back on its own. Others argued the opposite: nothing Chabad did would reflect poorly on the rest of Orthodoxy because “everybody” understood that Chabad was not mainstream, and did not speak for the rest of traditional Jewry.

Could Amy Sohn Be The One?

Skippy writes: A friend of mine is interested. See her at: http://www.amy-sohn.com/faq.html

Luke says: So I put aside my Pointnoy's Complaint, and surfed over to Amy's site. And I kvelled that I got mentioned:

Amy-lah, I have such a shidduck for you! He is a nice Aussie boy (the son of a Seventh Day Adventist theologian, no less!) who has both converted to modern orthodox/conservative Judaism (don't jump to any conclusions yet!) and achieved fame as the Woodward/James J. Cramer/Matt Drudge of the porn industry. An accomplished journalist, he has been on E! numerous times, quoted in the New York Times at length, and will be the subject of a profile due to appear in the next issue of The Jerusalem Report out later this week. Oh, and did I mention that he is VERY VERY VERY handsome in his boyish goyishe way, and that he VERY much wants to marry a nice SMART literary Jewish girl, and that you are his type? (He also was under consideration for being the multimillionaire in "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire.") His name is Luke Ford, and you can read all about him on his web site at www.lukeford.com. If nothing else, you should talk to him for material for your next project. Jews like Luke are made, not born.

Amy Sohn writes: "I have actually gone on his site several times and am really impressed by him. Hmm."

Luke [quoting word-for-word a sage of this space who lives in New York] says: God chose the Jews to be the MasterRace of mankind. However, He soon realized that this had cruel consequences for the less intelligent goyim of creation, so to protect them from the depredations of the Jews while still providing free will to one and all, he gave the Jews the Torah (both written and oral) by which they might be fenced in. Rest assured that those Jews who today live on the Torah Corral (like Chaim Amalek) are no threat to the gentle gentiles of the world. It is the secular liberal Jew, with his notions of Marxism, tolerance of the sodomite and the transgendered, creator both of socialism and feminism, who is the mortal enemy of the gentile world. I say this in the hope that when you goyim awake from your deep moral stupor (an increasingly unlikely event) and begin dealing with the Jew problem in your midst, you will leave me alone. I hope this clears everything up.

By the way, I never hear from any of those jews who claim to want to know who I am. In fact, I NEVER hear from any Jewess who professes interest in Amalekism. Bais Shamai, Bais Hillel, and now Bais Amalek - which do you suppose has the most urgent message for today's confused times?

Digitorian: I used to read your website, but am working to overcome my addiction to porn and sex
Luzdedos1: I sold lukeford.com. I am glad for you
Digitorian: I heard you had. were you addicted at the time you ran the site?
Luzdedos1: addicted to the fun, the attention, the excitement
Digitorian: I can understand that. the thing that I liked most about your website was the photos of stars outside of the "acting". I was more interested in the person than their act, but I did like their act.

Torn Between Two Lovers, Feeling Like A Fool

So, in therapy today, I talked about myself and my past and why I spent six years writing on the pornography industry. And we decided that doing porn and Orthodox Judaism is like having two girlfriends who finally find out about each other. And then you lose both.

My therapist theorized that my motivation for penetrating porn was my history of massive rejection, frustration and failure at the hands of women. So I became a specialist in human degradation, particularly female degradation.

The pornography industry revealed the level to which people will go to be seen. Like me. I could identify with that.

In porn, I could always be one up. I could look down on almost everybody else. I could be smarter and better educated and from a higher class. And at the same time, I could look up to and idealize Orthodox Jews.

Looking at porners, I saw a lot of myself. And by torturing them, I felt like I was cleansing myself.

In much of my life, I've felt powerless. In porn, I gained power and control over people who had little power. And I could do it all under the teflon coating of reporting.

Though to my religious community, I had no teflon. I wasn't reporting on porn. I was peddling smut.

Gay Scenes Left Out Of Beautiful Mind

Matt Drudge reports:

The film which received the most GOLDEN GLOBE nominations today in Hollywood hits maximum controversy after homosexual themes found in the book A BEAUTIFUL MIND -- have been deliberately left out of the movie version!

Gay scenes found in the book "A Beautiful Mind: The Life of the Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash" have been completely scrubbed, dropped, eliminated from the film, directed by Ron Howard and staring Russell Crowe -- even though actor Crowe's picture is featured on the paperback of the biography.

"The homosexual stuff found in the book got in the way," a well-placed source told the DRUDGE REPORT. "Besides, American audiences don't care to see Russell Crowe getting it on with a man! It would just kill us at the boxoffice."

New York Press

Journalist Andy Katz writes on soc.culture.jewish.moderated about the Manhattan free weekly New York Press (NYPress.com):

Am I the only scjm who regularly encounters the "Taki's Top Drawer" section of the NY Press? I'm interested in particular in its editor, Taki. Apparently this fellow, scion of wealthy Greeks, is well known, formerly an editor of some ultra-rightist journal years back, and now a dissipated coffee-house fascist. His own columns have flirted with anti-semetic and pro-Nazi sentiments--some months ago, he wrote that during the war his family had "Prussian" officers boarded with them; apparently Hitler and the General Staff never realized that Prussia was still fielding its own army in the 1940s--but his latest, a rant against Jane Fonda and traitors in general, includes a comment about how the "Sammy Glicks" gave Hanoi Jane the Oscar for "Klute".

Sammy Glick of course is the eponymous character of Budd Schulberg's novel, and his name has come to symbolize the corporate, Hollywood, success at any cost, Jew. He concludes the same column by insisting that had he been of age he would have joined an Irish Nazi unit (for the purposes of fighting against communism, natch), and while Jane Fonda ought to be shot, the Brits were wrong to hang Lord Haw Haw.

[Owner Russ] Smith is really hands on and makes nearly all the editorial decisions himself (and that may explain why I no longer write for them--they didn't feel the need for yet another left-wing writer;-). He also fancies himself a gentleman WASP of the old-school, Four Hundred variety: note the satisfaction with which he describes his sons bowing properly to the headmaster of their elite school.

That may also explain why someone as obviously beyond the pale as Taki is allowed to influence the paper: Taki brags about dropping in on Margaret Thatcher when in the neighborhood, or huddling with Henry Kissinger whenever they run into one another at dinner parties. Taki brings a kind Old World legitimacy to Smith's endeavor, and if the price of that prestige is an occasional palms up salute, so be it.

[Jewish Editor John] Strausbaugh seems like a genuinely decent fellow, whose views and orientation are closer to my own--recall when the Voice ran its Satmar Bad Boys cover story? Strausbaugh wrote a piece in the Press accusing the Voice of engaging in a kind of neo blood libel (because the Satmars alleged abuse while growing up in the community). Fortunately or not, he seems to have very little influence with the Press's editorial orientation.

The Rabbi and the Playmate

Lindsey Vuolo, Miss November, is Playboy's first self-proclaimed, synagogue-going Jew. In fact, on the "Playmate Data Sheet," where readers learn that she is five-foot-eight, has 34-DD breasts, and gets turned on by a sense of humor, is her bat mitzvah picture.

So she knew that sooner or later she'd have to talk to her rabbi in the Reform synagogue in the small Pennsylvania town where she grew up and still goes to services. The chat went better than expected. "He said there's nothing wrong with what I did. He was more intrigued than anything. He was like, 'How did the nice little Jewish girl I've known since she was a baby grow up to be like this?' "

"Rabbi," Vuolo interjects, "Playboy is not pornography. You've been in Playboy." Indeed, the magazine did excerpt Kosher Sex -- a fact that raises an interesting forensic dilemma for Boteach. He argues that Vuolo's decision to pose nude is one that she will come to see does not represent her true inner desires. It was, he says, an ill-conceived shortcut to financial gain and perhaps some level of notoriety.

How does he know this? "I speak from my own experience," he says. (No, he has not bared all.) Boteach believes that his efforts to promote his book and his various celebrity associations have damaged his reputation. "When people hear my name," he says, "they immediately respond to this stereotype of me based on having seen me with Michael Jackson or on television or whatever. I've discovered first hand how much we all really want credibility. I know Lindsey does."

Amalekite Plan To Save Conservative Judaism

Chaim Amalek writes: But they generally DON'T succeed in reeling people in. The average Conservative temple is nearly empty on the sabbath, whereas the temples of the Orthodox are bursting at the seams. If they want to attract who they really want (breeders), they should call them "hot chicks and rich guys who want to get married" parties. They should further encourage those in attendence to practice unsafe sex. Also, I don't know why these things are called "events" - sounds like what one might call a meteorological occurance, and just as sexy. Conservative shuls would do better to hold organized orgies at the close of services, at least for the unmarried.

Amalek18: You would get LOTS of turnout, and it would result in LOTS of new jewish babies to counter the Saracen menace.

Amalek18: Honestly, the primary threat to the Juden of today is demographic, and this is a damn better way of addressing that problem than "singles" "events"

Amalek18: Which web site is a better source of truths that are otherwise very difficult to obtain: the adl's, or the National Alliance's?
Luzdedos1: Dr. William Pierce supports the mass extermination of jews and blacks, how do you like that?
Luzdedos1: he's a nazi, how can you joke about him?
Amalek18: I did not ask what his politics were or if you agreed with them. I asked you which of the two web sites was the more useful source of truths that were otherwise difficult to obtain.
Luzdedos1: i'm not sure
Amalek18: Now, imagine yourself at an inner-party dinner party in which you have expressed such doubt. How long wold you last in media then?
Luzdedos1: i'm not sure
Amalek18: 18 hours
Amalek18: You have to admit, that with respect to his understanding of such issues as diversity, race, and immigration, Pierce has it all over the ADL
Luzdedos1: yeah
Amalek18: Sure, he has this monomania regarding jews, but who can say why that is. Perhaps he too, was once a young man searching for meaning among the Jews and not winning their acceptance.
Amalek18: How different, after all, is Luke Ford from William Pierce in their politics?
Amalek18: In their stated abhorance for (but fascination with) pornography?
Amalek18: Their independantly arrived at cognizance of the jewish role in pornography?
Amalek18: Or their attitudes towards the darker races of the earth?
Amalek18: Luke Ford, William Pierce is YOU, the Ghost of Luke Ford Future.
Luzdedos1: I don't support annihalation of blacks and jews
Amalek18: No no, of course you do not. But other than that, where do you and he part company?
Luzdedos1: i primarily see the world in moral terms, he sees it in racial terms
Luzdedos1: i prefer good black people to bad white people
Amalek18: I am sure that he prefers good negroes to evil, racially treasonous whites, whom he wants to execute, so not much difference there.
Amalek18: Admit it, hell, you already have - you often agree with the non-exterminationist side of his columns.
Luzdedos1: yes
Amalek18: Are you going to confess this to the world via your web site?
Amalek18: remember, the jews are watching!

Luke Explores Conservative Judaism

I went to a Conservative synagogue Friday night.

I'm sitting next to a female friend who says to me: "If you know so many people, how come none of them come over to sit by you?"

Her comment stings with truth. It's been pointed out to me before. I know tons of people. But when I sit down somewhere, few if any people come sit with me. I guess I'm weird or I have an aura of despair over me, or people fear my caustic wit. I never could break into the popular crowd.

There's a relaxed camraderie in Conservative Judaism that's missing in much of Orthodoxy. Conservative shuls are just glad that you've shown up and that you're doing any mitzvot (divine commandments).

I love dark exotic disciplined responsible family-oriented Persian women.

I went back to the Conservative shul this morning, deciding it is better to be there than a second class citizen in an orthodox shul. Lots of hugging, singing, musical instruments. Conservative and Reform shuls try to make the service fun, while most Orthodox shuls just go through the whole prayer service primarily out of obligation. I got hagba, where I hoisted the Torah for all to see.

Then they had lunch for their new YOUNG PROFESSIONALS group. Why do all Jewish singles groups call themselves "Young Professionals"? Always emphasizing the word 'professionals'. Do the goyim do this too? I don't think so.

While Conservative shuls are more relaxed and more fun, I wonder if Conservative Judaism can last because their adherents are perhaps too relaxed. The rigor of Orthodoxy generally produces people of greater character.

Amalek18: People do not sit by you because you are not a source of status to them. They do not gain anything of monetary or social value by sitting near you, so they do not. Remember, they are jews. You are but a human being.

Goddess writes: Btw, did you ever stop to think that maybe nobody ever sits beside you because you have bad body odor? I suggest mitchum. so strong you can even skip a day...

Nice Jewish Girl broke her ankle the other day and is housebound until after Christmas.

The NJG: dude, what's with the whiney "I wanna be popular at shul" shtick?
The NJG: You're like 36 years old, grow up already...it's embarrassing to read all the time "I wanna hang out with the cool crowd" from someone pushing 40!
The NJG: I mean, come on, you're not in high school anymore....I've never heard anyone say, "waaaah, I wanna be popular" at someone who's pushing 40 years of age!
The NJG: Popular with who?? As an adult, there *is* no such thing as popular!

Goddess Interviews Roger Pipe

Goddess asks Rog of RogReviews.com: "What's your take on the late Luke Ford? Have you ever met him and if so, sum him up in 25 words or less (try to do it without using the word "jackass." I dares ya.)"

Roger Pipe: "I have met Luke on a few occasions and I actually like him a great deal. I may not have always agreed with everything he said or did on his site, but he was always good to me personally. More than that, I think he was good for porn. His site was a wake up call to the powers that be that they no longer had total control of the press. Porn fans finally got to hear some of the stories that the big boys didn't want them to hear. Oh wait, that's ninety words. Let me try again. Luke was always cool to me, he is a snappy dresser with a keen accent who never met a story he didn't like. Better?"

Talking With An Ex-Girlfriend

PrincessDy: Congrats on your mention in WIRED.com..You really leaving?
PrincessDy: Yep. I almost threw up when I read it...Laughed, too
PrincessDy: Unreal, how you manage to make headlines like that.
PrincessDy: You kill me.
Luzdedos1: why did you almost throw up?
PrincessDy: You. Headlines. The whole thing is upsetting.
PrincessDy: I mean..major things are happening in the world...and Luke Ford makes headlines on MSN.com

I surfed over to Diana's website and found it dedicated to her dog. "My German Shepard Caesar, who passed away in my arms February 26, 1998, just 10 days after his 13th birthday party (Bark-Mitzvah). People always used to comment on the relationship between Ceasar and I. Almost creepy. Like "ETand Elliott. He followed me aroundeverywhere I wentmaking sure was safe. Our lives were always safest in each othershands.We two of a kind showed the meaning unconditional love. am both proud saddened to say that have never loved or cherished anything as much my life...not before not since."

Kosher Sex Debate

Khunrum writes: Kosher strip? PLAYBOY'S first Jewish Playmate - that we know of - is set to debate "Kosher Sex" author Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Miss November Lindsey Vuolo's rabbi in her Pennsylvania hometown advised her that stripping for the magazine was OK, but Boteach disagrees. On Wednesday, the pair will debate pornography at the Makor cultural center on West 67th Street. "Once people talk to me, they realize I not only had the guts to take my clothes off but I'm intellectually prepared to defend myself," Vuolo tells New York magazine.

Curious writes: She sounds like Custer at the Little Big Horn. Whatever, sweetie.

Chaim Amalek writes: This "debate" (what next, will shmuly debate the merits of fine wines with the mentally retarded?) is to take place within walking distance of my hovel. As
1. I hate "Makor" (where it takes place);
2. I hate the people who go to Makor;
3. I have not much use for celebrity rabbis; and
4. I have ZERO chance of scoring with that product of a mixed marriage (dad not really jewish), I will make it a point not to attend. The air will be vomit-inducing for sure.

Fred writes: I seem to recall that there was some sort of article that I read with a transcript of an earlier "debate" between Boteach and Vuolo. Neither of them struck me as a genius, but I think Boteach had a very strong advantage in the intellect department. Even though I think Boteach is a turkey, I think he had the advantage in the earlier debate. I wonder how Ms. Vuolo evaluated their earlier encounter. If I were her, I would schedule a "practice session" or two, but I doubt that she will. About 25 years ago, there was a Monty Python episode in which there was a boxing match between England's greatest boxer (played by John Cleese) vs. a 5 year old girl. It was hysterical. That's what this debate reminds me of.

Rabbi Bradley Hirschfield gives an interesting interview to Beliefnet.com. He's a rabbi with courage. I wish he were my rabbi. Here are excerpts:

If Jews have a problem with this, it ought to be a problem with Playboy, not with her as a Jewish girl. That is, their discomfort should be coming from the fact that a magazine is paying women to get naked for a camera.

If it only bothers them when Jewish girls do it, then they would have to admit that they really believe there's some kind of moral superiority that Jews possess. And we both know that's offensive. Because no community should propagate itself off of the premise that its members are morally superior simply because they’ve come from a certain gene pool.

Growing up in Jewish camps and Jewish youth groups, it was always kind of a joke that "shiksas" were for practice. And in all honesty, I don't want to be part of a community that can think that way. And there is a direct line between saying, "Jewish girls shouldn't be in Playboy" -- subtext: it's okay for Gentile girls -- and raising a whole generation of Jewish men who think shiksas are for practice.

So in that way, yeah, I think it's a real step forward. When you can go to Yad Vashem [,the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem,] and see [photos of] naked Jewish women who really were thought of as vermin and then you can open up Playboy and see a beautiful Jewish body that's actually being fantasized over by millions of men. I absolutely understand this is not the highest level to reach, but it is the next level in our development.

Jewish Offense League

From the LA Times article: "The volatile chairman of the militant Jewish Defense League and another of the group's top officials faced federal charges Wednesday of plotting to blow up a Los Angeles area mosque and an office of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista). Irv Rubin, 56, the group's chairman, and Earl Krugel, 59, its West Coast coordinator, were arrested late Tuesday after explosive powder was delivered to Krugel's home in Reseda, authorities said."

The LA Times profiles Irv Rubin here:

"Irv Rubin says he has never forgotten that day in 1971 when he was a student at Cal State Northridge and Rabbi Meir Kahane, who had founded the militant Jewish Defense League three years before, stopped by to speak. "He told us, 'If you see a Nazi, don't try to convince him you're a nice guy,' " Rubin recalled a few years later. "He told us to smash him."

"Rubin has done a fair amount of smashing in the years since then--he has been arrested, by his own estimate, more than 40 times. So he said it came as no surprise that when Kahane announced that he was stepping down in 1985, the rabbi named Rubin as the new chief of the JDL."

On his nationally syndicated radio show, Dennis Prager said Ruben's alleged bombing plan was evil and stupid. Stupid because if carried out, it would only hurt Jews and Israel.

DP noted that the difference between the JDL and Muslim terrorists is that the JDL is isolated and hated in Jewish life and it is not allowed to present its case in synagogues.

DP discussed his debate with the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of the JDL, on ABC radio in 1985. DP found the debate uncomfortable because Kahane called him so many names. The rabbi was upset that Prager would confront him publicly. Many traditional Jew believe that a Jew should never criticize a fellow Jew in public. Perhaps such Jews have never heard of the prophet Isaiah?

Most of the letters Prager published in his journal Ultimate Issues about his debate with Rabbi Kahane supported Kahane.

Prager later noted 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) come from Torah Law.

Khunrum writes: "A crime to swim in the same ocean? I mean, what if Yasser was taking a dip in the Pacific and Rabbi M. was swimming in the Atlantic? Would Jewish law force Yasser to get out and instead finish his laps in the Hilton pool?"

Rabbi Kahane wanted to kick all non-Jews, particularly Arabs, out of Israel and the occupied territories Judea and Samaria. Many, perhaps most traditional Jews that I know, support this. I sometimes flirt with the idea as well.

Daniel phoned in to note that Kahane's political party Kach in Israel is outlawed. It's regarded as a terrorist organization. Daniel said that when he came to the US, he was surprised how accepted Ruben and the JDL were, particularly by the news media.

DP notes that the media embrace extremists because they make for more dramatic stories.

DP says the JDL has no support within the Jewish community.

Luke says: I have acquaintances who are in, or were in, the JDL. I believe that the JDL is far more popular in Jewish life, particularly within Orthodox Judaism, than Prager says. A few weeks ago, I had a Sabbath lunch with a Hasidic couple. The host asked me which Jewish thinkers most influenced me. I named Prager as number one. My host said Rabbi Kahane changed his life.

I see Rabbi Kahane's book on numerous bookshelves as I go to homes in my religious community. Within the Orthodox Jewish community I know, Rabbi Kahane is a far more popular than unpopular figure. And those who oppose Rabbi Kahane and the JDL usually seem reluctant to say so publicly.

I've found that the more a Jew is involved in Jewish life, particularly Orthodox Jewish life, and the more nationalistic the Jew, the more likely he is to support the JDL. And the more secular the Jew, the more likely he is to oppose the JDL.

CNN.com reports: " The Jewish Defense League is a militant Los Angeles-based group that advocates the return of all Jews to Israel and the use of "all necessary means -- even strength, force and violence" -- to defend the interests of Jews, according to its Web site. Its logo contains a silhouette of a clenched fist over the Star of David. Rabbi Meir Kahane founded the organization to mount armed response to anti- Semitic acts in New York. The group gained notoriety when its members were linked to bombings, most of them aimed at Soviet targets in retaliation for the treatment of Jews in Russia. Kahane left the group and moved to Israel. He was assassinated in New York in 1990. El Sayyid Nosair, 36, an Egyptian-born Muslim, was convicted in connection with the shooting."

I wonder if anyone's been kicked out of their shul for belonging to the JDL?

I remember Irv Rubin phoning in to Prager's radio show to make his case for the JDL.

Susan Cohen writes on soc.culture.jewish.moderated: "Whenever I have remarked on the total whackos in the JDL, I have been shouted down and told I am defaming Jews. All I remember from them is, years ago, hearing about their internecine wrangling and pipe bombs under each others cars. Now this. I have the sinking feeling that I was not wrong."

Joe Rosenberg writes: "The JDL took a wrong turn, some decades ago which is why, at age 17, I quit, some thirty-odd years ago. To this day, though, I think that that JDL in general and Meir Kahane in particular -- despite saying many stupid, wrong things -- did directly address some issues that others long ignored, and that lack of the addressing of those issues has led to some dreadful things happening - the Crown Heights riot and the establishment of the PA spring instantly to mind. Whatever bad can fairly be said about the JDL -- and much can be -- it's also fair to note that they've been consistent, when nobody else has, about the futility and danger of negotiating with terrorists, for example.