Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Orthodox Jewish Blogging

Luke Ford says:

From a Torah perspective, blogs just don’t seem kosher.

I have an instinctive reaction against women as Orthodox rabbis. It just doesn’t seem right.

Similarly, blogs that talk about other people, it just doesn’t seem right. That’s what the goyim do. They traffic in personal destruction. They rate women’s physical attributes and they beat their wives and they patronize hookers.

This is not behavior for a Jew.

I don’t think I am the only one who believes that we as an Orthodox community have not taken as strong a stand as we must against rogue bloggers.

Shmuel Riskin reads my mind here


Read On

My First Girlfriend Was Action Jackson

Luke Ford says:

My parents and I left the Seventh-Day Adventist church in August 1980 (I’m talking practically, not bureaucratically).

We moved to Auburn, California, where my dad started Good News Unlimited, a non-denominational evangelical Christian foundation aka the invisible church of Jesus Christ.

I entered ninth grade at the non-denomination evangelical Forest Lake Christian School.

For the first time in my life, I made friends with non-Seventh-Day Adventists.

I was miserable. I was a nobody (I used to be known as Desmond Ford’s son, my dad was a bigshot in Adventism, out of it, not so much, anyway, it’s not like status matters that much to me, I’m more interested in the things of the spirit like faith, hope and love).

My knees had cracked up so I couldn’t jog anymore. I had nothing I was good at. I yearned for mastery and decided that journalism would be my thing. That would be my ticket to get lots of hot chicks to sleep with me.

I finished my first semester of high school with a 1.2 GPA. I flunked two classes (Spanish and Algebra).

The next year, I went to public school for the first time — Placer High School. It was easier. I passed all my classes.

Read On

I Fear Intimacy

Luke Ford says:

“My therapist says I’m driven to marginalize myself wherever I go,” I said. “It doesn’t matter if it is Hollywood or Judaism or journalism. I either have to be the leader or in my grasping for leadership, I marginalize myself. I don’t relate to people in a normal way.”

“Why?” she asked.

“I could give you lots of good stories, lots of good reasons,” I said. “I’ve built them up over the years. I’ve accumulated them as self-defense. I could tell you it is because of my devotion to my craft, to writing and to art and to the transcendent. I could tell you it’s because I’m a heroic truth-seeker. And I’ve believed these things. I still do.

“I’ve thrown away my life. I’ve exchanged what was valuable for grandiose delusions.”

“Why do you marginalize yourself?”

“It’s because I’m afraid that if I were to relate to people with an open heart, if I did it without throwing up barriers between us, then people might reject me for who I am. I’ve thrown up so many obstacles to people getting to know the real me because I’m scared to death that I could not handle it if I was rejected for who I really am. So I write a blog and I do outrageous things and when people reject me for these externals, it is not nearly so painful if they chose to reject me after getting to know me.”

Read On

Second Coming Of Dennis Prager

Luke Ford says:

I read The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism in 1989 and found it so persuasive that I converted to Judaism in 1993. Then I found out that it’s ideas are largely absent from Jewish life, even Orthodox Jewish life. Over the years, I moved from frustration that the ideas of Nine Questions were not more important in Jewish life to disillusionment with Mr. Prager and Rabbi Telushkin. For a while, I wondered if they’d sold me a bill of goods. Then I learned to accept that they’d presented an inspiring vision of Judaism.

Novelist Herman Wouk, an Orthodox Jew, called it: “The intelligent skeptic’s guide to Judaism.”

Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin are secondary text guys in the eyes of primary text guys (such as Rabbi David Hartman). Dennis and Joseph write popular stuff, not scholarship. They don’t advance original insights. Instead, they assemble the best work of others and present it in a uniquely engaging way.

Judging by their writing and lecturing, Dennis and Joseph seem to spend most of their Jewish study time with texts about the primary texts of the Jewish tradition. Thus, they are not regarded seriously by many, perhaps most, scholars of Jewish text.

“It’s not Judaism,” many rabbis (such as Danny Landes) told me about Dennis Prager’s presentation of their religion. “It’s Pragerism.”


Read On

Friday, April 9, 2010

Saving The Single Woman

Luke Ford says:

I think most women grow up believing that a man will come along who will take care of the big stuff for them — the mortgage, the primary income, protection, taking care of the cars, etc.

As Dennis Prager says, women want a man who will blaze a trail for her through life and cut down the underbrush and clear out the mess and protect and provide for her.

In exchange for this, men want a woman who will make him the most important thing in her life (part of this is that a woman will take care of herself and make an effort to look sexy for him).

I’ve failed with women because I am not a provider and a protector. One woman I started seeing had an enemy who pounded nails into her car tires and when I wouldn’t take care of this guy, she left me.

I often run into single women who are reduced to tears by having to take care of the messy parts of life by themselves. Part of me wants to jump in and help, but most of me just feels tired and wants to lie down and to take a nap and to sense my feelings and to blog about them.

Read On