Friday, July 30, 2010

Luke Ford, Joey Kurtzman On Eikev IX

Luke Ford writes: Joey Kurtzman (a co-founder of Jewcy.com) talks to Luke Ford about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deut. 7-11). Chabad Torah Commentary Aish HaTorah



Luke Ford, Joey Kurtzman On Eikev VIII

Luke Ford writes: Joey Kurtzman (a co-founder of Jewcy.com) talks to Luke Ford about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deut. 7-11). Chabad Torah Commentary Aish HaTorah



Luke Ford, Joey Kurtzman On Eikev VII

Luke Ford writes: Joey Kurtzman (a co-founder of Jewcy.com) talks to Luke Ford about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deut. 7-11). Chabad Torah Commentary Aish HaTorah



Luke Ford, Joey Kurtzman On Eikev V

Luke Ford writes: Joey Kurtzman (a co-founder of Jewcy.com) talks to Luke Ford about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deut. 7-11). Chabad Torah Commentary Aish HaTorah



Luke Ford, Joey Kurtzman On Eikev VI

Luke Ford writes: Joey Kurtzman (a co-founder of Jewcy.com) talks to Luke Ford about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deut. 7-11). Chabad Torah Commentary Aish HaTorah



Luke Ford, Joey Kurtzman On Eikev IV

Luke Ford writes: Joey Kurtzman (a co-founder of Jewcy.com) talks to Luke Ford about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deut. 7-11). Chabad Torah Commentary Aish HaTorah



Luke Ford, Joey Kurtzman On Eikev III

Luke Ford writes: Joey Kurtzman (a co-founder of Jewcy.com) talks to Luke Ford about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deut. 7-11). Chabad Torah Commentary Aish HaTorah



Luke Ford, Joey Kurtzman On Eikev II

Luke Ford writes: Joey Kurtzman (a co-founder of Jewcy.com) talks to Luke Ford about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deut. 7-11). Chabad Torah Commentary Aish HaTorah



Luke Ford, Joey Kurtzman On Eikev

Luke Ford writes: Joey Kurtzman (a co-founder of Jewcy.com) talks to Luke Ford about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deut. 7-11). Chabad Torah Commentary Aish HaTorah



Thursday, July 29, 2010

Serial Dating Los Angeles X

Luke Ford writes:

Ally writes the “Serial Datist” blog. She’s only 29 years old. She was raised Orthodox but in adulthood she’s become a tad less Orthodox.



Serial Dating Los Angeles VII

Luke Ford writes:

Ally writes the “Serial Datist” blog. She’s only 29 years old. She was raised Orthodox but in adulthood she’s become a tad less Orthodox.



Serial Dating Los Angeles IX

Luke Ford writes:

Ally writes the “Serial Datist” blog. She’s only 29 years old. She was raised Orthodox but in adulthood she’s become a tad less Orthodox.



Serial Dating Los Angeles VIII

Luke Ford writes:

Ally writes the “Serial Datist” blog. She’s only 29 years old. She was raised Orthodox but in adulthood she’s become a tad less Orthodox.



Serial Dating Los Angeles IV

Luke Ford writes:

Ally writes the “Serial Datist” blog. She’s only 29 years old. She was raised Orthodox but in adulthood she’s become a tad less Orthodox.
TheShiksaMenace: put luke in a thigh lock
YourMoralLeader: ok
TheShiksaMenace: LETS SEE THIS
User TheShiksaMenace changed their name to ChaimAmalek.
ChaimAmalek: Luke, you should drill her on torah before the night is out
ChaimAmalek: You are the shiznet
ChaimAmalek: he has a spare lulav
ChaimAmalek: and an esrog
ChaimAmalek: Show us your abs
apikoris: what sports does she excel at ?
ChaimAmalek: I like this chick’s genes
ChaimAmalek: Are you ovulating?
apikoris: this should be on LukeFord.com, not .net



Serial Dating Los Angeles V

Luke Ford writes:

Ally writes the “Serial Datist” blog. She’s only 29 years old. She was raised Orthodox but in adulthood she’s become a tad less Orthodox.



Serial Dating Los Angeles III

Luke Ford writes:

Ally writes the “Serial Datist” blog. She’s only 29 years old. She was raised Orthodox but in adulthood she’s become a tad less Orthodox.
TheShiksaMenace: Asian Chicks are NOT submissive
TheShiksaMenace: This woman craves Aryan men
TheShiksaMenace: How often do yo go to the mikvah?
TheShiksaMenace: Arm wrassle her
TheShiksaMenace: Show us more muscles
TheShiksaMenace: Terrific
TheShiksaMenace: feeble Jewess, you are no match for an aryan man like Luke!
apikoris: this s**t should be rated R
TheShiksaMenace: Do em
YourMoralLeader: she’s great
TheShiksaMenace: put luke in a thigh lock
YourMoralLeader: ok
TheShiksaMenace: LETS SEE THIS
User TheShiksaMenace changed their name to ChaimAmalek.
ChaimAmalek: Luke, you should drill her on torah before the night is out
ChaimAmalek: You are the shiznet
ChaimAmalek: he has a spare lulav



Luke Ford Interviews: Serial Dating Los Angeles II

Luke Ford writes:

Ally writes the “Serial Datist” blog. She’s only 29 years old. She was raised Orthodox but in adulthood she’s become a tad less Orthodox. TheShiksaMenace: Jews do to much dating and not enough mating.
TheShiksaMenace: the secular, that is
TheShiksaMenace: date date date….dates are for eating, not socializing.
TheShiksaMenace: Are you two going to get to know each other better after this?
TheShiksaMenace: Is this a bais yakov girl? I’ve heard of them
TheShiksaMenace: Now translate, please
TheShiksaMenace: Luke, this is a good look for you.
TheShiksaMenace: Impressive
TheShiksaMenace: What happens if one trips and accidentally has beah with a needah?
TheShiksaMenace: Vas schreibt der Gemarra?
apikoris: ask her why Jewish chicks worship African Americans and want to have sex with Black men



Luke Ford Interviews: Serial Dating Los Angeles

Luke Ford writes:

Ally writes the “Serial Datist” blog. She’s only 29 years old. She was raised Orthodox but in adulthood she’s become a tad less Orthodox.

maven: i want to know, as a serial datist, does she have a list of shiduch questions?

maven: what does she think of your 4 hour sex rule? Now’s your chance to validate whether girls agree with the theory

apikoris: ask her if it’s true that when a guy says he’s been with 9 women, he’s been with 3, and when a woman says she’s been with 3, she’s actually been with 300

maven: Has she done jdate? where does an ex-religious person find dates? What religious world did she come from?



Liami Lawrence Interview VIII

Luke Ford writes:

He hosts a radio show in Los Angeles and he hosts regular parties for Jewish singles.

We talk on my live cam about his kiruv work introducing striptease to Israel, his flirtation with Christianity last year and his views on this week’s Torah portion.



Liami Lawrence Interview VI

Luke Ford writes:

He hosts a radio show in Los Angeles and he hosts regular parties for Jewish singles.

We talk on my live cam about his kiruv work introducing striptease to Israel, his flirtation with Christianity last year and his views on this week’s Torah portion.



Liami Lawrence Interview IX

Luke Ford writes:

He hosts a radio show in Los Angeles and he hosts regular parties for Jewish singles.

We talk on my live cam about his kiruv work introducing striptease to Israel, his flirtation with Christianity last year and his views on this week’s Torah portion.



Liami Lawrence Interview VII

Luke Ford writes:

He hosts a radio show in Los Angeles and he hosts regular parties for Jewish singles.

We talk on my live cam about his kiruv work introducing striptease to Israel, his flirtation with Christianity last year and his views on this week’s Torah portion.



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Liami Lawrence Interview IV

Luke Ford writes:

He hosts a radio show in Los Angeles and he hosts regular parties for Jewish singles.

We talk on my live cam about his kiruv work introducing striptease to Israel, his flirtation with Christianity last year and his views on this week’s Torah portion. PeterLutherChristian: The Jewish Federation is an employment agency . . . for the people it hires.
PeterLutherChristian: Protestant Charities does it differently
PeterLutherChristian: The way Judaism works is, if you are not money hungry, you are driven out.
PeterLutherChristian: So over the generations, the Jews come to take on these money-grubbing traits.
PeterLutherChristian: I don’t think Esther actually “married” a goy.
PeterLutherChristian: You men are destined to become Christian.
PeterLutherChristian: 15 Minutes
User PeterLutherChristian changed their name to ShmulyStreimel.
ShmulyStreimel: Any man who can talk a Jewess into bed after just 15 minutes is . . . something.



Liami Lawrence Interview V

Luke Ford writes:

He hosts a radio show in Los Angeles and he hosts regular parties for Jewish singles.

We talk on my live cam about his kiruv work introducing striptease to Israel, his flirtation with Christianity last year and his views on this week’s Torah portion.



Liami Lawrence Interview III

Luke Ford writes:

He hosts a radio show in Los Angeles and he hosts regular parties for Jewish singles.

We talk on my live cam about his kiruv work introducing striptease to Israel, his flirtation with Christianity last year and his views on this week’s Torah portion. PeterLutherChristian: The final solution to the problems of the disaffected Jew is to be found in the welcoming arms of Christ Jesus.
PeterLutherChristian: In my “kehilla”, you would be welcome by comely lasses eager to win a new soul for God.
PeterLutherChristian: “Spiritual” is not Jewish.
PeterLutherChristian: To be a Jew is to study the talmud and sell things to goyim. And that’s not you, my friend. You belong in Church.
PeterLutherChristian: Beside, and in case you haven
PeterLutherChristian: haven’t noticed, WASP girls are far better looking than most Jewesses.
PeterLutherChristian: This is God’s way of informing the Jewish man where he needs to be.
PeterLutherChristian: Israel needs to admit Palestinians the way we do Mexicans. PROBLEM SOLVED
PeterLutherChristian: Jews flee to cults because they have been poisoned against Jesus by their rabbis
PeterLutherChristian: EXACTLY
PeterLutherChristian: The Jewish Federation is an employment agency . . . for the people it hires.
PeterLutherChristian: Protestant Charities does it differently
PeterLutherChristian: The way Judaism works is, if you are not money hungry, you are driven out.



Liami Lawrence Interview II

Luke Ford writes:

He hosts a radio show in Los Angeles and he hosts regular parties for Jewish singles.

We talk on my live cam about his kiruv work introducing striptease to Israel, his flirtation with Christianity last year and his views on this week’s Torah portion.

PeterLutherChristian: Still more useless masturbation from Luke Ford.


bozo: this interview is going straight to DVD


PeterLutherChristian: Really, this is your career in a nutshell. Always falling short, never going that extra yard (never mind mile) that might have gotten you a career, money, respect, and women.


PeterLutherChristian: Just coasting.


PeterLutherChristian: No wonder no one in your kehila wants to make a shidduch for you


PeterLutherChristian: What is that guy on the right staring at?


PeterLutherChristian: I’ve no idea what he is saying.


bozo: is he speaking English?


PeterLutherChristian: I think he’s trying to propose marriage to Luke


PeterLutherChristian: He’s saying “I think I would make a good husband for you, Luke. I would provide you with a decent apartment, new clothes, and a better car”


PeterLutherChristian: Luke answers: “But how would I reconcile this with the toirah?”



Liami Lawrence Interview

Luke Ford writes:

He hosts a radio show in Los Angeles and he hosts regular parties for Jewish singles.

We talk on my live cam about his kiruv work introducing striptease to Israel, his flirtation with Christianity last year and his views on this week’s Torah portion.

bozo: sounds like a swarm of 1 billion bees buzzing…. can’t hear your guest…


PeterLutherChristian: Luke, this is inaudible. Why bother?


PeterLutherChristian: Do you have a thousand of those vuvuzelas playing in the background?


bozo: i was thinking that too


PeterLutherChristian: KNOCK KNOCK…..nobody can hear you LUke.

 



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Luke Ford 19th Century Germany

Luke Ford writes:

The mention comes about 44:40 into his lecture.

I don’t quite understand all the Hebrew or Yiddishisms. Can someone translate them for me?

Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff says on YuTorah.com: "You would think was an article in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles one week ago. Who’s that guy? Luke Ford? You might think that this is Luke Ford in what is that called? A blog. This guy knows all the gossip, the ins and outs, the lashon hara of the Orthodox world. He’s an [expert] in not poskim, but in all the inner workings of the Orthodox world. It sounds like Luke Ford is quoting a rabbi in a sermon today."

 



Insecure Alexander Technique Teachers

Luke Ford writes:

Robert Rickover writes in vol 2 issue 1 of Direction Journal:

London teacher Kri Ackers said: "The thing to remember about Alexander teachers is that we’re all insecure as hell."

Why is this?

Alexander’s lack of formal training and his low status origins (Tasmania, Australia).

Lack of legal standing for the alexander teaching profession: anyone can call himself an Alexander teacher.

Divisiveness within the Alexander world: after Alexander’s death, several of his students established their own training courses. These men and women had very different interpretations of Alexander’s work, and very different approaches to teaching. These differences have led to bitter disputes with members of the various "lineages" disparaging each other’s work.

 



Hungry In America?

Luke Ford writes:


For the past few months, the Jewish Federation has campaigned around Los Angeles that one out of eight people in the city are hungry.


It’s a big fat lie, but that hasn’t stopped synagogues, including Orthodox ones, from embracing the lie and preaching it from their pulpits.


Is there any lie about America so outlandish that liberal Jews won’t preach it? I’m thinking in particular about the faux threats of global warming and heterosexual AIDS in America.


Dig this — the Jewish Federation campaign website is at GiveLifeMeaning.org.


I love that. Give your life meaning by peddling lies.


I’m sure that gives many people meaning. I’m not sure why we should admire that.


Last week, the Jewish Journal put this on its cover: "One Hip Campaign Tackles Two Problems: Hunger and the Federation’s Image"


Problem: There’s no evidence of widespread malnutrition aka hunger in California or the United States.


 



Why Don't Republicans Run On Hope?

Luke Ford writes:

Dennis Prager said on his radio show today: "Their arguments are not based on reality. They believe that higher taxes will help the economy. Paul Krugman won a Nobel prize in economics and he believes that.

"The notion of hope. Have we had in my lifetime a Republican hope president? Remember Bill Clinton? The man from Hope, Arkansas. The candidate of hope, it was the most famous bumper sticker and poster of Barack Obama. How come there are never hope candidates from the Republican party? Because we do not use that rhetoric. We’re not into dreams, into hopes, into dogma. Those are more the provinces of the Left. We are sober in our assessment of the perfectability of human beings. We have a much less romantic view of humanity. Leftists and liberals believe in world opinion. World opinion is either bored with human suffering or on the side of the cruel."

Dennis Prager writes this week:

 



Using Psychology As A Weapon

Luke Ford writes:

"Do you think you’re attracted to emotionally unavailable women?" she had asked.

She was sure he was still enmeshed in his parents. By contrast, she said, she had made great strides in this area.

She was wise and all-knowing. He was but a helpless infant she was tiring of.

She used psychology as a weapon. She had no training in the field but she’d had years of therapy and she had read a few books.

Sunday night she’d suggested he talk things over with his therapist and then call her.

"What does your therapist say about that?"

What a common question in relationships. He feared that even he had said that, not just in his current relationship, but in previous ones.

 



The Prophet Mohammed

Luke Ford writes:

Why do non-Muslims keep saying, “The prophet Mohammed”?

It’s so patronizing. We don’t do that for other religions. Do we say the prophet Joseph Smith? Or the prophet L. Ron Hubbard? Or the prophet Ellen G. White?

Dennis Prager made this point on his radio show today. “Does Friedman write the Christ Jesus? Or the prophet Moses? Of course not. It’s so politically correct.”

Tom Friedman recently wrote about why are moderate Muslims not protesting massacres such as the one at Fort Hood.

Where is the good being done in the name of Islam?

You keep telling us what Islam isn’t. Please tell us what it is. Why do a million Muslims pour into the streets to protest cartoons of Mohammed but not one will go into the streets to protest mass murder in the name of God?



Women's Self-Worth

Luke Ford writes:

Dennis Prager discussed this on his second hour of his nationally-syndicated radio show today.

He said that men tend to get most of their self-worth from their work and that married men in particular tend to work longer hours than married women.

I think that in religious life, men get more of their self-worth from their religion. Some get more from their religion than from their work.

Most attractive women, particularly those unmarried, seem to get most of their self-worth from their looks. Younger women seem to get almost all of their self-worth from their looks.

 



The Disposable Single Man

Luke Ford writes:

I’m reading a book about mercenaries in Iraq called Big Boy Rules.

On page 83, the author Steve Fainaru writes: “Sometimes Cote would say it didn’t really matter if something happened to him, because he didn’t have a wife, or kids, or anyone he was responsible for.”

 



Making Jokes About Marriage

Luke Ford writes:

I’ve never known a girlfriend who enjoyed me making jokes about marrying her, making pretend offers to marry her. They never laughed. They never found it funny.

As soon as you can laugh about something, it means it’s not a big deal. As soon as a society starts making jokes about adultery, it means that adultery is not such a big deal.

Jewish humor didn’t develop until the Enlightenment and it chiefly developed among secular Jews. Orthodox Jews who are funny do it, I think, out of an internalization of our society’s secular-religious split (that there is a place for religion and a place to keep religion out such as the public square). The more religious the Jew, in my experience, the least likely he is to be funny. The funniest Jews are overwhelmingly the most secular. They are the most fearless. They don’t have whole swathes of life that are off-limits to humor because of holiness concerns.

I think the Talmud says something about everyone knows what happens on a wedding night between the newly married couple, but anyone who makes jokes about it does not go to the world to come.

I think the more secular I am, the funnier my writing is. The more religious I am, the less funny. It is much harder for me to make jokes about Judaism when I’m taking it most seriously.

 



REO Speedwagon's Hi Infidelity

Luke Ford writes:

Nineteen eighty was a tough year for me. On the afternoon of Yom Kippur 1979, my father delivered a controversial talk before a thousand people at our Seventh-Day Adventist Pacific Union College (PUC) in the Napa Valley questioning the foundational doctrine of the church — choseness.

In January, my parents moved to Washington D.C. so my dad could organize a defense of his views. I stayed behind at PUC with friends. I was out of my dad’s shadow and I could have a childhood and do all the things normal kids do such as eat candy and talk to girls.

I started listening to pop music, tuning in at night to radio stations KNBR and KFRC.

In the summer of 1980, my father had his ministerial credentials taken away by the church and he moved to Auburn and set up his own non-denominational evangelical Christian foundation Good News Unlimited.

I was outside the warm bosom of the Adventist community for the first time and I felt desolate. My father said we belonged to the invisible church of Jesus Christ but that did not make for much practical community.

 



Abortion - Something Women Go Through

Luke Ford writes:

“Every woman I know has had one,” a secular Jewess said to me today. “It’s just something that a woman goes through. All of my mother’s friends. None of them wanted one.”

In my experience Jewish women feel a lot less guilt about abortion, pre-marital sex and oral sex than do their Christian sisters.

I remember talking to my secular Jewish girlfriend in 1993. We hadn’t been safe.

“What would happen if you got pregnant?” I asked.

 



Rabbs: Torah Portion Eikev (Deuteronomy 7-11)

Luke Ford writes: I discuss this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with Rabbi Hershel "Rabbs" Remer.



Rabbs: Torah Portion Eikev (Deuteronomy 7-11) X

Luke Ford writes: I discuss this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with Rabbi Hershel "Rabbs" Remer.



Rabbs: Torah Portion Eikev (Deuteronomy 7-11) IX

Luke Ford writes: I discuss this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with Rabbi Hershel "Rabbs" Remer.



Rabbs: Torah Portion Eikev (Deuteronomy 7-11) VIII

Luke Ford writes: I discuss this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with Rabbi Hershel "Rabbs" Remer.



Rabbs: Torah Portion Eikev (Deuteronomy 7-11) VII

Luke Ford writes: I discuss this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with Rabbi Hershel "Rabbs" Remer.



Rabbs: Torah Portion Eikev (Deuteronomy 7-11) VI

Luke Ford writes: I discuss this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with Rabbi Hershel "Rabbs" Remer.



Rabbs: Torah Portion Eikev (Deuteronomy 7-11) V

Luke Ford writes: I discuss this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with Rabbi Hershel "Rabbs" Remer.



Rabbs: Torah Portion Eikev IV

Luke Ford writes: I discuss this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with Rabbi Hershel "Rabbs" Remer.



Rabbs: Torah Portion Eikev (Deuteronomy 7-11) III

Luke Ford writes: I discuss this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with Rabbi Hershel "Rabbs" Remer.



Rabbs: Torah Portion Eikev (Deuteronomy 7-11)

Luke Ford writes: I discuss this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with Rabbi Hershel "Rabbs" Remer.



Rabbs: Torah Portion Eikev (Deuteronomy 7-11) II

Luke Ford writes: I discuss this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with Rabbi Hershel "Rabbs" Remer.



Monday, July 26, 2010

Torah Portion Eikev VIII

Luke Ford writes: I talk about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with the Torah columnist of Tikkun magazine.



Neil Dublinsky ZT”L

Luke Ford writes:

I’m eating lunch at 12:20 p.m. today in front of my desktop computer and surfing around Facebook when I chance upon this announcement on a friend’s page: “BARUCH DAYAN HA EMES: Our Beloved Friend NEIL DUBLINSKY (“Neil Dee” on Facebook) passed away earlier this morning. There will a memorial service this Sunday @ 1:00 pm at Beth Jacob 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211 . Neil’s leviah will take place in New York.”

Neil Dublinsky? It can’t be the Neil Dublinsky I know. I just saw him a few months ago at the Happy Minyan. He seemed full of life.

Is it the Neil I know?

I message a couple of friends and hear back: “Yes you definitely knew him. He passed away from complications due to lung cancer Friday morning (he never smoked in his life). Please come to the service if you can.”

Whoa. Jesus H. Christ. How did my friend die and I didn’t even know he was sick? How disconnected am I? I know I’ve pulled back over the past two years, but how did this happen? How far have I fallen? What happened to my humanity?

A blog doth not a life make.

I put on my black undertaker suit and step foot inside Beth Jacob for the first time since October of 2001 when Rabbi Steven Weil kicked me out.

 



Torah Portion Eikev VII

Luke Ford writes: I talk about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with the Torah columnist of Tikkun magazine.



Luke Ford's Lost Journal

Luke Ford writes: I was born the son of a Christian evangelist with a taste for the psychedelic music of Texas-based rockers Bubble Puppy. My dad tried to instill a sense of discipline in me. Upon catching me stealing spoonfuls of brown sugar from a sack he kept on high shelf, he gave me a vicious rap on the noggin with a garden spade. I awoke to find myself chained in the dunny in back of our house. I could hear a monstrous saltwater crocodile � Salty, I called him � thrashing about in the muck below. Above me, I saw the web of a venomous red black spider. At the door, I heard the menacing hiss of a death adder. I was deadly scared, but I knew that I had to go on. I had some blogging to do.



Spiral Staircase Of Life

Luke Ford writes:

Dr. Stephen Marmer: “We work and rework all of the main challenges of development. Every time we do it, we can add to our happiness and reduce our unhappiness because we get another shot at working at a problem that has come up in the past and will come up again in the future. No problem is ever sold solved 100%.

“Imagine you are climbing a spiral staircase in the tower and at each vista, there’s a window. You get to see the fields from a different angle.

“There are four basic developmental challenges — dependency, mastery, grandiosity and feeling small in a big world.

“You will face these challenges over and over again.

“We will experience these windows one way in childhood, another way in adolescence, another way in early adulthood…and another way in the geriatric phase.

 



Torah Portion Eikev IX

Luke Ford writes: I talk about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with the Torah columnist of Tikkun magazine.



Luke Ford Is A Lost Little Boy

Luke Ford writes:

I think I’m a nasty piece of work — angry, vengeful, and spiteful.

I am so ashamed. I hate who I am much of the time.

Thank the good L-rd my psycho-therapists don’t view me this way.

They all look at me as a sad little boy.

All of them have this perspective. I’ll confess in therapy to the shameful things I’ve done. I’ll confess to how I view myself. I’ll berate myself all session about my dirty deeds done dirt cheap. I’m a big sinner! I’ve spurned G-d’s love! And then at the end, they’ll say, “I see you as a lost little boy looking for love. There’s just an aura of sadness and brokenness about you.”

Thank G-d for psychology!

 



Torah Portion Eikev III

Luke Ford writes: I talk about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with the Torah columnist of Tikkun magazine.



Torah Portion Eikev VI

Luke Ford writes: I talk about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with the Torah columnist of Tikkun magazine.



Torah Portion Eikev V

Luke Ford writes: I talk about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with the Torah columnist of Tikkun magazine.



Torah Portion Eikev V

Luke Ford writes: I talk about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with the Torah columnist of Tikkun magazine.



Torah Portion Eikev IV

Luke Ford writes: I talk about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with the Torah columnist of Tikkun magazine.



The Orthodox Pot Dealer

I'm telling a secular friend that we should get together when he's in my neighborhood.

"OK, my pot dealer is near you," he says. "He's Orthodox. He has a kosher grow house."

The Three Weeks

Rabbi Gadol emails:

The 3 Weeks - Bein Adam Lachaveiro (rather than mere rituals, see Haftarah, Yeshayah 1:10-23)

Rabbi Aryeh Levin, (March 22, 1885 - March 28, 1969), known as Reb Aryeh, was an Orthodox rabbi dubbed the "Father of Prisoners" for his visits to [the mainly irreligious] members of the Jewish underground imprisoned in the Central Prison of Jerusalem in the Russian Compound during the British Mandate.

He was also known as the "Tzadik ("saint") of Jerusalem" for his work on behalf of the poor and the sick.

[He has become famous through the book "A Tzaddik In Our Time" by Simcha Raz, which very many have, and it's greatly recommended as a life-changing book. "One of the very few which motivates one to be a better person."]

1) ENTIRE TORAH: (Shabbat 31a) Hillel said: "The entire Torah is to not harm your fellow man; the rest is commentary [how to be a better person! Bereishit Rabbah 44:1], go and study."

2) MAIN EMPHASIS: (Rosh, Pe'ah 1:1) Because Hashem desires bein adam lachaveiro more than bein adam lamakom.

[Note: This is nothing but the most basic logic; it may be explained some other time. I have been amazed at how many people never even heard this life-changing idea, and are tragically even a bit surprised by it, which explains a lot. Those who think the opposite will have a different religion, obviously, as I once did to some extent.

Almost all Chilul Hashem, religious divisiveness, machloket, denigration of non-observant and "goyim", obliviousness and never even mentioning the suffering of 99.98% of humanity, except to even callously justify it with a stone heart while the Israeli government or non-Jews send help, etc., will tend to result far more easily from this pietistic and irrational outlook.

See BR 44:1 and countless places in Nach and Shas (perhaps some other time), all in addition to the Rosh and Hillel.]

3) CAN BE A DEATHLY DRUG: (Yoma 72b, Taanit 7a) When a person studies Torah with the wrong intent [or without tikkun hamiddot, or correcting character faults with self-criticism], it can easily become a "sam hamavet", or deathly drug.

(And it may easily make him a MUCH worse person than if he had never studied - GRA. See also Shabbat 31a, "better that you never studied")

4) WHEN ARE MITZVOT HATED: (this week's Haftarah of Shabbat Chazon, Yeshayah 1:10-23)

All the korbanot, chaggim, prayers and Birkat Cohanim with all their rituals are not merely worthless,

but even HATED by Hashem when there is a lack of bein adam lachaveiro and selfless concern for the weaker people of society. (Likewise Haftarah of Shabbat Yom Kippur, 58:1-12, and many other places in Nach)

5) BEAUTIFUL BEHAVIOR: (Avot 2:1) Rebbe said: "What is the best way which one should choose? (Not rituals and piety, or stern rabbis promoting chumros who are not famous for sever panim yafot, but) beautiful behavior which is praised by all people."

"When a person dies, all that is left is... character."

PART 2

(a) R Aryeh would take each inmate's hand and cup it inside his own. Slowly he would rub and squeeze the prisoner's hand as he sat and talked with him.

His eyes radiated love and comradeship, and he spoke soft and soothing words of encouragement. Even the most stubborn prisoners succumbed to his simple, untainted love for his fellow Jew.

(b) HIS LOVING INFLUENCE: The prisoners spoke of his influence on them. The following are some of their comments:

"I still thank the G-d of Israel that as the door of Cell 48 opened to lead me into an unknown future and life behind bars, He sent me this good angel of His."

"If you never saw a camp of prisoners receive Rav Aryeh and give him welcome, you cannot know the power of love and faith."

"About this Jew there was always a wondrous aura."

"His eyes illuminated the darkness of our cells... For us he was a bridge to the past generations, a link of prayer with the Almighty."

The three converts said: "The sternness of Shamai wished to chase us out of the world; but the gentleness of Hillel brought us under the wings of Hashem's presence [the Shechinah]." (Shabbat 31a, bottom)

Torah Portion Eikev II

Luke Ford writes: I talk about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with the Torah columnist of Tikkun magazine.



Torah Portion Eikev (Deuteronomy 7-11)

Luke Ford writes: I talk about this week's Torah portion of Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12–11:25) with the Torah columnist of Tikkun magazine.



Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Dream

A friend emails:

I had a dream about you last night.
We were lying on our sides, face to face. Our chests touched and there was a fiery warmth all up and down where our skin touched. It wasn't hot in the sense of sweaty, but glowing. We were both amazed.
I don't know if I'll ever see you again, so thought I would share.

You had a nice apartment, not like the hovel you describe. Your bed wasn't against the wall, it was cati-corner, a huge bed, maybe king size, with plump comforters and very clean linens, and blond wood headboards. Sophisticated and welcoming.
You didn't have that beard or all that mess now - it was from before. It was our first time embracing - we were unclothed (didn't want to say that at first or have you assume anything) and the bright light/heat, almost like fire locked us together from sternums to our waists. We were amazed and a little confused and happy.
Then the dream jumped to us walking around, and I saw you had a whole nother floor, and I was amazed you had never mentioned this! It was downstairs, and huge, like lofts - actually set up as if 3 artists could live or work there, and you might be thinking of renting it out, but nobody did live there, and that bothered me a little. It was such a huge area, yet not really habitable - not useful as living space.
I've dreamed about you a couple of times before, but usually you do something half-assed or annoying, and I think no more of it. After this dream I was satisfied.

I'm Afraid To Love

Luke Ford writes:

People with a strong sense of self are less afraid to love. They don’t need to know that they will be loved back equally.

I have a weak sense of self. I find out who I am through the reactions I get from others. I write to get reactions. I say things to get reactions. I do things to get reactions.

If you take two days to call me back, I want to take at least three days to return your call.

If you don’t seem excited to see me, I don’t want to seem excited to see you.

If I am sure you are committed to me and exclusive to me, then I can be committed to you. But if you are not devoted to me, I’m not going to be devoted to you. I’m going to wander. There are so many great girls out there who will snap me up.

I see monogamy as a commitment to you. I want to see monogamy as a commitment to myself.

 



Mel Gibson Vs. Sam Rubin

Luke Ford writes:

Jan. 19, 2010. Around 9 am today, I was watching KTLA.

Sam Rubin was tossing some softball questions to Mel Gibson and Gibson just jumped on him. He accused Rubin of a having a dog in the fight about Gibson.

Rubin didn’t realize at first what Gibson was getting at but then it dawned on him that Gibson was referring to Rubin being Jewish.

I couldn’t believe how hostile Gibson was to Sam Rubin. You’d think all the criticism he’s taken for his hateful tirades about Jews would’ve settled Gibson down, along with his 12-step work, but I guess not.

Kevin Roderick writes:

 



What Use Wife?

Luke Ford writes:

First, I want a girl to save my life. Remember when we were driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway Nov. 8? I passed a car and was steaming ahead, not realizing I was in the lane for the southbound traffic. A car was approaching and I did not think about it. You tapped the dashboard on the right and said, “Move over right now.”

And I did. And then I realized what had happened. You had saved my life.

I’m blind in a lot of ways. I say and do a lot of risky and self-defeating and dangerous things. I need help.

Imagine you’re in Commanche country and dozens of Commanches have surrounded you and they want to take your scalp and rape you and leave you dead. If you are one person, you’re always going to have your back turned on some Commanches. But if there are two of you, each one of you can cover 180 degrees of Commanches.

That’s what a relationship is about. You each take 180 degrees of Commanches and protect each other from getting scalped and raped.

 



Rabbinic Sexual Misconduct

Luke Ford writes:

Exactly how many secretaries can he plook before he can no longer stand up at Aish HaTorah on Shuvuot and lecture people about Torah?

Please understand that I do not have a position here. I don’t want this guy exiled from the pulpit. I don’t want him exiled from anywhere. I believe in compassion and forgiveness as much as Barack Obama does.

Perhaps you should know a little about my history so you know where I’m coming from. I marched with Martin Luther King in Selma, Alabama, so African-Americans could have the right to vote. As a kipa-wearing Orthodox Jew, I participated in the Stonewall riots in New York for the glory of God and the dignity of all of His children. I marched with Harvey Milk so that gays could no longer be denied housing simply because of their different way of expressing love. Nobody did more than I did to try to prevent the passing of Proposition 8 in California. I was standing on stage with Barack Obama when he accepted the Democratic nomination and he thanked me in his acceptance speech.

I don’t have any agenda here except to understand how much plooking out of bounds a rabbi can do and still deliver Torah lectures.

I am not a man lacking in bonhomie. I can appreciate how a powerful rabbi can see his secretary as a perquisite of his position. I have found numerous secretaries quite attractive over the years and there but for the grace of God go I, but I don’t get up in shul and lecture people about God and His moral demands. Instead I lead a quiet life. I bother nobody and nobody bothers me.

 



I Will Never Hurt You

Luke Ford writes:

Everybody in every relationship deliberately does things to hurt the ones they love (and hate). You can’t love someone without having a host of other emotions as well, including hate.

If you hate someone, it does not mean you can’t love them.

I hear this saying from women a lot: “I would never deliberately do anything to hurt you.”

It’s a lie.

Women are masters at appearing all sweet while simultaneously sinking their daggers into your psyche.

Until we can each acknowledge how much hatred we have for the other, we can’t make any progress.

It’s the same in all relationships. It’s true of my closest relationships with rabbis. I hated them and I loved them.

 



I Return To Shul

Luke Ford writes:

Over the past 18 months, I spent less time in synagogue than at any point since I started going to shul regularly in the fall of 1993.

Until September 14, I was going through my Orthodox conversion to Judaism and I had so much fear that something would go wrong, I stayed away from shul to narrow my chances of disaster.

Before Rosh Hashanah, I finished the process. But I haven’t hurried back to shul.

I’ve had several reasons for this:

* Over the past year, I’ve dated women who weren’t into Orthodox Judaism. I couldn’t shlep them along to shul and I didn’t want to leave them behind. When given the choice between a hot body in the hovel and an invisible God at shul, I frequently chose to stay home.

* Getting booted from five shuls for my controversial writing took a toll on my psyche. Stepping into shul became scary. It didn’t feel like a safe place. To avoid anything going wrong with anybody, I distanced myself. I didn’t open up to many people. I didn’t engage deeply. I didn’t form many bonds.

 



Luke Ford Is An Attention Whore

Luke Ford writes: Mary: Maybe it’s the holidays but the extracarricular flirting is reaching critical mass.
Mary: And it’s fun and long-distance, so why stop?
Mary: But since nothing fun is right, it must be wrong.
Mary: Right?
YourMoralLeader: flirting on whose part?
YourMoralLeader: yeah, it is not good, drains your sexual essence
Mary: Others start it, I feed it.
Mary: And feed on it.
Mary: I absolutely live on adoration. I’m an addict. Attention is my drug of choice.
YourMoralLeader: Attention is our substitute for love



Wallaby Nightmares

Luke Ford writes:

I’ve been having nightmares about the wallaby again, mate.

When one of those blasted buggers decides to have a go at you, there’s nothing you can do. They’re vicious creatures.

I stare into the wallaby’s black eyes. I’m deadly scared.

“I did it all to honk off my Dad!” I cry.

That’s when the wallaby starts kicking me. Kicking me to bloody pieces. Their back legs are spring-loaded; they’re like bands of steel, mate.

I squeal and begin to sob: “Nay…nay….”

My Dad always warned me I’d grow up to be a ponce. Is this my comeuppance for stealing Cocoa Krispies from the homeless and gloating over the sugary treats?

 



Friday, July 23, 2010

I See The End From The Beginning

Luke Ford writes:

“You see the end of things right from the beginning,” says his therapist.

He’s jolted. “My previous therapist said that,” he says. “Not the one before you, but the one before the one before you. She said I was always prepared for loss. That I always expected the teat to go dry. That I’d just suck away for all I could get because I felt sure it would go dry.”

“Your writing comes first for you,” says his therapist.

“Yes,” he says. “It’s number one. That makes decision-making easy. Everything else in my life, everyone else in my life, is subordinate to my writing. It doesn’t matter if I am lying in the gutter or davening at shul or standing on a porn set. They are all opportunities to write. Each perspective is but raw material in my artistic hand.

“I’m all about the work. I’m ready to sacrifice everything for my art.”

“That sounds very lonely,” says his therapist.

“Yeah, it can be,” he says. “It’s good to have your priorities.

 



Do You Feel Worthy?

Luke Ford writes:

In a 2005 lecture on Deut. 30, Dennis Prager says: “I have a feeling that Christians have a harder time thinking they are worthy.”

“Do you think God is satisfied with the person you are? I have Christians friends who find it incredible that I feel that God is satisfied with me. They’re stunned. They walk around with this deep sense of unworthiness. I haven’t felt unworthy for ten seconds. God could use a picture of me up in Heaven. Dennis is my man.”

 



Judaism With Muscles

Luke Ford writes:

I’ve gone a lot to Chabad shuls over the past few months and they’re totally different from the Modern Orthodox shuls I am used to.

For one thing, many of the Chabadniks I meet have muscles. Few Modern Orthodox Jews I’ve met have muscles.

Most Modern Orthodox Jews I know are college graduates. Most Chabadniks I know are not. They typically own their own businesses.

The Modern Orthodox Jews I know tend to be professionals. Each profession has this code of conduct. This produces different types of people than those who make their own way in the world.

I’m a blogger. I own my own business.

When Modern Orthodox Jews are mad at you, they threaten to tell the rabbi or to sue you or to take you to a Beit Din. They’ll write a letter against you. They’ll take out an ad.

I suspect that if a Chabadnik has a problem with you, he’ll let you know directly. I suspect that many Chabadniks have settled disputes with their fists.

 



The Torah Is Not In Heaven

Luke Ford writes:

A lot of people don’t understand how post-Biblical Judaism developed.

For one thing, there never was a Biblical Judaism. There never was a Judaism limited to the Bible. Before there was a Bible, a Torah, there was an oral tradition that became the Torah and the Bible.

As long as there’s been an oral tradition, there’s been another oral tradition interpreting the oral tradition written down in the Torah and the Bible. They’ve always run together like ham and eggs.

Dennis: “I have no reason to believe that Moses wore a yarmulke. Certainly there was no Hanukkah, no Purim. These are rabbinic holidays. How did Pharisaic law become Jewish?”

I was raised a Protestant. It holds “sola scriptura.” The Bible and the Bible only shall be our creed. Protestantism holds that tradition is not bad but it is a human creation.

Dennis: “How did the rabbis claim authority to make later law? They base it largely on this sentence — the Torah is not in Heaven.”

“A Jew cannot say on law that I got a voice from G-d and I can prove in miracles that I am right.”

“The rabbis say the Torah says follow the majority and…our religion is on earth and we will determine what it is for Jews will do.”

 



Does G-d Improve?

Luke Ford writes:

In a 2005 lecture on Deuteronomy 31, Dennis Prager says: “I don’t think there is a text dated anywhere near the text of the Torah that is so egalitarian in its depiction of women. It’s about as unsexist a text. Some things later in Jewish life became more sexist than the Torah.

“We have this belief that we progress. I was raised with this. That there is an inevitable progression in moral thought.

“That’s why people believe the prophets are more elevated than the Torah, which I do not believe. That is the common belief that you go from this tribal God of vengeance in the Torah to this universal God of justice and compassion in the prophets and as things move on, they get better.

“There was a time in Christian life where it continued. And God got even better in the New Testament. And then Islam said God got even better in the Koran. And then God got even better in the book of Mormon.

“If God gets better, it isn’t God. It’s just human creations of God.”

“I’ve always rejected this notion that God improves as you go along later in the Bible. Jews have believed this, not traditional Jews, but Jewish scholars, who tend to be liberal.”

 



Reclaiming Simcha After Tragedy

Listen here to this lecture.

“Reclaiming Simcha After Tragedy”
by civil trial attorney Baruch C. Cohen
at the 6th Yahrtzeit of Moshe Hammer

1. Grieving
a. Pain of being a bereaved parent is so great - unlike any pain
b. Derech Hatevah: Children are to bury their parents not the other way
c. Sheri Mandel’s the Blessings of a Broken Heart: Went from being pain to having pain, migrated out
d. Shikchah - Yaakov - Gezeirah Al Hameis Shenishtakach Min Halev
e. No word for bereaved parent: Orphans, widows, none for bereaved parent

2. Consoling
a. Comforting words the consolers use, creates expectations that are unmet adding to pain
b. ‘Life will never be the same’
i. ABA Journal Cover - When the Detour Becomes the Destination
ii. Being Derailed from one set of tracks but replaced on another in forward gear
c. ‘Lost your child’, maintaining a kesher with the Neshama - next room

3. Healing
a. Hashem is the Rofeh Lishburei Lev - the healer of the Broken Heart
b. One must acknowledge that they have a broken heart - pain
c. Dangers of unresolved grief, excessive grief, and unaddressed grief
d. Basketball swept under the carpet

4. Shulchan Aruch – Mishenichnas Adar Marbim BeSimcha, Mishenichnas Av MiMaatim BeSimcha

5. Ramchal’s Carving out Simcha Mitoch Tzarah

6. Gesher Hachaim - 4 births: 2 babies in the womb, not the end, the beginning

7. Bilah HaMoves Lanetzach, Umacha Hashem Elokim Dimah Meyal Kol Ponim - May He swallow up death forever; may Hashem wipe away tears from every face (Isaiah 25:8) Te'hei Nishmasa Tzrurah B'tzror Ha'chaim.

Passport to Delicious Food: A Conversation with Dave Abrams of Passport Food Group, Inc.

As readers of this site know, I have tremendous respect for companies in the food business that combine excellent taste with exceptional quality. Those traits are the key factors that separate successful brands from mediocre products. One company that symbolizes this quest for giving consumers the very best snacks, pasta, noodles and "fusion foods" is Passport Food Group, Inc. (www.passportfood.com). Based in Southern California, the company runs Wing Hing and Royal Angelus Macaroni, two stellar brands with deep ties to the Golden State. Founded by families who preserved the rich traditions of their respective cultures, Wing Hing and Royal Angelus now enjoy mainstream appeal throughout the United States.

Dave Abrams, the CEO of Passport Food Group, was kind enough to answer several questions about these wonderful companies. His interview, which you can read below, is insightful and educational. I highly recommend his products, and believe consumers would become loyal fans of the various products Dave oversees. Again, he has my thanks and support.



1. Why 'Made in California'? [Lewis explained the point of the campaign to me, and I understand the emphasis on the state's agricultural history, but what inspired you to highlight this point? What other companies, if any, are doing the same thing?]

I’ve lived in California for 20 years now, and watched as company after company has left the State. California has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, and one of the ways we can fix that is if Californians ban together and start doing more business with each other. Creating California jobs creates California consumers, which then creates more California jobs. We are fortunate in California to have one of the most diverse manufacturing sectors in the U.S. – you can just about anything made in California. If I buy more products from my neighbors, they have money to go out and buy the food we make. I can’t fix all the problems in Sacramento, but I can help some California families by creating jobs. We’ve doubled our employee base from 85 to 170 in 18 months. As far as any other companies doing this, I’ve not really looked. I’m just trying to do my part.



2. In terms of your recent acquisition of Royal Angelus, how long had you been considering this purchase?

I looked at the company for the first time in 2008, before I joined Passport Food Group. The owner at the time was not ready to sell. But I kept calling.

3. What benefits does Royal Angelus offer your company?

Several. First of all, Royal Angelus sells most of it’s products to other food manufacturers and retailers, and Wing Hing does very little in these segments. Conversely, Wing Hing’s customers are mostly large chain restaurants, and almost all of them buy Italian pasta, and Royal Angelus does very little business. So we can do a lot of cross selling between the brands. Second, we are taking advantage of Royal Angelus’ dry pasta manufacturing capabilities to make a dry Asian noodle line, which is a good size market served in part by Chinese imports. I believe we can make a better product here in the U.S. and compete well against the Chinese imports. (Have you ever wondered where all those noodles come from at the local Chinese Buffet where you can get a meal for under $5) And all of our ingredients come from U.S. suppliers! Third, many customers use our Asian wraps for Italian products like ravioli and lasagna, but we have not had a brand to really market them well in that manner. So we will sell fresh ravioli skins under the Royal brand manufactured by Wing Hing, and dry Asian noodles under the Wing Hing brand manufactured by Royal Angelus. Finally, we needed additional manufacturing space for expansion, and the Royal facility came with an extra 40,000 or so square feet that we can use for expansion.


4. Where does Royal Angelus fit within the broader universe of your company, i.e., products, relationships with retailers, brand recognition, etc.?

I think a lot of those answers are in the last question. Our motto “Bringing the World to your Plate” says it all. We are looking to be a supplier of international foods to our restaurant, retail and food manufacturing customers. We started out in Asian, added Italian, and who knows what is next. We want to be the first phone call to our customers looking for product expertise in Asian and Italian products, whether we make those products or not. Our emphasis is on the individual brands, with Passport Food Group as the “mothership”.

5. In your press releases, there are references to "fusion foods" between Wing Hing and Royal Angelus. What constitutes a fusion food? How would you define this category?

Fusion foods are any food products that combine tastes, textures and formats from more than one ethnic food group. At least that’s my definition. A great example is a “Wonton Taco” – a product we helped to introduce at Applebee’s. It’s a taco shell made from a wonton skin and filled with chicken, pork or beef. The taste combination is amazing. Try them!

6. What products, from either Royal Angelus or Wing Hing (or both), are your best sellers?

We focus on specialty pastas, like 100% organic, whole wheat, multigrain and challenging cuts like jumbo shells and manicotti. We’re the 8th largest dry pasta manufacturer in the U.S., but the other 7 are much bigger than we are, so we focus on more specialty items that the big guys don’t want to mess with. We’re positioning ourselves as more of a gourmet line, rather than an industrial giant. And we are focusing on the California market. We want to be known as “California’s Pasta Company” On the Wing Hing side, we are probably best known for our packaged wraps (skins) for egg rolls, wontons, dumplings and potstickers, but we also make a large quantity of fresh noodles and fried wonton strips and crispy noodles that end up on salads all over the country.

7. What types of products are in development?

I could tell you but then I’d have to shoot you. Just kidding. Generally, our focus is on better nutrition – this can include increased fibers, lower calories, lower salt, lower fat, all natural and organic products, and alternative flours.

8. Please name some of your key audiences or distribution channels.

You name it, we sell there. A lot of our Wing Hing volume goes through the “broad line” distributors, like Sysco and U.S. Foods, in order to get to large chain restaurants all over the country. But we also sell those products through local distributors for local restaurants, national retailers, local ethnic retailers, other food manufacturers and even direct to a few restaurants that have been buying from us for over 30 years when the company was first founded. Royal Angelus products are being sold primarily to other food manufacturers and retailers, but we have started getting those products into the food distributors for some of our large chains. With our focus on California, we are now starting a direct delivery program to restaurants and institutions that want our products, but can’t get them from their local distributor. If a customer wants our products, we’ll figure out a way to get them our products.

9. Where does the consumer fit within the products you currently offer, as well as those you plan to develop?

At the end of the day, all our products end up in the consumer’s mouth, regardless of the primary customer. So we are always developing and manufacturing products that we, as consumers, want to eat.

10. What are some of the benefits/differences between your products and those made by your competitors?

On the Asian side, our products are manufactured under strict food safety guidelines using 100% U.S. ingredients, and our facilities are inspected by several independent auditors who make unannounced visits several times a year. We routinely score “excellent” to “superior” on these audits. I tell our customers that if they are concerned about someone getting sick in one of their restaurants – if they have brand risk – they should buy from us. If they want the cheapest price, they can get their products from somewhere else. Our products are also designed for consistency – our restaurants want their customers to have the same high quality dining experience wherever they are around the country, and we can give that to them. So quality and consistency is really what sets us apart.

On the Italian side, we have been an innovator in ingredients for decades. The company came out with the first vegetable based pasta in the 1970’s – “Vegeroni”, and introduced the first 100% organic pasta. We now manufacturer reduce calorie, fiber enriched, whole grain, multi grain and organic pastas, along with all the traditional cuts. I guess we are best known for being the “specialty” dry pasta company.