The Surfing Rabbi

You don’t have to be religious (most of its contents are secular) to enjoy this book about one of Pico-Robertson’s greatest characters.

Rabbi Yonasson Gershom writes on

Not since “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” have two more unlikely activities been combined into one book title. Surfing Rabbi? If that sounds like an oxymoron to you, then you really should read this book. It’s the totally honest personal story of a 1960’s Malibu beach rat whose love of surf and sand eventually became a spiritual quest to delve more deeply into the power of his own Jewish roots. Today, he is both a Hasidic rabbi and avid surfer, demonstrating that to be a “religious Jew” does not have to mean withdrawing from the modern world.

I read this book on a cold, snowy, Minnesota Sabbath afternoon, which is about as far away from the ocean as a person can get. I knew nothing about surfing when I opened the book, but soon found myself completely caught up in the story. Here was a man so devoted to surfing, that he drove through a war zone just to get to the beach. Foolhardy or adventurous? I had to find out!

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (, he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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