Rabbi Rabbs Loves Pico-Robertson

Read and watch Luke Ford’s complete interview with Rabbi Rabbs.

6 p.m. We walk towards Pico Blvd and head west. He’s lived in this hood since 1987. “No other place has so many kosher restaurants in one place,” he says. “People get along better here than anywhere else I’ve ever been. The other side of town [Fairfax/La Brea] is more icky, sticky, stuffy.

“I go surfing. I put my surfboard on my car and I’m off. Nobody cares. I’m not sure I could get away with that on the other side of town. I’d get a speech from some yenta. ‘What are you doing? Rabbis don’t go surfing.’

“In New York, I don’t know what people would say about me. Ashkenazi Jews can’t handle people who are different.”

Luke: “This is a tolerant Orthodox community.”

Rabbi: “Oh yeah. Pico-Robertson is a magnet for misfits so naturally they don’t have a problem with me. They couldn’t stand the poison and the venom of New York and New Jersey… They tend to be more laid back and open-minded and understanding of people who are different. Plus, there are a lot of Sephardim and Persians and they don’t give a crap.”

“The older I get, the more young chicks dig me.”

“For the life of me, I don’t understand why anyone would want to be Jewish. But you can’t talk to these people. They feel that Torah is truth, they were born with a Jewish soul.”

“If I woke up one day and somebody told me, ‘Rabbs, we discovered that your grandmother is not a Jew.’ I’d say, ‘Thank God, I’m out.’ I don’t want to be part of this. I hate this. Non-Jews think it is the greatest thing ever. They all want to be Jewish. I don’t understand it.”

“I get the BT (baal teshuva) thing. I’m born Jewish, I’m stuck. I better do what I am supposed to do.”

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 (Alexander90210.com), 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 Alexander90210.com. 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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