Archive for July, 2023

Chabad’s Secret Sauce Revealed

Monday, July 31st, 2023

Chabad’s Secret Sauce Revealed


Many factors, exacerbated by a global pandemic, have led to declining religious participation. Catholic and Protestant churches have lost congregants. Judaism seems to constantly be one existential crisis away from total extinction. Synagogues closed during COVID, and have yet to reopen.


Straddled between Reform and Orthodox, Conservative Judaism was squeezed from both sides. Many Conservative synagogues closed. American Jewish University, once a leading producer of Conservative rabbis, all but collapsed. They are desperately seeking a buyer for their idle Bel Air campus in a troublesome commercial real estate market.


Reform Judaism is suffering but surviving. Top Reform synagogues maintain an abundance of wealthy donors. Additionally, Reform Jews comprise a majority of overall Jews. Helping matters is an influx of congregants from Conservative synagogues uncomfortable with the strictness of Orthodox shuls. These congregants are a one-time solution salve, not an elixir.


While various religious denominations and sects shrink, Orthodox Judaism has bucked the trend. Chabad in particular is experiencing rapid growth expansion. As other synagogues close up shop, contract or merge to survive, Chabad houses are springing up globally. This is not a value judgment of which sect is best, just a cold numbers-based analysis.


Ironically, Chabad’s secret sauce is not secret at all. Unlike Coca-Cola’s formula, Chabad’s mixture of ingredients is readily available for copying. Chabad gets two very big things right.


First, Chabad creates a welcoming environment for every Jew. The Lubavitcher Rebbe wanted Chabad houses to welcome all Jews regardless of age, religiosity level, or personal politics. Cancel culture is non-existent.


Many Reform synagogues have become Democrat Party headquarters with bagels. Sermons that alienate Republicans are commonplace. Political liberalism is practically mandatory.


Orthodox Jews embrace traditional values and generally vote as Christian evangelicals do. My private conversations with Chabad rabbis from all 50 states had over 90% of them conceding that they vote Republican. Yet most Chabad rabbis refuse to allow politics into their shuls. They are truly inclusive. Politically liberal Jews are welcome. Campus Chabad rabbis in particular keep their political conservatism quiet to avoid antagonizing the many liberal students attending their services.


Chabad’s second key element is a brilliant balancing act. While open to all Jews, Chabad rejects liberalization of standards, rituals or traditions. There is zero compromise on doctrine. Chabad refuses to water down traditions to augment membership. Quite the opposite, the Torah is the standard. Chabad will not judge people’s conduct in their own homes. They will promote proper conduct in the Rebbe’s houses.


This combination of a loving outstretched hand with a traditional, absolutist religious

philosophy works. People know that a Chabad house provides an authentic traditional Jewish experience in a relaxed loving environment. Chabad will not perform gay marriages or interfaith marriages but will absolutely welcome gay Jews and interfaith couples to attend Chabad functions. Doctrine is absolute, but everyone is loved without judgment.


This approach proved decisive during COVID. Pajama-clad non-Orthodox congregants were able to observe services from their own bedrooms. Returning to physical temples became inconvenient. Conversely, Chabad houses reopened early in the pandemic and refused to close again. They understood that the survival of entities we call communities were at stake. With Zoom Shabbat services prohibited, Orthodoxy required in-person attendance. The mourner’s kaddish for a deceased parent requires 10 men. Friday night Shabbos dinners require at least three men to do post-meal benching rituals. A possible quick COVID death was not an excuse to allow a slow, painful death from individual isolation and community breakdown. Chabad’s outstretched hand offered Jews a place to meet, eat, pray and socialize together. Clearly delineated rules applied to attendees equally.


Raise standards and people will meet them. Treat everyone with a loving welcome and they will keep returning. Attendees may initially come for delicious food and abundant alcohol. They often stay long-term for the beautiful environment. They then may try replicating this in their own homes.


To survive and thrive, non-Orthodox denominations would benefit from copying Chabad’s successful two-pronged approach. Strengthening all Jewish sects benefits Jews of all stripes.

247 fun reasons to love America

Tuesday, July 4th, 2023

247 fun reasons to love America

1980 Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Team

1980s hard rock hair metal

2 Live Crew’s Banned in the USA

7-Eleven Big Gulps and Slurpees

ACDC’s You shook me, Thunderstruck, Moneytalks

Adam Sandler


Airheads band The Lone Rangers

Al D’Amato’s singing


America the Beautiful sung by Ray Charles

American soldiers and veterans


Anthony Clark

Bad Touch’s Discovery Channel

Batman: The Dark Knight

BB King and Lucille

Belker on Hill Street Blues

Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia

Biff Henderson

Bill Cosby, Himself video

Bill Murray’s Quick Change

Bill of Rights

Bill the Cat


Blue Collar Comedy Tour

Blue Bloods


Bluegrass Junction

Bounce houses

Bouncing 25 cent rubber balls

Boxing promoter Don King


Bubblebaths for two

Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck


Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise movies



Capture the flag

Cards Against Humanity

Chabad Houses

Charitable people


Cheers’s Sam Mayday Malone and Norm Peterson

Cherry Lime Rickeys

Chocolate covered cherries

Chris Berman

Chris Gardner’s The Pursuit of Happyness

Chris Noth’s Mike Logan

Chris Tucker singing Barry White


Coed touch football


Commando and pantsless Wednesdays (until HR intervened)

Conan O’Brien’s In the Year 2000

Corn Fritters

Cosmic Bowling

County Fairs

Dale Intimidator Earnhardt’s 1998 Daytona 500

Dana Carvey

Dann Florek’s Captain Donald Cragen

David Letterman’s Top Ten Lists

Dazed and Confused — Mitch Kramer


Dennis Farina

Desperate Housewives

Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo

Die Hard

DirecTV NFL Package

Dog-riding monkey

Donald Trump–from the Apprentice to the White House to Twitter


Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry Soda

Dr. Charles Krauthammer

Duck Dynasty


Edible underthings



Eye of the tiger


Flavored massage oil

Founding Fathers

Fox News

Fraggle Rock

Freedom, liberty, right of dissent

Gaga (dodgeball using closed fist and cherry ball)

Game nights

Garlic knots

Gatorade dumping on coaches

George W. Bush picks up bullhorn

Glow sticks as fake cigars

Golden Corral

GPS trackers

Greg the Bunny

Greg Gutfeld


Happy face emoticons



Henny Youngman

Hot Chocolate’s You sexy thing (I believe in miracles)

Hot scantily clad women

Howard Stern

I once finger-(blanked) a hermit crab (whoever said that)

In n Out Burger

Independence Day BBQs

Instant messaging

Internet dating


Italian ices

J. Geils Band’s Centerfold

Jack Nicholson’s Colonel Nathan R. Jessup

Jacuzzi romps


Jell-O wrestling

Jerry Orbach’s Lenny Briscoe

Jerry Reed’s Eastbound and Down

Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura, Pet Detective

John Cougar Mellencamp’s Pink Houses and Hurts so good

John Facenda’s The Autumn Wind

John McEnroe’s tennis tantrums

Judaism celebrated in peace

Justice Clarence Thomas

Justice Scalia’s scathing dissents

Karl Rove’s whiteboard


KFC Popcorn Chicken


Kim Kardashian’s bare bottom

King of the Hill


Kosher imitation bacon and crab

Krispy Kreme Donut Hamburgers


Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing on Dallas

Las Vegas

Lee Greenwood’s God bless the USA and Bandit Express

Lilo and Stitch — Ohana means family––––––––––––––

Louie Armstrong’s It’s a Wonderful World—————————————-

Louisiana Cajun Cooking (Especially with Justin Wilson)

Lucky Charms

Madden Football

Magnum, P.I.

Mardi Gras, New Orleans

Mark Levin’s rants

Married with Children’s Al Bundy

Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing and Let’s get it on



Meat and potatoes

Michael J. Fox’s Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties

Mills Lane yelling Let’s get it on

Miniature golf


Morris Day and the Time’s Jerk Out

Mountain Dew Code Red

MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch

Murder, She Wrote

Nathan’s Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest

National Federation of Republican Women

National Football League


New Years Eve noisemakers

New York Post front and back page

New York Stock Exchange opening and closing bells

NFL Films

NFL Network

Oakland Raiders

Old School with Will Ferrell & Vince Vaughn & Godfather Luke Wilson

Overtime playoff hockey

Pajama parties

Peaceful transition of political power

Phil Hartman


Political Conventions

Pool volleyball


Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio


Queen’s I want it all

Raider Nation

Rainbow Sherbert

Redeye with Greg Gutfeld

Republican Jewish Brunettes

Republican Party Animals


Robin Williams

Ronald Reagan’s self-deprecating jokes 

Rudy Giuliani’s New York toughness


Rush Limbaugh

San Diego Wild Animal Park

Satellite TV

Save a horse, ride a cowboy


Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concerts



Sherman Hemsley’s George Jefferson


Sky high skyscrapers


Slim Jims

Snoopy’s Joe Cool

Snow football

Social networks for building businesses

South Beach, Miami Spring Break

South Park



Stock trading


Strip chess

Stuart Scott


Summer camp

Super Soakers

Supply-side tax cuts

T-shirt originals

Taco Bell

Talk radio

Thanksgiving with John Madden

The Color of Money

The Counter Build Your Own Burger

The Expendables

The Frat Pack

The Honeymooners

The Muppets

The Onion

Tim McGraw’s Indian Outlaw ——————————————————


Toby Keith’s Courtesy of the Red White and Blue

Train rides

Trampoline Dodgeball

Tygrrrr Express

USA Cartoon Express

Video Arcade Games

We’re not France

Weekend at Bernie’s

Western medicine

Whitesnake’s Here I go again video

Wifi on planes

XM Sirius Satellite Radio


Young Jewish Conservatives

Yummy bouncies and badonkadonks

ZZ Top’s Sleeping Bag and Sharp Dressed Man

On 2023 Independence Day, the American Dream is alive and well

Monday, July 3rd, 2023

On 2023 Independence Day, the American Dream is alive and well

Why I Love America