Dennis Prager

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  • #615521
    newbee
    Member

    I have a modern orthodox family member who i think listens to him and I heard he came out with a new book about the Ten Commandments I am thinking about giving as a gift. Does anyone know if its an appropriate show and if it would make a good gift for a middle aged modern orthodox man?

    #1145125
    BarryLS1
    Participant

    Dennis Prager is a bright guy and always has something interesting to say.

    Religious wise, he’s conservative, so I would check into the book before giving it as a gift.

    #1145126
    newbee
    Member

    Oh thanks for the heads up i thought he was MO. I checked out the book somewhat from what I read about it he doesn’t keep shabbos, so it’s probably best not to buy a book he wrote about the aseres hadibros….

    #1145127
    Joseph
    Participant

    Wikipedia claims his parents are MO.

    #1145128
    Dennis Prager
    Participant

    With your permission, I would like to comment on this discussion.

    It is true that I am not MO. But that is hardly the whole story. You should know the following:

    3. I believe that the individual who wrote the one negative review on Amazon engaged in nothing more than sinas khinam. All he did was attack me. He could not point to a single idea in the book with which an Orthodox Jew would disagree.

    5. Finally, for the record, while I am not as observant as an Orthodox Jew, I believe the Torah is from God and I tell this to the millions of Jews and non-Jews to whom I speak daily on my nationally syndicated radio show. I have tried to be a Kiddush Hashem every day that I have broadcasted over the past 33 years.

    Thank you for reading this. And please give my book The Ten Commandments a chance to touch you. I say this solely for the sake of Torah. I do not receive a penny in royalties.

    #1145129
    NotABochurAnymore
    Participant

    I didnt know Dennis checks out the Coffee Room. Looking forward to hearing you comment on this topic on your radio show today.

    I happen to be a big fan of Dennis Prager politically. I think he knows his stuff and knows how to make a point without too much emotion getting in the way of the truth. I highly recommend his videos on Israel. I have seen his videos on the Ten Commandments and they are very good and got me to think a lot. I would assume they are abridged versions of what his book is. That said, I would like to note that without the proper guidance from a reliable Torah authority (preferably years of shimush or closeness with a Rebbi), these videos can present a danger. While the content doesn’t have anything too far out, the very concept that in order to follow Torah, it must also be logical and acceptable to the modern secular thought process is dangerous. I don’t think that that is the point Dennis is necessarily making in those videos but you can come away with that feeling.

    I have also heard Dennis say things about “ultra-Orthodox” Jews in general that were somewhat disappointing to me. I don’t think he meant the comments as an indictment against all frum people but it came across in a way that was somewhat distasteful.

    There is also another person (who is a younger colleague of Dennis) named Ben Shapiro. He is MO and has put out a free eBook called “How Leftism Violates All 10 Commandments”. It is also not an authoritative Torah-based book but it is also interesting and it is worth seeking out Ben Shapiro’s content on politics. Really bright buy who is also frum.

    #1145130
    yaakov doe
    Participant

    Dennis, I remember you from you days as a grad student at Columbia who went to Russia, but have only seen you on video over the past 40+ years I’ve seen videos of your speeches at Chabad events on Torahcafe.com. If I remember correctly you were raised in a frum Flatbush family and attended Yeshiva of Flatbush. Although you seem to have an affinity towards Yiddishket, you are no longer observant of mitzvot, which I find both puzzling and troubling. I don’t know why an observant Jew would want to buy your book on the Asserot Hadibros.

    #1145131
    Softwords
    Participant

    I write the following with much caution as I am not interested in disparaging anyone, but feel clarification is necessary here. If I accidentally tread on Lashon Hora or Motzei Shem Rah I ask Michilah.

    I had been an avid listener to Dennis Prager for years. I very much enjoyed his intellectual approach and honesty. Of all the talk show hosts that I ever listened to, he was the ONLY one that I remember actually listening to others’ opinions and contemplating them. I have at least once or twice heard him state on air that he has changed his opinion on a particular subject (such as “kids playing with toy guns” and concerning the “Clinton scandal”).

    At one point I inquired about him from people that know him personally. I was told that his house (at least at the time) is/was Shomer Shabbat (and I assume Kosher as well).

    For all this I credit him.

    However, (and I assume he was waiting for this “however”) the fact is that he himself does not claim to be Orthodox, nor of the Orthodox mindset. This, unfortunately, means that even though we can consider him partially on the right track, we certainly can not consider him fully there. Thus, any material written by him needs to be scrutinized carefully before giving a green light to support him. I’m sure his book on the Ten Commandments may positively affect non-religious Jews (and Gentiles) to approach the Ten Commandment with deeper appreciation being that he is an intellectual and doesn’t take things for granted. However, our responsibility as frum Jews is to give over only the “proper” Masorah and that can be possible ONLY through those most G-d fearing.

    Although Dennis Prager is a good man, I have found in my opinion (stress – “in my opinion”) that he serves G-d intellectually. However, Hashem does not want us to serve him JUST intellectually (I.E. serving with our mind alone). Rather, we are to serve him through a combination of Mind and Heart. Mind – meaning to try to comprehend Hashem’s ways, purpose of our creation, and function of each mitzvah. HOWEVER, serving because it “makes sense” is not the epitome of “Serving”. Optimum service is “EVEN” when we don’t understand. [Note – I specifically stated that “we don’t understand” as opposed to “where it doesn’t make sense” because the fact is that the problem lies with our limitations, not Hashem’s. I also specifically used the expression “EVEN” as opposed to “Blindly” being that Hashem WANTS us to understand. Just that it shouldn’t be limited to ONLY when understanding.]

    If a child is obedient to his parents, but disobeys when he doesn’t agree, then he is not fully obedient. True obedience is when you do something because you were told to and for no other reason.

    The concept of “Serving with Heart and Mind” is what is meant by “Naaseh V’Nishma” – “We will do (purely because this is your will) and we will listen (I.E. try to understand the wisdom behind your will).

    Unfortunately, in my opinion, Dennis Prager find it easy to serve Hashem with his intellect, but difficult when it comes to Service of the Heart. Perhaps that is because in the non-Torah Intellectual world that is considered a weakness, not a strength. If he can overcome this stumbling block I believe he can become a truly G-d fearing Jew and perhaps even a righteous leader of his people.

    But for now I could not recommend a Frum Jew to purchase or read his writing on Yiddishkeit. There are much more worthy material out there to study.

    May Hashem Bless him and his family and guide them to a more righteous and more meaningful life.

    – Softwords

    #1145132
    oomis
    Participant

    Dennis, I remember quite well when you spoke at my shul, some decades ago. I was spellbound and would have had NO idea from the things you were saying, that you were anything BUT an Orthodox Jew. I have read “The Nine Questions…” when it first came out, and thought it was very well-written.

    From my standpoint as an Orthodox Jew, it is a bit sad to me that you are notm particularly when you express so many of the thoughts that I hold (though clearly some that I do not). I have also watched you in interviews, and I believe, listened to you on the radio. So while we may not be totally on the same page religiously and even possibly politically, I respect your opinions and how you articulate them.

    #1145133
    newbee
    Member

    “Finally, for the record, while I am not as observant as an Orthodox Jew, I believe the Torah is from God and I tell this to the millions of Jews and non-Jews to whom I speak daily on my nationally syndicated radio show. I have tried to be a Kiddush Hashem every day that I have broadcasted over the past 33 years.”

    I am surprised Dennis responded and I think that takes a lot of integrity. However, the fact is he is not an orthodox Jew- and the mitzvah of kiruv does not take precedence over giving up the Torah. Since he was apparently raised orthodox, i dont know how tinok shenishba could be applied here. I know it must be hard with a busy schedule to keep shabbos and kosher when you have to travel all the time- but its something we must do. I dont know you as well as the others, but I can’t give this book as a gift to an orthodox man. You seem like a very good person and may Hashem bless you.

    #1145134
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Dennis Prager reads and posts on YWN? The ads just doubled in value.

    #1145135
    oomis
    Participant

    HaLeiVi – 🙂

    #1145136
    golfer
    Participant

    Mr Prager,

    If you’re still out there following this, I would like to address this comment to you.

    Many years ago you spoke about a Jew getting up in the morning and saying Modeh Ani. Your words were, and continue to be, an inspiration to me.

    I never thought I’d have an opportunity to thank you personally.

    Thank You!

    #1145137
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Actually, he probably has an alert set up to notify him (or a publicist) any time his name appears on the internet.

    It was nice of him to respond.

    #1145138
    newbee
    Member

    “Many years ago you spoke about a Jew getting up in the morning and saying Modeh Ani. Your words were, and continue to be, an inspiration to me.”

    With all respect, honestly, how is this inspirational? Arent there better Torah sources from to get inspiration? Dennis Prager just said to us he is not orthodox- he gets up to say modeh ani on shabbos morning, and then drives to the local baseball game. Chanufa vs “mishum eiva, darkhei shalom, kiddush hashem” is a delicate balance.

    #1145139
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Dennis Prager said noting about baseball here.

    #1145140
    ExDenverite
    Member

    “Finally, for the record, while I am not as observant as an Orthodox Jew, I believe the Torah is from God and I tell this to the millions of Jews and non-Jews to whom I speak daily on my nationally syndicated radio show”

    I’d like to refer everyone to a radio debate from about 30 years ago between Dennis and Rabbi Kahane Hy”d, (can be found on Youtube) where he is confronted by the rabbi directly on this very point and it is clear from his answers that he is not the fervent believer in Torah MiSinai that he now claims he is.

    While I join those who admire Dennis for all the good that he’s done, I am also wary of his Hashkafos, and although I would like to believe he has undergone a transformation (I haven’t read the book),I think the burden is upon him to set the record straight.

    #1145141
    newbee
    Member

    “Dennis Prager said nothing about baseball here.”

    Would it help if I said drives to shule on shabbos instead?

    “I believe that the individual who wrote the one negative review on Amazon engaged in nothing more than sinas khinam.”

    I thought the amazon review along with the other responses here were actually helpful.

    “I’d like to refer everyone to a radio debate from about 30 years ago”

    Thanks, just listened to it.

    #1145142
    lesschumras
    Participant

    Newbee, it’s sad that you believe you cannot get inspiration from anyone not orthodox.

    #1145143
    Joseph
    Participant

    An Orthodox person getting Jewish inspiration from someone non-Orthodox? This is a book about the Aseres HaDibros.

    #1145144
    TheGoq
    Participant

    I have not read the book but the man makes a tasty veggie burger.

    #1145145
    cherrybim
    Participant

    Josepf, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lefin of Satanov, the m’chaber of the musar seifer Cheshbon HaNefesh, based portions of the seifer on Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues.

    So much for an Orthodox person not getting Jewish inspiration from someone non-Orthodox, in fact, many ba’alei t’shuva received their initial inspirations from non-frum sources.

    By the way, Benjamin Franklin was a m’nuval of a person whose behavior is pretty much the norm in much of society.

    #1145146
    Joseph
    Participant

    Wasn’t R. Lefin a maskil?

    #1145147
    cherrybim
    Participant

    Are you serious? The sefer is currently published by Feldheim with an English translation. The original Hebrew version can be found in every yeshiva and bais medresh. Reb Yisroel Salanter had his talmidim republish it as well.

    #1145148
    cherrybim
    Participant

    I too had a painful awakening with this thread because as long as I did not know for sure, I was hoping that Dennis Prager was shomer mitzvos. While I had some doubts, however, “If he seems frum, and speaks like he’s frum, then he must be frum”, I thought to myself.

    Well, you can’t have it both ways; it doesn’t work.

    #1145149
    Joseph
    Participant

    Nevertheless it isn’t comparable. He didn’t use Ben Franklin’s teachings on Tanach to learn from. It would be more understandable if you suggested learning an ethics book of Mr. Praeger than a book from him on what to learn out of the Torah (Aseres HaDibros).

    #1145150
    cherrybim
    Participant

    I didn’t suggest anything.

    #1145151
    Joseph
    Participant

    YWN should advertise that Dennis Prager is a member and posts here.

    #1145152
    TheGoq
    Participant

    Cherrybim i have a painful awakening every time i hear of a frum jew committing a crime.

    #1145153
    cherrybim
    Participant

    Joseph, how is it that some “members” don’t have their CR histories accessible?

    #1145154
    TheGoq
    Participant

    thats ok cherry ignore me if thats easier for you.

    #1145155
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Mussar is not Torah. It is Derech Eretz.

    ????? ??? ??:-??

    ?”? ?????? ?”? ?????? ????? ?????? ????? ??? ?? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ????? ?????? ????? ???? ??? ?? ???? ??? ????? ????? ???? ????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ????? ??????? ???? ????? ???? ??? ???? ????? ????? ??????? ???? ????? ??? ???? ???? ??????? ??? ?? ?”? ??? ?????? ???? ??? ??? ??? ???????? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?? ??? ??? ????? ?? ???? ????? ????? ????? ??? ?? ????? ??????? ??? ??? ????? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ?????? ?????? ??? [??????? ??? ??????] ????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ??? ?? ???? ??????? (????? ??, ??) ?? ???? ???? ???? [???’] ??? ????? ????? ???”? ??”? ??? ????? ?? ???? ??? ?? ?? ?????? [??? ??????] (???? ?, ?) [??] ????? ???? ???? ??? ???? ???? ????? ????? ?????? ??? ????? ?????? ???? ?????? ???? ?? ??? ?? ?????? ?????? ?????? ?? ?? ????? ????? (???? ?, ?) ???? ????? ???? ?? ????? ??? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ????? ????? ????? ???? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ???? ???? ??? ?? ???? ???? ????

    While ???? ??????? ????? gets over-quoted, people have a hard time being ????? that ???? ??????? ?? ?????. A Yid not living according to the Torah is ?????????.

    #1145156
    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    A Yid not living according to the Torah is ?????????.

    No, he is still a Yid.

    #1145157
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    DO you know what BaGoyim means? A Yid that is BaGoyim.

    #1145158
    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    The Gemara means it comes from goyim, not that a Jew who is not shomer torah umitzvos and lives like a goy (which Dennis Prager does not, by the way). Your explanation is forced.

    #1145159
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    It’s not about which blood you have. The idea is that the Torah comes from only one place. Not from outside.

    #1145160
    cherrybim
    Participant

    The Goq – Cherrybim i have a painful awakening every time i hear of a frum jew committing a crime.

    Yes, and I get physically sick too.

    #1145161
    TheGoq
    Participant

    ty cherry

    #1145163
    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    lives like a goy (which Dennis Prager does not, by the way)

    To explain: What I mean is that Dennis Prager is traditional, while obviously most gentiles do not keep Jewish tradition.

    #1145164
    Neville ChaimBerlin
    Participant

    You guys don’t seriously think Dennis Prager has ever checked the YWN CR, right? Lol, that was probably one of Joseph’s accounts.

    #1145165
    Joseph
    Participant

    Mr. Prime Minister, If you google around the web you’ll find numerous instances of Mr. Prager dropping into conversations on little town newspaper websites and random blogs when some stray internet poster mentions him. It seems to be a thing of his. It isn’t hard to setup a Google Alert to be quickly notified anytime a name comes up on the web.

    #1145166
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Thats the anonymous internet for you. Maybe it is, maybe it isnt. Maybe I am Dennis Prager, perhaps I’m Dennis the Menace. Perhaps I’m neither, and all I am is just another simple jew.

    #1145167
    newbee
    Member

    I know with google alerts you get notified whenever your name is mentioned. It would have been really easy for him to get the notification and respond.

    Or perhaps get the notification, type up his statement, and send it to an employee who posted it here under his name.

    #1145168
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Or perhaps I wrote it.

    #1145169
    Joseph
    Participant

    Dennis is too big and way too important to lower himself to respond to an online discussion about himself among lowly internet peasants in the coffee room or other online forums. He is not to be confused with a mere human.

    #1145170
    newbee
    Member

    Joseph, If we mention his name enough more times perhaps he will descend from his throne on high and grace us with words of wisdom once again.

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