Dennis Prager: Why and How in Yiddishkeit


dennis-prager[Video below.] When Dennis Prager attended yeshiva as a child, he insisted on knowing the why when all he was taught was the how of Yiddishkeit. At a recent event, he introduces Mayanot Yeshiva in Israel as a place that tells why in addition to how.

Dennis related some of the things that he has learned since his yeshiva days that insure the continuity of the Jewish people.

This Speech was delivered at the Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies Gala Banquet in New York City.

Prager relates his experience in 4th grade, when his rebbi said it was time to daven Minchah, the young Dennis Prager stated that he is not in the mood. The European born rebbi considered his feelings and responded, “So what?” These 2 words were pivotal in his future attitudes: behavior matters more than feeling.

How do you account for the preoccupation of the world with Israel a land the size of El Salvador? The Jews are the canary in the mine; they play a transcendent role in history, said Prager. Evil concentrates on the Jews first, but non-Jews are foolish if they dismiss what happens to the Jews as not their problem.

Prager delineates the following aspects which are all being confused today: The dilemma of Good vs. Evil leads to moral relativism; The disruption of the differentiation between Man and Woman as portrayed in a questionnaire giving a choice under gender: male, female, and other; The profane language that has overtaken our communications; Man and Animal being equated in the opinion that there is no difference in value between a chicken and a human.

Click below for the video:

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  1. just another lazy Yid who now has the power of the press close to his corrupted thought process. This type of Jew is most dangerous, whereas he can say I was one of you and realized how wrong I was… now one young person or even an Am ha’aretz might slide down hill with him. is a news site, but its an observant Jewish news site. stories aobut or by an Apikoris should not be allowed here, whereas, now becomes responsible for those Yiddin who end up following someone like prager to the abyss.

    Prager was and is a nice guy. They say only an educated man can be an Apikoris. Not sure he meets the definition, but he’s still a problem for observant Yidden.

  2. He’s very smart and knows alot; but how does that translate to not believing in the importance of Teffilin or Tzitzis or Etrog, Etc?

  3. In my, oh that it were humble, opinion, his voice does not belong here. On sociological issues, the man is a genius. On religious ones, he is a non-thinking liberal who is still stuck in his 4th grade pain. He disparages Torah Judaism and the idea of Gedolim. He argues on Torah Sh’Baal Peh. He is a well meaning man. I’m sure I would like him very much if I were to meet him. His opinions of Judaism don’t belong on a Torah site, even if his ideas here are true.

  4. Like number 1 I am too a big fan of Dennis, but important to keep in mind is that he tells the worlds he is a religious, not orthodox, Jew, – his words not mine. He doesn’t believe many basic tenets of halacha. Furthermore, he admits openly that he does not believe in all of torah shel bal peh.
    vyavinu toim binah

  5. All anyone should know about him is that he is an Apikoris. A very smart (and also in his own eyes) reform Rabbi. He preaches that Hashem doesn’t know the future and Jews need Cristians (what ever that means), ect. He shouldn’t be given the time of day, besides this warning.

  6. I haven’t seen Dennis since he was a student at Columbia circa 1968. Very interesting presentation. If I recall he’s a product of Yeshiva of Flatbush.

  7. There’s room for chanifa when it comes to some big figures but as Orthodox Jews we have to be very careful about giving him a hechsher. Listen to some of his dedicated hours for more.