Bob Dylan, M.C. Hammer and the Joy of a Mitzvah

Celebs and Common Criminals Equally Important to Chabad

Challah Time: Mordechai Lightstone has stories to tell about rappers M.C. Hammer and Snoop Dogg, along with Bob Dylan, Henry Kissinger and others. He’s also helped jailed criminals see their Jewish identity.
Challah Time: Mordechai Lightstone has stories to tell about rappers M.C. Hammer and Snoop Dogg, along with Bob Dylan, Henry Kissinger and others. He’s also helped jailed criminals see their Jewish identity.

By Mordechai Lightstone

Published October 07, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 4 of 4)

There’s the excitement of meeting someone famous. I have friends who have interacted with all kinds of celebrities, not all of them Jewish. There’s the one that spoke to Natalie Portman, the time a group of yeshiva students were given a ride back to yeshiva by Snoop Dogg on a return walk from a distant synagogue one Saturday night after Shabbos had ended, or the classmate that asked Jackie Mason to put on tefillin There’s even the picture of Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe putting on tefillin with a yeshiva student.

But truth be told, we would jump at the chance to do a mitzvah with most anyone.

I’ve seen people put tefillin on the homeless and invite the needy over for a shabbos meal. The same summer that Mendel and I went to visit Henry Kissinger, we also went to visit a man in a Forensic Psychiatric Ward, committed for murdering his two parents. For in truth, what drives us, what excites us and keeps us going, isn’t a chance to connect with celebrity. It’s love and the belief that everyone deserves a chance to express their Jewish identities.

Mordechai Lightstone is a rabbi by training, but a blogger by choice. He can be reached on Twitter @Mottel


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.