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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Kiddush Today Is Sponsored by the King David Bikers!

It's not every Shabbat that the snacks following synagogue services ("kiddush") are sponsored by "Hillel's Angels," "Yowies (Yidden on Wheels)," "Chai Riders," and the "King David Bikers," but this Saturday was special. It marked the day after the Ride to Remember, a cross-country motorcycle ride for hundreds of Jewish motorcyclists from across North America, culminating in DC, where they convened at the Holocaust Memorial.  The spiritual leader of the King David Bikers, Rabbi Zachary Betesh of the Chabad of Fort Lauderdale, who rides a chicken souped-up Harley Ben-David (nee Davidson), brought on the trip a special Torah scroll:

The Torah scroll that the club has adopted for its cross-country ride is a recently acquired sefer from 1929 that was used secretly by Czechoslovakian Jews and smuggled to Jerusalem during the Holocaust. The Torah will be used for the weekly reading on the Shabbat following Holocaust Remembrance Day in a Washington synagogue.

As it happens a friend of mine was at the synagogue (American Friends of Lubavitch, aka the Chabad embassy) for services.  When I saw him later that day, he reported to me that at one point during the service, a group of black-leather clad bikers sauntered into the small sanctuary, and not knowing their larger purpose, he feared the worst: that these big bad-ass bikers were ready to roll the joint, especially once another handful of them came.  The fear subsided--the rabbi leapt forward to give the interlopers a big embrace, announcing that kiddush today was being sponsored by them as represenatives of the King David riders from Miami.  And when services ended, sure as Bob's your uncle, the guy standing next to my friend revealed a saucy garb of patched-up denim and leather underneath his prayer shawl (tallith).  Just another day in DC.

Kind of makes me wonder whether A3G at UTR and Nick Denton at Gawker may someday collaborate to create Underneath Their Tfillin, an online gossip blog about famous rabbis and their phylacteries. :-)

Posted by Administrators on May 8, 2005 at 11:23 PM in Culture | Permalink


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Yes, it's him. He is my grade 8 French teacher at AHS Finch.

Posted by: Anonymous-Y | Oct 28, 2008 5:38:32 PM

mr spector is also my french teacher he is amazing he tells us lots of stories about his biking experiences and many other amazing things that he has done. he is a pretty facinating guy and he likes to take all kinds of risks as long as he does not put an yone in dander.

he is the best teacher

Posted by: jamie | Jan 7, 2008 10:01:35 PM

yes, actually lionel spector was and still is teaching. He is in fact currently French teacher at a Toronto Hebrew day school, moreso, MINE! He is an incridible guy and he still rides his motorcycle!

Posted by: Lindsay | Sep 23, 2006 10:14:17 PM

i know him he is my french teacher he was a president of a jewish motorcycle club he is a great guy

Posted by: jason | Apr 1, 2006 6:40:39 PM

This is an odd request...made moreso by the fact that I've never responded to a blog before (I know, I know...it's the 21st century...), but I'm trying to find out if the Lionel Spector of the YOWs (Yidden on Wheels) is the same Lionel Spector who was a middle school teacher in the early to mid 1980s. Does anyone out there (esp. on the King David Bikers) know him? If not, I apologize for the intrusion! But if he is the same one I'm looking for, I'm trying to reach him (I'm a former student who thought he was one of the coolest teachers EVER and I'd like to let him know that and to let him know that I turned out alright--though I suppose that may be questionable given the odd nature of this 'comment'!)

Thanks...even if this is totally weird....


Posted by: Kim Burtnyk | Oct 10, 2005 1:17:27 AM

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