Archive for November 2019

Welcome to Episode 46 of HatRadio!. I am a rabbinical son who gave up Orthodox Judaism (Frum Judaism) in my early twenties never to return to it. Many people over the years have asked me, 'why'? In this episode, Rabbi Daniel Korobkin of the orthodox BAYT synagogue ( of Toronto, conducts an interview with me asking questions about my decision to leave the belief system of my father and mother. Some of the very compelling questions he ask included: What was the price I paid for leaving Frum Judaism; was I sexually abused, something that could have encouraged me to leave the lifestyle I was born into?; Was my father disappointed in me right up until his death?; Did my mother accept my decision? Did my four sisters remain religious? Do I have regrets about my decision? Have a listen to the show. It was challenging for me, but cleansing, and I'm hoping my discussion with this very fascinating Rabbi, who is my friend, will enlighten some and help others who are on a similar path I took. HatRadio! The show that schmoozes. 


I'm grateful to Mark Gryfe of Gryfe Philanthropic Sevices, and Gary Samuel, for sponsoring the show. They are two men who are generous of spirit and basically, giving me a hand in this challenging venture. Thank you too, David Nefesh, for the HatRadio! song. Great comments on it. See David in Detroit on Sat., Dec. 21 at the Plymouth Coffe Bean Co.   . Hear David's music at: Appreciation to Howard Pasternack for his post-production work.  You always manage to get the sound to a pleasurable-listening place (despite my technical weaknesses in recording). And well done to Stephanie Kazdan for designing the new HatRadio! Poster. It's magnificent and takes the show up a real big notch. Please support Stephanie by purchasing her articles as or through Facebook@dishswear .   

Credit for music in commercial: "Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


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Welcome to Episode 45 with the inimitable Jaymz Bee. Man, this is one of those over-the-top shows with a guest who has a potful of energy, and stories galore to tell -- hence the 2 hours and 22-minute time. We just couldn't stop talking. Jaymz had to end the show with a poem he wrote reflecting his thoughts and those of many men, called, 'I Love My Almost Girlfriend' (2:19:06). 

Jaymz Bee, 56, is an entertainer, a bandleader, writer, radio host on Jazz FM, tour guide,  lover of life...and he is kind. He arrived at the interview two-hours early. I wasn't frantic as I used to get, but my notes weren't ready nor was the equipment. We got it up and going never-the-less. The talk between us ended up evolving into a real hometown schmooze, just two guys hanging out. His earliness was perfect. The show really sizzled. I loved it. 

So lay back on your Lazy-Girl/Boy, spark up a dube and let Jaymz's world seep into your consciousness. Listen to this colorful man's experience with Dr. Seuss; Tony Bennett (who calls Jaymz, 'Mr. Toronto'), the Rolling Stones (Mick welcomed Jaymz by name to impress the beautiful woman he [Jaymz] was with); Don Francks, the great Canadian actor, who was like a brother to Jaymz; Paul McCartney ('are you still vegetarian, Paul'?); Barry Manilow, Al Waxman and the Canadian cross-generational icon Mr. Dressup, Ernie Coombs. 

An inevitable question to ask a type-A pogo-stick sort of fellow like Jaymz is, 'so what were your parents like'? Jaymz responded that they were zany, quirky, crazy, funny and handsome ("Mom looked like Susan St. James; Dad looked like Rock Hudson"). They loved each other deeply, as heard through Jaymz's 'colostomy bag story' (42:47).  His Mom played practical jokes on the kids; scarred the crap out of James jumping out of the closet upon his arrival home. Her funeral was a party. Everyone got loaded and told hilarious stories including Mom's favorite comics: Jef Farquharson (couldn't remember Mom's name), and Pam Hyatt. Life was different in young Jaymz growing up year, different than most of our childhoods (would you have preferred his?). 

And his parents were kind, and this is what Jaymz aspired to be: a decent human being who could help young musicians and others as often as possible. And that's exactly who he became, despite the fact he was bullied terribly as a kid. Damn, I hate that.

Episode 45 is sprinkled with compassion and sharing. Jaymz talks about personally underwriting a record for a newcomer to Canada from Poland, the brilliant, "other world", Adam Makowicz (1:14:30).  Jaymz tells us how blessed he feels, to have been shown kindness early on by his parents, and to have siblings who are similarly kind. And he says, "I'm living on borrowed time". I'll leave that for you to figure out.

What I love about this interview is that Jaymz is a unique fellow who shares many sides of himself freely, and openly. He is a very inspiring and peculiarly human. Episode 45 is a reflection of a man who despite seeing the world as being absurd (or perhaps because of), is happy, willing to let us know who he is, including his drive to live life with gusto with lots and lots of woman friends, Hollywood stars and regular folk including guys like me.  Enjoy the show with Jaymz Bee! 

HatRadio! The show that schmoozes. Please share the link. 


Thank you Mark Gryfe and Gryfe Philanthropic Services for your sponsorship. We look forward to welcoming Gary Samuel and Paula Zivot, as our new sponsors. We're grateful for your support. 

Thank you to David Nefesh for the HatRadio! song, and to Howard Pasternack for his post-production work. Superlative job guys! Thank you.  

Credit for music in commercial:
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


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Welcome to HatRadio!, Episode 44 with my special guest, the inimitable spirit, an entertainer, performer, founder of Michael White and the White, original lead singer of Motley Crew, a singer/songwriter, a Dad/family man and a fellow who went through a lot of awful shit when he was a kid - ladies and gentleman, a big hand for Mr. Michael White.  

So, on the morning of the show, I stuck my head out my door to see Michael walking down the hall. I like doing that. Sure enough he got off the elevator and headed toward me, his long rock-n-roll hair hanging down and his 6'4" frame sauntering, slowly, as if to be taking in the moment. We greeted and hugged. Old friends. We hadn’t seen each other in a while. Michael was my voice teacher and we used to schmooze for hours in his low lit and warm home studio. But it had been a couple of years. You know how it goes.

I always liked Michael because he speaks slowly, methodically and regularly wears a warm, gracious, and childlike smile on his face. He is decent and inspirational. He made me feel good about myself. And I knew I was with a real, authentic rock-star. And I love rock-stars. I've interviewed a few of them. They just have this way about them...a sort of 'life is whole lot of fun. It can be meaningful. I love what I do. And fuck you. I'll show you.' What else could you ask in a friend.

So, My friend, this larger than life man, comes into my home. I direct him to his seat. We did a sound check. He knows what he was doing. We tape the show. We cover a lot of ground like we used to do in his studio. The big topic of conversation in the first half of HatRadio! episode 44, was about his Mom. They were living in Los Angeles. Michael was 13. One day, he comes home, goes to the next room, hears a shot and finds his Mom, with a bullet in her head. Dead. Oy! Damn. My heart always breaks when I think about Michael, when he was my son's age, going through that. Damn. And he goes to school the next tools to help him. No therapy. Nobody to hold him and comfort him. 'Are you okay?'. Big hug young Michael

But, later in life, he was okay. More than that. After Michael figured things out - what does he do to remember his Mom, to let go of those tough feelings (and this is reflective of his driven spirit)? Well, he wrote a song about her end of days called, 'Baby, Who's Gonna Stop You Now?'. And it's not what you think. Have a listen. Let me know what you think.  I think it's hauntingly upbeat. 1:01:28

Michael is the founder of Michael White and the White, the greatest Led Zeppelin Tribute Band ever. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant adore his work. They told Michael so. People lined up around the block to hear Michael and his band. During our interview he tells great stories of those days, as he beamed with pride. Yes, he tells us what we want to know: insight into the life and mind of a rock star.  Listen to the crazy-ass story about how he went into Prince's studio (with his production guy), to hear a recording of the Purple Rain stars' rendition of Voodoo Child, with Miles Davis. But the kicker of the story, is the bed in the studio. Yup. The bed. 1:36:41

Today, Michael, at 64, has developed a Beetles show.... you know, When I'm 64. He's a family man, teaches voice, composes, creates huge rock performances with school bands, invents and then reinvents.  Oh yes, Michael's played with Jeff Healey, Alice Cooper, Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), Keith Emerson, Pat Rush, Steve Morse (Deep Purple), Rick Wakeman (Yes), Albert Lee (Jackson Browne/Joe Cocker) and Dweezil Zappa.

My dear friend is truly a fascinating guy, and he is because he has heaps of life experience, with bag full of instruments and musical notes and he's wise. And there ain't nothin' like a wise rock-star.

Have a listen. Ladies and Gentlemen, Michael White!!!! An exciting and inspiring show. HatRadio! The show that schmoozes.


Accolades to Howard for his post-production work and the recent YouTube video he produced and filmed

Thank you too, to Mr. David Nefesh, the composer of the HatRadio! Check out his music and upcoming shows. I seem to be attracted to rock stars, eh?! song.

Credit for music in commercial:
Slow Burn Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Credit for Baby, Who's Gonna Stop You Now?
Michael White. Used with permission

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Here I sit at my computer thinking about Episode 43 of HatRadio! with my guest, Jeff Budd......a really important show!

What to write? How to approach it?

After all Jeff went through, as a kid, the stuff we fear the most - sexual abuse from a teacher. So, I'm mulling this over and thinking, ya he did, and we talked a lot about that time in his life, but you know what, like he told me, he doesn't let that define him as a person. And I love that about Jeff because he means it, and you can just see he's worked arduously to make that a reality.

So ladies and gent, let me introduce to you Jeff Budd, a beautiful person who speaks candidly about pretty much mostly everything including: coaching hockey in Israel and working with hockey's greatest coach ever, Roger Nielson; standing proudly when Hatikvah, Israel's National anthem was played in Belgrade after his team's victory; working with children in Kitchener ensuring their environment is safe and loving....and a lot more.

And folks, meet my dear friend Jeff Budd who is from my hometown, Kitchener and who adored my parents, his Rabbi and Rebbetzin who were his mentors and teachers. Today Jeff is a stalwart leader in the synagogue responsible for many things including taking care of families who have lost a loved one, and participating in the Jewish rituals required to prepare a body for burial.

That's Jeff Budd!!!

And yes listeners, Jeff's grade 5 teacher sexually abused him. At 35 Jeff had him arrested and the judge, "a poster child for judicial malpractice" let the guy off for a damn stupid reason. Of course, this time is crucial in Jeff's life, and he speaks openly and at length to describe the tribulations he went through, how his parents and family saved his life, but he's says with confidence: this time in his life does not define him, at least not in whole. 

I loved this schmooze with Jeff, and I did because he's a marvelous story teller who laughs a lot (as I do) and he can take and give a joke. I loved this talk we shared because it's clear Jeff appreciates life in only a way people do who have gone through great heartship and then later on dance to the music life plays for us. 

When the interview was done I thought about splendor in our world in the guise of a  human being, a guy who lives a quiet life today in Southern Ontario, who rose up from the stomped flora of a toxic garden to blossom into the most splendid of flowers one could imagine, standing tall, proud, handsome and inspirational.

Thanks Jeff and God bless you always. This Budds for you! 

HatRadio! It's the show that schmoozes. Please subscribe at . Thank you.

Listen to: 

06:54:    Avrum and Jeff talk about anti-Semitism today and the importance of                            recognizing when it's not anti-Semitism

20:53:    Asking Zac Hyman if he went to shul on High Holidays

39:06:    Jeff begins talking about being sexually abused at 9 years-old

1:11:34: Roger Nielson and Jeff coaching Israel hockey at Canada Center in Metula

1:22:00: The iconic Budd's Department Store in Kitchener


Thanks to Howard Pasternack for your post-production work as well as the creation of a brand new Youtube video advertising HatRadio! Howard your work is excellent! Thank you. Yashar Koach (Yiddish for 'frickin eh') to my old friend, David Nefesh, who wrote and performed the HatRadio! song. He's the right guy to have done that because we're soul brothers. We get each other. The song cooks, and lets face it, it's the first HatRadio! anthem, and nothing matches that, right Dive!? I love you brother. 

Credit for music in commercial:
Slow Burn Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Welcome to Episode 42 of HatRadio! with my guest, the inimitable, Guidy Mamann. The show is sponsored by Gryfe Philanthropic Solutions. 

To start the showoff, I spent a few minutes speaking about the Jewish people - a sort of 'did you know'. I discussed an outward approach that Jews take to doing good in the world. Beginning the 40 second mark, you'll get some insight into the Jewish community's work with the homeless and around the globe through Ve'ahavta (Ve', a local non-profit established to encourage all people to play a role in tikun olam - repairing the world. Similarly, you'll be privy to Israel's work in many countries suffering from disasters, regardless of whether they are friendly to the Jewish state or not. Have a listen. Think this through and challenge any stereotypes you might have about Jews. Feel free to ask questions at


If you are friends with a person who is type A, you won't be surprised by my buddy, Guidy's Mamann, someone who is uber-effusive and enjoys life to its fullest. The show starts off with a spirited discussion about Guidy's upbringing. We talked about his family's emigration from Morocco to Toronto. Guidy was 3. At the 24:50 mark, listen to the hilarious story of his parent's arrival and their discovery of 'the very different' Ashkenazi synagogue, and frozen chickens instead of live ones.

Guidy discovered the challenges of immigration, early on in life, something that served him well in his career.

(Listen too, for the motorcycle story that encouraged Guidy to peruse law...he was 15....the ownership....and a judge yelling at his poor Mom.)

At 31:50 hear a spirited story about Guidy's first high-profile case as an immigration lawyer, for an Ahmadi fellow fleeing Pakistan about to get deported. Guidy shares his memories of how this fellow wanted to get his award of bravery from the police before he was sent back. What? An award of bravery? Yes and a donut shop is involved. Have a listen. It's a fantastic moment in Guidy's early career, a time when he figured out how to use the media, and understood that judges don't want to be seen as the bad guys when in the spotlight. 

Throughout the show, Guidy, shares poignant and sometimes stirring memories including one about the death of his sister, an experience that changed his life. At 1:22:24 my old friend talks about his sweet sibling and describes her death as tantamount to getting hit in the back of your head with a bat. 

At 1:36:00 we hear tidbits about his many trips including one to Costa Rica with his daughter, where they scouted for monkeys and tarantulas. Keep on listening and discover a terrible incident with his 7-pound dog who was attacked viciously by a pit-bull in Tel-Aviv. There was Guidy holding onto the Pitbull’s throat trying desperately to get his much beloved dog out of its mouth. He asked me, "Avrum I don't know if you've ever had your hand in a pit-bull's mouth....". I said, not that I remember. It's a crazy-ass story, but that's Guidy. 

Guidy is a lover of Israel. He is an 'unabashed Zionist'.  At around the 1:05:00 mark of the show, he discusses his trip to Israel with his Harley, for the country's 70th birthday. He said, if you want to feel like a rock star, ship your bike over to Israel and ride up and down the country with your biker buddies. I might. 

And Guidy is a huge family man, and loving husband to his wife, Monica. He describes the blessing of his marriage to her as winning powerball. He has four girls, three of whom are triplets. I love the wood piling story, at 1:34:00, where he taught his little ones a valuable lesson about accomplishing something that seems like it can't get done. 

And I believe that is what lies at Guidy's essence - the pursuit of conquering what appears to be the impossible. You find this approach in how he and Monica raise their brood, how he runs his law firm, and now, how he determines what building to purchase, usually one that appears to be dilapidated to others.

Guidy said, "I can see past the pain'. 

At the end of the show, (1:46:10) Guidy sums up his beliefs and approach to life: "I tell the lawyers in my office they've gotta believe in the impossible....I tell them, you can't eliminate all possibilities of gotta leave God a place to land the gotta give him the opportunity to spin some magic....and if you don't try there's no way he can land the sucker and hit the just give him a little space and you never know what's going to happen."   

Episode 42 of HatRadio! is exciting as hell as I was interviewing a storyteller who lives every day, every moment, to its fullest. I was thoroughly delighted to spend our time together and learn more about this unique fellow and being inspired by his guts, determination and pursuit of the impossible.

Hopefully you will love the show. Let me know. Please subscribe at .  Thank you! HatRadio! The show that schmoozes.   


Thank you to Howard Pasternack for his post-production work, as well as David Nefesh for the HatRadio! song. I'm grateful.

Credit for music in commercial:
"Slow Burn" by Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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