The Hasidic boy who learned English by secretly listening to Rush Limbaugh

He tuned into Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and other conservative radio show hosts during 12-hour days packing hard candies into cardboard boxes in a New Square warehouse. Low wage manual labor was his only employment option. He would set the volume just loud enough to hear Limbaugh rant.

Taub chose to learn from the right-wing radio preachers because, at the time, he identified with their ethnocentric attitude.

“I came from a community of ‘chosen people’ and here were people basically saying the same thing,” he said. Other beliefs resonated for him as well. For instance, Taub had been taught homosexuality was a sin against God, an idea he now rejects.

Plus, the teenager figured, their vocabulary was good, despite words that heavily skewed toward the political.

“I knew what ‘unilateral agreement’ and ‘hegemonic power’ meant but didn’t know understand the world ‘stove’,” he said. “It was funny.”