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Friday, October 21, 2016

Shmuely Boteach is best known as the hasidic rabbi who served as Michael Jackson’s spiritual adviser. He has said things like this:

We could scarcely believe what we had heard. The children all remembered Michael fondly. He had given them their dog Marshmallow who’s is a member of our family till today. My daughter teared up. And while I was heartsick at the news, especially for his three young children, I was not shocked. I dreaded this day and knew it had to come sooner rather than later.

He likes attention and buzzwords like “kosher sex,” all while getting occasionally investigated for financial improprieties.

And, somehow, the GOP is trying to sell him as the next great hope — he’s running for Congress in New Jersey’s ninth district, where two Democratic veterans were mashed together in a redistricting battle. He’s socially conservative but doesn’t think Republicans should talk about gays; instead, this child of divorce warns that “the divorce rate is an emergency.”

Here’s a quote from a press release we received today, touting the decision by the National Republican Congressional Committee to put Boteach on “the radar” as a “Young Gun”:

Rabbi Shmuley intends to be a “values voice” in Congress, returning authentic American values to the forefront and de-emphasizing the cultural distractions that are deeply dividing the nation. He believes that America’s economic crisis results from an erosion of the core American values of personal responsibility and entrepreneurism, public service and private accountability, strong families, and inspired youth. He believes in saving the institution of marriage by once again making family a priority.

Check out this video of Boteach talking to the “Today” show about important issues — like how much Michael Jackson hated Hitler:

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  • If reverand Jesse Jsckson and reverand Al Sharpton could have run for a President, why not a rabbi for US Congress? This article may be hiding some anti-semitism…

    • ObozoMustGo

      Thank you for your common sense response, Vlasta. Keep them coming.

      • Kansan

        Before you endorse him, “‘bozo,” I’d suggest you check his green card.

        I’m assuming you’re an “English only” kind of guy.

        “reverand Jesse Jsckson?”

    • Worried_in_Brooklyn

      get real

  • ObozoMustGo

    DemocRATS continually elect crack addict Marion Barry. Where’s the article about how stupid they are? Oh that’s right… the author is probably one of those idiots that voted for him.

    Have a nice day!

  • Worried_in_Brooklyn

    what a bunch of bull crap this is he reminds of a hasidic rabbi I worked with in NYC he had 11 children and was always touching women’s butts a real PIG (no pun intended) when he could would back away when a female employ would reach to shake his hand or touch him in any way and was always steeling my cigarettes from the personal desk draw G-d knowes he was a real shmuck

  • labrown69

    This guy is one of the few hasidic rabbis who were not arrested for selling organs

    • Kansan

      “Business is business.”

      …Hyman Roth

    • JewishInsurgent

      Oh, so THIS explains it. Your readers ARE anti-Semites! Oh, okay. Makes sense now…

      • labrown69

        Yea, that’s right however I am one of those “Jewish antisemites”. LMAO

        What exactly has the Orthodoxy on the East Coast produced lately, besides separatism, influence peddling, political corruption, human organ sales, money laundering and Jack Abramoff?

        I am so sick of religion I could puke and that goes for my own religion as well or at least that of my birth.

        Religion is the cancer by which evangelicals are trying to revise the Constitution, the alleged justification to legally mandate that woman bear even the progeny of it’s own Grandfather and is indeed “the opiate of the masses” whether Marx said it or not. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

        • JewishInsurgent

          Oh, so what you are saying is that you don’t hate Jews… you only hate the religious ones. Oh, okay. Seems perfectly tolerant to me.

          You clearly lack an understanding of the “religion of your birth,” that you are so quick to condemn. You refer to the Orthodox stance on abortion as your proof of why it deserves condemnation, but you seem not to be ignorant of the actual stance that Orthodoxy holds. After all, you imply that Orthodoxy does not allow abortions under any circumstance, but have you ever talked to an Orthodox Rabbi about that? I doubt that. I have. Three months ago, my wife and I terminated a pregnancy due to specific circumstances with the approval of an authoritative Orthodox Rabbi. It was unlike the case you mentioned above, but in cases such as yours, many authoritative Orthodox Rabbis would agree that abortion would be the correct decision. However, somehow you decided to paint all of Orthodox Judaism with one broad stroke. Where I come from, that is called prejudice.

          You do the same by defining all of Orthodoxy by crimes that were undertaken by a few crooked individuals. Something tells me that if a leader of the black community commited a crime, you wouldn’t condemn all black people. You shouldn’t. But why is that okay for religious Jews? A small group of people get caught doing something illegal; it gets widely condemned by the Orthodox community, and you decide that all Orthodox are involved in that thing.

          You think that because you are a Jew, it’s not Anti-Semitism? I get it, you don’t hate all Jews. Your hatred and prejudice is only directed towards those Jews who are not like YOU. No, you are no better than a racist, spouting hate of a particular racial or ethnic group, or a homophobe, standing with his “God hates gays” sign. The only difference is the group you selected to hate.

          • labrown69

            Look whose talking about being “no better than racists and homophobes”. NOTHING justifies genocide and I am fiercely defensive of Israel but the reality is the resolution that equated “Zionism with racism” was not completely without basis.

          • JewishInsurgent

            I’m sorry. So now you go ahead and A) ) Hold me personally responsible for the errors of a government (and at that, one I am not a citizen of), and B) make up accusations against that nation. Seems kind of prejudiced there as well, no?

          • labrown69

            I never claimed to be without my prejudices but they are not based on race but rather the only thing I really believe, my own anecdotal experience.

          • JewishInsurgent

            Interesting… So a racist can be forgiven his prejudices if he was mugged once by a black man? Or is it better if it isn’t about race? So if any gay man ever sexually abused someone, I can be a homophobe? That’s okay?

          • labrown69

            That is a strange interpretation of what I said. Enough!

          • JewishInsurgent

            I don’t believe that it is. You said that based on anecdotal experience, you formed your opinions of Orthodox Jews. What if you did that with others?

          • labrown69

            I do it with ALL others. I believe none of what I hear and most of what I personally experience. Think Abramoff! (these are generalities by the way)

          • JewishInsurgent

            Okay, fair enough. You judge based on generalities and stereotypes that you assign. You’re a racist.

          • labrown69

            No, you are just an idiot and fail to comprehend what I am saying and because of that I am done with you or else I would be an idiot too. Goodnight

          • JewishInsurgent

            I’m sorry. My mistake. You form your opinion about whole groups of people based on your limited experience with a very small group of them, such as forming your opinion on Orthodox Jews based on Jack Abramoff. But that shouldn’t be confused with being a racist…

  • EdC

    What are his policies, are they radical right wing, outside of the gay issue, or is he a moderate. Social conservative covers a lot of ground, but outside of MJ what is his history? How has he treated people under his leadership? Being a conservative isn’t always bad, just the people who use thename to harm others

  • howa4x

    The republicans in NJ used to be fiscal conservatives and social moderates, and that was how Tom Kean a was one of the most popular gov’s ever. Now all the republican congressional delagation is voting with the tea party so the Rabbi fits with this movement. He may just be a sacrificial lamb in a heavily democratic district. It’s not anti semitism to voice concerns about this. We are founded on a seperation of church and state and I feel the same way about Jesse Jackson, Al sharpton or Mike Huckabee. Keep it in the place of worship not on the political stage.

  • jackie820


  • JewishInsurgent

    This article is offensive. A Rabbi is rejected as a potential candidate because he is close to Michael Jackson? He serves as spiritual advisor to many people, and is close to many people, but Michael Jackson just happens to be the most famous so you picked on that. How about Rabbi Boteach’s relationship with the great Democratic politician (and one of my personal heros), Cory Booker? Did you overlook that accidentally?

    But you also misunderstand the same things that the Charity Commission misunderstood in accusing Rabbi Boteach of misconduct in managing his charity, and that is that Chabad societies, such as Rabbi Boteach’s require the Rabbi to make extensive use of a family house in managing their programs. The Rabbi’s house is often their center. But you wouldn’t have bothered to look into that. Instead you would like to accuse him of impropriety.

    You attack his naming of a controvesial book, but the fact is that it took courage for him to write his books, and his use of controversy to get people interested in his religious ideals is creative and I respect it a great deal.

    Rabbi Boteach is a moderate conservative. As a moderate liberal, with a more modern religious view, I often disagree with him, but his desire to improve the world is genuine, even if his modes are unconventional for a Rabbi of the Chabad sect. He doesn’t advocate protesting gay marriage or even focusing on the issue at all. He sees it as a distraction from the real issue. He has said that he wants to be a values voice, but he has also said that the values he is talking about are not the ones that the GOP wastes their time with. Rabbi Boteach spends most of his time devoted to real family issues by counselling families who need help within their home. That is the type of values he is discussing, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Finally, I would like to address your view that Boteach is invalid as a candidate because he is a Rabbi, and somehow he doesn’t fit your view of what a Rabbi should be. I find this offensive. Do you get to define what a Rabbi should say? Do you even understand what it is that a Chabad Rabbi does? Is it a problem that he IS a Rabbi? Do you not approve of who he is a Rabbi for, or do you feel that not everyone is entitled to spiritual guidance? What exactly is your issue?!

    I will most likely vote for Rothman in the coming election, but the GOP could do worse then to select Rabbi Shmuelly Boteach as their great hope. He has a history of civility, kindness and bipartisanship. At the start of his current campaign he spent time thanking and praising his opponent, rather than mudslinging as so many politicians do. He is close with many Democratic politicians, and goes out of his way to always do the right thing. Your article is offensive and misguided and it should be apologized for.


  • The radical conservative philosophy is not limited to Christians and is just as dangerous regardless of the cultural, religious or racial background of it proponent. If I have to choose what my government is going to control, I will take side that wants to control how business functions over what I do in my personal life – any day.

  • Lucy Grace

    I am Jewish and I do not care much for Rabbi Boteach. One need not be anti-semetic to find him obnoxious and suspect that he is very much in love with the spotlight and the sound of his own voice. I would say the same about most of the high-profile preachers (of all races) one sees frequently on TV as well as most “spiritual” gurus of the new-age variety. Boteach shares many of the attitudes toward women common among the very conservative of all religons. I saw his reaction to a woman who had left her ultra-orthodox community and I was disgusted at his treatment of her. He would not let her talk and she had real, valid issues with how that society treats women.
    I will also say that even the Orthodox Jewish view on abortion is not as extreme as that of some Christian denominations as they generally will allow abortion if the mother’s life is threatened and in certain other instances as well.
    While a rabbi, minister, priest, imam or any other religous leader certainly has a right to run for political office, he or she must be able to remember that his views are not shared by all in our society. I am also VERY suspicious of those so-called spiritual leaders who spend a lot of time publicly ministering to celebrities and appearing on talk shows. Boteach has a right to run and a right to speak his mind, and those of us who find him questionable have a right to say that we do.

    • JewishInsurgent

      And that differs from other politicians, how?

  • What is he going to do to stop people from getting divorced, and if he is pro-family, then what is he going to do to support such crucial pro-family issues as marriage equality?