Ignoring my recent advice, Shmuley Boteach writes yet another Michael Jackson column, this time in response to the news that the Prince of Pop has converted to the Nation of Islam. But once again, the column degenerates into an exercise in self-promotion.
Firstly, not only did I never try and make Michael Jewish, I strongly and incessantly encouraged him to go back to his Christian roots and find Jesus. To be sure, I did take Michael to synagogue. But that was in order to witness the beauty of Jewish prayer and the moving tunes of Jewish music, all in the wider context of inspiring him to bring spirituality back into his life.
Michael, to whom I have no malice and whom I genuinely and sincerely attempted to guide to a better and more purposeful life, is living proof that religion in the modern age is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.
I feel like I need a front-end loader to remove the amount of bovine excrement emanating from Shmuley. But there’s more. The author of Kosher Sex comes out hard against Hollywood celebrities with the following words.
When we speak of the need for God for human salvation, we don’t only mean salvation from poverty, pain and affliction. We especially mean salvation from materialism, shallowness, depravity and the suffocating selfishness of egocentrism.
What a tragic waste of talent. I have more than a few celebrity friends, and most started life as decent people whose only crime was to be so dark on the inside that they just couldn’t live without the spotlight on the outside.
In general, there are only two kinds of people. Stars and planets, and the irony of Hollywood is that nearly all our celebrities are planets rather than stars. Lacking an inner light, they become dependent on the external spotlight.
Shmuley, who gravitates to the spotlight like a moth to the flame, sounds like he is speaking of himself.
Sounds harsh? Maybe. But I feel a great need to speak out against someone who holds himself out to be a rabbi, yet engages in some decidedly unkosher behaviour. As an ambassador of our religion, I am ashamed every time I see Shmuley on tv.