The case for Shmuley

Ever since the publication of his controversial 1999 book Kosher Sex, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has been criticized as nothing more than a media whore, constantly clamoring for the public’s attention and the shine of the spotlight. His detractors claim that the prolific author is only exploiting whatever is on the pop culture radar for his own professional benefit as a cable news pundit. And, in my humble opinion, that’s a good thing.
While other spiritual leaders have been writing about how to achieve peace in the Middle East, Shmuley has written about Madonna’s ridiculous fascination with Kabbalah. While other rabbis have pontificated about lofty topics like why bad things happen to good people, Shmuley has pontificated on Britney Spear’s influence on teenage girls. And while some pundits deal with ho-hum topics like the war in Iraq, Shmuley has kept us entertained with his off-the-cuff remarks about the Academy Awards.
Shmuley, to his credit, is a man of the people. He’s a rabbi who finds a way to make a connection with the latest in celebrity gossip. In other words, he’s a rabbi that speaks to us on our level, not from an ivory tower. He’s a rabbi that unabashedly, and with open arms, embraces the best and worst of pop culture. Janet Jackson. Kinsey. Santa Claus. Michael Moore. Joe Millionaire. Whatever … and that’s what makes him an enjoyable read.
So it was with great pleasure (and I don’t mean that in the sexual sense) that I read a copy of his latest book, controversially (what else?) titled Hating Women: America’s Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex. In it, he discusses Gwen Stefani, Victoria’s Secret, and (surprisingly) Greta Van Susteren. He discusses his now infamous spiritual smackdown with Jewish Playboy playmate Lindsay Vuolo. And, of course, he discusses Madonna, Britney, and Janet.
As well, and as always, Shmuley is wildly and welcomingly unafraid to talk about topics most rabbis wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot lulav. Just read through chapters titled “The Portrayal of Women as the Walking Male Orgasm” and “Becoming Lesbians to Get Away from Men”.
Turn on the TV today and you’ll see Shmuley all over it. He’s experiencing a relevancy renaissance as a Michael Jackson expert, wisely exploiting his past relationship with the king of pop for his own benefit. I wouldn’t expect anything else from Shmuley. And that’s a good thing.
Cross-posted from TribeWrite.

24 thoughts on “The case for Shmuley

  1. Shmuely Boteach is a media whore. That is hard to deny. Credit where it’s due, as he quotes Maimonides in one of his articles “accept truth regardless of its source.” Shmuely tackles topics most Orthodox rabbis wont approach. In fact this actually cost him his post as a Chabad emissary at Oxford.
    So yeah, Shmuely has some cool things to say but Media Whore is written all over his face.

  2. My special compliments to Merliner for his 5-18 comment.
    “Accept truth regardless of it’s source”. Ya know, my Dad use to point out things about me that I absolutely hated hearing. It made me angry, but damn it all,–he was usually right!
    Cheers to that!
    God Bless!

  3. Dude, John Turcotte, you are right about those Jewish Porn directors, investors, copywrite lawyers, producers, etc. We don’t hate women, in fact we Jews love ’em. Especially your daughter, the budding movie star That little minx took on 6 bruthas with shlongers bigger than 3 little Jewish shmeckles put together. And the anal scene WAS H-O-T. Have a nice day and daddy’s little girl can cum be a star in Hollywood (ok, Van Nuys) any day!

  4. You are absolutely right Mr. Sausage! I’m glad you admit that about your own people! And Yes! I can relate to what you say because I am a Nordic father with two daughters. You must be very proud of your culture’s achievements and the exploitation of our women.
    Are there any good Jews out there? If there are, please take care of your own wayward souls.
    You have to start policing yourselves. Guys like Mr. Sausage and his filthy mouth just make your culture look even worse in their defense of the evil that is perpetrated on this planet.

  5. You have two daughters? Dude! That means HOT GIRL ON GIRL ACTION. Damn I love shiksas with sistas.

  6. i haven’t read this new book, but having seen shmuley speak at my university several years ago, i will say that i wouldn’t even dignify him with the classification of a media whore- his words were the most oppressive, sexist, simplified crap i had probably ever been presented with, save for lectures or articles by blatant conservative pundits.

  7. John says: “Look at all the porn we buy from your “Jewish” directors, investors, copywrite lawyers, producers, etc.”
    What about all the news you obtain from the Jewish run media or the burger you eat at BK (founded by David Stein) or your Dell computer, Nuclear generated electricity (Einstein), 50% of the food products in your pantry certified by Jewish rabbinic organizations and that bottle of Viagra in your top dresser drawer prescribed by Dr. Goldberg.
    Case in point – stop characterizing Jews as porn people, I assure you there are more Jewish Doctors and Lawyers than Jews in the porn industry. (Besides, the porn industry provides thousands of jobs to young women who would otherwise be on the Sunset strip vulnerable to all sorts of sexually transmitted diseases even rape, where is your concern you sexist!)

  8. The comically-named Shmuley Boteach is a disposable illiterate with nothing to say but a million citations to back it up. First laughed at this imbicile when he was on TV bemoaning Michael Jackson’s unwillingness to talk seriously like a good mensch with various nonagenarian Nobel prize winners (not kidding). Oh good, another expert, now we’ll solve these problems in no time!

  9. Jews and porn? Jews and clubbiness, yes (especially when Hollywood was run by three guys from the same narrow little district in Poland), Jews and schlock, hell yes, Jews and schmalz most definitely (in fact here you have a case for being the originators). But this nonsense about Jews being behind the largest, most diverse and least audited (informationally: for tax and legal purposes it’s obviously the other way around) entertainment sub-industry just shows what old fogies these Nazi trolls are. Associating porn with Jews in the age of “porn star” t-shirts and bumper stickers just makes Jews, of all improbable results, cool.
    [exeunt with nrawll-chicka-bom-bomp/ klenzmer combo]

  10. Eh, there are a lot of Jews in porn. It’s probably disproportionate… and while I don’t condone ignorant statements (such as “Jews are porn people” or whatever), maybe we ought to consider why some Jews have gravitated to that industry? Are they just completely not in touch with their religion? or did their religion drive them there in some way? Not a comfortable debate to be sure, but I say we should do it anyway.
    Oh yeah, and SB is kind of a prick.

  11. Maybe its because, and this is a crazy idea but bear with me, Jews are just like anybody else in this world.
    There are Christian, atheist, Jewish, black, white, latino, Asian, European and yes even Muslim porn stars. I think the only people you’re are going to find saying that there are too many Jews in the industry (and remember you have to count internet porn stars, foreign porn and non-famous actors, not just the famous ones) are people who would just like to excuse Christian porn stars and their otherwise pious viewership as being victims of Jewish satanic conspiracies to, I dont know, steal their precious fluids or something.
    Also, I don’t think religion or lack thereof plays a real big role in those who act. That, I believe, is taking this whole Jewish introspection thing a little too far. Ron Jeremy, the most famous Jewish porn star, did it as a way of getting money before he could make it big in legit roles. Many other porn stars did it, as you can imagine, due to a combination of a streak of exhibitionism and a genuine love of sex. It’s a personal life choice, nothing more and nothing less.

  12. I don’t think one can necessarily draw a link between the Jewish rleigion and being part of the (American) porn industry. At the same time, one can point out that Jews are over-represented in certain industries an doccupations. Legal, medical, regular film and yes, porn. There’s no sense in denying reality, it does not necessarily make one an anti-Semite or a self-hating Jew to point these things out. The fact that the jerkoff mobius banned (no pun intended) was indeed an anti-semite does not change things.

  13. Jews are overrepresented in alot of things. I remember meeting lots of other Jews in partking lots outside Grateful Dead shows because of the Betar patch on the sleeve of my jean jacket. Therefore, “once upon a time, lots of Jews were acid-eating Deadheads…,” butanyway. So what? As a culture, we do not encourage ourselves and each other toward ascetic monasticism. We are a generally gregarious, outgoing people, eager to participate in society, civilization and history. Reality being what it is, such a socialization ethic may lead to paths less taken, and to where one is vulnerable to stepping in the occasional steamy pile. Torah standing on one foot…? “Headsup, Yiddlach! The rest is commentary”

  14. While we’re on everybody’s favorite subject, pornography, unchecked capitalism, whatever….
    (LOS ANGELES, CA) — Porn star and former gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey will be joining her boss, Kick Ass Pictures president Mark Kulkis, in attending a dinner with President Bush in Washington, D.C. on June 14th. Kulkis was invited to attend the event by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which is organizing the event….
    “I’m honored to be invited to this event,” Kulkis said. “Republicans bill themselves as the pro-business party. Well, you won’t find a group of people more pro-business than pornographers. We contributed over $10 billion to the national economy last year.”
    …Kulkis serves as an Honorary Chairman on the NRCC’s Business Advisory Council, a group of business people who advocate a progressive, pro-business agenda. His company, Kick Ass Pictures, produces hardcore adult videos with a guarantee of “No Fake Boobs & No Condoms.” Carey, of course, is the porn star who ran for Governor in the 2003 California Recall Election.

  15. old boring argument between patriarchal fundies who think Saudi Arabia is a feminist paradise and corporatists libertarian exploiters of women who think Deadwood is. See todays Salon article that makes the claim that Liberal Democrats should embrace a place where psycho killers of women are just fine so long as they aren’t from the gummimint, and the majority of females are employed in prostitution. At the end of the article we learn he is the editor of right wing libertarian Reason magazine. I think it was damned slimy of Salon not to point out that this guy is no democrat in the first place. I hate how only opinions that don’t threaten corporate America can be presented in respectable debate in this country.

  16. Betar and the Grateful Dead? What a weird combination. I’m a bit confused as to why blissed out pacifist hippies would be drawn to right-wing supremacist nationalism?

  17. Yusul. Ad hoc ergo procter hoc, or something like that…?
    Long story short…. Once upon a time, I was a Betari. Later I wasn’t. But I still had the patch, and figured I’d at least own up to my past and not get all hung up on covering my tracks. Now, there is no Grateful Dead anymore either. It’s all part of the great adventure that is life. “Sometimes we live no particular way but our own…”

  18. Oh, and as far as “blissed out pacifist hippies”? Tell it to the Hell’s Angels and other biker tribes that found themselves attracted to the meandering tropes of America’s greatest jug band.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.