If there are a number of things I can count on every other week, it’s enjoying The Jewish Standard and almost always having a strong negative reaction to Rabbi Shmuely Boteach’s column. The March 25 column left me outraged. He campaigned against Muammar Gaddafi, “the mad dog of the Middle East,” only when Gadaffi had the audacity to think he could move into his own country’s property that borders the Boteachs’. You mean all those years when Gadaffi was a horrible dictator, ordering assassinations, ruling with an iron fist, allowing no dissension, sponsoring terrorism, and stealing billions from his own people – that was all OK? I guess Boteach doesn’t believe in repairing the world but in repairing himself. And when is he going to take responsibility for knowingly buying a piece of property next to one owned by Libya?
I am enraged by Boteach’s avowing that people who don’t share his values are valueless – that “values-voters have gained little traction.” How dare he! How dare he insinuate that because I voted my values that makes me and all the others who did the same valueless. And the wonderful right-wing Christians he lauds, those who are always promoting “Family and American” values – excuse me, but are they not the ones who are frequently discovered to be having extramarital affairs and/or propositioning interns or meeting with prostitutes of either the opposite or the same sex?
Finally, it is Boteach’s hypocrisy that both irritates and amuses. How many times has he castigated the general population for not taking time to be with their families and chasing after the big bucks? It appears that this man will travel anywhere at any time (except he has to be home on Friday night, as he so frequently tells us) to make money and/or have his name in print or being announced somewhere. Oh – and where does he live? While having never been in his home, I don’t think most people would confuse it with a humble abode. Perhaps people would feel somewhat more tolerant if he lived what he preached.
Kol hakavod to Larry Shemen for his letter and suggestions for Boteach – and the relief of the Jewish Standard readership.