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January 06, 2012

Kosher Jesus?

Kosher Jesus Boteach book cover"[My] book is telling the Jews to reclaim Jesus, the authentic Jesus, the historical Jesus, the Jewish Jesus" and to be inspired by his "beautiful" teachings, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach said this week in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach,jpg
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Shmuley Boteach, who bills himself as "America's rabbi" and who seems to be campaigning for the soon to be vacant post of Chief Rabbi of England, is not my favorite person. My opposition to Shmuley goes back to the late 1980s, when I met him days before he was to leave for Oxford to open a Chabad House there.

Shmuley was so obnoxious, so egomaniacal and so, well, crazy, that I tried to get the shaliach I was working with to call the Rebbe's secretariat and get Boteach's shlichut rescinded. My opinion of Shmuley was shared, it turned out, by others. But no call was made to the Rebbe because doing it would have meant questioning the Rebbe's judgement (nad his infallibility) in appointing Shmuley in the first place – something no Chabad employee (besides me, apparently) would do.

Shmuley is rank opportunist, a slurping egomaniac who lives to hear his own voice and see his own picture and who will offer opinions on subjects he knows next to nothing about as if he were the world's biggest scholar of them.

Enter Jesus, the latest subject of Boteach's 'scholarship.'

Boteach is about to publish a new book called "Kosher Jesus." To be sure, there is no shortage of hucksters and delusional messianic types writing books about the man-god, but most of those less than honest writers don't command the media audience our slurping egomaniac does. That means Botech has the potential to do more good or, more likely, more harm, than they do.

Ha'aretz interviewed Boteach about his latest 'scholarship' which, Ha'aretz says, is based primarily on another non-expert, the late British author Hyam Maccoby. Maccoby's works are based on outdated science and were rejected by scholars almost out of hand when they were originally published because Maccoby has a tendency to make the facts fit his theories rather than letting the facts shape his theories. And this bodes poorly for Boteach's book.

That said, Ha'aretz reports that Rabbi Jeremy Rosen likes Boteach's book, so perhaps Boteach has managed to avoid doing any serious damage.

On the other hand, Alan Dershowitz endorses the book (but not necessarily its content) and the unber-crazy, uber-irresponsible hard right radio show host Glenn Beck endorses it. Make of this what you will.

Here's some of what King Shmuley the Self-Anointed told Ha'aretz:

"This book is telling the Jews to reclaim Jesus, the authentic Jesus, the historical Jesus, the Jewish Jesus" and to be inspired by his "beautiful" teachings, the U.S.-born author and TV show host told Anglo File this week in Jerusalem. "It's asking Christians to make an effort to enrich their Christianity through an understanding of the Jewishness of Jesus."

"Suddenly we have evangelical Christians emerging as the foremost supporters of the state of Israel," he said. "We have this political alliance. What is a lacking is a theological bridge."

"Christians don't know the Jewish Jesus," Boteach continued. "They know the Christ-divinity but not the Jewish man Jesus. There's a need to discover the humanity of Jesus."

"Kosher Jesus" amalgamates research (mostly by Hyam Maccoby ) which suggests that the gospels give the wrong impression of Jesus. "There was a lot of embellishment and editing," Boteach said. "We have to remember Paul [the apostle] never met Jesus. He cannot offer us a first-hand account of Jesus' life."

Christian scripture "doesn't add up" when it portray Jesus as a self-hating Jew, or when it lists sins that allegedly led Jews to condemn him, Boteach said. Jesus never declared himself God or meant to abolish Jewish law, he asserts.

And the fact that Jesus thought of himself as the messiah shouldn't bother Jews, he insists: "I could declare myself the messiah right now. There's nothing blasphemous about this," Boteach said. "I even encourage people to have a certain messianic tendency in their lives, a desire to redeem the world."

Boteach said he regrets that Jews allowed Jesus "to be ripped away from them without even a fight."

"We just accepted a Christian interpretation of his life and narrative," he said. "One of the most influential people of all time is seen as a Christian who loved the Romans and said about the Jews that they are all the children of the devil."

But "Christian ideas of Jesus as divine messiah emerged as a savvy adaptation following the destruction of the Second Temple," Boteach explained. Once Jews understand that, he writes that they "can take inspiration from Jesus' often beautiful ethical teachings and appreciate Jesus as a devoted Jewish son who became martyred while trying to lift the Roman yoke of oppression from his beloved people."



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If true, I am thrilled he has gone this route. There is no question that this will lead to him being spat out of any mainstream acceptance. Will validate him being a clown and an MTV type of tv personality. Kinda like a Kim Kardashian.Typically egomaniacs dig their own grave, and he is no different.

The Carpenter from Nazareth will not return via the clouds landing on the Temple Mount, broadcast on You Tube on Dec. 21st 2012, just to shut up those silly Mayan super cycle end of the world believers. So that is the first thing to get through to people. Now it has also been prophesied that all people will turn to G-d over time, so the other two monotheistic faiths are streams to the ultimate river. A good book on the Twelfth Article of Faith is "The Real Messiah" by Aryeh Kaplan. Shmuely Boteach is probably just trying to bridge the gap between the faiths, but the guy that Aryeh Kaplan refers to has a pretty interesting life story, frame of reference and perspective himself. (The real messiah may also be getting a little frustrated right now, but he has a powerful ally. This is another point however.) There is an obscure interpretation mostly held by some of the ultra-orthodox sects that Messianic Sovereignty will not be established by force. It will be a voluntary process that will be assisted by G-d. Like Hashem is moving all the pieces on the chess board so that a certain conclusive move will become obvious to all. I think this reality will happen this year, and probably much sooner than people think. I do believe Jesus was a real person and had a great impact, and some of his teachings were worthy but he failed to satisfy the Messianic imperatives and continued belief in his advent is counter-productive. Remaining in a state of suspended animation is delaying what G-d wants for humankind and Planet Earth. Why wait for a replacement captain of the ship who will never come when a perfectly good one is ready right now ?

Anyway, patience is a virtue...

That splash you hear is Ol' Shmuely jumping the shark.

other than josephus mentioning of jesus, in his writing which is challanged, as being installed into his work at a later date by non jews, certainly, not by josephus himself and the 4 gospels matt, luke, mark, and vitriolic john.let there be shown by this clown boteach a single fact positive that jesus existed at all. many many christians know that christianity of the day is based on the teachings of PAUL the apostle ps.it appears historical jesus could be problematic ipso facto there is no jewish jesus unless and this is not impossible schneerson was re-incarnated and is possbly jesus himself. now he will have to return for a third time ,if only to alay the chabad world that jesus/schneerson is the messiah.

Oh, cool! Actually, Shmuley looks a bit like the imagined image of Jesus himself, but with a suit instead of a robe. And is that a wild chassid beard or has he been trimming it to make him look more normal?

i was once told, in the 1980's that ,and this is from a top chabd rabbi who now has children who are rabbis in chabad, that if one went to see the rebbe in new york at his home where people queued for the dollar he , the rebbe handed out and the rebbe spoke to you. one could come back 5,10 even longer years later and the rebbe would remember that he had met with you and who you were. Is this factual or just another chabad myth??

Is this factual or just another chabad myth??

Posted by: yechi ben levitas | January 06, 2012 at 03:11 AM

It's a myth.

Certainly the Rebbe recognized some people like that, just not most people like that.

I am confused. Is it the Rebbe or Shmuley that represents the second coming of Jesus? Or is the Rebbe the second coming and Shmuley the third?

Has he been to a skin-cancer inducing tanning studio to darken his skin tone to make himself look more like the historical Jesus? I have met him and Von Luschan's chromatic scale of human skin colour he would have rated about a 14 (European Caucasian) and here he looks like about a 17 more like the likely skin tone of any Jesus-type figure of about 2000 years ago (Middle East Caucasian). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Luschan's_chromatic_scale (Note - considered obsolete but useful as a rough guide.)

The teachings of this jesus are Not beautiful and they are not Torah. Shmuley Boteach should absolutely realize that his book is a breach of Jewish Ethics and I think that his option to misrepresent Judaism in any sense as combined with Christian ideas is about as kosher as dropping a grape into the toilet water and then washing it off and thinking its still technically edible. No thanks Shmuley and good luck as you need to start davening alot more.

I think this solidifies the fact that Shmuley Boteach is actually a christian. He is likely not very ordained in terms of his own crutch of a Jewish life in the way that a Jew might want to live without a good book for a good lifetime. Good for Shmuley. It would possibly explain his acclaim and stagemanship that follows mostly those in the service of the world and not necessarilly those in service of G-d. Just a way of life for a guy today huh?

Is his next book going to suggest that we acclaim Michael Jackson's inner child?

He needs to use conditioner on that beard cuz it looks like pupes are growing from his face. gross man

++yechi ben levitas | January 06, 2012 at 03:11 AM++

I went to Rebbe Dollar Sundays a couple of times. The line was kept moving. The instructions you heard along the line were: he slides you the dollar across the table, you take it, DON'T SAY ANYTHING, he just gave you a quick nod, and you GO.

Unless you were a big money contributor or other macher, in which case an 'insider' would be escorting you, you got no words from the Rebbe.

Just shut up and keep the line moving.

Unless you were a big money contributor or other macher, in which case an 'insider' would be escorting you, you got no words from the Rebbe.

Just shut up and keep the line moving.

This isn't true.

There are numerous stories about cases where the Rebbe spoke to regular people.

There are also many many people who broke the rules and spoke with the Rebbe. (I did)

The Rebbe answered back.

...he's lost it...

Yes, it definitely appears like he is trimming his beard. But is he using Sun-In in his hair, too?

I just read that Shmuley was born in Los Angeles. Now it all makes sense, and I think we can cut him considerable slack.

I originally encountered Boteach's writings about 15 years ago, before he became the phenomenon that he is. They were written while he was a shliach at Oxford, and I actually enjoyed his insights. As I say, he has changed considerably since that time--but then, so have I!

"Suddenly we have evangelical Christians emerging as the foremost supporters of the state of Israel," he said.

No, the fundies have been stumping for Israel for decades, at least. We're just hearing about it more because they're getting more press.

Next he'll come out with a book on Kosher Adultery...oops he already did...

"I could declare myself the messiah right now. There's nothing blasphemous about this," Boteach said. Actually, I'm convinced you are the Messiah, Shmuley. Come you please get on your white donkey and save me? You can start by paying my taxes that are due in a couple of months.

maybe he should start my offering some prove that the mythical Jesus existed

For every single Jew in the world, there are 125 Christians, hence more book buyers (not that all those goyim are literate). Besides , this will lead to more speaking engagements. Shver zein a shonda.

And now we have Chabads for Jesus.

What next!

Shmarya, great post.

About time someone took this Michael Jackson wannabe down.

Yechi I think you are wrong about Josephus - I prefer to trust a real scholar like Geza Vermes who wrote that the Jesus passage was edited by the Church certainly but is based on an original version.

As for Boteach, he revolts me, another con man. Michael Jackson's rabbi says it all doesn't it?

Please tell me this is just a joke.

I'm afraid that this is just going to get the goyim all riled up, expecting us to convert and become one of them. But what happens when we dont? Then they will get very angry with us. My Rav says that this is how it was with their Reverend Martin Luther King, that at first he expected the Deutche Yidden to become good protestents and then when we did not, he showed himself to be Amalek. Yidden should stop talking about this character and never tell the goyim what they believe. It would be like our telling a goyella that she should not believe in santa claws or their easter bunny. Besides, we are waiting for a different Mosiach.

W4M, I assume you mean Martin Luther, the founder of the German Luteran church during the Protestant Reformation. Reverend Martin Luther King was actually very friendly with the Jews of his time and counted many Jews among his supporters in the civil rights movement.

Good discussion.

First of all, my problem is not with what Jesus said, it is how Paul redefines Jesus's ethical message.

If you really want to understand what the original Jesus taught, read the book of James(who was the brother of Jesus)--which contains a scathing attack on Paul's cosmic redefinition of Jesus's role as the alleged, "Messiah." BTW, the book of James is a fantastic ethical tract on par with some of the best teachings of Pirke Avot. In this book, James calls Paul a charlatan.

I just went to the Amazon website to see whether Shmuely quotes the Rebbe's view on Jesus, who incidentally **never** referred to Jesus by name (he is always referred to as "THAT man . . ."). Guess what? He does not quote the Lubavitcher Rebbe even one time in his new book.

Surprised? I am not.

In addition, Shmuely makes no reference to Chabad's celebration of "Nittel Nacht," which I believe is an embarrassment to Jews everywhere.

So, I find myself wondering: Does Shmuely observe Nittel Nacht or not? If he does, that would take him out of the mainstream of Chabad. If he does observe Nittel Nacht, then he is acting like a hypocrite.

Personally, I think he wrote this book merely to make lots of money--lishma, "leshem mammon harbey."

What surprised me is the title of the book. Religious Jews won't even utter the word 'Jesus', saying something like 'Yashka' instead. He is definitely being provocative.

Now that the pope stated/reiterated that the Jews did not kill Jesus, I am guessing Boteach is trying to capitalize on 'our close bond', especially among the evangelical Christians that are huge supporters of Israel. A smart move from a business point of view.

...Reverend Martin Luther King, that at first he expected the Deutche Yidden to become good protestents...

Really? At first I thought you were an ultra-extremeist. Then I thought maybe just a clownish parody. Now I'm pretty sure its a medication issue.

But as to the article. It's really sad that people are trying to take ownership of a historcal figure like its the pink slip for a reallly nice car.

He was here, he said and did some stuff, people wrote about him. Anything beyond that is pure faith. Believe, don't believe, be unsure.

Differing opinions of him are good for comparison, discussion and civil argument. Unfortunately, there are those that would use them for anything from hurt feelings to war.

Man, God, or something in between, I'm sure he would be disappointed in all the people using his legacy for their own ends.

I don't have problems with people that speak with God. My problem is with people that pretend to speak for God.

EDIT: Change "pretend to speak for God."


"presume to speak for God.

Shmuely needs to read John chapter 8, the source of the "children of the devil" line so beloved by John Birchers. It says, and I quote "You (the Sanhedrin or the Pharisees, can't remember which) are of your father, the devil..." This was about the point that any interest I had waned as I threw the damned thing across the room.

truth be told shmaryais freakin jealous that somebody else was successful in chabad while he went down in jewish history as someone who spends his entire life putting up his ridiculous opinions and allegations of others.
Shmarya its time you grew up get a real life stop moping around and kvetching that others are more successful then you are

Aztec raises a good point. Shmuely does not deal with the toxic sections of the NT that are (I might add, incorrectly) attributed to him, but reflect more the thinking of the Early Church. Any book about Jesus from a Jewish perspective must examine these problematical texts that have given rise to some of the most anti-Semitic ideas of Christian history.

In terms of scholarship, Shmuely has nothing to say about the importance of the "Jesus Seminar," which actually might have supported some of his basic ideas. The book has no footnotes to justify his arguments.

Please... W4M's posts are a satire of the ignorance and blindness of the Brooklyn (heimishe) Jew. The mindlessness, xenophobia, ignorance of history and personalities (e.g. mixing up Martin Luther with Martin Luther King), "closeted-bigotry" (e.g. looking down on Sephardim as inferior to hareidim, Black/Latino etc "dark ones") that characterize the "heimishe New York Yid" has been captured perfectly by W4M's outrageous statements! I can't believe that you guys haven't "got it" yet!

Actually, I think Shamarya has done more to benefit Judaism than a dozen Shmuely Boteachs. His FM has become in a way, the watchdog of the Orthodox community. Some of you may not like his brash style, but I find his postings refreshingly honest--and he is often quite eloquent.

I accept Boteach's musings as much as I do Pat Robertson's. They are both tv publicity whores. Only difference is that Boteach doesn't ask for money. (I am assuming this; I've never actually seen him on tv.)

I can't believe that you guys haven't "got it" yet!

Posted by: Robert Wisler

I get it. But in the same way that I get Lady Gaga. You understand what she is doing, but at the same time you still have to roll your eyes when she comes out wearing a meat dress.

honest?just two weeks ago he misquoted a article to trash the israeli police
chicago man he's a bitter man and thats what he does. unfortunately in this line of work he's bound to make mistakes and yet you never hear an apology. and what's about all his articles that chabad rebbetzins werent religious, unfounded allegations

Stockholm syndrome... it explains so-called Rabbi Shmuley’s attraction to the Nazarenes. After all, they spent the last two millennia devising “better” ways to destroy Jews. (In the Stockholm syndrome, hostages would frequently identify with or otherwise support, embrace their captors.)

If this imbecile is so interested in promoting “beautiful ethical teachings,” perhaps he could write a commentary on Pirkei Avos... Oops, forget that, it been done. Maybe he could write a cookbook on, you know, something like “Kosher Pork.”

charlie runkel:

You are a sniper. You hide in the weeds and pop up to attack. You don't make any reasoned arguments or factual refutations, just assertions.

Argumentum ad hominem is sophistry, plain and simple. And, you aren't even good at it. Clearly you do this for self-satisfaction. You really aren't speaking for anyone but yourself. It's rude and selfish.

I expect that groups that evangelize to Jews will buy up copies to offer for free to potential converts. Regardless of what it says inside, no one will ever care. They will simply use his own advertisements as their own.

As for the historical Jesus, I got news for you. Scholarly analysis is hard pressed to support that the New Testament character even existed. While it is true that the Jesus character in the NT sounds like a Chabadnik for the most part (with notable exceptions and non-Jewish additions), to present the subject in this way is hopelessly inexcusably naive for the supposedly savvy Boteach.

Shmuley, you're a slut and a whore. If I ever see you I will throw rocks at your car, spit on you and chuck dirty diapers at your house.

Or, I will just leave you to your silly self serving ideas.

Depends on how long my beard has grown over night.


To Shmarya and yechi ben levitas

On issue of incredible stories of people who met and talked to the Rebbe

Check out


I challenge you to watch 5 of these videos. Be a skeptic and pick ones of people who are don't look lubavitch and see what you think of their personal accounts of their personal interaction with the Rebbe.

Good Shabbos


This to me is one of the more memorable ones


I apologize if we are not supposed to put links on the site - I know some blogs don't like that.

Also - this is off topic but I did not start it.

Finally, on topic -- you would expect Shmarya to be pro Boteach because he is not the typical lubavitcher. Amazing how even Shmuelly is disparaged here.

W4M - You should change your name to 'Waiting4AdamNeira'. He's clearly starting to get annoyed that people aren't recognising his divine presence, and I'm worried he'll smite us all.

There is a better book on the market. It is written by practicing Jews who are biblical scholars, and do not believe in Jesus's messiahship. It's called The Jewish Annotated New Testament, and it is NOT a missionary work. It simply puts the NT in an historical, Jewish context. (hat's next, the Artscroll NT, LOL).

What's all this complaining about kosher cheeses? (humor)

Simple Jew:

Shmarya doesn't have an anti-Lubavitch ideology. He has a problem with the behavior of particular people, and of those who attempt to adhere to the ideology of Lubavitch.

There is no reason why any particular person who is an atypical Chadbanik would be supported by Shmarya. The enemy of my enemy is my friend isn't valid here.

"hopelessly inexcusably naive for the supposedly savvy Boteach."

Rebel J. you should rephrase that as:

"Inexcusable use of well meaning naive people by the hopelessly corrupt, media savvy Boteach"

He's so good at snookering gelt from the goyim he ought to be one of Agudah's gedolim.

Yochanan Lavie:

I wanted to start a kosher cheese lobbyist group called "Jews for Cheeses".

Not too many years ago I attended a debate at the 92nd street Y between Shmuley and Christopher hitchens on the existance of God. There I witnessed Shmuley's over-inflated ego at work; thinking he could compete with the likes of Hitchens. If he were someone I cared for, I'd have been embarassed for him simply because he didn't have sense enough to be embarassed for himself. At the end of one of Smuley's diatribes, Hitchens simply retorted by saying "white noise", which brought the house down because that's all Shmuley really had to offer to make his case. He was so outclassed and couldn't even see it. The man is a blowhard.


If it's better than Miller's (and perhaps a little cheaper), I'm in.

Simple Jew--

There are similar testimonials about many Indian gurus from followers here in America.

Claiming some man is supernatural takes away from his worthiness as a man.

As far as the book, of course he left out the controversial part. Boteach calls it "Kosher Jesus" but it's really "Milchige Jesus".

Simple Jew--

i (with my parents) had yechidus with the rebbe 3 times. i can confirm that he was very nice during these meetings, and had an amazing memory. but what does that mean?
he was a charismatic guy of sound intellect with an above average memory. no more no less.

So maybe we are all too hard on Boteach. If all he is trying to do is make a parnasa from the goyim by selling them books that none of us will read, what is the harm? See my past post, yidden! The brain of the goy was built by Hashem to listen to us even when we are just joking around and kibbitzing. And then suddenly the goyim hae a new idol to pray to. Not just this one, but think of all the others: Freud and his mishegas, communism, feminism, "civil rights" for the dark ones, all these things were our doing. It is permissible to have these discussions amonghst ourselves when not learning, but having them in front of the goyim is like feeding stakes to dogs. Soon the dog will expect to be fed stake all the time, and when you run out he will try to eat you.


Why is there some invented special name for wasting one's time seeing this false messiah and accursed heretic Schneerson? It's the same thing as going to Khomeini or Bin Laden (both dead of course) and calling it by some bullshit title.

having them in front of the goyim is like feeding stakes to dogs. Soon the dog will expect to be fed stake all the time, and when you run out he will try to eat you.

Vampire dogs. I hate those things...

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

If you start out thinking like a Chabadnik you will end up thinking like a Christian.
alternate explanation, Chabad is claiming Jesus back from the Kabbalah Centre

I heard from reliable sources within Chabad that the Rebbe could walk on water, and he could turn water into wine. He also said a lot of clever things based upon the Old Testament.

Does Boteach actually expect us to believe he's a rabbi? He cannot be considered a rabbi by any Jew with any respect for the Torah. Boteach has now mutated into an idolatrous missionary.

Boteach is mentioned in the Torah in a few places, for example:

"How did these nations worship their gods? I will do likewise."
Devarim 12:30.


Earlier I posted that Shmuely did not add footnotes ... what I meant to say, he did not mention the L Rebbe or the Jesus Seminar in any of his footnotes, nor does he mention some anything about the debate regarding the "Historical Jesus" that has been going on for over a century.

Its funny that you say that WSC since "walked upon the water" is most definitely a mistranslation.


I think you should stick to the cheese jokes. Those I understand. I don't understand your reply to my post.

what do you mean here: "Shmarya doesn't have an anti-Lubavitch ideology. He has a problem with the behavior of particular people, and of those who attempt to adhere to the ideology of Lubavitch."

If anyone has not watched the video


They should.

If you have an open mind you will be very impressed by these interviews.

: Simple Jew -

you should read and hear interviews from people praising david koresh, applewhite, and jim jones. they must have been incredible guys with supernatural gifts worthy of awe and respect.
i mean if somebody says so it must be true.

the name SIMPLE jew fits well.

Do you know what the Rebbe said to the Rebbitzen during their honeymoon?


The other Jesus walked on water. This Rebbe climbed the fence at Prospect Park.

Well, if Rebbe Schneerson can induce a messianic trans among his followers, why can't kosher Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth(described by Reb Shmuley, as the zionist patriot).
He even has haskama of that great tzaddik Rabbi Glen Beck Shlita!
All set, there u go!

I think I'll go to the store and buy us all a snack while we discuss this. What a friend we have in Cheez-Its.

Simple Jew:

Let me try to make it simpler.

You seem to think that if someone is against Chabad that Shmarya would automatically support them. Shmarya isn't playing that game. He has principled objections to people's behavior.

Being against Chabad doesn't automatically make a person an ally of Shmarya, that's your approach, not his.

It's a pity the Shmuely did not compare or contrast Jesus with Rabbi Schnersohn, or the Chabad movement and the early Church--now that would be really interesting.

>Freud and his mishegas, communism, feminism, "civil rights" for the dark ones, all these things were our doing.

Your earlier thing about Martin L. King was decent enough satire to bring a smile to my face. But this comment is meant to imply that all religious Jews are bigots: simply not true. Some of my best friends are ultra-religious, and are definitely not bigoted. These broadside accusations that come out of you in this cloaked, passive aggressive way is just simply nonsense.

Accusations of bigotry are best directed, in private, at the person who needs some mussar.

Yaakov: Great joke.

Being against Chabad doesn't automatically make a person an ally of Shmarya

The reverse is true as well.

"As for the historical Jesus, I got news for you. Scholarly analysis is hard pressed to support that the New Testament character even existed."

Sounds about right for any claim of the supernatural.

I'm still holding my breath for the coming of Nagnarok, the Messiah, Messiah part deux, or even Quetzelcoatl but alas I hold my breath in vain.

Shmuely needs to read John chapter 8, the source of the "children of the devil" line so beloved by John Birchers. It says, and I quote "You (the Sanhedrin or the Pharisees, can't remember which) are of your father, the devil..." This was about the point that any interest I had waned as I threw the damned thing across the room.

Posted by: AztecQueen2000 | January 06, 2012 at 08:52 AM

Jesus attacked the Pharisees (founders of rabbinical Judaism).

What kind of issues do you have if a man criticized the religious leaders of his day? It's not like you knew the ancient Pharisees Jesus was talking about. For all we know, they were as corrupt as the Rabbis Shmarya blogs about here.

I'm no fan of Boteach, but I find it pretty ironic all of the people here attacking Boteach's book on a subject he allegedly "knows nothing about"--as if anyone here has any clue about the historical Jesus either.

Everything that Jesus says is Impure, but they tweaked the system to make it appeal to the soul and the mind. It is not exactly in any way G-ds words and clearly is not Jewish. But alot of people have a hard time with the words of jesus because he is enlightened and the words are even written in RED in the bibles.

Im sorry, I have to disagree. When they debuted the play version of "The Disputation" in Los Angeles in Sunsets Tiffany Theatre, Hyam Maccoby and his wife were both there. I had the privelege and opportunity to have ten minutes of his time. He was very quiet and reserved man and his wife quite the matronly British lady. I told him how much I enjoyed his writing, and said I couldnt wait till his next publication

Any scholar who disagrees with him is usually someone who feels his Christian faith has been offended by Maccobys reading of the New Testament. He looks at the New Testament as a sincerely Jewish document that has suffered numerous editings but the underlying Jewishness is still there. Robert Eisenmans works such as "James, the brother of Jesus" is not that far removed from Maccobys train of thought.

Maccobys take on the sudden appearance of the Bar-abbas,as being a doppelganger insertion of later editors to further vilify the Jews and quit the Romans. But that Bar Abbas and Jesus were one in the same and the crowd was calling for the release of a sicarii, but a saintly man who had been wrongly accused In fact what Jesus said about the Pharisees was nothing less then what Shmarya says about today's Charedim.
Whitewashed Sepulchers, all polished outside but full of uncleanliness inside. Hypocrites who love the limelight, the best places in the synagogue, like Boteach and or today is is Ktav, Ktav this Ktav that. I imagine Jesus had the same Ponzi schemers like Madoff in his day.

People have pointed fingers at Maccoby but cannot prove none of his works, Revolution in Judea, The Mythmaker, Paul and Hellinism, etc are non credible scholarship. They are much like the Muslims who decry pictures of Mohammed yet forget that etched or painted pictures of Mohammed were quite common once. If I was the Pope I might find Maccoby offensive as well. Wheter you agree with Maccoby or not you cannot deny the points he makes.

At worse you can say Jesus was wandering maggid, at best a kook, but there is no denying that like many other Jewish saying and teachings that have been usurped by the Church and the Madman as Rambam calls Mohammed though he respectfully calls Jesus, the man from Nazareth.

Boteach is punk no doubt. But until you've read Maccoby or Eisenstein or Pinchas Lapide, or even Bishop Sponge and I mean a lot of their writings, you cant even come close to put them in the same boat with the malodorous Boteach. Though I did read his Lion and The Lamb and Moses at Oxford and wonder where he went crazy because they seemed the writings of a normal Chasisic author and not the posthumous works of Shabbatai Tzvi.

Everything that Jesus says is Impure

Posted by: western jew | January 07, 2012 at 01:15 AM

You don't have a clue.

wool silk cotton,

i beg to differ, in all due respect,
on dollar sundays, if and when i spoke to the rebbe, he always answered me...
he was very kind...
once i asked him something and two weeks later, on line, rabbi klein asked me about the blessing i had received....and he was standing next to the rebbe, speaking for him.
the rebbe spoke to me many many times.
sometimes when no one dared speak to him....i would ask him how he was, or ask for a bracha, he was happy to have someone speak to him.

Everything that Jesus says is Impure

Posted by: western jew

I'd love to hear you try to explain, rationalize, or defend that.

See my past post, yidden! The brain of the goy was built by Hashem to listen to us ...then suddenly the goyim hae a new idol to pray to. ...It is permissible to have these discussions amonghst ourselves when not learning, but having them in front of the goyim is like feeding stakes to dogs....

I am a quiet follower of FM and appreciate Shmarya's coverage and the mostly interesting discussions that follow. I have never posted myself but feel compelled to do so now. I realize that there are many out there whose theology arrives at this contemptible way of thinking. Just as there are those whose theology arrives at spitting on children, and being sanctimonious while being welfare cheats.
But these words are almost identical to the kind of sewer talk that one would find on a skinhead screed if you just change the words around.
If you feel compelled to think this way please keep it to yourselves. Otherwise, don't be surprised when the next Hitler comes around accusing us of sick conspiracies.

complete bullshit this approach of boteach in my opinion, he is out.

Yitschak, many here are familiar with W4M's rantings, and most ignore it, and some are amused by it.

I am also one who feels that his rantings should be not be allowed to continue.

While we may be in the know, others coming to this site will not be.

And to them, it will look like we condone his words, because they often go without someone taking him to task.

And this will have dire consequences.

I actually like this idea. Any potentially undesirable aspects of the author aside, this idea is not that new or unusual. If I understand correctly, a lot of Jesus' teachings were connected to living a law that centers around compassion and love, as were being hashed out by other rabbis of the time.

One of the things that really attracted me to Christianity were the gospels; especially the beautiful gospel of John. Jesus talks about, basically, doing the right thing. And a dying God was one I found powerfully potent. I didn't relate to the images in Jewish prayer of an angry, distant, overly-formal God. In fact, I once walked into a beautiful old Catholic church and saw a black and white drawing of Jesus; in this drawing, he was depicted as bruised, bloody and pathetic looking. And I thought - that's the kind of God I need. Not a God who sits around talking about his might and golden possessions. I need a God who's a homeless bum in the street lying in a pool of his own blood.

That might not make a lot of sense, but it's deeply moving to me. I also viewed the New Testament as much more compassionate and loving than the old Testament, and didn't understand why anyone would want to follow it.

What I was missing from this equation was knowledge. I didn't understand rabbinic Judaism, which has many horrible things in it, but is also full of compassion and love at the same time - even if it's done in a way that can be very stunted and human. I did not understand that the Lord's Prayer, seemingly THE Christian prayer, may actually have roots in Jewish prayer. I did not understand the historical context of either Testament, nor had I read parts of the New Testament aside from the gospels. I also did not understand that while much of the New Testament (as well as rabbinic Judaism) is infused with the beautiful knowledge of ancient Greek spirituality, the culture of ancient Greece was one where 90% of the population were enslaved. So something beautiful on paper didn't necessarily translate to true beauty in life.

I guess, ultimately, I thought the road was clear and straight and plain to see. Now I know there are a lot of potholes; wrong isn't always clear, nor is right.

So in conclusion, I think we should reclaim Jesus, if we are able to read his story/myth in an ancient Judaic context, we may benefit.

While I would agree that there appears to be some pandering on Schmuleys part, you might just consider that a couple millennium ago according to Oxford scholar James Parkes and Yeshiva University Louis Feldman, Jews cared about both Jews and non-Jews enough to work with them toward conversion to Torah Judaism. Maybe Schmuley really cares also about non-Jews. Anyway doubtless you will find he writes about a real tomb in Talpiot with real names and real bones, Jewish I might add. Of course don't be confused by the facts. Just continue the ad hominem of both the living and the dead. It has proven a very effective trade, lashon hara for the בית המיקדש.

@Baruch Shelo Asani Haredi
Sorry but take better History lessons, Martin Luther was a freind of the jews as long as his followers saw him as the middleman between them and the Torah. After his followers went to learn from jewish Rabbis directly he changed his attitude. He wrote texts in Latin, that speak about the despicibale nature of jews, and so on and that it's a good deed to steal and rob from them, etc. It's beleived by historians, that his writings contributed largely to antisemitic images that were build in european society. It's even known, that due to the similarities that Hitler copied largely from Martin Luther's works for writing his book Mein Kampf. Martin Luthers work is seen as a source work for any antisemitic work appearing later in europe and germany. This are the facts of the "nice" evangelical church, that adhears to MArtin Luther. for example i will give a citation from MArtin Luthers work: "The Jews are a fully hopeless, bad, toxic thing, so that they are for 1400 years our plaque, pestilence and mishap and still are.In total they are devils... One should put their synagogues, their schools on fire, ... in honor of christianity, we should break and destroy their houses."(From: The Jews and their lies. Tomos 8, S. 88ff, author: Luther)

yak 9:36 : "You are a sniper. You hide in the weeds and pop up to attack."

The yak is yaking ...

Yes but how's his kashrut?

Boteach has gone demonic. And that is a true statement. G-d is not going to bless Shmuley with the inroads for Jews to be 'enlightened'. This man is simply a pawn of a frisky poor mind. That is the world we live. This man buys his own dreidels from the communists. That is how unobservant his mind and being has become in terms of bringing more financial security to the jewish home. None at all.

Schmuley where have you been?

Dearest Shmuley of the TV fame
Where is it that you are today?
I search for the best
And I find you among the rest
But of course you are bitter and wry

Words can not describe
Your antipathic sense of diatribe
That book on kosher sex
It is filed among the rest
In the heap on the moon
With a solution for few
And thus I must admit
That the Jews lived for 3000 years or more
And never had to check their deck
For the ounce of self respect
That a fellow like you has lost
In the dogmatic way of cutting cost
So that you can build your ferry
To the other side of the
Ocean of
Insanity and Freakishness
That separates you from Heaven
And me from your soul

taken from www.sirwaltersbackgammontable.blogspot.com


We do have a clue, but apparently you do not.

More has been written, and more historical documentation exists about the Pharissees than does about Yoshke, and one does not need to be a historian to know this.

A suggestion. By and large, Jews have very little regard or respect for the "Jesus" idea. If you have an issue with this, you just might wish to avoid Jewish websites.

Thanks to you all, his book will sell like hot cakes.
This is his only intention. To make money.
He's all about money.
But you Shmarya, you really need to be more discerning on which comments you allow on your blog here.
Surely even you can see that being insulting and blasphing the Rebbe is below you.

Surely even you can see that being insulting and blasphing the Rebbe is below you.
Posted by: Shmuley the Apostle!! | January 07, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Blaspheme the "Rebbe"? Bwaaaaaaahahahahaha!

All the Xtian bookstores around these parts seem to be reduced to lives of quiet desperation (on their way to going out of business) so perhaps sell-out trash like this is exactly the pick-me-up they need! Or maybe not.

Shelved beside crap like "You're a King's Son" self-help nonsense, "Biblical Businessman", trampy teen-oriented Xtian manga, and sanctified ("by the Blood!") Xtian romance novels, scholarly (cough) polemic like this doesn't stand a chance.

Furthermore, the liberal quoting of the Gospels will offend Dispensationalists.

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