He Made Me Feel Sorry for the Pope

I try to ignore (Rabbi) Shmuley Boteach, but ever so often his viagra-inflated ego gets on my nerves and I let loose. His latest escapade, so ably lampooned by Frimet Goldberger, has him explaining the lustful desires of married woman. Naturally, Shmuley is there with advice for shlump husbands. Over the years he has publicly offered advice to Michael Jackson and the Pope. The latter prompted this post back in 2010. I revive it now because I just cannot get it up to take another stab at this vampire egoist who refuses to be put down. Yerachmiel Lopin

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict XVI

Shmuley Boteach did the unthinkable. He made me feel sorry for Pope Benedict XVI. As a way to maximize the PR yield of his upcoming visit to the Pope, Shmuley published his suggestions including: institute din yichud so no priest is alone with a child and institute Friday night family meals for Catholics as an occasion to shmooze about serious topics and extend hospitality to others. 

psychic Uri Geller, singer/dancer Michael Jackson, publicity hound R Shmuley Boteach

psychic Uri Geller, singer/dancer Michael Jackson, publicity hound R Shmuley Boteach

You have got to admire Shmuley. He has a penchant for hanging out with folks with incredible wardrobes. First there was Michael Jackson and now there is the Pope. He also does a great job of leveraging those connections. After Jackson died, quicker than you can do a shiva visit, he was writing an expose about Michael and how Michael would have been OK if he had only followed Shmuley’s advice.

I can only imagine what he will have to say when the aged Pope Benedict dies. He will probably time his expose to coincide with TV coverage of the funeral mass. While he is visiting the Pope he will probably hand him a copy of his book Kosher Sex in front of flashing cameras. For all we know he has branched out into writing cookbooks and he will hand him a copy of his collection of inspiring Friday night recipes.

Meanwhile Shmuley, do you have any thoughts about din yichud and other steps to combat molesting in the orthodox Jewish world. Are you planning to write a book about Unkosher Sex. I know we can’t ever match the worldwide Catholic population for book buying. Even the most bedecked chasidishe rebbe can’t match the Pope for satin, velvet and glitz. However, as long as you are borrowing your legitimacy from us, how’s about some payback?


17 thoughts on “He Made Me Feel Sorry for the Pope

  1. YL– You may want to edit the sentence above that contains the phrase that contains “…I just cannot get it up…” regardless of what it’s actually referring to. A faux paux like this, although innocent enough to mature readers, may, under a worst-case-scenario, result in Rabbi Shmuley himself offering glatt Kosher advice on how you might remedy this condition. Be on the lookout for a signed copy of Kosher Sex (or even Kosher Lust) arriving in the mail (wrapped in plain brown paper for Tznius purposes) with certain pages tagged that contain his much sought after Rabbinic advice the Kosher cure for this common affliction.

  2. I’ve also observed that the Pope appears to wear a yarmulkah that is larger than Shmuely’s. As to whether it’s more holy, that’s anyone’s guess.

  3. When you write stuff like this and do a personal attack on someone because he “gets on my nerves,” you lower your own credibility to attack someone for no goal except to vent your personal hatred.

    • Wrong. Not blind hatred. Distress over very dangerous conduct. He needlessly insulted the Pope in advance of a visit. It is bad enough that Boteach is a shameless self-promoter. But he should be called out when he damages Jewish-Vatican relations just for a headline and to sell a few books.

  4. Really? He damaged Jewish-Vatican relations? Did the Pope cancel his trip to Israel? Has the Vatican renounced some of their past reforms? Are Catholics around the world calling for a return to the inquisition? What the hell are you talking about? Shmuley told a silly joke that in no way insulted the pope, and in fact emphasized that the Pope would have the humility to drive himself because he is the People’s Pope. Look deep into your soul and you will see the vendetta and blind hatred you have for a Jew who “gets on my nerves.” Sad really…

    • I am talking about the original post which refers to things he said just before he was scheduled to meet with the pope, like recommending din yichud for priests with boys. Imagine the pope used his trip to Israel to declare rabbis should not be allowed to be alone with boys. I am not saying it is a bad idea, but it feels very different when it comes from an outsider.

  5. He didn’t damage Jewish-Vatican relations during that trip either. There are so many people who hate Shmuley for the simple reason that they feel he is a self promoter and has a big ego. That is not a reason to hate and despise and slander the man, which happens all the time all over the internet. Shmuley has not hurt anyone, and given all the terrible press that Orthodoxy has received, he is one of the only frum Jews who is famous, and he goes a long way in giving the world a politically correct, tolerant face to Orthodoxy, in an otherwise terrible time for Jews in the media. You shouldn’t hate him because you think he has a big ego. He hasn’t done any harm to anyone, and he actually has done a lot of good for how the world perceives religious Jews.

    • Yes, it is the former pope, Benedict. The story, as I noted in my preface refers to Boteach’s conduct before he was schedule to meet Benedict.

      However, given some time, Shmuley Botox will find a way to also offend Pope Francis.

  6. Sorry JWB but your examples of Shmuley causing harm or doing something wrong are based on lies and distortion of the facts. Just because someone publishes something negative about him doesn’t mean he is guilty. You should do more research before believing everything you read.
    Shmuley had every right to try to have his home recognized as a synagogue as he has services there all the time, and has guests stay there for shabbos on a regular basis. If other religious houses of worship do the same thing in Englewood, and if Qaddafi’s house next door doesn’t pay a cent to property taxes, and if Shmuley has already paid over a million in property taxes, he has the right to petition for his house to be considered a house of worship.

    As for his charity, the vast amount that is produced from his organization is not so much in the money it gives, but in the thousands of guests he has to his home every year for shabbos meals, and for all the events and talks and writings, and the upkeep of the charity’s websites, and also to pay his wife for doing a lot of work for the charity. All of his children are involved in helping with these activities. They have a full time secretary as well, and there are very many people who support all that he does for Jewish values in this country. He wouldn’t be relevant for the last 25 years if he didn’t have ten of thousands who are very supportive and agree with all that he does. His salary is comparable to people in similar positions with the talents he brings and the work he does. Don’t quote me hit pieces that ignore the relevant facts.

  7. As for your repeating the charge that “The commission acted after questioning the charity’s trustees about paying the mortgage on Boteach’s north London home,” the article itself explains Shmuley’s legal counsel’s reasoning, and in the end he paid back all of the money.

    “Boteach said Monday that L’Chaim paid his mortgage so that he could remain in England once his then-young children became old enough to attend school. Like many Orthodox Jews, he wanted them to attend a Jewish day school but none existed in Oxford, he said. In order to stay on as the Oxford rabbi, he would need to move to London and commute.

    “The charity’s trustees consulted the most prominent legal experts in England, who told them donors could legally give money to pay the mortgage on a house in London, so that’s what they did,” Boteach said. The Charity Commission subsequently ruled that the arrangement violated British law, meaning the donations were not tax-deductible and the donors would owe substantial back taxes. To avoid that, Boteach said, he made a repayment to L’Chaim so that the donors’ funds would remain with the charity.”

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