Christopher Hitchens was a skilled and acerbic debater whose intellect always shined through. Take it from Shmuley Boteach, one of his regular sparring partners.
Back when I was serving as a Chabad emissary at Oxford University, the great British philosopher Isaiah Berlin, who had befriended me, once told me that while he admired my work bringing Jewish students closer to their tradition, he was utterly opposed to the large menorah I erected in the city center each year. “My cousin” — by which he meant his relative, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson — “is a missionary. But this is not our country, and we have no right to impose our religion on its citizens.” Sir Isaiah was voicing the discomfort felt by some with Chabad’s high-profile Jewish outreach.
With books like “Kosher Sex,” “Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments” and “Judaism for Everyone” and his television series “Shalom in the Home” on The Learning Channel, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has brought an unabashedly Jewish perspective on family life and relationships to a popular audience. For the next month, he’ll be giving our readers some life perspective as the Forward’s next Bintel Brief guest advice columnist.
The recent conviction of Lemrick Nelson in the stabbing of Yankel Rosenbaum, the final spectacle of the Crown Heights riots of 1991, has been described by some as not just the nadir but the effective end of the alliance between blacks and Jews.Observers such as Samuel Freedman, associate dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, are arguing