Shmuley Boteach


Remembering Christopher Hitchens

By Shmuley Boteach

Remembering Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens was a skilled and acerbic debater whose intellect always shined through. Take it from Shmuley Boteach, one of his regular sparring partners.Read More


The Great (and Imperfect) Hope That Is Chabad

By Shmuley Boteach

The Great (and Imperfect) Hope That Is Chabad
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.Read More


Bintel Brief: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach Answers Your Questions

By Shmuley Boteach

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.Read More


Take Time To Treasure The Holy Moments of The Silenced Machine

By Shmuley Boteach

Arnold Schwarzenegger wants us to forget his movie career and focus instead on his untested abilities as governor. But to me the “Terminator” movies are far more realistic than the surrealism of California politics. Mankind has indeed fought a battle against machines and lost so decisively that we have become machines ourselves. We are aRead More


The Enduring Relevance of Black-Jewish Relations

By Shmuley Boteach

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 arguingRead More






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    • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
    • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
    • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
    • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
    • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
    • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
    • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
    • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
    • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
    • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
    • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
    • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
    • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
    • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
    • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
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