Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

WATCH Shmuley Boteach Stress Roseanne’s Jewish Repentance

Using Jewish concepts, long-time acquaintance of Roseanne Barr, Shmuley Boteach yet again showed he is her most eloquent defender, bar none.

Less than a week after Barr posted a YouTube video of herself screaming that she thought the “b—— was white” about Valerie Jarrett — and hours after she filmed Sean Hannity’s show — Boteach hosted a conversation with the star at Standup, a comedy venue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Telling reporters that she had a “big heart” and, by showing her vulnerability she had shown her “soft underbelly,” Boteach said that Barr had gone through the four stages of Maimonidean repentance that are core to Jewish “teshuvah.” It was important for her to atone personally, but also as a “high profile ambassador” as a Jewish woman and a “practitioner of Jewish beliefs.”

Boteach repeatedly returned to the way that “Martin Luther King Jr., the greatest American of the twentieth century” had forgiven people who had been racist toward him. While Barr’s transgressions were quite different, Boteach called for love and healing while clearly distinguishing the difference in Jewish law between someone who did one bad thing and someone who demonstrates a pattern of bad behavior.

“We have no Jesus in Judaism. No perfect man.” Boteach put the onus on the Jewish people to forgive one another and Americans to forgive Roseanne.

They were at Standup to conduct a conversation. Boteach hoped that it would be entertaining but it would not be a standup or comedy act. They were appearing at that venue because Donny, the owner, had offered them the studio in which they had recorded the four podcasts since Barr’s fateful tweet.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.