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October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: The Revolting Lie that Michael Jackson was a Nazi Sympathizer


Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson
Photo Credit: Screenshot

All a man has in this world is his good name. The book of Ecclesiastes says that a good name is better than fine oil. Our reputations determine what others think of our character. We have a right, therefore, to defend our name against scurrilous and slanderous attack. When those we know cannot defend themselves, we must stand up and speak out on their behalf.

I generally try to avoid the gossip that is so often said and writing about Michael Jackson. Libraries of nonsense have been written about him, and now that he is tragically no longer alive, he cannot defend himself. In general I see no point in highlighting slanderous material about him by responding to it.

But several headlines recently caught my attention when I heard that a man who claims to have worked as Michael’s bodyguard made the incredulous charge that Michael was a Nazi sympathizer. This kind of viciousness should usually not be indulged because it just gives it more credibility for the retelling. But the slander against Michael’s name in this instance is so great that it deserves to be rebutted.

As is well known, I was Michael’s Rabbi for two years. During that time, we discussed every subject under the sun. A great deal of it was captured in the conversations we recorded specifically for publication in the books that became The Michael Jackson Tapes and its follow up, Honoring the Child Spirit. In one of those conversations, Michael spoke of Hitler’s mesmerizing oratorical skills. He said that oratory is in many ways one of the most effective tools that evil uses to manipulate others and thereby gain power. Michael argued that Hitler used many of the same techniques that showbiz performers use today in order to manipulate audiences and steer them toward evil deed. I was disheartened when the book was first published to see some newspapers highlight these comments of Michael completely out of context and misrepresent him as someone who could have admired Hitler. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Michael detested and despised anyone who would do harm to another human being, especially the Nazis who gassed 6 million Jews, one and a half million of whom were children. Michael loathed everything Hitler stood for. As I have consistently stated, Michael was a great friend of the Jewish people. He celebrated his relationship with the Jewish community and never shied from demonstrating how much he learned from Judaism through our conversations and friendship.

In one of our first meetings I gave him a mezuzah as a gift, which consists of a small scroll from the Torah that is affixed to the doorpost. I did not give it to him with the intention that he put it on his door as his was not a Jewish home. Nevertheless, Michael insisted that we put it on the front door of his rented home in Manhattan. A few weeks later he came with me to the Carlebach Synagogue in Manhattan one of the happiest days of the Jewish calendar, Shemini Atzeret, and told me later, as part of The Michael Jackson Tapes, that it was the happiest night of his life.

As the boy superstar of the Jackson 5, Michael had a Jewish tutor who traveled with him and helped to raise him whose name was Rose Fine. Michael spoke of her in The Michael Jackson Tapes with great affection and revealed to me that he and Janet covered many of his former tutor’s expenses as she aged. In one of the conversations he says that as the group’s plane landed in Germany, Mrs. Fine became agitated. Michael asked her why and she shared with him the horrors of the holocaust. He was just a boy and it was the first time he had heard of the wholesale slaughter or Europe’s Jews.

Later, I would take Michael to meet and converse with my dear friend, Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel – arguably the greatest living Jewish personality – who further shared with him the horrors of the holocaust and the importance of reconciliation and love. Prof. Wiesel showed Michael boundless acceptance and affection, which Michael warmly reciprocated.

Michael’s strong feelings for the Jewish community meant he was even prepared to suffer professionally for his love of Israel and the Jewish people. It is well-known that in 1993 Michael went to Israel on his Dangerous Tour where he performed for 160,000 fans in Tel Aviv. My dear friend Frank Cascio, later to become Michael’s manager, accompanied him and he told me how much Michael loved being in the holy land. Less well known, however, is the following story.

In late 2000, a Jewish philanthropist called me and told me that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was coming to his home that night for a reception. He said it would be good for Israel if Michael would come there and meet with the Prime Minister. I turned to Michael, in the presence of some of his professional staff, and asked him if he would like to meet the Israeli Prime Minister. Michael immediately jumped at the opportunity and told me he would love to do so. However, the people who surrounded him at the time mentioned that it might not be a good idea. They said that Sharon was hated in many parts of world, especially in Arab nations. A photograph of Michael with Ariel Sharon could spark a significant backlash including a boycott of Michael’s albums and music. Michael immediately dismissed their concerns and said that he felt very excited to meet the Prime Minister. A few minutes later we embarked in Michael’s van and crossed town to the meeting. The pictures of Michael greeting Prime Minister Sharon, along with me and our dear mutual friend Uri Geller, appeared throughout the world. Michael’s professional staff were correct. The very next day websites called for a boycott of Michael’s music saying that he supported Israel’s “hated” leader. However, Michael did not care. Michael loved Israel and the Jewish people and he was thrilled to meet someone of Prime Minister Sharon’s stature.

About the Author: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom the Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 29 books, including The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.


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8 Responses to “Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: The Revolting Lie that Michael Jackson was a Nazi Sympathizer”

  1. Tzvi Fishman says:

    I'm confused. Was Michael Jackson Jewish that he had a rabbi? Didn't he embrace Islam? Didn't he have legal problems surrounding accusations of pedophilia? Wasn't his death due to an overdose of hard drugs? Is he a positive role model to praised? This is very confusing. Soon people will be saying that Jesus was a friend of the Jews!

  2. Sandra Mc says:

    good points, Tzvi

  3. Sarah Dreyfuss says:

    I think he was a Jehovah's witness.I guess in his petty mind he thought if he was a Nazi sympathizer that is ultimate whiteness.But he did speak against Jews my mom would know better.She told me when he died because I was sad and she said he hated us.I do not know what he was doing with Rabbi Shmuley?I see the Rabbi on here(FB)everyday.He talks politics:).

  4. Lynn Mathis says:

    Michael Jackson was a practicing Jehovah's Witness until he was about 30, when he broke officially with them over his work. He embraced people of all religions- among them Islam, Buddhism and other Christian religions (his second wife was Jewish). I am unaware of him ever speaking out against Jews or sympathizing with Nazis (as Rabbi Boteach pointed out) and propofol is hardly a "hard drug".
    This "story" among others is being passed about by a man named Matt Fiddes who worked once for him as a security man and is now hunting some attention. He never spent much time around Jackson but is trying to use the few existing pictures of them together to publicize his "martial arts empire". It's sad, really.
    Thinking people should never confuse accusations with facts.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Shmuley Boteach go sell your lies to some other stupids…. you are one of those vampires running for money! luckily many still remember how you betrayed MJ!

  6. Anonymous says:

    once you slammed him for all his child-likeness, now you are pushing to stick his name to your ideals. next time try harder… and make up a new mask.

    you are truely one of those who hold the name of God as a way paver to hide their greed and ambitions. obviously you will keep selling your brief time with him. that I know michael would regret the way he regreted his time with martin bashir.

  7. Bo Green says:

    Sarah, this is media-driven untruth. MJ most certainly did not want to be white; he had terrible vitiligo, as confirmed by the L.A. coroner and photos. And this article clearly shows that MJ felt close to the Jewish people.

  8. Bo Green says:

    Tzvi, it's not good to spread untrue rumors. The rumor that MJ embracing Islam has been thoroughly debunked. He was found innocent of ALL allegations; recent information such as newly released FBI files continue to exonerate him and prove the accusers were extortionists. His death was NOT due to "hard drugs," or any illicit drugs, but incompetence by his physician attending him for insomnia.

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