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November 1, 2014 / 8 Heshvan, 5775
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Adelson Gives $500,000 to Shmuley Boteach Super PAC

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Billionaire philanthropist Sheldon Adelson and his wife have donated $500,000 to an independent super PAC that endorses Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s congressional run for the 9th Congressional District in northern New Jersey.

The casino mogul and his wife, Miriam, each gave $250,000 to the Patriot Prosperity Political Action Committee, which is supporting Boteach’s candidacy against the incumbent – Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited “people close to the Adelsons and the PAC.”

The Adelsons previously gave $10,000 directly to Boteach’s campaign. Sheldon Adelson and Boteach are personal friends, and Boteach recently wrote an article in The Jewish Press harshly condemning the “below-the-belt attack” by David Harris, President of the National Jewish Democratic Council, who accused Adelson of personally approving prostitution in his casinos.

In a statement to The Jewish Press Boteach said,”I treasure the Adelsons’ support. They have been dear friends for a long time and were among the earliest backers of my campaign. Not only are they heroes in the Jewish community for their mega-philanthropy, but they are among the most generous and sophisticated political donors in the country.

“Their decision to support my campaign – and, apparently, to help fund a group that will be backing my campaign – proves that there’s a passionate need in American politics for a values-based candidacy. This donation is a game changer.”

The donation is only the most recent contribution the Adelson’s have made to Republican candidates this election season. They have contributed $10 million toward Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign, and contributed $10 million to Newt Gingrich during the Republican primaries.

The Adelson’s have been active philanthropists in a variety of Jewish causes, giving close to $100 million to Birthright Israel, $25 million donation to Yad Vashem, as well as donations to the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and the Zionist Organization of America, among other groups.

Boteach’s platform includes support for school vouchers and making marital counseling tax deductible in an effort to lower the divorce rate. He has criticized his opponent for signing a letter with 53 other Congressmen which condemned Israel for “collective punishment” against Palestinians in the Gaza blockade.

JTA content was used in this report.

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18 Responses to “Adelson Gives $500,000 to Shmuley Boteach Super PAC”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    Are the earnings of a professional gambler like Adelson kosher?

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    Shmuel, I guess you think Soros' money is also kosher???

  3. Is he a professional gambler as he owns the casino?

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    Yes, in most casino games the individual gambler is betting against the house, and the house has a built-in edge. That is true for traditional slot machines, video poker, blackjack, roulette, and dice games. One exception is poker, where players play against each other, usually paying a fee to the house. Thus the owners of the house — in Adelson's case, himself and his business partners — are making their income directly from gambling. In almost all casino operations, the revenue from hotel rooms, restaurants, and live entertainment is quite small compared to the gambling income.

  5. Are commodity investors also gamblers? Stock market investors? Businessmen who put capital at risk to provide goods and services? Adelson provides a venue for entertainment – the gambling.

  6. Charlie Hall says:

    Yes, in many cases some investors on Wall Street could and should be considered professional gamblers.

    No question that Adelson provides something people want. But our sages considered professional gamblers to be little better than thieves, and for good reason. Casinos are a plague; Adelson makes billions off the misery of others. George Soros does as well, using different methods. This is very different from, say, Koch Industries, Berkshire Hathaway, or Bloomberg LLP, in that those three industries, controlled by politically active leaders, offer goods and/or services that contribute to society's betterment. (My problems with the Koch brothers aren't with their business, but that unlike Berkshire Hathaway, their business is privately held so others can't share in its success; and that they have not departed from the political extremism of their late father, a founder fo the John Birch Society. Remember that David Koch actually opposed Ronald Reagan in 1980, running as the VP nominee of the Libertarian Party!)

  7. Rabbis should not ever be associated with party politics in the Diaspora.
    Rabbis are spiritual leaders and must be above the political fray.
    Throughout history there were Jews like Sir Moses Montefiore who brought their enormous stature to bear on world leaders.However they did not serve at the behest of any political entity.
    Whatever the rationale America 2012 is not the place or time to change our Jewish approach to Shadlonus.

  8. Rabbi Boteach is a wonderful enlightened person that respects the dignity of all people.

  9. Ezzie Goldish says:

    Wrong. It's not a gamble. You know how math works.

  10. Ezzie Goldish says:

    And as discussed previously, the only real halachos about it are whether people who play games of pure chance are allowed to be eidim etc.

  11. I've met him and had same feelings,but don't think he should be in politics,but just my opinion.Even so would vote for him,trust him.

  12. Charlie Hall says:

    "Wrong. It's not a gamble."

    It is winning money in games of chance and that is what matters. That he has figuratively stuffed the deck makes it worse, not better!

    Soros' ill-gotten winnings aren't as bad; there was at least the possibility that his evil currency manipulation might have backfired on him.

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Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

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