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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson’

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: The Revolting Lie that Michael Jackson was a Nazi Sympathizer

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

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.

It’s My Opinion: “Big Spending”

Monday, November 14th, 2011

This week’s Art Basel Miami Beach is billed as the largest contemporary art fair in the hemisphere. Until recently, the prognosis for a successful event had been bleak. The worldwide financial crisis had all but devastated the arts.  Now, Art Basel, and the art world in general, has reason to celebrate.  It seems that prices are up and big spending has returned.

In early November, Sotheby’s auction house sold a work created by pop artist Andy Warhol.  The print shows stacks of dollars.  “200 One Dollar Bills” sold for $43.8 million.  The art industry was back in business.

Memorabilia of the late singing star Michael Jackson also went on the auction block. A white glove that Jackson wore to perform his famous moonwalk was recently sold. Although the $420,000 transaction brought in a pittance in comparison to the Warhol sale, it was a sizeable amount for one unmatched glove.

A few days ago, a study came out that many households around the Unite States do not have adequate food.  The report indicated that the need was greatest in homes that had young children.  The reality of this fact is heartbreaking.

We seem to be in an economic best of times and worst of times.  It is easy to criticize what seems to be excessive spending when others are going hungry.  In reality, just the opposite is true.  Big spending is just what our economy needs.

Art Basel is anticipated to bring 40,000 tourists and exhibitors to South Florida.  They will need taxis, lodging and food. The highest form of charity is to give our fellow man a job, to provide the ability to earn a parnasah and no longer be dependent on the kindness of others.

This week’s visitors will eat in restaurants, stay in hotels and attend shows.  They will buy souvenirs, shop boutiques and put money into the local economy.  They will help participate in a real bailout of the South Florida economy.

Jews are admonished not to rely on miracles, however it seems that the local economy has been given a real miraculous boost.

Electionshpiel Special

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Question: For whom will you be voting in next month’s presidential election?


 

 


Election?! You mean in just a few weeks I’ll longer get to be the decider? So that’s why Laura is so busy packing up boxes! I’m not sure whom I will vote for. I liked Rudy Giuliani’s spirit during 9/11 and I admire Mike Huckabee’s conservative nature, but one thing’s for sure: John Kerry is certainly not going to get my vote.

 – George Bush, president


 

 


As someone who was born an African-American male, I am so proud of Barack Obama, and I do think we are ready to see a black man as president. But I can also relate to Sarah Palin as a white woman, and I feel it’s about time we had a female vice president. Color me confused.

 – Michael Jackson, entertainer


 

 


I still think I would make a great president and perhaps when I challenge President Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2012, the American public will get it right and vote for me. Don’t tell anyone, but I never fully cleaned out my office from when Bill and I were in the White House. I knew I’d eventually be back.

 – Hillary Clinton, U.S. senator (D-NY)


 

 

 


Frankly, I don’t see why George Bush can’t run for another term. Who says there has to be a limit? If the man feels like he can put in another 4 years, he should go for it. Heck, why even have elections? I’m looking into that question as well.

 – Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York

 

 

This week’s column is intended for satiric purposes only.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/electionshpiel-special/2008/10/22/

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