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“It Is Forbidden for Anyone to Buy or Read This Book”

by Jacob Immanuel Schochet

Rabbi Dr. Jacob Immanuel Schochet

Greeting and blessing. Regarding the recent controversy surrounding a book released by Shmuley Boteach entitled ‘Kosher J’ I am writing this letter to express my authoritative view in response to those who have sought my opinion on this matter.

While it is not normally my style to write letters of condemnation, having read the book, I feel it poses a tremendous risk to the Jewish community and therefore imperative to state my halachic (Jewish legal) opinion that it is forbidden for anyone to buy or read this book, or give its author a platform in any way shape or form to discuss this topic.

It is not my intent, nor does it serve any purpose to engage in any polemic. It only enhances the sensationalism surrounding the book’s release. However, in the 40 years I have spent combating missionaries across the globe, I have never read a book, let alone one authored by a purported frum (religious) Jew, that does more to enhance the evangelical missionary message and agenda than the aforementioned book. The grossly distorted message of the book violates basic premises of original and authentic Jewish tradition, thus unavoidably must be rejected for being heretical.

It is my sincerest hope that the author recognizes the error of his ways and looks to make amends by retracting the book.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Dr. J. Immanuel Schochet

233 Comments

  • 1. Lulu wrote:

    Rabbi I.J. Schochet is a very brilliant man and a great speaker. I can only imagine that if he took the time to write this letter, then it must be true. May he be well and live for many more wonderful years!!

  • 2. Finally! wrote:

    Finally someone to whom the Rebbe gave his permission, and blessings to him, that he could/should go in to that field, is speaking out, and what he says we can trust is the truth!!!

  • 3. Levi wrote:

    Thank you Rabbi S for shedding light!

    Please others come out and shed the truth about this harm!

  • 4. Finally! wrote:

    A clear and concise directive from a QUALIFIED (Yes Mr. Federman) QUALIFIED competent Rabbi who actually has something meaningful to say on this matter.

    Thank you Rabbi Shuchat for using your years of experience and vast knowledge of this subject to give some directive on this matter. It is nice to see that we still have someone willing to lead when there is (unfortunately) clearly no capable (physical) leader.

  • 6. Shimon C wrote:

    Thank you, Rabbi Schochet. Rabbi Wolf’s hard work in exposing this person’s writings, and the abuse he had to take, has finally borne fruit.

  • 8. From Shmuley-s Twitter wrote:

    “RabbiShmuley: tomorrow I will G-d willing respond to latest attempt attacks on Kosher J book. what i will not do is allow fanatics 2 take over judaism”
    No hes taking on Rabbi Schochat!?

    And here is the results of the chip on the shoulder “what i will not do is allow fanatics 2 take over judaism”

    This man who got a heter to hug and shake hands with women and who speaks pervertedly and shamefully is now the defender of authentic judaism?

    U N — R E A L

    Perhaps his followers will write a Kosher Shmuley one day, because he isnt.

  • 9. I want proof wrote:

    I hate to be so skeptical, but I wish Rabbi Schochet would send a video recording that says what this letter says. I know that he is very ill right now, and after hearing so many stories about elderly or sick rabbis being lied to or having their signatures misused for bans on various books and media from the chareidi world, I want absolute proof that Rabbi Schochet really wrote this

  • 11. the book of Mormon wrote:

    wow, Rabbi schochet couldn’t have given this book better publicity.A window of curiosity just opened. Now countless more people are going to read this book.

  • 12. Goodbye Shmuley - take Milhouse with you wrote:

    Thank you Rabbi Wolf, and thank you Rabbi Schochet.

    Now where is Milhouse? I’d love to read his wise and well reasoned [sic] comments again about this topic.

    Maybe for once in his life he will say he’s sorry and that he made a mistake – nah, not much chance of that.

    As for Shmuley, I already said goodbye, it’s practically certain that he will never repent. Maybe I should have said good riddance.

  • 13. questioning my faith wrote:

    I’ve seen “frum” people act so cowardly cold uncompassionate who lack love in their hearts and have no cariong for other human beings but themselves and their own families who don’t practice any kind of kindness towards others everything is gevurah and a mean G-d…so let me hear why is it so bad

  • 14. A Huge Fan!! wrote:

    Loved that last quote in Hebrew….Rabbi Schochet’s quick wit and sharp points strike again! Boruch Hashem it’s good to see he still has the fight in him! Wishing him a refuah shelaima…ad meah v’esrim!!

  • 15. Interesting wrote:

    Rabbi Shuchat signs off V’“HABOTECH” B’HsShem – I believe to be intentional.

  • 16. hahahhahahahahahaha wrote:

    Deny your cult members education…
    Why don’t you just say “we want our people staying exactly the same and would never let them see anything that might oppose our own beliefs” … You guys lose so much credibility (which you never really had) every single day with this closed minded conservative robot-like adherence to these rules it’s amazing.

  • 17. so so sad wrote:

    I hve come to the conclusion that there is something terribly wrong with Shmuley. I am not trying to be mean and I am not trying to be cruel. I am not even refering to his book. I am just observing that there is massive public outrage inclusing by those we see as Gedolim in Lubavitch particularly Rabbi Shochat Shli“ta and yet Shmuley is fighting back to ”not allow extremists to highjack judaism“
    his very own heroes have condemned him and the rest of us, even those who enjoyed his writings and his ”return” to lubavitch cannot stomach the title of his new book especially with Imanuels condemnation
    yet he fights on unfazed like we are all crazy and uses his connections and skills to further harm the community he claims to love.

  • 19. Yanky B. in Los Angeles wrote:

    With all due respect to Rabbi Schochet, he is a member of the ‘old guard’ that is threatened by a young Rabbi like Rabbi Boteach. It’s about time people realize that Rabbi’s like Boteach, Rabbi A. Zajac of SOLA in Los Angeles and others are the new guard. It is Rabbi’s like these that will lead by example and be a credit to their communities. Judaism & Halacha have always evolved. It’s time for the old guard to accept this and step aside.

  • 20. Next Step wrote:

    Now some one of Rabbi Schochet’s stature should officially put Boteach in Cherem for once and for all.

  • 22. Dave wrote:

    You all are simply terrified of looking past the end of your nose because you know you’ll realize how wrong you are.

    Intellectual honesty requires the willingness to learn.

    If you’re afraid of reading a book you should be more afraid of the books you’re reading.

    I don’t agree with Boteach, but I don’t with shochet either.

  • 23. kudos to crownheights.info wrote:

    If Rabbi Wolf wouldn’t have started it we would never know that this book is ossur and rachmono litzlan… so this is great , thanks to crownheights.info for bringing us such crucial info.

  • 24. Thinkster wrote:

    If Rabbi Schochet says its bad news, then that’s something the Jewish world can rely on!

  • 25. NuffSaid wrote:

    Thank you Rabbi Shochet and Rabbi Wolf.
    It is time to put a stop to this pretender.
    I like the posuk you chose to conclude your letter. You are truly a tzadik and moreh hoiro.
    Now watch an avalanch of condemnation to follow.
    (mr federman and all other nincompups owe Rabbi Wolf an apology).

  • 27. KOSHER! wrote:

    Coming from an unquestionably KOSHER (pun intended) source like Rabbi Schochet, there should be no question in anyone’s mind that Boteach’s book is just the opposite! Now, I
    wonder whether or not prevous publications of his have the sanction of true and traditonal Torah values.

  • 28. dantheman wrote:

    How did you read the book? It hasn’t been released yet. Are you guys buddys and he sent you an advanced copy? Im sure. And if so, what points in the book do you disagree with? Page numbers.

    Let me save you some time, the rabbinic taliban authorities in the ultra orthodox world have banned another they have not read.

  • 29. A Reader wrote:

    With all due respect to Rabbi Shochet’s intelligence, it seriously failed him this time, as he accomplished the exact opposite of his objective. Any who won’t read or buy a book because some rabbi declared it “heretical” and “forbidden” would not have bought or read Shemuli’s book in any event. On the other hand, his condemnation is sure to pique the interest of those who exactly feel that a rabbi has any authority to tell them what they may or may not read.
    All Rabbi Shochet has done is boost to the book’s sales

  • 30. I-M NO EXPERT, BUT... wrote:

    Shmuley, I believed in you. But I believe in this true expert so much more. I am no maven but I have to conclude that “divrai hoRav v’divrai ha’Talmid divra mi shoimim? That leads me to conclude that you wrote heresy. I can no longer believe in you. Sorry.

  • 31. watch boteach label him a fanatic wrote:

    Let’s see how long it will take Shmuley to prove the fragility of his ego and label Rabbi Schochet a fanatic.

    Let’s see how many authentic, Jewish, traditional, orthodox scholars he can rally to his cause.

    Let’s see how many authentic, Jewish, traditional, orthodox scholars will ban the book or — even worse — just not worse notice it.

    OR

    Will we see Shmuley proving is maturity and take time to do the right thing.

    Will we see Shmuley finally proving that he is an authentic religous Jew

  • 33. leave him wrote:

    what is everyones problem?!?! leave rabbi boteach alone! hes more than allowed to believe and express whatever he desires. everyone is

  • 34. TO NUMBER 8 wrote:

    I attend his shul. He is there each morning, he is there each evening, he is there every Shabbat. He is a walking miracle thank the Almighty. He spoke last Shabbat for 45 minutes at the farbrengen. He might be ill, but he is so focussed with so much in him still. May G-d bless him and continue to give hi strength to inspire his community and combat the evil that infiltrates our world.

  • 35. Milhouse wrote:

    How can a book that says Jesus was a not a god, and was a Jew who believed in only one God, “enhance the evangelical missionary message”? It makes no sense.

  • 36. Danny wrote:

    What’s so bad about the book ? I never heard of it just wondering plz get Back to me

  • 37. Yonah wrote:

    To be fair, the same letter needs to be issued against R’ Skobac of Jews for Judaism for his DaVinci Code: A Jewish Perspective.

  • 38. CGI detroit wrote:

    Baruch hashem. we must however understand the severity of the situation and not laugh about it or take it lightly. In addition, its a serious issue to ban a book becaus that will of course make it sell better than before. so banning it must have taken serious deliberation showing how serious it is.

  • 39. Girsa D-Yankusa wrote:

    Already as a Bochur in Sydney, Shmuely Boteach would keep a New Testament under his bed and read it in his spare time.
    No wonder he is captivated by the topic.

  • 41. Milhouse wrote:

    What “authentic and original Jewish tradition”? There are NO authentic or original Jewish traditions about Jesus. If he’s referring to Toldos Yeshu, it’s a work of fiction, far too late to contain any authentic traditions.

    Now tell the truth; who really wrote this letter?

  • 42. Now I Know wrote:

    WOW! I read the book. I don’t know what is wrong with the book, but then I don’t know what I should know to decide what is wrong. What I do know is, this has blown me away. I’ve heard Rabbi JIS lectures in my frum days. No one tops him. (He would be my only reason to stay frum today if only I would have discussed my issues with him). I don’t know what I don’t know but what I do know is that this book is wrong even if I don’t know why, because someone who does and should know says so.

  • 43. SHLUCHIM REACTION wrote:

    there is powerful discussion going on, on the shluchim exchange. I think Rabbi Shochet has just buried Shmuley’s future in Lubavitch!

  • 44. proud 2 be chabad wrote:

    just wanted to express hakores hatov to rabbi schoet for his clarity and vision and taking a stand to maintain our standards. knowing that he has the perspective of being an expert in this inyan i know no further discussion is valid, may hashem bless him wih many more healthy years .

  • 45. Thank you Rabbi Schochet!! wrote:

    Wow! if Rabbi Schochet who is so careful with what he writes felt it neccesseary to write this letter then the book must be reall bad! Chevra Hibudlo! be very careful we are playing with fire!

  • 46. wnat to know wrote:

    i still cant tell who this guy is and if he actually read the book,. Rabbi, DID YOU READ THE BOOK?!

  • 47. A Concerned yid from Los Angeles wrote:

    If this is Missionary related, where are the “Jews for J” organizations on this? Why are they quiet?

  • 48. may truth continue to speak wrote:

    thanks for your guidance in this crucial matter. May the voice of truth keep on being heard.

  • 49. concerned mother wrote:

    Excellent! This one is done.
    Now what about the massive Harry Potter reading in Lubavitch? Is it normal? As far as i got educated about this matter, it is pure Avodah Zarah and sould not be read by frum children at all.

  • 50. An Eimese Psak Din wrote:

    BS’’D
    Nothing, NOTHING against Rav Boteach, who made a mistake. Hashem allow us to have good and MOSHIACH NOW!

  • 51. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU wrote:

    this is what I needed to hear. Can other Rabbis also please join the chorus. We want Boteach out from Chabad. He gives us a bad name. He can go anywhere and be a good Jew, but not here.

  • 52. Yossi G wrote:

    Thank you Rabbi!
    Everyone please try to have this rubbish retracted.
    Or better give it no more thought then a Mc D’s or Berger King on the corner….They are all treff

  • 53. A Fan that was wrote:

    Kosher J was read by thousands on PDF form distributed by Shmueli to his close friends who in turn emailed it to others. His argument of judging the book before publication is ludicrous. Perhaps for the uninformed its a good argument

  • 54. To # 3 wrote:

    You’re an idiot. While I respect Rabbi Schochet’s opinion it is only because he is an expert in the field and HE READ THE BOOK.

    Wolf is not an expert and as Shmuley Boteach rightfuly said, wolf – as so many others in lubavitch are – anti intellctual. You can’t decide something without reading it. He made a mockery of himself.

  • 55. sc wrote:

    I still say:

    The only one to judge any one is only HASHEM!!

    When will you who are casting stones ever learn?

    So sad.. so sad..
    Mashiach i at the door, and you still act so self righteous.

    Judge not. for if you do … you too weill be judged.

    Please Jews reconcile…

  • 56. A. Nuran wrote:

    “It is forbidden for anyone to read this book”
    Because nobody is ever a competent adult. Nobody is capable of critical thinking. Nobody should ever form an opinion. Pay no attention to the man behind the black hat. I am the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz!

  • 57. Thank you wrote:

    Thank you Rabbi Schochet. Hashem should bless you with a refuah shleimah. We need you here. Your statement is much appreciated.

  • 58. jaded jew wrote:

    “Rabbi” “Dr.” “Jacob” Immanuel Schochet is a looser who’s interests are about himself, his books, his authority, his ego, etc… Not to say the Boteach is any better, but for THIS “Rabbi” to “forbid” anyone from reading anything is pure b.s.! This Rabbi selectivity chooses what’s write or wrong. I’ve seen him do things that are disrespectful to people, the shuls, to torah’s on Yom Tov. His word is just as “bad” as Boteach’s.

  • 60. Yossi wrote:

    Note to fired up rabbis, ignorant on a subject (myself included):

    Divrei chachomim benachas nishmoim, please have someone knowledgeable on a subject, read the material you seek to condemn and then if they agree with your condemnation have the write it in a respectful and sensible manner. People will listen.

  • 61. A trusted authority on this topic wrote:

    This is what we needed. True clear guidance and direction about this book from reliable and respected Rabbi.

    I feel Rabbi Dr. J. Immanuel Schochet is truly qualified to give an authoritative opinion and ruling on this topic and on this book.

    Rabbi Dr. J. Immanuel Schochet is both a Rabbi and scholar of high esteem in general. Particularly he has the vast knowledge, and maybe even more important so many years of hands on experience on this topic. He understands its ways and dealings etc. and he is therefore a real and trusted authority for us on this topic

    Even more important then anything else. I’m assuming he has also received guidance from the Reebe on this issue over his years in this filed, as any Chabad Chossid treading in on known water like these, would seek the Reebes guidance etc., (something I think Rabbi Shmuley Boteach would be lacking do to his younger ago etc.).

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • 66. yosselandzlati@yahoo.com wrote:

    now wen a shliach is asked his opinion on the book he has to say there is a concept that there is books one should not read dis is also the reason a seiffer book needs a haskomo even more then one

  • 68. thanks wrote:

    i was wondering what rabbi shochat will say. he is an expert in this field. thank you for having the mesiras nefesh to read the book, so that the rest of us should have a clear opinion about it without the need to be metame our neshomos, hearts & minds by reading it

  • 69. important wrote:

    as opposed to other irrelevant op-eds, this one MUST be made public wherever that terrible book was made public.

  • 70. boteach blows wrote:

    Lets see Mr. Boteach’s response to this…..
    “im gonna sue” “knee-jerk reactionaries blahblahblah”
    SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND RETRACT YOUR STUPID BOOK!

  • 71. Moshe wrote:

    B’H

    FINALLY! The expert on the matter has spoken. Now, we can sleep peacefully. Yasher Koach Rabbi Schochet!

  • 72. obviously wrote:

    the book was written for goyim everyone is so upset over nothing. did you really think yidden were going to read this, and even if they did think j is cool etc etc??!!

  • 73. ah yid wrote:

    that ends the discussion on the subject.

    no more dirt on shmueli. Finish. End of subject.

    Thank you Rabbi Schouchat for your clarification and
    may you have a refuah shlema ukrovo.

  • 74. Regular Jew wrote:

    Thanks a million Rabbi Emanuels Schochet. We need people like you who is focused on what Halacha says. May Hashen grant you mmany more years of health.

  • 75. sergioch1 wrote:

    I listen to Rabbi Schochets comments on the Parashat hashavua mostly every shabbat…he is amazing and his clarity is outstanding! I have absolutely no question on his Judgement on this matter…though telling the Christians the true nature of Moshiach is something I believe for the Love of God we jewish people have to do…In the age of redemption the people from other religions will be illuminated and close to the Only God and the world and He and His Name will be ONE….so at some point some effort in this direction has to be made BUT as Dr Schojet points out in the Correct Halachic Way…and maybe that way is Just Being Jewsih and let them be inspired by the Magic and True essence of Judaism the Law of God….Thank you Dr Shochet for making us think always beyond our sights and get a better perception on daily things

  • 77. Roch wrote:

    Thank you Rabbi Schochet. A clear and concise decision we can and should adhere to.

  • 78. Courage wrote:

    Thank you Rabbi Wolf for exposing this Apikores to the world. How odd, a Shliach in Chicago who is hardly known to the world had the courage and Chassidishe hergesh to smell a rat just by looking at the cover of this book. No defence can justify Minos and Apikursos regardless of the revenue anticipated.
    Boteach TU TSHUVA

  • 79. In gratitude wrote:

    If this doesn’t convince the Boteach groupies, I don’t know what will.

    Oh & please don’t forget…..Rabbi Schochet READ THE BOOK.

    Now put away the Kool-aid & step away from the fridge.

  • 80. a concerned friend wrote:

    Shmuely-PLEASE READ THIS:

    There is no need to be embarrassed by being set straihght by one with decades more experience.

    For your own sake and that of your family, please do the following:

    1) Privately have Rabbi JIS share his sources for his most serious objections to your work.

    2) Study them.

    3) at that point, determine whether you have made a mistake and act accordingly.

    The sign of a truly great person is to wholeheartedly and unabashedly admit when having erreed in a way that involves others- but you know that you learn meseches Sota each year. Go for it. Do your family and extended family including some “nasty siblings” proud. You are our brother we love you. Just step up to the plate.

  • 81. Eli Halevi wrote:

    Normally I could care less but I am now interested in seeing for myself what the big deal is with the book coming out.

  • 82. Shochet Schechted Boteach! wrote:

    In the zechus of his speaking out against rishus, which is what writing a book like this for money and notoriety is, may Rav Shochet have a refuah shelema.

  • 84. yankel wrote:

    The Rebbe gave him permission to go out and speak to missionaries! so he is someone that I trust!!

  • 85. A true friend of The Boteach family wrote:

    I hope you all realize that Rabbi Schochet did not attack Boteach personally in anyway but stayed focused to the subject and issue on hand. A lesson for all. I would like to thank Rabbi Schochet for taking his valuable time in give us clarity and guidance.
    Hashem should bless you with Long Gezunte Years !!!
    Hashem should give Rabbi Boteach the strength to rise to the occasion and do the RIGHT thing.
    And please remember that the “Rebbe” told you “you will be a source of light to the world”

  • 86. Levi wrote:

    BH

    Notice the posuk Rabbi Schochet qoutes at the end: “v’haBOTEACH….”

  • 87. SHEEP! wrote:

    why are you alowed to read it but then go to say noone else can read it. sound like a corupt man you do. and to all who are going to say he is a smart man and he knows best i will tell you now that the old rabbis, the true ones would not have done something and then said YOU “ DONT DO THIS, I KNOW, I TRIED ITS BAD”

  • 89. BCH wrote:

    #3, Rabbi Woolf had to take “abuse” for a reason – he came out with an ill-thought-through statement that he was neither qualified nor authorized to make. His statement actually strengthened Boteach’s case, imho.

    Now we have an intelligent to-the-point letter by Rabbi Schochet that will hopefully bring the desired results (and I seriously doubt that Rabbi Schochet will be attacked or “abused” for this latter).

  • 90. Publish Rabbi Shochet-s letter wrote:

    It is everyone’s responsibility to see that Rabbi Shochet’s letter gets published in JPOST & all Jewish Media possible to amend the damage that has already been done r“l.

    Shmuly, realize Rabbi Shochet also used the word ”message” of the book, which means that u must look also at the bigger picture of what effect your book will have.

    Shmuly means well I think, he just needs to consult with people like Rabbi Shochet before publishing such nonsense.

    I wish Shmuly has the modesty and bittul to retract the book.

  • 92. thankful wrote:

    Thank you Rabbi for standing up. I truly pray for SB’s neshamal it seemed that while he was out “defending” judaism to missionaries, they indeed got under his skin instead.

  • 93. in doubt wrote:

    Thank you Rabbi Schochet. Should I take all his books that I have in my house and throw them in the garbage?????????????

  • 94. NG,LA wrote:

    Thank you for taking a stand – no and’s if’s or buts. Shmueley crossed a serious line. I like Shmueley as a human being – and enjoy seeing someone frum who is not nispoeil of the world. However well intended, he crossed a line. He may feel his intention is but only to bring two worlds closer together, but he undermines the millions of kedoshim that were killed over the past two millenia in oisoi ha’ish’s name. Thank you Emmanuel for showing the fortitude to stand up and unblurring what’s right and wrong. Shmueley – if you are reading this – please take him seriously.

  • 95. NOW I KNOW! wrote:

    I’m not going to lie. I started reading the book. I was getting a little confused. At least when an expert speaks out, and there is no bigger expert, I can accept that authority. Thank you Rabbi Schochet. The book has been dumped.

  • 96. HOW I SEE IT wrote:

    RABBI DR. J.I. SCHOCHET vs SHMULEY BOTEACH

    MUHAMMAD ALI vs PEEWEE HERMAN

  • 97. Srulik wrote:

    I had no intention of reading it or buying it before I read this, but now I for sure will.

  • 98. great wrote:

    rabbi schochet for president.

    i believe the matter is resolved even if shmuli puts up somthing against this letter NO ONE can argue imanuel

  • 99. Did you catch the posuk? wrote:

    I like the play on words in the posuk quoted in the end of the original letter. Clever and with the witty sense of humor yet making a point that only Rabbi Schochet could bring to such a serious subject.

  • 100. The Philosopher speaks! wrote:

    Amazing! What can SB say now? That Rabbi Schochet is against intellectualism? The man has a PhD in philosophy! What real degree does SB have? He can’t sweep this one under the rug as he dismissed Rabbi Wolf…

  • 101. Clarity at wrote:

    Finally! An authoritative figure speaking up.
    There goes any doubt I had. Rabbi Schochet is the world leader on the subject and if he says it’s forbidden that’s enough for me!

  • 102. Zalman R. wrote:

    Post 84

    Yanky B – While halacha may evolve, there are still some very clear lines that cannot be crossed. I don’t know what you mean by ‘old guard’ & ‘new guard’ but, knowing the Rabbi that you are referencing to in LA, you mean someone that will validate your picking & choosing what parts of Judaism you keep and which parts you disregard, then you (& your ‘rabbi’s) are as pathetic as Boteach’s book!

  • 103. This is the right thing wrote:

    The qualifications for a person to give an authoritative opinion on a book are:

    A) They need to read the book

    B) They need knowledge and experience on the respected topic discussed in the book

    I see no reason or need for anything else to serve as a qualification, (like debates etc.) The content in the book should be sufficient enough to understand what the book is saying (after all, that’s what the book is for, to express best the author’s theory.

    Not everyone who will read this book will need to debate Shmuley Boteach after reading it in order to then form an opinion on the book.

    And that’s exactly what Rabbi Dr. J. Immanuel Schochet did. He read the book, thought and examined what it said based on his knowledge on the topic, and then formed an opinion.

    Sounds like the right thing to do.

  • 104. wow wrote:

    S.b really thinks he can take on the whole world. Rabbi schouchat is truly a giant so much more then S.B. if he will come out and criticize the letter it will only show him being the defensive however if he says nothing then he looks like he lost so he’s in a jam. But he’s ready for it he feels he has a chance amonks his non believes and show Hay “i can stand up to any giant” by saying has a old timer who won’t let us think our own mind or he didn’t reed the book. So in his mind he has answers ready for any critics. But rabbi schuchhat can’t care for his eago only for all from yiden and who are looking for n halchic ruling so don’t try intellects that will take ur yiras shmyim down

  • 105. Avrahom wrote:

    Rav Avidor Miller said that no where does it say that Yosha had a debate with the sages. He was far from a scholar. S.B. writes books to make money and he is a master at that.

  • 106. just wondering wrote:

    so the only problem is that it goes against ‘jewish trdation’?? not against beliefs and halacha????? then thats not that bad..

  • 108. cle wrote:

    we have to respect what Rabbi Schochet said. However, someone said, and this is true, important for a yid, that this is not attacking a person, but we are going by a halachic authority which is what we must do in golus.
    don’t use your pent up energy to cause aggravation to another Jew, just stick to whats necessary and if you have any more pent up energy to use up, recognize it and go to the park for a run, or exercise.

  • 110. M. Rubinoff wrote:

    I have not read the book, and in any case I don’t have the authority to say to anyone, read it or don’t read it. But in answer to #19 (who criticized the Rabbi for reading it himself before poskening) – I would trust his opinion more than that of the many rabbis and people with no rabbinical training whatsoever, who are so quick to condemn what they have no personal knowledge of. Rabbanim are sometimes put in the position of checking things out personally in order to determine whether or not they are permissible for the rest of us.
    And to some others I have seen commenting on this post and on others, please be as careful of your language online as I am sure you are when you are speaking. It does not serve the interests of defending frumkeit when you do so using language bordering on the obscene.

  • 111. moshiach now wrote:

    so it’s not for yidden,but for the non-jews to keep the 7 laws of noach

  • 112. Merkoz Alert wrote:

    I just heard Merkoz sent this letter out to all shluchim. I think Boteach’s days are dead in Chabad. vchain yehi rotzoin venoimar – – no wait. Let him do teshuva.

  • 113. Your Too Young Mr Millhouse wrote:

    Mr. Millhouse seems to get around, as I see his posts on various blogs from time to time. Rabbi Shochet can speak authoritatively on this topic as the Rebbe already acknowledged his ability to refute missionaries and blessed him in his endeavors along those lines.
    If you don’t understand how a book which denounces J’s status as a deity and his observance of the Old Testament then why don’t you pick up a phone and call Rabbi Shochet yourself and ask him? Until you do that it seems that you are only interested in arousing discord on a matter which at present time has already been in and out of secular Newspapers and blogs for over a week.
    Now to explain: The approach of many missionaries is to show the disenfranchised or unlearned Jew that you could believe in J’s philosophies and still be a Jew. Now they will say, Rabbi Shmuly Boteach said so and he is an observant Jew! So unless we marginalize Rabbi Boteachs stance on the matter we have created a strong vulnerability towards missionary work.
    The serendipity in this whole saga is that if you will look back a few stories on todays crownheights.info you will see that Missionaries in Brooklyn are targeting Lubavitchers. Hows that for divine providence?

  • 114. I spoke to Rabbi Wolf wrote:

    I spoke to Rabbi Wolf about his letter of condemnation. It was penned after two days of deafening silence following the Haaretz interview with Boteach being published. He’ll be the first to admit he is no scholar on xtianity yet he was concerned with the terrible image Lubavitch would have if the first formal condemnation came from outside Chabad. So, bmakomm sheain ish yishtadel lihiyos ish, so Rabbi Wolf went out on the limb and released his own condemnation. He also made sure to say that it’s not an exaggeration (quantum leap) that Lubavitch agrees with him (i.e. the majority). Whether Rabbi Wolf did the greatest job or wrote it in the best way is irrelevant. Rabbi Wolf was a first responder. When you see a man dropping dead in front of you, and it quickly becomes clear that nobody is taking action, you grab the defibrillator and try to bring him back whether you’re an expert or not. So criticism of Rabbi Wolf not being an expert is pathetic. First responders are rarely experts! Now he’s vindicated by Rabbi Schochet regardless. It’s been a week since Rabbi Wolf has been heard from and you’ll likely never hear from him again on this subject ‘now that the experts are on scene’.

    Those mechutsofim telling [Harav Hagoen] Schochet that they hadn’t intended reading the book but now they for sure will, their statements are as meaningless and immature as had I proclaimed “I never intended killing, stealing, having inappropriate relationships etc., but now that I’ve read the ten commandments I certainly will make sure to kill steal etc.”. Go ahead and read it if you will. Rabbi Schochet was directing his letter at mature yorei Shomayim. Not prikas olniks or/and the immature.

  • 115. Use your intelligence! wrote:

    To all those who say we should be open minded & read the book:

    Do you realize what you are proposing? You are risking your Neshama by reading “heresy” (Rabbi Shochet’s word.)

    Let’s try putting it in terms some of you can understand. Do you need to take drugs (cocaine, heroin) to know they are addictive & dangerous?

    Do you have to drive with a blood alcohol level of 1.2 to know you are drunk?

    Ergo….do you have to read this garbage to know it is poison for your Neshama?

    My guess is, the ones who are saying they dafka will read the book now are very close to the edge already, if not over it, in terms of Yiddishkeit. I’m sad for you all.

    As for an intellectual: I am very well read, I had a first-class secular education at post-grad level. I am a professional. I am a Lubavitcher & I know which is more fulfilling in my life & what really matters in Olam Hazeh.

  • 116. YOU WANT A RECORDING wrote:

    For those who are questioning Rabbi JI Schochet’s competence, he is one of the leading editors on Chabad.org till present day. So stop writing him of.

  • 117. 108 earth to 108 wrote:

    Jewish tradition is belief and halacha, you moron. And heresy means it is counter to Torah! DUH!

  • 118. To 74 - who is asking for proof. wrote:

    Although Rabbi Schochet can still use a big Refuah Shleima (Yakov Emanuel ben Sarah Sasha) his mind is BH working just find to put out this accurate p’sak. (as he still sits and edits articles for Chabad.org)

    I was at his house last week and i personally saw him reading a copy of “Kosher J” and heard from him first hand his thoughts on the book.

    so please don’t waste his precious time buy having him repeat himself on camera so you can believe him. (i think the fact that he finished off his letter with that posuk shows you that BH he is on ball and knows exactly whats going on)

    Y. K.

  • 119. Memo to the Confused wrote:

    There are many Jews who follow the corpus of Halacha. This is a whole group of laws about what we can eat, when we can work and it even includes what we are allowed to read. According to this corpus, known as Halacha, one may not read things that are heretical. Who decides this? Well, the same people that decide what we may and may not eat. Rabbinic experts who have become practical experts in the field, who can navigate through the Law, and the physical reality. It is quite interesting that this group is given the RESPONSIBILITY to read through things that are forbidden to others, in order to determine what is kosher – and what is treif. Now, many of us decide that we only want to follow certain portions of Halacha, or only consider certain portions binding. This is nothing new. But let us be respectful to those that accept the whole corpus, and try to follow it to their best.

  • 120. yosselandzlati@yahoo.com wrote:

    it reminds me of a saying chazer kosher fisul until moshiach comes a chzir is treif and j is treif posul osur better to concentrate and focus our energy on better things

  • 121. Boteach writes against the Rambam #2 wrote:

    [Another difference: The Christians believe that J is the King Messiah forever and ever, he is the only one and there is no one else besides him, and they await his “second coming” when he will fix the world and redeem it, but the Jews are not convinced that he will be the Messiah, so we await the redemption, and if J will come as a redeemer, we will believe in him].

    Regardless, both Jews and Chirstians should study the lessons of J, specifically the so-called New Testament which is based on the Torah. In short: J is the “missing link” between the Jews and the Non-Jews. Through the Jews recgonizing the greatness and scholarship of J, and the Non-Jews recognizing his Judaism, we will reach the ultimate unity in the world.

    (4) Jews should join forces with the Christians, especially the evangelical ones, and learn from their good deeds and strong belief, as did the author of the book who travelled with them across the world to see their acts of goodness and kinsness. We should also conduct public debates and interfaith dialogues with them, with the spirit of friendship, as does the author who befriended his counterparts (especially the Jewish apostate, Dr. Braun YM“S, who dedicates his life to convincing Jews to leave Judaism).

    These are the main parts of his books.

    Many people will claim that ”Rabbi“ Boteach is right, for there are new historical facts about J which we weren’t aware of, and we should therefore rexamine everything we know about J and discuss it. But in reality it is not so:

    (1) Every detail written in the ”Kosher Jesus“ book, claiming that he was an observant Jew (a theory which originated by some researchers) is based on thin assumptions, and therefore not accepted by the vast majority of researchers. There are no proofs or facts supporting this theory, hence there is no reason to change age-old traditions about his life, and it will serve no purpose.

    [If the author would present a historical analysis which presents this theory as a option, rather than fact, it would not be as bad. But, when the author comes out anouncing with certainty that J was a Kosher Orthodox Jew, and denounces the Rambam’s words, claiming that it is a LEGEND, this is not just mere Chutzpah, but a great disservice to the simple reader, for he will start doubting other aspects which are rooted in the Jewish tradition, thus fulfilling the unintended goal of the book].

    (2) The researchers who proposed the above-mentioned theory agree that J did not adhere to the Oral Torah and to the Rabbinical Laws, and he thought of himself as the Messiah (even though he is not of the Davidic dynasty). How then can the author come and try to present him as an observant Jew? Why should Jews be encouraged to learn his ideas? How is it possible (Heaven Forbid) for a Orthodox Jew to consider an option that a miracle might occur and J will return in the ”Second Coming“ and be the King Messiah?

    (3) Any knowledgeable person who will read the book will see that many of the assumptions and theories are contradicting the Halacha, and the Jewish traditions. Therefore there is no reason to consider these ideas as plausible subsitutes for the established tradition.

    (4) My previous letter discussed the underlying problem with the book. Its stated goal is to remove the barriers separating Jews and Non-Jews, separating Judaism and other religions, and the author himself has already fulfilled the goal by going to various churches and lecturing there. I have

    clarified in my previous letter that this sort of assimilation, which entails discussions about the nature of J and his teachings, is extremely dangerous for Jewish people. Although some people might justify his intentions, everyone will agree that his actions are not justified at all.

    I would like to add:

    (5) Even if the unfounded theories were right, that J was actually an observant Jew and his teachings are valid, it is still going against the clear rulings of the Lubavitcher Rebbes, and this is one of the biggest issues with the author of this book (and many others who have similar issues): On one hand they want to break every boundary which is accepted in Judaism, and on the other hand they are interested in being the main speakers and ideologists of the same movement they break. Every person has the right to say open his own community and say whatever he wants, but this ”Rabbi” Boteach has been recently trying to reenter the Chabad community, by coming to Crown Heights, participating in various Chabad events, and even speaking in Chabad Shuls, and so his ideas might wrongly be considered as acceptable to Chabad, when in truth it is absoultely not. If he wants to espouse his renegade ideologies – let him disassociate himself completely from the Chabad movement.

    Chaim Rapoport

  • 122. shmuley, just do it! wrote:

    remember when the rabbonim “ossured” lipa from performing family shows? what did lipa do? he didn’t throw a tantrum, he stopped performing mixed shows! even though he could could have come up with many excuses to fight the psak, he still humbled himself. now lipa is stronger than ever! so shmuley, why can’t you just humble yourself and say, “i made a mistake?” i have always respected you for being your own man, but a real man knows how to be mevatel, too. go on shmuley, make us all proud and do what’s right! you’ll come back stronger than ever, too!

  • 123. Boteach writes against the Rambam #1 wrote:

    Rabbi Chaim Rapoport, renowned London Scholar and Chabad Rabbi presents a second letter (Free translation from Hebrew):

    BH

    I would like to reply to your recent letter, albeit in short, with a summary of the main four points which are presented in the recent “Kosher Jesus” book:

    (1) That both religions, Judaism and Christianity, are real and of equal status, and are comparable to a man and a woman who complete each other. Both religions should not be against each other, rather they add to each other [as opposed to our tradition (as mentioned in Rambam, Laws of Kings 11:4) which states that “They inherited a lie from their parents, and their false prophets have misinformed them”]. Therefore:

    (2) Judaism believes that Jews should inspire Non-Jews to be good Christians. Not only do we discourage them from converting to Judaism, we will also try to convince them to be good Christians [as opposed to the clear P’sak from the Rambam (Laws of Kings Chap. 8) that we are commanded from G-d to bring them closer to the “True Religion” and that the B’nei Noach are prohibited from creating any new religions (Laws of Kings 10:9)].

    (3) Since the ultimate goal is to fix the world and everyone should serve G-d, Jews and Non-Jews must find the common denominators in the personality of J. According to the author, we all should believe in J [against the clear P’sak of the Rambam in Laws of Kings 11:4] – albeit in different ways: The Jews should believe that he was a great saint, a Torah scholar, kept the Mitzvos according to the written and oral Torah, fought the wars of G-d, and gave his life up for G-d (Mesirus Nefesh), but they don’t have to believe that the Creator is manifested in his body, but the Christians have to believe that.

  • 124. Let-s Learn to Respect wrote:

    Reading Rabbi Schochat’s letter taught me a few things:

    R.S. does not make any personal attacks on S.B. He only says that the message is heretical.

    R.S. does not say anything about excommunication.

    He doesn’t even say you can’t listen to what S.B. says, rather he only says not to give him a ‘platform…to discuss this topic’.

    R. S. ends off with a way that S.B. can make amends if he wants (and I hope he does) by retracting the book.

    I think that from R.S. clear and straightforward condemnation of the book, and at the same time not making any personal attacks on S.B.s character or say anything beyond what he feels needs to be said, we can learn that while we may disagree with people (often very strongly-as in this case), we must also be respectful to them.

    V’haboteach Bashem Chesed Yisovovenu. :)

  • 125. 613 wrote:

    THERE IS ACTUALLY A LAAV MIN HATORAH TO ELARN AND READ ABOUT OTHER RELIGIONS.
    it’s not Rabbi Shochat’s “issur”… he is just saying that the issur applies to this book!

  • 126. News Flash!! wrote:

    The Shluchim have made a resolution not to allow Boteach and his family (wife and children) into any Chabad House, Shul, Camp or School (or any other Chabad run Mossad). This prohibition will last until further notice.

  • 127. A proud niece wrote:

    Uncle Immanuel, we are so proud of you! It’s truly amazing how your letter had the power to dispel so much darkness and confusion.
    May you have a refuah sh’leima, we all love you dearly.

  • 128. Millhouse is on a role wrote:

    Millhouse continues to look for trouble. Truth be told, he does it with such wit and intelligence that he often sheds a new light on the subject at hand, albeit a murky one. Hmmm, devil’s advocate or heretic?
    Would he dare take on a Schochet?! It seems he already has…

  • 129. Los Angeles Shliach wrote:

    First of all, let me say I generally find Rabbi Boteach to be an articulate advocate for Israel and Judaism and really has the best intentions. The personal and childish attacks and name calling should stop. This is about theology not individuals. You gain nothing with viciousness and resentful comments.
    That being said, Rabbi Boteach really seems to be in over his head here. Rabbi Dr. J Immanuel Shochet is one of Torah Judaism’s foremost authorities on Christianity as well as being a world class Gaon, yodeia sefer and philosopher, as is evident in hundreds of hours of his audio lectures online as well as on his numerous books and articles published over the last five decades. Friends, this is no “Wikipedia scholar” Rabbi Shochet has the degrees, experience and reputation to be taken entirely seriously when it comes to this field. Heresy is heresy and this is something no Jew should take lightly.
    Rabbi Boteach, however witty and communicative he is, is considered to be a lightweight in the world of academia and scholarship. This is not a match between two equals here. Rabbi Boteach is out of his league. He has done himself a great disservice by not having true experts research and critique the book. Now, it is a bogus account of history and who J**** was and will have the opposite result of what the author proposes to achieve. It doesn’t matter how many copies are sold, it doesn’t make it truth-based. Indeed the King James version of the bible is one of the best-selling books ever published. That hardly matters when one is a truth-seeker.
    This leads me to my next point. It is indeed deplorable to see that Rabbi Boteach still has supporters on this site when it comes to this book “Kosher J****”. To all the immature commenters on this site who say they will now read this book; go ahead. You may convince yourself how open-minded, intelligent and different you are yet your spelling and grammar tell us a different tale. I guarantee that not one of you will come off sounding more educated then before reading the book. You’re wasting your time just to be obstinate and rebellious. Good for you big boys and girls. When you do decide to grow up and get an education I can suggest some accurate books on Jewish history around that timeframe (Rabbi M. Kanter’s codex is a great place to start, as well as R. B. Wein’s lectures on Jewish history).
    To Mr. Yanky B of comment 84: you come across as a fool and rabble-rouser. Old guard?? My dear friend Rabbi Avrohom Zajc of SOLA is a wonderful leader and Talmud Chochom who is wholly devoted to Halacha and mesorah. Your attempt to portray him as the opposite is just revolting. You have a fantasy of yiddishkeit and Halacha. Halacha has evolved only in the world of conservative and reform Judaism to where it is now completely irrelevant. If those are the rabbis and communities you’re praising and aspire to belong to then Hava nagila to you. And if you think Rabbi Shochet is afraid of anyone you have another thing coming to you. The man is a FEARLESS combatant for truth, Torah, and Judaism for over 50 years. Shame on you and your ilk.

  • 131. sc wrote:

    Re: NEWSFlashes – News.

    How very sad sad sad..

    Jews slandering one another.Hashem is seeing and He is Happy??

    Jews love one another please.

  • 132. SERIOUSLY BOTECH? wrote:

    I am a more liberal lubavitcher and open to things. But when I read an article what the book is about, I knew without a doubt that the rebbe would be completely against this book. There is a difference between worldy things to that that is against torah. It’s a good thing that rabbi shochat stood up and said it as it is. This is beyond intellectual, this is heretical.I guess Botech needed something that would get more attention than his last book so he went with this. sorry you went to far as a “frum” rabbi. There has always been people who come foward with something that goes against everything we learn , for example eating on tisha b’av and other things I don’t need to mention in the name of torah. When something doesn’t feel right, it’s not. A book about J seriously ?

  • 133. disappointed in shliach #126 wrote:

    to number 126… can you prove that 1. you are a shliach. 2. you aren’t a yenta blowing smoke. 3. you aren’t a schmuck (people should have rachmones on his family, you think they signed up for this crap?) 4. that you are on the shluchim network?

  • 134. i leart in oholei torah wrote:

    i leart in oholei torah and i dont know how to read any books

  • 136. Yanky B. wrote:

    Post 130 – LA Shliach

    As a proud SOLA member, I know who Rabbi Zajac is. I’m not saying he backs this book or Boteach. What I am saying is that he understands that times are changing, things are evolving and leads our community accordingly. The ‘old guard’ has criticized him for this. If you are, as you claim, a dear friend of his, you know what I am saying is true. Call me whatever names you’d like.

  • 137. Ok..BUT wrote:

    Yes, true, the book is not for us. BUT, this point can be made in a ‘kosher’ way. There was no need to attack SB at all. We can learn from the way Rabbi Schochet penned his ‘haskomo’.
    By attacking SB what have we accomplished???
    We could have just said something like “Rabbi Boteach wrote a great book for GOYIM (and Yidden who r”l fell there), but CHAS Ve’Sholom for Yidden to read it!” All the negativity would have been eliminated, and less Yidden would have read the book.
    Again, by very firmly assering the BOOK, not the author, we would have averted a chilul hashem.
    —–
    One problem with all blogs is that we don’t know the AGE of the commentators. I wonder how many negative posts are written by kids.

  • 138. Someone else wrote:

    The printed book is available already. My friend has a copy. I was going to read it, but I’ll have to rethink my decision now.

    Interestingly, Rabbi Schochet has apparently come out in the past against SB’s methods: January 19, 2012 4:16 am

  • 139. remove the heresy wrote:

    Rabbi Schochet was very clear about not giving Boteach a platform. It is now time for CHI to remove Boteachs response to r’ wolf, and to remove those comments that back Boteach. Heresy has no place on this website

  • 140. Halachik Directive wrote:

    I am truly concerned by the many comments that are uncomfortable, and worse off even mock the concept of a Rav with great expertise in a particular area of halacha, giving a p’sak that it is forbidden to read certain material.

    Just as the Torah prohibits certain foods and relations, it likewise forbids certain reading material. This issur is included in “lo sasuru acharei levavchem.” The Rambam includes this issur in his section dealing with avoda zara!!

    Those of you who consider this particular precept to be of a closed minded nature – TOUGH LUCK!!

  • 141. Kosher Shmuley Boteach wrote:

    When is the book titled “Kosher Shmuley Boteach” coming out?

  • 142. Sheep go maaaa you go waaaa wrote:

    some pepole dont like to think, its sad. you need someone to always tell you how to live your life, well then you are living his life not yours. he read the book so why dont you.
    shuully stay strong. do not be fooled by sheep and slaves who cannot think and please dont hate Chabad like i myself nearly did as i read these sick posts, they are not Chabad–they are not a philosophy, they are not you.

  • 143. To #126 - I salute the Rebbe-s Shluchim! wrote:

    I am so proud of the Shluchim! You guys are all leaders and together, all of you taking a leadership role against this disgraceful bum! I would like to call on all Anash to follow in your footsteps and demand that this piece of shmutz be tossed out from any shul he steps into.

  • 144. Responding to Boteach wrote:

    “will respond to all book bans shortly. unfortunate. people of book banning books. we jews have had plenty experince with those who ban books.” – Pastor Boteach on twitter

    I know that in your religion of xtianity everything is so sophisticated, however in our antiquated religion of Judaism, we have some throwbacks who have hijacked our religion such as Rabbi Moshe Maimonides and Rabbi Karo.

  • 146. I agree with the shluchim #126 wrote:

    I agree with the shluchim in #126: Boteach and his family should no be allowed into any Chabad shul, school, camp or mossad.

    To answer #136 “people should have rachmones on his family, you think they signed up for this crap” – I think they should daven in a “kosher” church. They will feel much more at home there.

    The shluchim speak for Lubavitch!

  • 147. Zalman Menucha wrote:

    Post 84 & 139

    Yanky B., I too know Avrohom Zajac. I’m not sure what he has to do with this book or Rabbi Schochet’s response. What I am sure about is that while SOLA is full of interesting characters, I highly doubt he would approve of this book or the message it attempts to make. It’s one thing to say that he panders to his modern chabad congregants. It’s quite another to say that he supports heresy.

  • 148. Attn. #84 yanky B wrote:

    “Hakol kol yackov vehayedaim yedei eisav”
    You sound like a reform Rabbi, but the name on your comment doesn’t seem to fit that title.

    HALACHA IS HALACHA. PERIOD!!!!!!!

  • 149. SOLA Member wrote:

    Rabbi Zajac spent a good amount of time this past shabbos both during his drosha and during the kiddush/farbrengen criticizing the book and said it will cause scores of Jews to convert R”L to Christianity. Comparing Rabbi Z to SB in this thread is appalling. You should ask mechila from rabbi Z and ask the editors to remove your terrible comment.

  • 151. shliach wrote:

    I am very jealous of Shmuley Boteach because he has such an amazing opportunity to do a Teshuvah Shleimah. I’m not joking.

  • 154. the sheeples wrote:

    im going to read the book and make my own decision. this isnt communism rabbi schochet. this guy hasnt even read the book!
    as a college graduate with two degrees, honors etc i find myself more qualified to judge the content of shmulys book kosher j than a simple minded rabbi who i have just hear of today…

  • 155. wag wag wag wrote:

    i remember when they made all the women burn their shaitles because it was “treif”…that was total garbage and a scam…

  • 157. Anonymous wrote:

    I was wondering why Rabbi Shochat of all people chose to send out a letter. Do you think this may have to do with the fact that his son Yitzchak and Shmueley are competing for the position of Cheif Rabbi of Great Britain?!?!?

  • 158. Anonymous wrote:

    Apparently Rabbis Emanuel and Yitzchak Shochet in the past have had issues with Rabbi Boteach and his writings….I wonder why.

  • 160. THIS IS FUNNY wrote:

    WHEN G-D SAID, “DON’T COMMIT ADULTERY,” SHMULEY SAID, “I CHALLEGE YOU TO A DEBATE!” WHEN G-D SAID, “DON’T COMMIT IDOLATRY,” SHMULEY SAID, “I’LL SUE!”

  • 162. Milhouse wrote:

    #110/#111 (R Chaim Rapaport’s letter)

    Where can I see the original letter, rather than relying on your translation? Assuming the translation is accurate, this is the first detailed response I’ve seen. If the book says what this letter claims it says, then it is possul and should be condemned. But without reading it I don’t know whether it really says these things.

    1. If this is indeed what the book says, then it is wrong and should be condemned. Judaism and Xianity are not and cannot ever be equals. They represent irreconcilable worldviews, and Jesus would be the first to say so; if he were to be confronted with Xianity he would denounce it and want nothing to do with it.

    2. This too is against all Jewish tradition, and if this is what the book says then it’s wrong.

    3. This does not seem objectionable, though it goes farther than I think wise. However good a Jew Jesus was, and I think Boteach is right that he was a fine one, I don’t see why we should feel called to suddenly start paying attention to him, after ignoring him for so long, just because the poor fellow had the misfortune of being turned into an avoda zara by the goyim! And for all the gratitude we should feel that so many Xians have given up antisemitism and become philosemites instead, unity with them is not appropriate. We should like and respect them — from a distance. Mixing with goyim, even with chassidei umos ho’olom, has never worked out well in the past.

    4. Here I agree that we should join forces in those limited forums where it makes sense, and that we should learn from their good points even as we take care not to ignore their bad ones. I agree that we should interact with them in a spirit of friendship, but debates and dialogues seem pointless. We are not going to convince them, and they are chas vesholom not going to convince us, so why not focus on useful topics where we can cooperate?

    (new set of numbers)

    1. Of course it is all theory; almost nothing is known for sure about the man, and even his very existence is in some doubt. But even if he is a fictional character, he has a definite character of his own that emerges from the NT, and it’s worth engaging with. And yes, the Rambam repeats legends without any foundation. That is how he treats medroshim, and there is no reason we shouldn’t treat his own words the same way.

    2. Where do you see examples of him not obeying the Oral Law or Rabbinic laws? He seems to have been careful in netilas yodayim, which is mid’rabbonon; he believed in techiyas hameisim, which is Torah Sheb’al Peh; many of the things he said are in the gemoro. Certainly a Jew who rejected TShBP and the mitzvos derabonon could not be a role model, let alone Moshiach; but to the best of my knowledge this does not describe Jesus.

    3. Not having read the book I don’t know to what this refers.

    4. I don’t agree that there is any danger in this.

    5. No opinion on this. The Rebbe’s writings are capable of 70 interpretations, and I suppose Boteach is entitled to his own.

  • 163. Rabbi Moshe Feller wrote:

    Anyone concerned with this matter is advised to read It Happened Once on the
    back page of the #1204 issue of L’Chaim published by Lubavitch Youth Organ-
    ization for the week of Parshas Shemos. Appropriate for 24 Teves. V’Hamaven
    Yoven!

  • 164. Milhouse wrote:

    #110/#111, I found the original letter on Shturem, http://shturem.net/index.ph… and as I suspected you are guilty of some serious mistranslations and inventions of your own. Some of my previous comments on the letter need to be withdrawn or modified, since they relate to the mistranslation, not to the original text. Whoever posted it here is dishonest and should be ashamed of himself.

    (For what it’s worth, the Shturem editors are also guilty of gross dishonesty and outright lies, claiming that Boteach’s three co-panelists include two priests. I don’t know which two they mean, since two of the three are Jews. At any rate none of them are priests.)

  • 165. Attn. #19 (sheep!) wrote:

    From your comment it is apparent that you do not know anything about the author of this letter,
    I will therefore give you a little backround on the author

    Rabbi Schochat was given a Shlichus by the Rebbe to combat missionaries, and with the Shlichus came instructions on how to combat these missionaries, I.e. He was given explicit permission from the Rebbe to read the books from other religions like the new testament and Koran etc.
    (But obviously that does not give you, me or anyone else I.e. Shmuly boteach for that matter permission to read those books, in fact it is totally forbidden!!!
    And that is why when RABBI SCHOCHAT who is supposed to be dealing in this area, and he is the person to trust on the matter, when he see’s such a book and HE SAYS THAT IT IS FORBIDDEN then you listen and hope that the author of that book (shmuly boteach) will listen too!!!

    n’eNow

  • 166. a proud sola member wrote:

    To # 84. Who r u to compare rabbi zajac to rabbi boteach? Rabbi zajac is extremely careful in halacha and guards yiddishkeit like a true chossid of the Rebbe. U seriously owe him an apology!!!!

  • 167. Is it true? wrote:

    Did the Shluchim really decide to ban the Boteach family (not him, he deserves it) from all mosdos? That’s very sad, but I see why they did it. It’s a pity the family has to be blackballed along with Boteach.

    Meanwhile, as a true supporter of Aguch, I’m astounded there is total silence from them. Can someone please explain why no one from Aguch has said a single word? Your silence is deafening.

  • 168. Dave wrote:

    The difference between Boteach and Shochet is that Shmuly disagrees with others respectfully. I think lowly of Shochet for this act, although I think worse of those who believe in him!

  • 169. A Chosid wrote:

    Guys, Stop this bickering. SB will go down in history as just another Schechter or Jew for J who was paid off to do this. If he is “Zocheh”some Churches may have Boteach Services dedicated in his memory for all he did to promote their Getchke. Jewish tradition will never and can never be altered, modified or changed. Period and end of discussion.

  • 170. thank you # 10 wrote:

    thank you for bringing that up, knowing rabbi schochet rather well, i can appreciate the humor intended in the use of that posuk.

    thank you for catching the humor in this serious topic

  • 172. oh the irony wrote:

    i went to shmuley’s website and his book launching event is being held at 74 TRINITY place … lol … gevalt

  • 173. a reader. wrote:

    to 148, wow, as “brilliant” as you sound, you just isolated a whole family, who 1. Never signed up for his mishagas, 2. actually has some GREAT kids who are learning in Lubavitch schools, and for all you know, may not necessarily agree with their Father’s derech. and 3. made yourself look like a putz. poshet a putz. Mazal tov.

  • 174. Curious wrote:

    Yanky B.

    What does Avraham Zajac of SOLA have to do with Shmuely Boteach?? Clearly, you don’t like the guy and want to ‘bashmutz’ him. Editors, why are you posting such attacks & comments that have nothing to do with the matter at hand??

  • 175. BOTEACH REALITY CHECK wrote:

    Fantastic piece by Schochet junior! Boteach actually acuses Schochet senior of writing the letter because he wants his son to be Chief Rabbi. Stupid or what?

  • 176. RESPONSE TO 156 COLLEGE GRADUATE wrote:

    To 156 and your pathetic college degrees, try to match this simple Rabbi you speak of:

    Rabbi Dr. Jacob Immanuel Schochet Ph.D is Professor-Emeritus of Philosophy and Comparative Religion, at Humber College, Toronto, Canada.

    He has served as adjunct-professor on Jewish Bioethics at University of Toronto Medical School. As well as Professor of Jewish Law and Philosophy, and Dean of Degree Studies at Maimonides College in Toronto.

    He has written over 30 books and lectures extensively on Jewish ethics and theology around the world.

    WHOOPS!

  • 177. Latest News wrote:

    Jews for Je… is now heralding Boteach’s book on their website
    “What their writings accomplish is to underscore something too often forgotten or minimized—by both Jews and non-Jews—that Jesus was indeed a Jew himself. That, at least, is the start of a dialogue. Except for those who would rather ignore, in Shmuley Boteach’s words, “the 600-pound gorilla in the room.”

    Great accomplishment for SB. Jews for Je.. never highlighted any of Schochets writings now they are advertising Boteach’s book on their website. So for those admirers of the new Yoshke Rabbi, see for yourselves who are his biggest advocates.

  • 178. snooooore wrote:

    what normal person labels their own opinion “authorotative”? Grow up!!!!

  • 179. Go Zaidy!! wrote:

    Goooo zaidy!!!!!!!!!
    you guys stop telling him off – u know ur wrong

  • 180. community member wrote:

    Lubavitchers have to learn respect. It is disrespectful to call him Shmuley Boteach. He is not your pal. Treat him with respect and dignity. His name is Pastor Boteach.

  • 181. Jews for Je... is now heralding Boteach- wrote:

    Pastor Boteach’s Gems Heralded on the Jew for J website

    It should be noted that this is hardly the first time a Jewish writer has come under attack for writing about Jesus in a positive way. Twentieth-century Yiddish writer Sholem Asch was notoriously vilified for writing a trilogy of books published in English translation as The Nazarene, Mary, and The Apostle (that is, Paul). And this, even though Jesus became a familiar trope among East European Yiddish writers of the time (see for example, From Rebel to Rabbi: Reclaiming Jesus and the Making of Modern Jewish Culture. The recent Jewish Annotated New Testament also seeks to present the Jewish Jesus as someone about whom the modern Jewish community should be knowledgeable apart from any intentions of “proselytization.”

  • 184. votertwo wrote:

    Rabbi Schochet’s letter confirms what a lot of us baalei baatim have known but have been afraid to say for a long time: Chabad as we have known it is over.

    Once a refuge and harbor for progressive Torah thinking, Chabad has become no different than the Charedi community in Israel. This very same community that encouraged Rabbi Schochet has now ensured there will be no more like him.

    Daas Torah- that is, self serving Daas Torah- has replaced the fresh air and oxygen successive Lubavitcher Rebbe’s gave to the world. Torah and madaa could and should exist, Torah feared no challenge and nourished the needs of every neshama, from the most simple, to the lamdan to the scientist to the philosopher.

    The Rebbes corresponded with Freud and Einstein and a host of others. They learned from each other- and that was passed on to the kehilla. Now, we are told to fear everything. Now, we are forbidden to think and explore for ourselves- and if we do, it is done in secret.

    Yes, this is about Daas Torah ‘uber alles’ and the power that bestows. Daas ballei baatim means nothing anymore. The consequences of Daas Torah above all are meaningless, no matter how traumatic those consequences are.

    Recall R’ Elchonon Wasserman, who when asked by his kehillah if they should leave for America prior to the European churban, was emphatic in his denial. America was terrible, America was treif. The baalei baatim pleaded with him, but to no avail. Most listened to R. Elchonon. We all know how the story ends.

    Daas Torah is not inviolate, Rabbi Schochet, not in the least.

    His letter of prohibition is odd in that he cites not a single specific reason why Rabbi Boteach’s book crosses a line. Not a single example. One would think a scholar such as he would answer in an a cogent and appropriate fashion. It seems he cannot be bothered. Daas Torah does not require him to answer to either Rabbi Boteach or the baalei baatim he so clearly dismisses. He is answerable to no one.

    A simple refutation may be enough to satisfy the bochrim at 770 but the rest of us deserve a bit more. To put that in perspective, Rabbi Schochet would do well to ask himself how he would respond if his community were told he was no longer a source of credible information and opinion and his works rejected outright. No reasons give, but that henceforth he was persona non grata.

    I wonder what’s next? Will R.SR Hirsch become treif too? Will R. JB Soloveitchik be easily dismissed? Maybe R.M Feinstein who made a habit of consulting with expert baalei baatim before paskening will be dismissed as well. It is ironic how Chabad now has more in common with Satmar than anyone else.

    The Rebbe really is gone now. Congratulations to Rabbi Dr. Schochet and his ilk for highlighting that reality.

  • 186. motti wrote:

    I am reading this and I am sad that so many people talk about free speech, taliban, free country etc.

    We have Torah and we have halocho. You cannot read every single thing you want. Maybe we should look at pornography as “what right does anyone have to tell me what to do” (actually in one of his books shmuley comes close to advocating that…)

    I understand not everyone reading this is super-frum but there are basic halachic principles as stake. Why are so many commentators ignorant of this? R’ Schochet’s position is mainstream not extreme, it is ossue AL PI SHULCHAN ORUCH and MIDORAISO end of story. People learn some basic Torah please.

    This is not the banning of Lipa Shmeltzer where you can say it is poltiical. It goes to ikrei hadas

  • 187. Response wrote:

    Here is the link for Shmuly’s response if anyone is interested…(this is not shmuly posting this) January 20, 2012 8:57 am

  • 188. Sheya Ebert wrote:

    A Response to Rabbi Schochet

    Rabbi Immanuel Schochet, who recently issued a letter banning anyone from reading my book “Kosher Jesus,” calling it heretical, is someone whose writings and lectures I have long admired. I also twice had the pleasure of hosting him at the University of Oxford where he spoke to my students.

    Nevertheless, I must retain the right to defend myself against the appalling and libelous charge of heresy. America is not Iran and rabbis in the American Jewish community are not the Revolutionary Guard. We are different than the Khomeinis of the world who ban books and declare interdicts against their authors. We Jews are the people of the book, not the people who ban books. To the extent that Rabbi Schochet found anything objectionable in “Kosher Jesus” — and since it is only being released on Feb. 1, I fear the book’s detractors sent him a pirated, electronic copy that is unlawfully being circulated and which is full of errors — he could easily have contacted me or publicly stated his objections. But banning a book on the charge of heresy without any mention whatsoever of what the heresy consists of is outrageous, an affront to decency and a betrayal of scholarship. Calling an author a heretic without backing up the charge is positively scandalous.

    Rabbi Schochet seems to have significantly changed his approach to Judaism and Christianity since his lectures under my auspices. Back then he orated openly on Jesus and the New Testament, rebutting missionary claims and engaging missionaries in public dialogue and exchange. There are hundreds of his tapes that attest to this fact. But in the letter he sent to Chabad websites, where I have been pilloried for the past week, he suddenly refuses to even mention the name Jesus, capitulating to the websites demands that Jesus be referred to as “J” and banning my book and calling it heretical without citing a single example as to why. What motivated him to betray his own reputation as a scholar? He himself wrote in his condemnatory letter, “It is not normally my style to write letters of condemnation.” So what changed?

    “Kosher Jesus” is, after all, a book which Publisher’s Weekly — the platinum standard in book reviews — called an “informed and cogent primer on Jesus of Nazareth. … a brave stab at re-evaluating Jesus through an intensive look at the New Testament and historical documents … and a well-researched analysis that will certainly reopen intrafaith and interfaith dialogue.” If Rabbi Schochet disagreed with Publisher’s Weekly, surely he should have cited scholarly arguments — even a single one — based on Jewish sources, rather repudiating the very essence of scholarly discourse by bizarrely resorting to medieval book banning. Many people, myself included, look up to Rabbi Schochet and respect him specifically because he is one of the few outstanding scholars of secular subjects in Chabad. No doubt they will be deeply puzzled by his self-denigrating act of banning books on community noticeboards that normally focus on birth and engagement announcements and which have few, if any, journalistic standards.

    I had already experienced something similar, about 14 years ago in Britain, when Rabbi Schochet’s son, Yitzchok, with whom I am friendly and who is a communal rabbi in London, debated me in his synagogue on my best-seller on “The Jewish Guide to Adultery: How to Turn your Marriage Into an Illicit Affair,” which uses Talmudic wisdom about erotic attraction to create passion in marriage. I will never forget how Rabbi Yitzchok Schochet proceeded to tear pages out of my book in front of the hundreds in the audience, as he went through his arguments, and cast them on the floor. I did not find this to be a dignified form of debate and said so. Destroying books in public is not the sign of a gentleman. Nor is it the sign of someone who is serious about intelligent debate. We Jews have had our experiences with those who destroy books.

  • 189. Concerned in MA wrote:

    May I ask a question, at the risk of much internet scolding?
    Where is the love one is supposed to have for a fellow Jew?
    Bash the book, tear apart the content, give it your best shot. That should be your focus. It would seem that an esteemed/knowlegable Rabbi, with permission from the Rebbe to read such material, has read the book & declares it unacceptable/inappropriate/not to be read. Done. Enough. Agree or disagree with that. After you verbalize your comments (anger dislike even hatred on both sides is what I read) please look into a mirror. Are you looking at a Jew who can say he/she unequivocally loves his/her fellow Jew?

  • 190. Al tivtach bo. wrote:

    LOL@179

    To those claiming that the good Pastor’s family will be banned from Chabad Houses:

    It is not Purim. We all know that is not the Rebbe’s way. Boteach may well be banned from speaking in any Chabad House under Merkos, but I’d be surprised if shluchim would show him the door should he pop in to daven at any Chabad House.

    His family is not being banned from anything anywhere.

  • 191. J**** wrote:

    For those of you who say that Jews need to encourage Christians to be good:

    “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?”

  • 193. to voter two (188) wrote:

    You are mixing up Chabad with the modern orthodox. Lubavitch / Chabad IS Chareidi and with mesiras nefesh we make some sacrifices, but our core is chareidi, not liberal!

  • 194. To: 187. Sheya Ebert - wrote:

    Take your Xrtian “love” and Cheezas propaganda somewhere else. This does not belong on Jewish forum.

  • 195. To Mr. Ebert wrote:

    You are correct that the USA is a great country and part of its greatness is influenced by its belief system, particularly the (Judeo)-Christian value system. No one said this better than the Rambam who was courageous enough to explain that Christianity actually brought the world closer to Moshiach. The reality though is that there is a shulchon aruch – that binds us Orthodox Jews – that paskens certain matters are osur for us to read. Only poskim of the highest caliber can make the determination* of which written works are prohibited by this halochoh. We currently have one the greatest poskim in this area of expertise that came out unequivocally with his psak. Unless you find a Rov of equal or greater caliber that matirs it for you, I don’t see your justification in reading it after R’ Shochat came out with his psak.

    The American pursuit of liberty gives us the right to eat pork. Halachoh is what prohibits it from those of us that strive to be halachik Jews. Conflating these two concepts just ends up misleading people on what is/is not permissible.

    *For those with the argument of why can RS read it and I can’t, IMHO, it is akin to hatzoloh members breaking shabbos for pikuach nefesh. Just like it is a mitzvah to break Shabbos for pikuach nefesh, it is also permissible (and probably a mitzvah) for the likes of RS to read it and form a psak on the matter, thereby saving many lives in the long term. That doesn’t make us all doctors or hatzoloh members or comparative religion expert poskim that can walk around with walkie-talkies or read heresy.

  • 196. Milhouse wrote:

    Voter two, when was Chabad ever “progressive”? You must have it mixed up with YU.

    Do you deny that there are books which the Torah prohibits most people from reading? Or that it’s appropriate for a rov to pasken such a halocho? Look in Shulchon Oruch OC 307, or in Rambam Hilchos Avoda Zara.

    Now I don’t know whether this book is in such a category. From the descriptions available online I wouldn’t think so, and Rabbi Schochet doesn’t give any details on whose basis I could reach that conclusion, though since he is an expert his psak itself should carry a lot of weight. But Rabbi Rapaport’s letter (even in the original, not the mistranslation posted here by an earlier commenter) does contain some such details; if those details are accurate then I don’t think the book is exactly ossur, but I would not recommend it for the average reader, let alone agree with it.

  • 197. To 186 and 190 wrote:

    You can read Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet’s reply to Rabbi Shmuel Boteach in the Huffington Post January 20, 2012 6:32 pm

  • 198. Milhouse wrote:

    By the way, “votertwo”, when exactly was R SR Hirsch kosher in Chabad?

    And what did the Rebbe have to say about Daas Torah and Daas Baalei Batim? Do you know? Do you even care? On the contrary, if the Litvish “daas torah” alienates you, then how could you possibly accept the Chabad view that “ein lonu elo divrei Ben Amrom”? What are you doing in Chabad in the first place, and why are you hankering after “Chabad as we have known it”? When did you know a Chabad in which absolute and unquestioning obedience was not required?

  • 199. To 193 wrote:

    Do you understand the nature of chabad? Do you have a clue?

    Do you think the Rebbe wasn’t ‘liberal’? The success of Bais Rivkah alone puts him at the fore of modern frum and forward thinkers.

    The Rebbe didn’t recreate European frumkeit and isolation. That was never his objective.

    The Rebbe created American frumkeit, compatible with our time and place.

    And if you were really a charedi, you had better get off the computer. And if you were really a charedi, you would reject the modern technology the Rebbe embraced.

    Please, do not purport to speak for Chabad because clearly, you have no idea what you are taking about.

  • 200. To Milhouse wrote:

    Progressive is about a philosophy and not a political agenda.

    The Rebbe was one of the most progressive and forward thinkers of our generation- and that is why he was so beloved by so many from outside the fold.

    The Rebbe was conversant in everything from the sciences to the humanities and beyond. Not only was he familiar with those things he was remarkably insightful and his offerings were relevant. The Rebbe was remarkably progressive in that he saw and understood the world in a contemporary context. He faced the world head on and in fact, embraced that world head on. He saw no steerah in that. He alone stands out in that regard. It is true R’ JB Soloveitchik shared a similar ideology but he was not at the fore in the same way the Rebbe was. The Rebbe was about a Ben Torah who ‘stood out’ from the crowd. R’ JB was about a Ben Torah who fit in- progressive in it’s own right, but in the same way the Rebbe was.

    If you lack the critical thinking skills to distinguish the difference between political, cultural and religious/hashkofah progressive ideologies, you ought not opine on matters such as these.

  • 201. to 199 wrote:

    You are either uttering propaganda or you’re incredibly ignorant. The first prominent proclamation that the frierdiker rebbe made upon entry to the US was “America iz nisht andersh”. The Rebbe did not disagree with his shver on that! With mesiras nefesh we make some sacrifices such as moving to a goyish town for shlichus where our children receive a sub par chinuch, not because we want our children to get a secular chinuch. It’s because we are sacrificing for the klal. I’m starting to think that you yourself out SB using a different name but regardless you are welcome to join Zalman Shechter or Carlebach’s movement if you are aching for modernity.

  • 202. Batya Esther wrote:

    What authentic Torah Jew would want to expose their neshama to
    tuma? There’s enough tumah we can’t help being exposed to in this
    very dark galus. Thank you Rabbi Shochet for poskening on this
    “J” book. Anyone who knows anything about you recognizes your
    authoritative and highly-esteemed words to be the emes.

    JEWS…please spend your time nourishing your neshama with unquestionably Torah seforim instead of,
    chas v’ shalom, poisoning it with heretical writings.

  • 203. shlomo as always with bad English wrote:

    till people say yehi every day, nobody in chabad have no rights forbid any others stuff. it any differences from yellow pinned “Jew” and christian. so first clean beith rabejnu from avoda zara, and after forbid book, that you not read/ it so soviet letter!

  • 204. Still not satisfied wrote:

    Fine, now some Chabad voices have come out and put Shmuley’s false ideas about Yoshke in its proper place – far outside of authentic Judaism.

    When though are we going to hear some Chabad voices, and see some Chabad actions, to come out and put the Meshichistim, or as I sometimes call them, MeshiChristians, and their false ideas in their proper place – equally, if not more so, outside of authentic Judaism.Shmuley’s encouragement of heresy is nothing compared to what the Meshichistim are doing!

    I know that people like Rabbi Schochet have spoken against them, but it seems to me it is always “with gloves on” – never intending to inflict a knockout punch. Enough of them already! Get them and their Christian-like theology out – out of 770, out of our Yeshivos and Mosdos, and out of everything Jewish! They must be completely denounced and removed.

  • 206. Milhouse wrote:

    #204, there’s one problem with your proposal: Meshichism is NOT outside authentic Judaism, and there is no basis for pretending that it is. On the contrary, by declaring it outside authentic Judaism you are guilty of ziyuf hatorah.

    And yes, I do compare them to the early Christians under James’s leadership. Those were kosher Jews too, and to the best of my knowledge Chazal of the time had no problem with them. Velamalshinim wasn’t written until Paul’s goyim had taken the church over.

  • 208. To Milhouse wrote:

    You are right.

    The Rebbe and Chabad are not now nor have been progressive voices for a timely an meaningful yiddishkeit. In they fact made a point of rejecting all things modern. It is hard to distinguish chabad from Satmar. Perhaps that is why so many schluchim have been so successful- they have convinced many that their lives are worthless meaningless and Chabad will lead them back into the dark ages.

    As for R’ Hirsch, when and where did Chabad ever label him treif? Not agreeing with a particular shita is one thing, to imply he is trief isw quite another. I noticed you did not address the other trief ‘progressive’ I mentioned, R’ Soloveitcvhik. Pesky thing, that reality is.

    And since when does ‘divrei ben Amrom preclude embracing knowledge? Did Chabad fail to provide you with the tools to deal with olameinua and zmaneinu? The Rebbe took the offence when it came to yiddishkeit. You take the defensive posture.

    As for obedience, the Rebbe kept close those who were less than blindly obedient- because obedience is earned. Clearly that is a concept of which you have no idea.

    And by the why, which Chabad are you referring to? The Meshichistim? The others? The beininiem? The younger out of town schluchim or the ones who have been in the trenches for decades?

    Now get off the computer and let the adults have a more real and substantive conversation.

  • 210. awacs wrote:

    “Do you deny that there are books which the Torah prohibits most people from reading? Or that it’s appropriate for a rov to pasken such a halocho? Look in Shulchon Oruch OC 307, or in Rambam Hilchos Avoda Zara.”

    Here’s my question (and it’s not specifically to Milhouse, it’s open to the floor): if it’s assur to read, how did R.S.(or any Rov) read it to find out?

    Parenthetically, a sizable amount (enough to judge, I should think) of the book is online at amazon.com. Personally, I think the most objectionable thing about it is the title …

  • 211. moti wrote:

    to 156 – you are clearly NOT a graduate judging by your bad grammar and you are clearly not in OLAM HAZEH if you are a frum Jew and have never heard of Rabbi I Schochet. Listen even Chabad.info which as a moshichist site has issues with Rabbi S has praised him.

    to 159 if you know anything about British Judaism you will understand that S Boteach has ZERO CHANCE of being Chief Rabbi. British Jews are traditional and reserved, they want someone respectable and “party line” not some extreme radical. And no rabonim here or shluchim respect him. It is all in his own mind. Plus he left the UK under a cloud when his society was investigated for financial irregularities and misappropriation of funds. Yitzchok Schochet (I Schochet’s son) has more chance of being Chief Rabbi but is also a bit too outspoken.

  • 212. Pastor Milhouse joins the Trinity wrote:

    To 207-Milhouse:

    The only ones who believe that Moshiach will need a “Second Coming” are Christians and Shabbati Tzvi’nikers — and completing the Trinity of Fools and Kofrim – now we have Meshichistim. In thousands of years of our history no one else has spouted such nonsense. Authentic Judaism has always completely rejected this idea and it will continue to always reject it as heretical.

    You, Pastor Milhouse, are completely wrong – your ideas have no place in authentic Judaism. Do teshuva or get lost forever.

    Lubavitcxh-Chabad, expunge these disturbed individuals and falsifiers of Judaism from your midst.

  • 213. to shmuley boteach (presumably #208) wrote:

    You’re a liar. The Rebbe wasn’t for Torah Umaada. The Rebbe advocated chinuch al taharas hakodesh. Your agenda is greatly different than the Rebbe’s agenda. Your arrogance knows no bounds with you calling the frumkeit of the previous generations “the dark ages”. You make me cringe.

  • 214. To 211 wrote:

    You are an Am Haaoretz.

    The Rebbe advocetd what was best for each yochid.

    R’Boteach was given many brochos by the Rebbe over the years and R’ Sacks, fro example, no less. And hundreds if not thousands of others (myself included) were encouraged by the Rebbe to use madaa in a way that would be mechazek the community, from technical to professional to scientific endeavors.

  • 215. To 211 wrote:

    To the administrators:

    I must say how utterly distressed I am to see so many comments that are unworthy of the topic at hand.

    I do understand how this topic drives traffic’ but I can only imagine the distress some of these remarks would bring the Rebbe ZTL. Perhaps considering closing further comments might be in order.

    The Rebbe ZTL had a profound impact on my life and I have endeavored to pass that on as best I could. As a mental health professional I have incorporated much of the wisdom and insight both Torah and chabad into my work.

    Much has deteriorated since the Rebbe’s ZTL passing. There is no need to accelerate the process even as the kehillah continues to struggle..

  • 216. Can someone confirm the law suit? wrote:

    I heard that SB (with his Publisher)is suing Rabbis Schochet (& his son) & Wolf for libel, slander and defamation of character plus various other tort damages. Can anyone confirm the status of the lawsuit (which lawyers are being used etc.)?

    If it is true, will there be a legal defense fund set up to help the rabbis (Nathan Lewin charges a pretty “penny”)?

    In other words, will all the vocal supporters of the rabbis put their money where there mouth is or will they all slink away and hide under a rock?

  • 217. to 215 wrote:

    Where the Rebbe encouraged pursuing a secular education, it was the exception as opposed to the rule.

  • 218. Milhouse wrote:

    #206 (awacs) Someone with a genuine need to know is allowed to read forbidden books. The greatest proof is that the members of the Sanhedrin had to be experts in all kinds of avoda zara. A rov who wants to pasken on the book’s permissibility has to read it first! As for me, right now I haven’t got time to read it, but when I have time I plan to, so that I can discuss it intelligently and decide whether there really is ossur content. It’s an individual decision, whether one can permit oneself to read such material.

  • 219. To #208 wrote:

    To #208
    A younger MO Jew in my shul today commented about the apparent paradox he finds with the Rebbe. On one hand a Kanoi and openly against Limudei Chol and College education and on the other hand the Rebbe put much value to modern technology and science. On one hand he was very outspoken against Zionism and their Asachalta D’Geula and on the other hand he reached out to all Israeli PMs as well as military experts in a most loving and accepting way.
    The Rebbe looked at the world in a practical and realistic way and yet endeavored to use it all for Avodas Hashem. If mosern technology developed new tools of communication, it must then be used only for Avodas Hashem. Knowing the nature and passions of humans and young people he understood too well that everyday life in college can clearly be spiritually devestating to the average young person. Hence his opposition to a college education although he did pursue some and only some to pursue certain degrees.
    THe Rebbe spoke about the everyday dangers of TV and yet promoted Torah on TV and cable to use it for Avodas Hashem. The Rebbe was opposed to zionism but a strong supporter of Israel and its security sive it has a population of 6 million Jews. Yet he discoraged a Chabad party in the Knesset so as not to get involved in the politics of the State although totally involved in the education and yiddishkeit of the State.
    The Rebbe discouraged the modern Orthodoxy approach since one compromise leads to another and where does it end? At the same time he encouraged the members of MO Rabbis to do what they can in Kiruv.
    The Rebbe was against an Eiruv because of Chinuch reasons although he encouraged a nonpublicized eiruv to avoid Chilul Shabbos.
    Only a true Manhig Yisroel can juggle the two.

  • 221. To 214 wrote:

    Rabbi Schochet Sr has already been through all that cr*p once with the Kabbalah Center- I’m sure he can handle Boteach. Also consider that Boteach has no case for neither slander nor defamation of character, as the good rabbi was very careful not to bad-mouth the author at all. Plus, should His Egoness decide that a lawsuit is in order, he would be opening himself up to counter-suits from both Rabbis Schochet for his “response”.

  • 222. To 221 wrote:

    Had an attorney review the “response” before it was published on line.They can’t hide by claiming to simply slandering and defaming the book and not the author. This will cost them big bucks!

  • 223. To 221 wrote:

    It is unlikely R Boteach will sue R Schochet.

    That said, your remarks re slander and defamation are patently incorrect. R Boteach would be well within his rights to defend himself in a legal setting should he so desire.

    Defamation is legally as “A statement that gives a negative impression of a person, company, group, product, government, or country. The statement is made as though it were true, when in fact, it is false. Defamation can be slander, which is made with spoken words, sounds, sign language, or gestures. Defamation in any other form, like in printed words or pictures, is libel. To be considered defamation, the claim has to be false, it has to be made as if it were true, and it has to have been communicated to people other than the entity being defamed.”

    In referring to R Boteach as a “purported frum (religious) Jew” is indeed defamatory.

    R Boteach has never- until now- been referred to as anything less that a shomer Torah Umitzvos Jew, by anyone.

    Might I suggest you refrain from offering legal advice and opinions in the future.

  • 224. awacs wrote:

    218. Milhouse:
    “It’s an individual decision, whether one can permit oneself to read such material.”

    Then, it doesn’t sound very forbidden, does it? Let’s take some parallels:

    “It’s an individual decision, whether one can permit oneself to wear that dress.”

    “It’s an individual decision, whether one can permit oneself to eat that chazir.”

    It sounds like what you’re *really* saying is that reading it is permitted, but not a good idea for most of us (for whom the risk of damage outweighs the possible benefits gained).

  • 225. awacs wrote:

    218. Milhouse:
    “The greatest proof is that the members of the Sanhedrin had to be experts in all kinds of avoda zara.”

    Maybe you’re right – but that isn’t very good proof. Maybe they knew about avoda zara from Torah? After all, everything is in Torah.

  • 226. To 221 wrote:

    Although it is unlikely that Boteach will sue Rabbi Schochet (senior and junior), it is highly likely that the Publisher will sue for damages against the book and its author – simply for the publicity factor alone.

  • 227. Let him sue! wrote:

    I heard there are a couple of lawyers in the shochat family. Let him sue and they will whip his tuches.

  • 228. Rabbi Michael Skobac wrote:

    While no doubt reveling in all the attention his recent book is receiving, Shmuley Boteach has begun feeling the heat of scrutiny that it and he are attracting. His recent attempt to invoke a booklet I wrote as support for his “Kosher Jesus” is a desperate tactic. While there may be some similarity between my “The DaVinci Code: A Jewish Perspective” and his work, Boteach surely knows that it’s a far stretch from similar to congruent.
    >
    > Many students of Christian origins have entertained the possibility that Jesus and his early followers were Torah observant Jews who did not seek to establish a new religion. While I am not married to this idea, I do find it plausible and explore it in my booklet. If Shmuley had stopped there, I would not be writing this response.
    >
    > Because of the ambiguity and unreliability of so much of the primary source material, I inform my readers that the ideas I will be sharing are not conclusive and are controversial. Boteach, on the other hand, doesn’t introduce his work as speculative – it is presented as the truth.
    >
    > My booklet was written with a counter-missionary agenda, directed primarily to Jews who have embraced Christianity. The goal was to provoke them to consider the possibility that Jesus did not deny the binding nature of the Torah and did not claim to be divine. Boteach goes beyond asking followers of Jesus to rethink who he was and seeks to encourage the Jewish community to re-examine Jesus. This ignores age-old rabbinic policies enacted to distance Jews from non-Jewish religions and inevitably encourages the exploration of the New Testament, a book that certainly cannot be deemed “kosher”.
    >
    > In my publication, I never refer to Jesus as a devout rabbi, impressive scholar or holy man. There is absolutely no evidence that he was any of these. Merely being someone who advocated observance of the Torah would not warrant these honorifics bestowed in “Kosher Jesus”.
    >
    > Boteach argues that Jews need to learn from Jesus. I don’t believe this and did not assert in my booklet that Judaism can gain by his teachings. The ideas attributed to Jesus in the Christian scriptures that are consistent with Judaism don’t need his validation. Any teachings of his that are not consistent with those of Judaism have no validity for Jews.
    >
    > More troubling is Boteach’s implication that Jesus was a prophet and that the Christian scriptures were divinely inspired. These are specious and dangerous ideas that run contrary to traditional Jewish belief and are nowhere to be found in my work.
    >
    > Finally, I never wrote or implied that Jews should reclaim Jesus or embrace him. These are meta themes of Boteach’s book and a tremendous cause for concern. Rightly or wrongly, and irrespective of the possibility that traditional Christianity has distorted who Jesus may have been – he is strongly associated with that religion. The vast majority of Jews will never read “Kosher Jesus” and understand that Boteach is really referring to a Jesus who’s had a million dollar makeover. They will think of the Jesus praised by Tim Tebow! For an orthodox rabbi to urge Jews to embrace Jesus is incredibly irresponsible, as it will inevitably facilitate the slide by some down the slippery slope toward Christianity.
    >
    > We live in an age where communication is ruled by sound bites and headlines. The greatest illustration of where Boteach went wrong is in the title of his book. “Kosher Jesus” will not be associated with the recondite and reconstructed Jesus of Shmuley’s imagination. The headline and take home message of “Kosher Jesus” will be that Jesus is perfectly acceptable for Jews – and that an orthodox rabbi said so. There are already tremendous forces of assimilation and conversion bearing down on the Jewish people. Placing a stumbling block of potential spiritual danger in front of any of them is inexcusable.

  • 229. America-s Rabbi to #228 wrote:

    Michael, you like to be called “rabbi” so extend the same courtesy to me. We are both rabbis and although we each have our own experience and intellect, neither of us has greater authority than the other. You wrote a publication, I wrote a book. I never trashed your works and you should respect mine.

  • 230. Efrat wrote:

    No one tells me what I can and cannot read. Judaism become a cult when telling people what they can and cannot do. That is not the Judaism I practice. Because of this letter by dearly respected Rabbi Shochet this book’s sales have soared. I for one will read it and make a decision for myself if this is something I should own or read again. I’m an adult and I will not allow anyone to tell me what I can and cannot do, read or learn. How dare you!

  • 231. By meshichist wrote:

    It says clearly in medrash that their will be revealing then concealment then final redemption also I think that lots of people know the story of rebi Yehuda hannasi who came back to his family even after he died he made kiddush for his family

  • 232. Me wrote:

    Why can’t you work on shabbos because their is halacha and that is what we
    Follow we are Jews not liberials

  • 233. Potato Head wrote:

    I am a Liberal American-Jew.

    I think we should have freedom of speech.

    I also think we should get educated and read the New York Times.

    That will help us open up our minds.

    Also we shouldn’t force people what they should do. That’s dictatorship! not Democracy!

    Shalom,

    Peace,

    Octopus

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