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Shliach Blasts Boteach’s Book: “It’s Apikorsus”

Chicago Shliach and educator Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf blasts Rabbi Shmuely Boteach‘s new book, saying the subject and recent interviews lends itself to apikorsus.

Rabbi Yitzchok Wolf, Dean of SJ Abrams Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew Day School in Chicago, send the following condemnation to today:

With utter contempt I have read the title of Shmuel Boteach’s new book. His prior books certainly hadn’t made me anticipate this latest with excitement, yet perhaps it was naivete on my part not to see this one coming.

I hadn’t read the book since the book’s title already lends itself to apikorsus, and I am not the consumer that seeks to consume such writings.

I am no spokesman for Orthodox Jewry or for Chabad. In this instance, it is certainly no quantum leap to speak in the their name:

Boteach’s latest book is apikorsus and must be treated as such. If Boteach had any decency, he would disavow himself from kehillas Chabad as well as from Yiddishkeit in general.

When one writes claiming to pen his writings as an Orthodox Rabbi, and it can mislead the ignorant and the vulnerable, heaven forbid, he must be ostracized for their sake alone. It’s not the derech of Chabad to eject their fellow jew, yet there are those rare times when it appears as an obligation to do just that.

Please G-d; protect Klal Yisroel from the dangers that stem from the outside as well as those that stem from people claiming to be from within.


  • 4. wrong wrote:

    no its not, everyone knows j dint starts christianity but it was started many years later by his followers….im sorry rabbi wolf but you just dont know history….

  • 5. Sholem wrote:

    Wow! you read the TITLE of the book and you say its apikorses? You cant declare something apikorses if you didnt even read it. This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time.

  • 6. Libel and Defamation wrote:

    I hope you have a good Libel and Defamation Lawyer when he sues you (and I hope you can afford the legal fees to defend such an action).

  • 7. no one special wrote:

    How can one call a book’s contents apikorsus if he has not read it?
    It may well be apikorsus, but you have given any facts to support your view.

  • 8. read the Book wrote:

    First of all I have read the book and can say that hopefully Jews will read it and it WILL bring them closer to yidishkiet….. About the comments of how much “courage” it takes to say something, Boteach has been criticized for years nothing new. I would like to see a shliach to have the courage to defend him.

  • 10. confused wrote:

    if you haven’t ready the book why are you saying that it’s apikorsis??? and eecting someone from chabad and judaism. Please explain what you are saying!

  • 11. SHAME! wrote:

    Please G-d; protect Klal Yisroel from HATE MONGERS like Wolf who are so quick and eager to judge and ostracize another Jew – just from reading a “title” of a book.

    Oichet mir a shliach.

  • 12. Some sense? wrote:

    So has he read it? Or hasnt he read it!?>

    “With utter contempt I have read the title of Shmuel Boteach’s new book”

    “I hadn’t read the book since the book’s title already lends itself to apikorsus”

  • 13. Blast Yourself wrote:

    Who the heck is this guy? I guess everyone who puts “rabbi” or “shliach” in his title becomes an authoritative voice on all things Judaism — and is so self-important he has to go out of his way to release an official “condemnation” to a community website. I’m also a “rabbi” and “shliach.” So what? You’re a nobody schoolteacher, get a life.

  • 14. sick of this lowlife wrote:

    Strong words which I endorse. It’s hard enough keeping our kids on the right path without having to battle “Rabbis” who spew such garbage. All we need to add to the “kids at risk” problem is big names saying J is a positive thing.

    My question is, why did it take so long for a respected Shliach or anyone from Aguch to speak out? Boteach has been gearing up for this shocker for years, getting more and more outrageous and no one spoke out, excluding a few regular people like me.

    This person has done terrible damage to impressionable minds and to Chabad as a whole. Time to silence him once & for all for capitalizing on Chabad & the Rebbe. How? That’s up to Aguch & legal minds. Better make it soon, his next book will be for sure disgusting & shameful, even more so than this.

  • 15. ruv wrote:

    To # 3 no libel and defamation Wolf is wright and we all know it…

    The problem is the boteach is close to chabad chabad must finally acknowledge that he must not be part of us and invited to any events thats it…

  • 17. Shamefull! wrote:

    Boteach should be ashamed to show his face in Chabad. Enough of this busha!

  • 18. Al tivtach bo wrote:

    Boteach is a nobody OIS shaliach and a miserable huckster. “Nobody schoolteacher” is just the attitude that keeps talented people out of chinuch and adds to the disrespect some talmidim and their parents have toward mechanchim.

    The book might well be more shtus than apikorsus, but there is a fine line when he speaks of Jews “reclaiming” j. We have no relationship with him, and there is nothing this book can do to convince those who believe in him to abandon notzrus.

    On the other hand, it can confuse Jews who are facing pressure. Regardless of the one chapter about not being able to believe in him, a j4j type “Hebrew notzri” believer can easily use Boteach’s thesis to claim that he lives according to the real j’s teachings.

  • 19. Chabad Lites Up the World wrote:

    Your jealousy reads loud and clear, Rabbi Wolf. Let me get this straight – Rabbi Boteach has helped millions of Jews and non-Jews, has been a shining light unto the nations – but a title has you saying such a terrible thing? Please, I’d like to see you write in about the pedophiles and abusive husbands in our Chabad and Orthodox communities. Please, list them by name here on Crown Heights info – surely their names must be a far greater blight on the Jewish people than any one title of a book. If this is where your focus is you should be shunned as a teacher of Jewish children. Or is that just me, learning from you, judging a book by it’s cover?

  • 20. Rabbi Mattis Kantor, Eastern Parkway wrote:

    1) Whoever believes that ‘you don’t judge a book by its cover’, has never sold a book. (Recently, even a President was

    sold by his color.)

    2) Not for publicity purposes, is it relevant to mention, that currently my only income, comes from selling my books. The

    bestselling book (seventh print now, in seven years) is “CODEX JUDAICA – Choronological Index of Jewish History.” For

    relevance – read on.

    3) There is no convincing scientific evidence that J ever lived. My history makes this clear, and this opinion is

    supported by church scholars (not all, of course.) He certainly was not the “Oysoy HaIsh” mention in the “deleted” parts

    of the Gemara (R.Yehoshua ben Perachya was centuries before Herod.) Even these descriptions in the “deleted” parts of

    Gemara (supposedly so, to stay under the vigilant church radar) are suspect. It was not at all uncomon for the church to

    “edit” by deleting – but also by adding material for convenient hate-mongering use. [My conclusion in CODEX is that he

    probably did, and there were two similar persons, and/or that stories (tales) about them merged with time. Whatever is

    said, if he did exist, he is not mentioned by the “historian” Josepus Flavius, whose slanted history would have reveled in

    this rebel’s existence. Thus if he existed, his fame would have reached that, of lehavdil, the shtibel around the corner

    looking for a minyan at borchu – on Shabbos. ]

    4) For the sophist in Shmully, to make such a particular case about such a sensitive but historically murky issue, is

    indication (if still needed) that the purpose of this book is other than the promoted goal.

    5) Frankly, my belief is that Shmully could have made a very similar point, through a comical-satirical work on the

    subject, and harvested royalties from all the non-Jewish non-believers – by far the largest market in English reading

    nations. That he didn’t, leads one to believe that he takes himself seriously. And that is comedy.

    6) Damage control for Lubavitch, on this issue, is seriously impeded, because the Frum world will likely not join in any

    outrage, unless is encompasses outrage against the Messianism…

    7) Reb Yitzchak, without your kol-koreh my attention to this development would not have happened. Certainly the quotes

    from his mouth to the media would not have reached me. Unfortunately, the very one’s who decry “hate” etc., are rather

    hasty to just read the headlines of your statement, become affronted, and not read the details you presented of his media

    promotions. A simple case of mum shebecha calling the kettle black.

  • 21. Start a Legal Defence Fund for Wolf wrote:

    Now we will need to start collecting for Wolf’s legal expanses to defend the lawsuit. Hope Wolf has a good lawyer because it ain’t cheap to be a Defendant. This won’t go to a din torah: The Plaintiffs are S.B. and the Publishers.

  • 22. awacs wrote:

    If Rabbi Wolf has Ruach Hakodesh (he must, otherwise, how could he know that the book was apikorsus without reading it?) could he please contact me? He must know the number. I’d like some help picking lottery tickets …

  • 23. Al tivtach bo wrote:

    LOL Shmuley Boteach spreads nothing but cynicism and falsehood. He has never helped anyone except himself and whoever he needs to help in order to get ahead.

    Please don’t let these shills post here. They were funny in the beginning but they are really a bunch of one-trick ponies.

    Rabbi Kantor’s post is in line with accepted scholarship regarding the literary character known as j. Boteach’s discredited tripe is in line with whatever he thinks will get him enough notoriety to get on TV and sell his books.

  • 26. Avromie wrote:

    The only issue I see here is that Rabbi Wolf should have realized that most people reading this blog don’t know english.

    Havn’t = Have not (as in, didn’t read the book)
    Hadn’t = Had not (as in, would have not, but did)

    I am not a big fan of sending our kids to years of english, but really?

  • 27. to all wrote:

    he dint read the book, because like most chabad men, especially ones who grow up in CH, were not taught to read or write…figures he would rush to such a judgment with nary a proof…this really shows the utter ignorance and stupidity that plagues lubavitch

  • 28. S. Cohen wrote:

    ”The book might well be more shtus than apikorsus, but there is a fine line when he speaks of Jews “reclaiming” j. We have no relationship with him, and there is nothing this book can do to convince those who believe in him to abandon notzrus.

    On the other hand, it can confuse Jews who are facing pressure. Regardless of the one chapter about not being able to believe in him, a j4j type “Hebrew notzri” believer can easily use Boteach’s thesis to claim that he lives according to the real j’s teachings.”
    Yep, Rabbi Wolf’s point exactly.At some point he just really might declare himself Moshiach!

  • 29. anon wrote:

    to 14#
    and who the heck (using your loshon) is boteach.
    wolf is a ben torah.
    so who is boteach?

  • 30. Kosher KKK wrote:

    Yes. Imagine a book by that title.

    Kosher KKK.

    Of course, the book would explain why the KKK is not really Kosher after all, at least not for blacks or Jews, but that there are lessons to be learned from them. How they were misunderstood, how they really wanted a good America, how, if there was only dialogue in the South, we would all sing kumbaya.

    This book is the equivalent of Kosher KKK.

    Shmuelys definition of Kosher is sounding a lot like the Nobel Prize definition of Peace.

  • 31. Rav says book not kosher. wrote:

    A Rav told me that even without reading the book, just by the title, one can judge that it is not Kosher. There is a Halacha that one is forbidden to look positively at Avoda Zarah, this is from the verse Lo Sichanaim. Consequently, since “J” is worshipped as a divinity, it is forbidden to look at his persona in a positive light. In addition the Rebbe once argued with one caught by the missioneries, that how can one worship someone in who’s name millions of Jews were killed.

    I don’t think Boteach should be invited as a guest by Chabad functions. He crossed a line.

  • 32. Next books wrote:

    Kosher holocaust?
    Na the Nazis were great nationalists, loving animals, doing very important research
    Kosher Soviets, the wanted everyone to be equal

    Kosher Eisav, brought food to the table…. knew a perfect English (or whatever language…)

    Kosher SDOM, or Sodomy, I like it… its non of you business

    on and on (wait he has to sell the books before you condemn.. its only titles…


    TZEI TOMEI- shave your beard so everyone knows who you are.

    and then come back
    Bthshuvah shleima


    Please get off your pills, we don’t want to find you overdosed rachmono litzlan.

    This really is the last nisyonos the Sotton is placing before us— please overcome them, get agood mashpia and conquere the world!

  • 33. Food for thought wrote:

    Imagine if Shmuley Boteach would pass by the Rebbe for Dollars and present the Rebbe with his book (dittos with his previous books).

    Can we judge Christianity if we never read the new testament?

  • 34. Moishe Sachs wrote:

    I don’t understand Rabbi Kantor’s and Rabbi Wolf’s problem. Over a billion people believe in some form of Chrisianity. The title of the book suggests to me that Rabbi, that’s Rabbi, Boteach is probably writing about Jewish things that are in their invented bible, a bible invented starting a number of decades after he supposedly lived, that contains huge problems; for example, the two different geneologies of Yeshu’s father (which shouldn’t be there at all since they made up the idea of this Yeshu not having a human father at all), although it’s possible that this idea was made up by Philo, over 60 of whose writings were found among the earliest Chrisian writings. The idea, it would seem to me, is to show that much, if not all, of the actual good that is found in this book was found first among the writings of the Jewish people. All this self-righteous condemnation, indignation, and, in the case of Rabbi Kantor, turgid howling is sickening & misguided. One certainly should NOT judge a book by its cover, at least not judge it myopically. Rabbi Kantor suggests that Rabbi Boteach write humor at the expense of a religion. This is an insensitive, weak suggestion. We should be on the side of those who appreciate God, not secularist/socialists who, when left unchallenged, end with Communism & Nazism that murdered over 100 million people in the 20th Century. Many of us have friend & family in Israel. And the fact is there are a lot of Jewish people there. So some of us care about that country’s welfare. So do 60 million Evangelical Chrisians, more so than MANY American Jews care. Why would Rabbi Kantor alienate them, repaying their decades of kindness & millions of their dollars given to the poor of Israel, by suggesting someone show such disrespect for their bible? Uh, Rabbi Kantor, would you care to specify what “details you presented of his media promotions” Rabbi Wolf mentioned. I don’t see any mention of any other Boteach Books in his silly, baseless condemnation.

  • 35. i think both sides have a point.... wrote:

    on the one hand, if you didnt read the book, you have no idea what he’s talking about, and cant really judge based on the cover. on the other hand, the title alone is against everything we lubavitchers have learned and been practicing since we were young children. each side has a point, and is completely right in those merits. however, rabbi wolf may have this opinion, as do many others, but i dont think he should make it this public. after all, he IS a fellow jew, no matter what others may say. in a way, i support his (rabbi wolf’s) opinion more, but understand the point of others, who have a right to their own opinion. everyone does

  • 36. The MORAH Has Spoken! wrote:

    I find this qwhole thread trmendously amusing on so many levels:
    First of all please do us all a favor and utilize spell check and grammar check. second of all the title is meant to be an “Attention Grabber” Rabbi Boteach is a brilliant genius. Third of all–all those wack jobs declaring the Rebbe is alive and well caused MORE damage to the name of Chabad than any book Rabbi Boteach has ever written. Why not buy the book… READ IT and then post an educated opinion on what YOU READ!!

  • 37. BCH wrote:

    Firstly, Rabbi Wolf is indeed NOT authorized to speak in the name of Chabad, so he should definitely present his pronouncements as his own only, no matter how little “quantum leap” they seem to him to be from an official Chabad position.

    Secondly, it is really stupid to make any pronouncement on a book while admitting to not have read it (and that explains WHY Rabbi Wolf is not a spokesman for Chabad).

    If Rabbi Wolf wanted to make his disgust known, he could have simplu relied on the recent Boteach interview, where “Rabbi Shmuley” made some really outrageous statements about Jews “reclaiming J”, etc.

    Additionally, since Boteach has no role of ANY kind in Chabad, it seems that Chabad is not obligated to comment on his antics. But this should serve Rabbi Krinsky as a reminder that a photo-op with Boteach was a very ill-advised move.

    And maybe, just maybe, the best policy with this man is to ignore him…

  • 38. 2 SIDES wrote:


    I ASK YOU???




  • 39. to 27 wrote:

    you couldve spoken for members of the haskalah.
    This forum makes me laugh. a few months ago, there was missionary material being spread all over crown height, you all said to be aware not to read it. Now, with a book published , praising oisei ha’ish you say it’s ignorant not to read it???????? Im shocked.

  • 40. Uh oh! wrote:

    This book may help warn the meshictem that theyre heading down the path of natzrut by proclaiming a deceased rabbi as vadai moshiach and brainwashing young holy chidren in these silly views. This causes ower chasidus to be off of normative orthodox klal yisrael and is creating a new religion.

  • 41. Before you judge wrote:

    Go to Look at “Surprise Me.” And you’ll see — this book isn’t written for you and me; it’s not written for Jews. You’ll see that it’s written for non-Jews, and tells them that nothing Yoshke said is original — that it’s all from the Torah, from us, and they should be given Yidden a lot more credit for their “own” spirituality. Far from turning Jews away from Yidishkeit, this book will turn non-Jews away from anti-antisemitism. But good for you for judging a book by its cover

  • 42. To # 16. Al tivtach bo wrote:

    If closed-minded judgmental self-importance is what “keeps talented people out of chinuch and adds to the disrespect … toward mechanchim,” then so be it. But if that’s the current state of Chabad-Lubavitch, you poor souls have no hope. I feel sorry for you all.

  • 43. Business Strategy 12 wrote:

    Way to promote the book in a major way! Now youv’e got everyone curious and running to find and read this mysterious book! Marketing 101.

  • 44. Moishe Sachs wrote:

    Look, in their “bible” Yeshu says things that rishonim said. It was Paul who the Chrisians actually follow, not Yeshu. He said that he had not come to change the Torah one iota. Paul was the one who said that to the non-Jews he’d be non-Jewish, to the Jews he’d be Jewish, he’d been made all things to all men in order that he’d win some of all. I think Rabbi Boteach has simply compiled what this Yeshu did and said and insisted for his followers that was Jewish but that today’s Chrisians, or most of them, don’t follow. To have an entire discussion over a title that can mean many things and to ignore the entire contents of the book is absurd. It shows severe immaturity in those justifying their baseless condemnation.

  • 45. mendoza wrote:

    does any one know shmuly boteach mothers name ?
    i want to say ah kapital tehilliem for him , he has gone 2far
    hashem have racmones on him . let him wake up from all his shtuss,
    may G-d save him… ah refua shliama for our sick brother

  • 46. the book is very clever!! wrote:

    ty to All the condemmers; you are promoting the book_ bec ppl don’t accept ur impulssive (expected) analasys

    ppl know that some in the left of lubavitch are very gealous & have an partisan resentment lingering toward this man who you guys predicted would be completely fry 10 years ago

    ur bitter bec ur prediction utterly faild


    go back to positive shlichus & stop getting distracted by your YH & vendetta

  • 47. yes! Rabbi Wolf! wrote:

    so sad that ANY Jw o nomal non-Jew would defend th wriings of a self-hating ani-semetic human being like s.b. (deliberately lowercase).
    If anyone decides to sue Rabbi Wolf over his omments, I will gladly contribute to the cause. We need more people like Rabbi Wolf, and none like s.b. (deliberately lowercase, again).

  • 48. DON-t JUDGE A BOOK BY IT-s COVER! wrote:

    I already read the first 100 pages of this book!

    shame on this “so called” shliach who attacks this book

    very positive kidush Hashem

    the book is well done_ thaughtful & a kidush Hashem;

    please READ actually read through the book #efore knee jurk reaction

    yourkneeJurk reaction

  • 49. Oh my my wrote:

    Need someone read the so called “New Covenant” to understasnd that it is apikorsis?
    No. the namse itself IS.

    there is probably good chance that boteachs latest book in “ok” on the inside. Howwver, the the title alone IS indeed apikorsis. those two words cannot co-exist and a lubavitcher should never even use “that” name.

  • 50. Get him out of here already! wrote:

    I don’t need to read the book to know it’s dangerous: the title says it all. After all, a title of a non-fiction work reflects the content. If some of you people read more than the Post occasionally, you’d get that.

    I don’t need to snort cocaine to know it’s addictive & dangerous. I also don’t need to fire a gun to know it can kill someone.

    So why should I read something that a fame-seeking charlatan with a history of self-aggrandizement wrote to earn income? L’havdil, I’m sure Rabbi Seligson won’t earn a fortune from his new book, but he wrote it to share something with CHASSIDIM. Boteach is sharing his twisted views to earn mega-bucks and more fame.

    Wasn’t being a buddy with Michael Jackson enough for him? Obviously not. And look how fast he pushed his “dear friend” under the bus…couldn’t distance himself quickly enough. You’d have thought he’d have learned his lesson, but he’s clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

  • 51. We need a real talmid chochem wrote:

    Where is Jacob Emmanuel Shochet a real authority on the issue

  • 52. yoshke pendrik wrote:

    i didn’t get a chance to read the book yet i already like it. i an busy preparing myself for the first signing . Please somebody save me a book, in case it is sold out. i will give you my place in gehenim. Guaranteed front seats. Ah to hell with the book. i got my own problems to worry about.

  • 53. Shmuly TO AVROMIE #29 wrote:

    Your ignorance shines right through your writing. Reading comprehension comes alongside definitions of specific words. However you want to translate “hadn’t”, from his sentence it is CLEAR as day that he DID NOT read the book. Get off your high horse.

  • 54. Lela wrote:

    What has Boteach done for Chabad lately? I think he and Jesus have plenty in common.

  • 56. Al tivtach bo wrote:

    And maybe, just maybe, the best policy with this man is to ignore him…

    THIS is correct. As I have pointed out many times, this man is like the Neturei Karta wannabes. The difference is Boteach has a brain, so rather than yelling “genig mit di timeh, avek mit di medine” whenever reporters are around, he hangs around with fellow attention seekers like Jackson and writes mildly shocking (more like schlocking) books.

    He craves attention. He is the product of a broken home and a philandering father (and that is a nice description of shady arms dealer Yoav Botach), and in fact Shmuley admitted himself that he was wanting for attention as a young boy. Now, he’s getting negative attention to make up for it.

    Time to grow up, Shmuley. And time for us to realize once and for all that he is no concern of ours. If his children want to live as part of the Chabad community, they are no different from any other Chassidim. He himself, however, needs to be swatted and chased away like an annoying mosquito.

  • 57. Concerned wrote:

    I think this entire discussion, including the statement that prompted the discussion is completely out of line. As a Chabad Shliach and someone who has benefitted from both Rabbi Wolf and Rabbi Boteach, I feel it my duty to say something.

    1) You haven’t even read the book. You couldn’t have, it’s not available yet.

    2) This is not news. The same story happened when Kosher Sex came out. People were shocked. Now many Shluchim use it to show their mekuravim the true beauty of mikveh and taharas hamishpacha. Once these shluchim actually picked up the book and read it, they realized hat it 100% Kosher and actually really well written.

    3) Telling any Jew that “If Boteach had any decency, he would disavow himself from kehillas Chabad as well as from Yiddishkeit in general” outside the apices of a Beis Din is completely wrong, very wrong.

    This letter should have been sent to him directly. You could have debated him in private and allowed him to speak for himself. To put a letter of this nature out in the public is completely distasteful and not the Jewish way. Maybe the Rebbe spoke so much about Ahavas Yisroel because us, his followers need it that much.

    4) has been quoted in the mainstream media. We really need to think twice before we post something. If this was a private “password only” Chabad forum, than I would say “enjoy”, but its not. This is a public site and all these comments are public. With all the garbage about religious Jews in the media over the last few weeks, we don’t ned this.

    In conclusion, I have already ordered my copy. I plan on reading and then forming my own opinion not based on the title of a book, but based on the facts.

  • 58. Italy wrote:

    To Chabad Lites Up the World wrote:

    I totally agree. Rabbi Boteach has helped millions in his unique role!
    I second that I’d like to see you write in about the pedophiles and abusive husbands in our Chabad and Orthodox communities. Please, list them by name
    What about all the rabbis (chabad ones too)doing dishonest conversions??? People that they would never allow to marry their own children / for their lack of shmiras torah umizvot, but the rest of us should.
    There are plently of travesties going on in the orthodox rabbinic world, dont you think we should be a little more self critical?

  • 59. Honesty wrote:

    I Challenge any Yid to defend the following words of SB

    “This book is telling the Jews to reclaim J…, the authentic J…, the historical J…, the Jewish J….” and to be inspired by his “beautiful” teachings, the U.S.-born author and TV show host told Anglo File this week in Jerusalem.

    This is a slap in the face and much worse for 2000 years of Emuna B’Hashem and the rejection of Christianity.

    All of JC’s teachings are recorded in the NEW TESTAMENT. SB is promoting the study of the New Testament and nothing less.

  • 60. Too Late For Some wrote:

    41. Uh oh! wrote: This book may help warn the meshictem that theyre heading down the path of natzrut by proclaiming a deceased rabbi as vadai moshiach and brainwashing young holy chidren in these silly views. This causes ower chasidus to be off of normative orthodox klal yisrael and is creating a new religion.

    — Excellent point (except for the spelling), and that’s why I fully quoted your comment here.

    But unfortunately it can be a warning only for the remaining normal Chabad to distance themselves from the Meshichistim.

    As for the Meshichistim themselves, it is already too late, they don’t care about any warnings, they have already removed themselves from the rest of Klal Yisroel – just as the early Christians removed themselves from Klal Yisroel. They are no longer capable of rational thinking, and nothing will ever bring them back to sanity.

  • 61. A Yid wrote:

    I see that collive removed Rabbi Wolf’s machoah! They apparently got nispoel from Shmuley’s response…

    Legufom shel devorim of Shmuley’s response:

    His main taine that Rabbi Wolf didn’t even read his book, although sounds like true taine, can be refuted very simply: Rabbi Wolf did not misrepresent what it says in the book, actually we believe Shmuley’s own decription of his book (in his response and in the Haaretz write-up) that it’s coming to show that J was a frum jew blah blah, and nobody, including Rabbi Wolf is claiming that it says something else in the book.

    The machoah is on the book be’etzem, it’s title and it’s goal to tell Jews to learn from J who has good things to say (af“l).

    Shmuley suffers from Shimon Peres syndrom. Peres also talks about a ”new era“ in middle east relationships, totally divorced from reality and from thousands of yrs of history. Shmuley’s description of a new era is fantasy. The catholic church recently reinstated their old prayers about Jews vechul. In his arrogance he thinks that his book has the power to change the perception of J of 2000 yrs of goyim and yidden, no less! Goyim view him as god, yiden as the mamzer in whose name millions of Jews were killed. Comes this arrogant tzutzik and thinks that he’ll educate Jews (and christians!!!) who J ”really“ is!

    For thousands of years did the christians try to get Jews to accept J, and the Jews were moser nefesh, and now comes this arrogant ”orthodox“ guy and tells Jews: don’t accept him as god, just accept him as a nice guy, just learn from his chochmos. Did this meshuggener ever hear the story of channa and her 7 sons (don’t accept the getchke, just pick up my ring…). In his utter arrogance he doesn’t even realize how ”kosher j“ sounds to a Jew who is not blinded by $$$$ (read between the lines about $ from evangelists through eckhaus etc – how much is he getting???).

    The very ”issuk” in J, his thoughts and ideas, his history etc etc, is considered forbidden for Jews for thousands of years, as paskened in Rambam and Shulchan Aruch hilchos Avoda Zara, and therefore Rabbi Wolf is 100 % correct in his machoah against a book, 100 % correct in NOT reading his book.

  • 62. Why Be Surprised? wrote:

    47. The MORAH Has Spoken! wrote: …Third of all–all those wack jobs declaring the Rebbe is alive and well caused MORE damage to the name of Chabad than any book Rabbi Boteach has ever written.

    —- All too true.

    My gut feeling, based on the media report about the book, is that those who believe in J. will only be strengthened by it – just as they have been strengthened by the Meshichist belief that the Rebbe zt“l will return from the dead to be Moshiach.

    If it describes J. and a Jewish Rabbi they will claim that he was a prophet and the leader of the Jews at that time, and that when the time arrives for his ‘second coming’ everyone will accept him as the Messiah. Sounds a lot like, in fact it is identical with, the views expressed by the Meshichistim.

    Boteach has already gone on record defending the Meshichistim, so why should anyone be surprised now that he is defending J. It is all one and the same, BUT IT IS NOT ”KOSHER” AND IT IS NOT JUDAISM.

  • 63. To Rabbi Kantor wrote:

    All is well that you suggest that perhaps J did not ever exist. But I think that you owe it to the consumer to advise that the Rambam states clearly that he did indeed exist. and he existed as he is perceived by the world at large.

    I am referring to the Rambam end of Hilchois Melachim and to the Igrois Harambam in Igeres Teiman (mosad Horav Kook page 119). In igeres Horambam the Rambam states clearly that J was distorting the Torah and would cause lots of Yidden to ignore the mitzvahs.

  • 64. let shemtov and krinsky take action wrote:

    i believe once and for all boteach must be banned from chabad houses
    he is a disgrace
    from his belief in family gay rights
    to his yoshke biook he has proven his disdain for all our rebbe holds dear

    why cant rabbis shemtov and krinsky stand up and tell all chabad houses inclufing the fellig one in florida that it is ossur to allow him any forum in chabad
    if they cant do that these rabbis should also not be given a forun

  • 65. votertwo wrote:

    To A Yid:

    As someone wo has spent many years in the metal health business (and unzere have afforded me great job security) I can honestly say your remarks are without foundation.

    You speak with authority in describing ‘Shimon Peres syndrome’. Based on what are you predicating these remarks? No psychologist or mental health counselor would offer up a diagnosis from a distance without examining the client. I mention this because by every professional standard such behavior is not acceptable and is unethical at the very least. I(f you knew anything of what you were talking about, you would have refrained from making such a remark.

    Further, to imply it is not necessary to read Boteach (who on more than one occasion received the Rebbe’s brocho) is the height of absurdity- unless you are also purporting to speak with authority for the Rebbe.

    Whereas the Rebbe and other gedolim never shied away from any new horizons of intellectual challenge, it is disconcerting to someone so dismissive of ideas (that if you read the book you would understand to be a profound kddush Hashem).

    Boy oh boy, we need the Rebbe more than ever.

  • 66. Robert Unger wrote:

    This book is a double threat and kudos to Rabbi Wolf telling it like it is.If you are a Jew, it is heresy. If you are a Goy, it is a provocation in which Jews should not engage. It is bad enough that the USA resembles Weimar Germany, both economically and in moral depravity. Boteach throws gas on the fire and will unecessarily exacerbate Jew hatred. What is next for him to make Kosher.How about Kosher anti-semitism? Robert Unger , Attorney At Law

  • 67. My two cents wrote:

    Now that Boteach says that Yoshke may be idealized if in the proper context, he is feeding ammunition to the Jews for J movement. Now they will say that even Orthodox Judaism agree that Yoshke was good and we only disagree about minor technicalities on how to appreciate Yoshke’s legacy.

    Boteach made a mess and it’s his job to clean it. I suspect though that he won’t because there is a lot more money in making the mess than in cleaning it up, and that appears to be Boteach’s priority ($$$$$).

    I guess if you want to see the good even in the bad, this book reminds us to intensify our support for organizations such as Jews For Judaism.

  • 68. np wrote:

    To number 29. You are my favorite person of the day… Keep spreading the grammar, baby!

  • 69. A Needed Book wrote:

    Shmuley Boteach’s recent book has caused a lot of commotion in the online Lubavitch world, and I just wanted to make a few clarifications regarding this matter. First off, Shmuley has a very thorough understanding of Christianity and has been involved with numerous activities and debates, all aimed at showing that only through the torah way of life can a person live in accordance with the truth, and that Christianity is a false religion. After years of working in this field, Shmuley realized that he could compose a book that would contain all the insights he discovered in regards to why the torah is the only truth and all other religions are just false imitations.
    An important fact is that statistics show that there are thousands of Jews who have converted to Christianity in the US today. No one is successfully reaching out to these lost neshamas and bringing them back to yiddishkeit. Furthermore there are so many Jews who have never learned the smallest bit about their religion, and when confronted by missionaries, they are easy prey for their deceptive tactics. Many of these vulnerable and lost Jews know very little about the torah, but have heard about Shmuley through the media. Shmuley knows that they will be willing to read a book that he writes, and he can help these Jews return to the torah and be prepared when missionaries challenge them. Shmuley also knows that the only way to get his book out in the public is by using a provocative title that catches headlines. It is a very disarming way of getting converted Jews to read his book, without triggering defenses that would prevent them from opening it. If Shmuley named the book “Why JC is One big Lie” then no Jew who had converted to Christianity would want to read it. At the same time Shmuley can rewrite the entire history of JC and portray him as an observant Jew who hated the Romans, hated avoda zara, and who would be disgusted if he knew what Christianity did with his life story. It is this new character of JC that Shmuley was praising in his interviews—not the JC portrayed by the Christians. Shmuley provides heaps of evidence showing all the plagiarism and blatant deception and lies that the early founders of Christianity put into their new book. This book will influence countless people, both Jews and non-Jews to rethink their beliefs and turn to the torah, whereas no one who would read this book would in any way be encouraged to become a Christian. It would be similar to someone writing a book about Mohammed and claiming that he was a vegetarian who hated violence, wished to convert to Judaism, and loved the Jewish people unconditionally. No one reading a book like that would be interested in becoming a Moslem as it is practiced today. The same thing applies to this book.
    I would add that Lubavitchers aren’t really encouraged to delve into secular studies unless its for parnasa, and this topic in general is avoided in Chabad, even when it is dealing with an anti-missionary book. And in that case it could be that this book is not for most Lubavitchers, though it never was intended to be in the first place. But that does not mean that there aren’t thousands of people who could benefit from the knowledge that Christianity is built on a foundation of lies, and JC himself never thought he was a god, and never wanted people to stop following halacha. At the very least this book will lead these lost Jews to perhaps question their beliefs and learn a little more about what it means to be a religious Jew. For those who try to claim that missionaries will be able to use this book to try to convert Jews, this is completely false. Missionaries already have plenty of tactics ad tricks they use to ensnare unsuspecting Jews. They don’t need this book to do what they do. And even if they did quote this book to a Jew, he would only be encouraged to read the book and see that its entire premise is that Jews must live as Orthodox Jews. If anyone wants to strengthen their repertoire of knowledge against missionaries, and help teach and strengthen yiddin who lack the knowledge to defend themselves against Christian attacks, this book may be for them. Of course for a Lubavitcher they should consult their mashpia to see if this book is in any way shayach for their avoda. I would end by saying that the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” would most definitely apply to this book. Time will most likely show that Shmuley’s new book will influence many Jews to return to the Torah, and bring many non-Jews to become Bnei Noach. May Hashem protect his people from jumping to conclusions, and slandering a man without understanding his true intentions in writing this book.

  • 70. Kessef Mishnah wrote:

    To #63

    You are assuming that any reference to Osso Ha-Ish means yoshke. Even the name Yehsu does not confirm that we speak of the same person.

    Besides, from where would the Rambam have acquaintance with specifics of the Ch religion?

  • 71. Inspector General wrote:

    Moshe sachs:

    How come tou are SO familiar with “their bible”?

    And yet defending it. Is a member of your close family (perhaps by marriage) a convert in or out of Yiddishkeit?

  • 72. Quoter wrote:

    My opinions on Jesus have been
    profoundly shaped by the writings of Hyam Maccoby and his compelling
    insights into the historical Jesus.

    But times are changing. Christianity has opened its heart to the
    Jews. The Catholic Church is today a great friend to the Jewish people.In May 2010, as a guest of the Vatican, I met Pope Benedict; his warmth and regard for me as a rabbi were immediately in evidence.

    Jesus was a man who worked to rekindle Jewish ritual observance
    of every aspect of the Torah and to counter the brutal Roman
    occupation of his people’s land. He never wavered in this mission
    even when he realized the consequences would be fatal.

    All Jews can embrace Jesus as part of a grand tradition of heroic
    leaders who fought to free Israel from tyranny. Looked at from
    this angle, Jesus was a great, world-changing patriot for Judaism.


    Anyone defending these words – his own words – must question his faith in Hashem and his rejection of Christianity.

  • 73. Quoter wrote:

    A Quote from his Book
    As Jews, we should celebrate the family bond we have with Jesus. We
    also have a bond with Christianity, even as our faiths differ considerably
    in many aspects. Ultimately, this book aims to initiate a wider
    celebration of both bonds and differences, for each delivers distinctive

  • 74. 3 Cardinal Sins Yehoraig val Yaavor wrote:

    2 of the 3 Cardinal sins are now Kosher(R), What’s next Kosher M… r”l ?

  • 75. West Coast View wrote:

    I think Chabad, and other Orthodox groups need to be intellectually honest and open-minded. Being quick to dismiss and judge unfavorably makes Chabad, and others who share R’ Wolfs views, ignorant and judgmental.

  • 76. Milhouse wrote:

    #66, How does this help them in any way? Do you think it’s a “minor detail” whether he was a god or just a nice person?! This book undermines their whole religion. It says that the very person they worship as a god, himself believed in only one Hashem and would be shocked at the idea that people would worship him! That’s the opposite of help. May they get more and more of such help!

  • 77. To Mihouse wrote:

    Since when is it our avodah to undermine Christianity? If a yid gets lost, mitzad kol Yisroel Areivim zeh lozeh, we must bring him back to yiddishkeit, but making a new mitzvah of undermining Christianity? Is that the 614th mitzvah? because if it’s not a mitzvah, I don’t want to expand anti semitism. Do you?

  • 78. Tender Jewish Soul wrote:

    Other than a few of the above comments, most of you should be ashamed at your baseless hatred and not using your tongue for good. There is nothing worse to me than to see Jews against Jews. It is heartbreaking. Whether the book will be good or bad for Jews is less important than how we treat each other. Let’s not repeat the reason for the destruction of the 2nd Temple.The Chaim Chofetz wrote so much about Lashon Hara and Shmirah Haloshon…best to read his writings before spouting off against Rabbi Boteach or anyone. “Love your neighbor has yourself”. My soul feels sick after reading so many hateful comments. Many of you should pray to HaShem and ask for forgiveness.

  • 79. Shmuel, Chicago wrote:

    A “quantum leap” is moving from here to there without passing through the points in between. If Rabbi Wolf is not a “spokesman for Orthodox Jewry or for Chabad,” then giving himself license to be exactly that is certainly a quantum leap. Just sayin’.

  • 80. Milhouse wrote:

    #77, What do you think we’re in golus for in the first place? Undermining avoda zara and bringing the truth of yiddishkeit to the world is why Hashem scattered us over the world. A “yehudi” is someone who tells the world that Hashem is true and avoda zara is false. This is the definition of kiddush hashem, and if it makes some goyim resent us then so be it. Antisemitism is the natural order of the world, and it’s not our job to reduce it. On the contrary, the recent decline in antisemitism has resulted in more intermarriage ch”v.

  • 81. To milhouse wrote:

    “#77, What do you think we’re in golus for in the first place? Undermining avoda zara and bringing the truth of yiddishkeit to the world is why Hashem scattered us over the world.” You said we are are supposed to undermine Avodah Zara (I said Christianity and you changed it to AZ) so if Christianity is Avodah Zara, why is Boteach writing books on how Avodah Zara should now be kosher?

  • 82. beninabox wrote:

    How sad that a Rabbi in a significant movement, Chabad (which as much to recommend it) would judge something based on a title. His ‘reasoning’ is absolutely specious and reactive. Has the standard for Jewish scholarship really descended to such a level of emptiness that R. Wolf thinks it is even remotely acceptable?


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