Boteach announces bid for for a seat on House of Representatives
Rabbi Shmully Boteach, an ex-chabad Rabbi and father of nine children, who has made a name for himself with such provocative books as “Kosher Sex” and “Kosher Jesus”, is now hoping to run for congress in New Jersey on a Republican ticket.
His overall spiritual message to Americans is ecumenical, crossing religious and denominational lines. He advocates for less homosexuality and divorce and for a more family-centered, wholesome lifestyle. He even supports Blue Laws, which prohibit work on the Sabbath (which would apply to Sunday in Christian provinces).
Ironically, however, while Boteach has managed to capture the imagination of Americans at large, he has concurrently lost his native audience. The universal conservative message that he conveys has little appeal among the Ultra-Orthodox and they don’t see in it anything Jewish. There’s nothing Jewish about the dwelling on such topics as sex and Jesus.
Several weeks ago on the Dr. Phil show he promised Ms. Reich that he will personally intervene on her behalf to help her retain partial custody of her children. But Reich has not heard from him since and he has not returned her calls. Which begs the question: is he backpedaling, afraid of alienating his prospective Orthodox constituency? Or perhaps, he’s too busy with other pursuits? Either way, if he continues cajoling and promising but not delivering on his campaign trail, it will probably be short lived.
If he does succeed in his quest for high office, he will be he first ever Ultra-orthodox politician in congress, as his affiliation with chabad-Lubavitach would qualify him. Joseph Lieberman, the independent senator who also served as Gore’s running mate in 2000, decidedly does not qualify for the Ultra-orthodox designation. Lieberman, while not labeling himself as such, follows the style of interwar Orthodoxy, which allows its women not to cover their hair and permits lax kashrut observance. This is a rare breed in contemporary times, most such individuals having migrated to either more liberal or more observant circles after WWII).