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Rome - Shmuley Boteach visits Vatican, Meets With Pope

Published on: April 28, 2010 02:03 PM
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Rabbi Shmuley met this afternoon April 28 2010 with the Pope and Cardinal.Rabbi Shmuley met this afternoon April 28 2010 with the Pope and Cardinal.

Rome - I had my meeting with the Pope today at his Wednesday audience. Let me first give you an idea of the setting.

There were approximately fifteen thousand people from all over the world gathered in St. Peter’s Square speaking an untold number of languages. The sun shone very brightly. The day was perfect. The Pope arrived in his pope-mobile to great excitement and fanfare. His vehicle was open-top. I assumed they didn’t need the protective bubble that has become so iconic on TV because there was security screening for each person present. As the Pope drove among the crowd they shouted ‘Viva Papa - Long live the Pope.’ There seemed to be genuine affection and excitement among the Catholic pilgrims who had gathered from all over the world.

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The pope drove up the incline and arrived in front of St. Peter’s Basilica. The people who were there to meet him sat on both sides of his dais. There were clergymen from all over the world: Cardinals, Bishops, and priests from the Catholic Church. I sat next to three Anglican Bishops from the UK. With me was my friend Gary Krupp, head of the Pave the Way Foundation, who had arranged the visit and several of his officers.

The Pope read greetings in give languages and an American priest welcomed our group publicly from the Pope’s dais. The Pope waived to us.

When the formal ceremony, lasting about two hours ended, the Pope came off his dais and moved along the receiving line to greet us. Gary introduced me to the Pope warmly with my formal titles. I gave the Pope a special gift we had gotten for him. It was a beautiful dual-time Phillip Stein watch. The Pope lit up when he saw it and said, “Look, it has two faces on it,” which, as it happened, was the perfect introduction for me to share the issues I had prepared. I said, “Pope Benedict, it’s an honor to meet you. This watch has the times of Rome and Jerusalem on it, signifying the eternal friendship between our two faiths. I also hope that when you wear it the future of the Jew people will always be on your mind, as Israel struggles with existential threats, like Iran, who threaten to wipe it off the map. You’re voice against these threats is essential, Your holiness.”

He said ‘Yes,’ nodding his head in agreement, and I continued.

“In addition, Your holiness, the dual clock face is a symbol of my request that you please join us in establishing a global family dinner night which we call, ‘Turn Friday Night into Family Night.’ It involves what we call the triple two. Two hours of uninterrupted time that parents give their kids, inviting two guests, just as I am your guest today, and discussing two important subjects.”

While I said this Pope Benedict again nodded.

I concluded, ‘Your holiness, it’s so important that our two religions work together on this.’ He said warmly, ‘We will work together. We will work together.’ He held my hand while we spoke. The watch we gave the Pope as a gift has special resonance because the owner, Will Stein, is an orthodox German convert to Judaism.

I had invited my close friends David Victor, Chairman of the Board of AIPAC, and Rodney Adler, to the meeting with the Pope. Rodney emphasized to the Pope the importance of partnering with me on creating an international family dinner night and how much he believed in the idea. The Pope again warmly agreed. David then respectfully but firmly pressed the Pope on the need to address the Iran crisis, ‘a regime which denies the holocaust and threatens to destroy Israel and is building nuclear weapons.’ The Pope said, “I have spoken about it and will continue to.”

As soon as the meeting was over, I was granted another meeting with Cardinal Walter Casper, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.’ Gary introduced me to the Cardinal and made a strong pitch for the importance of the worldwide Church partnering with us to create our international family dinner initiative. The Cardinal, a very pleasant priest from Germany who has been close friends with Pope Benedict for forty years, strongly endorsed the idea and related his memories of family dinners with his own parents.

I made the case to the Cardinal that the pedophile priest scandal has many influential American commentators skewering the Church for being an all-boys club, seemingly anti-family. It was essential, I argued, that the Church recapture its reputation as one of the world’s foremost champions of the family. He agreed emphatically and said he agreed that the Church should partner with us.

My friend David Victor then again brought up the threat that Iran poses to Israel. The Cardinal said that Iran’s nuclear program is a threat to the world. He asked David to write to him and Cardinal Bertone, the Cardinal Secretary of State, with suggestions of what could be done.

It was an exciting day. Five of my nine children were with me, as well as both my parents.

I’ll share more later, G-d willing.


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1

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Oy. Shmuley, you run to Michael Jackson and Haiti. Now your being korea and mishtachaveh to the Pope.

How come your Rebbe never did such things?

Maybe it's time for a ga'aveh check.

Very nice. You gave the Pope a watch.

Next thing, he'll be at your Shabbos table.

How much was paid for the honor of meeting the Pope?

How come you spoke about your issues and not about Gilad Shalit? Or did he just slip your mind.

Every time you get up in public, you embarrass us.

2

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:13 PM Gadolwannabe Says:

Big deal! I met Mickey Mantle. Now, that was a real zechus!

3

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:18 PM happy Says:

O how my hart was touch by this story. The sun shone very brightly ...............

4

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:20 PM Anonymous Says:

Shmuley we are now happy, now everyone is gonna talk about you for a few days :)

5

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Feh!

6

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Is there no end to this mans search for headlines?

7

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:25 PM Go Shmuely Says:

Shmuely you got our blessings and hope to hear more of you in the future.

for those who want to hear more of Shmuely he hosts a Sunday program on WABC between 7pm and 9pm

8

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:28 PM Dov Says:

One should never underestimate the long term value of such conversations . People who bash on these boards always seen to hide their names,wonder why ?

9

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Lets compare priorities:

David Victor cares about the Jews in Israel being destroyed by its enemies.

Shmuely Boteach cares about his own private project.

Nothing more needs to be said.

10

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:31 PM Anonymous Says:

"signifying the eternal friendship between our two faiths" al tashis yadcha im rasha! buy him a roll of gefilte fish, that would've sealed the deal!

11

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:31 PM Flattened Friedman Says:

WOW! Look at all those yarmulkas!! Shmuley, you did a great kiruv job!! All they need now are 'Rebbie' key chains!

12

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:31 PM skvere Says:

this week Sunday on his radio show 7-9, he had the wife of Dr mehomed Oz as guest speaking about her new book, they discussed additions
shmuley said that his addiction is “ fame”
listen to his podcast hear it for yourself

13

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:40 PM Anonymous Says:

1:How come you spoke about your issues and not about Gilad Shalit? Or did he just slip your mind.
2: why didn't u speak to him in Yiddish! He a german!
3: ...

14

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:42 PM Anonymous Says:

What with your holiness?

15

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:43 PM Anonymous Says:

does mainstream lubavitch hold of him or do they think hes crazy

16

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:43 PM Anonymous Says:

did you bow down to him?

17

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:43 PM Shaul in Monsey Says:

Is it muttar to refer to the pop as "your holiness?"

Is the Vatican a church upon which a yid should not step foot?

What would be the justification for doing the above as Rabbi Boteach did? I'm not critical of the man, just want to understand from a halachic perspective.

18

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:44 PM mohammed Says:

Maybe he should speak with Ahmedinejad

19

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:45 PM Big Masmid Says:

I am sorry for asking but how could you even touch his hand?

20

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:46 PM Anonymous Says:

he loves the attention and why not if goim want to give it to him kol hakovod

21

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Shmuly - are you a Jew? Do you have a certificate from a Mohel that says you are? you seem so enamored by meeting with this Mushchas and so excited that you got to speak to him that it makes me wonder what religion you belong to. You see my problem is that I and thousands of other Yidden are crying and Davening today for Sholom Rubashkin yet you are with the pope. We are Davening to our G-d. Who are you busy with?

Please spare us the rest of your story. We just don't care. Jacko the wacko must have rubbed off on you.

AND YOU TOOK YOUR KIDS TO THIS AND ARE PROUD OF IT!!!!!!!!!! Fech. Gross. Sick. Disgusting. Disturbing. Clearly you have lost your mind

22

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:54 PM I am crying Says:

Holliness!!!!!!!????? That title is reserved for one only. I am ashamed. You want a Family Night?? Make Thursday Night Family night. Shabbos was a present from the Ribono Shel Olam for US. STOP trying to give it away.

23

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:56 PM mt mehdi Says:

I approve. At least he's doing something - what are you yentas doing besides surfing the net?

24

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:56 PM Shaliach Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

does mainstream lubavitch hold of him or do they think hes crazy

The latter . I might have put it in more delicate terms,such as : He lost his way and veered from The Rebbe's instructions.

25

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:57 PM A Simple Chussid Says:

Good grief.
Do we really need to read this?!
Ugh...

26

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:58 PM boteasucks Says:

perhaps the watch the pope will give you when you convert from who knows what religion you belong to Catholicism will be as special.

27

 Apr 28, 2010 at 02:59 PM private Says:

Reply to #8  
Dov Says:

One should never underestimate the long term value of such conversations . People who bash on these boards always seen to hide their names,wonder why ?

Big talker Dov, tells your last name where you live all about you!

28

 Apr 28, 2010 at 03:01 PM G-D help Says:

Chabad throw this ego needs fame guy out on his head. He's a Kaifer on what he said about hashem on Haiti

29

 Apr 28, 2010 at 03:02 PM Godol HaDor Says:

I'm conflicted, on the one hand he spoke about important valid global klal issues, nothing wrong with that, on the other hand, I cringed whem he kept on calling him your ....ness, on the other hand, you need to show proper respect to be taken seriously, on the other hand, the catholic church has been the source of all major anti-semitism in the l*st two millenia.
Maybe that's why he gave hime a watch with four hands...
On a serious note, rabbi lau and others also met with a Peips, so maybe shmuli is doing a positive thing for klal yisrael. Eventhoough his massive ego is surely stoked, well so be it, that's what makes these talented guys tick.
As to the opinion of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, it is irrelevant to Shmuley as he no longer follows his former Rebbes directives, he has chosen his own path.

30

 Apr 28, 2010 at 03:03 PM Anonymous Says:

hay! were does he draw the line, praying or bowing down to jeuses? is that next?

31

 Apr 28, 2010 at 03:05 PM Anonymous Says:

I made the case to the Cardinal that the pedophile priest scandal has many influential American commentators skewering the Church for being an all-boys club, seemingly anti-family. It was essential, I argued, that the Church recapture its reputation as one of the world’s foremost champions of the family. He agreed emphatically and said he agreed that the Church should partner with us.

What a bunch of BS.

32

 Apr 28, 2010 at 03:07 PM Milhouse Says:

This is definitely against the express opinion of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. When Paul 6 came to America and rabbis were running to meet him, the Rebbe thundered against it. He never forgot, and never let others forget, that the Pope is known by Jews as the Avi Avos. This has nothing to do with the individual who happens to occupy that office at any time; Benedict is a wonderful person, as was Paul 6 before him, but the office is Avi Avos Hatum'ah.

It's one thing if he comes to us; we can't afford to be rude to him, and it would be wrong to be rude to the person under the robes. But for a rabbi from New Jersey to fly a third of the way around the globe to meet the Avi Avos, is something entirely different. No matter how good he is as a person; if you have some project to push, meet with a well-placed cardinal, persuade him, and then have him push it from the inside. But don't go giving public honour to an office which is avodah zarah.

33

 Apr 28, 2010 at 03:08 PM WB Says:

Avoda zura,,
In the gite tzeiten rabbi shmuly would be put in cheirem!!

34

 Apr 28, 2010 at 03:13 PM I used to be his fan Says:

No longer. Now I am embarrased he is a Jew.

35

 Apr 28, 2010 at 03:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Big Masmid Says:

I am sorry for asking but how could you even touch his hand?

He isn't a woman.

36

 Apr 28, 2010 at 03:40 PM Israeli Says:

Reply to #29  
Godol HaDor Says:

I'm conflicted, on the one hand he spoke about important valid global klal issues, nothing wrong with that, on the other hand, I cringed whem he kept on calling him your ....ness, on the other hand, you need to show proper respect to be taken seriously, on the other hand, the catholic church has been the source of all major anti-semitism in the l*st two millenia.
Maybe that's why he gave hime a watch with four hands...
On a serious note, rabbi lau and others also met with a Peips, so maybe shmuli is doing a positive thing for klal yisrael. Eventhoough his massive ego is surely stoked, well so be it, that's what makes these talented guys tick.
As to the opinion of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, it is irrelevant to Shmuley as he no longer follows his former Rebbes directives, he has chosen his own path.

Rabbi Lau had a personal relationship with the previous pope going back many years. Long before he became pope. Rabbi Lau also owed the pope a (big) favor.
Rabbi Lau's visit was personal and not in his official capacity. Rabbi Lau met the pope many times in private. There is more to this but one thing is for sure: Boteach is no Lau and to be fair neither is Benedict a John Paul.

37

 Apr 28, 2010 at 03:42 PM Anonymous Says:

"Your Holiness?"

Shmully, I'm sorry, but calling the pope holy is kefirah. By calling him holy, you acknowledge Christianity.

I'm sorry, but you have lost my respect.

38

 Apr 28, 2010 at 03:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Shmuely Boteach,
Did you consult Dass Torah if you were alowed to have such a meeting?
Why would you bring your childreen to such a meeting? Is he the personn you want your children should aspire to be.
Discusting.

39

 Apr 28, 2010 at 04:01 PM Calm Down Says:

Shmuely is doing right in my eyes and hopefully yours too

what hes trying to do is bring goyim into g-ds world by teaching the 7 Noach mitzvos by starting with family time on sat is a nice gesture

40

 Apr 28, 2010 at 04:05 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

Shmuly - are you a Jew? Do you have a certificate from a Mohel that says you are? you seem so enamored by meeting with this Mushchas and so excited that you got to speak to him that it makes me wonder what religion you belong to. You see my problem is that I and thousands of other Yidden are crying and Davening today for Sholom Rubashkin yet you are with the pope. We are Davening to our G-d. Who are you busy with?

Please spare us the rest of your story. We just don't care. Jacko the wacko must have rubbed off on you.

AND YOU TOOK YOUR KIDS TO THIS AND ARE PROUD OF IT!!!!!!!!!! Fech. Gross. Sick. Disgusting. Disturbing. Clearly you have lost your mind

Wait a second. Benedict is not a mushchas. He's a decent person, an intellectual and an ohev yisroel, who happens to serve avoda zara and to occupy a position at the head of one of the greatest tum'os in the world. Say all you like about the office, but not about the man who occupies it. Let's hope that he has a revelation like Yisro did, and comes to the true faith; but even if he doesn't, we have to be fair.

41

 Apr 28, 2010 at 04:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Hey guys--don't get all worked up. He didn't kiss the ring. Just shook his hand. Not the end of the world. Besides, we need some powerful allies. I'm not a Shmully fan but this meeting was a big plus.

42

 Apr 28, 2010 at 04:17 PM Torah Truth Says:

This is the issue as I see it. I think there is great value with dialogue with leaders of other religions. It was done in the time of the Chazal and I see no reason that it shouldn’t be done today. That being said, it is done for a reason, M’pnei Eiva and M’pnei Darkai Shalom. The problem I have here is that Boteiach seem to be enamored by the experience, glorifying the experience and has lost all sight that will the Pope is a leader he is the lead Ovdei Avodah Zarah. Is that who you should take your 9 kids and parents to? Is that he you should write a story and gush with the experience? If it was me, I would do it and then jump into the first Mikvah I could find to hope the Tumah would come off. Despicable!

43

 Apr 28, 2010 at 04:21 PM Godol HaDor Says:

Reply to #36  
Israeli Says:

Rabbi Lau had a personal relationship with the previous pope going back many years. Long before he became pope. Rabbi Lau also owed the pope a (big) favor.
Rabbi Lau's visit was personal and not in his official capacity. Rabbi Lau met the pope many times in private. There is more to this but one thing is for sure: Boteach is no Lau and to be fair neither is Benedict a John Paul.

Rabbi Lau's visit was personal??! Are you joking?
Anything a chief Rabbi does is not personal and he actually met him as The Chief Rabbi.
In any case, I'm not much of a fan of Rabbi Lau, I don't believe Shmuelly is any less than him.
Fellas! Get over it! SB is orthodox in his personal life, but a highly talented firebrand out to make a mark.
He doesn't give a whit of Daas Torah or anything like it. The only one who couldve controlled him was the LR. Nobody else is worth spit in his eyes (how wrong is he??)
Personally, I think its a waste of supreme talent. TV shows, radio dating advice, the frumworld will never ever
Take him seriously, perhaps the secular world will benefit from him.
Not a total loss

44

 Apr 28, 2010 at 04:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Did you ask for the Menorah back? Or any Keilim or Sefarim that a Yid would cry to just be able to see...?

45

 Apr 28, 2010 at 04:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #36  
Israeli Says:

Rabbi Lau had a personal relationship with the previous pope going back many years. Long before he became pope. Rabbi Lau also owed the pope a (big) favor.
Rabbi Lau's visit was personal and not in his official capacity. Rabbi Lau met the pope many times in private. There is more to this but one thing is for sure: Boteach is no Lau and to be fair neither is Benedict a John Paul.

Yes. Rabbi Lau's father was a rov in Krackow before the war where he had a friensdship with a young priest, later to be John Paul II.

The former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Herzog told the story of meeting with Pius XII right after WW2 ended to ask him to decalre that Polish families who hid Jewish children should return them to Jewish agencies. Of course, he refused. Rabbi Herzog used the Avi Avos theme then.
.

46

 Apr 28, 2010 at 04:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Wow! This is unreal going to the pope?! I don't know what he is thinking, but this guy needs to see a doctor asap.

47

 Apr 28, 2010 at 04:34 PM The Beadle Says:

Reply to #32  
Milhouse Says:

This is definitely against the express opinion of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. When Paul 6 came to America and rabbis were running to meet him, the Rebbe thundered against it. He never forgot, and never let others forget, that the Pope is known by Jews as the Avi Avos. This has nothing to do with the individual who happens to occupy that office at any time; Benedict is a wonderful person, as was Paul 6 before him, but the office is Avi Avos Hatum'ah.

It's one thing if he comes to us; we can't afford to be rude to him, and it would be wrong to be rude to the person under the robes. But for a rabbi from New Jersey to fly a third of the way around the globe to meet the Avi Avos, is something entirely different. No matter how good he is as a person; if you have some project to push, meet with a well-placed cardinal, persuade him, and then have him push it from the inside. But don't go giving public honour to an office which is avodah zarah.

Benedict is far from a wonderful person.

As a 14 year old, he was a member of the Hitler Youth. Since becoming Pope, he has removed the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, an outspoken Holocaust denier.

He has also personally covered up many, many cases of sexual abuse in the Church.

Unlike his predecessor, Pope John Paul II (who actually was a good guy), Pope Benedict is a rasha.

48

 Apr 28, 2010 at 04:37 PM Anonymous Says:

The day has come we can now say see I told you so! This man has lost his way so long ago I'm not sure he can see it anymore

49

 Apr 28, 2010 at 05:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #47  
The Beadle Says:

Benedict is far from a wonderful person.

As a 14 year old, he was a member of the Hitler Youth. Since becoming Pope, he has removed the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, an outspoken Holocaust denier.

He has also personally covered up many, many cases of sexual abuse in the Church.

Unlike his predecessor, Pope John Paul II (who actually was a good guy), Pope Benedict is a rasha.

not fair. Every 14 year old in Germany under Hitler was a member of Hitler Youth, if not you were a member of Hitler Dead.

50

 Apr 28, 2010 at 05:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #45  
Anonymous Says:

Yes. Rabbi Lau's father was a rov in Krackow before the war where he had a friensdship with a young priest, later to be John Paul II.

The former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Herzog told the story of meeting with Pius XII right after WW2 ended to ask him to decalre that Polish families who hid Jewish children should return them to Jewish agencies. Of course, he refused. Rabbi Herzog used the Avi Avos theme then.
.

lau's father was rav in piotrkov, NOT crakow!

51

 Apr 28, 2010 at 05:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #49  
Anonymous Says:

not fair. Every 14 year old in Germany under Hitler was a member of Hitler Youth, if not you were a member of Hitler Dead.

NOT TRUE!!!! i saw interview with someone from his hometown who said that Joseph Ratzinger (pope ym'sh) & his brother were from FEW in their town to join hitler jugend!!!

52

 Apr 28, 2010 at 05:16 PM Anonymous Says:

Unbelievable. The lengths this man goes to for attention.

53

 Apr 28, 2010 at 05:17 PM mendel Says:

Reply to #18  
mohammed Says:

Maybe he should speak with Ahmedinejad

one thing for sure, if he would speak with him we might get somewhere.

54

 Apr 28, 2010 at 05:22 PM Anonymous Says:

YOUR HOLINESS?? Have u really lost your marbles?????

55

 Apr 28, 2010 at 05:33 PM Anonymous Says:

is it me or is the poop's yarmulke bigger than smelly's?

56

 Apr 28, 2010 at 05:58 PM nochum schapiro Says:

Reply to #8  
Dov Says:

One should never underestimate the long term value of such conversations . People who bash on these boards always seen to hide their names,wonder why ?

there, you have my name. isnt it kfirah to call the pope "your holiness"? even if al pi halcha its fine but definitely inapropriate. he could have sad "your excellency" or something..... the Rebbe definitely was against going to meet the pope.... he considers himself a lubavitcher but time and again he does questionable things....

57

 Apr 28, 2010 at 06:01 PM Anonymous Says:

Anything for publicity.

58

 Apr 28, 2010 at 06:14 PM thrill Says:

Shmuly,

As someone who is not knee jerk against you, and when you do good, I say so (and I think of late you have been doing pretty well) -

First of all your visit (noch bringing you kids???) is incredible. How many compromises on Torah did you have to make just so that you can talk to the man? Does the end justify the means when the means are against Halacha?!

Secondly, the enthusiasm and excitement in your report is perhaps even more disturbing than the first point. You were obviously in awe of the scene and you seem personally thrilled to have come in contact with the avi avois. This second fact demonstrates even more clearly than my first point, that your behavior and motive here was not pure. If this was "a necessary evil" to you, you would never have written such an "exciting" report, with the promise of "more to come"!! Shoimu shomayim.

Your insatiable ego is the source of your weakness. Wake up. Study some chassidus and ver a mentch.

59

 Apr 28, 2010 at 07:02 PM authentic Lubavitcher Says:

"I’ll share more later, G-d willing. "

Please don't. We've read more than enough.

60

 Apr 28, 2010 at 07:03 PM ChelmiTe Says:

Reply to #56  
nochum schapiro Says:

there, you have my name. isnt it kfirah to call the pope "your holiness"? even if al pi halcha its fine but definitely inapropriate. he could have sad "your excellency" or something..... the Rebbe definitely was against going to meet the pope.... he considers himself a lubavitcher but time and again he does questionable things....

He may wish he is Lubavitch and he may want to ride on their coat tails but he certainly isn't a real one.
If he is a friend of Micheol Jackson -why not the Pop.
Who will he visit next? Maybe Oye Bamer can use him for something

61

 Apr 28, 2010 at 08:24 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #51  
Anonymous Says:

NOT TRUE!!!! i saw interview with someone from his hometown who said that Joseph Ratzinger (pope ym'sh) & his brother were from FEW in their town to join hitler jugend!!!

You may have seen such an interview, in which case the person was lying. Or else you are the liar, and are making the whole thing up. Membership in the Hitler Youth was *mandatory*. There was no way to escape it. But Ratzinger never attended a meeting and never wore the uniform.

62

 Apr 28, 2010 at 08:24 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #39  
Calm Down Says:

Shmuely is doing right in my eyes and hopefully yours too

what hes trying to do is bring goyim into g-ds world by teaching the 7 Noach mitzvos by starting with family time on sat is a nice gesture

Since when is "family time" part of the 7 mitzvos?

63

 Apr 28, 2010 at 08:30 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #47  
The Beadle Says:

Benedict is far from a wonderful person.

As a 14 year old, he was a member of the Hitler Youth. Since becoming Pope, he has removed the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, an outspoken Holocaust denier.

He has also personally covered up many, many cases of sexual abuse in the Church.

Unlike his predecessor, Pope John Paul II (who actually was a good guy), Pope Benedict is a rasha.

You are not telling the truth.
1. Every German boy of his age was automatically registered in the Hitler Youth. That says nothing about him.
2. The Pope didn't know about Williamson's views on the Holocaust when he lifted the excommunication. But even if he had known, why should that have made a difference? Why should he not have been released, just because of his views on a matter of history? Holocaust denial has never been grounds for excommunication.
3. There is no evidence for his involvement in coverups of any kind.
4. He is at least as good a guy as his predecessor.

64

 Apr 28, 2010 at 08:30 PM Anonymous Says:

When I was a kid I was taught to make every effort to avoid a gallech.Nowadays every nobody is clamoring to meet one .

65

 Apr 28, 2010 at 08:33 PM Ari Gold Says:

I must say I am a little surprised to see all the negative comments. This man is trying to do something good. How many unaffiliated Jews are out there who might find meaning in a Friday night were it to become increasingly popular? That's a way to be mekarev Jews we can't even reach.
I am sure most of you here have never been to Rome let alone Vatican City. The display of honor and oppulence afforded to the pope is beyond your imagination. It's truly a grand spectacle. When we see such honor we think to ourselves - one day all this honor and all the honor in the world will belong to the one and only Creator - Hashem.
Most of you also probably don't know that you don't just speak to the pope. You get prepped. They instruct you how to address him, what to say and more importantly what not to say.
Let's not be so quick to judge Shmuley Boteach.

66

 Apr 28, 2010 at 09:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Shaul in Monsey Says:

Is it muttar to refer to the pop as "your holiness?"

Is the Vatican a church upon which a yid should not step foot?

What would be the justification for doing the above as Rabbi Boteach did? I'm not critical of the man, just want to understand from a halachic perspective.

he didnt go into the vatican. this audience takes place outdoors.

67

 Apr 28, 2010 at 09:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

does mainstream lubavitch hold of him or do they think hes crazy

crazy

68

 Apr 28, 2010 at 09:56 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #39  
Calm Down Says:

Shmuely is doing right in my eyes and hopefully yours too

what hes trying to do is bring goyim into g-ds world by teaching the 7 Noach mitzvos by starting with family time on sat is a nice gesture

I don't recall shabbos being in the 7 mitzvos beni noach...nor friday night dinners...nor any dinners for that matter. I do recall that believing in one god IS part of the 7 and Christianity DOES NOT believe in one god...!!!

69

 Apr 28, 2010 at 09:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

does mainstream lubavitch hold of him or do they think hes crazy

lets just say everyone agrees his not mainstream....

71

 Apr 29, 2010 at 12:55 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #39  
Calm Down Says:

Shmuely is doing right in my eyes and hopefully yours too

what hes trying to do is bring goyim into g-ds world by teaching the 7 Noach mitzvos by starting with family time on sat is a nice gesture

it's assur for a goy to observe shabbos, what are you talking about???

72

 Apr 29, 2010 at 12:57 AM Paskunyak Says:

Did he give the pop a signed copy of his book "Kosher Sex"?

73

 Apr 29, 2010 at 01:04 AM Israeli Says:

Reply to #43  
Godol HaDor Says:

Rabbi Lau's visit was personal??! Are you joking?
Anything a chief Rabbi does is not personal and he actually met him as The Chief Rabbi.
In any case, I'm not much of a fan of Rabbi Lau, I don't believe Shmuelly is any less than him.
Fellas! Get over it! SB is orthodox in his personal life, but a highly talented firebrand out to make a mark.
He doesn't give a whit of Daas Torah or anything like it. The only one who couldve controlled him was the LR. Nobody else is worth spit in his eyes (how wrong is he??)
Personally, I think its a waste of supreme talent. TV shows, radio dating advice, the frumworld will never ever
Take him seriously, perhaps the secular world will benefit from him.
Not a total loss

I cannot go into a dispute with you on a public site. I know Rabbi Lau personally. He is an erliche yid, a great talmid chochom and certainly nearer to being a godol hador than you are.
Rabbi Lau had several meetings with John Paul in private and has confirmed that they discussed matters that cannot be revealed.
You may be sure that Rabbi Lau is at least as frum as SB and I don't think he would teach Jacko or Maddona Kabbolo (Or if he did, he would make sure that nobody knows about it!).
SB is highly talented but then so are many movie stars.

74

 Apr 29, 2010 at 01:21 AM ira z Says:

Shmuli Shmuli Shmuli...were u as excited meeting a Rosh yeshiva? oy!
Its wonderful that u are mechanech ur ALL children with such beutiful things to remember.

75

 Apr 29, 2010 at 04:15 AM THE PERFECT MAN FOR THE JOB! Says:

if the RABBI wont suckup to this worldpower who will?!

i think RB's motives may be mixed, but im glad someone with a good mouthpiece is reaching out to the POPE

whoever cant see the GOOD in such a gesture is a danger to represent us jews!

POLITICS IS THE RULE OF INFLUENCE

the more famous RSB becomes the more POWERFUL HE IS< im glad he's using his power to foster goodwill for us & preasure against IRAN ym"sh

76

 Apr 29, 2010 at 04:23 AM Mr. Greeen Says:

Looks like Shmoooley did all the talking. And he remembers what he said, word for word, it is all in quotes! Ben the Pope only gave noncommital answers. I guess Shmoooley has a phenomenal memory.

77

 Apr 29, 2010 at 07:23 AM nanach491 Says:

one side of me is happy you told the pope to be on our side. but that could be my stockholmsynndrom that im sccared after ALL the pagrams, thell be against us.... to think.
if i were you id go to mikva after holding that malesters hand.

78

 Apr 29, 2010 at 08:27 AM Anonymous Says:

i really think shmuly means well. he is just ignorant and misguided. how sad. he has such potential......

79

 Apr 29, 2010 at 09:00 AM Anonymous Says:

What a shame Mr. Boteach. He even call that man "your holiness" ???

80

 Apr 29, 2010 at 09:31 AM Mortychai Says:

To Millhouse, #32
"Benedict is a wonderful person, as was Paul 6 before him, "

I think you meant: as was John Paul II before him,; Paul 6 was no friend of the Jewish people...having spent nearly 26 hours in the State of Israel during a visit in the late '60s/early '70s, he managed the great verbal acrobatic feat of not mentioning the name of the State once-and that is a minor infraction of his...he did much to try and undermine the ecumenical advances of his predecessor, John XXIII

81

 Apr 29, 2010 at 12:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Mr. Boteach, "Your place is not the Vatican visiting with the Pope .Your place is In Yerushalaim visiting with the Jewish Leadership '

82

 Apr 29, 2010 at 12:45 PM 5T Resident Says:

I would not be comfortable calling any human being "your holiness", especially the leader of a religion that is diametrically opposed to ours. Even out of respect for a public figure like the Pope. Its an affront to Hashem Yisborach. Perhaps R' Boteach had no choice but to do so. Perhaps he should not have put himself into a situation where that would be necessary.

83

 Apr 29, 2010 at 02:21 PM Bubby! Says:

Reply to #15  
Anonymous Says:

does mainstream lubavitch hold of him or do they think hes crazy

He is a private person, and not a spokesperson for Lubavitch. In fact, Lubavitch of England threw him out for his views which do not always conform to Chabad ways.

84

 Apr 29, 2010 at 03:16 PM Anonymous Says:

All this reminds me of when Golda Meir met Pope Paul VI in 1973 and how she did not cowtow to him like Shmuely did to the current german Pope.

85

 Apr 29, 2010 at 03:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Benedict is a wonderful person ,so is Milhouse .

86

 Apr 29, 2010 at 04:13 PM Anonymous Says:

# 79. Why pick on Shmuely . He said ' Your holiness ; not mine .

87

 Apr 29, 2010 at 04:35 PM Anonymous Says:

Re ;to # 85 . They deserve each other .

88

 Apr 30, 2010 at 03:12 AM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #82  
5T Resident Says:

I would not be comfortable calling any human being "your holiness", especially the leader of a religion that is diametrically opposed to ours. Even out of respect for a public figure like the Pope. Its an affront to Hashem Yisborach. Perhaps R' Boteach had no choice but to do so. Perhaps he should not have put himself into a situation where that would be necessary.

It is standard to refer to a rebbe as כבוד קדושת

89

 Apr 30, 2010 at 10:24 AM simple observer Says:

Of course. A perfect time to unite with the Catholics. Just when their reputation for pedaphobia is at its peak. Along come the jews. Great idea! Link us with the pedapredators! Who's genius idea? Your holiness!

90

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