What is Rabbi Shmuley Boteach?

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What is Rabbi Shmuley Boteach? He is a lightning rod, an author, a speaker, a frequent talk show guest, a reality TV star, and now a candidate for a Congressional seat in New Jersey. He is loved by some and hated by others. He is at times the staunchest proponent of traditional Jewish life and values, while also doing things that make that same community cringe. What, exactly, is he?

On his website he calls himself “America’s Rabbi”. That is a very apt description, but not in the way he intends. He fashions himself as the Rabbi Americans go to for their various questions on Jewish life and culture. In many ways he is just that. However, he is truly “America’s Rabbi” because his persona and entrepreneurial nature is so very American. He is a brand, more than anything, minus his own clothing line. He has crafted a reputation as very traditional and yet very modern. It is essential to his brand that he be viewed as authentic, and his Chabad style beard and large velvet Kippah send that message home. He is also modern, as his clothing and his book titles can attest.

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Posted by on Monday, April 2nd, 2012. Filed under Jewish Blogs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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