I had to laugh today when an article on the Media Matters website was sent to me by way of my Google Alert for the term “Conservative Rabbi.” This has been an effective Google Alert that sends me any articles or websites that mention a rabbinic colleague of mine from the Conservative Movement. However, the reason the Media Matters article was included in the Google Alert today was the mention of the Orthodox rabbi and TV personality Shmuley Boteach. The Media Matters article contains the transcripts of the October 30 edition of Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, when co-host Alan Colmes interviewed Ann Coulter. Colmes quotes his “good friend, the conservative rabbi Shmuley Boteach.”
Yes, Shmuley Boteach is conservative (with a lower-case “c”) and also a rabbi, but he is most certainly not a Conservative Rabbi!
I thought Colmes did a good job of questioning Ann Coulter about her controversial comments about Jews and Christians from her “Danny Deutsch Show” interview last month. Never one to miss an opportunity to say something outlandish, Coulter explained that she wears the criticism from Jewish groups like the ADL and the American Jewish Congress “as a badge of honor.”
Rabbi Yehuda Levin, a spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance for America and the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, came to Coulter’s defense explaining that “She said nothing that in any way indicates anti-Semitism.” Rabbi Levin’s defense of Coulter was enough for her to claim the support of 1000 orthodox rabbis. Rabbi Yehuda Levin is the ultra-Orthodox rabbi who tried to ban the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem. Rabbi Levin also has a website, Jews for Morality, that includes essays claiming that hurricane Katrina was God’s Judgment on a sin-loving America.
Perhaps the only thing funnier that the phrase “conservative rabbi Shmuley Boteach” is the final exchange in the Coulter-Colmes interview. Even after watching the video of the interview (see below) it makes no sense. Just more ridiculousness from Ann Coulter. Oy!
ANN COULTER: How about eating soup? Is that a classic food of anti-Semites?
ALAN COLMES: Yeah, that’s lovely, Ann. I’m going to move on in spite of yourself, and maybe save you from saying something else that’s ridiculous.