Shmuley Boteach's New Cookbook is a Recipe for Disaster
Posted by: penina
by Penina Taylor
For all its hype, the title of “Kosher Jesus” is far more evocative than anything contained within its 230 pages.
A Book Review of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's "Kosher Jesus"
by Penina Taylor
For all its hype, the title of “Kosher Jesus” is far more evocative than anything contained within its 230 pages. If you get rid of the introduction, first and last 20 pages, what you are left with is essentially a sub-par and less than adequate counter-missionary book.
Christian readers looking for a way to make Jesus more accessible to Jews or to enhance the authenticity of their faith will find neither within the pages of this work. Instead they will find a slap in the face that insults their convictions, belittles their intelligence and asks them to totally disregard everything they’ve ever believed about the New Testament and Jesus. In the last part of the book, Rabbi Boteach’s revisionist and morally relativistic call for Christians to embrace this new entirely human Jesus will be found to be nothing less than insulting.
Jewish readers, on the other hand, will find a work of fiction that paints a different picture of Jesus – a Jesus created out of whole cloth. While Rabbi Boteach’s Jesus is interesting, there’s very little of it that is supportable by any source other than the works of others who have also tried to remake Jesus according to their own suppositions. And while Jewish readers may find comfort in the book’s attempt to invalidate large portions of the New Testament and explain why Jews don’t believe in Jesus, Rabbi Boteach’s call for Jews to embrace Jesus as a Jewish martyr and hero is ludicrous at best and dangerous at worst. It attempts to do something only one step below what the Christian deification of Jesus did, making him into something he’s not.
All in all, a rather disappointing work from an otherwise brilliant if not a little egotistical Rabbi.