Shmuley on Tiger


One more reason to love/hate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach… he says he has a plan for saving Tiger Woods.

Boteach sounded similar themes in a column that appeared in the L.A. Jewish Journal:

Yes, I know. Men like Tiger Woods appear to the public as cool-as-a-cucumber. But beneath the calm veneer is a man who has been trained to believe that his value as a human being rests entirely on a never-ending game of human one-upmanship. Those who have made their names in sports and politics live with unimaginable insecurity. And rather than deal with these insecurities in a healthy way by having deep emotional conversations with their wives about their fears, it is easier to simply paper them over by turning to strangers who make them feel special. The attention of other women brings a momentary silencing of the inner demons who constantly taunt them with whispers of their own insignificance. And the more prized the woman is by other men, the greater the validation these men feel. Coupled with this is the intuitive gravitation by men to the healing powers of the feminine. Men who are in pain use the caress and the care of a woman as a salve to sooth their broken egos. Having a woman care for you and make herself available to you – not to mention tell you how wonderful you are – becomes a like a drug that makes you feel instantly better. Of course, the healing is ephemeral and unfulfilling based as it is on a highly artificial sense of intimacy.

The obvious question, now, is this. If a man who feels deeply insecure looks to a woman to make him feel special, then why doesn’t he turn to his own wife? Because any man who suspects deep down that he is a loser is going to look at the woman dumb enough to marry him as a loser squared. She has allied herself with failure and is part of the same loser package. And if she has no value, how can she confer it on someone else?

The public makes the mistake of assuming that powerful, successful men are the most confident, that elite sport stars like Tiger Woods are unflappable. Precisely the opposite is true. Everyone who seeks the spotlight, whether in sports, television or politics, does so to compensate for some inner feeling of inadequacy, as Aristotle made clear more than two millennia ago. Every ‘successful’ man is inwardly broken in some way. If not, why would they spend their lives seeking a place in the public’s heart?

Read the full article.

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