Boteach And ‘Downtime’


For a candidate supposedly running on a Jewishly grounded “values renewal” program (according to the misleadingly titled “Boteach’s Kosher Candidacy,” March 30), Shmuley Boteach betrays considerable confusion about “values” generally and Jewish values in particular.

To believe that “runaway materialism” was the source of our economic collapse and then align oneself with the Republican Party, which has exalted and rewarded greed and the accumulation of indecent wealth ever since the Reagan presidency, is nothing short of preposterous.

And to believe that college students have too much “downtime,” so that a four-year education should be compressed into three, runs counter to what every serious educator knows: that much of a college student’s most important education takes place outside the classroom.

As it happens, Judaism has a name for the “downtime” which Shmuley Boteach derides, which can be the occasion for much of our most soul-deepening and spiritually rewarding experience. Judaism calls it “Shabbos.”

Fresh Meadows, Queens