You might think of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach as the kosher sex guru, but, in fact, he used to wear a much more bizarre (and controversial) hat: that of unofficial spiritual adviser to Michael Jackson.
Introduced through magician Uri Geller, Rabbi Shmuley and Jackson became thick as thieves. The so-called “Dr. Ruth with a yarmulke” ghostwrote articles and speeches for Jackson, and reportedly once shuttled him to a synagogue on the Upper West Side of New York.
Unfortunately, not all friendships between celebrity rabbis and iconic pop stars are built to last. The pair had a falling out at the start of the decade for unknown reasons, a splintering that landed Rabbi Shmuley on Jackson’s “list of enemies.”
Very shortly after Jackson’s death, Rabbi Shmuley published The Michael Jackson Tapes, a book detailing conversations between the two on faith, family, and fame. If you think the timing is suspect, you are not alone.
But, for a time, it was a great friendship indeed. “To Michael,” the dedication to Rabbi Shmuley’s Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments reads, “Who taught me of humility.”