Shmuley Boteach is an American Orthodox rabbi, radio and television host, and author. He rose to prominence with the publication of his international bestseller Kosher Sex. He received his rabbinic ordination in 1988 from the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement in New York City, as a disciple of its leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. He frequently appears as a guest on television and radio discussing politics, religion, society and morality. He also now hosts a reality television program entitled Shalom in the Home which involves facilitating conflicts between family members. He has authored many books since Kosher Sex, the latest of which is The Broken American Male.
Question: Who are you?
Shmuley Boteach: My name is Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. I was born in L.A., but I was raised in Miami Beach. Of course it shaped me. First of all they are both beautiful places. It was sunny. It was . . . So I learned to be a bit of an extrovert, outdoorsy. I never lost my love of nature. I don’t like being indoors. I’m gonna . . . I’m about to rage and thunder against this studio. We should be doing this in a park. I was also raised in close-knit, religious, Jewish communities – Orthodox communities, which was basically good but it had a negative side. My parents divorced when I was young, and that was very uncommon in 1970s Los Angeles. And that made us a bit different, I guess. I also think that Los Angeles and Miami are big cities. Maybe it addicted me a bit too much to civilization, because I really wish I could just move to some little village somewhere and have a cow, raise hogs, and I haven’t done that yet. So maybe . . . maybe concrete has entered my system a bit too much. But I also love camping and going to the outdoors, so maybe it’s an escape from that kind of confining civilization.
Recorded on: 09/05/2007