While high profile People of the Book are busy in devout traditional practice of a religion that has survived the ages, Rabbi Schmuley Boteach is a nonconformist aberration of faith pop culture. Former Rabbi of Oxford, England, he outgrew his prolific award ranking across the pond to resettle in the US where he has become a religious icon. Rabbi to stars like Madonna and former council to the late King of Pop Michael Jackson, he is a charismatic spiritual leader whose persona has transfixed if not transcended belief in a higher power and he even ran for political office in his home state of New Jersey.
Boteach, oft quoted Judaic pundit and married father of 9 who once had his own TV reality show, has fast become a one man media franchise and is also known for a series of adult book aids that redefine and encourage romantic yearning in the bedroom. The latest of these, Kosher Lust, a self help effort to sing the health praises of sexuality as a life force for good, turns the tables on the love vs. sex debate. Pitted against religious backlash forces who disconnect sex-ed teachings from family morality, that makes him an outlier prophet whose preachings push the envelope and challenge the puritan status quo.
Rabbi Shmuley is a controversial figure in that his peers and detractors are often critical and jealous of his media celebrity. It's almost as if Jewish elites are not allowed to strive as personalities in the communications marketplace and one must take a vow of humility to be taken seriously as a pious public figure. Despite misgivings over agenda or intent, uncommon sensible tenets of this erotic savvy book hit the nail on the head as to the adult misguidance of western civilization that has turned its back on its physical sensual life force in pursuit of object comfort, material pastime and hedonist perversion.
In saying in the subtitle that love is not the answer, he refers to the storybook variety based on pedantic poetic pretentiousness and not rooted in fruitful bonding. By choosing lust over love, he stresses realist experience over intangible platitudes like a gourmet chef philosopher who champions the eating of food over the idealization of it..That is all too telling since to have love is to still feel lonely without its ultimate lustful consummation. In effect, Boteach is a progressive mind of proactive instinct and not PC semantics, a free thinker who does not let strict morality dictate sexual humanity.
The theme of this book offers secular society rare religious wisdom in admitting that those who fall out of love or take it for granted often forget to keep the flame of sexual passion burning and in so doing doom the long term prospects of a lasting relationship. The Rabbi does not condone the sins of adultery or infidelity, rather he bases the wholesomeness of a stable soul mate union on the sum of its physical pleasure parts. Using Holy Book scripture passages such as The Song of Solomon, he confirms and validates the human necessity of lifelong physical passion over restless platonic idealism.
Taken on its face, Kosher Lust and its wealth of case studies and relationship research is one of those new age cutting edge books that will go over the heads of theocratic prudes. However, for horny existentialists in search of a treatise on our life force many light years away from other procreational life forms, it serves as an epiphany of eroticism that makes a statement on who we are and why we are here. If only the best of us abided by this, then this might be a better world for it. Since the only negative byproduct of lust is overpopulation and not immoral values. And if it's kosher, this is its seal of approval.