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2010

Nixon’s Accusations of Jewish Insecurity
Shmuley Boteach

 

The Lone Soldier Week 7
Lone Soldier

 

The Paradoxes of Oil as a Guide for Living
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

The Rock Promoter and the Genesis of the Public Chanukah Menorah
Ruvi New

 

Why the Tea Party Resonates with Human Dignity
Shmuley Boteach

 

The Lone Soldier Week 6
Lone Soldier

 

The Lone Soldier Week 5
Lone Soldier

 

Jewish Ingratitude to Christians
Shmuley Boteach

 

No Gelt, No Glory
Simcha Weinstein

 

The Lone Soldier Week 4
Lone Soldier

 

A Time to Hate
Shmuley Boteach

 

The Lone Soldier Week 3
Lone Soldier

 

“My Heart Swells with Joy”
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

The Lone Soldier Week 2
Lone Soldier

 

How Obama Lost his Magic
Shmuley Boteach

 

Rise of the Religious Charlatans
Shmuley Boteach

 

Rupert Murdoch: The 'Soft War' Against Israel
Rupert Murdoch

 

Do We Still Possess the Power to Choose?
Shmuley Boteach

 

The Lone Soldier Week 1
Lone Soldier

 

A Spiritual Night in Hebron
Shmuley Boteach

 

The Religious-Industrial Complex
Shmuley Boteach

 

Ahmedenijad, Media Rock Star
Shmuley Boteach

 

As the Economy Crumbles, Obama Makes Middle East Peace.
Shmuley Boteach

 

When Pastors who Burn Bibles Become Celebrities
Shmuley Boteach

 

If an American President Were Muslim, Would we Care?
Shmuley Boteach

 

My Purpose in Debating Christopher Hitchens on the Afterlife
Shmuley Boteach

 

Suicide Bombers in Heaven? Imam Rauf Won’t Say No
Shmuley Boteach

 

Extravagant Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs Humiliate the Jewish Community
Shmuley Boteach

 

When Psycho Flight Attendants Become Heroes
Shmuley Boteach

 

Iran’s Descent Into Barbarity
Shmuley Boteach

 

Let the Families of 9/11 Decide the Fate of the Ground Zero Mosque
Shmuley Boteach

 

Time Magazine’s Bizarre Assault on Large Families
Shmuley Boteach

 

Tom Friedman’s Soft Spot for Terrorist Fadlallah
Shmuley Boteach

 

Kaddafi’s Ship to Gaza, and His Ark in New Jersey.
Shmuley Boteach

 

What We Lose When We Win
Shmuley Boteach

 

Al Gore’s Moral Confusion
Shmuley Boteach

 

Peace and Zealotry
Simon Jacobson

 

Theater review - 'The Adventures of Hershele Ostropolyer'
Yudi Lewis

 

What McChrystal’s Firing Says about American Values
Shmuley Boteach

 

The Rebbe and Viktor Frankl
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Michael Jackson’s Life Could have Been Saved
Shmuley Boteach

 

The Psychiatrist and The Lubavitcher Rebbe
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

BP, Kaddafi, and Britain’s Oil Comeuppance
Shmuley Boteach

 

Helen Thomas and the Open Season on the Jews
Shmuley Boteach

 

Did the Lubavitcher Rebbe Con the World?
Shmuley Boteach

 

Fergie’s Fall
Simcha Weinstein

 

Sderot Report
Noam Bedein

 

Why All The Stress?
Mimi Hecht

 

Obama’s Jewish Charm Offensive
Shmuley Boteach

 

The Jewish Woman’s 10 Commandments
Mimi Hecht

 

Is a Giant Mosque at Ground Zero Justified?
Shmuley Boteach

 

South Park: Seriously Funny
Simcha Weinstein

 

Mother’s Day for the Childless
Mimi Hecht

 

Open Letter to J-Street after their Attack on Elie Wiesel
Shmuley Boteach

 

Life and Death
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Religion’s Summer of Discontent
Shmuley Boteach

 

Is Israel Being Stubborn?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

When a Pope Needs Friends
Shmuley Boteach

 

My Five Cents
Mimi Hecht

 

Condemn His Report, But Welcome Goldstone
Shmuley Boteach

 

What The President Does Not Understand
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

A Lesson from Zaidy and Nona
Mimi Hecht

 

Does a Kosher Butcher’s Fraud Mandate a Life Sentence?
Shmuley Boteach

 

Don’t Kill the Love
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

A Fallible Pope, and Imperfect Church
Shmuley Boteach

 

Obama and the Deafening Silence of American Jewry
Shmuley Boteach

 

Obama's Hospitality: A Question of Character
Shmuley Boteach

 

From Globalism to Parochialism
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Matzah Moms
Mimi Hecht

 

Obama's Bullying of Israel
Shmuley Boteach

 

A Fashionable Promise
Mimi Hecht

 

Why America Has No Chief Rabbi
Shmuley Boteach

 

The Malady of a Maid
Mimi Hecht

 

The Human Miracle
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

When Court Jews Defend Moral Cowards
Shmuley Boteach

 

Is it Okay to be Fat?
Mimi Hecht

 

Why America is the Most Depressed Nation on Earth
Shmuley Boteach

 

My Blackberry Baby
Mimi Hecht

 

Never Again !
Shmully Hecht

 

Heads over Heels
Mimi Hecht

 

The Death of Conviction
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

How to Deal with Destructive Emotions
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

When You Are Not in the Mood of Your Spouse
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Discovering Your Depth
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

The Consciousness of Freedom
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Ten Ways to Destroy Your Life
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

The Enemy Within
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

Are You a Hypocrite?
Yosef Y. Jacobson

 

2009 more..

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How Obama Lost his Magic
By Shmuley Boteach
 
The erosion of Barack Obama’s popularity has lessons in it for every American who wishes to remain interesting and current.

The erosion of Barack Obama’s popularity has lessons in it for every American who wishes to remain interesting and current, both professionally and personally. The real story in this election is not that America has no jobs, that the economy continues to falter, or that the national debt continues to balloon. While all three are true and, more importantly, Obama has failed to fix them, it is also true that these conditions existed prior to Obama’s election. Yet somehow his personal charisma and captivating charm elevated the electorate. The real story of campaign 2010 is how boring Obama has become. Obama, who had never run anything except a campaign in his entire life, performed an almost unprecedented conjuring act in 2008, getting the electorate to embrace him regardless of the utter absence of managerial skills. They believed not necessarily in Obama’s capacity to fix America’s transient problems but in his ability to focus us on more eternal, upbeat themes like hope, faith, and the future. Yet, this time his very presence seems irritating. A man whose oratory lifted him to earth’s highest office can’t seem to deliver a single uplifting speech. As a connoisseur of great oratory, I used to love hearing Obama’s staccato delivery, perfect timing, and mesmeric self-confidence – the mark of any great speaker – even as I disagreed with him on many of the issues. But Obama’s speeches have now become insufferable, devoid of charisma and personal magnetism. Here are three principal reasons why.

First and foremost, Obama has utterly overexposed himself. As a marriage counselor I always advise husbands and wives that, paradoxically, their marriages require intimacy on the one hand, but barriers and distance on the other. Overexposure, as everyone knows, breeds contempt. The Catholic Church is a master of mystery – from the shadows of its darkly lit gothic cathedrals to its insistence on innumerable  divine mysteries – and it is therefore no wonder that it grew to become the world’s largest faith. It is the same reason why, in Judaism, Torah scrolls are secreted in an ark, obscured first by doors, then curtains, then a velvet covering, all of which increases hiddenness and thus reverence. In Hollywood it is specifically those celebrities who understand the need to stay out of the public eye that achieve the greatest longevity in it. Obama, by contrast, has the unfortunate flaw of always needing to be loved. He is forever in our face. From weighing in on every issue right down to the Ground Zero mosque to becoming the President who travelled most in his first two years, Obama lives permanently in the sun. President Bush used to vacation on his ranch where he’d disappear for two weeks. Not so Obama who even on holiday is constantly photographed buying ice cream and shooting hoops. Less is more, Mr. President. Sometimes you have to give the people the opportunity to miss you. Superman knows that his grand entrances depend on being disguised the rest of the time as Clark Kent. But by being forever available, Obama has made himself pedestrian. He went from Messiah to mortal, rock star to bland stone.

 

Second, Obama has betrayed a lack of substance. When he was more mysterious, Obama encouraged our belief that there was subterranean depth beneath the gleaming surface. Just give the man some time and out will come the magic. But it turned out that vacuous speeches on hope and change were not the thin veneer that concealed great complexity but the very substance itself. I have yet to hear one truly new or exciting idea from Barack Obama since becoming President. President Bush was dismissed as a lightweight. But love it or hate it, the Bush doctrine of preemption and its corollary of exporting democracy to recalcitrant states was a compelling and divisive idea that invited ferocious debate. But with Obama we are back to the tired, yawn-inducing discussions of big versus limited government and whether Keynesian stimulus spending or reducing the national debt is the best way to kindle the economy. I’m bored.

Third, Obama comes across as perfect. The most interesting people are always the most tortured. Bill Clinton clogged his arteries with cheeseburgers and had a relationship with an intern in the Oval office. Yet, he left the presidency with a sixty percent approval rating. America never lost its fascination with this angst-ridden and highly imperfect leader, so unpredictable that we never knew what he’d get up to next. Not so no-drama-Obama who evinces an imperturbable cool utterly bereft of inner trauma. Of course we don’t want the President to cheat on his wife. But show us a tiny demon or two, other than the fact that you light up a cigarette. Demonstrate that you wrestle with moods the way we do when we can’t pay our bills, that you struggle with life’s disappointments like us ordinary mortals. When I was a boy I revered but had no deep interest in our founding fathers because they were portrayed as marble busts who were perfect. It was only later when we discovered how inconsistent the slave-owning Thomas Jefferson could be about human freedom, how depressed and suicidal Lincoln became, and how Martin Luther King, Jr. wrestled with marriage that these aloof figures were humanized and became so endlessly fascinating. In this sense I believe Obama was poorly served by seemingly being a golden boy who suffered few setbacks. Perhaps it’s time for him to talk about the pain of being an abandoned child who was later orphaned of his mother as well, or the pain of seeing his popularity plummet. Perfect people are boring and monolithic. But flawed human beings who rise above adversity to reach great heights are inspirational. And if the President wants to recapture the public imagination, he would do well to expose a wart or two before the November elections.

 

 Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” is founder of This World: The Values Network which seeks to use universal Jewish values to heal America. His newest book is Renewal: A Guide to the Values-Filled Life” (Basic Books). Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

 

Posted on November 1, 2010
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