"Heal the Kids" Charity
"Sad" is the word that comes to mind when reading simultaneously about Michael Jackson's work with Rabbi Shmuel Boteach, the "Kosher Sex" rabbi, on the "Heal the Kids" charity and about Jackson's arrest on charges of lewd or lascivious contact with a child younger than 14.
Facing Child Molestation Charges
World reknown pop star Michael Jackson was booked on suspicion of child molestation, an offense punishable by three to eight years in prison, in November 2003.
Almost a decade earlier, in 1993, Jackson faced similar child molestation charges. Jackson settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of a boy who spent the night at his Neverland Ranch when he was 13 and accused Jackson of molesting him. Criminal investigators stopped pursuing the case after the lawsuit was settled for an unknown amount and the boy decided not to participate in prosecution of the singer. Johnnie Cochran, Jackson's attorney in that 1993 case, said at the time that Jackson maintained his innocence and that the settlement was in no way an admission of guilt.
Boteach: Encouraging Kosher Sex
A father of six and an orthodox rabbi, Rabbi Shmuel Boteach was introduced to Jackson by Uri Geller, the famous spoon-bending psychic.
Boteach is best known as the author of a controversial book, Kosher Sex. The book, which encourages Jews to have more sex, touched a few nerves when it was serialised in Playboy magazine.
Rabbi Shmuel Boteach was our guest in an online chat about his books, Kosher Sex: a recipe for passion and intimacy and The Jewish Guide to Adultery: How to turn your marriage into an illicit affair.
Heal the Kids
Between the two child molestation charges, Jackson worked with Boteach to create a charity, called Heal the Kids. The charity aimed to re-establish the importance of children to their parents.
Rabbi Boteach told BBC News: "Heal the Kids is about getting parents to enjoy their children again, about putting their kids first. We're going to create a community of people world-wide who read their children bedtime stories."
According to Boteach,
the initiative, which lasted for one year (2001), did very good work and completed
its mission of trying to get parents to prioritize their children.
Boteach on Jackson Today
In a recent interview about Jackson with Something Jewish, Boteach was asked about his relationship with and feelings about Jackson. Boteach responded, "He (Jackson) is a flawed man, like all of us. And he has a lot of good points, like all of us. I am, however, very disturbed at what he revealed in the Martin Bashir interview that he allows boys to sleep in his bed. That is immoral and unacceptable. I take him at his word that nothing is happening between him and the boys. But that doesn’t make a difference. It is utterly unacceptable for a grown man to sleep in a bed with a boy that is not his son. Period."
A Sad Story
Anyone who molests a child must be mentally ill, in my opinion. If Jackson is found guilt of child molestation, everyone - Jackson, his victim(s), and his fans - loses. I think it is sad when mental health gets in the way of good intentions.
CNN: Jackson Booked on Charges of Child Molestation
MSNBC: Jackson Surrenders to Authorities
Uri Geller and Michael Jackson
Rabbi Boteach on Jackson
Heal the Kids Charity
Michael Jackson's Official Web Site
Michael Jackson Fan Club Site
Something Jewish: Rabbi Boteach on Jackson