Memories of Global Philanthropist, Sheldon Adelson, from The World Values Network.

Sheldon Adelson was the world’s greatest Jewish and global philanthropist and an American patriot. From America’s wounded warriors to the Israeli Defense Force soldiers, he loved those who fought for the United States and Israel. He was a great friend and mentor to me. He was also one of the most loving husbands & fathers I have ever seen.

Over the years, The World Values Network and Rabbi Shmuley worked with Sheldon Adelson on various philanthropic activities, below are just some of the events that we had the privilege to work with Sheldon on.



Rabbi Shmuley Featured on the front page of the Washington Post.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was featured on home page of the Washington Post, writing a column about his upcoming book, “Holocaust Holiday”.

In a statement, Rabbi Shmuley said, “I am Honored to be on Home Page of the Washington Post right now with my column on Holocaust Holiday which I took my kids on, and which is the title of my forthcoming book. Go to Washington Post now and read the column”

You can find the article here.


A message to the ‘Trump will be Hitler’ crowd

During the campaign of 2016, many on the Left predicted that Trump would be Hitler. If not the full-blown genocidal maniac who started world wars and engaged in genocide, at least a version of Hitler-lite. It was a shocking claim but one that gained increasing currency as the campaign intensified.

An example was a column by Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner published in March 2016 in the New Jersey Jewish Standard, where I am a columnist, attacking me. After engaging in the usual ad hominem attacks against me for calling out those who call Trump Hitler, Kirshner wrote, “Where I quibble with those like Rabbi Boteach is, when exactly is the moment of worry which officially allows us to sound the alarm bells? Must one first kill 6 Million Jewish souls to be categorized as ‘Hitler’?”

From there the cacophony of Trump as dictator, Trump as genocidal maniac, and Trump as an American form of Hitler only increased. When HBO aired its excellent series The Plot Against America, based on the Philip Roth novel of the same title that envisions the antisemite Charles Lindberg becoming a Nazi-version of an American president during World War II, many interpreted its timing as a message that this is exactly what is happening with Donald Trump.

Recently, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg got into a lot of trouble with the Jewish Left for stating that Jews owe a debt of gratitude to President Trump. Such is the state of our divisions that even when a respected and liberal-minded rabbi simply invokes Jewish values and says we should have some hakarat hatov (gratitude) for all that Trump has done for Israel, he is savagely attacke

Recently, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg got into a lot of trouble with the Jewish Left for stating that Jews owe a debt of gratitude to President Trump. Such is the state of our divisions that even when a respected and liberal-minded rabbi simply invokes Jewish values and says we should have some hakarat hatov (gratitude) for all that Trump has done for Israel, he is savagely attacke

My purpose here is not to tell anyone how to vote. Less so is it to endorse any candidate. As a rabbi, I never have. To those Jews or others who believe that Joe Biden is their best candidate, I say, of course, vote your conscience. Biden has been a friend of Israel throughout his career (that is, until he pushed through the Obama-Iran deal with its genocidal implications for Israel).

Rather, my intention is to defend those who simply say that even if they wish to vote against Trump, they can still be grateful for all he has done for Israel and the Jewish people, and to push back against those who abase themselves by comparing Trump to Hitler or make any other Nazi comparisons.

Such words are beyond disgusting, vile, shameful, and it’s gone on for four years. So it’s time to assess whether the earlier implications have even remotely materialized.

Since 2016 we’ve heard that Trump would become a dictator and stifle all dissent; that he would dismantle American democracy as we know it; that he would limit press freedoms and quash expression of his opposition.

Really? No president in American history has been more hated by the mainstream news organs than Trump. The New York Times last week devoted not just the customary editorial rejecting Trump and endorsing Biden but an entire section of editorials pillorying Trump and embracing Biden. There is no precedent for it doing this against any other candidate.

The comedy Our Cartoon President on Showtime pillories Trump every week as an overweight imbecile half-wit. Trump’s kids and family are mercilessly mocked. What can Trump do about it? More than refuse to watch it, nothing. Oh yes, he can also call it “fake news.” But that’s about it.

And the media do not fear him in the slightest either, thereby proving that he is neither dictator nor tyrant. CNN, MSNBC, and countless other news organizations strongly challenge Trump from right inside the White House, and he is powerless to prevent their entry.

To the contrary, his media enemies have been emboldened by his presidency and they vilify him with gusto, which is their right, but which also undermines their whole claim that he is dismantling democracy or free speech.The same is true of Trump’s political enemies, who march around the country in their millions, condemning him in the strongest terms, with the president utterly powerless to do a single thing about it. And why? Because the freedoms of America have not withered in the slightest during the Trump presidency. Yes, America is divided. Yes, many Americans sadly hate each other. But yes, America remains absolutely and totally free.

It would be better if we had more love for each other. And former president Barack Obama contributed plenty – as did Trump – to the divisions in American society. Obama forced the Iran deal and other unilateral actions down the throat of the American body politic – with little to no congressional support – knowing that it could tear the nation apart. But he did it anyway. Both presidents could have and should have done more to unite the country. But let’s not pretend that the fault lines in America began with Trump.

I shouldn’t even have to say this, but the disgusting and vile comparison of Trump to Hitler belittles the Holocaust and all genocide. But beyond that, it is another act of ingratitude, even by those who have a legitimate right to dislike the president for many of his policies that they reject.

For Trump, not Obama, is the president who twice fired American missiles at the genocidaire Bashar Assad of Syria for gassing Arab children. Trump is condemned for being too close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. I wish he’d condemn the tyrant in stronger terms. But let’s not forget that it was Obama who turned over the problem of Assad’s poison gas to Russia and Putin, accepting the tyrant’s guarantee that he would disarm Assad of his nerve agents, which would be comical if it weren’t so tragic.

And then there is the Iran deal, where Obama refused to ever confront Iran over its promise to become Hitler and annihilate Israel’s six million Jews, not to mention bring death to America, the big Satan which supports the little Jewish Satan. So who rewarded Iran for its repeated promises to bring about a second Holocaust by giving it $150 billion in unfrozen assets, with much of it literally flown in cargo planes as cash? Obama or Trump? And who, when he entered the Oval Office, imposed new sanctions on Iran for its threats to exterminate Israel, bringing the Iranian economy to ruin? Obama or Trump?

Then there is the comparison, made by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others, that Trump built concentration camps on the Southern border. He’s therefore Hitler. Another disgusting, stomach-turning comparison.

We can condemn the separation of children from parents at detention centers on the border – a practice that should never have occurred and was quickly stopped – while never being so offensive as to compare it to the Holocaust, where 10,000 Jews were put into gas chambers every day for three years. To compare American border agents to the Gestapo is an abomination. To compare US ICE agents to the SS is an affront to the 1.5 million Jewish children who were gassed to death at Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor and many other centers of death. And to compare America to Nazi Germany is an affront to logic, values and decency. It should offend every American.What the “Trump as Hitler” attacks really expose is the biases and prejudices – not to mention the amorality – of Trump’s opponents. For they are even prepared to trivialize Hitler’s unprecedented and unspeakable crimes, all in an effort to demonize Trump.And that just shows you where we have all come to politically. We have precious few values left. We hate each other so much that we use only the most extreme examples by which to pillory one another.

Which is why we should go back to basics.Jews who are voting for Biden can still, as Rabbi Greenberg said, show thankfulness and gratitude for all that Trump has done for Israel and the Jewish people, while still choosing to eject him from office.Jews who are voting for Trump can still acknowledge Biden’s decades of friendship with Israel and the Jewish community.

And Jews who are voting for Biden can still make it clear to him that he better maintain his independence and not be co-opted by the antisemitic polices of the Democratic far Left, headed by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

And Jews on the Left and the Right can all agree that for four years it’s been inspiring to see a president with a Jewish daughter, whom he loves very much, and son-in-law in the White House who observe the Sabbath, light the Hanukkah candles, read the Purim megillah, and push their father to stand with, and protect people who just 70 years ago were murdered in their millions by a man and a party to whom no human ought ever be compared to, save the Iranian mullahs who glory in their designs to copy the Nazis and ape Hitler.


An American rabbi says thank you to President Trump

President Trump, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your protection of a vulnerable people that has been massacred throughout the ages.

By now everyone is piling up on US President Donald Trump. They’re calling him a loser. They’re reveling in his defeat. They’re saying America has been saved from the ogre.

But I, for one, will not join in this in this pileup. While I accept the results of the election, in bowing to the majesty of the American democratic tradition, I also submit to Jewish values that tell me to show gratitude to a true friend of our people.

Trump was always a controversial figure. He could at times be deeply divisive, and he reveled in being a counterpuncher. But I will remember him as a staunch friend of the world’s most persecuted nation.

To be a Jew is to almost expect bigotry, double standards and prejudice. To be a Jew is to accept the unbelievable fact that in the lifetime of my parents six million Jews were murdered by firing squads and poison gas. To be a Jew is to live with the almost daily vilification of Israel, the world’s only Jewish state.

Onto the stage of tragic history rose President Trump with an unfailing defense of our people at every turn, for he proved to be the greatest friend of Israel ever to occupy the Oval Office.

Trump fundamentally changed the tenor toward Israel at the disgustingly unfair United Nations, where demonization of Israel was a 70-year tradition. He hired the most pro-Israel people ever to serve in an American administration. From Nikki Haley to David Friedman to Jason Greenblatt to Jared Kushner to Avi Berkowitz to Mike Pompeo and, of course, Mike Pence, Trump’s subordinates had Israel’s back at every turn.

They shut down the corrupt Palestinian Authority quasi-embassy in Washington because of its Mahmoud Abbas’s constant incitement against Israel. They held Hamas accountable for its genocidal ambitions and actions against Jews and defunded UNWRA. They recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital, and they recognized the Golan Heights as being forever sovereign Israeli territory.

Israel has had many friends in the White House, from John F. Kennedy to Lyndon Johnson to Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan and, of course, George W. Bush. But Trump easily outdid them all.But he was also the protector of Muslim life, as he demonstrated in Syria, when he fired American missiles at the butcher Bashar Assad, who gassed Arab children and was given a pass by Barack Obama. Trump did this even as he was vilified by his opponents as a hater of Muslims.

If he was hated by the Arabs and Muslims, as his American opponents would have you believe, how is it that only Trump was able to forge peace between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan? Obama could not pull it off. To the contrary, the Arab nations despised Obama’s policies of appeasement of genocidal Iran and, due to Obama’s policies, began to see Israel as a kindred spirit rather than as an enemy.

Trump deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for possibly beginning the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but was given scant praise by his critics for this incredible achievement.

Most notably, he took America out of the execrable Iran deal, which legitimized a regime that hangs gays from cranes and stones women to death. He stopped the immoral payments to a regime that is the foremost purveyor of terrorism around the world.

It is fashionable to attack Trump now that he has lost the election, even as he lost by the thinnest of margins and garnered more than 70 million votes. But I will not be one who joins the demonization of a true friend of my people.

Rather, I will thank him and ask his successor, Joe Biden, who has a long history of friendship with the Jewish people and Israel, to embrace his predecessor’s 180-degree shift toward Israel and continue to champion the Middle East’s only democracy.

Gratitude is a dying virtue in our world, which puts partisan loyalty before basic decency and values. To be sure, Trump, like the rest of us, is a flawed man, and he, like all presidents who preceded him, made many mistakes. For such is the price we all pay for human leadership.

But on the subject of Israel and the Middle East, as well as other notable accomplishments, especially the growing of the American economy, he was exceptional and deserves to be recognized as such.President Trump, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your protection of a vulnerable people that has been massacred throughout the ages.

May God bless you and keep you, and may the country that you have served for the last four years be fair and thankful in their assessment of your legacy. And may President-elect Biden follow in your trailblazing footsteps of friendship to Israel and the Jewish people.


Five values that could heal divide between Democrats and Republicans.

I will forever be grateful to President Donald Trump for the unprecedented and incomparable friendship he has shown to Israel and the Jewish people. And now that America has elected a new president, I wish congratulations to Joe Biden and hope that he’ll continue in his predecessor’s footsteps in having the world’s foremost democracy always support and defend the Middle East’s only democracy.President-elect Biden’s victory speech was eloquent for its call to national unity and his quotation from the book of Ecclesiastes as this being “a time to heal.”

But how can we possibly unite America?Heal? Are you kidding? We Americans hate each other. We’re divided on every level, from blue states to red states, from liberals to conservatives, from Only-Trumpers to Never-Trumpers, from those who think Joe Biden is a good soul to those who think his best years are behind him and he’ll be coopted by the Democratic Left.So it’s time to ask whether there is anything that can unite us, aside from geography.Here are five values that I believe can bring us together and which I hope Democrats and Republicans will embrace.

1. A hatred of evil

From the beginning of the American republic, we Americans have hated tyrants. We called George III a tyrant and this was mostly for taxing our tea. Even that was too much for us. Who the hell did he think he was, living across an ocean and trying to control us? So we rebelled, kicked his redcoats out of America, and created our own nation.We call those Americans who fought Hitler “the greatest generation.” Boys from Kansas or Nebraska died and were buried in France or Luxembourg because they fought the Nazi tyranny, even though it did not directly affect them and their families.That’s even why we fought – however ineffectively – in Vietnam, because we hated the Communist tyranny and were going to stop it.It’s why, ultimately, we removed Saddam Hussein from power. Yes, we thought he had weapons of mass destruction, and yes, the war was messy and most Americans today probably question it. But the reason the war enjoyed widespread support at the time was because we Americans hate tyrants, and the tyrant Saddam Hussein killed more than one million people.Based on this, I hope that President-elect Biden will never return to the Iran nuclear deal. An agreement that gave a brutal, monstrous government that hangs gays from cranes, and stones women to death should never have been given American legitimacy, and certainly not sweetened with $150 billion. I was sorely disappointed when Kamala Harris said in her vice-presidential debate that one of the first things a Biden administration would do would be to return to the Iran deal. We Americans oppose tyrants, we don’t support them.

2. A love for communal service

I have lived in Australia, the United Kingdom and Israel. The one thing that distinguishes the United States is a passion for giving. We are the most charitable nation on Earth. Yet our youth are becoming more self-centered and narcissistic, told that they should live to share their every moment on social media and work day and night in school in order to get into a great university and thereby obtain a well-paying job.That’s great. But where is the service? I fervently hope that the next American administration will institute a year of national service for all high school graduates as a gap year. We should emulate Israel in this regard. Not all Israelis go to the army. Many do Sherut Leumi. American youth should be asked to give a year of their lives to, for example, working in hospitals, homeless shelters, charities, libraries and homes for the aged.

3. A love of family

America revolves around beautiful national holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we travel from every corner of the nation to be with our loved ones. But two days a year are not enough. It is time to institute a national weekly family dinner program for all Americans. I believe that we in the Jewish community should spearhead a national Friday night dinner campaign, in which all families are asked to turn off the TVs, laptops and cellphones for two hours and focus on our children and loved ones. We should have our children – once the coronavirus has passed – invite two guests so that we inculcate within our offspring an appreciation for hospitality, making the American home into the tent of Abraham.

4. A love of learning

America is the most prosperous nation on Earth, and this is mostly due to American industriousness and innovation. But both of these traits are predicated on a mastery of information. We take learning and ideas and transform them into companies and industries. American science put a man on the Moon, invented the Internet, and mapped the human genome. But now, that flow of information is being corrupted by politics. We don’t even know what is true when we read the news. If it comes from CNN, it has a liberal slant; from Fox, a conservative one. Universities are embracing a cancel culture in which the “wrong” ideas are slowly being muted. I fear we won’t be a creative as we once were. And we’re also not reading as much as we did, and when we do read, it’s so often the political books that disproportionately populate The New York Times’ bestseller lists. Add to that the terrible disruptions to schooling that have come with the coronavirus pandemic, and what emerges is a true crisis in education. The solution is a renewed respect for learning. We need to promote public intellectuals again, making philosophers, historians and scientists into national celebrities. We have to elevate the public discourse, making it one of ideas and not just opinions, intelligent insights and not just partisan political babble. Our national soul depends on it.

5. A love for God and religion

No country on Earth is as religious as the United States. Even countries that purport to be religious – such as Iran, ruled by fraudulent mullahs – nearly always leverage God and religion for political purposes. And while this also happens in America, the average US citizen has a natural spiritual disposition. It’s expected that every public speech will end with the words “God bless America,” and public holidays like Thanksgiving have a spiritual dimension of Divine gratitude. No Western country save America has “God” printed on its money. We have to nurture this innate American spiritual disposition by cultivating it and not fearing it. A moment of silence should be instituted as part of the curriculum of every American school, allowing students to reflect daily on a higher cause of their choosing. We need to affirm more spiritual values in American life that transcend the traditional religious debates on abortion, gay marriage and contraception. There is more to American religion than the social-sexual values that have come to define American spirituality. A new emphasis on charity, national prayer, synagogue and church attendance, or civic conferences for agnostics, will return us to a time when we didn’t only seek a vaccine for pandemics like the coronavirus, but also turned our eyes heavenward, seeking Divine grace and national redemption.


Rabbi Shmuley Speaks to Marianne Williamson about her presidential campaign.

Former Democrat presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson joined Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for a Facebook Live discussion on Tuesday in which she claimed leaders within the Democrat Party and the “media industrial-complex” conspired with one another in an effort to make her look crazy.

Read the rest of the story on Breitbart.



Less than six months into his job as US President Donald Trump’s adviser on international negotiations and chief Middle East negotiator, Jason Greenblatt is already feeling heat.

Following his trips to the Middle East in both March and May, some in the pro-Israel community have already begun accusing the chief negotiator of coming under the influence of left-leaning, wing-tipped bureaucrats at the State Department.

They point to Greenblatt’s meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who they believe (as do I) is not a true partner for peace. They take issue with Trump’s failure to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. They question Greenblatt’s relationship with Tzipi Livni and Ronald Lauder. And they intimate he is slowly falling for a decades-old European campaign for a two-state solution.

The criticisms don’t stop at policy. In the Israeli press, some even criticized Jason for not wearing a kippa. Even Reuters mentioned it last March.

But I know Jason. And it bothers me to see a good man defamed.

So here are the facts: On the kippa issue, there has already been way too much frum-shaming aimed at members of the Trump administration. It is downright disgusting. I am a proud Jew and believe in external manifestations of Jewishness.

But the constant attempts to humiliate Jared and Ivanka about travel on Shabbat, and now Jason about a kippa, subverts basic norms of Jewish decency and punishes those in the administration who are observant. Rather than being proud of their orthodoxy, we seek to prove their hypocrisy.

The Mishna in Ethics of our Fathers is clear: judge everyone favorably. Shame on us that we don’t.

Jason Greenblatt is a devout and observant Jew. Whether he wears a kippa is not the public’s business. Plenty of other generally kippa-clad Orthodox Jews opted not to wear them while serving in their official capacities – among them former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer, Obama’s secretary of the treasury Jack Lew, or even the famously Orthodox Senator Joe Lieberman. While I absolutely believe in wearing a kippa, sitting with a magnifying glass to examine who does and doesn’t wear one is the condescension of the self-commissioned purity police for whom faith is naught but a game of never-ending condemnation. We don’t live in Iran. So let’s stop this disgusting display of judgment.

I consider Greenblatt a friend and saw him recently in the White House again to talk about Israel. He is a good and God-fearing person, a man of genuine humility with a deep moral center. And he is dedicated in heart, body and soul to America, his Jewishness, and Israel.

His critics have told only one side of the story. Here is a figure at the center of Middle East policy in an administration that has preached to the Arab states that they must finally stop all funding of terrorism, that has forcefully challenged UN bias against Israel, that is working to contain and isolate genocidal Iran, that put Israel on the president’s first trip abroad, that had the president make the first ever visit by the leader of the free world to the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, that has reversed the non-stop hostility shown by the Obama administration to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that celebrated Israel’s Independence Day with the US vice president at the first ever White House celebration.

And let us not forget that the Trump administration demonstrated morality and humanity in attacking the air force of Syrian mass murderer Bashar Assad after Assad gassed innocent Arab children, something president Obama categorically refused to do.

And for all that, Greenblatt, who is helping to shape all these policies, is being attacked for not doing more.

Mind you, I believe he could do more, that he should do more. I believe the administration should be telling Abbas that there will be no negotiations until the PA immediately ceases all payments to terrorists and their families. I believe that a Palestinian state would quickly be overtaken by Hamas and would pose an existential threat to Israel.

And I believe that the Trump administration has a moral obligation to bomb the recently- revealed Syrian crematoria where tens of thousands of bodies have already been burned.

Those are incredibly serious issues, ones which I hope Greenblatt will carefully consider before moving forward.

But for all of that, the Trump administration has thus far shown incredible friendship to Israel, and Greenblatt, Jared Kushner and David Friedman, along, of course, with the president, deserve enormous credit.

Jason Greenblatt has played a pivotal role in reversing the previous administration’s hostility toward Israel. He is a hero for doing so and deserves our thanks.

When it comes to Middle East policy, particularly in how it pertains to Israel, the Trump administration has not been perfect.

Neither was the administration of George W. Bush, who was the best friend Israel ever had in the Oval Office prior to Trump. The Trump administration could have moved the embassy, and still should. Many in the administration, including Trump himself, still seem to believe that the two-state solution can bring peace.

But what they haven’t done is peddle the deeply-flawed policies of the Obama State Department. On the contrary, Greenblatt and all those in the Trump administration’s foreign policy wing have taken huge steps to perfect American policy in the Middle East, make it clear to American allies that there will be no tolerance for terrorist sympathy or funding, and that demonizing Israel will make you anathema to America.

The best proof came last week.

For years under the Obama administration, Qatar was allowed to freely fund some of the most brutal terrorists in the Middle East, including and especially Israel’s arch-enemy Hamas, the leader of which Qatar hosted for over a decade and to whom it promised a billion dollars in 2014. Housing America’s largest air base in the Middle East, they seemed to always get a pass from their American tenants.

Until now.

Following Trump’s meeting with the Saudi king in Riyadh last month, however, Qatar’s neighbors finally had the American support they needed to take action and rein in the evil kingdom.

And indeed, just last week, the sheiks of Qatar were finally made to pay for the incalculable cash flows they’ve been providing to terrorists across the Middle East and to the thugs in Iran. Following their payment of a billion-dollar ransom to Iran, Qatar found itself cut off both diplomatically and physically from almost of all of its most crucial allies, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. Saudi Arabia even locked its borders with Qatar, preventing the import of 40% of the nation’s food, making prices soar. Qatar’s state-sponsored news outlet, known for its bitter hostility to Israel, suffered crippling cyber-attacks and was forced to shut down its website.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir made it pretty simple. For Qatar to win over its friends again, all it needed to do was cut ties with Islamist terrorist groups Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Finally, someone said it. This would in all likelihood not have occurred without the Trump administration.

President Trump took credit for the actions taken against Qatar, tweeting that his trip to the Middle East was “already paying off.”

And the truth is, while these moves were taken by Arab states, they could not have happened without a presidential go-ahead, which explains why they happened only now.

This wasn’t the first time Trump took Middle Eastern nations to task for their support of terrorism. He did the same with Iran, against whom he’s taken a long-awaited hard line, a U-turn from Obama’s generous nuclear deal, which gave the terrorist state $150 billion, the legitimization of their nuclear program, and the right to build nuclear bombs legitimately in just over a decade.

In the UN, too, Ambassador Nikki Haley has completely reversed the decline of American support for Israel at the UN. Last week she called out the UN Human Rights Council, which she claimed “whitewashes brutality” and reserves its criticism exclusively for the State of Israel. She even threatened to pull American funding for the Geneva- based body. On Wednesday, while on a trip to Israel, Haley told President Reuven Rivlin: “I have never taken kindly to bullies and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time and we are not going to let that happen anymore.” It’s clearly a new day for Israel at the UN.

I have been honest to Greenblatt about my disagreements with administration policy.

But for the enormous progress he and his team have already made, they deserve credit, our thanks, and our patience.

The author, “America’s rabbi,” whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous rabbi in America,” is the international bestselling author of 30 books including his most recent The Israel Warrior. Follow him on Twitter @ RabbiShmuley.


For the Love of G-d, Bomb the Syrian Crematorium Now

Just days ago, right outside the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem, there was a protest calling on Israel to ‘Save Syria’.


No Holds Barred: The last Kaddish for Elie Wiesel

Reb Eliezer dedicated his life to commemorating the victims of mankind’s greatest crime, ensuring that it never be lost to the public consciousness.

Before the serious policy disagreements on the Iran nuclear agreement and the inaction in Syria that would come between me and Samantha Power, America’s former ambassador to the UN, I remember studying with her at the White House the words of last week’s Torah reading in Leviticus 19: “Thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.”

This biblical exhortation is arguably the only one contained in any ancient creed forcing the powerful to protect the lives of the vulnerable, even if means risking life and limb. It is the ultimate source for R2P, or Responsibility to Protect, the modern political doctrine that would force great powers to intervene in the face of genocide. Whereas the Christian Bible says to turn the other cheek and love your enemies, the Jewish Bible forces us to fight evil.

On May 21, our organization, The World Values Network, held its fifth annual Champions of Jewish Values Awards Gala, at New York City’s Cipriani. For an organization like ours, which is committed to commemorating past genocides and preventing those of the future, the past year has been one of the most crucial and meaningful in recent memory.

Just a month after our last gala, on July 2, 2016, the twenty-sixth of the Hebrew month of Sivan, the world would bear the loss of its chief moral authority, Elie Wiesel, the man whom president Barack Obama called “the conscience of the world.” One of the most respected men on earth, Wiesel’s very name has come to bear the weight of all of the most fundamental values of the Jewish people: those of faith and of struggle, of strength and of pride, of righteous indignation and of the courage to forgive. He was, and remains, an eternal beacon of wisdom for us and our children and an essential element in the moral bedrock of the world.

Elie’s absence was felt most with the disintegration of Aleppo, Syria in December of last year. As barrel bombs fell on children, there was no voice that could shame the Western powers into taking action. Indeed, the government of the United States passed a United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlements, while failing to pass single resolution condemning the mass murder in Syria.

Our dinner this year was dedicated to the memory of Prof. Wiesel, commemorating his incredible life’s work. It was held exactly 11 Hebrew months after his death, which, according to Jewish tradition, is the last day on which we recite the Kaddish prayer for the deceased. Wiesel’s only son, Elisha, who attended with his mother, Marion, as the evening’s keynote speaker, recited the prayer.

We chose the date of the gala to coincide with the world’s most famous Holocaust survivor’s last Kaddish as a poignant reminder of the everlasting memory Reb Eliezer, as I affectionately called him, lent the six million victims of the Germans who had no Kaddish said for them.

Last month I visited Auschwitz as part of the March of the Living. Elisha spoke beautifully there to 12,000 Jewish youth from around the world about this father’s legacy and what it means for us today. He spoke of the Jewish community standing against gay men and women being slaughtered in Muslim lands and the need for America to take in refugees from Syria. It was a courageous and unforgettable speech wherein Elisha continued his father’s defining virtue of speaking truth to power.

The Trump administration gained tremendous moral authority when it punished Assad for using chemical weapons in Syria. It can gain so much more by welcoming refugees from war-ravaged nations, especially Syria, even amid our legitimate need to keep America safe.

Reb Eliezer dedicated his life to commemorating the victims of mankind’s greatest crime, ensuring that it never be lost to the public consciousness.

Unlike many survivors, who could not bear to face the horrors of their past, in his writing of Night Wiesel decided to relive every horrid moment of his years in Auschwitz so that the world might know what befell the Jews of Europe, captured as it was from his own perspective.

However, his life was not dedicated only to memory, but to action, too. Publishing over 40 books in his lifetime, Wiesel’s works and ideas would launch him to the global fore. Once he’d achieved such influence, he would commit himself to doing all he could to protect innocent life. Winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, Elie Wiesel would use his renown and influence to enshrine the memory of those for whom help never came and protect those for whom it still could.

It was Elie Wiesel who pushed president Carter to commission the US Holocaust Museum, admonished president Reagan for speaking at the cemetery in Bitburg that contained SS graves, who called upon president Clinton to protect those being slaughtered in Kosovo and the Balkans, and asked him the piercing question of why America did nothing while yet another genocide was taking place in Rwanda.

It is fitting therefore that at a night dedicated to the memory of history’s greatest witness to genocide, we hosted President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, whose courageous actions in 1994 ended the slaughter that saw nearly one million of his countrymen brutally hacked to death with machetes.

Which brings us to our world today.

In the past year, the world has watched the slaughter in Syria turn into what can be described as nothing short of genocide, as Hezbollah, Iran and Alawite militias have targeted Sunnis for destruction. In Bashar Assad’s December Aleppo offensive, his armies murdered at least a thousand civilians. The offensive brought the death toll of the six-year conflict horrifyingly close to the half-million mark. Then, just over a month ago, Assad took a note from the Nazis and once again employed poison gas against civilians.

I believe that every Jew must be committed to fighting genocide and the World Values Network is dedicated to international media campaigns highlighting the evils of mass murder. Whether it was our endless campaigning against the Iranian mullahs, who threaten Israel constantly with yet another genocide of the Jews, or our push for presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump to take action in Syria, defending the infinite value of every human life is at the top of our agenda. At our gala this year, though, we took things to a new level with the announcement, God willing, of a permanent Anti-Genocide Center.

With a fusion of aggressive lobbying, sweeping media campaigns and on-the-ground activities, the Anti-Genocide Center will work to ensure that the world hears the voices of those facing the horrifying prospect of wholesale slaughter. With headquarters in the world’s diplomatic capital in New York, the center will have satellite offices in both Jerusalem and Kigali, Rwanda, each focusing on peoples at risk in the Middle East and Africa, respectively.

The locale of these offices is key. This initiative will, God willing, bind together Jerusalem and Kigali in the mutual mission of ensuring that the horrors that befell our peoples never again be allowed to pass anywhere across the globe.

We also dedicated a Torah scroll to the memory of Elie Wiesel and the victims of the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide.

There could be no better time to recognize those who fight for Israel, with our Gala being held just two days before Yom Yerushalayim and the fiftieth anniversary of the reunification of Israel’s eternal capital.