Hollywood Gets Some Jewish Love with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach


Thursday, February 5th, 2009 was the exciting benefit launch for THIS WORLD: THE VALUES NETWORK, which we had the pleasure to attend, at the magnificent home in Beverly Hills of Mr. and Mrs. Sassoon, C.E.O. of the great COFFEE BEAN & TEA LEAF. Any one fortunate to live in beautiful Southern California, knows that this place has the best coffee and tea of any chain outfit you can find. Mr. Sassoon also has a few other stores, around 600 throughout the world. With his children busy playing tennis on their enclosed court in the backyard on this rare rainy night in L.A., we can see that his hard work has definitely paid off.

Attending this great event, filled with hundreds of elite guests, endless free food and drink, and many celebs, was Best Selling Author, and enigmatic spiritualist MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, as seen on Oprah, with her new book THE AGE OF MIRACLES, who gave a great, motivating speach on why we must be in tune with the spiritual, and the paradim shift happening in the world now and heading up to 2012, when the Mayan Calandar ends.

Also attending was actress, and reality TV host RACHEL HUNTER, who is also one of the hottest supermodels of all time, along with her sister. Ms. Hunter proved to be a lovely person inside and out, giving a heartfelt speech about the importance of love and family in her life. We had the pleasure to speak for a few moments with Ms. Hunter.

THE HOLLYWOOD SENTINEL: Hi Rachel, I'm Bruce Edwin, thank you for being here. It's so nice to see you, it's nice to meet.

RACHEL HUNTER: Thank you Bruce. What do you do? (we discuss work) briefly)

THE HOLLYWOOD SENTINEL: Moira, this is Rachel Hunter. Rachel, this is Moira Cue. She's a singer and an artist, she does painting.

RACHEL HUNTER: Oh, great! That's nice. It's nice to meet you.

MOIRA CUE: You're beautiful.

RACHEL HUNTER: (laughs) Thank you.

THE HOLLYWOOD SENTINEL: Wow, I love that art work (looking at an art piece hanging before us).

RACHEL HUNTER: (we both admire one of Mr. Sassoon's paintings on the wall). Oooh, I do too! That is very nice.

THE HOLLYWOOD SENTINEL: Yes, there is some beautiful artwork here. This is a beautiful home.

RACHEL HUNTER: It really is, it's lovely. (Rachel Hunter goes on to speak in front of the crowd for about 15 minutes, then she ends), 'This may sound corny or cheesy, but I had been laying down one night, and I woke up, and I realized, my bedroom door was open, and my childrens doors were both open too. And that just made me feel so good. (referring to how her children are not living behind closed doors, not hiding things from her, and how they have trust and communication (her bright eyes teared up), so this organization is very important to me. My family is every thing to me, and this is a really important thing. And I thank every one for listening to me and having me here tonight.'

What a class act. Rachel Hunter should make her children proud. We earlier met some one else as equally cordial, with more charisma than you can imagine.

THE HOLLYWOOD SENTINEL (Bruce Edwin): Hello! Mr. Mayor! It's a pleasure to meet you (shaking hands). I'm Bruce Edwin.

LOS ANGELES MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA: Hello Bruce! It's great to meet you. How are you doing tonight?

BRUCE EDWIN: I'm great! I'm even better now!

THE MAYOR: (laughs). Excellent. Good to hear. Thanks for being here.

BRUCE EDWIN: My pleasure. (Moira Cue walks up). Mr. Villaraigosa, I'd like you to meet one of my clients, this is Moira Cue. Moira, this is the mayor.

MOIRA CUE: Pleasure to meet you. (shaking hands)

MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA: Hello Moira! How are you doing tonight?

MOIRA CUE: I'm well, thank you.

MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA: Just well?! Not fantastic?!

MOIRA CUE: (laughs) O.K. then! I'm fantastic!

I later have the pleasure to speak with The Mayor about one of our films.

MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA: Wow! You go now! Look at you! That's very impressive. I wish you the very best with that.

What should be known about Mayor Villaraigosa, is that he not like some of the arrogant, indifferent, change with the wind politician. His roots were in helping minoirties, as a Latino himself, and in assisting labor unions and laborers throughout his career in Los Angeles. When he speaks with some one, he gives them all of his attention, and he is as down to earth as can be. He later takes the mic, and addresses the crowd.

MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA: I have about four other events to go to after this (it's by now already about 8pm), but I wanted to come here, when Rabbi Boteach asked me, because this is a very important idea and organization to me... Now, some may ask me, or wonder, well, look at your life, your family is broken up, your mairrage ended. What do you know about family? (The crowd was riveted) And my answer is, I know I have made mistakes, I know I have done some things wrong with my family, but the thing is, I am trying to do the right thing now. I make time to spend Friday morning having breakfast with my children. It might not be as long as I would like, because I have meetings, but it is better than I was doing before. And it is important. It makes a difference. It is important to them, and it is important to me. And I think we should all be doing this, just to sit down as a family and spend quality time together.

He goes on discussing how his single mother raised he and his family, taking public transportation, struggling to work two jobs, putting food on the table, and yet sitting down together as a family.

THE MAYOR: I believe very much in THE VALUES NETWORK, and what Rabbi Boteach is doing. And I want to thank you all for being here. Thank you very much.

As we sit listening to to the speakers, a lovely woman sitting behind me is called up as all applaud for her. I turn around. It is the thin, gentle looking MARIANN WILLIAMSON. Yet when she speaks, her petite figure is overcome by a booming power of presence and command in the dynamic eloquence of her voice. Her every word is powered by soul, by her force. She speaks an intriguing speech, commenting on Rachel Hunter's remark, indicating agreement with her statement about her family and the doors being open, and then she later recites a quotation from one of her books, A RETURN TO LOVE. She states;

'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.' Wow! No wonder Oprah loves this woman! I had the pleasure to speak briefly with Marianne WIlliamson, and as we shook hands, I felt that she was calling forth an angel himself to read my aura. Whew! This woman is intense!

Earlier, after kind words from our host of the evening, MR. SUNNY SASSOON, who kindly demanded that he could not speak until his wife was found, and invited to be introduced and acknowledged as well, lest he not hear the end of it, and who admitted that she was really the one largely responsible for the entire night, and a great deal of their success, the young, charming CEO gave the mic to the founder of the events organization himself, RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH.

Now, SHMULEY BOTEACH is not a tall man, and he will be the first to tell you that. But what he lacks in height, he makes up for in a thunderous, preacher like voice. Here suddenly, as the 'love prophet,' as he calls himself, began his lecture, I felt like I was in church among friends. The large packed room of total strangers became a small packed room that felt like kindred souls, (VIP souls none the less, but still)! souls seeking to learn, trying to be better. Over there was the mayor of L.A, behind me here was Marianne Williamson, across from me in those tall shiny black heels was supermodel Rachel Hunter, and here before me was the rabbi, Shmuley Boteach. What more could you ask for?!

Shmuley, who has a name so great it almost makes you want to be Jewish if you're not, (or at the very least brush up on your Yiddish), is the New York Times Best selling Author of KOSHER SEX. He also has a great new book out now titled THE KOSHER SUTRA, 8 Sacred Secrets for Reigniting Desire and Restoring Passion for Life (hardback, © 2009, Harper One), and is probably the coolest Rabbi I have ever met, save perhaps next to his rabbi dad, who gave me a godly pat on the chest that could have doubled for some unkwnown Kaballan or Masonic ritual.

In his latest book, The Kosher Sutra, Shmuley scolds men for exerting all of their sexual energy on porn, instead of watiing for their lady, and to deliver more with her, and failing to make things more exiciting with her in the bedroom. He blames an over sexualized society on making nudity and sex less exiciting, and he blames hyper consumerism for being a cheap replacement of feelings, sex, and bonding. And he blames television, after comically reminding us to watch his award winning TV show SHALOM IN THE HOME on TLC, and to tune in to his daily national radio program, THE RABBI SHMULEY SHOW on OPRAH & FRIENDS, XM Satellite Radio.

Named the most famost rabbi in America, by Newsweek, he has debated at Oxford, great minds including Professor Stephen Hawking, Shimon Peres, Deepak Chopra, and Mikhail Gorbachev to name a few. He has published numerous books, including HATING WOMEN: AMERICA'S HOSTILE CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE FAIRER SEX. With Shmuley's THIS WORLD, THE VALUES NETWORK program, his mission is to 'TURN FRIDAY NIGHT INTO FAMILY NIGHT,' with the noble idea being to shut of the TV and other electronic devices, and get the family or friends together over dinner, and just talk about life and live it. As social creatures, with many millions who have drifted farther and farther apart from a sense of family, community, and communication, unless it is some fake virtual reality in a chatroom, blog, or social networking site on the net, this is an important thing, and while seemingly simple on the surface, it is powerful and important.

Debate, social change, and knowledge can be shared or fostered communicating live, in person, with others. This lies at the bottom of what Shmuley is intending to influence, for us to become active creators in our life, not merely passive spectators controled by what societal media programs and says is valid. It is about taking control of our minds and lives for at least one evening, and remebering that when the most successful people in the world are on their deathbed, and ask what they wish they had more time for, they do not say television, they do not say work, they do not say awards or careers or money. No, they say loved ones, they say, FAMILY. This is the power of what Rabbi Shmuley is wisely working on instilling around the world, the power of family and friends, the power of love.
- Bruce Edwin


© 2009, The Hollywood Sentinel