The first readers’ comments on Rabbi Shmuley’s second book about Michael Jackson
Gigi has just told us that Boteach Schmuley released his new book based on the taped interviews with Michael Jackson. It is called “Honoring Child Spirit: Inspiration and Learning from Our Children” Rabbi Shmuley in Conversation with Michael Jackson’.
This news urged me to browse the internet for some free reading of it as I simply cannot wait to hear Michael’s thoughts. The fact that he speaks about children makes the book all the more important to us as each word Michael said about the matter is absolutely precious for his advocates.
The book is not yet found in the free site http://jetzi-mjvideo.com/ I used for the first Shmuley’s book for which I didn’t want to pay a single penny. However the Amazon has a marvellous discussion thread which once again showed to me what a fantastic read other people’s comments could make if they were factual and sincere. I would be happy and consider the job of Michael’s vindication half-done if Michael’s detractors ever read our posts with the same relish I’ve read these comments with.
The reviews made by readers J. Leone and Nancy Wright are exceptional. My deepest respect goes to these two worthy ladies whose account of the book will be posted here almost in full.
I hope you’ll enjoy Michael’s thoughts the way I enjoyed them and will be able to decide for yourself whether you buy the book or read it free on the Internet. The option of not reading the book is not even considered by me as a possible one – after reading the reviews.
The full version of the discussion is some 10 pages long and is found here: http://www.amazon.com/tag/michael%20jackson/forum/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg1?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx11O5ZOFFEMUQ4&cdPage=1&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=TxYLB2YRH58HVB
The selection I’ve made contains the most valuable and informative comments of all:
Dec. 23, 2010
I just received my copy of this book – earlier than the stated release date by Amazon.
Schmuley promised, in his first book about Michael, that there would be a second book about Michael’s view on children, and this is it.
I just finished the long introduction to the book, and Shmuley has some wonderful and insightful things to say about Michael and his conversations with him about children. He acknowledges that not all readers will embrace this book, or even want to read it, because of the allegations against Michael in the past. He pleads that people read the book with an open heart and listen to Michael’s message; in other words, even if you don’t like the messenger, at least listen to the message as it is important.
He and his wife went to see “This Is It”. He said there were “oohs” and “ahhs” about Michael being able to move and sing the way he did at fifty years old. He said people missed Michael’s magic. He said that he didn’t. He missed Michael’s humanity. He missed a friend who had tragically died well before his time. He said Michael never sang a full song to him, or moonwalked for him, etc. He said it “remains a profound irony of my close friendship with Michael that I never really got to know him as Michael Jackson the superstar but only as Michael Jackson the man”.
(Personal note: This is something he touched on in the first book, that the enough people don’t think of Michael Jackson, the man, that died too soon and only think of Michael, The Entertainer.)
Shmuley said after the first book had been released, that people asked him why Michael had chosen him to speak to what was in his heart. He said he felt that there could be several reasons. He said that they both had similar backgrounds in that they both had bad childhoods, that he was a parent who took his children with him everywhere and was committed to his wife and family, etc.
He says that Michael told him that he adamantly believed that the childhood curiosity he held on to was the source of his “limitless professional creativity”.
He said arm-chair analysts have said that Michael was a victim of “arrested development”. The rabbi said he disagreed. He felt that Michael CHOSE not to grow up and there was nothing arrested about it.
He said when Michael wanted to, he “could compete and thrive in the world of adults and usually beat them at their own pastimes.” He said that he had a video of Michael giving a presentation to a group of Wall Street investment bankers about turning Neverland into a water theme park, and that his presentation could have competed with any CEO.
(Note: This is similar to what Lisa Marie has said about Michael. She said he could be as normal as he needed to be, and that she told him that if he showed people who he REALLY was, that the public wouldn’t think she was crazy for marrying him. She said he winked at her and said, “Don’t tell them.”)
Shmuley said that, although Michael would venture into the world of adults, he refused to reside there. He felt compromised. He felt if he allowed himself to grow up fully, he would, in his opinion, have lost his creativity and stopped being innocent and would not have fun. Michael would delve into the adult world, but didn’t want to stay there because he found it “suffocating”.
Shumley says that in his opinion, no matter what the final cause of Michael’s death would be, that there can be no doubt that he died of a broken heart, of deep and lasting pain, and the main causes of that pain were a broken relationship with his father, and the fact that innumerable people believed that he was a predator who preyed upon unsuspecting children. He said that he felt that Michael never healed from the 1993 accusations and that he never fully recovered from the 2003 arrest.
Shmuley said that Michael knew that he did not believe the allegations of child molestation were true, although he still feels it was wrong for Michael to share a bed with children that were not his own. (Note: This is a change from what Shmuley said in his first book. He was a bit more conflicted then.)
He said Michael felt that he had come to know his heart and to know that he would not harm a child. “I still do not believe that Michael Jackson ever did, or could, molest a child. I believe the allegations are false.” He said it was “excruciating for Michael that the area of his life that meant the most to him, the one to which he yearned to contribute most, became the aspect of his life that engendered so much hatred.”
He said Michael felt forever misunderstood by the public; that he was a man of profound contradictions who almost forced people to choose sides. He had the most recognizable face, yet he was enigmatic, reclusive, and mysterious. He said on stage, Michael exuded a boldness and confidence like no other, but in private he was painfully shy and deeply self-conscious.
He said his everyday life was very normal- eating with his kids, addressing business and recording concerns, following the news, etc. – however he was perceived by the public to be strange at best, a freak at worst. He appreciated children more than any other personality, yet his motives for doing so aroused grave suspicions among his detractors. He said that Michael realized how harshly people judged him which led him to become more and more withdrawn and reclusive.
The rabbi then talks about how children grow up too quickly today and do not realize how wonderful it is to have a childhood. He addresses how too many parents do not spend enough time with their children, etc. and that is why he and Michael were working on the children’s project. They wanted to try to bring families back together.
Shmuley said he was not a blind fan who saw no wrong in Michael. He told him that “his plastic surgery was disfiguring him, that he prescription drug habit was killing him, and that his reclusive lifestyle was making his heart shrivel.” He said Michael listened patiently for two years, and then he could listen no more and their relationship began to weaken.
Shmuley says that Michael helped him see through the eyes of a child and opened up a whole new world to him and he saw the value of living life through child-like eyes.
Shmuley said that Michael wanted “his life to become synonymous with a great cause and he wanted to make the world more innocent, playful and alive.” He said Michael hoped to do that by emphasizing lessons from the world’s children. Because of the allegations, he was not able to do this, and that he felt it slowly poisoned Michael’s soul and that it caused him a level of pain so great he destructively chose to escape it through the prescription drug addiction that ultimately consumed him.
(My personal note: Although Shmuley’s comment on Michael’s drug usage will get people upset, Teddy Riley and other close friends, family members, etc. have mentioned his prescription drug addiction. Michael was not the only one on this planet who has fallen into this. I’m sure there are millions of people, all over the world, who truly need the medications to survive the pain from which they suffer everyday. I’ve finally come to accept, as hard as it is for me, that this was an issue for him. However, that is NOT what killed him as the autopsy revealed. I think his physical pain caused him to need pain medications, but his emotional pain played a big part as well. Who wouldn’t want to escape the assault on his soul that the media put him through? I’d probably take something too just to escape it for a few hours myself. No one on this earth suffered the emotional abuse he did most of his life – starting with his father. He was only one lonely human being and we humans can only survive so much trauma).
The introduction ends with the hope that parents will find a way to love each other and not divorce, that there will be no wars, that older and younger generations will reach out to each other to create harmonious families. He says they we all need to rediscover the hopefulness and purity of our youth. He says Michael, however imperfectly, was leading us back there. He said although people may not want to follow him to that place completely, that it doesn’t mean we can’t let him open our eyes just a “wee bit wider”.
Each chapter addresses an aspect of children:
Cherishing, Honor, and Respect; Childlike Innocence; Creativity and Inspiration; Curiosity; Forgiveness, Friendship, and Loyalty; Giving and Generosity; Gratitude and Thankfulness; Hope and the Divine; Humor, Play, and Laughter; Imagination; Jealousy, Envy, and Admiration; Joy Love and Guidance; Openness and Vulnerability; Security; World Children’s Day and Family Dinners; Coda: Sixteen Childlike Values for Adults, Parents, and Children; Acknowledgements
Last sentence of the Introduction:
“Go ahead. Read on. Your lost childhood awaits.”
I like the book very much so far. Now, reading on to the chapters to see what Michael has to say. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
- … No, there are not any tapes included with the book. You can hear excerpts from the tapes in the interview Dateline (a TV news program here in the U.S.) did with Shumley. There are two parts. Here is the link for the first one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Owu1bkBtTbI&playnext=1&list=PL886522F6EB986CDC&index=3
Cherish, Honor and Respect:
Ok, a short chapter that had me crying as it touched me so. NO commentary from the rabbi, just Michael’s answers to his questions.
The rabbi asks him about the “awe” in his life and Michael talks about seeing a beautiful sunset and thanking God for it. He talked about how important clouds are to the earth, but that they didn’t have to be beautiful when we look up – it is God’s little extra touch for us.
He said he thanked God everyday for the blessings of his children and that he sees God through them. He said that children must be shown love and approval. He said too many parents make the mistake of wanting children to become what they want them to be, instead of what is going on them inside and what they are brought to this planet to be. He said too many parents say, “Why don’t you get a real job.” or “You’ll never be successful at that.” etc.
Shmuley asks him if his children know what they want do to and he mentions that Prince has already told him he wants to do films! I thought of Oprah asking the kids what they wanted to do and Prince said – films. He hasn’t wavered. No wonder he seemed put out with Oprah’s laughing at this goal as he has been thinking about it since he was 3 or 4!
Michael talks about his parents’ approval and that they love what he has done in his life. He said he felt he had accomplished what his father had wanted for himself. He said he wished his father had been able to be more affectionate in his approval, but that he would say things like “Good job.” His mother would hug and kiss him. He said his father tries, but it is just so hard for him to be affectionate. This is the part that broke my heart:
“That’s why always I try to be completely affectionate with my children. I look in their eyes every day and say, “I love you,” and they tell me all the time. They go, “My heart misses you.” These are the words they use.”
Michael talks about how he thought that he was ready to be a father because he read so many books on child psychology, but that it was much more joyous than that. He said he learned as much from them as they learned from him. “You learn about having a good heart and being a good-spirited person. And the way I am, I try and imitate them. People always say, “Act your age.” But I try and act more like children because they are innocent, they are Godlike, they are pure. I try to be as humble and sweet as they are.” He mentions Matthew 18 in the bible where Jesus tells the apostles to come as little children, or you will never enter the kingdom of heaven, so he tried to follow that.
He talks about why he created Neverland and why he is attracted to being Peter Pan. It is because Peter is always young and never had to experience the pains of adulthood. He makes a distinction between being childISH and childLIKe. He aspired to be the latter. He said he experienced adult things as a child, and now he wanted to experience the childhood he never had and that is why he created Neverland. It was a place for him to be free and also a place for children to experience nature. He says people were changed after visiting Neverland, because you could feel the innocence all around them. He said he always played music and kept the “synergy” going there.
He said , “I could walk around and not be spied on and I could become one with nature and climb a tree and do a load of stuff that I never go to do as a child. And I LOVE it. When I am up in that tree and I can be surrounded by this world of branches and leaves and I can hear the trickle of the water below and I am in heaven. I am in the perfect paradise and I feel I could do anything. That’s what I am like when I am around children. I could do anything. There is no limit to what I can do.”
He talks about how important nature is how he doesn’t like cities and always wants to be out in nature. He especially felt there was healing powers in water. (He reveals that he is a bit intimidated by the ocean.) He said that people are drawn to water because of the effect it has on them. He said there is something about our souls that need water.
Shmuley asked him how he has dealt with all the hatred aimed at him in his life. He said that most people would hate back or become less trusting – as we know this happened to Michael after 2003. Michael’s response was this: It is not in me to be like that. I try to be loving, and I try to find love and see love in all things. I love nature, I love the forest. I love the grace, the gentleness, the easiness of how gentle nature is. It is just giving. I love that.”
Creativity and Inspiration:
Shmuley asked him how the birth of his children changed how he looked at his career, his music and his creativity. Michael replied that his children get great priority in his life. He said it was like the work he did after their birth was almost as if it “has to be the highest form of my creative ability because they inspire that in me…they inspire me.”
He talks about Michelangelo, Spielberg and George Lucas and how the most creative people are just like children. He said they play little games or read comic books and that he liked to do this as well.
Michael said the greatest one-word message of all time, is LOVE, and that children teach you how to love.
Michael talks about reading an article about how every cell in our body moves to the rhythm of the music we are listening to. He said they respond differently to oboe, flute, basoon, etc. He said as soon as he hears music he has to move and that it is important to just become the drum, become the violin, etc. He said you should not count when you dance – that is should be spontaneous and come from within. He said that even though it is improvisation on his part, “you still have to put your body through hell to express yourself. You have to be that dedicated.”
- One intersting thing the rabbi does, is when the word God is printed, he prints it like this G-d. Is there some Jewish reason for not printing the whole word, God?
Michael talks about his fascination with the universe and how things work. As an example, one time he wanted to know about eyelashes. He researched and found out we have a whole colony of things living in our eyelashes. He liked to examine a leaf, a bug and wonder if it had a heart, did it think, etc. He said there was nothing in which he was not interested.
He said his mother always let them get as many books they wanted and they would read, read, read. He said the more he reads, the more ignorant he feels because there is so much to learn.
He said children are very curious and that is why they tear up things – they want to see how it works. He said adults should encourage them to touch and explore. He said he always tries to encourage Paris and Prince’s curiosity.
He said Prince does some things that are really scary to him. He says that he sits and watches the television and calls out every shot that the cameraman is doing and that the director decides to do. “So he sits there going. “The camera is moving up for a close-up. Now it is moving back. Now it’s going..” He said he had no idea how Prince knew how to do that because it is not something he had been taught. (We have to remember that Prince is only 3 or 4 when these tapes were made – amazing! Of course Michael would have genius children – wouldn’t he?” 🙂
He then talks about how he did the same thing with his music and dance when he was little. He told of how his mother was amazed because he would be choreographing and giving his brothers notes on how to move. He also would do all the harmonies for the group. He said that people ask him where does this come from, I go, “Er, it comes form above and it just works through me.” I can’t create it. It has to be a channel. It really does.”
Shmuley asks him if he believes his talent is a divine gift and if he felt grateful to God for it. Michael replied: “It is a divine gift, Shmuley, it is. When the gift of song and the gift of dance come into my head and drop into my lap, like a lady giving birth, I literally get on my knees and I say thank you.”
- Why do some Jews spell God, “G-d”?
http://judaism.about.com/od/reformjudaismfaq/f/god_spelling.htmGod’s name is treated with unusual care in Jewish tradition. The divine name, YHWH (spelled with the Hebrew letters yud, hey, vav, hey) is never pronounced. Traditionally, Jews read the word “Adonai” (often translated as “the Lord”) whenever reading God’s holiest name in Torah or in prayer. However, “Adonai” is not God’s name.
- Why do some Jews spell God, “G-d”?
Dec. 24, 2010
Nancy Wright says:
I have finished reading the book and agree with everything J. Leone said in her synopsis. Everyone should forget the prejudice against Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, drop the silly nicknames, and buy, buy, buy this book. You will find Michael’s soul in there. Every single thing you need to know about him is there for all the world to see. It is Michael speaking from the depths of his heart and soul from beginning to end. Buy one for yourself. Buy them for friends. Include one in every CARE package you send. Mail them to Washington. Donate them to libraries and schools. I promise you reading it will explain so much about Michael. Even if you think you know all about him and love him to pieces already, reading it will be an enlightening experience.
I see no reason to continue the chapter by chapter outlining. Just read the book, ladies it is fantastic! I think the rabbi learned a big lesson from the first one and all the criticism he received about his commentary. Good for him! He has given us just pure Michael.
This is what is said at the end of the book:
Michael pushed me hard to try to establish a World Children’s Day. We went to the UN together, met a group of diplomats to try to make it happen, but it didn’t.
I have, however, taken our joint vision of regular, uninterrupted family time to launch and international family dinner night called Turn Friday Night into Family Night.” Here is the web address: http://www.fridayisfamily.com
…If Shmuley stole money, why isn’t he in jail? If he did what you say, that was a terrible thing to do, however this book can change the world view of Michael Jackson and there is NO PRICE that can be put on that. As you’ve said before, the biggest black mark on Michael’s legacy is the charge of child molestation. Jesus taught us to forgive, and I think Shmuley has redeemed himself with this book. Michael revealed his true self to Shmuley and he has brought Michael’s profound words to us and the world. THIS, to me, is what is important. The rest can fall away.
Nancy Wright says:
Most heartbreaking moment of many in the book: Michael said, “My biggest dream is one day for Prince and Paris to say to somebody, ‘He was the best dad.’ “
That last statement is heartbreaking, but Michael’s dream came true. Paris has said it twice – in public- to the world- Michael was the best dad- ever! Michael did good, didn’t he?
Nancy Wright says:
BOTEACH: All the mean-spiritedness that you have felt, have you ever wanted to hate people back?
MICHAEL: No. As a response to very mean journalists who just lie, your response is not “I hate you for what you wrote,” but rather, “I don’t understand why you did this to me and I will leave it like that.” It hurts very much because they think you are made out of some strong kind of substance and that you can rise above it all the time. But you try to find a way to keep your head above it and it is not always like that because it does hurt.
BOTEACH: But you have never wanted to hate back?
Nancy Wright says:
In Acknowledgments: “Francesco Cascio, Michael’s former manager and close friend, was instrumental in making sure that Michael and I got together regularly to record these sessions for the publication of these books. I thank Frank for more than a decade of continued and living friendship.”
Dec. 25, 2010
Actually, after their friendship ended, Michael invited Shmuley and his wife to his 30th Anniversary concert in NYC saying he wanted, needed, him to be there. Sadly, Schmuley declined the invitation.
Also, about the tapes on his relationships. He was sitting there with a tape recorder running, and sometimes with a microphone in his hand. His children were in the room as you can hear them in the background, Frank Cascio was there. Why would Michael share that information if he didn’t want to? I do think he would have probably edited out some of it, but all those tapes were planned and Michael obviously wanted to do it.
I think, as we have learned about Michael, he didn’t like hearing anything negative about his life and the way he was living it. When a friend or family member tried to offer advice he didn’t like, he would choose to withdraw from them. As Lisa Maria said, he would “X you out”.
I think this is what happened between him and Shmuley. He didn’t want to hear any more advice on how to change his life for the better. Michael said on more than one occasion – my life, my decisions. I think because he was so controlled as a child, that he had decided that he would always live his life on his terms – which he did. (Unfortunately, that stubborness led to a lot of problems for himself as we saw with the Chandler and Arvizo cases).
I think what is most important is that Shmuley has brought us Michael’s words, and that has the potential to change people’s perceptions of him for the good. I just cannot kill the messenger on this one.
Shmuley said during interviews for the first book, that most of the profits would be going to children’s charities. I have no idea if he followed through on that. I went to his website and asked if he planned to do the same with this new book. I’ll let everyone know if I get a response.
Nancy Wright says:
After the first book was published fans and non-fans alike got to meet Michael the man in a way they never had before. Maybe it changed some minds about him. This book is so far following the same pattern, but it is even more illuminating about Michael than the first. In this book on page after page you will be saying, “Now I understand.”
The two taken together show without a doubt from his own words just how mentally and emotionally damaged he was by his father and the boys’ early and intense focus on their careers, how he managed to deal with it then, and how he bravely overcame all of that to become the man he turned out to be.
I can’t get into the minds of the downright haters and bigots, but I just can’t see how ordinary people can read this and still believe Michael could harm a child in any way. For that alone the book is priceless. I can guarantee the two books will be used as primary sources by every serious Michael Jackson scholar and writer forever.
Nancy Wright says:
The Rabbi has blown off his anger and explanations and judgments in the first book, which I think was as cathartic for him as the tapes were revealing of Michael. The second book is almost pure Michael, and I do mean pure. It shows exactly what kind of man he was and how he got there. There is no superstar to be found there, but a complex, humble, loving, hurting human being.
I’m almost finished with the book and Michael talks about Gavin. The rabbi explains, in an aside, who he is and how Michael was acquitted of all charges.
Michael said that children are the light of God. He said, “I was telling Frank the other day, in my opinion Gavin represents the white light we see before we die, that hope that comes. Don’t be afraid, he’s like an angel. How could he not be sweet and kind in his soul? There is a message there somewhere, the kids have it.”
How could this child have lied and betrayed Michael so? I guess it is as Michael says in the book, that children are corrupted by adults by the way they are raised. I hope Gavin reads this book and sees what Michael said about him, that he will feel under conviction to do the right thing and recant all the horrible accusations he made against Michael. I won’t hold my breath that he will be man enough to do so.
Another interesting thing is that Michael says, is that everything he did was for children – “the greatest of joy”. This reminded me of the song on “Michael”, “Best of Joy”. He said he would always meet the kids that would be in “Heal the World” before he performed backstage so they would be comfortable with him. He said he NEEDED to have those children there because they gave him the energy to perform.
He told the rabbi that he hoped his children would choose to have a career in the arts, but that they would have to be who they wanted to be. He was talking about starting to teach Prince about work and then he was going to work with Paris. He said they would never have to work as hard as he did, and that he would have to be careful in not pushing them too hard about work as he was done by his father and others.
He says he is terrified of dogs because of a bad experience he had, but that he didn’t want his children to be afraid, so he got them a Golden Retriever.
It was hard to read the abusive things Joseph did to him. He talks about how horrible it is to shame a child. He said his father would hit him as hard as he could across the face and leave the imprint of his hand on him and then push him out, crying, in front of the fans. He said adults should never shame a child in front of their friends, as they would never forget it. He also said he could never spank his children because if they cried because he hurt them, he couldn’t take it. He said physical punishment reminded him too much of what he experienced. He said he couldn’t even watch someone hit a child in a movie – that he would have to get up and leave crying and he would be angry.
His thoughts are just amazing and give us a lot to think about. I’ve wondered what he taught his children in those years after he made these tapes in 2001. I hope he was able to do a lot of the things he wanted to in training them to be good people. It seems as if he did, as his kids are terrific!
Dec. 28, 2010
Sorry, Aria, you will not take away my joy that this book brought to me. I am not “snowed”. You are the one who is denying yourself joy by being so hard-nosed about this. I feel you are missing the point of the book by your hatred for Shmuley. Shmuley is insignificant to me – Michael’s thoughts and words are not. I treasure them. THAT is what is important to me.
I don’t care how many shekels the rabbi makes from the book. What I care about, is that he has brought Michael’s thoughts and feelings about children to the forefront for all the world to see. If the public reads this book, then they will see the TRUE HEART of Michael Jackson. If the negative perceptions can be changed, then we are well on our way in the vindication of his legacy. I don’t think you can put a value on that. I hope Shmuley sells a million of them.
This whole debate reminds me of the “Michael” controversy. The fans can’t see how their saying the book is trash, just because of Shmuley, puts another black spot on Michael’s name. Everyone should be shouting from the rooftops to buy it. It should be given to friends and relatives – just like I gave everyone in my family a copy of “Michael” for Christmas.
This book has ZERO negative commentary from Shmuley. I don’t care if Shmuley knows “the way the wind is blowing” and changed his tune. At least it shows he can learn from his mistakes and make a change. It is too bad that more in the media can’t seem to follow suit.
Yes, when he was younger, he definitely was waiting for marriage, although he did just about everything else. Stephanie Mills talked about them kissing and seeing him in his underwear, but she said they didn’t have sex, but that he was a good kisser and that he was all man. She thought she was going to marry him. She has staunchly defended him and said that he was too good for this world.
In the Bashir interview, he said that Tatum invited him over for sex and he went as Mr. Big Stuff. When he got there, she told him to lie down on the bed which he did. She came over to the bed and started to unbutton his shirt and he couldn’t go through with it and Tatum just walked away. Of course he was only sixteen at the time. Sixteen year olds are much more bold when it comes to sex these days, but back then, it was a different time. When Bashir asked him if he was tempted, Michael said “No. I wasn’t ready.”
He said this about Brooke in the rabbi’s book: “we had one encounter when she got real intimate and I chickened out. And I shouldn’t have.”
I guess this is what I was thinking when I said he was conflicted. I think he was tempted on many occasions when he was younger, but because of his JW beliefs, he felt he should wait until marriage.
The rabbi said in the forward of the first book that there would be a second one which would be all about Michael’s views on children. There was always a plan to do this book. After all, this was the reason for their original alliance – to try to get an International Children’s Day established, and to encourage families to come together for “Family Night” dinners on Friday evenings.
I have no doubt that these are Michael’s words. If you decide to read it, I don’t think you will have any doubts either.
This book really helped me to understand him and the “whys” of how he lived his life. The way he conducted himself in his life baffled many people, and they thought he was just “wacko jacko”. In actuality, there was a definite and conscious reason for everything he did. His outlook on life is awe inspiring. His thoughts on children, and childhood, were unique and his ideas intriguing.
It is fascinating the way he sees children, his efforts to always be a child in his heart, and his boundless curiosity about everything in life which he viewed through childlike eyes.
He truly felt that if he ever lived totally in an “adult” world, that his creativity would be stifled forever. In the book, he says that everything he accomplished was for children, and that they had saved his life.
Perhaps if the rabbi does TV interviews, they will play part of the tapes like they did the first time. I hope so!
Jan. 1, 2011
I finally finished the book. I kept putting it off because I didn’t want it to end. I knew when I read his last words, that it was TRULY his last words to the world. There will not be more. It made me incredibly sad.
The book ended on a very sad note. Michael was talking about that one time he remembered any kindness from his father. It was the time he lifted him and put him on a carousel horse.
SB:: “And you replay that memory a lot in your head?
MJ: “It’s all I have, I can’t think of any other time. No games, no fun, nothing.”
How tragic and devastating to read those last words from him.
Jane: I’m so happy you are giving the book a chance. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. It is a gift from Michael to us. You will understand him so much better after reading the book. You will learn the “why’s” of how he chose to live his life. It will bring you clarity as he brings you into his mind and soul. Let me know what you think.
Love to you too!
J. Leone, love to you too! I hope you are not cross with me for reading this and making it available to others. I just want everyone to know what I’ve learned from you. After all it is all there in the OPEN and it is AMAZING.
I don’t know how to thank these ladies for the rare chance to get familiar with the book before reading it!
Here is a link to thank J. Leone and Nancy Wright if anyone wants to (you need to be an Amazon customer).
And here is a link to my post about Shmuley’s FIRST book: https://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/the-michael-jackson-tapes-by-rabbi-shmuley-boteach-to-read-or-not-to-read/