Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SMH on Shmuley and Rodney's visit to the Pope

The Chutzpah of these goyim!
Describing our Shmuley as "a self-styled rabbi"!

Come in, sinner: Adler and His Holiness press the flesh

When in Rome ... Pope Benedict meets Rodney Adler at the Vatican last week. "I discussed for about 15 seconds how I felt that making Friday night family night transcended religion."

RODNEY ADLER'S redemption appears to be complete.

It's not the first brush with fame the rabbi has arranged for Mr Adler - he also arranged for Mr Adler's family to stay with Jackson at his Neverland ranch.

The disgraced Sydney businessman, jailed over his involvement in the collapse of the insurance giant HIH, received an audience at the Vatican last week with Pope Benedict.

Mr Adler was the guest of his friend Shmuley Boteach, a self-styled rabbi and author of a book about the late singer Michael Jackson, as well as Oprah Winfrey's parenting and relationships expert.
The delegation met the Pope as part of his weekly audience in St Peter's Square, seeking backing for a ''Turn Friday Night into Family Night'' initiative. The American rabbi wants parents of all faiths to spend Friday nights at home to give their family uninterrupted time.

''Rodney emphasised to the Pope the importance of partnering with me on creating an international family dinner night and how much he believed in the idea,'' the rabbi's website says of Mr Adler's meeting with His Holiness. The Pope ''warmly agreed''.

Mr Adler missed about 130 Friday night family dinners with his wife Lyndi and their children while serving 2½ years in prison for obtaining $2 million from HIH by false or misleading statements and being dishonest as a director. HIH collapsed in 2001 with debts of $5.3 billion.

But his recollection of last week's meeting was less certain than his friend's. ''My conversation with the Pope was quite short,'' Mr Adler told the Herald. ''It went something like, 'Your Holiness, it's a great pleasure and privilege to meet you' and then I discussed for about 15 seconds how I felt that making Friday night family night transcended religion. It was a global issue. ''He did not say yes or no, he just acknowledged it with an appreciative smile … and then moved on.''

Mr Adler was one of two ''close friends'' the rabbi invited to meet the Pope. Days before Mr Adler was sentenced in 2005, Rabbi Boteach, who studied in Australia, led a stirring defence of his friend at Sydney's Central Synagogue. Rabbi Boteach has opened other doors for Mr Adler. ''I had great pleasure of going to Neverland while it was under Michael Jackson's control; I spent three days there, and my children still talk about it. It was interesting - but different to the papal visit.''

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