A picture of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach posing with Steve Bannon in front of Bannon's to-do list has gone viral.
Shmuley visited the White House on May 2 to celebrate Israel's Independence Day, reports the Daily Mail. However, most internet commentary has focused on the to-do list, which is densely packed with things that President Donald Trump's administration has promised to do.
In addition to the standard goals of abolishing Obamacare, building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border and halting Syrian immigration, it also includes less well-known goals such as: "Finally complete the biometric entry-exit visa tracker."
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One social media user suggested that the to-do board is an obvious public-relations prop. In a sarcastic tweet directed at Rabbi Shmuley, the person said to the rabbi that "he used you to share his fake to-do list. congrats." The Daily Mail also suggested that it was a publicity stunt.
Haaretz, Israel's oldest newspaper, previously referred to Shmuley as "the publicity-hungry rabbi who has cozied up to any major celebrity who lets him come into their orbit."
Although Bannon has been dogged by charges of anti-semitism, Shmuley has described him as a "great, stalwart friend of the Jewish state." He has also contributed articles to Breitbart News, which was formerly under Bannon's direction.
Shmuley's official website provides further details:
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Rabbi Shmuley, “America’s Rabbi,” whom The Washington Post and Newsweek call “the most famous Rabbi in America,” whom The Jerusalem Post lists as one of the fifty most influential Jews in the world, and whom The New York Observer calls “the best-known Orthodox Jew in the world,” is one of the world’s leading values and spirituality exponents and relationship experts.
His 29 books have been best sellers throughout the world and have been translated into 20 languages. Rabbi Shmuley is also the founder of the Jewish Values Network, educating mainstream America in traditional Jewish ideals, and regularly appears in global TV including guest appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show, radio, and print media including the Wall Street Journal and Jerusalem Post….
One of Shmuley’s favorite projects is organizing events that impact the world. By stimulating discussion over important topics while promoting Jewish values to the larger world, Shmuley bridges gaps between cultures by focusing on our similarities and ways to work together for a better world. He has also visited numerous areas around the globe to better gain an understanding of their history and uncover our common humanity.
Among his 29 books are "Kosher Sex" and "The Michael Jackson Tapes."