The Broken American Male, (St. Martin’s Press, 2008);
Host of the National TV show Shalom in the Home airing on TLC (The Learning Channel);
Named “a cultural phenomenon” and “the most famous rabbi in America” according to Newsweek’s 2006 list of The Top 50 Rabbis;
Recipient of the London Times highly prestigious "Preacher of the Year" award;
Featured on The Today Show, The View, The O'Reilley Factor, Good Morning America, Scarborough Country, etc.;
Profiled in Time Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, The London Times, The L.A. Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post;
Married to wife, Debbie, and they have eight children
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: What Men Really Want
The 700 Club
THE SHATTERED MALE EGO
"The American male today is often reduced in the eyes of his family and himself as nothing more than a provider and raised in a world in which only money matters. The American male feels broken and lost, stripped of his humanity, and robbed of his dignity. Feeling like a checkbook and ATM machine, he doesn’t feel necessary to his wife or a hero to his children,” says Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.
On the TV show he hosts, Shalom in the Home, Rabbi Shmuley travels across America helping families in crisis. The shows deals with themes like divorce, infidelity, eating disorders, depression, etc. One of the recurring problems that he and the producers saw in virtually every episode was that the primary problem of the family was a broken American male. If the episode was on unfaithfulness or adultery, it turned out that the husband, a truck driver, felt like a failure and wanted to feel desirable again.
On another episode, a husband with low self esteem worked as a clerk in an accounting office. He was convinced that his wife would not be attracted to him, so he was never affectionate to her. Rabbi Shmuley concludes that these husbands and dads were a mess.
“Men who are miserable on the inside treat their wives miserably on the outside. Men with no self esteem have little or no libido. Men who don’t value themselves feel tiny in the eyes of their children and make almost no effort to engage them. And men who live in constant pain will pursue any escape – most notably television, in order to break from reality,” shares Rabbi Shmuley.
Other escapes for men from their family life include sports, porn, and work.
THE MOST BROKEN MEN IN AMERICA
Although professional achievement is necessary in life, it should only constitute one-fifth of a man’s success. Anyone who places all of their emphasis on making money but excludes their wife, alienates their children, and fails to have a relationship with God is mostly a failure. Rabbi Shmuley shares his view on how some of the most successful men in America are broken:
- Donald Trump – For all his success he still sees himself as a failure. As a result, he constantly brags about how rich he is and how he is desired by women.
- Bill Clinton – For all of his success as president and his popularity throughout the world, he still has no peace. He is addicted to the spotlight and can hardly bare any criticism.
- Kobe Bryant – Despite his success as one of the highest compensated athletes in the world, he still didn’t have enough. He nearly destroyed his life with a brief sexual encounter with a woman that later accused him of rape.
- Barry Bonds – Despite his success at breaking one of sport’s greatest records, his lust for success at any cost even at the cost of his reputation and good name seems to overwhelm him.
- Michael Jackson – No man in America became more of a prisoner to public acclaim than Michael. His entire life depended on external success.
THE WHOLESOME AMERICAN MALE
Rabbi Shmuley says it is possible to rebuild the American male, healing him, and making him whole. In order to do so he says there are some ingredients that are vital to the healing process. Some of those ingredients are:
- A new definition of success. Success is currently defined as the accumulation of power, wealth, and fame. The new definition of success will incorporate the personal, as well as the professional. “Success means honoring women, inspiring your children, keeping the family intact to the best of your ability, showing noble character, being philanthropic, and earning the respect of your peers through your benevolence rather than your bank account,” notes Rabbi Shmuley.
- The support and comfort of a good woman, which will come from their wives.
- To raise men to be more outwardly directed than inwardly focused.
- Making the home into a warm place of welcome for every American dad returning home from work. Children should greet their fathers. Wives should ask their husbands how their day went, and of course the reverse is true as well.
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