Rest in peace, Michael.
I used to think that I was unique in feeling that I was without a childhood. I believed that indeed there were only a handful with whom I could share those feelings. When I recently met with Shirley Temple Black, the great child star of the 1930s and 40s, we said nothing to each other at first, we simply cried together, for she could share a pain with me that only others like my close friends Elizabeth Taylor and McCauley Culkin know.
I am more critical about how Michael was treated, more than anything else. I think that he was an angel sent to us, and I think that we might have to reflect on how well we took care of him. People like to say, ‘Oh, people around him were bad and they didn’t do right by him.’ But I think this is collective too. Because I don’t know the last time, and I can’t remember any other artist that attracted that much energy and projected that much power. That was that creative, and affected so many people, and was such a diplomat for America, and a champion for American culture and African-American people worldwide. People wanted to move to America because of Michael Jackson. Industry changed, the music industry changed, because of Michael Jackson. That’s a gift to us, and, you know, I am concerned that the Good Lord may not send another one because we did not take good care of him.
In my opinion, no matter what the final cause of Michael’s death, there can be no doubt that Michael Jackson died of a broken heart, of deep and lasting pain, and that the principal twin causes of that pain were a broken relationship with his own father and the fact that innumerable people believed he was a predator who preyed on unsuspecting children.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, ‘Honoring The Child Spirit’