Don't forget it is an abomination NOT to keep kosher!
No more American Cheeseburgers and Pepperoni Pizzas for all them
"Susan Cohen" <***@verizon.net> wrote in message news:yxB0e.617$***@trnddc05...
: "myal" <***@hotmail.com> wrote in message
: > Riain Barton/øéòéï áøúåï wrote:
: >> The Bible [Torah] does not condemn homosexuality in general
: > Leviticus 18:22
: > Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.
: It also says not to rape or commit adultery.
: IOW, it's the act, not the orientation.
: Not that you will grasp or accept the truth, or ar even capable
thereof - I
: just like to post it on general principles.
: > Leviticus 20:13
: > " 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them
: > done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will
: > their own heads.
: > You were saying about the bible not condeming homosexuality ?
: > Top posting poofter .
: > , but
: >> it does condemn three things: homosexual rape, the ritual
: >> that was part of the Canaanite fertility cult that was apparently,
: >> time, in Jewish practice as well, and homosexual lust and behavior
: >> part of heterosexuals.
Post by Riain Barton/Ã¸Ã©Ã²Ã©Ã¯ Ã¡Ã¸ÃºÃ¥Ã¯
: >> Homosexuality And Judaism
: >> Ian Silver
: >> What is Homosexuality?
: >> http://www.betham.org/kulanu/iansilver.html
: >> The American Psychological Association (1996) says as
: >> Three sexual orientations are commonly recognized:
: >> attraction to individuals of one's own gender; heterosexual,
: >> to individuals of the other gender; or bisexual, attractions to
: >> of either gender. Persons with a homosexual orientation are
: >> referred to as gay (both men and women) or as lesbian (women only).
: >> Sexual orientation is different from sexual behavior because it
: >> feelings and self-concept. Persons may or may not express their
: >> orientation in their behaviors.
: >> It is very important to distinguish between homosexual
: >> and homosexual behaviors. Many people of both genders experiment
: >> their sexuality during adolescence. Many gay people date persons of
: >> opposite sex, to try to 'fit in'. Many heterosexuals will have at
: >> one homosexual experience. This does not per se establish sexual
: >> orientation. A homosexual, then, is a person whose fundamental
: >> attraction is to people of his or her own gender.
: >> Many people feel that homosexuality is an illness. The
: >> Psychiatric Association (1996) is very clear about this:
: >> For a mental condition to be considered as a psychiatric
: >> disorder, it should either regularly cause emotional distress or
: >> regularly be associated with clinically significant impairment of
: >> functioning. . . [Homosexuality] does not meet these criteria,
: >> a significant portion of gay and lesbian people were clearly
: >> with their sexual orientation and showed no signs of
psychopathology. . .
: >> [Homosexuals are] able to function effectively in society, and
: >> [seek psychiatric or psychological] treatment most often did so for
: >> reasons other than their homosexuality.
: >> In my counseling practice, I find that most issues relate to
: >> self-acceptance, families, peers, dating, and lack of acceptance by
: >> others. Sexual orientation does not, per se, cause these problems
: >> they are found in all social groups. The high level of suicide,
: >> alcoholism and other forms of self-rejection amongst young
: >> more than likely, the internalization of society's stigmatization
: >> rejection of the natural inclination of gay people to desire people
: >> their own gender.
: >> There is much debate about what causes homosexuality: is it a
: >> genome, or is it environmental? Nature, or nurture? The debate is,
: >> rather abstract. Realistically, it does not matter why a person is
: >> for we cannot change genomes yet, and we cannot change environments
: >> post facto. It suffices to accept that people come to an acceptance
: >> understanding that they are homosexual, and that this understanding
: >> authentic.
: >> Many Orthodox Jewish sources emphasize choice in
: >> assumption is that people choose to be gay. People do not choose
: >> sexuality. In any case, who would choose to be oppressed and
: >> by society? Who would choose to be excluded from social events? Who
: >> choose to be ridiculed, to be stigmatized, to be beaten up, to be
: >> isolated? Who would want to be forced to hide, to pretend to be
: >> is not?
: >> In these ways, homosexuals are like Jews. Judaism is not
: >> we choose, but is that which is chosen for us, by birth or by the
: >> beliefs which lead one to conversion. One can pretend not to be
: >> one can 'convert' to Christianity, or live whatever lifestyle, but
: >> Judaism is what we are. To paraphrase: one can take the Jew out of
: >> Judaism, but one can never take Judaism out of the Jew. Homosexuals
: >> and often do, lead heterosexual lives; yet their souls, their
: >> and their desires are and always will be towards members of their
: >> sex.
: >> Since homosexuality is not a choice, it stands to reason that
: >> cannot be 'recruited' to become gay or lesbian. There is much
: >> amongst fundamentalist Christian groups, alleging that homosexuals
: >> recruit young people to their 'lifestyle'. It is true that male
: >> prostitutes are often recruited from amongst homeless heterosexual
: >> males, desperate for money for food or drugs. The movie, My Own
: >> Idaho, includes a discussion of this very issue by the actors
: >> young hustlers. The prostitutes saw themselves as heterosexual in
: >> orientation, in proportion to the general population. Beyond this
: >> specific type of recruitment, a heterosexual cannot be 'recruited'
: >> change his/her orientation.
: >> We hear much about the so-called 'homosexual lifestyle'.
: >> Homosexuals are not stereotypical, any more than Jews are
: >> There are gay athletes and heterosexual dress designers. Lifestyle,
: >> is as varied as the 7-10% of the cross-section of the population
: >> predominantly or exclusively homosexual in orientation. Some gays
: >> politically conservative; some are wild radicals. Some are
: >> some are monogamous. Some live in so-called gay ghettos. Some
: >> Abba and dress well; others listen to Wynona Judd and dress
: >> The Internet website, Twice Blessed, which is the Jewish GLBT
: >> (GLBT stands for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and
: >> http://www.usc.edu/isd/archives/oneigla/tb/ includes the following
: >> homosexual Jews in its December birthday list:-
: >> a.. Dr. Anna Freud was born on December 3rd, 1895.
: >> prominent psychologist and the daughter of Sigmund Freud, died on
: >> 9th, 1982.
: >> b.. Dr. Gilbert Miller was born on December 5th, 1934.
: >> Gilbert, the father of two sons, died on August 8th, 1986 from
: >> AIDS-related causes.
: >> c.. Edward Irving Koch was born on December 12th, 1924.
: >> best known for having been the mayor of New York City.
: >> d.. Elly Bulkin was born on December 17th, 1944. Elly
: >> author of "Enter Password: Recovery" and co-author of "Yours in
: >> Struggle".
: >> e.. Jason Emanuel Gould was born on December 29th,
: >> Jason, a handsome actor and filmmaker, will probably always be best
: >> for being the son of Elliot Gould.
: >> There are many other famous Jewish homosexuals, including
: >> Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Allen Ginsburg, Janis Ian, Marcel Proust,
: >> Gertrude Stein & Alice B Toklas. We see no specific commonality, no
: >> 'lifestyle', in this group of Jewish homosexuals. Along with this
:>> assumption about lifestyle, is the allegation that some homosexuals
: >> emulate the roles found in heterosexual couples, both in sexual
: >> and in lifestyle. So-called "drag queens" and "butch" women are
: >> minorities. Homosexuals, by and large, are not looking for someone
: >> acts like a member of the opposite sex. A homosexual male is
: >> his partner's maleness. As with any relationship, some people are
: >> dominant or assertive than others, but the stereotypical homosexual
: >> relationship shown, for example, in Birdcage, is just that: a
: >> not reflective of reality in all situations, as valid as the
: >> that "all Jews are rich".
: >> Many Orthodox Jews and fundamentalist Christians urge
: >> to change, to search out therapy that will make them heterosexual.
: >> is dangerous territory. The American Psychiatric Association (1996)
: >> asserts that:
: >> There is no published scientific evidence supporting the
: >> of 'reparative therapy' as a treatment to change ones sexual
: >> . . . There is no evidence that any treatment can change a
: >> person's deep seated sexual feelings for others of the same sex. .
: >> [Any] person who seeks conversion therapy may be doing so because
: >> social bias that has resulted in internalized homophobia, ... Gay
: >> lesbians who have accepted their sexual orientation positively are
: >> adjusted than those who have not done so.
: >> There is absolutely no evidence that homosexuals are more
: >> molest children or young adults, than heterosexuals. Likewise,
: >> no evidence that homosexuals would be worse parents than
: >> (APA, 1996).
: >> Studies comparing groups of children raised by homosexual
: >> find no developmental differences between the two groups of
: >> their intelligence, psychological adjustment, social adjustment,
: >> popularity with friends, development of social sex role identity or
: >> development of sexual orientation
: >> Jewish society, is for the most part, homophobic and
: >> in nature. (Firestone, 1994).
: >> Homophobia is strictly defined as an irrational fear of
: >> homosexuals. In modern usage, however, homophobia has a broader
: >> and includes the expression of negative bias against lesbians and
: >> men. It is bound up with a number of negative stereotypes about
: >> and gay men . . . Heterosexism [describes] a spectrum of ideas and
: >> practices that assume heterosexuality is superior to and/or more
: >> than homosexuality . . . Individuals who neither hate nor fear
: >> homosexuals may still ignore their existence and needs by assuming
: >> everyone is heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the norm by
: >> other sexual orientations should be judged.
: >> A gentile homosexual man in his mid-20s told me the other day
: >> his mother recently married a Jewish man. He described meeting his
: >> step-grandparents and their family. To paraphrase his words to me,
: >> have learned a lot of Yiddish, lately: shiksa, shaygetz, goy,
: >> faygele....." What a positive image of Judaism we portray, with
: >> pejorative, bigotted terms? Are these the Jewish 'family values'
: >> so integral to Judaism?
: >> The President of Israel, Ezer Weizman, quoted by the
: >> Press on December 23, 1996
: >> told a group of high school students in Haifa that he did
: >> like "a man who wants to be a woman or a woman who wants to be a
: >> myself am disgusted by this,'' he said. Weizman told the students
: >> opposed the growing trend of homosexuals coming out of the closet.
: >> alcoholism, I don't think we need to encourage it or say it is
: >> wonderful,'' he said. Israel's chief Sephardic rabbi, Bakshi Doron,
: >> he supported Weizman's position, and was quoted by Israel's army
: >> calling homosexuality ``a despicable and abnormal phenomenon.''
: >> Weizman later issued a "statement of regret" , but did not
: >> apologize for what he said.
: >> It can be argued that this is but a reflection of society at
: >> Judaism, however, is more than a reflection of society. We are a
: >> system based on justice and positive ethical behaviors. In the last
: >> of my paper, I will discuss ways in which the Conservative movement
: >> suggested that we, as members of Or Shalom, can combat homophobia
: >> heterosexism, within ourselves, our congregation, and the community
: >> large.
: >> The Biblical and Talmudic Positions on Homosexuality
: >> [Much of this section paraphrases the research of Jason
: >> who wrote his amazing paper on the subject last year, at age 14.]
: >> The Bible does not condemn homosexuality in general, but it
: >> condemn three things: homosexual rape, the ritual prostitution that
: >> part of the Canaanite fertility cult that was apparently, at one
: >> Jewish practice as well, and homosexual lust and behavior on the
: >> heterosexuals.
: >> Let us examine each of the three concepts mentioned above
: >> proceeding to the Biblical references regarding homosexuality. The
: >> homosexual rape, would be sinful (if not completely evil) even
: >> the word "homosexual" prefacing the word "rape."
: >> Second, many of the references to men having sex with other
: >> refer to the Canaanite fertility cult. For instance, some English
: >> translations of the word kedeshim render it "sodomites" when, in
: >> it should be "male temple prostitute."
: >> The final point regards heterosexuals imitating homosexual
: >> behavior. This is probably in place because of not only the
: >> but because, to heterosexuals, homosexual acts would be unnatural.
: >> may also have been stated because ancient Greek society placed
: >> on all men taking a male lover as well as a wife. Since homosexual
: >> are not unnatural to homosexuals, this statement does not apply to
: >> Biblical references to homosexuality are very few, and most
: >> to things that apply universally, regardless of sexuality. There
: >> that could conceivably be about male-male love, not just the sexual
: >> Rothman (1996) states that confronting the account of Sodom
: >> Gomorrah in Genesis is extremely difficult for gay men and
: >> Indeed, even without considering the halacha, these passages seem
: >> strongly indicate that the founding Jewish communities prohibited
: >> between male partners.
: >> This connection is made by juxtaposing the request of the
: >> with the final destruction of Sodom by the wrath of God. In 19:5
: >> ask, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to
: >> that we may know them." Since Lot responds to this request by
: >> his virgin daughters as substitutes, few have questioned the sexual
: >> content of this account, and therefore the prohibitive implications
: >> gays and lesbians.
: >> In the ancient Near East, hospitality to travelers was
: >> not a courtesy, but a religious duty. This idea is not only
: >> the Leviticus 19:33, but by the marked contrast between Abraham and
: >> treatment of the angels and the townsmen's' treatment of them.
: >> The violation that the people of Sodom made was not that of a
: >> loving, homosexual relationship, but of inhospitality. This idea is
: >> new interpretation since most comments, both within and without the
: >> Bible, make the sins of Sodom out to be various things, but not
: >> homosexuality. For example, Isaiah 1:9 & ff. and 3:9 declare it to
: >> because of a lack of social justice. According to Ezekiel 16:46-52,
: >> was disregard for the poor. (Schwartz, n.d.).
: >> The Talmud and Midrashim often refer to the sins of Sodom as
: >> arrogance, and inhospitality. One mention of homosexuality comes in
: >> form of a statement having to do with the rape and robbery of
: >> ("The Sodomites made an agreement among themselves whenever a
: >> visited them they would force him to sodomy and rob him of his
: >> While such things are homosexual, it is also true that they are in
: >> context of rape, robbery, and inhospitality. In this case, these
: >> not foreign to heterosexuality, either, and should be no indicator
: >> whether homosexuality is a sin. And if it were, heterosexuality
: >> have to summarily be declared a sin along with homosexuality since
: >> heterosexuals have raped people, as well.
: >> Other mention of homosexuality is limited. In Gen. 39, it
: >> that both Potiphar and his wife had a sexual interest in the young
: >> Joseph. (cf Gen. Rabba 91:1/Sotah 16b). I Sam. 18-20 describes the
: >> intense love between David and Jonathan, in terms used nowadays to
: >> describe homosexual love. Frequently, the point is made that
: >> "loved David as himself".
: >> In another passage, that has been used, there are references
: >> kadesh and kedeshim mentioned in Deuteronomy 23:17-18, I Kings
: >> 15:12, & 22:46, II Kings 23:7, and in Job 36:14. Some English
: >> translations render it as "sodomite(s)." The literal translation,
: >> however, is "holy man" or "holy men." This passage forbids the
: >> men to become such, as it also does women.
: >> Bible scholars today believe that these terms refer to the
: >> and priestesses of the Canaanite Fertility Cult. Evidence outside
: >> Bible tends to support the inference that both of these engaged in
: >> intercourse with male worshippers. It is asserted by Jacob Milgrom
: >> this and other later sections of Deuteronomy were additions by a
: >> particular priestly school, known as H (for Holiness). The
: >> passage also seems to equate kedeshah with zonah, the Hebrew word
: >> female prostitute. Because of this, it seems a far better
: >> kadesh and kedeshim would be "male cult prostitute." Rabbi Kelman
: >> Harold Schulweis: "What the Bible inveighed against was the pagan
: >> tradition that paid obeisance to pagan gods by all forms of illicit
: >> behavior".(Kelman, 1995).
: >> Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 tells the men of Israel not to "lie
: >> male as with a woman;" the latter verse invokes the death penalty
: >> it is toevah. While toevah is usually translated as "abomination,"
: >> used, in the Bible, to refer to idolatry and its practices.
: >> In reference to this Norman Lamm states ( quoted in Kellner):
: >> It may be . . . that an act characterized as an abomination
: >> prima facie disgusting and cannot further be defined or explained.
: >> Certain acts are considered to'evah by the Torah, and there the
: >> rests. It is, as it were, a visible reaction, an intuitive
: >> disqualification of the act, and we run the risk of distorting the
: >> biblical judgment if we rationalize it. To'evah constitutes a
: >> objectionableness sui generis: it is a primary phenomenon.
: >> A better translation of to'evah might be "distasteful",
: >> to Conservative Rabbi Joel Roth. And since the injunctions are in
: >> context of the Israelites imitating the practices of the
: >> injunctions are probably directed toward the homosexual
: >> found in the Canaanite cult. It cannot be to prohibit all
: >> behavior because it does not make an injunction toward
: >> This cannot be an oversight since injunctions were made toward both
: >> regarding having intercourse with animals. Stuart Kelman, a
: >> Rabbi, speculates that the prohibition may, in fact, be one against
: >> bisexuality. Referring to to'evah, Boteach (1993) says "there are
: >> other uses of the word to'evah in the Torah which would not depict
: >> social loathing or repulsion of a particular mode of human
: >> In terms of Conservative Jewish practice, Rabbi Kelman (1995)
: >> further points out that "there is at least one instance where we,
: >> Conservative Rabbis, disregard to'evah completely. We may,
: >> the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, officiate at a marriage
: >> involving the offspring of an adulterous couple (mamzer) to a
: >> non-mamzer."
: >> In Genesis Rabbah 26:5 (cf: Hullin 92a-b), Rabbi Huna said in
: >> name of Rabbi Joseph, "The generation of the flood was not
: >> from the world until they wrote marriage contracts/wedding hymns
: >> (males with) males and (people with) animals." (Grishaver, 4). The
: >> Rabbi Huna also equated lesbianism with harlotry.
: >> To quote Jacob Rothman:
: >> As described by Rabbi Yoel Kahn, the following five
: >> reflected in the halakhic discussion of sexuality: economy of seed;
: >> procreative purpose of sex; the role of women and the conjugal duty
: >> men to engage in intercourse weekly (the onah); and the concern for
: >> ritual purity. All five are based largely on ancient conceptions of
: >> physiology, anthropology, and various theological claims regarding
: >> nature of revelation in the Torah. For example, in reference to the
: >> fourth concern, it is understood that the Torah (Exodus 21:11)
: >> an outline for conjugal rights. In the Mishna, the frequency in
: >> onah must be provided is further specified. In addition, it is
: >> that male sexual energy is boundless, while the energy of the
: >> subdued and therefore must be aroused. As a result of this biblical
: >> physiological understanding there is an emphasis not only on
: >> the onah, but on the specific techniques that men must master in
: >> perform the latter correctly. The ancient rabbis were fundamentally
: >> concerned with the proper methods of arousal in order to fulfill
: >> obligation. To be able to arouse a wife is viewed as a mitzvah, or
: >> sacred obligation for men. Therefore, according to this
: >> sex between men is not a mitzvah because it occurs outside of
: >> and does not focus on arousing a woman.
: >> In reference to the other four concerns, the basic
: >> and biases of the ancient rabbis largely dictates the parameters of
: >> sexual expression as defined in the halacha. Summarizing the
: >> norms that are generated from these beliefs, it can be stated that
: >> only licit and sacred when it occurs: between opposite sex
: >> the context of marriage; through vaginal intercourse; preferably in
: >> missionary style; at permitted times during the religious calendar;
: >> permitted times during the woman's menstrual cycle; with attention
: >> women's satisfaction and pleasure; with the expectation that it
: >> procreative.
: >> Thus, homosexuality violates the mitzvah of procreative sex,
: >> 1:28), as Rabbi Janet Marder points out. The natural order, as
: >> in Genesis, was that woman was created to fulfill and complete man,
: >> that man would not be alone. (Diament). This prohibition went with
: >> Rabbinic and Halachic assertions that Jews simply were not
: >> In Kiddushin 82a, Rabbi Judah stated that "Jews are not suspected
: >> homosexuality". As Rabbi Bradley Artson points out (Grishaver) "The
: >> did not prohibit what it did not know".
: >> Plaskow observes (Lerner, 1993) that "it's ironic that the
: >> importance of procreation in the Jewish world is often coupled with
: >> rejection of homosexuality and the marginalization of gay and
: >> Jews who want to become part of the Jewish community and who are,
: >> their homosexuality, having children and raising families. And then
: >> (rejection) is argued for in the name of preserving the community
: >> face of feeling that there aren't enough of us."
: >> Maimonides, in Mishneh Torah, establishes rigid prohibitions
: >> against homosexual behavior, although he later asserts that the
: >> were unknown. (Hilkhot Issurei Biah 22:2). I will deal later with
: >> issue of procreation and homosexuality. In summary, the Biblical
: >> halachic prohibitions are based on three things: the indignity of
: >> religious harlotry; the primacy of family in Judaism; and a
: >> between homosexual love, and homosexual practice, along with much
: >> that loving homosexual relationships could be sustained.
: >> A Midrash
: >> There's a story in the Talmud, Masechet Derech Eretz (Chapter
: >> which relates that once Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar was coming from
: >> Eder, from his teacher's house, and he was riding leisurely on his
: >> by the seaside. A certain man chanced to meet him, and the man was
: >> exceedingly ugly. Rabbi Shimon said to him, "Raka (simpleton), how
: >> are the children of Abraham our father." The other man replied,
: >> I do for you? Speak to the Craftsman Who made me." Rabbi Shimon
: >> immediately dismounted from his horse and bowed before the man and
: >> "I apologize to you, forgive me." He replied to him, "I will not
: >> you until you go to the Craftsman Who made me and say, "How ugly is
: >> vessel which You have made."
: >> Rabbi Shimon walked behind him for three miles. When the
: >> town heard of the arrival of Rabbi Shimon, they came out to meet
: >> greeted him with the words, "Peace be unto you, rabbi." The other
: >> said to them, "Who are you calling rabbi?" They answered, "The man
: >> walking behind you." Thereupon he exclaimed, "If this man is a
: >> there not be any more like him in Israel!" He told the people the
: >> story, and they begged him to forgive the rabbi, and he agreed,
: >> the condition that he never act in this manner again.
: >> The Holy One created all kinds of people. We have to accept,
: >> welcome, and love that diversity God created, or else take those
: >> up with the Creator, not with the person who was created. Diversity
: >> what makes each of us special. Inclusiveness, welcoming, and
: >> with the diverse people who share this earth with us make us a holy
: >> community. Uniformity is destruction; diversity is our strength and
: >> greatest hope.
: >> It is not up to us to judge people based on the color of
: >> skin, or their gender, or their sexual orientation. If you have a
: >> with the fact that a person is gay, a woman, or of a different skin
: >> color, discuss your problem with the One Who created people to be
: >> different, if you're so inclined. But remember that your problem is
: >> with the created but with the Creator.
: >> by Rabbi Harris Goldstein, from the book: Being A Blessing
: >> You Can Help People Living With AIDS
: >> The Traditional Viewpoint
: >> As Rothman (1996) points out, any discussion of the
: >> perspective must begin by recognizing that there has been a general
: >> repudiation of homosexual relationships by the Jewish community.
: >> Moshe Spero (1979), homosexuality "destroys the individual's
: >> ontological fulfillment in the halakhic world." Expanding on this
: >> sentiment, many modern rabbis have attempted to explain why Judaism
: >> homosexuality are mutually exclusive. In reference to this question
: >> Norman Lamm (quoted in Kellner) has stated that homosexuality:
: >> the divine intent of procreation; undermines the family; and is
: >> biologically and anatomically unnatural. Concluding his argument he
: >> asserts that homosexuals should be viewed as patients rather than
: >> criminals. As a result, psychological assistance must be extended
: >> those who cannot avoid homosexual desire. This statement of course
: >> the possibility of viewing homosexuality as a viable form of sexual
: >> fulfillment and personal expression. Regrettably, this has been the
: >> majority opinion of both Conservative and Orthodox rabbis. Although
: >> should be noted that the Reform and Reconstructionists movements
: >> generally taken a more tolerant stance on the issue of
: >> there is still a failure on the part of the latter to extend
: >> legitimacy to homosexual desire.
: >> The most enlightened traditional viewpoint is expressed by
: >> Shmuel Boteach (1993):
: >> Homosexuality cannot be a sexual deviance because the very
: >> of a sexual deviance is a contradiction in terms. Sexuality is
: >> instinctive, and deviation is incompatible with an instinct. Why
: >> should homosexuality be frowned upon? Can we say it is anymore
: >> objectionable than some of the other forms of sexuality or sexual
: >> behavior that are sanctioned by Torah law? The only explanation we
: >> offer is that it is wrong merely and only because G-d said so. The
: >> Creator of the Universe expressed a preference for heterosexuality
: >> mandated that it alone be practiced by humans.. . Judaism is
: >> accept that homosexuality represents no more of an aberration than
: >> heterosexuality, because sexuality as a whole is naturally
: >> Not being a contemplative act, it is contradictory to label any
: >> behavior unnatural. However, the Jewish objection to homosexuality
: >> based purely on the fact that G-d has revealed the forms of sexual
: >> behavior He deems to be holy, and those which are not. This is not
: >> that any form is any more natural. It does mean that, aside from
: >> heterosexuality, G-d has proscribed all other forms of sexual
: >> however desirable or gratifying, to humankind.
: >> Boteach goes on to state that "Every young person must at
: >> consider their sexuality and what they intend to do with it. Is it
: >> an instrument for one particular variety of personal pleasure
: >> is it a part of the whole compliment of human qualities that can be
: >> to create a thriving and happy community?"
: >> In considering homosexuality, this young Orthodox rabbi, who
: >> time he wrote this paper, was involved with the Lubavitch movement,
: >> that "While various papers have been published offering an Halakhic
: >> appraisal, I have yet to see a coherent and wholesome perspective
: >> proffered, one which blends into an overall Jewish appraisal of
: >> sexuality. At present, Homosexuality in the more traditional
: >> the Jewish community is treated as an aberration at best and
: >> deeply shameful, a sickness, at worst. . .The problem with this
: >> simplistic dismissal of such an emotive issue is its inhumanity."
: >> criticizes much of modern Orthodoxy for behaving in an intolerant,
: >> homophobic manner. As Boteach says, "this approach contradicts
: >> that Judaism stands for in the form of a good, loving,
: >> who asks His creatures to emulate His mercy and compassion."
: >> He continues:-
: >> A sympathetic and mature Jewish approach to this subject
: >> begin with the premise that it is not unreasonable for the Creator
: >> demand that His people regulate their sexual activity. Every
: >> throughout history, from the most religious and conservative to the
: >> secular and liberal, have not felt it was sufficient to advocate
: >> sexual pathways, but have instituted laws to enforce these
pathways. . .
: >> Judaism does not prohibit or in any way look down upon homosexual
: >> In the eyes of Judaism the love between two men or two women can be
: >> natural as the love between a man and a woman. What it does
: >> homosexual intercourse. . . An attraction felt by a man for other
: >> by a woman for other women would not be described by the Torah as
: >> 'disgusting' or offensive, G-d forbid. A human is a warm, lovable,
: >> attractive being, whatever the gender. Rather, it is acting upon
: >> homosexual attraction which the Torah forbids in the strongest
: >> language. A man's sexual attraction to another man would be
: >> the same category as being tempted to eat at McDonald's. The Torah
: >> sympathetic to the attraction, but prohibits translating the
: >> into action.
: >> Boteach's argument, based on that of the Rebbe, z"l, is one
: >> nurture, rather than nature. He does, however, criticize any
: >> homosexual intercourse is unnatural.
: >> For all those on the right fringe who argue absurdly that
: >> homosexuality is a 'crime against nature,' and bring proofs to
: >> points of view from human anatomy and the seeming heterosexual
: >> would suggest, I ask this: is oral sex or anal intercourse any more
: >> natural than homosexuality. And how about masturbation? Is there
: >> that would lead us to believe that the human hand was designed for
: >> purposes? And if the answer to both these questions is 'no', then
: >> they only combating 'homosexuality' as an aberration and crime
: >> nature?
: >> Since homosexuality is assumed to be environmental, it can be
: >> 'cured' through therapy." If homosexuality is a product of nurture
: >> than nature, then there exists the possibility that a homosexual
: >> sexual fulfillment in an heterosexual relationship,given enough
: >> exposure." To Boteach, one can be a practicing Orthodox homosexual
: >> after all attempts at reorientation have failed. Boteach ventures
: >> some rather muddy waters by asserting that, as there is a shortage
: >> marriageable Jewish males, homosexual men are obligated to marry
: >> Homosexual men must focus, not only on personal sexual and
: >> relational satisfaction, but also on their larger responsibilities
. . .
: >> their lifestyles have repercussions that effect the Jewish
: >> worldwide, and leave many unhappy Jewish women who will never have
: >> husbands.... The homosexual is a sexual being like all others, and
: >> chooses his or her sexual preference. While he or she may indeed
: >> been born with a specific sexual disposition, that does not
: >> possibility of finding sexual fulfillment in a heterosexual
: >> specifically marriage.... The desire of the Jewish establishment
: >> not only be that a homosexual should refrain from sinful activity,
: >> that that person should engage in building a family and find a
: >> life within the holy heterosexual institution of marriage. Every
: >> Orthodox representative looks upon a homosexual as being sick, it
: >> simultaneously accepted that the homosexual can do nothing to
: >> his or her sexual condition. . . . the humane Jewish approach to
: >> homosexuality must be based on a positive appraisal of the benefits
: >> heterosexuality, rather than deploring homosexuality, as well as a
: >> commitment on the part of the homosexual to, at the very least,
: >> concerted effort to live in accordance with divine law. Only after
: >> herculean effort has been made in the direction of heterosexuality
: >> or she be justified in rejecting the Jewish prohibition against
: >> homosexual behavior.
: >> Ultimately, Boteach argues for understanding for, and
: >> homosexuals within the aegis of traditional Judaism.
: >> homosexuality is not a deviance, but simply a divinely
: >> act which becomes wrong because the Torah labels it to be so, and
: >> because it is a minority or anatomically incongruent sexual act.
: >> approach seeks to make the ostracisation or victimisation of
: >> logically impossible, because it recognizes their essential
: >> all humans. . . this does not mean that those homosexuals who find
: >> difficult to refrain from homosexual life should be discouraged
: >> participating fully in all areas of Jewish communal life. If they
: >> out the contradiction that their private life poses to Jewish
: >> and use this as an excuse to remain ostracized, they should be told
: >> homosexuality is a sin like any other sin: because someone eats a
: >> mayo sandwich does not in any way impair their ability to
: >> fully in Jewish life.(emphasis mine).
: >> Boteach, a heterosexual, is more radical in many respects
: >> gay Orthodox rabbi, writing under the pseudonym of Yaakov Levado
: >> 1993):
: >> As a traditionalist, I hesitate to overturn cultural norms
: >> flurry of revolutionary zeal. I am committed to a slower and more
: >> cautious process of change, which must always begin internally.
: >> as an activity, is not designed to affect social revolution. It is
: >> society-building enterprise that maintains internal balance by
: >> reorganizing itself in response to changing social realities. When
: >> conditions shift, we experience the halachic reapplications as the
: >> commitment to the Torah's original purposes. That shift in social
: >> consciousness in regard to homosexuality is a long way off.
: >> The Orthodox establishment is far less comprehending than
: >> As Levado describes it, he is given only two options - act like a
: >> heterosexual, or be celibate. Perhaps Levado should consider
: >> position, and accept the change in today's social realities. But,
: >> about the Biblical injunction to procreate? Again, Levado points
: >> We are a people on the side of life-new life, more life,
: >> life. The creation story invited the rabbis to read God's blessing
: >> fruitful and multiply" as a command to have two children, a male
: >> female. Every Jewish child makes the possibility of the Torah's
: >> of a perfected world more real, more attainable. Abraham and Sarah
: >> transmit the vision by having children. Often the portrayal of
: >> includes being surrounded with many children. Childlessness is a
: >> punishment and curse in the tradition, barrenness a calamity. ..Gay
: >> does not prevent the possibility of producing or raising Jewish
: >> but it makes those options very complicated. Being gay means that
: >> ordinary relationship between making love and having children is
: >> There is a deep challenge to the structure of Judaism, since its
: >> transmission is dependent on both relationship and reproduction.
: >> who feel bound by mitzvot, bound by the duty to ensure that life
: >> death, the infertility of our loving is at the core of our struggle
: >> understand ourselves in the light of the Torah.
: >> This problem, among others, lies at the root of much of the
: >> Jewish community's discomfort with gay people. To a people that was
: >> nearly destroyed fifty years ago, gay love seems irresponsible.
: >> the work of their lives in light of the shaping of a world for
: >> children. By contrast, gay people appear narcissistic and
: >> Gay people's sexuality is thus a diversion from the tasks of Jewish
: >> family and the survival that it symbolizes, and is perceived as
: >> to the Jewish community because we are shirkers of this most
: >> sacred of communal tasks.
: >> The solution Levado advocates is a creative one.
: >> Holding fast to the covenant demands that I fulfill the
: >> that are in my power to fulfill. I cannot marry and bear children,
: >> there are other ways to build a family. Adoption and surrogacy are
: >> options. If these prove infeasible, the tradition considers a
: >> similar to a parent in life-giving and thus frames a way that the
: >> of procreation can be symbolically fulfilled.
: >> The Reform Position
: >> In 1987, the UAHC (the Synagogue arm of the Reform movement)
: >> adopted a resolution that sexual orientation should not be a
: >> consideration for membership of, or participation in Congregational
: >> activities. Congregations were urged to be inclusive. Again, in
: >> UAHC reaffirmed its commitment to promoting full congregational
: >> membership opportunities for homosexual Jews, as singles, couples,
: >> families.
: >> In 1995, a resolution was proposed to the UAHC by the New
: >> Federation of Reform Synagogues, "not to discriminate on the basis
: >> sexual orientation in matters relating to the employment of rabbis,
: >> cantors, educators, executives, administrators or other staff."
: >> resolution has yet to be enacted.
: >> The Reform movement has accommodated a number of
: >> homosexual Synagogues and Temples within it. On the one hand, this
: >> provides a Jewish spiritual and communal environment where people
: >> count on acceptance and support. On the other hand, however, this
: >> entrenches a form of apartheid for homosexual Jews. The Orthodox
: >> community appears in many instances, to push homosexuals into the
: >> the Reform movement allows homosexuals to participate Jewishly,
: >> sometimes they prefer them to do it separately. I rather think
: >> position is the more enlightened path: full, non-judgmental
: >> in Jewish life.
: >> The Reform responsum to the issue of "be fruitful and
: >> best articulated by Yoel Kahn (CCAR, 1989):
: >> I have been repeatedly asked: If we elevate homosexual
: >> to an equal status with heterosexual families, will we not
: >> already precarious place of the traditional family? I do not
: >> encouraging commitment, stability and openness undermines the
: >> of family - it enhances it. At present, many gay and lesbian Jews
: >> estranged from the synagogue, the Jewish community, and their
: >> origin because of continued fear, stigma and oppression. Welcoming
: >> and lesbian families into the synagogue will strengthen all our
: >> by bringing the exiles home and by reuniting children, parents and
: >> siblings who have been forced to keep their partners and innermost
: >> hidden. Kelal Yisrael is strengthened when we affirm that there can
: >> more than one way to participate in the Covenant.
: >> This is not by any means, a majority position. Leonard
Kravitz , in
: >> the same booklet, wrote that "if the relationship between two
: >> is granted the status of kiddushin, a public matter, we are
: >> circumstances so that those who previously might not have acted in
: >> homosexual manner, now might." It seems even some liberal rabbis
: >> that homosexuality is a lifestyle, and people can somehow be
: >> Indeed, if you include homosexuals in your congregation, some
: >> were closeted, will come out to the congregation. Is this
: >> desirable? What would Rabbi Levado say, if he had such an option?
: >> There are several Reform responsa to Leviticus. Rabbi Janet
: >> (Grishaver) , said in 1985 "I believe, and I teach my (homosexual)
: >> congregants, that Jewish law condemn their way of life (sic). But I
: >> also that I cannot accept that law as authoritative." Alan
: >> (Grishaver) wrote in 1995, "G-d could not have written words that
: >> result in so much suffering for the Gay community and their
: >> not my G-d".
: >> Rabbi Leila Berner, was quoted in 1996, thusly:
: >> "As my friend and teacher Rabbi Arthur Waskow has described
: >> have been engaged in a passionate, long-term bout of
: >> said Berner, whose congregation is predominantly gay and lesbian.
: >> as Jacob wrestled with the divine angel and emerged as
: >> who has struggled with God and humans--and prevailed, so I and many
: >> lesbian and gay Jews have wrestled with Judaism and have prevailed.
: >> Rather than run from our tradition, we engage with it through a
: >> re-evaluation of its sacred texts and teachings and a reframing of
: >> Jewish ethic of sexuality based on deeply-rooted Jewish values."
: >> Michael Tolkin supports Rabbi Berner (Grishaver) when he
: >> Since Lev. 18:22 is as open to interpretation as any other
: >> compound sentence in the Torah.... There are ways of reading it to
: >> the harshest understanding, but... it might be more courageous to
: >> that it means exactly what we don't want it to mean. Better to defy
: >> law, to stand in direct rebellion to G-d, in a heroic conversation
: >> Him....
: >> Rabbi Steven Leder (1995) reinforces this position, in a
: >> letter to his brother:
: >> I know what the Torah says about homosexuality in this
: >> portion; it's called "abomination punishable by death." But I don't
: >> believe a loving God could have written such a thing. It could only
: >> come from well-meaning but ignorant humans who could not see that
: >> homosexuality was part of God's diverse plan for humanity. It could
: >> have come from people who knew almost nothing of what we know
: >> could only have come from people who did not know my brother Greg;
: >> goodness and your deep Jewish soul.
: >> The Conservative Position
: >> That it has taken so long to get to the position of the
: >> Conservative movement, in preparing this paper, should indicate to
: >> reader that finding a 'middle point', as the Conservative movement
: >> strives to do, is difficult and at times, unmanageable.
: >> In May 1990, the Rabbinical Assembly (the spiritual arm of
: >> United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism)passed a resolution
: >> lesbian/gay civil rights, deploring violence against lesbians/gays,
: >> reiterating that gays and lesbians are welcome as members in
: >> congregations, and calling on synagogues and arms of the Movement
: >> increase awareness, understanding and concerns for lesbian and gay
: >> The Women's League adopted essentially the same resolution in
: >> 1992. The United Synagogue adopted a similar resolution in November
: >> but omitted the fourth point (calling for awareness, etc.) .
: >> In 1992, the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) Committee on Law and
: >> Standards adopted two responsa on the issue of homosexuality and
: >> The majority report, written by then Chair Rabbi Joel Roth, gave
: >> (expectedly) conservative opinion that homosexuality was clearly
: >> plainly prohibited by the Torah as a to'evah ,and that was that,
: >> contemporary understandings of the nature of sexuality and sexual
: >> orientation notwithstanding. Homosexuals who acted on their
: >> were not celibate were sinning, period. As Rabbi Elliot Dorff
: >> tells it:
: >> Most within this group openly worried about the future
: >> of the Jewish family if homosexual relations are condoned, and they
: >> asserted that (acceptance of homosexuality) would establish a
: >> slope which would make it impossible for us as a movement to affirm
: >> Jewish sexual values of any sort. Some within this group also
: >> changing moral perceptions are.... Not sufficient reason to change
: >> long-standing law.
: >> Rabbi Dorff wrote a minority opinion that was officially
: >> as such by the fact that it received the requisite 8 votes. This
: >> that it is an acceptable part of the official Conservative
: >> albeit a minor one. Basically, he states that our modern
: >> the nature of sexuality and sexual orientation makes the category
: >> to'evah inoperable in this matter and should be halachicly
: >> with.
: >> New scientific findings and, more importantly, the
: >> homosexuals themselves provide us with ample evidence that those
: >> clearly homosexual do not choose to be so. On the contrary, they
: >> generally have intimations of their orientation early in their
: >> often do everything in their power to convince themselves otherwise
: >> to avoid the stigma and prejudice which society inflicts on
: >> .
: >> Since legal demands or prohibitions only make logical sense
: >> the people being commanded can fulfil them, and since the Torah and
: >> Jewish tradition clearly assumed the homosexual's ability to choose
: >> heterosexual, .... (h)omosexuality should no longer be considered
: >> abomination, for that implies that the person could choose to do
: >> otherwise. In addition, ... since all of the relevant professional
: >> organizations and most mental health professionals assert that
: >> orientation is ingrained in a person from an early age and cannot
: >> changed, homosexuals do not pose a threat to heterosexual, family
: >> ...Recommending celibacy for homosexuals is... cruel, and not in
: >> with classical Jewish views of the body and sexuality as God's gift
: >> legitimate pleasures it is a sin to deny. . . The same Jewish norms
: >> apply to heterosexual relationships would govern homosexual sex . .
: >> This would lead some (Rabbis) to advocate performing commitment
: >> ceremonies as a way of creating strong, monogamous, loving, and
: >> committed relationships among homosexuals.
: >> This means that gay men and lesbians should be welcomed as
: >> participating members of the Jewish community and Conservative
: >> synagogues. Nonetheless Tradition expresses a clear "preference"
: >> heterosexuality, especially when it comes to raising children (in
: >> two parents, one of each sex, is to be desired). The paper also
: >> for the formation of a movement-wide commission to explore
: >> general and to look into how our understanding of it might "impact"
: >> the matter of homosexuality.
: >> In the sprit of this earlier responsum, 1995, Rabbi Dorff
: >> report on behalf of the Commission on Human sexuality of the
: >> Assembly, entitled, "This is my Beloved, This is My Friend:", a
: >> Letter on Intimate Relations. The report reaffirmed Dorff's earlier
: >> responsum, and made a strong plea for programs to eliminate
: >> and heterosexism, in order that homosexuals be fully welcomed in
: >> Conservative synagogues.
: >> The first suggestion was for synagogue groups to meet with
: >> lesbian Jews, to explore how the congregation may be more
: >> goal would be to sensitize synagogue members to the fact that
: >> gays, lesbians and their families are not an outside group but are
: >> of our own community and should be treated as such".
: >> It was suggested that, in synagogues with programs for
: >> constituencies, such programs might be created for homosexual Jews.
: >> Information regarding support groups, such as PFLAG (Parents and
: >> of Lesbians and Gays) could be disseminated by the synagogue, and
: >> synagogue might host such groups. At present, such a group does not
: >> in London, but a well-motivated Synagogue group could help in
: >> such a necessary organization.
: >> A third suggestion was the inclusion of discussions of
: >> and homosexuality as a part of adult and teen education programs.
: >> Or Shalom's adult education group, has indeed included this, both
: >> year and in previous sessions. As Dorff says, "one consequence of
: >> that Jewish homosexuals, like Jewish heterosexuals, should not be
: >> narrowly as people who engage in certain kinds of sexual practices,
: >> rather as people and as Jews, with the full range of interactions
: >> people and Jews have with each other". The resource book, Twice
: >> (1989) includes a comprehensive curriculum for teen groups, and an
: >> outline for a workshop on homophobia.
: >> Dorff's final suggestion is that Tikkun Olam (Social action)
: >> programs be organized to advance the human rights of homosexuals.
: >> The corollary of this outreach activity is that , as Dorff
: >> "like all other Jews, gays and lesbians have the duties of Jewish
: >> and action, including affiliation and active participation in a
: >> and in the Jewish community generally.
: >> An anonymous student at the Jewish Theological Seminary,
: >> wrote as follows (1996):-
: >> In a highly controversial and publicized decision, the
: >> Conservative Movement's leadership stated that while gay and
: >> should be accepted in the community and synagogues, they should not
: >> them, and as such, would not ordain openly gay rabbis-the Jewish
: >> of "don't-ask-don't-tell." This decision fell half-way between
: >> acceptance of the Reform Movement and the outright rejection of the
: >> Orthodox Movement. It is unclear to me how an institution that has
: >> wholeheartedly embraced egalitarianism, biblical critique and
: >> social issues has evaded the issue of gay and lesbian leadership. I
: >> cannot imagine how the roles I have assumed in the Jewish
: >> volunteer, gabbai, donor and dugmah-have been hindered by my
: >> Nor will I even try to imagine how my participation in tikkun olam
: >> somehow lessened in the eyes of Hashem because of how or who I
: >> This is an evolving situation, in my opinion. The
: >> movement has endorsed the full participation of women in the
: >> including the roles of rabbi and cantor, and our synagogue is
: >> to develop its own ways of dealing with women as congregational
: >> Some might assert that the issues are different: there is no
: >> prohibition against leadership by women, and our Matriarchs and
: >> exemplify this leadership. We accept Synagogual leadership by
: >> are not fully shomrei mitzvot. To deny leadership roles to
: >> homosexual Jews would be hypocrisy, and would reinforce
: >> homophobia.
: >> Michelle Kwitkin, in a posting on December 30, 1996, to the
: >> Internet listserv, "gayjews", summarized the position of a
: >> Jewish homosexual.
: >> As a Conservative Jew, I believe that halakha (=normative
: >> law) IS binding. The Conservative Movement, however, understands
: >> traditional halakhic sources (Bible, Talmud, etc.) as products of
: >> different historical ages-which are often very different from our
: >> age! Deciding what is halakhically permissible is not only a matter
: >> reading the texts, but also understanding the social/cultural
: >> which they developed. Regarding the biblical prohibitions against
: >> homosexual behavior (and the Rabbinic prohibitions against
: >> 1) the classic halakhic positions were formulated when
: >> idolatrous, incestuous, hedonistic, etc. homosexuality was known,
: >> long-term, monogamous same-sex relationships were not.
: >> 2) there was an assumption of free choice regarding
: >> behavior; the fixed/unchangeable nature of sexual orientation has
: >> become widely understood fairly recently.
: >> Thus, many Conservative Jews-myself included-would say that
: >> traditional prohibitions against homosexuality do NOT really
: >> phenomenon of gay life as we understand it today. Gay/lesbian
: >> relationships can-and should!--be recognized and sanctified
: >> For me, there is no incompatibility between being gay and
: >> a halakhic life...the former is not a violation (or temporary
: >> of the latter. Understanding sexuality this way is, of course,
: >> different from how the tradition has understood it for centuries.
: >> However, my (Conservative) understanding of the evolving nature of
: >> halakha allows for-and sometimes even demands!--changes within
: >> (The status of women in Jewish ritual is not so different: even
: >> traditional sources forbid it, changed social reality has led the
: >> Conservative Movement to rule that women may halakhically
: >> equally in ritual life.)
: >> Three disclaimers:
: >> 1. This is certainly not the unanimous viewpoint within the
: >> Conservative Movement. Many continue to see homosexual behavior as
: >> unconditionally forbidden. However, I believe that more and more
: >> Conservative Jews-laypeople as well as rabbis-are becoming more
: >> the possibility of full acceptance of gay Jews. Again, a comparison
: >> egalitarianism (within Conservative) is instructive: limited
: >> at first, which slowly diffuses throughout the movement, gaining
: >> adherents as people become more used to and comfortable with the
: >> (although, of course, there will always be those who don't accept
: >> 2. This is how I understand gay issues, from a
: >> perspective. What I have written above is predicated on an
: >> of halakha which is VERY different from an Orthodox understanding
: >> halakha. Naturally, somebody who believes that the Torah was
: >> God to Moses at Sinai will strongly disagree with what I have
: >> above. We have different understandings of the history of halakha.
: >> Neither view can be "proven" more correct or true than the other;
: >> hopefully, we can agree to disagree.
: >> 3. What I have written above may also be problematic to
: >> argue that gay sexuality should not be confined to the narrow model
: >> heterosexual norms (i.e., monogamous relationships). While I
: >> support the right of those who choose non-traditional ways of
: >> themselves sexually to do so, I an uncomfortable to articulate this
: >> within a halakhic framework (just as I would consider
: >> heterosexual relationships to fall outside the purview of halakha).
: >> The most controversial of all issues from a Conservative
: >> standpoint, is that of commitment ceremonies for homosexuals.
: >> many Reform rabbis, and about 15 Conservative rabbis perform such
: >> ceremonies for homosexual couples. Rabbi Stuart Kelman wrote a
: >> (responsum) on the issue (1995). As a preliminary, he explained,
: >> paraphrasing Seymour Siegel, z"l that there are four categories
: >> which new laws or changes to older ones are necessary these are
: >> issues, as in the cases of the agunah or the mamzer; technological
: >> advances, such as transplants; social change, in areas such as
: >> rights and cases involving marriage to a kohen; and the needs of
: >> times, in the case of driving to the synagogue on Shabbat. The
: >> on Jewish Law and Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly is mandated
: >> achieve a balance between change and tradition. The rabbi of each
: >> congregation is the final authority for the congregation,
: >> Assembly resolutions notwithstanding.
: >> In considering this issue, Rabbi Kelman makes twelve sets of
: >> underlying assumptions.
: >> a.. All human beings are created in God's image (betzelem
: >> elohim) and may enjoy what is commonly called human rights, and
: >> obligations.
: >> b.. Jews and homosexuals share a commonality, a history
: >> persecution and suffering. Historically, Jews have always been
: >> ethical decisions. "It seems to me that the defining issue for our
: >> generation is how we treat the "other", defined in any number of
: >> only one of which concerns gays and lesbians."
: >> c.. God and humanity share a common moral framework. The
: >> imperative to do justly , as Plaskow points out, applies equally,
: >> regardless of whether homosexuals have any 'choice' in terms of
: >> orientation.
: >> d.. Geographical context is a major determinant. It is to
: >> noted that Rabbi Kelman's Conservative congregation is in the Bay
: >> San Francisco, which houses the largest homosexual population group
: >> North America.
: >> e.. When a synagogue calls itself egalitarian, that means
: >> rights and obligations apply to all.
: >> f.. Forbiddens (issurim) are dealt with by Conservative
: >> the context that we are not literal, Torah Jews. As Rabbi Kelman
: >> out, if we object to the consecration of homosexual relationships
: >> they are forbidden , we must be sure to "be very, very pure"
: >> g.. The issue of choice is a moot one. Rabbi Kelman
: >> "while I do not hold to the view that would equate homosexual and
: >> heterosexual marriage, the matter of choice remains unclear."
: >> little help in this regard.
: >> h.. Rabbi Kelman points out that "sexual ethics has to do
: >> how we treat the other person, not the gender of the other person."
: >> emphasizes that as a Rabbi, he is uncomfortable with delving into
: >> people's sexual behaviors.
: >> i.. There is a fear that a Congregational decision to
: >> monogamous homosexual relationships may drive members away. So it
: >> any and every change. Change is uncomfortable. People leave
: >> because they are too rigid, or they are too liberal (either the
: >> the congregations).
: >> j.. "We are figuring out just what it is God wants of
: >> is by no means clear. If we are Orthodox Jews, the Torah is God's
: >> As Conservative Jews, we must look at "God's will for us today".
: >> k.. It is in discussing language and perceptions that
: >> Kelman's teshuvah becomes somewhat unclear. Traditionally, marriage
: >> defined as a social institution whereby a man and a woman choose to
: >> husband and wife, according to religious and/or civil ceremonies.
: >> law sets out marriage as two separate acts: Kiddushin (erusin) is
: >> performed by a man and a woman which leads to a change in their
: >> status, while nisuin brings about the legal consequences of this
: >> Thus, Rabbi Kelman sees the term, "marriage" as being unsuited to a
: >> homosexual relationship. He prefers the term, brit, covenant.
: >> to Jewish tradition, 'the covenant (brit) is the foundation for
: >> relationships. Its aim is to create mutually exclusive reciprocal
: >> relationships based on choice and accountability..'....The
: >> Jewish wedding ceremony legally functions to join two individuals
: >> the rules of property, not to mark a covenant."
: >> l.. In his final argument, Rabbi Kelman discusses the
: >> importance of blessings, berachot. "It seems to me...that it is
: >> appropriate for any rabbi to ask for the blessings of God on two
: >> individuals who are joining together in a loyal, permanent,
: >> loving, committed Jewish relationship."
: >> Consequently, Rabbi Kelman permits an aufruf (prenuptial
: >> on the shabbat preceding a commitment ceremony between two people
: >> same sex. He allows joint aliyot for homosexual couples on the same
: >> as for heterosexual couples; and he allows and performs commitment
: >> ceremonies, which he renames b'ritot riyut (Covenants of love) for
: >> homosexual couples.
: >> In my opinion, if "marriage" is an unsuitable term for a
: >> relationship, it is an unsuitable term for a heterosexual
: >> If we reject the concept of marriage as an economic union and a
: >> legalistic structure involving super- and subordination, then
: >> marriage ceremonies must be restructured. The Reform movement have
: >> so. If, however, we wish to preserve the form of the heterosexual
: >> marriage ceremony, while protecting the substance of marriage as an
: >> partnership based on mutual respect and love, then we should, in my
: >> opinion, allow homosexual couples to marry in the same fashion as
: >> heterosexual couples.
: >> The obligation to "be fruitful and multiply", is not always a
: >> factor in heterosexual Jewish marriages. Elderly Jews, where the
: >> past child-bearing age, cannot always be seen in the light of
: >> Sarah. We cannot expect such miracles in our age. Yet Rabbis duly
: >> officiate at the marriages of 80 year olds. Are fertility tests a
: >> requirement of any rabbi, or any Conservative (or any other)
: >> The primary justification for marriage is that it satisfies the
: >> companionship. Abraham exiled his fertile wife, and stayed with the
: >> (presumably) infertile Sarah. Why? Because she was his companion,
: >> loved her.
: >> If we wish to preserve Jewish family values, then we should
: >> Jewish families, whether they are homosexual or heterosexual. To
: >> Rabbi Dorff (1994), "even those who continue to see (homosexuality)
: >> abomination... would surely agree that if homosexuals are going to
: >> in sex, they should strive to let as many Jewish values as possible
: >> their relations. To do otherwise... makes Judaism irrelevant to
: >> too."
: >> Postscript
: >> In preparing this combination research paper/resource
: >> would like to thank the many people who have contributed ideas and
: >> material to this rather rambling document; in particular, Rabbis
: >> Lander and Stuart Kelman; Msgr. John Cody; Gabriel Elias; Jason
: >> Nettie Schwartz; Joel Grishaver; and above all, to my wife, Judy,
: >> children, Melanie, David and Laura, my parents, Eve and Syd Silver,
: >> my brother, Michael Shalev, who demonstrate in their lives, how to
: >> just, thinking, loving Jews. I dedicate my efforts to the 2,000
: >> lesbian, bisexual and transgendered young people whom I have
: >> counsel and support over the past three years. They have taught me
: >> much, and given me great respect and honor. Most of the young
: >> believers in one of the three Monotheistic religions: many of them
: >> Jewish: I hope that this small effort will assist in the ongoing
: >> believing homosexual people are involved in, for inclusion in their
: >> religious communities.
: >> This paper is my responsibility: it does not in any formal
: >> reflect the views of Or Shalom Congregation or its leadership, of
: >> United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism or its constituent
: >> of any particular organization. Please acknowledge the use of this
: >> republication. As a side note, I have, in writing this, tried to
: >> the uses of the terms, 'gay' or 'straight'. To be gay means also to
: >> happy: to be straight, means also to be narrow.
: >> About the author
: >> I am a retired teacher and high school counselor, married
: >> children. I have an honors B.A. from Victoria University of
: >> an M.A. from the University of Windsor, and a B.Ed. from the
: >> of Toronto, all in political science; and a Post-Baccalaureate
: >> Certificate in Education, in counseling psychology, from the
: >> of Manitoba. My human rights involvement is life-long: I am a past
: >> vice-president of the Saskatchewan Association on Human Rights, and
: >> served a 6 month term as a human rights officer for the
: >> Human Rights Commission. My 16 years in municipal and provincial
: >> government included 4 years as an educational planner, and 10 as a
: >> pension supervisor. For the past 3 years, I have been volunteering
: >> counselor on the internet, coordinating a program to work with
: >> teenagers.
: >> My Jewish involvement is also life-long. I have been an
: >> congregant in Orthodox synagogues in Wellington, New Zealand,
: >> Hamilton, Ontario, Regina, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, Manitoba; and
: >> Conservative congregations in Winnipeg, and London, Ontario. You
: >> contact me at ***@sympatico.ca.
: >> BIBLIOGRAPHY
: >> American Psychiatric Association (1996) Gay and Lesbian
: >> American Psychological Association (1996) Answers to your
: >> About Sexual Orientation And Homosexuality.
: >> Anonymous. (1993). Gayness and God: Wrestlings of an Orthodox
: >> Rabbi. Tikkun 8 (5)
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: >> marriage: the recent CCAR resolution.
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: >> Jewish Theological Seminary. New Voices. March 4.
: >> Balka, C., and Rose, A. (eds). (1989). Twice Blessed: On
: >> Lesbian or Gay and Jewish. Boston: Beacon Press
: >> Bazelon, E. (1996). Secrets of the Temple. New Republic, May
: >> Blutinger, J. (1996) email to ***@shamash.org, Subject:
: >> Boswell, J. (1994). Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe. New
: >> Random House.
: >> Boteach, S. (1993) Reinterpreting Homosexuality as Human
: >> (available from gopher)
: >> gopher://www.shamash.org/00/lists/oxford-judaism/homosexuality
: >> Bulka, R. and Spero, M.H. (eds) (1982) A Psychology-Judaism
: >> Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas
: >> Central Congress of American Rabbis (1989). Homosexuality and
: >> Rabbinate.
: >> Diament, C., ed. (1989). Jewish Marital Status: A Hadassah
: >> London, Jason Aronson.
: >> Dorff, E. (1994) Sex, Values and the Law. Jerusalem Report,
: >> 25.
: >> Dorff , E., Newman, L.E. (eds.) (1995),Contemporary Jewish
: >> and morality : a reader. New York: Oxford
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: >> Letter on Intimate Relations. New York. Rabbinical Assembly.
: >> Fierstein, H. (1981) Torch Song Trilogy. The Gay Presses of
: >> York, also [Film] (1987), Paul Bogart, Producer
: >> Firestone, D., et al (1994) Education Against Homophobia.
: >> Unpublished paper.
: >> Flax, H. (1995) Sex, Lies & Hebrew School. Moment. 20(2)
: >> Goldfarb, R.S. (1995), United Synagogue Convention,
: >> listserv gay jews <***@shamash.nysernet.org>, Nov 6.
: >> Goldstein, H. (n.d.), Understand What It Means To Be Created
: >> Image of God, in Being A Blessing: 54 Ways You Can Help People
: >> With AIDS , Alef Design Group
: >> Greenberg, B. (1981). On Women and Judaism: A View from
: >> Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society
: >> Grishaver, J. L. (n.d.), Queer Halakhah. Unpublished paper
: >> Herring, B. (1984). Jewish Ethics and Halakhah for Our Time:
: >> Sources and Commentary. New York, Ktav
: >> Jewish Publication Society (1985). Tanakh: A new Translation
: >> Holy Scriptures According to the Traditional Hebrew Text.
: >> Kantrowitz, B. (1996) Gay Families Come Out. Newsweek,
: >> Kellner, M. M., ed. (1978) Contemporary Jewish Ethics. New
: >> Sanhedrin Press
: >> Kelman, S. (1995) Community and Diversity: A Teshuvah on Gay
: >> Lesbian Couples at Congregation Netivot Shalom. Berkeley, CA.
: >> Knisley, J. (1996) Religion and Homosexuality: A Christian
: >> Stand-Point. http://members.tripod.com/~Buznog/jason.htm
: >> Latz, M. (1996). Affirmed But Waiting at Hebrew Union
: >> Voices. March 4.
: >> Leder, S. (1995) The Real Abominations. Jewish Journal, May
: >> Lerner, M. (1994), Jewish Renewal: A path to Healing and
: >> Transformation. New York: Harper
: >> Lerner, M. (1993), Curing Homophobia & Other Conservative
: >> Pathologies. Tikkun 8 (5)
: >> Magonet, J. (ed) (1995). Jewish explorations of sexuality .
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: >> Plaskow, J. (1990). Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a
: >> Feminist Perspective. San Francisco. Harper & Row.
: >> Raphael, L. (1990), Dancing on Tisha b'Av, New York , St.
: >> Press
: >> Raphael , L. (1992) Winter Eyes .New York, St. Martin's Press
: >> Raphael , L. (1996) Journeys & Arrivals: On Being Gay and
: >> Boston: Faber and Faber
: >> Romanoff, L. (1990) Your People, My People: Finding
: >> Fulfillment as a Jew by Choice. Philadelphia, Jewish Publication
: >> Rothman, J. (1996) Judaism, Homosexuality, and Political
: >> Analyzing the Need for Diversity in Approaching
: >> Politics. Unpublished paper.
: >> Schwartz, B.D. (n.d.) The Jewish View of Homosexuality.
: >> Shanks, H. (ed.) (1993). Homosexuality and Judaism. [Special
: >> Moment, 18 (3)
: >> Springer, J., et al (1995, 6), Re: Conservative movement,
: >> submission to listserv gay jews <***@shamash.nysernet.org>
: >> Strassfield, S. and S. (eds). (1976) The Second Jewish
: >> Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society
: >> Torkelson, J. (1995). Rabbis to Relax Morality Rules:
: >> Jews Tackle Sexual Issues in New Report, in Rocky Mountain News,
: >> 17
: >> Treadaway, D. (1996) Berner offers Jewish Approach to Issues
: >> Sexual Expression. New Voices. March 4.
: >> Tucker, S. (1995). Our Queer World. The Humanist.
: >> _
: >> Union of American Hebrew Congregations. (1995). A Resolution
: >> Promoting Equal Employment and Leadership Opportunities for
: >> Gays in the Reform Movement.
: >> Zelizer, G.L. (1995). Conservative Rabbis, their movement,
: >> American Judaism. Judaism. 3(292)
: >> Return to Top
: >> Congregation Beth Am
: >> 26790 Arastradero Rd
: >> Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
: >> Phone: 650-493-4661
: >> Email: ***@betham.org
: >> "Lawrence Glickman" <***@comcast.net> wrote in
: >> news:***@4ax.com...
: >> : On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 06:58:31 GMT, ren#***@anglic#n.org (The +Revd)
: >> : wrote:
: >> :
: >> : >On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 08:43:53 +0200, "Riain Barton/øéòéï áøúåï"
: >> : ><***@zion.org.il> wrote:
: >> : >
: >> : >>Baruch HaShish!!!!!!!!
: >> : >
: >> : >Why are you babbling in yiddish, you bent Irish fairy?
: >> : >
: >> : >>You fucking filthy piece of dung!
: >> : >
: >> : >You fucking filthy little shirtlifter!
: >> :
: >> : I don't know if Rainman is aware of this, but
: >> : FUCKING MEN IN THE ASS WITH YOUR PENIS
: >> : is an "Abomination" in the eyes of The Lord.
: >> :
: >> : G-d have mercy on this individual's soul.
: >> :
: >> : He commits heinous crimes of Satanic Proportions, and thinks G-d
: >> : not know about it. Rainman is a deranged _fool_. Condemned by
: >> : un-natural Satanic Perversions.
: >> :
: >> : Lg
: >> :