Every year, it’s the same thing. The Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade is coming up and religious gay-haters jostle one another to be the one who ventilates the most hurtful, ignorant and suicide-promoting remarks.
If their writings and speeches would not be so dangerous, you’d almost think that they have been bought by gay lobbyists to attack in order to swell the number of fuming Straight Allies to the March in the Capital.
What strikes is their total lack of common sense, common decency, empathy or doubt. With sureness and self-confidence, these rabbis attack and wound as many as they can in the name of goodness, tradition, religion and normalcy (though normalcy is not a Jewish Commandment).
They cite all the quotes everyone knows already (the first sin in any speaker), show that their bigotry is so large that none of their close gay family members has come out to them yet, and pretend as if they are beleaguered (playing victim is a favorite strategy of oppressors).
Meanwhile, every decent person, every person with a little common sense, every person with some measure of empathy and self-worth disagrees in shock. Problem is that those don’t seek publicity. So we should first ask the self-appointed defenders of normalcy how many young people you guess your pronouncements will murder.
Of course, you would react shocked. Heaven forbid — you don’t want anyone to kill themselves. But you also don’t want them to live. Not close to you, not to receive any respect, not be comfortable.
Here’s a list of false evil positions often used as a pretext for your hatred:
- It says in the Bible that homosexual intercourse is a sin. A homosexual should withhold himself.
Truth: In present Jewish Law, all sexuality of homosexuals is forbidden: alone, not intercourse, yes intercourse, heterosexual (because such a marriage generally does not hold). Most homosexuals need a steady sexual relationship just like everyone else. Judaism promises a good life. Jewish Law does not go by Biblical verses but by exegesis.
People who proudly shove to the fore Leviticus 18:22, 20:13 (but hide Leviticus 19:18) act as despicably as the pig that shows off its split hoofs to say: Look, I’m kosher.
- Homosexuality is one of the most serious sins.
Truth: Hurting and slandering innocent people is much worse a sin. When you say something that makes people commit suicide you’re a murderer. When you proclaim all sexuality of a million Jews and half a billion Gentiles a sin, you in fact just make fun of yourself, Judaism and G^d — which is the worst sin in Judaism. Go back to the drawing board because you must have made a wrong turn somewhere. (The mistake for me is obvious. Gay intercourse is only forbidden to Straight men. But you get to figure it out all by yourselves.)
- Coming out is an attack on Judaism.
Truth: Coming out is honesty. Gay couples are often true role models in the community. How could such holiness and happiness be based on sin? How could you advocate hypocrisy in a religion that values honesty?
- If they’re homosexual, they should understand that there is no place for them in Judaism.
Truth: That is not written anywhere. No one — not even your spouse — is created for the sole purpose of making you comfortable. If you want gays to get lost, you’re no different from bigots who want Jews, feminists, Blacks to get lost. And if you’re a rabbi, you’re less then these haters.
- It’s wrong to choose to be gay.
Truth: How come millions upon millions understand that gayness is not a choice (though not everyone may know that gays are neurobiologically different) and the rabbis don’t? What’s wrong with you guys? I won’t ask of you to declare a sin not a sin but how could their very being be sinful?
- Parading one’s sexuality is indecent.
Truth: Being unfriendly is uncouth. You should only be half as friendly as most gay people. They don’t parade their sexuality — only their sexual preference — just like most Straight people do all the time.
- I refuse to cater to the whole unnecessary Pride thing.
Truth: I’ll make you a deal. If you stop trashing them, they’ll stop being so proud and celebrating what should be taken for granted and natural.
- Children need to grow up with a father and a mother.
Truth: Being so insensitive makes you a far worse parent than most gay parents even on their own, let alone by the two. Incest predominantly happens in Straight households. Stop being such hetero-supremacists.
- We rabbis are entrusted with upholding the tradition.
Truth: The Jewish tradition is one of compassion and realism. Your inhumane bullying pushes more heterosexuals than homosexuals away from Orthodox Judaism. You’re only upholding you Ego and Coldness.
And if one asks how I can still be an Orthodox Jew when the leaders are such monsters, I’ll tell you. They are not the Boss. There is only One Boss. They don’t own Judaism. He does. And I’m with Him — and with the silent majority that is plain simply decent and humble.
Being Nice to the Rabbis has been Done Plenty
But, one should wonder why I’m so tough, bordering on harsh or hateful, about this. Most rabbis are wonderful people who do lots of good work, no? The short answer is: Yes, most rabbis are wonderful people who do lots of good work but are also complicit (by staying silent) to let hundreds of anti-gay rabbinic bullies (in Israel, in the UK) endanger the lives and the quality of life of so many sweet LGBTQ Jews — and Gentiles.
Most of the former are married to women who are generally much more humane and down-to-earth and they should for starters take G^d’s advice to Abraham: “Listen to whatever Sarah tells you” (Genesis 21:12).
But what about all the Orthodox rabbis who openly “suggest” that gay men’s sex is “possibly” not a sin at all? I applaud all the token 3 of them.
Still, why not just be nice and be milder? Because the Sages warn us that being good to the evil may result in being evil to the good. If I must choose between pursuers and pursued, I’m with the latter — just like G^d.
The rabbis will be held accountable for their lack of interest, for looking the other way and moreover for slandering gays and moreover for every non-straight who committed suicide. Just like the Dutch Gentiles who mostly gave the cold shoulder when the pure innocent Jews were shipped to their collective deaths. (Most resistance only came when the Jews were already gone.) This silence included their government in exile.
“A lack of caring enables all evil, including the Holocaust.” (Eli Wiesel)
“The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.” (Albert Einstein)
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: G-d will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” (Pastor Dietrich Bonhöffer, a rare German church leader who kept speaking out against the Nazi regime.)
“The road to Auschwitz was not built by hate, but paved with indifference.” (Renowned Holocaust scholar Sir Ian Kershaw)
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transformation was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” (Rev. Martin Luther King Jr)
I wouldn’t be so tough on the Orthodox rabbis if I thought that they couldn’t or shouldn’t change their murderous stand and indifference. If one should be nice to them, it’s been done plenty — also by me. Millions — and counting — of pure young lives have been embittered, ruined (not allowing them to raise or teach children, this way cutting them off from giving their wonderful empathy, character traits and outlooks on life to the next generation, which is extermination too), maimed, cut short and violently ended (without the rabbis’ complicity, the worldwide state, mob or terrorists based execution of gays would not be possible). But the rabbis are not bothered? (Saying that you’re bothered but not doing anything about it, to all intents and purposes, is not being bothered.)
The German nation post-WW II only had one route back into humanity, by admission of failure and from now on, total support for Jews. Also the rabbis have only one way to save their souls. They must admit having been on the wrong side of history, being complicit and indifferent, but now speak out loudly at every turn against any more heaping of suspicion on Gays and praise their innate and obvious innocence for all to see and hear.
A “good person” complicit in mass murder is still a mass murderer until he disavows the past and turns into a loud solid ally to all the persecuted. Just like Judah did when he said: “It [all guilt] is on me” (Genesis 38:26). (For civil law, they’re not guilty but that defense will do pretty little for them in the Heavenly Court.)
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On a related subject, The Jerusalem Municipality has just transferred half a million shekels to the capital’s GLBTQ organization. Not that it want to but it was forced by an earlier verdict from the Supreme Court that it should not discriminate and take care of the needs of all residents equally.
I regret that verdict by Israel’s highest court. It should have given the city an alternative. It should have been left free not to support any gay cause on condition that Jerusalemites would be free from any obligation to pay city tax when they declare to be gay. (That would cost the city, when figuring in close family members of GLBTQs, about a third of their budget.)