OK, Rabbi Leiter: Let’s Talk Halacha

Dear Rabbi Leiter,
No need to apologize, but I’m not sure why you wrote that this discussion made me feel uncomfortable, just as I’m not sure why you wrote earlier that it made me feel angry or scared. It appears that part of your strategy in debating issues is to try to portray your opponent as being of weak character.
Notwithstanding your approach, I (who certainly did not feel uncomfortable, angry or scared :)) am solely interested in discussing the issues equitably and on their merits, so let’s please do that.
You stated:
(T)he matter we’re dealing with is beyond mere Halachic pilpul. People’s lives are at stake.
Halacha is not a mere intellectual endeavor, detached from daily life and reality. On the contrary, Halacha addresses and guides every facet of Jewish existence. The concept of setting aside Halacha when facing very serious challenges is foreign to Torah/Orthodox Judaism.
As you know, the halachic regulations regarding homosexual activity are quite clear and undisputed. Please see Sanhedrin 54, 73-75, and Rambam Hil. Issurei Bi’ah 1:14 and Hil. Yesodei Ha-Torah 5:2-9. As these uncontested and foundational sources state, the prohibition does not come with exceptions and applies literally under all circumstances. The fact that Torat Chayim members do not accept this aspect of Halacha is very noteworthy.
I believe that we have both had a good opportunity to flesh out the ideas and that our views have been well clarified.
Sincerely,
Avrohom Gordimer
About the Author
Rabbi Gordimer is a kashruth professional, Chairman of the Rabbinic Circle at Coalition for Jewish Values, a member of the Rabbinical Council of America, and a member of the New York Bar. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.
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