In degrees from harsh to friendly to sound
Fresh in the news, frequently, Orthodox-Jewish authorities trashing Gays and their communities. Yet, not every Orthodox Jew thinks the same.
1. Gays just want to anger G^d and destroy Judaism and society.
All of G^d’s Commandments are holy and attainable. Those who can’t do it should take therapy until they can. Otherwise, they chose evil.
Problem with that approach is that most Orthodox-Jewish Gays seem angered by Jews and Judaism and G^d. It seems that the anger sits on the other side. And as small children, Gays are often more religious than their peers and the rest of their families.
Further, frequently, their personalities and relationships are exemplary for how to pray, love one’s partner, raise children, teach students, build communities, and be generous.
2. Gays can’t help themselves.
A problem is that many LGBTQs report finally being happy, content, and fulfilled when living the life of their choice, no different from heterosexual cis-gender people who live the life of their dreams, though no one likes the oppression and how hard it makes it for biological men to have children.
3. Who are we to judge?
The same approach as the present Pope. Always a bad sign when the parent religion (Judaism) doesn’t have more to offer than its child religions (Christianity, Islam, Modernity).
In principle, generally, we should judge people and G^d favorably. But if people happily violate Commandments, we should reproach them.
Our Prayers advise us to confess: “We deviated from Your good Commandments and Laws, but it has not benefited us.” So, when we see clear benefits of homosexual relationships, they can’t be universally sinful.
4. It’s between the Jew and his Maker
Certainly, sinning in public is far more serious than in the privacy of one’s home. But sinning is sinning, and we should not be nice about it if it is sinning. Private idol worship made us lose wars.
5. You’re a monster if you reject people like that
Civility and respect for others certainly speak of humility, our greatest virtue. And it prevents the worst sin which is degrading Judaism and G^d in the eyes of others. Still, as arguments, these are very weak.
6. The Torah meant something else than it says
That’s a tough thesis to prove. Sounds more like wishful thinking. “The Torah condemns homosexual intercourse because, then, it was often rape.” Makes no sense because it says that the penetrated is as guilty as the penetrator. Such an approach can’t be part of Orthodox Judaism.
One friend of mine, a Straight, legit Orthodox Rabbi, says: “I just disagree with condemning homosexuals. I reject what it seems to say in Leviticus. How I can do that as a rabbi? I have no alternative but to reject it.”
7. The role of the Rabbis is to give Jews a good life, not to judge them
Sidestepping the pull to judge is definitely more becoming than authorities trying to beat down innocent, vulnerable people.
8. Jewish Law was recently wrongly interpreted and the Torah misread
The injunction against homosexuality was largely a dead letter in Judaism until 60 years ago because it hardly existed. Rich Greek men often had young boyfriends on the side for sex and love. At wars, non-Jewish soldiers not rarely would rape enemy men and women. But Jews did not. Only in lewd times, the deciders of Jewish Law write, when everyone has sex with everything that moves and doesn’t, some Jews followed that trend.
In the Sixties, with Make Love, Not War, and, for the first time, with anti-conception splitting procreation from sex, then also Gay Lib emerged. The Rabbis then said: The old story of lewd times. But even the greatest rabbis then, Rabbis Kook and Feinstein concluded that at least in some cases, homosexuality seemed no lewd revolt but built into the person. (These writings are always concealed by the anti-Gay lobby.)
Recently, in the last 500 years, no new Jewish Law emerged that bans men from having sex with men. Just the old texts were interpreted wrongly.
The Torah actually forbids intercourse by a man with a man as with a woman. When it forbids bestiality, it doesn’t say As with a human. So, the basic meaning must be an Injunction against replacement homosexuality: Straight men who find it easier to sleep around with men than stick to and cleave to one wife. The Torah Injunction is only on Straight men.
This makes a lot of sense. There’s no shame on a guy needing to cling to a guy to break existential loneliness. Only ’emergency homosexuality’ is out because it wrecks family life of Straights and leads Straight men astray.
Have these arguments ready, even if no one wants to hear them. It is hard to be a proud Gay Jew or Ally to Gay Jews without knowing this by heart.
NB: Jews’ religiosity does not predict (un)friendliness toward LGBTQ. We have ultra-Orthodox Jews who stand with LGBTQIA+, no questions asked. And there are Atheistic Jews, who shamelessly hate LGBTQIA+, basing themselves on … Leviticus. Some Straight women hate Gay men. Go figure.
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. *
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One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. *
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