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December 12, 2009

Gay Orthodox Rabbi Comes Out Of The Closet

Israel-rainbow-flag And he still serves as the rabbi of his synagogue.

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Should he wear a rainbow colored talit as a statement?

Does this make him a Heblew?

A statement of what?

Perhaps he could find Rabbis to allow eating Pork. Or Perhaps working on the Sabbath? Oh yes, of course you can find Rabbo=is who will permit these things. They are called Reform Rabbis. This is like being a Catholic and saying you want women priests. You can have women priests in various Protestant denominations, but not as a Catholic. You can be Homosexual, but not Orthodox.

Are you sure? Because that is not what most poskim would say.

A homosexual that does not put into practice his homosexuality can be a fully observant Orthodox Jew.

I guess the reason that his synagogue has kept him as rabbi is that his synagogue is probably a congregation of homosexuals. Homosexuals need to have their own synagogues because synagogues of people who dont commit this sin usually dont let homosexuals lead the davening and dati homosexuals want to lead the davening when they have yahrtzeit and when they are saying kadish just like other dati people who are saying kadish.
People with uncontrolable homosexual desires are better off coming out of the closet and commiting homosexual sins with consenting adults than they would be refusing to admit their homosexual desires to any adults for fear of being ostracized by the community and end up molesting children because they figure it is safe to molest children because children are ignorant of what the child molester is doing to them and will usually tell nobody what was done to them because they are too young, naive, and innocent to realize the significance of what is being done to them.
Molesting children is far worse than commiting homosexual acts with consenting adults because molesting children introduces innocent children to homosexual acts at a very young age and usually gets the children to become homosexuals

Please, someone clue me in: what kind of sex acts can a gay guy do and still be considered observant?

Please watch the video before commenting. You come across as ignorant when you haven't.

It you did watch the video you would know that he lives a celibate life.

Putting the Israeli flag together with the gay flag like that is offensive.

That was a great interview and a clear focus: first, the existence of gays and lesbians must be acknowledged and then the questions regarding relationships will have to be considered and answered. It is astounding that there are still people who either believe that there are no homosexuals in religious communities or that it is a "lifestyle" involving choice of sexual preferences.

Posted by: ML | December 13, 2009 at 12:31 AM

It wasn't clear to me whether or not he was celibate from watching the video. It seemed that way but it also seemed that he wasn't ruling out homosexual relations in the future.

Homosexuality is an issue that I thankfully don't have to do deal with. I can only imagine the pain and turmoil that people attracted to others of the same sex have to go through. I have not studied the laws and would question that the open mindedness to approach such study without prejudice would be difficult for any Rabbi raised in the ultra orthodox or any conservative leaning culture.

The following is from the HOD.org.il web site. It seems to me that para 5 and 10 contradict each other. Aside from that their position seems to make sense. I doubt though that there overall position would be accepted by and may in fact be threatening to the overall gay community.

http://www.hod.org.il/?en=1&sc=1&pg=1

5) A Jewish gay who engages in prohibited homosexual acts belongs to the Halachic category of the "mumar leteavon" (sinned because of uncontrollable desire) and not to that of the "mumar lehachis" (malevolent sinner). It is therefore prohibited to reject him from the Orthodox community.

10) There is no Halachic injunction concerning consenting affectionate relationships between two people of the same sex.

ONE: Orthodox Judaism acknowledges sin and the possibilty of repentance.
TWO: It acknowledges that temptation can come in many forms for diffrent people and some people may find cheating on their spouses with members of the opposite sex to be more tempting than same sex relations.
THREE: Orthodoxy posits that ALL sexual relations should fall under the rubric of marriage, known in hebrew as kiddushin, roughly translated as sanctification.
FOUR: Again, acknowledging that people may fall short of the ideal does not justify abandoning the ideal.
Five: What I have just outlined is the Orthodox position. You can disagree with the position, but you cannot disagree and claim to be orthodox.
Six: Yes you can claim to be a celibate homosexual, but that seems to me (And here I speak just from logic, I claim no experise) to be a meaningless statement. If one has been celibate, how would one know if he/she is homosexual or asexual or perhaps an undiscovered homosexual?
SEVEN: IMHO you can't claim that operating a Ponzi sceme is allowed by Orthodox Judaism. You cannot claim That eating pork and lobster is allowed by Orthodox Judaism. You can't claim that cheating your employees is allowed by orthodox judaism. You cannot claim that worshipping the BAAL is allowed by Orthodox Judaism.
You cannot claim that male homosexuality is allowed bt Orthodox Judaism. You can either acknowledge that what you did was a sin and repent, or you must lay aside your claim of being Orthodox.

Personally, I dont care to know if the Rabbi is a poofta or not. I never went to shul talking about the great hum jobs my shikse girlfriends gave me the night before so why should anyone care what or whom he likes to shtoop.? Seriously? Keep it to yourself and continue doing the job you were hired to do.

A bit late to be posting but.


Nobody gave me instructiosn about feeling sexualy and emotionally desirouse of having a relationship with a woman. I wasn't taught to desrie to kiss a woman even before I ever kissed one.

Same with most homesexuals they are drawn to have intimacy with men not women.When you want to kiss someone you know it,A heterosexual need not experiment with homosexuality to determine that they are hetro.

Suggest that people who are really interested about Orthodoxy and homoesuality should read Rabbi Steve GReenberg's book,Wrestling with God and Men
Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition
Updated

Steve is the first American Orthodox Rabbi who came out of the closet.Read the book and he relates a short conversation he had with R Elyashiv about his desire for men.You will be puzzled by the answer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Greenberg_(rabbi)#Meeting_with_Rabbi_Eliashiv

"Meeting with Rabbi Eliashiv

Greenberg relates an anecdote in his semi-autobiographical work, Wrestling with God and Men of him meeting Rabbi Yosef Sholom Eliashiv while living as a student in Israel.

...beset with an increased awareness of my attraction to a fellow yeshiva student, I visited a sage, Rav Yosef Shalom Eliashuv [sic], who lives in one of the most secluded ultra-Orthodox communities in Jerusalem. He was in poor health but still taking visitors... Speaking in Hebrew, I told him what, at the time, I felt was the truth. "Master, I am attracted to both men and women. What shall I do?" He responded, "My dear one, my friend, you have twice the power of love. Use it carefully." I was stunned. I sat in silence for a moment, waiting for more. "Is that all?" I asked. He smiled and said, "That is all. There is nothing more to say."

Greenberg notes that Eliashiv's comment was not meant to endorse homosexuality, nor to imply that there is no conflict between homosexuality and Orthodox Judaism (although the Torah forbids it). On the contrary, the point of the story, and the significance of Eliashiv's reported response, is that it is possible for religious Jews to have compassion and empathy for Jews struggling to remain frum and who have homosexual urges."

http://orthodykes.blogspot.com/2006/10/wrestling-with-steve-greenberg.html

"The problem is, Steve Greenberg has attempted to position himself as "the first openly gay Orthodox rabbi". And he's nothing of the sort. He may have been Orthodox at one time. He may be Orthoprax today. But Orthodox Judaism is more than mere ritual. And someone who rejects Torah miSinai is not an Orthodox Jew. Someone who goes beyond that and actively attempts to dissuade Jews from the basic truths of the Torah is more than just "not-Orthodox"."

I posted a couple of links and cut and pastes. They do not reflect my opinion as I know little on the subject but were posted as food for thought.

B"H

I don't see him rejecting Torah at all, Chabadnik. I see him upholding Torah. It is by our actions, not by our thoughts, that we are religious Jews. I may pine in my heart for a Double Bacon Cheeseburger and a Chocolate Malt, but if I don't eat a Bacon Cheeseburger and a Chocolate Malt, I am still an observant Jew.

He may want to have homosexual relations, but if he doesn't, he is still an observant Jew.

It is not against Halacha to be gay, it is against Halacha to do certain acts that a gay person may do.

Sure, he can't fulfill the mitzvah of marriage or any of the mitzvot accompanying that mitzvah (family purity, having children, etc.) but there are many people who are born a certain way and, for that reason, cannot perform certain mitzvot, and we don't condemn them.

What is the difference here?


I didn't see anything in that interview that says that the rabbi rejects Torah miSinai. The Torah only forbids the homosexual act. Hashem, for whatever reason, gave him an attraction to other men. He has not violated any laws. Also, don't the laws of niddah show that a couple can have an emotional and loving connection that has nothing to do with sex? Perhaps he was referring to the hope that he might some day be able to have an emotional, loving, non-sexual bond with another person.

Honestly, I think that someone whose dedication to Hashem is so absolute that it overcomes the desire to ever have sex shows a lot more devotion to Hashem than most of us will ever have. We should stand in awe of such people.

Chabadnik Attorney writes:

10) There is no Halachic injunction concerning consenting affectionate relationships between two people of the same sex.

Indeed. Consider the relationship between Johnathan and King David. By modern standards it would be considered romantic or homoerotic. The categories and standards were different then, very very different.

Nothing unites the orthodox adherents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam quite like their hatred of gay men.

Please watch the video before commenting. You come across as ignorant when you haven't.

My question is not dependent upon watching the video as it was meant as a general question. You come across as ignorant when your fail at reading for context.

It you did watch the video you would know that he lives a celibate life.

Celibate in what way? He abstains from sex? Or, he abstains from marriage?

Michelle, I agree with you. Though, I am not clear on this Rabbi's position. If you look at the HOD Website and the list of points there you will see item number 10 (which is also in the comments above) and I believe a subtle theme in the interview. Is he saying that two men can have an affectionate relationship if the intent isn't sex. And then, if they do have sex refer to item 5 that they have only sinned by desire and can still be considered orthodox.

I personally have no problem with it, if he is saying that. But, I think its naive to think that you can have an affectionate relationship with someone you are sexually attracted to without having sex.

As I stated above, since I do not have these desires I cannot relate to the pain and turmoil gay people go through and I do not judge them.

I also don't believe in labels such orthodox, conservative and reform. You are either Jewish or not and you either believe in the basic Jewish principles of faith or you don't.

A. Nuran, thank you for your comment. I was unfamiliar with the modern discussion of the relationship surrounding David and Jonathon.

++you are either Jewish or not and you either believe in the basic Jewish principles of faith or you don't...
chabadnik attorney | December 13, 2009 at 12:25 PM++

CA, you're still using the black-and-white thinking technique with which Chabad force-feeds its Ba'al Tshuvahs.

Nobody really 'believes' everything in orthodox canon, despite what they say. Fewer still really practice everything, either. And yet, everyone is quick to assail gays for their violation of orthodox tenet.

Surely there are thinks you do or don't do, that are religious infractions. Do people take you to task for those things? There's plenty of stuff in the Bible we just don't bother with. But the gay thing just drives the orthodox world nuts.

WSC, I have attempted to make it clear that I disagree with the way religious and conservative leaning people treat homosexuals and show extra disdain for their behavior over lets say someone who drives on Shabboss. It is, I believe, today called homophobia.

I resent having my thinking reduced to the product of Chabad indoctrination. I wouldn't resent this being offered as a possibility though as I am willing to consider that and usually able to make the distinction.

I think its impossible in the constrains of a blog to make assumptions about the reasoning behind and opinion.

I do agree that "Nobody really 'believes' everything in orthodox canon, despite what they say." It is for that reason that I have discusses (with Rabbi's that I believe to be honest and knowledgeable) the issue of what the bare bones beliefs of Judaism is where beyond that lies heresy.

I think that to reasonable minds who are knowledgeable and intellectually honest we can agree that those who do not believe in the basic tenets of Torah are the same people who seek to chip away at our foundations, constantly attack halacha, deny the uniqueness of the Jewish people (which is admitted by the religious gentiles as well) bash orthodox Jews and Halacha with the same or worse venom than Orhtodox Jews bash gays and are responsible for the assimilation of the Jewish people and loss of Jewish identity in numbers way beyond the the loss of holy six million.

And I never said it was black and white.

To assigning of titles and names like conservative and reform is a mere attempt to legitimize the erosion of our beliefs.

And by the way the BT indoctrination myth is a bunch of bull. My great grandparents were Hasidim and their children were mostly killed by the German. My fathers father fled Europe and a very young age and my father was born in rural America. His remaining siblings were killed out except for one that we didn't know about until 7 years after her immigration to America in 1987 !!! Guess what when I met her she was wearing a tichel and sitting by her Shabboss candles. She would tell us stories of our chisidishe lineage and holy Rabbanim in our family.

Stop spreading the myth that is born of American assimilation and which has grown out of our near devastation as a nation in Europe.

Stop making sad excuses for yourselves.

Back on topic, you can be sexually attracted to men and be orthodox. The Torah didn't prohibit behavior that was not possible in people. In fact such people probably have very high souls and great inner strength in that they are given a challenge that most of us arn't.

CA, I agree with much (if not all) of what you've said in the 3 posts above.

It is likely, because of the difficulty in keeping this verse in the Torah, and the historic prevalence of engaging in activities not consistent with the verse, that the strong opposition and intolerance originally arose, and it unfortunately eventually grew into bigotry and prejudice.

WSC, when are you having my family for Shabboss :)

Is anyone actually surprised by this? Haredi men are seen in gay bathhouses all the time. One Chasid (not Lubavitch) patronizes a gay bathhouse in the East Fifties in NYC on a regular basis. People who live on the block joke about it. If you talk to gay men they will tell you that they've seen frumsters going down on black men in steam rooms and saunas -- before going home to their unsuspecting wives and families. They look down on blacks but go down on them, too. Like their straight brothers with black female sex workers. People are people; men are men.

CA, we can meet up for lunch one of these days in Crown Heights.

I'll probably visit the old neighborhood later in January. Will let you know.

Next comes the mikveh comments.

WSC, ok, I am rarely in CH though. Are you on the West Coast or in the East coast area?

Central NJ.
Next time you're in NYC or Brooklyn, let us know!

I'm in Jersey often. I will def follow up.

WSC, u can email me at jlwesq2@yahoo.com

RabbiDW, Very well said. I agree with you 100%. And I'm not even Orthodox.

I think all this making a big deal out of what the community thinks is so stupid.The way I see it is you have 4 options:
1)become unorthodox
2)deny your feelings and try to "change"
3)stay celibate like this yahoo or
4)have an active gay lifestyle but still keep all the other mitzvos.If you live in a free contry(like israel)you can still daven,learn torah,give tzedakah,etc even if your sweeheart's name is dovid rather than davida.This last one is a how i deal with it.

The Torah says not to lie with a man as you would with a woman. Thus, homosexual acts done sitting or standing are not prohibited. Also, a 100% homosexual would never lie with a woman, so therefore anything his does with a man is not as he would with a woman, so is not prohibited.

What about 2 men telling lies together? Like a law firm?

What about telling a lie to a man?

What about lying to a woman to get her into the sack with you?

Who cares? If they want to bugger each other, gezunter-heit, chap a-rhine! Do you ask how a rabbi shtups his wife? I say, stay out of the guy's bedroom. Of course, if he's arrested whilst cruising park bathrooms, then I can appreciate the concern.

Which side of a Partition does a transgender
rabbi sit in an orthodox shul ?

Now the gay rabbit will be able to molest his young congregants after all why discriminate. He likes young boys,free country.

Yes Chayim, those fags Jews just want to molest your sons drink the blood of Christian children. You have it all figured out, yes you do.

I would like to see this article or video, but it appears to have been removed.

To the wiseguy who asked "which side of a Partition does a transgender rabbi sit in an orthodox shul?"

The answer is the one consistent with the restroom (s)he uses!!!!!

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