Week of learning on sexual orientation and Conservative Judaism

Please join Keshet JTS for the last two sessions of our annual week of learning:

Tuesday, December 6 — RABBI SHAI HELD (Beit Midrash)
Rabbi Shai Held is Scholar-in-Residence at Kehilat Hadar in Manhattan, Visiting Lecturer in Talmud and Rabbinics at JTS, and a doctoral candidate in Religion at Harvard University. Rabbi Held will discuss an aggadic approach to the problem of mamzeirut and its possible implications for questions of homosexuality and communal openness.
Thursday, December 8 — RABBI GORDON TUCKER (Mendelson Convocation Center)
Rabbi Gordon Tucker is Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Jewish Philosophy at JTS. Rabbi Tucker, a member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, will discuss his approach to the halakhic issues surrounding sexual orientation.

I attended the talk last Thursday with Rabbi Ayelet Cohen of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, New York’s GLBT synagogue, and it was absolutely fabulous. It was hands-down the best talk I’ve ever heard on the topic of welcoming people into synagogues. As a straight rabbi of a gay synagogue, she is sometimes the only “other” in the group. Further, since the synagogue is so open to homosexuals who, when it was founded in the 1970’s, felt they had nowhere else to go, today the synagogue is made up of people from all backgrounds, including many straight members who feel quite welcome there. Additionally, it is a strong model of a pluralistic synagogue since all of its members come from such a variety of backgrounds. (The synagoge is unaffiliated with any movement.) Another interesting fact about CBST is how single people of all ages, both gay and straight, including single parents, feel comfortable there because they don’t publically hold the family structure of “one mom, one dad” as an ideal.
Keshet JTS is a group formed at the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2002 which aims to “Explore the Jewish texts and interpersonal elements that impact the issue of homosexuality and Conservative Judaism; educate the broader Conservative community about the aforementioned resources, and advocate for social and religious equality for Jews of all sexual orientations within the Conservative Movement.”
The Jewish Theological Seminary is located at 3080 Broadway, a few blocks north of Columbia University (or a few blocks south of Harlem) at 122nd Street. Room locations for the lectures are listed above in parentheses. Photo ID is required for entry.
Note: JTS, the foremost rabbinical school of the Conservative movement does not currently allow open homosexuals to apply for rabbinic ordination or cantorial investiture: “We will not knowingly admit avowed homosexuals to our rabbinical or cantorial schools or to the Rabbinical Assembly or the Cantors’ Assembly. At the same time, we will not instigate witch hunts against those who are already members or students.” For more background on this topic, see Keshet JTS’s list of sources, which includes classical texts, modern teshuvot, divrei Torah, and more.

48 thoughts on “Week of learning on sexual orientation and Conservative Judaism

  1. Hmmmm… all of the traditional texts on the Website seem to back up JTS’s position the fact is that just because halacha does not support gay Rabbis or gay marriage does not mean that gays can not contribute and be active in the Jewish community which they have for thousands of years the old cliche should be applied here if it is not broken don’t fix it and this is coming from someone (me)who feels that the government should allow civil gay betrothel and allow gays in the US military.

  2. Well only a heterosexual would think it wasn’t broke but just aside from that, my bet is the majority in the Conservative movement now disagree with JTS that it isn’t broke. So what if homosexuals have always been allowed to participate so long as they shut up, blacks got the same deal in the South.

  3. Well, even if you happen to think that the JTS position ain’t broke (which I don’t), how do you account for everything else that is?

  4. First Dameocrat the Cons movement is created on the basis of halacha thats the one thing that makes it differ with Reform/recon homosexuality has nothing to do with race thats a red herring.and lastly your wrong the cons movement is losing out to reform and ortho because the shift to the left has left the traditionalists with a bad taste and the progressives don’t see a great deal of difference between cons and reform/recon so they simply do whats natural and moveover I saying that people should leave politics at the shul door and pick up the Chumash and actually read it. It says nothing about Banning gays but a Conservative Rabbi must accept all mitzvot.Rationaly once you start throwing out the mitzvot you don’t agree with you end up banning bris milah and other vital mitzvot just because society says something is ok does not mean the says its ok

  5. no it hasn’t thrown out all halacha, but it doesn’t maintain all of halacha either, thus you have mixed sercices and women Rabbis. The gay issues is no different.
    Conservatives are losing out more because they aren’t prioritizing setting up shop in suburbia, like orthodox and reform. They don’t have to choose between the two and say all halacha is bad or that it is all good and should be maintained. BTW, all of the denominations are down in terms of numbers.

  6. Perhaps some of you are not aware of the Tanakh (God’s Word) which despises homosexuality. It’s also mentioned in the Brit Chadasha. a chose not to listen to Him the first time so He had to mention it “again”. No one who takes on gay practices shall inheirt the Kingdom of Heaven. Don’t come at me with this…jsut read The Tanakh (unless your word takes precedence over His). We’re praying for you gays. God loves His children but not their sin. I suggest http://www.syrogers.com Former gay now walks with God. Coincidentally I wrote a new song called Godz Kidz which you can hear on my site which lightly addresses “turning away from ungodly lifestyles” like homosexuality. Peace.

  7. Cohen your a sad man you cheapen my arguement by bringing in ideas from another religion have you learned your lesson yet this is a Jewish blog if you want to talk to me one on one we can debate theology until the cows come home Im sad to see someone waste his birthright(yiddishkeit) like Esau wasted his birthright for some lentils

  8. uberkvetcher,
    it’s sad to see someone “call themselves a Jew” and defend ha’satan. you need more than help, you need God’s Truth….cause for your entire life you have been living a life. I dare you….to seek God. P.S. You won’t find Him in “religions” You’ll find Him in His Word.
    aviad cohen

  9. even if you are to accept “homosexuality” as an avera, it is not necessarily clear why it would preclude someone from service to the community. their are a variety of hilchot that are much clearer and prioritized much more highly in both rabbinic and tanachic judaism which don’t preclude rabbnicial ordination in the Conservative movement. it seems it is primarily an issue of social values. This, of course, connects with the argument that social attitudes are primarily what drive the committee on jewish laws and standards anyway. basically, the position on gay rabbis, unfairly and uniquely targets folks who commit this specific “avera” over any other sort of avera.
    as for the earlier spurious claim about the Conservative movement putting less of an emphasis on suburbia, i am assuming it was a joke. the committee on laws+standards issues a special ruling on driving+shabbat, which by design rapidly expanded the movement into suburbia, both a halachic and a moral disaster. it was, of course, strongly influenced by white flight demographics and i view that move as anti-urban and anti-integration, but this is a major digression, apologies.

  10. uberkvetcher:
    Aviad is right. For your entire life you HAVE been living a life.
    Hey, Fiddy: Can you prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the passages about homosexuality in the Bible, or rather the entire book were transmitted directly from God? Or is it true because you believe it?
    It’s an old, old book. Written by PEOPLE. (any readers are free to disagree with me on that one, that’s just what I believe).
    Homosexuality is NOT A LIFESTYLE. Please tell me what is ungodly about any two human beings choosing to faithfully love each other in a monogamous relationship.
    Also, “The Secret Gospel of Thomas”, by Elaine Pagels. Read it. Think critically. I know it will be hard for you. But for the love of God, these books are not meant to be taken literally!!!

  11. Where do I start with the heritic mr Cohen the pagan worshiping man who sold old to nothingness just like Esau I think your new hebrew name is Esau (smekele cent) Cohen where is the redemption your chosen one speaks of where is the peace he promised? nowhere to be found your being used as a farce in a fraud if anyone was tempted by Satan it was you who jumped boat and abandoned your people what do your parents think in my opinion Esau your worse then all of the gay Jews on earth

  12. Oh so the Tanakh is not God’s Word? Thank God I got out of the cult of Judaism. You guys don’t take God’s Word seriously. Sucks for you. There is a hot place waiting for you. It’s called hell…enjoy it. Take your Talmud there with you. You’ll see all your Rabanim there with you. I’m gonna quote the patheticness of this site on my site. You guys look like serious idiots. Complete fools. I’m not surprised…you work for ha’Satan.

  13. let’s keep all absolute moral judgements regarding spiritual destiny to the Unknowable, for we don’t really know anything in Truth. let’s keep the debate popping and lively, but let only ideas be attacked, not souls.

  14. well at least he pays better.
    but on a serious note… what would you, fiddy good sir, suggest would be the solution for “the great sin”..really id be interested to hear. maybe you think they should stick to tossing off in their rooms all their lives…

  15. Aviad,
    And with all due respect (even though you told me I work for Satan. By the way, do you know what you mean when you say Ha’Satan? Have you done your research? Check this out:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S… )
    I take the Tanach seriously enough to study it on a near daily basis with people who have dedicated their lives to understanding the text on as many levels as possible: the literal, the symbolic, the political, the historiography (not history). Learning Tanach and Torah and not always taking the words at face value is of primary importance to me.
    Not only that, but I study both Jewish and Christian perspectives on the text. The only approach you are expounding is a fundamentalist one that purely takes the text literally and at face value, which is, of course, not a surprising result of the marriage between Judaism and Evangelism.)
    The first place in which it is said that the Bible is God’s word, is in the Bible itself. Incidentally, the same can be said about the Koran, so moving by your logic, it seems that you must accept the divinity of that text as well. You should consider that.
    Questioning, thinking critically, and doubting what you are being told is a key to any faith. It seems you did the same with Judaism, and went and fully rejected it. I myself do not accept Rabbinic Judaism as binding, but I do not feel the need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    Sure, you have received a good amount of venom from some of the Jewish readers on this site. I have received the same from fellow Jews at points in my life. But guess what? When people used to talk smack on the basketball court, I didn’t take my ball and leave. It only made me work harder.
    We’re all the same here. You may consider yourself saved, but you still, eat, sleep, and poop just like anyone who think is not saved.
    A more practical question for you: How do you deal with a person who has accepted Jesus and been ‘saved’, but considers both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament to be works created by human hands? These people certainly exist; they compose a substantial portion of the Biblical Scholarship community. Would you tell people who have dedicated their lives to understanding these texts in the the proper context that they work for Ha’Satan?

  16. Aviad,
    One more thing:
    The word ‘orthodox’ pretty much literally translates to ‘correct belief’. Just thought you should be aware of that when you repeatedly call all of us Orthodox Jews. Based on your rhetoric, you should be calling yourself Orthodox.

  17. Re:
    let’s keep all absolute moral judgements regarding spiritual destiny to the Unknowable, for we don’t really know anything in Truth. let’s keep the debate popping and lively, but let only ideas be attacked, not souls.
    invisible_hand • 12/05/05 03:55pm
    Even a blind man can see that those attaking souls are fanatic orthodox Jews and the like. Plenty of evidence of that on this website.
    I take the Tanach seriously enough to study it on a near daily basis with people who have dedicated their lives to understanding the text on as many levels as possible: the literal, the symbolic, the political, the historiography (not history). Learning Tanach and Torah and not always taking the words at face value is of primary importance to me.
    One thing you left out was “spiritual”..i guess poticial, etc is what His Word is about to you. And by the way Kabbalah is not “spiritually nourisihing” its witchcraft. By the way “Torah” is “in” the Tanakh. Do you realize how very sly it is that the “Chumash” makes sure to “leave out” all prophecies about the Messiah and so they got people to think “study chumash” and “this is all you need” When I got back to the NYC, a Rabbi’s crew gave me a Chumash…not a Tanakh. For a year, there was only studying out of a Chumash (parsha studies) not the Tanakh and then the Rabbis brought in Talmud, Mishanh, Gemarah and Kabbalah. All you need is God’s Word. I like most of the dialogie here. I’m glad we can spiel and not spit at each other. For real…. http://www.truejewschool.com has “accurate info” on there. Like really accurate. I spoke to an orthodox from Riverdale after I got saved and publicized it and we talked for like 2 hours on the phone. He got a bad version from other people and then when he personally spoke to me he got the real spiel. Even he agreed that orthodox people “daven” more than pray. A rabbi I was studying with in NYC told me, “Aviad, you know there is a difference between prayer and davening. Davening is liturgy and prayer is when you pray to God.” I was like, “True dat.” But looking back I realized that as a crew we always davened but “never prayed together.” The Riverside guy totally agreed with that…that there is an absence of prayer in the orthodox world. I didn’t say it first, an orthodox Jew did. So, ya know. Something to think about. Look, I do not and will not ever celebrate Chistmas or Easter. They have nothing to do with Yeshua Ha’Mashiach and are not “Christian” either. I’m a Messianic Believer. More gentile believers (people who are called Chrisitans) are waking up and tapping into the Hebraic roots of their Messiah. Guys, it’s really interesting to see gentile kids and parents getting into the Rosha Hashanah and Chanukah groove. It’s verrrrry interesting. More of them each day are coming out of “church”ianity and are starting to pick up on what’s really going on. In the Tanakh it talked about the gentiles provoking the Jews to jealousy…now I know why. Cause the ones of our generations and before got to Mashiach…but not first. The frist believers were Jews. Yeshua was a Jew…the apostles were Jews. I prefer to read from a really legit complete Word of God which has the Tanakh and Brit Chadasha. I show it to gentile kids and they flip…they love it. How fascinating that they want to say Mashiach’s real name. want to know that Matthew is really Matityahu, Paul is Shaul, Jesus is Yeshua, Mary is Miriam (not to be idolaized like the Cartholics do)…it’s just really fascinating to see people finding a fresh “relationship” with God rather than “religion”…God had a Master plan for all the people on this earth. You think His children are just the Jews? What about the “shabbos goy” at your shul. You know…those “realllllllly nice people” that make sure no fools come in with bombs. The ones that protect you from harm. I reference the MJE guards who always look out for us on Shabbos to make sure nobody is bringing in any “dangerous bottles of wine or other items resembling food that might have a bomb in it” Those guys secure your building, take us up the elevator. We are God’s remnant while they are to be grafted into the Eytz Chayim. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t want to see that shabbos maid also go to heaven? Ya know, the one that takes your coat and puts it away for you or brings you the gefilte at the Rabbis house. I guarantee you threee trillion percent that if you spoke to me on the phone or met me in person, you’d be like, “oh i had a different impression about you from others, but I see you are real and nice.” As far as Mobius, I am totally cool if he ever wants to spiel on the phone. The same goes for any of you guys (after 8pm los angeles time). Feel free to email me at http://www.aviadcohen.com Kol ha’kavod…the dialogue we are having here is getting better. I think we have much to learn from each other and our expriences. You don’t see christmas trees on my site for a reason…because that’s not of God. Not of Mashiach. Santa is not mentioned in the Bible. I think a lot of Christians are starting to realize that too. Ya might not know it now, but the Christians are more than likely the best friends Jews can have. Do you know there are African American Christians who would give their life to protect one of God’s remnant (the Jews)? I recently linked up with an Arab who is a believer who renounced Islam. The words to express that experence is beyond comprehension. If not for Yeshua, there could never be brotherhood between Arabs and Jews. No peace process could do anything. Only God can and so He sent Yeshua Ha’Mashiach. Love ya guys…talk to you soon.

  18. If you say the word orthodox means correct belief…it doesn’t stand for what it means. Is it only me but it’s odd to see Mobius “under” a supposed correct belief system post an ad about a cross-dressing chanukah event and there there are two kids on each sides of the image. Guys, don’t tell me you don’t see something a little odd here. There is a lot of gay stuff on this site. Why? I mean, I run a website for 3 years. I don’t seem to be like interested in advertising gay stuff and promoting that to my fanbase. I mean, the only person who would do that is someone who “likes that sort of thing” This is a very sensitive topic but is there something going with Mobius? I’m not being sarcastic here. This is a very delicate topic. I also notice that Heeb magazine has a lot of gay stuff in it…I know the publisher for 3 years. He never talked about “women” ever but did talk about other stuff but I could not tell if he was referring to men or women and never made that distinction. What’s going on? I delicately say this. Also, David Sirulnick from MTV…they push homsexuality on kids “a lot” (i don’t watch it anymore) and a lot of gay people work for MTV and Disney (the “magic” – wtichcraft kingdom). There is something going on. I used to know the bangitout boyz and they are straight. Their site does not have all this gay stuff on it. As far as Jewcy…um I have met them and I think we got another gay(s) there. I’ve met many gay people in my lifetime of working in the entertainment industry in LA and NY. Um once you are around people who flow that way, it’s kinda not hard to tell who’s…ya know. I say none of this to offend anyone. I just know as a webmaster of my own site who also happens to be “straight”, I think it’s weird to promote gay stuff. I don’t think anyone would promote that stuff unless they are gay and have a “subliminal” agenda to push that lifestyle onto unsuspecting people who eventually get desensitized to it…just as MTV did and eventually had Madonna, Britney and Christina “tounging on stage” Gays run MTV….Jews who are gays…you can take up the fact that they are inspiring young girls who are “friends” to start playing with each other as well as boys doing the same to each other. Guys, this is verrrry delicate but I just think you need to know this. Thnk about it. I have a feeling that if a lot of “Rabbinics” who know God’s Word would visit this site, they would probably be addressing Mobius and asking him, “What’s going on? There’s something slightly fishy about your site. Why do you have so much gay, curse and attack other people and get your people to send death threats to women and children?” I know plenty of Rabbis on the upper west side and even though they may not know God’s completeness, if I took them to this site, they would look at me and say, “I don’t get it. What is so Jew-ish about this Jewschool?” I’d have to tell him, “Rabbi, look at Heeb’s new issue.” He’d say, “Why did they put Torah with cartoon porn and in addition mail it to children? Why is there a woman dressed in lingerie like clothing taking our shofar and showing as if she had just givin it a “shtup o sorts” He’s also say, “Why so much gay in this magazine? This is not Jew-ish. And they are sending this out to children and having it in stores nationwide? Why is The Forward, Jewish Museum and Streitz advertising in this porn magazine? Why didn’t anyone say anything?” I’d say, “Rabbi, I did. They mentioned about it in The Forward and by the way, I walk with our Mashiach but people keep thinkin I “work for Jews For Jesus” but I just serve God and no I don’t work for Jews For Jesus. I’m a Jew for Truth.” He’d say, “What is it that you know that I don’t know? You seem like a mensch. You say you believe in this Jesus. Ok, but how can you be a Jew?” I’d sincerely look him in his eyes and say, “How can I not? Yeshua (Jesus) made me a better Jew.” He’d say, “You read Torah?” I’d say, “Everyday and I do it because I want to and not because people tell me to.” He’d say, “You keep shabbos?” The God version of The Talmud version? He’d probably be thinking about that one for a while. Surprisingly there are many orthodox Jews who coem to faith since they actually read The Word more than a reform person who doesn’t know dvar from a driedel. But there are also manny reforms, etc and chassidic that come to know God in Truth. Perhaps some people might not notice but I don’t go under the 50 Shekel name anymore. I’m being me…Israeli born, Brooklyn raised, Aviad Cohen. A True Jew. It’s not about me being right and you being wrong, but God being right and us getting right with Him. How’s the gefilte and brisket these days on the UWS? I’m sure, wonderful as Jewsual.

  19. Also, according to the Talmud, they said that if Israel was righteous then Mashiach would come rising in on a horse and if Israel was unrighteous He would come riding in on a donkey..just another thought. In that case, I don’t recall the Rebber Schniersen coming into Borough Park on a horse or donkey.
    As far as the “name game” people have issues with. Believers in Africa have a different way of pronouncing Yeshua’s name. So do the Chinese…and the rest of God’s children. I’m a True Jew who who knows Hebrew and is able to pronounce Yeshua but to some white folk in Arkansas who walk with our Mashiach (who is also for them too) they call Him Jesus. I was like “wow” when I went to a black church and when we prayed together together the pastor said in the name of Yeshua first before he said Jesus. I was like, “like most of everyone is black and gentile here. I’m like the only True Jew. The pastor doesn’t know nor does he know if I’m a Jew who is a believer. Just another thought to think about. They are tapping into their Hebraic roots of Mashiach. Progress. And you thought the Christian mind-set hates Jews…um no. They donate goangloads of money to help poor people in Israel who so happen to be Jews. A lot of “orthodox” money collectors of these donations despise them but “take their money’ and I hope that money goes to help those people rather than into the pockets of some chasssidsh folk that are just looking to cop a shekel or two if you know what I mean. Christians are the best friends that Jews have. Now some wacked unscriptural churches hold to some wacked replacement theology. My comment, “you’ll find whackos everywhere. there are always some folk who think they know “church”ianity but do they know their Messiah and God’s Word? Not always.” We aren’t to hate them but to tell them, “go open the Bible. what you say is not scriptural.” If they hold to their own interpretation, they are no different than chassidics who think Schniersen is Messiah and others who hold by Talmudic “oral law” Check out http://www.realmessiah.com and truejewschool.com For real…they aren’t fronting. I’m on a massively busy production schedulee but i thought to come here and share share some light. Jesus was a Jew…even your Rabbi knows that. His real name is Yeshua though and He was “the final sacrifice” Also check out http://www.messiahreaveld.org If you know your Scripture, you’ll totally apprecaite this link too. -Avi

  20. Hello,
    Aviad, I believe that you believe with all your heart and all your soul that Jesus is Messiah. Personally I find that quite saddening, but that is your right as a human being.
    We could argue all day and night, and you would not change my mind, nor the minds of many readers here. I find it interesting that you spend so much of your ‘valuable’ time arguing with people on jewschool.com. Do you really think you will ‘save’ us? Don’t you think that Jews have a right to have a relationship with the L-rd, bless his holy name? I think you have some chutzpah to do this, and this is the reason so many people get upset about your ramblings here.
    Please, do us a favor, and do Hashem the favor… Take your preaching somewhere else…. My relationship with the creator is a strong and growing one. I don’t try to change other people, but I do change those around me. I don’t even have to try to change people, but they are changed for the better because they know me. I have converted several Xtians to believe in the Unity of G-d, to throw off the shackles of the Trinity {or trilogy or whatever}. I don’t seek to offend you, so I will leave it at that. I am confident in the ONENESS of Hashem and that his qualities of Chesed and Elohim keep me a balanced person. Through my performance of mitvot I project my neshama into the divine light. I know this as much as I know software engineering {which is my profession of 20+ years}. I feel it in my bones, and no matter what you say you will never sway me. My refuge and my only saviour is Hashem. I will say Shema before I die, and I will be one…
    Aviad, may your journey be swell following Jesus. I hope you discover the truth some day, then we will all be one in the days of Moshiach…

  21. Aviad,
    As an aside, I do agree that Gayness is not a Jewish ideal. I personally avoid synagogues where Gays openly attend because of the sin involved. I don’t hate gays, and I don’t bash them. I believe that many people have many different problems. My tact is to try to point out that the goal of life is to continue life. The only way to continue life in a natural way is to have sex with the opposite sex. This is essential for the balance of the world. Both in plain Jewish understanding and in mystical Kabbalistic understanding, it is ESSENTIAL for the continued act of creation by the l-rd Hashem that the two parts of the neshama are united in marriage, when the souls are united the world is transformed for the better. This CANNOT happen in a gay or lesbian relationship.
    Personally I try to disconnect politics from religious belief. Gays should not be discriminated against {in the USA}. In a secular world gays could be OK, because the only prohibition against it could be found in the Bible. USA should not be a country run by one religion, and as a result only humanitarian laws should be passed. As a result, at this time I support Civil Unions. My opinion may change, as I feel that Gays are actively trying to assert themselves, and I find that distasteful.
    My advice to any Gay person reading this… My love for you is like a brothers. I know that there is goodness in your hearts, and you really do want to bring goodness and light into the world. Please study your inner feelings and learn what it is like to be a complete soul, a unit of humanity. If you don’t learn anything, then you are no worse off. But if you do, you may realize that any urge, and any stray thought can be controlled and changed. I have beat addiction myself, and I know what it is like to think that you cannot change yourself at such a basic level.
    Michael U

  22. Aviad,
    Um, thanks for responding to my post without really answering any of my questions, and pretty much just telling us your story again. That’s true dialogue. At least you didn’t call me a server of Satan again.
    I have no desire to attack, but I’ve read your site, and I still can’t figure out for the life of me why you still call yourself a Jew, a True Jew, etc….If ones reads the “What I Jew” section of your stie, you are essentially describing the practice of a Christian. You even say as much. I mean, if you’re a Christian, fine. No big deal. Enjoy your life.
    What is interesting is how badly it seems that you still need to publicly identify as a Jew, and furthermore as the only legitimate one around.
    I would also love to hear your actual responses to my questions, especially the one about Christians in the field of Biblical scholarship. Before you answer me, please go find out what that means. It’s clear to me that you might not, so you avoided the question that requires critical thought.
    Why did you tell us that Kabbalah is witchcraft? Did any of us tell you it was spiritual? You were the first person in this thread to mention it.
    By the way, homosexuals are people, not aliens. They are human beings who love other human beings (wow! That’s so fucking weird! Especially compared to loving dead prophets!) It is possible for to speak positively about gay people without being one. To say the only person who would do so “likes that sort of stuff” is just tremendously ignorant.
    You called it a sensitive issue. But you certainly didn’t treat it like one.

  23. Michael:
    Are you a sinner? Have you ever sinned? Then if you have sinned (hey don’t say that was a “no” back there), how do you ever expect to be in the presence of Hashem? By your nature you are a sinner and unworthy to be with Hashem (like every son of Adam, if not then why aren’t we in Eden?). Sometimes people make it out that G-d is all loving and ever forgiving, yes He is but there is a cut off point. If G-d is just then He must punish sin. A good judge puts criminals away, not because they are bad people but for the crimes they have committed. Sin is a crime against G-d, David did not ask forgiveness from who he sinned against physically, he asked G-d, because he didn’t break man’s law, he broke G-d’s.
    Balaam’s Donkey you must also see that yes homosexuals are human, but homosexuality is a crime against G-d. So is stealing, yet I do not see robbery being promoted, I do not see robbers being treated as a “minority group”, I do not see MTV telling me to go out and rob, Madonna doesn’t rob Britney on stage, I’m not told I should be tolerant of the “robbing lifestyle”. I don’t see that robbers rights should be allowed, but isn’t it a robber’s right to steal, they are human it should be their human right, see how foolish this sounds but it is sense. See the secular world has fooled you into thinking it’s laws are G-d’s. G-d doesn’t change His mind especially with sin. Where G-d’s law and man’s depart I always fall on the side of G-d, because man’s law can put me in prison and G-d’s law can put me in Hell, I’d rather break the former. It’s all the part of a scam to get you away from G-d, it’s G-d’s rival who sets up these bear traps hoping you plonk a foot in them. The world makes it hard to go against the grain, it’s herding people into mind prisons, people are warped into thinking good is evil and evil is good. On this note I’ll leave it to the prophet(go read Isaiah 5:20-21). Isaiah lays it all out, if you believe homosexuality is wrong them you are a “hate” group, you’re Al Qaeda, what happened to free speech, I could get on TV and call robbers all the names under the sun and nobody would say anything but if I chose a different sinner (i.e. homosexuals) I would be banned from TV. The world is trying to turn everybody into degenerates and to be honest it looks like it’s working, dumbing down school children and moving away from moral absolutes is putting the western world in quick sand. I’ve heard it said that “if G-d doesn’t judge America then He owes Soddom and Gomorrah an apology”. By the way this isn’t a sensitive issue, it’s been made to look that way another deception, replace homosexual in any context with another sin forbidden by G-d and it shows that homosexuality is a subversive agenda.
    Finally, Adolf Hitler was subjective with the truth, Hitler’s lifestyle choice was to kill Jews, well he morally thought it was right to kill Jews, but see it doesn’t make it right (a strong example but it illustrates the point). The truth is not subjective, truth is truth and everything else is a lie, only G-d knows the full truth and he has layed out everything we need to know to understand the His truth.

  24. Also just for Aviad’s defence, could somebody please explain this section of scripture to me:
    “Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in his garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou knowest?” Proverbs 30:4

  25. You haven’t sold me.
    Just because homosexuality was condemned in a 3000 year old book, does not make it a crime against God.
    I subscribe to the Documentary Hypothesis, which allows me to take statements like that one into context. Are you familiar with it?

  26. AZ tryin to compare gays to thieves is a joke. how does being gay negatively directly effect any other human being as theiving does.
    and if you look beyond your beliefes you’ll realise that “truth” is infact subjective just by the fact other “truths” exist. or “apparent truths”. either way, why you should enforce your “truth” on others. if God is compassionate as i think he is, then loving your fellow humans would seem to me more “truthfull” than burning individuals for their sexual orientation or trying to exclude them from the religion.
    and Aviad fuck you i dont need to “be saved” and whether mobius is gay or not has nothing to do with anything. thats his own private matter. surely if you were such a righteuos being…and because you think being gay is bad….surely you shouldnt be indulging in lashon horah oh righteous one.

  27. “Just because homosexuality was condemned in a 3000 year old book, does not make it a crime against God.”
    If said book what the author desires from us then yes…yes it is a crime against God. And if you don’t believe in the divinity of the book…then you shouldn’t be bothered by the content of the book.
    “I subscribe to the Documentary Hypothesis, which allows me to take statements like that one into context. Are you familiar with it?”
    JPED…read it, debunked the hypothesis in a 1st year Biblical class at McGill. Not that the theory isn’t possible, it is, but it takes the same about of faith in JPED that it does in believing the Torah is divine. I’ll choose the latter thank you very much.

  28. AZ,
    You seem to believe in Sin like Christians do… In Judaism there is no such thing as a sin which you are not able to do tesuva for {except maybe murder}. I have done some Chets, which as I have mentioned in other threads I am guilty of. A chet is a ‘straying from the path’. I have strayed from the path, but I have done a lot of teshuva and I believe that G-d’s quality of Chesed is bringing me back into the fold of a righteous life.
    This is my point. Gays are not condemned to Hell as the Christians teach. No, this is not the way Hashem works. Hashem has many qualities, Chesed {Loving Kindness} is one of the strongest qualities of Hashem. Another important quality is Gevurah, or the name Elohim which is the quality of Justice. This is when people have to account for their negative character traits. When I am judged I am sure that my positive mitzvot will outweight my negative character traits. I am constantly striving to better myself, thereby making the world a better place for G-d’s people.
    I don’t have any Guilt about this. My Chets are minor compared to the Chets I had 10 years ago. I have changed myself, I have bettered myself, I have bettered those around me. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, just look around me…
    It is so sad to see people disregard Torah here. These are supposed to be Jews no less. It is disheartening. I thoroughly believe that Torah is the right way to live. There is purpose and meaning in every Mitzvot, and in every ritual of Judaism. It may not always poke you in the eye, but they make you understand in a subconscious way. Again I pray that those people mocking and attempting to destroy Torah will cease in their endeavors and learn the way to live a righteous and happy life.
    Whether I have done chets in the past is irrelevant. I have done massive teshuva, during the 10 days of awe between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and every day. I look at my character and say, “How can I make myself better today”. Whether it is getting better control over my temper, treating other people with kindness and understanding, giving charity, whatever. I am constantly in a state of flux, changing and moving, loving and learning.
    I never tried to exclude gays, I would like to help them understand why it is wrong in the eyes of Hashem. I have worked and played with Gays in the past. As a Deadhead I was open to all kinds of people from all walks of life. I believe they all have beatiful souls, but I just think they got off on the wrong foot when seeking a soul mate. We all make mistakes, that is Chet…
    Michael U

  29. Shtreimel,
    Fair enough. Just putting an example out there. However, imagine how hard it must be to believe in Torah divinity and be gay (Tembling Before God and all that). Those people certainly don’t think they have ‘chosen’ to be gay. Their struggle with Judaism is that much more difficult.
    And I am not bothered by the content of the book. I am bothered that people would use the book to tell homosexuals that the way they were born is not the way God wants them to be. Somehow the gay and Jewish are made to feel much more left out of certain communities, than, say, those who break Shabbat.
    This is an old argument, will not be resolved here. All I’m saying is we should be more focused on love thy neighbor as theyself, than with that annoying little passage in Leviticus.
    I would love to hear how you debunked JEPD as a college freshman, ya little horn tooter, you :P. Seriously.

  30. “I would love to hear how you debunked JEPD as a college freshman, ya little horn tooter, you :P. Seriously.”
    I didn’t do anything, our class however read a few articles and a book demonstrating many of the axioms upon which the JPED’s theories rest must be taken on faith. No different than science, love, etc.
    And yes, Homosexual/Lesbian Jews should not be held to a different standard than Jews who break shabbat i.e. ME 😉

  31. “I have changed myself, I have bettered myself, I have bettered those around me. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, just look around me…”
    With all this trying are you sinless? See you will always fall short of what G-d requires. See, so why try everything that you do, why not just leave it to G-d. You should be trying to replace every “I” with “G-d”. “G-d will make you better, G-d will make those around me better because I pray to Him to do it”. See if you can do all this on your own then do you really need G-d? If you were in the wilderness you would need G-d, He wants you to realise that you need Him, you just can’t do it alone, you cannot make yourself sinless. He also provided you with no sure sign or mechanism to know if your sin is forgiven.
    Also JEPD is a sorry mistake. If there were four different authors I feel the prophets, being divinely inspired, would have been told. Now as G-d is outside time and space (only He alone knows the beginning from end). G-d knew if Moses wrote those books or not, therefore having seen prophecy be fulfilled I could be sure of the prophets potential so I can know that G-d is communicating with that prophet therefore I know G-d can resolve any issues. Basically a prophet is a mouth piece for G-d, if their is such a major issue or misunderstanding then G-d would make this clear by letting the prophet know and tell the people.
    Well homosexuality is a sin, robbery is a sin, therefore in the context I put robbery is all the places that homosexuality is put today. Nobody is born homosexual, it’s a tendancy. To believe that homosexuals are homosexuals from birth is illogical. To have gay genes would mean that a direct descendant of them would have to be a homosexual and therefore not be able to be a “true” homosexual because obviously they would have to have sex with an opposite member of their sex to have offspring. Also do you know a lot of blind homosexuals? Two members of the same sex cannot have offspring. A man and a man can not mate and have children. To support this you also have to agree that if homosexuality is an evolution of man then it fails, it goes backwards because if all people became homosexual then man would cease to exist. We would die out. So by definition is an evolution sense homsexuality is a biological deadend. See it is weaved into our make up by G-d that opposite genders mate with one another in heterosexual context. It’s biologically enforced by our Creator. Homosexuality is purely a sexual pleasure and not a biological imperative for human existance. Go forth and multiply, not go forth and die out.

  32. AZ,
    I never implied that I was without blemish, did I? Not a once.. It is getting a bit boring with your “holier than thou” attitude. All my goodness and all my love come from Hashem, there is no claim that I am making the world a better place. Those around me know that my subservience to Hashem is what makes me better, and what makes those around me better.
    AZ, you seem to have me confused with someone else. I am a Conserva-dox Jew who has done much Teshuva. I recognize Hashems role in the world, observe Shabbat with an Orthodox Minyan, and perform mitzvot with ferver.
    Why do you feel a need to rebuke me? My point throughout this conversation has been that I don’t think Judaism supports the Gay lifestyle. But this doesn’t encourage others to ostracize them or attempt to hurt them. My position has always been to set a good example and teach others the ways of Hashem. This has worked well for me, and my point is that my attachment to the L-rd, bless his holy name, has rubbed off on those people around me. I am not, have never been, nor do I ever intend to be gay. I was married, now divorced, but back together with my ex-wife. She is willing to convert to Judaism, and I think that is a GOOD thing.
    Please give your attention where it is needed. I don’t need your acceptance or understanding, I only speak with Hashem. And sure, nobody knows if their teshuva is acceptable to Hashem, but we are taught that he is a Compassionate and Understanding G-d. So I have no fear, I know that I walk in his ways…
    Michael U

  33. Michael, my point about homosexuals is that it should not be promoted. G-d loves homosexuals but hates homosexuality. G-d loves the liars but hates the lies. Sin is the act, the sinner is the person who G-d loves. People try to associate themselves with their lusts rather than being themselves and accept that yes they do have short comings. See they (homosexuals and those who promote a homosexual agenda) have tried to make homosexuality a normal part of society when it isn’t, it’s a fringe group (and they are quick to slip this into racial groups if needed, i.e. that homosexuals are a minority group). This is intesified by the fact that most of the popular media is in the control of homosexuals and especially the areas that promote lifestyle choices (for example through music, MTV, and fashion), places that get to young people and mold the minds of the youth. Hitler used this exact same approach but instead of homosexual promotion he used anti-semitism.
    I apologise Michael if I seem condescending I do not mean to. My point is that there is only so far you can go. Michael are you 100% sure you are going to heaven and if so why? You know you sin by Torah (and I am not implying I am sinless, far from it).
    Also then what is the point of Torah? Surely Torah in one aspect is to show how sinful we really are? If you can keep Torah then your on a good path, but if you ever break it? Yes G-d is forgiving, but Torah is like a rule book. If I had a “Do not walk on the grass” sign on my lawn and one day I catch somebody walking on my lawn, I go out and say “get off my lawn” (I believe in certain parts of the US it is legal to shoot trespassers). Now the person would have read the sign and knew that what they did was wrong. If you do 100mph on a motorway (freeways I believe Americans call them), but when you’re pulled over do you act shocked to be pulled up by law enforcement? No because you know you have done wrong because you know it’s against the law to drive over ‘x’ mph(or kph whatever). So when G-d has to judge you He will use His measuring stick, Torah. See so if G-d isn’t going to judge man, which I feel you seem to be shying away from then if there is no judgement there is no need for Torah.
    For example if you were in Iraq today and you shot a man dead in cold blood then you’d probably get away with it. The judiciary arm of government and obviously law enforcement are not in place. For sinners the government and judiciary are always present!! (judge, jury and executioner).

  34. The Sin point:
    Christians do not believe homosexuals go to Hell. Christians believe all sinners go to Hell (homosexual or not). There is no way to be right with G-d without somebody paying that fine for sin. This is what Christians believe Yeshua provides, Salvation from the deserved punishment for sin. G-d promised a redeemer (Goel) (see Lev. 25:48, 49; Num. 5:8; Ruth 4:1; Job 19:25; Ps.
    19:14; 78:35, etc.), somebody has to pay a price for sin. If we can be without sin without a redeemer then surely we would be transported, when we reach this righteous state, back to Eden. If this is not the case then the other possibility is that man cannot redeem himself?
    “But if the man have no kinsman to whom restitution may be made for the guilt, the restitution for guilt which is made shall be the LORD’S, even the priest’s; besides the ram of the atonement, whereby atonement shall be made for him. ”
    Numbers 5:8
    See a lamb would have to be slain to make atonement. Christians believe that Yeshua is the lamb of G-d, thereby making the death of Yeshua the redemption for the sin of all sons of Adam. (John 1:29) So everyman that believes that Yeshua died for his sins will have atonement for their sins. Also if there is not a priest and no atonement made then how can restitution for the sin be made (.i.e. without a Temple, and a high priest).
    The homosexual point:
    ———————– —-
    If you were on your way to the shops and on your way a youth stole an old ladies purse and ran right past you. You could have stopped him but you didn’t. After you go over to the old lady and she’s in tears. That was the money she was going to use to get the flowers to put on her husband’s grave, it’s their 75 anniversary. You feel guilty, you wished you had a chance to go back and stop this; she’s so shaken and scared.
    Now by letting this incident go on in hindsight you could see you made the wrong choice to stand by and do nothing. So with homosexuality, by not being against it and standing by, then you are letting others promote the idea that it is not a sin even though you know it is a sin. By standing by with the old lady, you let the old lady go through a rough time but you also allow the mugger to go freely without a confrontation. Now the mugger feels better and more confident that he will get away with what he is doing, man, he doesn’t even see people stopping him so he thinks that he’s not doing anything wrong. So by letting homosexuality be promoted as something that is okay, you essentially agree with it because by standing back you allow it to become stronger and stronger. Homosexual groups would like to see the Tanakh banned. They feel this is hateful towards them. Well if it is then prisons are hateful towards criminals. I do not agree with physically assaulting a person because they choose to be a homosexual and that they should be rounded up and exterminated, no. It just should not be promoted. There should be laws against sodomy but see these laws are also deemed hateful [1] . There are consequences to the sin of homosexuality, when you see the fruits of homosexuality you will have the hindsight to say that you should have done something about it when you had the chance. I believe you are not seriously looking at the long term results of widespread promotion and adoption of homosexuality. When the lifestyle of homosexuality is forced onto everybody it will no longer preserve the rights of those who are not homosexuals, therefore certain religious groups who oppose it will be deemed hateful and probably illegal, and infringement on their (religious groups) rights to have there own beliefs and express their freedom of speech.
    The jealousy that comes from homosexuality is far fiercer than that which comes through a heterosexual relationship. It’s an under reported fact that when police arrive to a murder scene they can quickly tell if the murder is committed by a homosexual by the extreme amount of violence involved in the attack. Some homosexuals also feel that dying of AIDS is a very gay thing to do. By getting AIDS, their “gay disease” makes them a greater homosexual. So when AIDS continues to spread further then the heterosexual majority of society will have to deal with the consequences. So if your daughter ever goes to a night club and makes a few wrong decisions then she could indirectly be the victim of an increase in homosexuality (which comes from promotion and adoption). I’m rambling now. If you can make sense of this I’d like to hear your point.
    [1 http://www.aclu.org/ /lgbt/crimjustice/11982 res20030609.html

  35. I think the URL’s been malformed by a regular expression or a bug, basically just drop the doubled forward slashes for one forward slash after ‘org’. Actually now I can’t reconstruct it(page not found 🙁 ), just google for “us sodomy laws”.

  36. AZ,
    Thank you for your clear explanation. I appreciate your kevanna in trying to clarify what you believe to be the truth of Torah. I too hold your belief, that Torah is a guide to how to live. There are Rules to obey, and in some instances the hand of Hashem struck down the sinners, as in the story of Sodom & Gonnareah {sic}. I have pointed out to others that S&G was not destroyed simply because they engaged in homosexual sex, but that it was destroyed because it was inhospitable to strangers and travelers. The way the people of these cities treated their guests was abysimal. And yes, they wanted to have sex with the angels who visited Lot {but Lot let them have his daughters instead}. What is the lesson I learn from S&G? It is that the way we treat others is very important. I also believe that we {Jews} should not ‘place a stumbling block before the disabled {or blind}’. This mitzvot is exactly what I think you are referring to. By not speaking about how the Torah views homosexual relations, we are in fact allowing our brothers to pursue a lifestyle of Chet {or straying}. The way this is done must be humane and fair.
    Thank you for this interesting discussion…

  37. “I believe you are not seriously looking at the long term results of widespread promotion and adoption of homosexuality. When the lifestyle of homosexuality is forced onto everybody it will no longer preserve the rights of those who are not homosexuals”
    by AZ
    how now can one adopt homosexuality exactly..surely youre either attracted to the same sex or not.
    and what the hell do u mean bu the rights of those who are not heterosexual will not be preserved..what that one day there will be so many gays hetero’s will be persecuted. that is beyond absurd. stop tring to make them seem like an enemy who is trying to get one over hetero’s. live and let live, there not out to hurt anyone. if there is a God then let Him decide whether they get punished in the after life.
    and your idea that gays with AIDS are considered “greater homosexuals” is again..beyond absurd. stop stereotyping. NO ONE views AIDS as a good thing dont be so idiotic.
    start promoting peace not hate..thats a more important teaching of the Torah.

  38. Danny, come on I mean the adoption of homosexuals as a valid minority group. To put homosexuals in a group which is normally drawn along race lines is absurd. So what next Danny? Why do homosexuals want the age of consent to continually be lowered? So eventually child molestation will be the “norm”? This is a slippery slope. I’m sorry but Torah makes it clear, to you it may be a 3000 year old book. If you build your house on quicksand it will sink. See by placing your moral stance on a moving target means that eventually you will have to accept everything. By having that sure base in Torah of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable then all moral decisions can be derived from there. I’m sorry but Torah will outlive you and every homosexual, it’s going nowhere.
    Oh please there is an obvious homosexual agenda and you’re either part of it or you’re ignorant. Homosexuality was socially frowned upon until the media started to promote it. Homosexuality has gone on for centuries so what is the big deal with it all of a sudden? Why do gays suddenly need extra rights (yes they are extra). I can only assume from your argument(the sad remark about a 3000 year old book) that you are an atheist. I’ve known a lot of gay men and women (it’s a hazard of living in a large city). Homosexuality has overtly positioned itself against the family and once generally accepted good values (regardless of religious belief). It’s now racy and exotic to be a homosexual, like the way cheating on a spouse was made to be racy and naughty and now it’s in abundance. See even you say what I am saying is hate, so now I’m hateful because I disagree with homosexuality?! Next you’ll be telling me to be quiet. See you want to censor my views already. See this is my point about my rights being eroded because my views do not fit in with the homosexual party line. Stereotype me as hateful and you put me in with the KKK and every other undesirable and therefore make other people think I’m like those other “hate” groups. So by your hate statement you position the acceptance of homosexuality as a kind and loving thing to do. Well what happens if sex with children becomes the new overpowering lust of man, is it loving and caring to accept that too? I mean they aren’t hurting nobody, the children are accepting it and know no better, huh, well then it must be loving, no?
    Read this article about “bug chasers”, http://tinyurl.com/9qxc6
    Michael, I also feel by alienating homosexuals will only push them further, if you show them the truth in Torah they will have to reject reality to come to the conclusion that they are right and Torah is wrong. Thanks for the discussion.

  39. “Homosexuality has overtly positioned itself against the family and once generally accepted good values.”
    Gimme a fucking break.
    Tell me all about these ‘good values’.

  40. Sorry Balaam’s Donkey, you’re on another planet, family values are good values:
    “Learning Tanach and Torah and not always taking the words at face value is of primary importance to me.”
    OK, lesson 1, sharpen your pencils and your minds, here we go:
    As Aviad Cohen pointed out, the Torah is the ‘T’ in Tanakh.
    “19:5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him: ‘Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.’ And Lot went out unto them to the door, and shut the door after him. And he said: ‘I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly. ”
    Genesis 19:5-7
    Lot is a righteous man, this is why G-d sent the Angels to get Lot and his family out of the city, so He could then judge the city. So if Lot is a righteous man and he says “I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly”. Yes, this is from Lot’s righteous mouth, homosexuality is a wicked practice. Now if you can’t see that in this passage then you’re obviously being far too liberal with the text and in that case you could probably shoehorn it onto any meaning that suits you.
    If it were a band of thieves outside and he said this it would be because the men would want to rob the Angels. But I think the groups request of ‘Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.’ Obviously Angels must be very pleasing to the human eye and the men found the Angels to be particularly sexually attractive, so much so they were willing to come as group to Lot’s home and pester him. Now please give me your liberal interpretation. My interpretation is that Lot would rather give over his children to these ‘wicked’ men rather than let them get at his guests, the Angels.
    I wait for your interpretation of this passage. Also why do the Angels not go out and say to the men “you men do great things, you gays are great, we’ll go with you why not? Lot we’ll be back in the morning”.

  41. Well,
    You’re assuming that Lot existed, first of all. Oh wait! It says it in a book. It must be true. It is %100 incontrovertible fact. I know I’m being sarcastic, sorry about that. If on a one-to-one level you would like me to justify my stance on Torah, I’d be happy to.
    I am well aware that the ‘T’ in Torah is Tanach. Many people just focus on Torah. Sometimes I do Torah, sometimes I do Tanach (the whole magilla, if you will (not megillah)). 12 years of day school and Yeshiva certainly provided for that.
    I really don’t have time for interpretation (If you read on, you’ll find that I kind of do). Feel free to use this as some kind of admission of my being wrong, but this is not a right or wrong issue as far as I’m concerned. You may think otherwise, but I accept your stance even if I don’t like it. To be honest, I’m busy writing a paper on child sacrifice in Tanach. Yes, Tanach! Looks like we used to sacrifice our own children to this awesome god called Molech! Fun topic, to tell you the truth.
    All I have to say is: if the gay community is pushing for legalized marriage, it seems that all they want is to embrace family values. What are family values, anyways? They seem to have eroded horribly in Canada, where gay marriage is legal. In Massachusetts as well Everything is just falling about over there.
    In a world where everyone does not care about the divinity of the Bible (meaning everyone is not Jewish or Christian), its condemnation of homosexuality becomes irrelevant in our society. And yes, it does become relevant to the discussion at JTS. I don’t dispute that, even if I don’t agree with it. It’s just ironic that that’s the place where they love to teach about human authorship regarding the Torah (I should know, I’m getting my Master’s there). It’s always seemed horribly contradictory to me.
    Family values is this ambiguous term that seems to have been completely invented. If there were no homosexuals in this country, it would seem to me that many of these so-called values would be in the crapper anyways. We should be worried about materialism, obsession with self-image, racism, unemployment, etc…..I am tied to the gay community in NYC, and no one has ‘pushed’ homosexuality on me, and how the hell would I adopt it? I like the ladies!
    Many gay people in this country just want to find one person with whom they can spend the rest of their lives, and raise a family (and no, not raise their kids to be gay. It doesn’t work that way.). Conversely, many heterosexuals want to run around and have unsafe sex all the time. Everything goes both ways. There is no standard definition to any person based on sexuality, or a generalized one, for that matter. Generalizations never work.
    As far as the Lot passage goes, let’s discuss consent here. Clearly the men waiting outside were likely okay with forcing themselves on others in a sexual fashion. There is a difference between any kind of consensual behavior and for lack of a better term, rape. Or perphaps this text reflects a bias on behalf of the writer? Who knows?
    Lot the ‘righteous’ man proceeded to offer up his daughters to a mob of men. He later slept with them. Who was born? Moab, the presumed father of the eponymous nation, which never really had the greatest of relations with Israel. Now, if I wanted to rip on an enemy nation, I would probably widely publicize a story that they were all the product of incest. But that’s just me.
    By the way, I don’t need to shoehorn the text onto a meaning that suits me. I explore every possible interpretation, even the ones I don’t like; that’s the beauty of it. But like I said, the Torah’s stance is irrelevant to the discussion of homosexuality in modern society, unless you also want to break down the wall between church and state. Or if everyone was Jewish, which we know ain’t true.
    I also highly recommend the film “Trembling Before God”. Seriously.
    The beauty of our tradition lies in these types of disagreements, as far as I’m concerned. There’s nothing wrong with the liberal approach, even if you don’t like it.
    But there is an irony to you citing Lot, when we look back to the discussion at JTS. A professor there gave me that explanation of Lot and his daughters. So if you want to look at a place with a difficult internal dialogue being conducted with love and respect, it’s there.

  42. Hi Balaam’s Donkey,
    I never wanted to say that it’s a big gay conspiracy if it came across that way; my point is that it is one aspect of a whole spectrum of attacks on the family. I feel women’s rights are actually debasing the role of women in society to take on a more masculine role and it’s not good for women or the family. Not that women shouldn’t have rights but rights should be equal for all regardless of age, sex, etc.
    Also a women that gets divorced gets a lions share of a man’s assets (if they have kids), this encourages women to run out of a marriage at the first sign of trouble rather than work things out (no I am not a divorcee 🙂 This isn’t me “getting back at my ex-wife who took my Ferrari”) that is the key to a free society, laws to protect certain groups is not equality. For example a law that only protects blacks is stupid, a law that protects people from discrimination on the grounds of their race is a better. In England it is normal for people to stay unmarried because there are greater welfare payments for individuals than a married couple (with children, basically making it desirable to be a single mother), this would force the parents to act as if they are separated and probably live apart.
    I also agree that heterosexuals do run around having unsafe sex on a regular basis, to be honest I have friends like this but I feel it’s just emotional problems and trying to live up to what the media has told them (brainwashed). I mean Fonzi and other such characters made it cool for a man (not in my era, but I saw re-runs of it) to have lots of women. Rap music encourages young people to be “pimps” and that staying with one woman is for losers.
    Also I agree consent is a big factor, but this is totally based on the moral guidelines normally laid out in family life. For example in the Philippines and other places it’s terrible that child molestation is so widespread. Children see it as a normal thing because they have not been shown that it is wrong (according to Torah, although their indigenous beliefs may permit it). Obviously we are going to keep smashing skulls because we are arguing from opposite ends. Of course if two men/women are both willing to have sex then it’s down to them, if they do not believe that it is a sin then that’s there choice, even if I feel that it would be a bad choice.
    Interesting you should bring up Molech the pagan deity. George W Bush and a lot of other “Christian Conservatives” including numerous past leaders of America/World Nations have attended a ritual at Bohemian Grove, Sonoma County, CA every June/July. In this ritual they hand their “cares” over to Molech (represented as the Owl of Bohemia) in a ceremony called the Creation of Care. A bound effigy of a human is burned during this ritual, from some leaflets has shown it to be an infant others a skeleton. Now Molech worship and making human sacrifices to Molech is not the front George W normally puts on. This guy is obviously not the born again Christian he claims to be. Molech is mentioned in most of these passages (here’s the verses 1 Kings 11:7,2 Kings 16:3,23:10, Leviticus 18:21,20:2, Jeremiah 32:35, there are a lot more for idol worshipping and other pagan practices)
    Hey, Lot had his problems, offering his children up was a tough choice, but when you get two angels sent from G-d your priorities change, this is the G-d that can have the angels blind the men. The other ugliness isn’t good (what were they thinking?).
    Also this statement:
    “the Torah’s stance is irrelevant to the discussion of homosexuality in modern society, unless you also want to break down the wall between church and state. Or if everyone was Jewish, which we know ain’t true.”
    If the Messianic era is to be brought in then surely Torah is the law for that era? It may not be relevant now but when the time comes it will be the only law. When the King of Kings is in charge you know what I saying.
    Anyway my fingers hurt and I don’t want RSI by the time I’m 25 so I’m off for now.

  43. Kind of late in adding to this, I’ve actually never even visited this site before. But, being a Gay Jew myself, my understanding has always been that homosexual SEXUAL relations is prohibited, not being a homosexual (someone born with unmalleable attraction to the same sex). As long as I’m celibate, whether in a relationship with someone of the same sex or not, there shouldn’t be a problem. I see that the action of two men or two women having sexual intercouse just as sinful as a man and a woman having non-procreative sex, which happens alot. Am I wrong?

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