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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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The Jewish Press Won’t Be Silenced


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For more than 50 years The Jewish Press has been the voice of the Jewish people.

We have stood up for the Jewish people, for the nation and for individuals. We have stood up when everyone else has been silent. We have stood up when it was unpopular to do so. We have stood up to praise, protect, and even reprimand our people when needed.

For years, it was The Jewish Press which waved the banner on the plight of agunot (women who were refused divorce documents by their recalcitrant husbands) when the rest of the Jewish world had nothing to say about that awful situation in which Jewish women were being trapped.

And we will continue to be the voice of the Jewish people, no matter who threatens us.

Last week we ran an op-ed article by Chaim Levin, a young man who has identified himself as both religious and homosexual.

We did not run this article to promote homosexuality. We did not run this article to condone anti-halachic behavior. We did not run this article to intimate that homosexual behavior could be a Jewish life choice.

We ran this article because, whether one wants to admit it or not, there is a serious problem that some members of our religious community face – day in and day out. It could be your chavrusah (study partner) in yeshiva, the guy sitting next to you in shul, or your brother in your very own home. And this is true whether you wear a black hat, a streimel, or a knit yarmulke.

Pretending that there are no frum Jews with homosexual inclinations won’t make the truth go away. It won’t make the internal conflicts they fight with their yetzer hara (evil inclination) disappear.

We were asked to publish the article in question after being approached by a therapist from within the frum community who primarily treats religious youth with drug abuse problems.

A significant number of suicide attempts are committed by boys from not just religious but rabbinic homes — because they thought they were homosexual and had no place in the Orthodox world they grew up in, even if they had never acted on those impulses.

Until politics exits the science, it won’t be known if homosexuality is genetic, hormonal, neurological, psychological, or a choice. The Torah itself is very clear on where it stands on homosexual acts.

But the Torah is also very clear on how one should treat one’s fellow Jew, and certainly one who tries to be religious — whether he or she succeeds or not — should not be driven by fellow Jews to contemplate suicide.

A situation where religious Jews are provoking children and adults who are different to consider suicide is unthinkable and unacceptable.

Following the publication of this op-ed, a number of Jewish Press advertisers were approached and threatened. They were told to stop advertising with The Jewish Press.

The Jewish Press won’t give in to threats and we won’t be silenced.

We thank our advertisers who have notified us that they plan to continue with us despite the threatening letters and that they won’t give into threats either, particularly when an article like this one may have very well have saved a Jewish life.

People can do teshuvah (repent) for many acts against halacha, but what forgiveness can there be for pushing someone so far that he or she would commit suicide?

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123 Responses to “The Jewish Press Won’t Be Silenced”

  1. anonymous says:

    Great note. Sad that you completely neglected to include gay women.

  2. Pinchus says:

    Kol HaKavod, Jewish Press!!!

  3. Andy Marcus says:

    Thank you, thank you – a million times thank you – for standing up for true Torah values, from which the Jewish Press clearly will not be bullied!!!

  4. Lisa says:

    I have never been so proud of The Jewish Press as I am now. May you be zocheh to receive kindness in equal measure to the kindness you have shown.

  5. Susan says:

    Thank you for upholding true Jewish values! Torah condemns ACTIONS, NOT INCLINATIONS (& plenty of other actions that people don’t harp on as much as they do these)! And suicide is the biggest sin of all – no Jew should ever feel driven to this by any other Jew!!!

  6. Aviva says:

    Yasher Koach Jewish Press.

  7. Yaakov says:

    Thank you for the support. It means a lot to know that there are people in this community who are willing to defend the mitzvah of Ahavat Yisrael at all costs.

  8. Dana Friedman says:

    THANK YOU! Thank you for having published Chaim Levin’s piece and for having stood behind it. I was a regular reader of The Jewish Press 25 years ago. When R. Porush and R. Kahane had regular articles, and Arnold Fine had the back page, I’d never have dreamed that The Jewish Press could come to be so inclusive of the Orthodox community that’s far more diverse than some might like to admit. If your article, and your having stood by it made even one person rethink their views on inclusion it was well worth it. I appreciate The Jewish Press having made the effort it has.

    Thank You again!

    Dana Friedman

  9. Roni beer says:

    Kudos and hakarat Hanover for printing Chaim Levin’s article. If that article can help one person, if that article can make someone understand what it is like to be an orthodox homosexual, if that article can make one person act in a nicer, nonjudgmental way towards another human being, then the Jewish Press has accomplished.

  10. Allan Altman says:

    Thank you for shedding light on this sadly neglected crisis that needs all our attention!!

  11. Schmutzi says:

    It is nice to see someone standing up for what they believe in.

  12. Moshe says:

    As a gay, frum, chayal boded from New Jersey it puts a smile on my face, slowly slowly we will be recognized, fixed? maybe not, but we need recognition. People are suffering everyday beyond the norm. Stand strong TJP

  13. Charlie Hall says:

    I myself faced a lot of bullying and harassment when I was young, because I was not (and still am not) at all macho and people assumed I was gay. I happen to be attracted only to women and Baruch HaShem I will have been married seven years next week. It is very saddening that Chaim Levin’s essay resulted in such a reaction. Thank you for publishing it and for refusing to cave to intimidation. I will go out of my way to patronize your advertisers.

  14. "Zalman" says:

    I am 32, I am sitting reading this in my livingroom and crying. Thank you for your words of decency and humanity that so clearly stem from a deep, sincere, pure ahavas yisroel. I wish I had read something like this as a teenager, when, becoming a baal tshuvah and in public high school, I was the only student in a school of 4,000 in Manhattan who wore a kippa and tzitzis, was the founder and president of an active and successful Jewish student outreach group in my high school (which was 20% Jewish), but was also struggling and torn about my sexual reality of exclusive same gender attraction. I was tortured by this conflict of wanting so much to do Hashem’s will, and to bring Jewish children into the world on one hand, and having zero desire for sexual connection with women, while the desire for intimacy with men was tangible and undeniably real. I promised Hashem, while visiting Majdanek on a March of the Living tour when I was 17, and breaking down sobbing from the pain of seeing hundreds of pairs of murdered Jewish children’s shoes, that my answer to the evil of millions of our people being murdered (including my mother’s parents when she was 3, in 1942) was to rise above my nature and get married and bring Jewish children into the world. I was married twice – once when I was 21 for a few months (which was a disaster, our unhealthy, rather dead sex life was the main cause of the divorce 4 months into the marriage) and again a couple of years later, where, with the helpful advice of Rabbi Manis Friedman, whom I had opened up to about my homosexual reality of being, I had beautiful children B”H. The second marriage ended in divorce several years in. I am torn currently on what to do, how to continue my life in a holy, healthy way where my children will see me as a role model, but not getting into another marriage that at least in terms of libidinal gratification is at high risk to be doomed to fail. I “came out” and told many friends, some of whom still set me up on dates with women – whom I insist on sharing my struggle with. I have had surprisingly many women accept me and want to date me – it is I who ends up breaking off shidduchim. I have succumbed and “dated” guys, but although the relationships were sexually satisfying, I felt like I was using my body in a way that is against how Hashem intended, and literally wasting myself. There is so much more I can write, but I’ll stop here. I just want to share with readers that there are plenty of guys like me with intense ahavas yisroel, a deep love for Hashem and Eretz Israel, who struggle daily with how best to deal with a homosexual reality.

  15. HW says:

    THANK YOU!

  16. Yossi says:

    WOW, What Courage! I hope that you serve as an example to other publications leaders.

    How often do we hear of a Jewish institution that chooses to stand with their ideals, even in the face of significant monetary loss?

    This newspaper has shown nothing short of heroism. It tells us all that we do not have to let the bullys win…WE CAN STAND UP TO THEM!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…with tears in my eyes, thank you.

    You have made be believe again in the authenticity of the Jewish Orthodox voice. We are not panderers, we are not sheep, we are not rabble rousers…we simply will stand for those who suffer. We will be the voice of those who are vulnerable. And with steadfast belief in Hashem we will do everything we can to make this world a safer place for our children. OUR CHILDREN, and that includes our beautiful, wanted, and holy gay and lesbian children.

    May Hashem bless this Newspaper with the strength and and hope that it just gave me and my family.

    On behalf of every Frum family with gay and lesbian members, THANK YOU!

  17. Ilana says:

    B’H
    Zalman I feel for your pain and wish you success in your struggles andI do hope that you find true happiness in a balanced relationship with the right person and are able to do Hashem’s will. All of us are given tests and it is never easy.
    One has to stand up to Bullies.

  18. tnyc says:

    Thank you to the Jewish Press for standing tall, and for supporting Ahavas Yisroel. We can judge each other, reprimand each other, etc…but when do we really sit down, take a step back, and just try to love each other (differences and all)? The fact that people approached advertisers and threatened them is very disturbing but, unfortunately, not surprising. The people who did that should sit back and take a good look at themselves, judge themselves before judging others. The Jewish Press? What can I say? Thank you for standing up for yourself, and for an article that was heartbreaking to read whether you related to it or not. The idea that Jewish neshamos are in danger….well…we should do everything we can to prevent suicides. Period.

  19. Abracadabra says:

    Excellent Editorial!! And kudos to the Jewish Press for taking a stand and making a positive difference in a sorely needed place within the (very wide) Orthodox world.

    I buy the Jewish Press on the newsstands when the mood strikes me, but I am now going to subscribe – simply as a way of showing my hakoras hatov (gratitude) to the paper.

    Excellent job! Continue to stand strong against coercion and threats. But more importantly – continue to stand strong for the inclusion and acceptance of every Jew.

  20. "Zalman" says:

    ps please feel free to publish my comment in the paper

  21. Rich Dweck says:

    Thank you to the Jewish Press! You are what journalism is all about. Journalism is not regurgitating the same lily white lovely things about life. Journalism is taking risks and speaking about issues that make a difference in this world. If you have any issue with any advertisers backing out, please let us know who and how much they were paying and we will work to get you replacements! Stay true to Journalism and doing the right thing. I think we have enough publications that lack any integrity. I wrote my blog because of this exact issue. I call it the “Pink Elephant”, because it speaks about all the issues that are not being spoken about in our communities or in our publications! Thank you and mazal tov on being ethical!
    http://richdweck.blogspot.com/

  22. Susan S says:

    I know that the issue that you raise is a real one.

    My husband is a psychologist and he frequently sees boys who struggle with this issue.

    It should be noted that, in his opinion, often this issue seems to be caused by the fact that the young men exist almost exclusively in all-male environments (yeshivot) have no contact with young women. They’ve got normal teenage hormones — and nowhere to attach their very real physical and emotional yearnings — except to another boy that they frequently interact with…

    In other words, my husband and I think that the homosexual feelings/desires that young men in yeshivot are often (but not always, of course) part of a “phase” that fades when they eventually start dating and marrying.

    Now, that does NOT mean that ANYONE should be harassed or persecuted to the point where they need drugs to numb the pain or attempt suicide, it is just something to keep in mind if/when the subject comes up with a young man.

    I think it would help to explain to boys struggling with this issue that these feelings are not uncommon and are often caused by the intense all-male environment they are in — and will probably fade once they start dating…

    While, of course, it’s not true that that the feelings/desires will fade in 100% of the cases, it might help reduce the emotional stress of the situation (and therefore, reduce the addiction & suicide rate) by “normalizing” the desire — because the desire itself is not the problem — acting on it is the (halachic) problem. (There would be no need for a halacha regarding homosexual relations if no one ever had the desire for it!)

    In other words, perhaps we should educate students parents, rabbis and educators to be more accepting of the desire while empahsizing that in many cases, the desire will resolve itself in time. One should not rush to the conclusion that they will necessarily struggle with these desires forever — and CERTAINLY no one should be stigmatized or persecuted because they are struggling with these issues. In fact, these desires are understandable, based on the environments that these boys are living in… The issue must be dealt with — with grace, respect and dignity for all involved.

  23. Susan S says:

    What a struggle! What a test. I see how hard you are trying…There is no easy answer. Though I don’t know you, you are in my prayers.

  24. Jay says:

    Just to be clear about one important thing: Did Chaim Levin identify himself explicitly as “religious?” It seemed in the comment sections he pretty much said he is not religious, and I think it is important to be factually honest about that.

    I also wish the Jewish Press would find stories of men who did succeed in reparative therapy. The whole article with Chaim Levin was a good perspective of his encounter with it, but it leaves the Orthodox Jew who is experiencing same-sex attractions to either feel the only way he can live his life is by being gay and going against Halacha, or by living celibate. That seems to me pretty depressing. This would not be the case if we could hear about the third option – change and reparative therapy, from an individual who has succeeded in that. There are such men, and I think it would be advantageous if the Jewish Press sought after such individuals as well.

  25. Baruch Gitlin says:

    I want to compliement you on publishing the original article, and on this editorial. I’m no fan of the homosexual rights movement or homosexual marriage, but it’s important to be able to hear what people like Chaim Levin have to say. It’s an important role of the press to bring facts to light, and if the Orthodox press hides facts because of their religious sensitivities, it becomes irrelevant for anyone trying to ascertain the truth of a situation. By printing contraversial articles, both here and on the aguna issue, The Jewish Press maintains its credibility and provides a very valuable service to its readers. Please do not be cowed by any threats, and keep up the good work!

  26. Thank you so much for this story. Suicide in the context of same-sex attracted people, especially youth, needs to be given the spotlight and as much oxygen as possible. This is the most neglected, swept-under the carpet, ignored and taboo topic in the Jewish world and it has the most devastating outcomes.

    I have been working to bring attention to this issue for some years now in the Jewish community in Melbourne, Australia. There has been much resistance to this conversation but increasingly the tide is turning and people are starting to open their eyes to the reality of the situation.

    Check out some of my blogs on the issue: http://mikeybear.wordpress.com/tag/youth-suicide/

    Please keep discussing this topic ad nausaeum. Too much coverage won’t be enough.

    Thank you.

    Michael Barnett.

  27. Havah says:

    Yasher Koach Jewish Press!

  28. Yosef says:

    At the saem time I personally know over 20 formerly gay people and three who are married or engaged.

    There are people who wanted to change. For some of them had they given up after a short attempt would not have been successful. It took 4 years for some – just like the struggle for alcoholism or any other difficult issue.

  29. Finally!! Thanks jp

  30. Shira says:

    My respect for the Jewish Press has gone up tenfold! Thank you for doing what is right despite the difficulties that it presents. May you all continue in your work and being roll models for all jews!

  31. Rachel says:

    I read Chaim Levin’s article – he is so brave to tell the truth about his experiences. But it is very important to distinguish between having desires and acting on them. One may be driven to drinking or smoking or overeating. There is no such thing as an ex-alcoholic – only an alcoholic who is able to stay away from booze. They are conditions that are very difficult to deal with.

    Chaim can succeed if he stays away from “gays”. There are lots of single people who can live normal and respectable lives. The desire itself isn’t evil – it is how he reacts to it.

    I had the unfortunate experience of finding out through a friend what gay society is really like. Gay advocates, including the press and social “experts”, present “gay” as being a wonderful life. In fact, it is usually so awful, so extreme, so terribly harmful. Violence, drugs, dozens of partners, water games, mud rolling (google them). It is extremely unpleasant, just to think about what happens.

    I recommend a book: “Abandoned Prayers” by Greg Olson (a reporter at the time). It is the story of a religious man who goes off the derek and ends up in the depths of the gay lifestyle.

    Kudos to The Jewish Press for bringing this in the open. Judaism isn’t about your position or abilities or desires in life. It’s about what you DO with what you’ve been given. Desires aren’t evil – it is what you do with them that matters.

    If we only live to satisfy our desires we are worse than the animals who have no choice. The Torah gives us instructions on how to live, how to behave with ourselves and others so we can grow closer to HaShem (the word mitzvah comes from a root meaning to grow closer). That has to be our goal.

    We don’t know why we are given trials in life, but the response has to be to stay on the derek, perform mitzvot and follow halacha. Do the best you can with what you’ve been given.

  32. Davida says:

    Jewish Press, your voice of reason, compassion, and strength gives hope to the Jewish people. SHAME on those who would try to intimidate and threaten – their bullying tactics reveal their lack of faith in Hashem and as far as I’m concerned, they are the real shanda. I read the original article, as well, and I was shocked he had been kicked out of Yeshiva. To what end? To say we give up on Jews? If you expel a religious boy from Yeshiva for his feelings then isn’t the message then that there is no power in Torah? When they turn one boy away, when Rabbonim bully to silence, they proclaim to the world, We Do Not Believe Hashem Loves the Jewish People. Their damage goes beyond one child, one story. And so too, The Jewish Press and Chaim Levin are strengthening and helping Klal Yisrael beyond measure. Please continue speaking up for the disenfranchised. Not only are you saving lives, you are bolstering the emunah and bitachon of Jews the world over. Because at some point in life, most Jews will be faced with a challenge that demands more courage from them than they think they have inside. This week, last week, and for so many weeks, you offer a lesson in courage.

  33. Sabina F says:

    Thank you for supporting every single Jew and for standing up for true Torah values. We must embrace every single Jew and remember that only Hashem can pass judgement.

  34. silenced says:

    zalman,

    I am in the same place now that you were in when you were 17. I’m currently trying to figure out if “rising above my nature” and finding someone to marry is what I should be doing. Much like you, I only want to be on the right derech,and to serve Hashem in the correct and proper way. This is such an incredible struggle and just seeing someone put it into words like you did, really meant a lot to me. I know that I am not the only one.

    wishing you only hatzlacha.

  35. michael says:

    WOW !!! WOW!!!! I always laughed at the JP for being a religious right wing rag. But now I believe I need to change that view. You have proven yourselves as more open minded and truly Jewish than most other papers. I am sure that simply standing up for the right of a gay person to express his or her sadness at being tested by Hashem will save lives.

    It saved mine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously!!!!!!!!!!

  36. "Zalman" says:

    Thank you for the warm words Ilana

  37. "Yisroel ben Natan" says:

    Having once worked in an Orthodox newspaper, I remember that whenever we ran stories on abuse, embezzlement or homosexuality, some local rabbonim would threaten my paper by withholding advertising from their shuls, yeshivas and board members’ businesses. My columnists were also pressured to leave my paper. When the esteemed local yeshivas had events, all local papers were invited to attend except mine. It was a mamish Bar Kamtza situation.

    Often, I was accused of violating shmirat halashon and causing hillul Hashem, even though as an Orthodox journalist, I speak to a rabbi every day on such matters.

    My readers, while supportive of my work, had little power to keep the paper going. Over the course of a year, my paper shrunk from 24 pages to 16, while more frum publications that omit photos of women, oppose Zionism and engage in systematic attacks against modern Orthodoxy, prospered and grew.

    Eventually, I left Orthodox journalism in despair at the censorship and pressure tactics. But I remain a loyal and faithful subscriber to Jewish Press for its honest work.

  38. Mike says:

    Thank you. I just renewed my print subscription for two more years.

  39. Voter One says:

    There were decades of spousal and child abuse denial as well.

    Sometimes I wonder who really is more broken- those who must wrestle with these tragic issues or those who live in the alternate universe of denial.

  40. Chumi Friedman says:

    Jay,

    A couple of years back we featured a series of interviews, written by Rosally Saltsman, with men who had undergone reparitive therapy and what their experiences were. Baruch Hashem they were successful – some of them had even gotten married.

    The point of this article is that for some the therapy does not work and can even be destructive.

  41. Eitan says:

    Great work Jewish Press! Very, very proud there is such a strong voice of good in our community. You’re doing a wonderful thing.

    Thank you. A million times, thank you.

  42. Kol Hakovod says:

    the timw is to stand strong now for everything thats right
    gay people should be accepted as orthodox even if they work on shobbes
    just blame someone for that .
    swingers should be promoted as well why should you reject the swingers community ?
    and the torah is for old timers we are the new jews the new people

  43. Yisraela says:

    Hi, my name is Yisraela Hayman. I work as a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in Los Angeles and I provide therapy to frum/non-frum people who are struggling with same sex attraction. I provide a safe, nurturing environment and help people reconcile their belief systems with their sexuality and learn to love and accept themselves. I know what it is like to be frum and gay. I have been there myself and it was extremely painful and when I was younger and struggling there was no support out there whatsoever so I would like to offer that support. There is also a new support group group that has just formed for Orthodox Gays in Los Angeles. For more information please call me on 310-388-7779.

  44. mrs. ek fleischman says:

    kol hakovod- and may you be matzliach in your quest. i have not read the jewish press for many,many years but i did grow up on it, and remember the wonderful articles,op-eds and of course,arnold fine…..
    telling the truth always brings out enmity-some people are in denial, some people just like to be politically correct, and some people think that our problems in klal yisroel will just go away by themselves like chickenpox. well, they don’t!

  45. barry says:

    yasher koach.

  46. Mordechai Levovitz says:

    By not caving to financial bullying and threats, The Jewish Press has now established itself an essential voice in the Jewish community dialogue! Too few establishments can say the same and for this, the whole frum community owes The editorial staff at this paper a huge debt of grattitide. You have displayed a true kiddushin hashem!

    In years past The Jewish Press has reported multiple of times on hose individuals who have found “reparative” therapy helpful. No one is denying professional and licensed metal health counseling fo those with conflicts. Sometimes marriage are based on other things besides attraction, and as long as both spouses are honest with eachother, who’s to say that for some people with SSA, heterosexual marriage and counseling is not the best option for them. Certainly there was nothing published in the Jewish Press that suggests otherwise.

    The important thing about Chaim’s article is that with the pressure of rabbis and the Orthodox community he was sent to “Jonah” where he was treated by non licensed therapists, asked to disrobe and do unspeakable things to himself, was emotionally traumatized, and then blamed for the therapy not working.

    This is wrong, and worse yet, this is harm. The first tenant of any licensed health professional is “first do no harm”.

    The fact that some may have benefited from this
    Process DOES NOT excuse the process harming others. You can not benefit some on the backs of hurting others. I know so many people who have been scarred, traumatized and sometimes a ubused in reparative therapy orgs and counseling. I know two boys who were sent to JONAH who ended up taking their own lives because of the false hopes and self blame.

    So please be sensitive when you call people who spend years of their lives and thoasands of dollars in these therapies and then choose to stop for their own well being “drop outs”. That is the worst kind of mean bullying blame. Obviously for many “change therapy” not only doesn’t work, but is also extremely harmful. Please keep this in Mind.

    -Mordechai Levovitz

  47. Kathleen Fruge-Brown says:

    Thanks–so may we all stand up for our beliefs.

  48. Edna says:

    I couldn’t have said it better.

  49. The Man says:

    A Jew that violates the Torah, with the act of gayness, deserves Capital Punishment. Don’t go and try defending them, JUST because their Jews. They Violated the Torah in the worst way they could and they should get what they deserve!!!

  50. M Salamon says:

    A couragous article and an even stronger statement of basic yiddishkeit. Keep growing!

  51. The Man says:

    YOU CAN’T BE FRUM AND GAY!!! THEY GO AGAINST EACH OTHER!!!

  52. Lisa Liel says:

    Rachel, really? “Gays” in quotation marks? There’s nothing at all wrong with associating with other people who share things with you that others simply can’t understand.

    As far as your (possibly invented) experiences, there’s a difference between frum Jews who happen to be gay and members of the general secular-gentile gay community. Just like you wouldn’t like people to assume that you share all of the values of the average American, you shouldn’t assume that frum Jews who are gay share the values of those people.

  53. Holly says:

    Kudos to the Jewish Press!

  54. mother in israel says:

    Kol Hakavod!

  55. B Gold says:

    dana friedman and “abracadabra”

  56. yitzchak e says:

    The frum / haredi community is afraid of speaking of these things because goyim should not be aware that we are different from them , but at the same time we are very similar. I support the Jewish Press for speaking out on this issue and due support the Jewish Press for being a Press that will print aticles that are very timely and do serve the interst of our people

  57. B Gold says:

    While I commend the JP on this matter, i think we have to be careful. The spouters of political correctness and moral relativism use deceptive words like “inclusion” (eg comments of dana friedman and “abracadabra”) to imply support for the homosexual/liberal/leftist agenda. No the community should not drive these people, esp. youth, to suicide. But neither are suicides – nor thoughts of – that are NOT ’caused” by the community, an argument to approve homosexual lifestyles.I’m not suggesting the JP said this – but given the outpourings of relief, this needs to be stated.

    Also, since I think we are better at ‘treating’ actions than we are “inclinations”, why don’t we offer paths for homosexual males and females to marry eachother (once counseled etc) Providing a real, practical path for action and “inclusion” into the community. As well as marrying for the right reasons and without concealment.

  58. Ned Flaherty says:

    Readers “Jay” and “Yosef” assume that “reparative therapy” can cure homosexuality. They are mistaken. It cannot. It can’t be cured because there is no diagnosis, and there is no diagnosis because sexual orientation isn’t an illness.
    And reader “Susan S.” and her psychologist husband call sexual orientation a “problem.” They are mistaken. Sexual orientation only becomes a “problem” when others label it negatively, and especially when they excuse such labeling with religious sect beliefs.
    Every major religion now has some clergy who now bless same-sex couples and perform same-sex weddings. Anyone who feels conflict should seek out such clergy, because the life they save may be their own. Those who suffer most are usually the Orthodox (both Jews and Christians), who are best off consulting other religious movements (Conservative, Reform, Unitarian, etc.) within their faith — or any other faith — for the enlightenment that they can’t find at home.
    On a more scientific note, biological evidence shows that people are born with one of 5 sexual orientations: lesbian (homosexual female), gay (homosexual male), bisexual, heterosexual, or asexual.
    Reparative therapy has never changed any of these 5 orientations in anyone. That’s because it is junk science, sold by unaccredited and discredited amateurs, who get rich by preying upon ignorance and prejudice. Reparative therapy is neither repairing nor therapeutic; it always fails eventually, and is dangerously unhealthy because it dramatically raises the risks for serious health problems such as debilitating anxiety, clinical depression, and suicide. Every major professional health organization in America has banned this product.
    Even after decades of sales to unsuspecting patient-victims, only a handful of formerly homosexual people ever claimed success, and even they did so only temporarily. Among the few people each year who claim to be newly cured of their innate sexual orientation, there are only 2 explanations: (1) they retained their lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation and merely became celibate; or else (2) they were always bisexual and simply chose to date people of the opposite gender. Most people who initially claim to be “ex-gay” eventually accept their original orientation, reject celibacy as unhealthy, and denounce reparative therapy as fraudulent medical malpractice.
    Many people who temporarily think they’ve been cured of homosexuality end up selling the fraudulent medical malpractice product to others. Eventually, all such salespeople end up admitting that the therapy never worked — not for them, not for anyone.
    The Jewish Press is to be commended in its stand for education, science, and tolerance. I hope all its readers join in.

  59. Ned Flaherty says:

    The Editorial Board wrote — incorrectly — that, “Until politics exits the science, it won’t be known if homosexuality is genetic, hormonal, neurological, psychological, or a choice.”

    That’s incorrect. It’s already known.

    As soon as religion leaves science, society will learn that sexual orientation is known to be biological in nature, as proven in studies about twins, birth order, finger length, fingerprints, hair whorl pattern, right/left-handedness, hearing, vocal pitch, eye blinks, verbal fluency, stress, sweat, and X chromosomes. For example, some of these differences exist among Caucasians, but not African-Americans, which strengthens, without explanation, the biological basis of sexual orientation.

    Ned Flaherty
    Boston, Massachusetts

  60. Karen says:

    Kol HaKavod!!

  61. Suzanne says:

    Yasher Kochachem! Kol yisroel aravim zeh lazeh! Not just some of the Jews,but all persons who identify as Jews. Extremism, fanatcism is overtaking some parts of our community and they need to be reminded of this concept. Again yasher kochachem on your efforts!

  62. samm says:

    I have not read your original article but I have read your editorial. Good for you that you have raised this major issue. If there are problems in the wider community there is surely issues in the religious jewish community. These issues need to be raised and to try and figure out how to deal with them.

    Keep it up! Kol HaKavod, Jewish Press

  63. Hershl says:

    Kol ha kavod to the Jewish Press for not giving in to the enemies of hashem and the bigots in our community.

    The fact is simple.

    All of us, including gays and lesbians, are made in the image of hashem. It says so in the Torah.

    We all must respect one another.

    Anything other just divides our community and makes us look like a bunch of hate mongers.

    Erlikhe yidn have their opinions but when it comes to basic human rights and supporting those who are politically on the outside of the inner circle, we must do the right thing.

    And you have.

    Thanks, again for representing all members of our community.

    I am a gay, frum man who was forced out of our community by those who thrive on hate and division.

    It is very sweet to see some people, like yourselves, willing to consider us as Jews and human beings who have feelings, too.

  64. Rabbi Arie Chark says:

    I’m proud of you.

    Reb Arie

  65. Hershl says:

    Zalman

    I also cried when reading your moving comment.

    I am now 63. For the last 26 years I have had the most loving, fulfilling relationship with another man. I never believed that such intimacy was possible for me. I thought that I was damaged goods.

    What changed it all for me was t’fillo.

    I cried out to hashem and spoke/ speak with him on a regular basis. It is this personal relationship that has helped me become a better person.

    I had dated and even had sex with women. I enjoyed my time with them but realized when I was 15 years old that this was not my derekh. Hashem had created me differently than other boys.

    I was depressed and filled with anger, especially at the frum community that condemned people like me to a life of ostracism and lying about my feelings as the price for acceptance.

    So I left the frume velt but never left hashem.

    I talk with him daily and feel very loved.

    I have no answers for anyone but I just want you to know that real relationships do not revolve around sex.

    Find a way to have intimacy that is not only physical.

    It is not only possible but, as I have found, brings a deep happiness and joy that makes it possible to go through all the suffering that life brings us.

    Hatslokho rabo in all your life.

  66. This Brooklyn native is sitting in home in Columbus, OH with a grin on his face from ear to ear. If someone had told me a week ago, that the renown Orthodox Jewish community newspaper would publish an editorial asking the community to have rachmones on members of the frum world who are gay, I would have responded, “not in my lifetime.” I’m thrilled to be proven wrong! Please don’t let hateful homophobes like Yehuda Levin who believe all their beliefs and convictions will mean nothing if LGBT people are simply recognized as human beings have the final word. Homophobic Chicken-Rabbi Calls Romney a Dangerous “Homosexualist” (VIDEOS) http://wp.me/p1Jt6N-nM

  67. Ester says:

    Because it is not against halacha for women to be gay. (Actually it is not against halacha for anyone to *be* gay. But for women it isn’t forbidden to act on the impulses like it is for men.)

  68. Anyone who honestly believes that there is a real, diabolical liberal, leftest, homosexual agenda, is so far removed from understanding terms like: compassion, respect,love, kindness and tolerance, than one can only hope that he or she does really subscribe to the delusion that he/she can also be characterized a “religious.”

  69. Rabbi Arie Chark says:

    Your suggestion saddens me. Perhaps you are not aware, as I am, of the Satmar Chasid who came out to his wife after 8 children? After the gerushin he moved in with his Cuban boyfriend. My rebbetzin told me that the real tragedy was an intermarriage. I realised she was right, and it was at that point I decided to do everything possible to create safe space for homosexuals in the religious community. It’s simply not enough to agree that oved atzmo is something no one should be “driven” to. Your reply is no different than that of R Zecharia in the Bar Qamtza midrash — and on account of his chasidut shtiyot was the Bet Hamiqdash destroyed!

  70. RGreen says:

    The original article do not stress strongly enough that acts of homosexuality are ASSUR.

    However we deal with the issue of Orthodox Jews who think they may be gay, the fact that the Torah says gay acts are assur must be the starting point.

    I think this is why people are upset over the article.

    When counseling people who think they might be gay, part of the counseling must include that they CANNOT COMMIT ACTS OF HOMOSEXUALITY even if that is thier inclination.

  71. Concerned Mom says:

    Is suicide not ASUR??? If this were your child, would you rather he/she kill him/herself? The Jewish Press was strong enough to bring to light the danger of suicide, exacerbated by the “reparative therapy.” The paper deserves our gratitude!

  72. Phil Fink says:

    Yasher koach for publishing a article that rings to the forefront a subject that has been ignored by the orthodox media. That the Jewish Press has chosen to stand up to those who have the chutzpah to threaten the newspaper,it’s publisher and advertisers only shows the ignorance of those who chose to bury their heads in the sand. Once again yasher koach .

  73. Voter One says:

    We don’t need to be reminded homosexuality is assur. That is not the issue. Simply asserting the halachic status does not and will not make the problem go away or less significant. To believe it will is simply the height of naarishe thinking..

    Defenseless children have been molested- and their abusers protected, spousal abuse remains an ongoing problem and a host of other issues the kehilla faces remain behind closed doors.

    The necessary discussion needs to be about how we deal with these and other problems.

    What is assur and to what degree it is assur is patently irrelevant.

  74. Charlie Hall says:

    The truth about reparative therapy is that by the standards that apply to every other medical or psychological treatment, reparative therapy has not been shown to be efficacious. Indeed there is no real evidence for its efficacy, which would need to come from a properly controlled randomized intervention study of sufficient size to insure generalizability. Claims based on anecdotes or observational studies have often been proven unfounded when the randomized controlled studies have been done. And I say this as a biostatistician who has spent most of his career analyzing data from observational studies. I’m not a rabbi, but I wonder about potential halachic problems (geneivat daat) with promoting an unproven intervention as efficacious.

  75. West Hollywood Lawyer says:

    While I applaud your publishing Mr. Levin’s op-ed piece and standing up to those who are pressuring advertisers to drop their support, I resent your including the characterization of homosexuality as an “evil inclination.”

    How will discussing the issue in such terms help reduce the number of suicides you deplore? How do you think a young Jewish man or woman, reading that you still see them as evil, will be helped as they struggle with their sexuality? To me, such language only reinforces the fear that they will be rejected by family and community, whether or not they act on their feelings.

  76. David,Grace, & Vincent Jones says:

    GOD Bless Each & Every One of You In The Jewish Press for NOT Tolerating Bullying & BlackMail. Each of your Actions Made God Smile. God’s smile’s have made ALL of Us Smile for Our Jewish Family in Gratitude & Appreciation. We All Learned “GOD IS LOVE,” Growing Up in Church. Now Religions With Agenda’s are teaching “God Hate’s.” God Doesn’t Hate, Man Kind Does. “Thank You for Standing Up With The Love of God.”
    David,Grace, & Vincent Jones davidaj101@aol.com North Central Florida

  77. Ben David says:

    Sorry – the Jewish Press is jumping on a PC bandwagon.

    You write:
    Until politics exits the science, it won’t be known if homosexuality is genetic, hormonal, neurological, psychological, or a choice.
    - – - – - – - – -
    But despite this disclaimer, you are giving voice to the cult of politically correct victimhood that has been used to normalize this behavior.

    And in fact – we already DO know that homosexuality is not genetic, that the “born that way” myth is used to sidestep real discussion of this behavior.

    And the Jewish Press is adding to that pity-mongering drumbeat.

    The breast-beating about teen suicides ignores the fact that the “born that way” myth closes like a shackle around young Jewish teens, who despair of leading a normal life.

    Sorry – you are not making a brave ideological stand.
    You are cravenly surrendering to the PC echo-chamber.

  78. RGreen says:

    We need to counsel children (and others) who are suicidal.

    But that does not mean telling kids who think that they might be gay that they have to commit acts of homosexuality.

    We can tell them that they have free choice and even if they have a certain orientation they can still be fulfilled.

    I stand by my original comment that counseling should stress that acts of homosexualty are ASSUR and that people have FREE CHOICE.

    Being Orthodox means believing that just because you want something does not mean you have to have it.

    Someone may want port.

    They still cant have it.

    Someone may want to commit adultry.

    They still cant do it.

    The same applies to homosexual acts.

  79. RGreen says:

    What is assur and what is muter is very relevent.

    The fact that the Torah says acts of homosexualy are assur seems to be getting lost in all of the “white noise” that has become this discussion.

    It is also getting lost among all of the comments from people who are using Hebrew words to sound frum and then go off spouting philsophies that are anti-frum.

    The begining of this discussion must be that committing acts of homosexualty is assur.

    That is how we must approach the counseling issue

  80. Voter One says:

    Mesirah is also assur.

    I’m sure the victims of child and spousal abuse will take great comfort in knowing how many people were focused on halacha as opposed to what was done to them, for so long. I’m sure they take great comfort in knowing their persecutors were comfortable knowing all the halachic chumras were strictly followed.

    Yes, we have no problems as long as we keep our focus strictly on halacha.

    Certainly that’s working really well for us. Things couldn’t be better nowadays. Our intensified focus on halacha has virtually eliminated all our current- and growing- list of problems.

    If we all only ate glatt chickens life would be perfect.

    That, and we stopped paying attention to all the ‘white noise’ which insists on dealing with problems- and reality.

  81. rebecca klein says:

    the torah is multifacited and encompases every aspect of life. We recieved it thousands of years ago yet whatever issues we have in society today have been around since the Torah was given to us. That in itself is an answer to why we MUST deal with this very serious issue of orthodox gay men or woman who feel they have no other option but to kill themselves. The Torah was given to us as our guidebook there will always be gay men and woman. Because it is a real issue and it does exist. What makes people feel they have the right to decide this issue is somthing that should not be spoken about .It would not be written in the Torah if Hashem did not feel it was somthing that was going to have to be dealt with .Every jew is a child of Hashem. If he created people that are gay there is a reason far greater than we are able comprehend . Hashem loves us all equally .If being gay is a sin. It is between the person that is gay and Hashem. I feel we are all uniqe,with our own set of flaws and issues we will all have our day up in Shamayim to discuss our lifes and what was right or wrong .The greatest sin is that of the people that make a boy girl man or woman feel suicide is is the only answer. They have hurt another jew so deeply it is not reversible. You can only be obsolved of a sin of bayn adam lechavero by getting the other person to forgive you no matter what you try to argue when your day comes and you stand in front the kisay hakavod Hashem can not and will not forgive you .Throughout Jewish history no matter how bad the Jews were , no matter what sins they commited he forgave us. The one thing he would not tolerate was sinat chinam.This situation that makes gays feel like they have no alternative that suicide is the only way is an example of sinat chinum.Who are we to judge another do we really understand why hashem created people that are gay and what there tafkid is.Being gay has only recently become acceptable in the sechular world and gays are just begining to be able to live and function without feeling like an outcast within society .To make believe there are no gays in the jewish world and to not discuss it,is a travesty in itself. We have made them feel they can never be accepted in the jewish world.That is a crime. Should a Jew that is gay feel they have no right to be a jew and only have acceptance in the sechular world I shudder to thing how many Jewish neshamas we would loose .They have a right to be a jew, they have a right to hold there heads up .We have a responsabilty as a people to reach out and deal with the young people from frum homes that are made to feel ashamed and that suicide is the only answer. ,We need to allow them to find there own place in this world where they can live and be who they are .Not feeling that they are a lesser jew or a lesser person because they are gay .How we can get to that level as a frum society im not sure but one thing i know it will take many newspaper articles many conferences between Rabayim principals of yeshivas and comunity leaders I pray Hashem will guide us and give us the wisdom to find answers. I hope that in the near future it will be unheard of to want to commit suicide because your gay .We are one nation made up of many different types of people our goal has always been to learn to live in harmony.I want to thank the Jewish press for opening the frum communities eyes which gives us but one choice to deal with this issue..

  82. Anon says:

    It seems clear to me from the comments here:
    1) Many gays believe that their gayness is biological and not by choice.
    2) Because they believe it’s natural and biological, then everyone else must accept them as normal.
    3) If you don’t accept their gayness as normal, then you are a homophobe.

    The other side of this argument is:
    1) Many non-gays are disturbed or disgusted by gay behavior.
    2) Many non-gays believe that this disgust is natural and biological.
    3) Many non-gays believe that if you don’t accept that their disgust is normal and biological, then there is something wrong with you.

    Conclusion:
    Each side is claiming their feelings and impulses are natural and biological.
    Each side is demanding that everyone must accept those feelings as right, because that is how God made them.

  83. Lisa Liel says:

    Grow up.

  84. Ester says:

    You can’t be frum and a thief, you can’t be frum and slander people, and you definitely can’t be frum and go around saying that some Yidden DESERVE to be driven to the brink of suicide because they are gay.
    One definitely CAN be frum and gay. Being gay isn’t asur, the only thing that is asur is for men to have relations with men. Being attracted to members of the same sex is NOT asur. Suicide, on the other hand, IS.
    The urge to act on one’s gay inclinations is no better or worse than the urge to cheat on a business deal or lie on a foodstamps application so you can become eligible.

  85. Michelle says:

    Kol hakavod and thank you so much for making this statement. I could not agree more.

  86. John Doe says:

    Chaim Levin has the right to speak out. So do I. His article is a slapdash collection of exaggerations, half-truths, and outright falsehoods. There is no problem of intolerance of gays in the frum community. Gays daven in shuls. Gays get counted in minyanim. Gays get aliyahs. Gays get invited for Shabbos meals. Gays learn Torah in shiur and with chavrusas. Gays ask to talk to rabbis, and the rabbis talk to them. There is no anti-gay violence. Yes, occasionally, there will be a sharp public comment or two, along the lines of what Elliot Resnick once wrote here. Unfortunately, that is playing into the hands of Levin and his allies. They are promoting the entire gay rights agenda. They want gay marriage in all 50 states. They want orthodox rabbis to officiate. They want to have relations with our sons. They don’t want to hear about what the Torah says about toeva. They make exaggerated, totally unproven, undocumented claims about suicide, saying its our fault, because we don’t tolerate them, trying to blackmail us into weak submission. They toss around the bigot word constantly – anybody who disagrees with them is a bigot and a homophobe. They will infinitely recollect, and re-tell over and over again, each and every isolated episode of common child-to-child teasing that took place in school years ago. Most of us get over such things fairly quickly, without writing op-ed articles. Levin and his allies is promoting homosexuality – period. That’s what this is all about. After Rabbi Yosef Blau had his gay conference at YU, supposedly touting tolerance of gays, other senior rabbis rightly spoke out against it. Rabbi Meyer Twersky publicly spoke out, and he should be listened to, its on the Internet. The conference was a smoke screen for promoting homosexuality – as is Levin’s article. I hope the Jewish Press starts printing other viewpoints. We don’t want to be silenced either.

  87. Roni Keeton says:

    Thank you for printing this article. I would ask, if saving one person is like saving an entire world, isn’t that more important that one’s strict adherence to halacha? Isn’t it more meritorious to save someone??

  88. Anon says:

    “Gilui Arayot” forbidden sexual relations are still forbidden in the Torah under any condition, and that includes gay sex, no matter how much you try to reason it away. So don’t go trying to say that the Torah would allow gay sex to save lives, because that’s clearly what you’re trying to take this argument.

    The Jewish Press was duped on this one.

    The gay movement has an agenda of trying to make gay sex acceptable socially and halachically, and this is was just another angle they used to get their foot in the door, and you guys fell for it, hook, line, and sinker.

    The Torah does not allow gay sex between two consenting adults, just like it doesn’t allow incest between two consenting adults. There’s no difference between the two, except that they gay lobby has more power behind them.

  89. West Hollywood Lawyer says:

    You claim that “we already know that homosexuality is not genetic.” I challenge you to cite a scientific, peer-reviewed source in support of your assertion.

    The scientific and medical literature so far shows an apparent mix of factors including genetics and hormonal exposure during gestation as the most-likely establishing an individual’s sexual orientation.

    It is appalling that religious communities of all stripes ignore forty years of research since the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the diagnostic manual. Homosexuality is not the problem; it is a society that persecutes those who do not conform.

  90. RGreen says:

    You have a pro-gay agenda which you are trying to hide with your diatribe.

    Like many others, you pepper your comments with Hebrew words to sound frum and then you espouse an anit-frum agenda.

    It is ASSUR for a man to have sex with another man.

    That is where the disscussion begins on this topic.

    If you do not believe that (and cant say it) then you should not be posting on an Orthodox Jewish message board (unless you clearly state that you are posting as non-Orthodox

  91. Rebecca Silverstein says:

    I am a psychotherapist who works with people who are lesbian and gay, I am Jewish, and I am a board member of a professional group of psychotherapists. Thank you for your courage in publishing the article and standing up to those who want to silence the voices of reason around the conflicts between homosexuality and strong religious beliefs. There are no simple, clear or right answers for everyone, and the best that those of us who work with this population can do is help people find whatever peace they can with these conflicts. Pushing people to suicide is never the answer.

  92. simcha berkowitz says:

    I admire your stance

  93. John Roe says:

    Homosexuality – view of Rav Moshe Feinstein (1976 letter to gay Jewish man)

    Igros Moshe(O.H. 4:115): The first thing you need to know is that homosexuality has the severe punishment of stoning and kares and it is also called disgusting by the Torah itself. It is one of the most debased sins and it even is prohibited for non‑Jews. This knowledge is a strong bulwark against the yetzer harah. Secondly it is inexplicable that there should be a lust for it. That is because in the creation of man himself there is no natural lust for homosexuality… The desire for homosexual relations is against natural lust and even the wicked do not have a desire for it itself. Rather their entire desire for it is only because it is something prohibited and the yetzer harah seduces them to rebel against the will of G‑d. This knowledge of what is the will of G‑d is a powerful protection against the yetzer harah. You have already defeated the yetzer harah in that you believe in G‑d and all the 13 principles of faith and the entire Torah. With this you can defeat the yetzer harah in this that it seduces you to rebel against G‑d and to anger Him. There is an explicit verse in HaAzinu “That with abominations they provoke Him to anger” [Devarim 32:16] Rashi says an example is homosexuality which is a sin which causes G‑d’s anger. He also says this regarding magic which interferes with the Heavenly family as is stated in Sanhedrin (67b). Thus the explanation of this verse is that it causes you to deny the decrees of Heaven and to act to anger G‑d – chas veshalom! The third thing is that homosexuality is an embarrassment even to the common man. Because the entire world – even the wicked – ridicule those who are homosexuals. Even in the eyes of the wicked who participate in these acts, he looks down on the one who did it with him and ridicules and insults him. This awareness will greatly strengthen you against the yezter harah. …Awareness of how debasing a sin is, is a good advice to strengthen oneself against the desire to do a sin which is disgusting and ridiculed such as this one. Because not only is it against the Torah which prohibits it with the most severe punishment, but it is also the greatest embarrassment to his whole family. The greatest advice to overcome this is to learn Torah in depth. This will save and guard you from all sins – even from the thoughts of sins as the Rambam states at the end of Hilchos Issurei Bi’ah: “Greater than all this, turn oneself and ones thoughts to words of Torah and expand one’s mind in wisdom.” So surely this will save you from the yetzer harah of this despised sin.

  94. John Roe says:

    And the 1986 letter of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, to a gay Jewish man:

    http://www.jonahweb.org/print.php?secId=322

  95. Ploni says:

    I stand alongside John Doe. I did some research which anybody can do. I started small informally and contacted Rosh Yeshivas and Rebbes in Brooklyn, in Monsey, in Lakewood, Far Rockaway, and Passaic. I asked simply: have any boys or young men died (under any circumstances) in the past 5 years. The sampling I am speaking of includes 1000’s of Talmidim ages 13 to Kollel. Then I went through death notices in the many papers and other records of the past few years, to see if deaths, even well covered up, could support Mr. Levins assertion. You know what Baruch Hashem I did not find one single loss of life that could even remotely be considered a suicide. No single vehicle accidents, no accidental drowning, no falls—nothing. Granted, I am not Havard or Yale or a professional investigative journalist but the suicide issue in the frum community is more than an exaggeration as I see it now. It is an out and out falsehood.

    I am not sure if it is a true “agenda” or just manipulative modis oparandi, . As an educator who worked closly with licensed Psychologists I know that suicide is almost always linked to depression, a diagnoses and illness that does not fit within “the gay is special argument” and is thus avoided altogether. In this construct, reparative therapy is a hoax and crackpot while what should we call it “Levin Video therapy and Op-eds” saves and changes lives? I have no doubt he can get 50 of his friends to say that they would have committed suicide if they had not seen his brave video. Which forgive me I do not buy. As he has proven himself to not honest in anyway other than in admitting his homosexuality.

    As for his lying about our children committing suicide to the entire Jewish community what can I say. I will be frank here, it is no news to anyone in chinuch that there is same sex attraction in every Yeshiva, has been since the beginning. The truth is that homosexual relations are forbidden period end of story. The tolerance already is there. I also know several gay men in the community they are driven to a life of Torah. Perhaps they have a deeper love of Torah and community. Mr. Levin is advocating we go the way of the goyim—plain and simple. The goyim have accepted same sex marriage, before that they accepted same sex relations. I do not think they want a place in community because if they did they would taken it. They want a place and a homosexual life style that includes physical sexual relations with other men. Which is assur. To Mr. Levin I would say we have no miracle to offer you at this time. No doubt science will in the future come up with something if the gay lobby does not commandeer or block real research. For now we have no answers. That is the honest truth, which is much more than you have offered to the Frum Jewish community. If the frum community wants to know what our gays our up to, check “Craigs List” under Men Seeking Men (frum or Orthodox). They have photos of what they will provide to our sons. Please parents don’t be fooled. It will only get worse not better.

    Right now while I do commend the Press for publishing all voices I am disappointed that there was no fact checking which I assume it part of good journalism. Call Nefesh they are listed in the yellow pages. He lied about children dying so he could be called a brave hero. But on the other hand maybe I am wrong and there are no suicides because Mr. Levin saved them, with his video and his op-ed piece. Then the world no longer needs therapy

  96. Michael says:

    With all respect to your husband his “professional” opinion is ignorant

    Most gay people date girls and realize the connection cant be made, for reasons out of their control or doing. The causes are not situational. My life experience attests to this.

  97. Bob Danek says:

    You speak out against suicide, yet you still condemn gays in your community? You still refer to homosexuality as “evil”?

    A life of denying who you are because an ancient book may or may not say it’s OK is NOT a life anyone wants to live. So you’re not really offering them anything at all.

  98. jrs says:

    <>

    What a ridiculous, and hypocritical statement! Just as one can have gay feelings & still do their best to be frum, so too, one can be fully accepting & respectful of everyone’s right to desire or even to practice a gay lifestyle—and nevertheless disagree with the ideologues who promote a diabolical liberal, leftist agenda (homosexual or otherwise)…
    ….people, apparently, like you, who politicize everything–and then say anyone who disagrees “lacks compassion, humanity, etc. “

    A classic bit of liberal distortion.

  99. Marcia Smith says:

    quoted from article: “We did not run this article to condone anti-halachic behavior. We did not run this article to intimate that homosexual behavior could be a Jewish life choice.”

    In that case, I sincerely regret signing the petition thanking you for this article. Won’t make that kind of mistake again.

  100. Yosef says:

    There is no question that we are on the road to Sodom and Gemmorah.

    In countries like those in the societies of the ancient cannanites and Egyptians this was acceptable.

    They were eventually wiped out.

    The JP is actually supporting making sodmoy acceptable.

    I think they will have to answer for this.

  101. Voter One says:

    So you can’t make a reasonable argument and therefore I have a non frum, pro gay agenda?

    Does everyone here with similar views have a non frum, pro gay agenda as well? Does the JP also have a non frum, pro gay agenda?

    No one questions homosexuality is assuer- but in the end, there are lots of things that are assur that must be dealt with.

    Is it enough child molestation or spousal abuse is assur- and therefore we do not deal with it? That is your argument you are making.

    Shall I make the presumption you take issue with reporting child or spousal abusers as well?

    As a personal matter, I do not have a pro gay agenda. In fact, I believe there are enormous psychological pressures and dysfunctions that influence many, many gay people.

    In the future, don’t speak for me, my hashkofos or my beliefs.

    You have made clear your inability to offer up civil and rational argument and have chosen instead to malign me, personally. Therefore, I will reply in kind.

    I can only hope no children or other kinds of victims have to rely on you for their safety. Inasmuch as you didn’t even address the issues I raised I can only make that conclusion. I could go on but I’m sure you get the point.

    Now, feel free to continue to insult me personally, (you can understand why your own hashkofos might come into question). It seems that is what you do best.

  102. Anonymous says:

    B”H the JP made their position quite clear. They said clearly homosexuality is against the the Torah and Halacha. They said clearly homosexualy behavior is not an acceptable option for a kosher Jewish life.

    Separate from this they said we have an obligation to to not mistreat these mizkeinim (and they are mizkeinim) in their fight against their yetser horoh.

    Everyone has their own yetser horoh they fight against. B’ezras Hashem they’ll find a way to overpower their’s, and stop trying to define deviancy down.

  103. Luke Bracken says:

    I applaud you on speaking about the truth in life, and the very real problems facing not just jewish people but people from all back grounds. If the jewish people are to survive and live on in a world of hate then discrimination and hate must be push pushed aside for love and respect. Hate must never win.

  104. Yehudit says:

    Hi, I am a gay woman who was married for over 20 years. I attempted suicide 2 times but B”H did not succeed. I have a friend whose 1st cousin who is was a frum boy who committed suicide so it is not true and while some people are compassionate and mean well others completely lack ahavas yisroel. Do not underestimate how these attitudes can adversely affect a person.
    I hear people talking about how homosexuality is an abomination but isn’t also motzei zerah levatalah a terrible sin and I know many guys do this and they are not condemned in the same way as gays.
    Lets treat everyone with compassion, love, dignity and respect. Aren’t we losing sight of the mitzvah of ahavas yisroel? Are these attitudes really what hakodesh baruch hu would have really wanted?

  105. Elaina Hershowitz says:

    My husband and non-homosexual children read and forwarded this Editorial to all of our friends. Reading your Editorial made us even prouder to be Jewish than we already were! Jewish people should NEVER stay silent in the face of wrong.
    If not us, who?
    If not now, when?
    Thank you for your courage.
    Elaina, Yudi and sons

  106. AS says:

    Kudos for taking a vocal stand against gay bashing. Now take an actual one. You regularly print columns and op-eds by writers, such as Steven Pruzansky, who on his personal blog, from his pulpit, and in signed letters condemns homosexuals, supports reparative therapy, and belittles bullying of gays and gay suicide. Please discontinue your relationship with these columnists. Send a message that you will not line the pockets of gay bashers.

  107. George says:

    If he stays away from “gays” (really insensitive of you to word it that way) he will be very alone in the world. this is part of their pain. They’ve felt alone and isolated all their lives.

    I don’t envy their struggle.

  108. George says:

    I have never struggled with this issue but I can tell how insensitive you are despite that.

    You cannot fathom for a minute that someone has a desire that they have struggled with. Wow, you must be so pure and holy!

    Did you read last week’s article? Did you read how the author tried for 2 years to not have this desire?

    Have YOU spent 2 years working on a midda, at personal cost and personal shame.

    Do you have no heart???

  109. Jay Mitchell says:

    one word of advise, put that foot forward and seek the one you love. I met one man which I love very deeeply and been togather for 25 years. We have been blessed. So stand tall put that foot forward and find the one you love. Be proud of your life togather. Give thanks every day.

  110. Lisa Liel says:

    I wonder how many of them were actually gay, as opposed to bi.

  111. E.B. says:

    That, and I also wonder how long their marriages lasted and what quality they were.

  112. E.B. says:

    Except that gay people don’t ostracize people who are not gay. They don’t tell them how to live their lives and they don’t view them as lesser human beings.

  113. Ben David says:

    It would be more to the point if you cited a real scientific basis for the “born that way” myth… every major medical association was pushed by activists to make pro-gay declarations – and every one has walked back those earlier statements as the human genome was mapped in the 1990s – revealing no genetic pattern associated with homosexuality…

    The gay rights movement is now trying to misuse studies of identical twins to imply genetic causation – but the correlation for homosexuality is an abysmally low 50 percent – and even lower in studies of twins raised apart.

    You write:
    It is appalling that religious communities of all stripes ignore forty years of research since the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the diagnostic manual.
    - – - – - – - – - – - -
    But the decision to remove homosexuality was not based on any research – it was a political power grab resulting from sit-ins by gay activists disrupting APA panels.

    The psychologist who removed homosexuality from the APA’s diagnostic manual (Dr. Robert L. Spitzer) later published research showing that sexual orientation could be changed – and was quickly attacked by the activists who previously praised him.

    This is a political game with little scientific basis… the only positive thing to come out of 40 years of “gay liberation” is that the dysfunctional behaviors that are the norm in the gay “community” are been revealed for all to see…

  114. Ben David says:

    In other words – We will continue our politically-correct pity-mongering to try and shift the moral goalposts of society… not through factual or moral discussion, but through the emotional manipulation of PC victimhood.

    Gays make up less than 2 percent of the population.
    There are more drunks and drug abusers than gays.

    So let’s try it this way:
    “You hateful sober people should show TOLERANCE for the alcoholic lifestyle!!”
    “You chauvinist fundamentalists shouldn’t JUDGE me for using drugs!!”

  115. Yankel Fried says:

    It is a shame that the Jewish Press is clearly not allowing any comments that question the article or comments. If the article stresses that Chaim Levin is talking about his case and desire WITHOUT ACTION, then how could they allow people like Zalman to comment when he openly publicizes his outright Torah violations? I have no hate in my heart for another Jew, however, I do know that the Torah forbids what they are doing. We must be tolerant and assist these people, but the manner in which you’re bringing this to light is quite distorted. If I were to publicize my “addiction” to murder, for instance, but claim that I am a completely “observant” Jew, and request the world’s mercy and compassion, that would be utterly absurd and painfully inappropriate. I leave everyone with a single question – what was done in the past? Where repulsive articles published publicly such as this? A Chilul Hashem is being made by those who publicize their private, and, yes, sinful deeds, and it is furthermore a Chilul Hashem for others to publish it. Hashem yiracheim! May every single one of you find salvation soon! I feel your pain, however, finding comfort through public acceptance is not the way to solve this epidemic.

  116. Yankel Fried says:

    Read all of the above comments of those who ACTED upon their desires and then say what you just said again. We need to be sensitive, but stop accepting these ACTIONS with such pity. I am certain that you would have no such patience for murderers and thieves. Any sinful desire must be overcome. This is no different, despite one’s claim to the contrary. Defend a mass murderer’s inclination for murder, and then defend these people afterwards.

  117. Yankel Fried says:

    Thank you for being the only sane person commenting yet. They can claim all they want that they do not condone the behavior, yet they can support a slew of comments from those who outright admit their actions. Sinful actions. This article and all those similar to it are creating a level of acceptance. People are beginning to feel comfortable in this sinful way of life, and, rather than working to change it, become satisfied. Furthermore, it is a tool for others to read it and consider to follow in these people’s path rather than working on it. Klal Yisroel! We all sin! However, find the courage and strength to overcome your desires! Stop demanding rights and acceptance! You cannot be accepted if you remain comfortable in a life of sin!

  118. Yankel Fried says:

    Thank you for bringing some much-needed light to the subject. Unfortunately, another dark chapter in Jewish history is being written. Those who accept sinners blindly are sinners. If the Jewish Press and its readers care enough for these people, HELP THEM! But stop demanding complete acceptance and tolerance! I don’t want a murderer living next door to me – nor a mishkav zochor! Both pose a danger to my family!

  119. mekk says:

    I am Nigerian Jewish convert and I feel ashamed that my fellow jews in the developed west support homosexual lifestyles.

    Here in Africa sex between a man and his fellow man is considered a taboo and despicable and I am really shocked that some Jews advocates this act .

    well, America is a free world and I am sure that even beastiality would soon be legalized in the United States.

    In my country homosexualism is a crime and you get jailed for it.

    No wonder the Arab world despise America culture so much.

  120. gaile says:

    Hooray!!! keep speaking the truth!!!

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