web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Gay Jews: Hatred Is Not Halacha

Others have always accused us of sinister plots to corrupt or control the broader society.
gay jews parading

By Jonathan Branfman

As Jews, we often stand angry and bewildered in the face of antisemitic lies, asking, “How can anyone possibly believe that about us?!” Today’s article by Alan Friedlander (Orthodox Jews Should Not March alongside the LGBT Sunday) leaves me with precisely such disbelief and sadness.

Alan Friedlander claims that LGBT Jews are pushing a sinister “hidden agenda” by marching in the Celebrate Israel Parade on June 2. As the largest pro-Israel event in the world, this parade draws massive crowds from every segment of the Jewish community—yet Friedlander thinks LGBT Jews have enrolled solely in “a brazen attempt to force Orthodox Jews to accept their way of life.” Accordingly, he calls on Orthodox Jews to boycott and/or protest the entire event.

First of all: how self-centered! LGBT Jews are marching to support Israel, not to push our “agenda” on the Orthodox community. Mr. Friedlander, our lives are not about you. We do not spend our time plotting against halachic law and those who adhere to it—which, by the way, includes many frum gay Jews. We spend our time going to synagogue, driving our kids to school, walking the dog, and cooking Shabbat dinner. When we do advocate for LGBT concerns, our “sinister agenda” involves protecting ourselves from violence, emotional abuse, and discrimination, so we can go about our lives in peace.

Second, this parade has always seen Orthodox Jews march alongside nonobservant Jews who eat pork (also toevah) and who are not shomrei Shabbat (punishable by death). Like these thousands of other Jews, LGBT groups have joined the Celebrate Israel Parade to place their voices and bodies on the line in the global struggle to protect the Jewish State. If the Orthodox can march alongside pork-eating Jews, then animosity toward LGBT Jews can only stem from prejudice, not halachic duty.

In fact, more than 100 prominent Orthodox rabbis and educators have issued a statement condemning antigay behavior as the very antithesis of halakhic values. Published in 2010, the “Statement of Principles on the Place of Jews with a Homosexual Orientation in Our Community” affirms that “embarrassing, harassing or demeaning someone with a homosexual orientation or same-sex attraction is a violation of Torah prohibitions that embody the deepest values of Judaism.” Mr. Friedlander engages precisely in demeaning and harassing LGBT Jews when he portrays us as sinister conspirators and calls on the Orthodox community to protest our participation in Celebrate Israel Day.

Further, Mr. Friedlander’s accusations and his call for harassment oddly echo antisemitic conspiracy theories. Even as Jews seek to go about our lives in peace, others have always accused us of sinister plots to corrupt or control the broader society. Precisely the same accusations commonly fall on the LGBT community. Every Jew who has encountered such ignorance shares a personal insight with the struggle of LGBT people—and I call on you to use that insight to critically examine all statements made against us.

Looking beyond Celebrate Israel Day, Mr. Friedlander’s slander illustrates the hostility and misunderstanding about LGBT people that still reign in some corners of the Jewish world. However, many Orthodox Jews, like much of the world in general, are awakening to the reality that gay people exist in all communities—realizing that they already know and love many gay people, and that these gay people are good and loving friends, teachers, parents, and Jews. Many are coming to understand that homophobia, like antisemitism, is a destructive force fueled only by ignorance, and that it has no place in our holy community.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

29 Responses to “Gay Jews: Hatred Is Not Halacha”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh would replace Abbas chairman of the Palestinian Authority if elections were held today.
Poll: Hamas Would Rule Judea and Samaria in New Elections
Latest Indepth Stories
0.5-Shekel-hatasham-RJP

The War projects to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP 0.5% but will have little influence on foreign investors

The_United_Nations_Building

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

champions

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz reviewing maps on the Golan Heights.

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.

One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

More Articles from Guest Author
Raphael Elisha Meir Cohen

It has been a very challenging year that has taken a toll on the Cohen family.

Professor Alan Dershowitz

I was touched by his words on the struggle to stand up for Israel.

A Tribute to Rabbi Joseph Grunblatt zt”l

Until you come to see it in person, enjoy Jerusalem’s Botanical Garden virtually via this video!

After four earthquakes shake Israel in one week, experts debate whether the big one is imminent.

The art show represents its theme, the identity of joy in Judaism.

Our human GPS who loves geography, maps and anything mass transit, to actually GO to the places he constantly reads about.

We should remind each other of the value of Israel in our lives every chance we get.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/letters-to-the-editor/gay-jews-hatred-is-not-halacha/2013/06/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: