Sorry For Chaim’s Pain I’m just someone’s mother sitting at my desk crying after reading Chaim Levin’s article. No one’s child should ever have to live through what he and so many others have. The way I see it, when judgmental, unkind, and ignorant people are able to look in the mirror and tell themselves they truly believe they are perfect in every way, only then do they have the right to voice an opinion. Until then, they should just stop with the uneducated psychobabble. I am not the most educated person as far as halacha goes, but there are so many more halachot about not embarrassing one’s fellow humans and dealing with grace and kindness than the one issur everyone is so obsessed with. I am so sorry for Chaim’s pain and for the pain of all others who were created b’tzelem Elokim and have to live with hateful people who are so unable to see past their own tiny worlds that they can cause such harm. I don’t usually write letters in response to articles I’ve read. I just want to wish Chaim well. There’s nothing else I can do other than be angry and feel helpless and wish that he will live in peace. Ricky Holder Adler (Via E-Mail)
Painful And Upsetting Although I’ve never before responded to an opinion piece, I felt compelled to do so after reading Chaim Levin’s article. As a therapist who works with LGBT youth, it was painful and upsetting to read about Chaim’s experience with reparative therapy. I have been a longtime opponent of this dangerous and damaging form of “therapy.” His story is one more example of blaming and shaming for being different. It is sad that there are those in the frum community who choose to follow a narrow path of acceptance and stand in judgment of others. I commend Chaim for speaking out on behalf of himself and for those who are silenced by their fear and shame. I’d like to thank Chaim for his courage in sharing his story, which was so beautifully written. It truly touched me. Randi Adler, LCSW Program Director, LGBT Services Jewish Community Services of South Florida
Dealing With The Deck You’re Dealt
I was very troubled by Chaim Levin’s article in which he criticizes those in the Jewish community whose attitude toward his homosexuality has caused him a great deal of anguish. He says he is homosexual not by his choice but God’s and that his orientation is not changeable. So why, he asks, can’t he be accepted as he is?
I wonder why he thinks the bullying and other indignities he says he suffers are more significant than what those with physical handicaps – which involves no choice whatsoever – experience? Why won’t he take a lesson from the many handicapped who resolve to leave no stone unturned to overcome their disability and live fruitful Jewish lives?
Why doesn’t he spend every waking hour trying to overcome his tendencies? Why does he instead choose to play the role of victim and limit himself to blaming others for the consequences of his disability? Everyone has to deal with the deck he or she was dealt. Surely the homosexual is better positioned than the physically handicapped in this regard. Of course it is laudable that he claims not to engage in prohibited sexual activity. But he cannot be seriously suggesting that his orientation – even if he doesn’t act on it – is something the Torah considers in a positive light.
Homosexuality has come of age in the modern world and is supported by a very effective lobbying movement. But let’s not confuse the concept of everyone being equal before the secular law with seeking a pass in the frum community for something the Torah considers unnatural.