web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 12/01/06

By:

Chronicles-logo

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

To all women, men or children who feel that they are at the end of their ropes, please consider joining a support group, or forming one.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to help agunot, please send your tax deductible contribution to The Jewish Press Foundation.

Checks must be clearly specified to help agunot. Please make sure to include that information if that is the purpose of your contribution, because this is just one of the many worthwhile causes helped by this foundation.

* * * * *

Dear Rachel,

As a man who has struggled with homosexuality and frumkeit for many years, I take exception to your consistent championing of change being possible and of asserting that there is no such thing as gay. I’d like to offer another perspective.

Let me start by saying that I believe fully in Torah M’Sinai and consider myself to be a fully committed Orthodox Jew whose tafkid in life is to do my best to keep ALL of the Taryag Mitzvot. I am fully versed in both Halachah and Hashkafah and have no issues whatsoever with the philosophical underpinnings of our belief system. I truly believe that every word of the Chamisha Chumshai Torah was given directly from Hashem to Moshe, and that along with those words, Moshe received Torah SheBa’aL Peh.

The prohibition of Mishkav Zachar comes from the same Hashem that told me to keep Shabbos, to keep Kosher and to fast on Yom Kippur, and I will do my best to keep this mitzvah as I try to do the others.

What I do not fathom is how the prohibition of a very specific behavior translates into Hashem not making people whose sexual orientation is homosexual.

From a hashkafik perspective: The mitzvot revolving around Arayot in the Torah address one thing and one thing only − behavior. There is no discussion of desire, of motivation, of what’s normal desire and deviant desire. Even if one translates ‘To’avah’ in the pasuk of Mishkav Zachar as ‘abomination’ – which is by no means a definitive definition based on Chazal − it still refers to the action, not the desire.

Your writers say that Hashem wouldn’t or couldn’t give an orientation to a person and then prohibit him from acting on it. They say that a person’s desire must be able to change if the Torah prohibits an action. In my opinion, this is putting a very Pollyannaish spin on the very nature of nisayon in Olam Ha’Zeh. The fact is that many times Hashem puts people in adverse circumstances that will not change.

I would argue that in those circumstances the definition of success with the nisayon is first accepting the circumstances and then living as rich a life as possible within those circumstances. Would you, for example, tell a person with medically incurable deafness not to accept that diagnosis? That Hashem would not do that to him because there are so many mitzvot, such as shofar, that involve hearing? That his focus in life should center on searching for a cure? Could you imagine a crueler and less productive way to deal with this most challenging nisayon?

My own struggle with homosexuality has come at enormous cost for me. I ruined a marriage and a successful career. Though I’ve been to the best “SSA therapists” (and thereby gained many positive things), one thing that did not change is my basic desire.

Some may say I didn’t try hard enough. Firstly, ‘Don’t Judge Your Friend Until You Stand In His Place.’ Furthermore, which believer in Torah M’Sinai would not want to ‘change’? Certainly one who lost as much as I did would have more than enough motivation.

But all the motivation in the world has not changed reality for me. When I think of the enormous pain men like me go through, I wish that the hope of change could be there. But I also know that at this point I’d rather face reality than embrace false hope.

And I think of the enormous pain of the women who marry these men. Even in cases where the men are up front with their wives – as I wasn’t, and where they control their behavior – as I didn’t, there is an inherent cruelty in a marriage that lacks the central glue of desire, as I learned first hand. A cruelty that NO woman should be exposed to, and a cruelty that no young woman – particularly a sheltered Bais Yaakov girl – can possibly understand until it is too late. There is no way before marriage that a frum woman can truly fathom what her husband’s lack of desire for her will be like. It is the inherent desire of EVERY woman to be desired by her husband, and I don’t think any Bas Yisrael should be exposed to the risk of encountering rejection.

Believe me I understand fully how much any frum man with homosexual desires wants the hope of a “normal frum life” with a wife and children. And I understand first hand the enormous pain of having to accept that sometimes Hashem says no. But I would rather live my life honest with myself and the situation Hashem placed me in than risk building another world of lies – and devastating another woman.

I don’t know if you will publish this – especially because I’ve essentially advocated a life of loneliness and celibacy for men with homosexual tendencies. At the same time I want to make it clear that I am not advocating an acceptance of a gay lifestyle on any level by the frum community, nor suggesting any “wiggle room” when it comes to a lav in the Torah.

I did not choose to be what I am

(Response to follow)

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 12/01/06”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A look inside the IAF war room
IDF to Stop Persecution of Observant Soldiers With Beards
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Respler-112114

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

LBJ-112114

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-44/2006/11/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: