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May 30, 2016 / 22 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Committee’

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

More Debate On Gays And The Orthodox Community

 

Standing Up To Bullies I just wanted to tell Chaim Levin (“Surviving Bullying, Silencing and Torment for Being Gay in the Frum Community,” Family Issues section, Jan. 27) that I’m so sorry for everything he has gone through simply because he is gay. There is no excuse for bullying or for other people to judge him.

I was bullied as a child from the age of 6 until 13, and it was terrible. I thought about suicide as a child due to the bullying. No one deserves to go through that. My daughter is the “little Naama” from Beit Shemesh, who was bullied and harassed for allegedly being dressed immodestly. Because I was bullied as a child, I could not let anyone do that to my child.

Kol Hakavod to Chaim for standing his ground and not letting people trash him. I hope he won’t let any of the negativity get to him. Hadassa Margolese Beit Shemesh, Israel

 

Feels For Chaim But… Chaim Levin is a fellow Jew who is clearly in a very painful place. My inner being hurts for him simply because he is my brother and the Torah commands me to ache for him just as I would for my own wounds and sores.

If Chaim’s only message was to stop the harassment of LGBT youth, I and many others would be supportive. God did not grant us ordinary Jews the power to penalize or degrade anyone for not following halacha as we see fit. We can gently and lovingly express our concerns to the individual but we can never employ physical, emotional, or verbal abuse in the process.

But what comes through in his article, his video, and his interview last week on Zev Brenner’s show is deeply disturbing. Though Chaim claims not to be advocating for a change in halacha, he apparently wants halacha-abiding Jews to accept an idea the Torah does not. Yes, we should be accepting of Chaim as a human being and fellow Jew – but we cannot embrace homosexuality as the Torah does not embrace it.

Chaim also expresses anger toward the coalition of rabbis who put their names to the Declaration on the Torah Approach to Homosexuality. Chaim needs to understand that this was not a personal attack on him. Rabbis have an obligation to make the Torah’s position on homosexuality clear. Why is it that Chaim feels he should have the right to say what he wants but is bothered when rabbis say what the Torah wants?

Having said that, I wish Chaim inner peace, tranquility, happiness and fulfillment in all his endeavors in life. Malka Bergstein (Via E-Mail)

 

Emerge From The Dark Ages After reading Chaim Levin’s eloquent appeal for compassion and then hearing him plead his cause with obvious sincerity and good will on the Zev Brenner Show this past Saturday night, one cannot help being overcome with a deep sense of pain for his plight.

However, before the frum community is able to render people like Chaim the acceptance they so badly need and deserve, we need to emerge from the dark ages of thought reflected in a letter to the editor last week by reader Jacob Richman.

Mr. Richman implied that the Torah frowns on an individual with same-sex attraction even if he or she refrains from acting on it. But the Torah does not frown on people for the way they were created so long as they refrain from sinning. The challenge for individuals born with an attraction to the same sex is not that they attempt to change themselves into something they cannot be – but rather that they try to conform their behavior to what the Torah demands of all of us. Lawrence Kulak Brooklyn, NY

 

Evidence Of An Agenda Chaim Levin’s recent article and appearances on video and Jewish radio provide ample evidence of an agenda far more wide-ranging than merely opposing bullying and reparative therapy.

It’s an exact duplication of the militant homosexual activist playbook: Desensitize society through constant discussion of homosexuality, urges, etc. Create feelings of guilt in others by exaggerated, unsubstantiated claims of Jewish homosexual suicides due to “bullying,” discrimination, etc. Gain public sympathy by using the media, and then solidify gains by forming organizations like Jewish Queer Youth.

Rashi (Devarim 25:18) describes Hashem’s eternal enemy, Amalek, as practitioners of homosexuality. Rambam rules that one who is tempted to sin disguise himself, sin secretly and act the hypocrite in public so as not to desensitize society to sin. Urging youth to join in a group that identifies itself with Amalek-type behavior reinforces negative self-identification and more often than not results in sinful misbehavior.

Imagine a Jewish adulterers’ Shabbaton, an “intimacy for the under-aged” shul or an adult incest organization forming a minyan. How about articles by and organizations of mamzeirim who demand sympathy and change because Jews are halachically forbidden to marry them? These are all spiritual oxymorons and would constitute a fifth column in the Torah community.

Our Readers

Knesset Committee Urges Europeans to Drop Legislation Banning Kosher Slaughter

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

The Knesset Committee on Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs announced that it would appeal to European parliaments to drop efforts to outlaw kosher slaughter of animals, or “shechita”.

In a statement released after the meeting, the Committee noted that “Italy’s Chief Rabbi, Prof. Riccardo Di Segni stressed that the requirement [in the proposed legislation] is to stun the animals prior to slaughtering, and while most Muslims are actually prepared to do this, Jewish religious law forbids this, so that the new laws specifically target Jews.” Committee Chair Danny Danon said that “an element of anti-Semitism” permeates such legislation.

The Committee statement added that Shechita has been banned in Switzerland since 1893 and that Norway passed a similar law 4 years ago.

Jewish Press Staff

Anti-Zionist Christians Use Jewish Voices To Defame Israel

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Speaking in the basement of Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC) in Minneapolis on July 3, 2010, Jeff Halper, founder of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, offered a relentless denunciation of Israel to a group of Presbyterians.

During his talk, Halper expressed hope that efforts to brand Israel as an apartheid state will get more traction going forward partially as a result of the deaths resulting from the fighting on board the Mavi Marmara a few weeks earlier. For Halper, the deaths highlighted Israeli intransigence, not the hostile intentions of those on the vessel.

“I think we have turned a corner with Israel’s help,” he said.

Throughout his talk, Halper gave his audience advice on how to challenge those who defend Israel from attacks like his.

“What people are going to tell you all the time is you’re not being fair to Israel,” he said. “You’re not being balanced.” There is not a symmetry of power, Halper said, and as a result, there’s no reason for criticism to be balanced. “There’s only one occupying power,” he said. “The Palestinians are not occupying Tel Aviv.”

Halper’s advice on how to respond to efforts to defend Israeli policies as responses to security threats was particularly pointed.

“Say, ‘What about home demolitions?’ That will shut them up.” Advertisement

Halper’s commentary fit right in with the agenda of the Israel-Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the PC(USA), which sponsored the luncheon at which he was speaking. The luncheon was one of a number of events organized by the IPMN that assailed the legitimacy of the Jewish state during the PC(USA)’s 2010 General Assembly. Other events on the IPMN’s roster at the WPC included a review of Alan Hart’s recent book, Zionism: the Real Enemy of the Jews, a review of The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand and personal testimony by Linda Ramsden, whose talk was titled “My Journey Away from Christian Zionism.”

Two days later, Halper testified in favor of an overture submitted to the PC(USA)’s General Assembly declaring Israel guilty of the crime of apartheid. Speaking before the committee charged with dealing with peacemaking overtures related to the Middle East, Halper argued that the PC(USA) should affirm the resolution to help “prevent the establishment of new apartheid regime in the world.”

During his testimony, Halper asked rhetorically what it was about South Africa’s apartheid regime that mobilized activists all over the world. “How did that affect us here in Minneapolis or in the United States or anywhere else?” He continued:

Because if you have a state based on racism that’s in our international family, it sullies all of us. This was a global issue, apartheid. It had to do with global morality, global politics and so we all spoke out against it. It’s the same in the case of Israel. Israel is a global issue. The Israel-Palestine conflict is as General Petraeus says, compromising American interests, but more than that, the South Africans mobilized the churches all over the world.

The churches are the moral voice. If the churches go away, if the churches simply go on with business as usual while apartheid regimes are established in front of our eyes, then where are we? So there’s a special responsibility of churches.

Israel is establishing an apartheid regime. There is no more occupation. The occupation has become a permanent bi-national reality and I ask you all to speak out while we can against a new apartheid.

With these utterances, Halper portrays Israel, out of all the countries in the Middle East, as uniquely worthy of contempt and criticism and Christian churches. In Halper’s worldview, Israel, which has regular elections and grants ethnic and religious minorities the right to vote and participate in governance, is condemned while truly racist regimes that murder their political opponents are ignored.

As harsh and unreasonable as this testimony is, he has said worse to other groups. Speaking at a Sabeel Conference held at Boston’s Old South Church in 2007, Halper suggested Israeli officials were contemplating a “final solution” in regards to the Palestinians. He told the audience that Israeli leaders “don’t believe that peace is possible” and that “the Israeli government has done the same thing that the Bush administration is trying to do – mystify the conflict, to depoliticize it so that there’s no solution – the problem is them. And if the problem is them, then of course to put it in very harsh terms then of course the only solution the final solution.”

Dexter Van Zile

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/anti-zionist-christians-use-jewish-voices-to-defame-israel/2010/08/25/

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