Monday, October 19, 2009

Small Change

Wow! I haven't updated this blog for a long time! Not that I haven't had a lot to say, but it has been a very busy few months for me. But now it's time to get back in the swing of things....

I received a message tonight from a family I have grown very close to over the past few years. They belong to the Modern Orthodox shul in my home town, and I have an unspoken invitation for Shabbos meals whenever I am around. While they are certainly a "frum" family, they are very open-minded and have accepted me fully as a gay Jew. I got word tonight that their eldest daughter has chosen to write her college essay about gay marriage. Specifically, she is writing about her experience of getting to know me over the years, and how I have changed her view of homosexuality and Judaism.

The key to change -- within any community -- is exposure. "Gay" should never be a taboo word. Homosexuality should not be treated as a sexual topic from which five-year-olds are shielded.

It is not often we see the fruits of our efforts. I feel very honored to have the privilege of witnessing change within the Orthodox community, albeit small change.

10 comments:

Elana Kahn said...

That is awesome. I love to hear about more frum Jews accepting gays and embracing them. I hope she gets an A+ on her essay.

the mol said...

That's fantastic to hear. It's funny how getting to know someone as a person can bring whole new meaning to their labels...

capecodkwassa said...

I love the part about not treating the fact that many people are gay like an age-sensitive subject. I completely agree. There is nothing PG-13 about boys liking boys or girls liking girls.

Also, your weekly shabbos messages on Facebook are awesome--very insightful.

Anonymous said...
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Jeanne said...

I am so glad you've returned to your blogging.
And so happy that your devotion to Judaism hasn't flagged.
Hoping you had a good New Year.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

There are many issues surrounding the posts and the comments. Although this blog has the merit of allowing people to work out their issues and brings to light that there is a possibility that individuals with homosexual tendencies may not be treated properly in the sense of the fact that they are Jewish and human beings, there is still a lot this blogger needs to learn or at least admit.

One main issue that is a common theme is that most individuals who participate in this website seem to believe it can be justified to be "frum/orthodox" and say it is okay to have homosexual relations. The only thing that can be accepted is that this may be who the person is and he may have homosexual feelings. Feelings are one thing, which is not necessarily forbidden, but the acts are forbidden and I have read before how some attempt to justify by claiming that most acts are only d'rabbanan. That is a major mistake in itself; it is against the Torah to throw away a halacha written by the Rabbis "just because it is from the Rabbis". So if one wants to say they are not following halacha, that is their perogative, but to claim this is an "orthodox" view is false, misleading, a chillul Hashem and the list goes on. A second major issue with this same point is I have read a post although several months old where the blogger and a commenter both are at a point where they either already or feel they are caring less and less for passukim from the Torah, and then saying one passuk overrides another. There is no way it can be justified to state that one passuk is greater than another and that it is okay to ignore verses from the Torah. So once again before this blogger continues to attempt to mislead countless individuals, which is an avaira in itself, i.e. a stumbling block in front of a blind person... and attempt to claim that this can be an "orthodox/frum" halacha following viewpoint the blogger truly needs to do some self-reflecting.

If the blogger would like to maintain that it is okay to commit homosexual acts the least he can do is admit that it is not and other statements made regarding homosexual acts are not and can no way be in accord with halacha.

The individual and all the emotional/psychological issues that occur, by this possible tough idea are accepted, and should be dealt with properly, but in no way is the actual act of a man sexually involving himself with another man justified in halacha. Even in a pikuach nefesh situation since it is one of the three things to die for. Homosexuality is not a 21st century issue, it has existed for quite some time. The sages and others have already dealt with this and have ruled on it appropriately. The blogger would be better serving the Jewish community writing about how to help individuals deal with this idea, not even attempting to "force" individuals into a heterosexual relationship, but to at least deal with the notion that the act is forbidden, just like not eating pig, or worshiping idols...

This in no way is judging those who state they are homosexual or commenting on whether homosexuality is right or wrong. This is merely stating how halachically speaking, it cannot be justified and the fact that someone is attempting to is possibly violating other halachas. Also, why is it that we believe that we know better than those who came before us when it comes to the Torah way?

Wendy said...

I find it somewhat outrageous that a person could post something about the halachas of something so personal while refusing to mention the "blogger" by name. Because we no longer have the beis hamigdash, Judaism must be a personal practice through performance of mitzvos and the study of torah. Until Mashiach comes, that's what we are stuck with, and therefore, we must address each other not as "the blogger," but as fellow Jews trying to follow torah in the best way that we can. Come to think of it, when Mashiach comes, I think we should still call each other by first names, because there will be many bloggers throughout Yerushalayim.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I want to say that I don't believe being gay is a choice, and any person who looks down on a gay person simply because of that fact is completely wrong.

However, the attitude about being gay is a choice, and I don't think you are making the correct choice. The Torah tells us exactly what type of attitude we are supposed to have for this behavior. It's not a simply violation of halachah, it's a to'eivah, an abomination. Obviously G-d in his infinite wisdom chose to create you the way you are, but G-d also created people who have urges towards pedophilia, incest, and bestiality. Because a person has an innate desire for his own mother, that makes that desire not disgusting? Is that any less of his being then being gay? Does he have the right to have relations with his mother even if it's consensual?

Unfortunately, we are trying to make the values of the Torah fit the values of modern society and not vice versa. We are going down the slippery slope where we will eventually throw away the Torah based on our whims and desires chas veshalom.

lars shalom said...

lucky yoyu