This is an important question being asked by a growing number of people who can’t read and have to take off their shoes to count to twelve.
What’s the contradiction between being a Homosexual and an Orthodox Jew? As an idol worshiping adulterer, I don’t know the answer.
The problem is that we have two definitions of “Orthodox Jew”.
1) Orth-od-ox J-ew (Person who is non-judgmental and does many Mitzvos (kind deeds for others))
2. Orthodox Jew (Person who follows Torah)
“Of course, I am fully aware of the biblical injunction against homosexuality, and as a Torah-believing Jew, I accept that injunction as Jewish law. But why is this mitzvah different from all other mitzvot?” asks some columnist at the Times of Israel.
Duh, it’s not.
Of course I’m fully aware that there’s a biblical injunction against breaking the Shabbat but why can’t I drive to Shul each night and still be an Orthodox Jew?
If you have two identities. One is being an adulterer or idol worshiper or homosexual and the other is an Orthodox Jew, the two identities are not compatible. You have to choose one or the other. And if you talk about being a homosexual Orthodox Jew, then you have already made your choice. You are not an Orthodox Jew.
If violating the Torah is a more vital part of your identity than keeping the Torah, then you are not a Torah-believing Jew. We all make mistakes. I once cursed my parents while bowing down to Baal and then had sex with a donkey. It happens to everyone. But there’s a big difference between falling down on the job and defining an identity that says, “BREAKING SHABBAT IS PART OF WHO I AM. I WAS BORN THIS WAY. NOW TELL ME WHY YOU BIGOTS WON’T ACCEPT ME AS AN ORTHODOX JEW”
Doing something wrong does not take you off the list. Insisting that you are genetically bound to have sex with donkeys while bowing to Baal and that this is now your identity… and that we have to accept that is a load of donkey dung.
You can be an Orthodox Jew. You can be a bad Orthodox Jew. But not a Baal Worshiping/Donkey Humping/Orthodox Jew. Once you try and claim this identity, you are stating that you will not change and you want to create a modified religion and a modified Torah where donkey humping is cool.
They already have one of those. It’s called Reform Fracking Judaism. Once you go Reform, you never have to worry whether your donkey humping identity in any way interferes with your religion. There’s no polar yes/no black/white good/bad stuff there. So long as you don’t vote Republican, you’re in.
You can be an Orthodox Jew who is tempted to have sex with men, donkeys or the Amish. But you can’t be an Orthodox Jew who says, “I MUST HAVE SEX WITH MALE AMISH DONKEYS SO ACCEPT ME FOR WHO I AM”. An identity is not a mistake. It’s not a temptation. It’s who you are.
When someone says, “I am gay” and “I am an Orthodox Jew” those two identities nullify each other. You can be an Orthodox Jew who is tempted to have gay sex. You cannot be an Orthodox Jew who turns a violation of the Torah into a statement of identity.
But the Torah also prescribes death for some 25 other transgressions, including — to name but a few — cursing one’s parents (Exodus 21:17), ignoring the Torah-based rulings of a judge or court (Leviticus 17:12), and violating the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14, among other places). Yet, we don’t ostracize people who curse their parents or were held in contempt of even a Jewish court.
Oh but we would.
If someone cursed their parents all the time. If they turned cursing their parents into their identity. If they called themselves a “Motherfrakking Jew” and held “Motherfrakking Pride Parades” and wrote articles and made documentaries complaining that Orthodox Jews refuse to accept and tolerate Motherfrakking Jews… they would be gay.
In Israel, it is common to see people attend an Orthodox synagogue on Shabbat morning, and then spend the afternoon at a football game or the beach. That they do not observe Shabbat in an Orthodox manner does not keep them from receiving honors such as being called to recite the blessings on the Torah.
Yes and that’s a problem. It opens the door to crap like this. Then when the guy who just stabbed his parents 12 times after having sex with a donkey and worshiping Baal rides into an Orthodox synagogue on a donkey with a bloody knife in one hand and a Baal idol in the other… and is turned away by the judgmental Jews… the synagogue is vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy.
But should an openly gay couple enter and attempt to join the services, I shudder to think of the communal response.
Same response as a guy walking in with a football game blasting on a portable television.
There’s no hypocrisy here. Homosexuality as an identity is incompatible with Orthodoxy in the same way that you cannot walk into a synagogue and sit there with the game blaring so loudly that the Chazzan can hear it.
it is time for more of us in the Orthodox world to accept gay Jews as we do others who, like us, do not — and cannot — keep all of the mitzvot.
This is the one we’re waiting for. “Cannot”.
Why “Cannot” they? Because they were made different. Children of a gay god. And if we accept this identity, we have to modify our religion or believe that G-d made people who are programmed to sin and have no choice about it.
Speaking as someone who was genetically programmed to intermarry, eat bacon and worship Baal, I sympathize. I really do. So shut the hell up and stop writing these piteous articles telling us that it’s wrong not to accept homosexuality or that the basic incompatibility between Orthodox Judaism and Homosexuality is a myth.
It’s not a myth unless you think Torah is a myth. We all make mistakes, but we don’t turn a mistake into our identity. When you do that, what you are really saying is that it’s not a mistake at all… and maybe Torah is the mistake.