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The Catch 22 of Frum Jewish Gays

I have no idea how it happened, but it seems that the frum community is obsessed with frum gays or maybe the concept of frum gays because how can one really “act” on being gay and be frum right? Now of course, that sentence alone is likely to get me thrown into the ever increasing dungeon of supposed “gay haters” and frum homophobes, but it seems that anyone who in believes in the Torah becomes a gay hater by default. The Torah says it’s an abomination, it’s not like tefillin where we can come up with different interpretations – we cannot ignore it – yet when asked about what else those who are orthodox Jews supposed to do?

Therefore we have the Catch 22 of the Jewish Gay Community. Many folks get a little emotional and illogical about it, they enter their own feelings about gay sex, just because you’re not into someone else’s sexualpreferences doesn’t make them disgusting (please don’t make some childish comment about non-consensual sex pedophiles). The problem with this particular thing is the sex aspect, that’s why people get all up in arms. White collar fraud is not such a big deal to most frum folks because it doesn’t involve something they feel as disgusting. Sure, if Rubashkin had treated immigrants poorly and lied on his bank loans while having sex with one of the cholov yisroel cows – there probably wouldn’t have been a Lipa music video tribute made for him. But who cares about a little money laundering and fraud, as long as the guy builds a nice shul or sends some kids to yeshiva. Frum gays on the other hand offer nothing to the community and the sex part drives people insane. It’s probably worse to steal from someone than have gay sex, but gay sex sounds worse and it repulses straight people.

If you support frum gays you’re an apikorus, if you don’t support them you’re branded a hater on terms with a racist. Sp what’s a Torah observant Jew to do? Then there are those that feel they are “shoving” it in our faces? I’m sure those same people also think those who were sexually abused by their rebbes are “shoving” it our faces. Is getting out and having pride shoving anything in our faces? Well, it kind of is, I mean they are basically telling us that they can break an important prohibition in the Torah but still demand acceptance by the community…could they improve their lot by being more subtle about it. Maybe the frum community isn’t ready for the type of gay pride that went on at the Israeli Day Parade yesterday? Maybe they could just happen to be gay, instead of flaunting their sins? Of course now I may be branded a hater, I myself happen to like gay pride parades, but when it’s specific in its purpose and I think that marching in the Israeli Day Parade probably hurt them more than it helped them. It reinforces the idea that things are being shoved in our faces and it definitely leaves a bad taste in peoples mouths.

You see, it’s a catch 22, you can’t win in this debate. I support the frum gay community, but am willing to admit their long list of faults and that full support for those who blatantly go against the Torah will never be accepted by those who keep the Torah. Yeh, yeh – what about those who don’t act on it? If I was gay, I would sure as hell be acting on it…just saying.

Find out more about frum gays at 4torah.com

{ 65 comments… add one }
  • Levi June 4, 2012, 3:37 PM

    charge wheels to lease
    charge gabay

    I liked this post, it seems very well thought out, allthough misses a few points.

    I am a frum guy, and while I consider myself very open minded (yes, I’m Chabad) I do beleive in people being happy and being a Yid based on their love of Hashem and not being afraid of “hell” all the time.

    If someone isn’t frum, I’m not going to judge them, I would wish and hope they were, but for some people it’s a process, some people just aren’t into it. Some people have deep reasons for it.

    But I won’t judge people.

    If someone doesn’t keep kosher or Shabbos, it’s not my place to judge them. So, when it comes to people who consider themselves homosexual, and choose to have homosexual relationships, I do have some trouble understanding exactly what it is they want us to “support” them.

    Just like if my friend said, listen, pal, I don’t keep Kosher, and I don’t keep Shabbos, and I’m married to a non Jewish girl. I would respect their decision, but I’m gonna say “great job man, I really support your decision to announce to the world that you are proud to be not keeping Shabbos, kosher or not marrying someone from your own religion.

    Having gay sex is an avairah, no one in the world can deny that. Just like you wouldnt deny that stealing, breaking Shabbos, adultery, murder, idolatry and Heshy, listen up here, STEALING are all avairahs.

    Yes, stealing, cheating, lying, all avairahs. I think its inteluctily dishonest for Gay frum people to use the “well Jews cheat on their txes and steal from people all the time …” excuse.

    Just because the frum world at large does not do a better job of speaking against such things, that doesn’t change the fact that if a man sleeps with a man its a serious avairah, one the torah actually mentions mos yumos TWICE for.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, right?

    The same goes for the molestation abuse crisis the frum world is enduring now. it’s terrible and it needs to be fought and stopped and the people both stealing from the government and molesting little boys in Yeshiva are ALSO doing serious avairahs.

    Same way if the Spinka Rebbe would come out and say “Yes, we stole 1 Million dollars from the government and we are proud, we’re having a parade and we want you to support us”, lol. Wouldnt that be funny.

    This is my issue. I have a hard time. I want to respect guys like Y-Love, you have this desire, it must be very hard, its obviously been a source of much pain in your life, but at the end of the day, if you choose to have sex with a man, you are doing an Avairah. Don’t we all agree?

    Again – I can’t judge you, but why should I support your decision to not only have gay sex (I’m talking about any gay frum man, not Y-Love here, I don’t pretend to know what his policy is about actually having sex with men)

    But to openly be proud of it and ask for people to support you?

    Please. Heshy, please, explain to me what I’m missing.

    • T June 4, 2012, 10:36 PM

      The explanation is what you said in the beginning. No judgement. I accept “you” for who you are. I might not agree, but I will never look down on you or think myself better than you. “You” deserve my respect bc you are a human being. I will not mistreat you because of how and who you are.

      • K June 5, 2012, 2:15 PM

        Thats not the problem, of course, we should never judge another Jew, but why should 1) we support their decision to openly do an avairah, and 2) why should they be announcing it and celebrating it?

        No one would celebrate the fact that they don’t do any other Avairah.

        There aren’t parades and articles written about people who decide not to keep Shabbos or Kosher.

        • T June 5, 2012, 2:39 PM

          In my opinion, the parades are an attempt to reclaim a sense of humanity since the common place mistreatment has stopped them of this humanity. If we did not mistreat people, would they feel the need to parade? I wonder.

          • T June 5, 2012, 3:06 PM

            Sorry. “Stripped” them of their humanity.

        • Telz Angel June 5, 2012, 3:18 PM

          I wondered that as well — Why are Gays “proud” — why not just do what you do and not make a big fuss. So I asked a few people in their community and learned a few things.

          1. Pride is the opposite of shame. The world had made gays feel shame, they want to remove this feeling, and just be who they are.
          2. Pride parades are empowering, which is also an antidote for the repression that society has forced upon them. This is unequal to the backlash against people who watch TV on Shabbos.
          3. Being gay is not about sxuality, but about identity. They don’t celebrate their method of lovemaking but their sense of being allowed to be in love in their way.
          4. Parades challenge society to accept people for their identity.
          5. They are not openly doing an averah. Their averah is done in private (like most of ours are too). They are openly displaying who they are and are demanding to be respected as people.

          For some reason we obsess over these people — as if they could destroy our marriages, ruin our children, or even, chas vishalom cause us to follow their ways. I’m not sure what the real fear is. Perhaps the frum world is obsessed with the one area of desire we cannot really control so well. Maybe we need to focus on the desires we can address, and we’d be at least somewhat better off for the effort.

  • DRosenbach June 4, 2012, 3:51 PM

    In 1993, Kehilas Beis Simchas Torah, at the time NY’s gay and lesbian synagogue, was slated to march in the Israeli Day Parade until YU threatened to boycott the event. R’ Lookstein, however, said that Ramaz would still march.

    Eventually, parade officials reversed their decision and told Simchas Torah that they couldn’t march under their ‘gay and lesbian’ banner.

    I don’t remember any of this happening, but then again, I was in elementary school back then.

    http://archive.jta.org/article/1993/04/01/2878679/nys-gay-synagogue-wont-march-in-israel-parade-without-banner

    • Heshy Fried June 4, 2012, 3:57 PM

      I do because that year my father wouldn’t let me march.

    • tesyaa June 4, 2012, 5:02 PM

      Same, I didn’t have kids at the time but I remember because my cousins were the anti-gay coordinators for their local yeshiva elementary school… I’m serious.

  • Skver Hocker June 4, 2012, 4:42 PM

    Kehillat Oheiv Basar gives great shabbat kiddushes, and the rebbetzin, he can suck a golf ball through a garden hose like nobody can.

    • Telz Angel June 4, 2012, 9:21 PM

      The traditional way to deal with frum gay guys was to send them to learn at Telz Yeshiva.

      The mikva in the dorm had more schach decorations dangling around than a Jewish bookstore in September. (wow that analogy was a stretch…).

  • Dan June 4, 2012, 4:45 PM

    I’m going to make non-childish comments about pdophilia. (In separate posts)

    Comment 1. You seem correct that a large part of society’s reaction to homosxuality is because it is sxual in nature, and because we find it disgusting and unnatural. I’m going to suggest that the same is true of pdophilia.

    Certainly I agree that pdophilia is very different, in that it is inherently coercive, and terribly damaging to the children involved. But, I sense there that society’s reaction is very different qualitatively from other anti-social behavior which takes advantage of children in very harmful ways. I think we hate people who rape children more than people who simply kill children for a more “normal” motive (such as in order to extort money from their parents). And I think the reason is that it is sxual in nature and we find the urge aberrant and disgusting.

    • bratschegirl June 4, 2012, 8:56 PM

      It is also important to stipulate that the incidence of pdophilia is far greater in the heterosxual community.

      • Dan June 4, 2012, 9:08 PM

        Do you mean to say there is more heterosxual pedophilia than homosxual pedophilia? That would make sense; there are more hetersxuals than homosxuals!

        In any event, are your stats even correct? What are the numbers? What’s your source?

  • Anonymouse June 4, 2012, 4:54 PM

    Did you hear about the two new gay shuls that opened up? They’re called Yisrael ohev Shalom and Shalom al Yisrael!

  • FrumilyGuy June 4, 2012, 4:56 PM

    Um, I think according to the Torah if someone puts a gun to your head and threatens to kill you unless you steal from someone, you’re supposed to steal. If it’s the same scenario but you’re threatened to have gay sex with someone, one is supposed to choose death over gay sex. So yeah, according to the Torah, gay sex IS a bigger sin than stealing.

  • milhouse trabajo June 4, 2012, 5:24 PM

    i just posted this on R Maryles blog on a similar point, so i’ll post here for thoughts (once i wasted this much time typing this, amy as well get as more feedback from a diverse audience). i am a happily married heterosexual man with 2 kids (and may have more, Be’ezras Hashem and subject to having the necessary means).

    re ” The Torah is not malleable. When it says something is unconditionally forbidden, it is forbidden and stays forbidden.” – What about Boaz?

    i consider myself a religious orthodox jew spent several (more than 3) years learning in a charedi yeshiva in israel, and truly enjoy this blog, especially the open discussion of difficult and touchy topics. i also take for granted that homosexuality is clearly assur in the simple reading of the Torah as written and in the commentaries i have happened to see. but even if there is a simple meaning, and there is an established policy that has been presumed as to how the verse is interpreted, it does not preclude any alternative interpretation absent a clear mesorah otherwise.

    A clear example that comes to mind right after Shavuot is Boaz’s “Chiddush” (per the gemarah and Midrash) to interpret “moavi” strictly with respect to a man (in contradiction to the accepted theme that it would apply cross-gender, as is the majority usage in all other contexts in the torah, such as by a Mitzri). While later on there is a claim by Yeter Hayishmaeli that this drasha is actually a halacha l’moshe misinai, it is clear that Boaz the judge of that time did not know of it, nor did anyone else.

    So why did Boaz make this chiddush, and how could he change such a basic simple biblical prohibition, notwithstanding all the evidence and logic to the contrary later brought by an infamous Gadol Hador, Doeg Haedomi (see the gemara in Yevamos and midrash Ruth)?

    I don’t know, and have been unable to find an honest discussion with respect to how Boaz made such a decision, especially since he was Nogeah B’Davar as he wanted to continue his relative’s name (whether Machlon or Kilyon, unclear who was with Ruth or Orpah or both), and though they were not exactly such great names to keep on, especially considering Ruth was not an actual wife, as the brothers chose to enter into elicit relationships with non-jewish women(per the midrash, the brothers were gemarahcups and felt the Torah forbade such a marriage, but stam relations would be ok), and we don’t consider the midrash’s note that Ruth was extremely beautiful and aroused Boaz in a special manner.

    A possibility i would raise, is the power of “Svarah” which is also considered on the level of De’oraisah (beats me why or how such a right was inculcated in Jewish Law, but possibly for reasons such as this and in case of extreme need as the times requires), required Boaz to reconsider the simple reading of the biblical limitation for a Moabite to enter the congregation of G-d. Here before him was an absolutely wonderful person, with middos that every Jew would dream to have, and the Torah says that this person cannot enter G-d’s congregation. HOW CAN THIS BE? look at the tzidkus, the love for someone else, the modesty and the unwavering faith in G-d, how can it be that this person was ostracized from G-d’s tent?

    Faced with that contradiction, with her perfect middos by further conversation and his watchful eye being confirmed as absolute, Boaz had to assume that there was a misread in the Torah. Even though the Torah is perfect, and the language appears clearcut, there is a (weak) possible way to fix this logical contradiction, and Boaz realized that this must be the Divine intent.

    i’m sure i sound like a total reformist rabbi, but i’m just a young religious jew trying to understand how Boaz did what he did, which of course led to our great Davidic dynasty. And based on that, i wonder why some great Rabbi can’t stand up like Boaz did and assess today’s clear and irrefutable contradiction, of a number of good and caring people being born different from the accepted jewish norm and with a nature that is directly at odds with the simple Torah text, who are cursed as abominations (usually by those whose caring and love is severely lacking), and are faced with an ultimatum, live alone in constant suffering, or leave G-d’s tent.

    While I don’t really have a quick (though weak and inconsistent) language fix like Boaz did, i have come up with a couple possibilities over the past couple weeks:
    1) the use of “mishkavei ishah” in the pasuk in 20:13 is unecessary, as it could have just said do not engage in relations with a man, and could possibly be read to say that a heterosexual man should not sleep with another man in the bed of his wife i.e. in the stead of a woman, thereby ensuring that the majority of heterosexuals remain that way and reproduce regularly, while the minority of homosexuals would not be prevented under the prohibition from relations). This is weak mainly because it was never read this way before, and would require significant alteration in how we read the many midrashim and other interpretations throughout our history against homosexuality to be only against homosexual acts by those not inherently homosexual (e.g. at the time of Noah the problem was that those who should not engage in such acts were the cause).

    2) i think i heard this elsewhere by a fringe orthodox/conservative rabbi who suggested that the whole section of chapter 20 of Leviticus is in reference to religious acts carried out by the 7 nations that we may not emulate (such as molech etc.) and the problem wasn’t the relations itself, but the activity was done as a ritual where a man was made to be like a woman (this explanation is weak.

    I’d be glad to hear other novel approaches, and would also be glad to see a new Yeter Hayishmaeli get up and wield his sword to claim that he has a mesorah that the verse on homosexuality must be read differently. And of course, i understand that the simple answer uncaring and even caring people may jump to upon reading this post is that Boaz and those like him could do it, but we who are so much further cannot make such a claim. but in any event, if one does not recognize the issue of homosexuality and suffering, and is not shaken by the clear contradiction between G-d’s kindness and perfection, and the scriptural prohibition requiring persons to live a life alone and without companion, then i don’t think such a person should be considered part of Kahal Hashem, which is epitomized by Rachmanim Bnei Rachmanim.

    of course, if you believe that homosexuality is not innate (not an “ones”, i.e people are not born with it, and it only occurs due to regularly heterosexual persons indulging too much in their desires more and more until they becomes homosexual, which is a belief that some have and has basis in jewish sources as well), than this whole thing is worthless. but if one has eyes in his head, like a true “chacham”, one can see from experience (though maybe not all have personal experience) that one or two of your friends have been homosexual since they were born, and therefore, at least in some situations, people are born with it.

    On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 8:14 PM, Michael Traube wrote:
    re ” The Torah is not malleable. When it says something is unconditionally forbidden, it is forbidden and stays forbidden.” – What about Boaz?

    i consider myself a religious orthodox jew spent several (more than 3) years learning in a charedi yeshiva in israel, and truly enjoy this blog, especially the open discussion of difficult and touchy topics. i also take for granted that homosexuality is clearly assur in the simple reading of the Torah as written and in the commentaries i have happened to see. but even if there is a simple meaning, and there is an established policy that has been presumed as to how the verse is interpreted, it does not preclude any alternative interpretation absent a clear mesorah otherwise.

    A clear example that comes to mind right after Shavuot is Boaz’s “Chiddush” (per the gemarah and Midrash) to interpret “moavi” strictly with respect to a man (in contradiction to the accepted theme that it would apply cross-gender, as is the majority usage in all other contexts in the torah, such as by a Mitzri). While later on there is a claim by Yeter Hayishmaeli that this drasha is actually a halacha l’moshe misinai, it is clear that Boaz the judge of that time did not know of it, nor did anyone else.

    So why did Boaz make this chiddush, and how could he change such a basic simple biblical prohibition, notwithstanding all the evidence and logic to the contrary later brought by an infamous Gadol Hador, Doeg Haedomi (see the gemara in Yevamos and midrash Ruth)?

    I don’t know, and have been unable to find an honest discussion with respect to how Boaz made such a decision, especially since he was Nogeah B’Davar as he wanted to continue his relative’s name (whether Machlon or Kilyon, unclear who was with Ruth or Orpah or both), and though they were not exactly such great names to keep on, especially considering Ruth was not an actual wife, as the brothers chose to enter into elicit relationships with non-jewish women(per the midrash, the brothers were gemarahcups and felt the Torah forbade such a marriage, but stam relations would be ok), and we don’t consider the midrash’s note that Ruth was extremely beautiful and aroused Boaz in a special manner.

    A possibility i would raise, is the power of “Svarah” which is also considered on the level of De’oraisah (beats me why or how such a right was inculcated in Jewish Law, but possibly for reasons such as this and in case of extreme need as the times requires), required Boaz to reconsider the simple reading of the biblical limitation for a Moabite to enter the congregation of G-d. Here before him was an absolutely wonderful person, with middos that every Jew would dream to have, and the Torah says that this person cannot enter G-d’s congregation. HOW CAN THIS BE? look at the tzidkus, the love for someone else, the modesty and the unwavering faith in G-d, how can it be that this person was ostracized from G-d’s tent?

    Faced with that contradiction, with her perfect middos by further conversation and his watchful eye being confirmed as absolute, Boaz had to assume that there was a misread in the Torah. Even though the Torah is perfect, and the language appears clearcut, there is a (weak) possible way to fix this logical contradiction, and Boaz realized that this must be the Divine intent.

    i’m sure i sound like a total reformist rabbi, but i’m just a young religious jew trying to understand how Boaz did what he did, which of course led to our great Davidic dynasty. And based on that, i wonder why some great Rabbi can’t stand up like Boaz did and assess today’s clear and irrefutable contradiction, of a number of good and caring people being born different from the accepted jewish norm and with a nature that is directly at odds with the simple Torah text, who are cursed as abominations (usually by those whose caring and love is severely lacking), and are faced with an ultimatum, live alone in constant suffering, or leave G-d’s tent.

    While I don’t really have a quick (though weak and inconsistent) language fix like Boaz did, i have come up with a couple possibilities over the past couple weeks:
    1) the use of “mishkavei ishah” in the pasuk in 20:13 is unecessary, as it could have just said do not engage in relations with a man, and could possibly be read to say that a heterosexual man should not sleep with another man in the bed of his wife i.e. in the stead of a woman, thereby ensuring that the majority of heterosexuals remain that way and reproduce regularly, while the minority of homosexuals would not be prevented under the prohibition from relations). This is weak mainly because it was never read this way before, and would require significant alteration in how we read the many midrashim and other interpretations throughout our history against homosexuality to be only against homosexual acts by those not inherently homosexual (e.g. at the time of Noah the problem was that those who should not engage in such acts were the cause).

    2) i think i heard this elsewhere by a fringe orthodox/conservative rabbi who suggested that the whole section of chapter 20 of Leviticus is in reference to religious acts carried out by the 7 nations that we may not emulate (such as molech etc.) and the problem wasn’t the relations itself, but the activity was done as a ritual where a man was made to be like a woman (this explanation is weak.

    I’d be glad to hear other novel approaches, and would also be glad to see a new Yeter Hayishmaeli get up and wield his sword to claim that he has a mesorah that the verse on homosexuality must be read differently. And of course, i understand that the simple answer uncaring and even caring people may jump to upon reading this post is that Boaz and those like him could do it, but we who are so much further cannot make such a claim. but in any event, if one does not recognize the issue of homosexuality and suffering, and is not shaken by the clear contradiction between G-d’s kindness and perfection, and the scriptural prohibition requiring persons to live a life alone and without companion, then i don’t think such a person should be considered part of Kahal Hashem, which is epitomized by Rachmanim Bnei Rachmanim.

    of course, if you believe that homosexuality is not innate (not an “ones”, i.e people are not born with it, and it only occurs due to regularly heterosexual persons indulging too much in their desires more and more until they becomes homosexual, which is a belief that some have and has basis in jewish sources as well), than this whole thing is worthless. but if one has eyes in his head, like a true “chacham”, one can see from experience (though maybe not all have personal experience) that one or two of your friends have been homosexual since they were born, and therefore, at least in some situations, people are born with it.

    • Long time OTD June 4, 2012, 10:36 PM

      I understand what is the accepted pshat of not lying with a man as with a woman but what would it mean to lie with a man as with a man? Mai nafke meine? Perhaps hashem is hinting that there is kosher gever to gever physical love that is permitted?

      • milhouse trabajo June 5, 2012, 10:51 AM

        that would be my crazy claim to interpret the “extra” language; and i could act like R’ Shimon Bar Yochai in trying to provide a reasoning for such distinction, which would be that that minority of people who are born with the illegal prediliction would not be an issue to G-d, who created them that way, but G-d wanted to ensure the continued inhabitance of the world through natural marriage/pregnancy, and for those that are not born homosexual and would regularly sleep with women/those who have a marital bed with a woman (mishkavei ishah), you can’t sleep with a man and ruin the plan.

      • Ori June 8, 2012, 1:20 PM

        @LongTimeOTD: I’ve long wondered that too.

    • Lisa June 5, 2012, 5:00 AM

      milhouse, where did you get the idea that Boaz was mechadesh the prohibition of Moavi excluding women? I always learned it was simply mesorah going back to Sinai.

      • milhouse trabajo June 5, 2012, 6:57 AM

        from the Midrash (and many commentators) use of the term “mechadesh” and similar terms regarding Boaz’s novel interpretation. as noted in my post, while year’s later Yeser Hayishmaeli got up and said he has a mesorah from Shmual Hanavi’s court, it is clear that Boaz and the people of his time did not have this “mesorah” and commentators grapple with why Yeter had to use a sword (thus he was called a Yishmaeli) to fend off accusations that his mesorah was false.

  • T June 4, 2012, 6:19 PM

    Heshy,
    I’ll gladly be branded a hater and apikorsis if that’s what supporting my fellow yidden makes me. I’m not Hashem and I’m not going to judge.

  • Dan June 4, 2012, 6:57 PM

    Comment 2: I think that pdophilia very much belongs in the discussion of homosxuality. While I acknowledge that pdophilia is inherently coercive and harmful to the children.

    First: pdophiles have a sxual urge for physically immature children. Now, I haven’t the slightest idea if they are born with it, or if it is environmental, but it doesn’t really make a difference to me. What makes a difference to me is that they are in that situation, and apparently cannot really change it very easily-if at all. In that sense, I pity them in much the same way that I pity hmosexuals- I pity that they have a sxual urge which cannot find fulfillment without breaking the Torah.

    Second: We are sometimes told that we should accept homosxuality as a normal, healthy, and natural urge. Most readers on this site would even tell that to frum homosxuals, even knowing that they will never be able to fulfill that urge. We are told that anyone who is attempting to psychologically cure them is acting out of bigotry. Well, shouldn’t we say the same thing about pdophiles? Shouldn’t we say it is a healthy and natural urge, and just happens to be illegal and harmful to children?

    Third: Let’s think about what is wrong with pdophilia. Perhaps in a different society it would be fine. Suppose it was socially acceptable for 30 year old men to marry 10 year old girls and have sx with them. Suppose it was normal, and everyone in the 4th grade girls class was doing it. Suppose the parents were carefully choosing the husbands, and explaining it all to the daughters. The medrash says rivka was 3 years old; did yitzchak wait 15 years before they had sx– I dunno.

    It is not at all obvious to me in such a situation that it would even be harmful to the children. I wonder if the harm to children is because of the illicit nature, the shame, the fact that they blame themselves, the fact that they think society looks down on them, that they are considered dirty, etc. So maybe we should just accept it as natural and normal, and then the whole problem goes away? Chew on that one.

    • T June 4, 2012, 11:14 PM

      This debate is so tired. Pedophilia is only related to homosexuality in the same way that heterosexuality is. The common factor is sexual activity.

      #1 You have pity for pedophiles because they have urges that they can’t cure? Did you forget the issue of consent? In many societies, such as ours, the age of consent does not include prepubescents. If you are speaking of adults attracted to pubescent children (aka teenagers/adolescents), the term is Ephebophile.

      #2 You wrote, “Well, shouldnt we say the same thing about pedophiles? Shouldnt we say it is a healthy and natural urge, and just happens to be illegal and harmful to children?”

      This sounds like a quote from a NAMBLA publication.

      The sexual attraction to children by adults is often associated with an arrested development in the adult. Often, the desire includes an inequality of power. I do not believe these are healthy and natural urges. I do not believe that it is normal and healthy to ignore the response of your sexual “partner”.

      #3 You wrote ,”Suppose it was socially acceptable for 30 year old men to marry 10 year old girls and have sx with them. Suppose it was normal, and everyone in the 4th grade girls class was doing it.”

      This does happen across the globe. The adults of the communities do not disagree. But ask the girl of 10 what it was like to open her small body to a large and hairy body that is likely twice her weight. Those girls are rarely physically mature enough to have adult intercourse. It doesn’t matter how many hairless pubes are engaging in intercourse with 30 year old men of their community. Each baby hymen broken cries from the rape of innocence.

      Do you honestly think that if we legalized sex with young children to take away the “secrecy” and “shame” that the children will feel any less abused? If everyone knew that you were the baseball coach’s special friend and you went together to buy the vaseline at the local pharmacy, would you still enjoy the sodomy? Would you like to choke on him as he holds the back of your head to his crotch? Chew on that one.

      • Dan June 5, 2012, 10:14 AM

        Hmmm. He makes as if he’s replying to me, but doesn’t address anything I said.
        How about this: I agree with everything you said, but my comment is also still true.

        • Obviously June 5, 2012, 10:58 AM

          Dan,
          Obviously based on the depth of content and emotion, T understands something about this subject you probably don’t — lucky for you. Your analogy suggests that urge is urge, and that society can choose to accept or reject the urge as a deviation or not: We used to reject both deviations, we are debating if one of them should be acceptable, so why not reconsider the other. T suggests your analogy is flawed.

          Imagine you were speaking to a victim of this kind of abuse? Would you tell an adult who was abused as a child that society is still trying to figure out if we think the abuser was doing something that we accept or not? Do you think the victim really cares?

          Maybe this helps: You suggest that one urge is like the other — both are things you don’t understand. You feel sorry that one cannot act upon their urge without violating the Torah. And you acknowledge that one of the urges is inherently harmful to children — but then proceed with the discussion by missing that very point. Don’t you see a fundamental difference between having an urge for a consensual loving relationship with someone of the same gender (albeit peculiar for most people) and the urge to, in effect, kill a child (perhaps even their own child, or nephew, niece) by subjecting them to submit to an inhumane torture that will scar them for life and destroy the beautiful aspects of our most god-ly capability — our ability to create life?

          Does frumkeit teach you to only see actions based on their halachic implications?

          • T June 5, 2012, 11:40 AM

            Thank you, “Obviously”. You have stated this more clearly than I.

          • Dan June 5, 2012, 12:46 PM

            Frankly, I haven’t the slightest idea what you are driving at. It seems like you think the fact that behavior is anti social and harmful somehow affects whether it is psychologically natural and healthy. That makes no sense.

            You ask whether a victim cares? How is it relevant whether a victim cares? Does a murder victim care whether the murderer is using bath salts?

    • Anonymous June 5, 2012, 1:26 AM

      So this is nice and all, but it seems to conflate Biblical and modern moralities and it seems to be grounded in false conceptions of homosexuality.

      Your comparison between homosexuality and pedophilia seems to be grounded in two main areas: that homosexuals should be pitied like pedophiles and that both sexual practices are unhealthy and unnatural. Now, I don’t take offense to your pity towards homosexuals despite its obvious condescension, but I do believe the words unhealthy and unnatural to be both misplaced and vague in this discussion. Many studies show that homosexuals are as healthy as heterosexuals (please Google Dr. Evelyn Hooker and subsequent research). However, child sexual abuse does seem to have negative consequences (http://www.apa.org/pubs/info/brochures/sex-abuse.aspx).

      And as for the degree to which homosexuality could be considered natural, I did hear an interesting argument supporting homosexuality’s natural-ness through evolution. Most basically, homosexuality exists to curb population expansion and provide a community with more childrearing help. I haven’t seen this explanation anywhere reputable, though, so take it with a grain of salt. Also, there are even arguments that pedophilia shouldn’t be considered a pathology (please Google the APA’s Pedophilia Controversy), implying that it is a natural occurring (albeit abusive) sexual orientation.

      This is mostly just food for thought. Let me know if there are any conflicting (and reputably scientific) sources as my research here was (quite obviously) cursory. I’d discuss the conflation here between Biblical and modern moralities, but it seems pretty obvious to me, and I don’t want to bore you too much…

      • Dan June 5, 2012, 10:18 AM

        I wasn’t drawing conclusions. I’m just as happy to conclude that homosxuality and pedphilia are BOTH healthy.

        Also, my pity was directed towards FRUM homosxuals. If anyone doesn’t pity them, they are a real jerk.

        • T June 5, 2012, 11:44 AM

          Why would you be happy to conclude that pedophilia is healthy? I believe this is what makes your argument most vexing.

          • Dan June 5, 2012, 12:24 PM

            Would you be unhappy to? Why? You can’t imagine that evolution may have created some anti-social behaviors? Lions eat deer, which is anti social.

            • T June 5, 2012, 3:17 PM

              I’m fine if you equate pedophiles with animals. For animals, this behavior may be “healthy”. I do not equate myself with animals. I hold myself and other human beings to higher standards. But in your argument, pedophiles are exhibiting normal, healthy animal behavior. Monster or animal. Same thing to me.

              • OfftheDwannaB June 5, 2012, 5:28 PM

                You’re an animal. The reason you are alive today is because your great-grandparents survived in tough environments. They fought, they killed, they raped when they needed to. They also helped their neighbors and farmed and created laws when it suited them better. Many times, they did both, kill and rape the enemy, help and farm and create laws with their friends.
                You’re incapable of arguing this issue logically as long as you are embarrassed to accept your own base animal nature. We’ll get into religion and spirituality and other bullshit explanations for behavior which we, as human animals, have developed. Whether these behaviors developed through nature or were mutations embedded in our DNA, we adapt to survive. Almost all behaviors are therefore natural (besides for mutations which shouldn’t be taken into account). Whether these natural adaptations are helpful in different settings, both to the individual and to the animals currently living around him is up for debate, with the society having the final say.
                But a 2-10% occurrence of a behavior (homosexuality) isn’t a fluke. And pedophilia and related conditions, by most estimations, occur far more often. I think pedophiles are evil, but I understand that good and evil are emotional judgments, not rational ones.

                • T June 5, 2012, 5:52 PM

                  Off the DWannabe, I appreciate your comments. They are often humorous and intelligent. I am confused as to what your point is here. I am a human animal, capable of emotional and rational thought. Therefore, I do not consider pedophilia to be a healthy human behavior, sociologically speaking. I am fine with being an animal as well as the human spark that curbs my animal urges, when necessary. Do you think that pedophilia is healthy? I think that is the debate Dan and I are having. I could be wrong. Anyone?

                  • OfftheDwannaB June 5, 2012, 6:54 PM

                    First of all, I’m sorry for being a little insulting. Thank you for not responding in kind.
                    The point I’m trying to get across is that we all have preconceived judgments that influence our thinking. These aren’t rational. This issue is a serious one, and in the long run, it helps nobody to pussyfoot around the facts.
                    Whenever I find myself thinking someone else’s argument is obviously wrong, but can’t put my finger on why, it’s usually because of biases on my part. I don’t always challenge them, but I should. I think a correct way to look at things is that anytime something is outright gross or horrible or gorgeous, anything that automatically evokes a visceral reaction, is, by definition, an emotional response. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, only that it by itself shouldn’t enter into an argument. It should be assessed rationally.

                    I believe that the reason people don’t see eye to eye on this issue is because the starting point of the argument is “ew” or “how horrible!”. Rational arguments are built up to support your theory and opposing data is disregarded. It’s Confirmation Bias.

                    Ok, I have a visceral repulsion towards pedophiles or homosexuals. Fine. Let me analyze that. How does this affect me on a basic survival level that it kicks my emotions into gear? Is it because my initial source of survival, my mother, told me to listen to the Torah or I’ll be punished? My opinion on the matter is now thrown into serious question. Let me get beyond it and look at all the facts.
                    Is pedophilia common? Yes. Is it practiced by all other cultures? Again, yes. This is obviously an adaptation learned or genetically transmitted. The behavior can therefore not be evil or wrong in and of itself, like homosexuality. This is distasteful to you. Why? When TelzAngel said above:

                    >>>1. Pride is the opposite of shame. The world had made gays feel shame, they want to remove this feeling, and just be who they are….<<< you totally agreed. Your distaste should be disregarded in a rational discussion. You can also analyze it. Is it fear? Are you afraid for your children or for yourself? Does it remind you of a certain person you knew as a child? Does it evoke anxiety because of desires you've repressed when you were made to feel it (or similar feelings which you associated at an earlier age with this idea) was naturally "wrong"? But those are private things you may or may not want to think about. There are other questions people who are repulsed by or scared of gays should ask themselves. But this discussion usually never gets anywhere because people the facts aren't talking being addressed when presented. The emotion is always stronger because it is a much more basic survival mechanism than opinions we form based on our abstract reasoning. Whether it is sociologically healthy is superficial relative to that. Should raping children be disallowed in a post-stone age society? Of course. Should homosexuality be allowed? Why the hell not? These behaviors mesh with our current society like that so one is called "healthy" or good and one is called "sick" or bad. But the behaviors themselves, at the place and circumstances they developed in, are 100% normal responses and adaptations to that original environment. This should be a given in 99% of cases. WE need to figure how and why these behaviors are developed if we want to ultimately stop them. For the time being though, I'm happy to cut off all pedophiles penises.

                • This Is Crap June 6, 2012, 7:56 AM

                  Maybe your grandparents raped people, which would in fact explain a lot.

                  Mine did not.

              • Dan June 5, 2012, 10:13 PM

                Are we miscommunicating? I’m talking about the feeling that a pdophile has; that is, the sxual attraction of a mature human specifically towards immature humans.

                I’m suggesting that perhaps that is a healthy and normal feeling, which is different than most other humans, but a perfectly valid way for someone to feel.

                I’m not suggesting that if they acted upon it they would be good people.

  • Lisa June 4, 2012, 8:31 PM

    Speaking as a frum gay Jew, I’m more than a little upset that Eshel marched together with other gay Jewish groups.

    • S2 June 4, 2012, 10:08 PM

      Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz writes on Eshel’s website: “Do we only show up for our own? We must fight together against hate wherever it emerges. When anti-Semitism emerges, non-Jews must speak up. When homophobia emerges, heterosexuals must be active. I stand in solidarity with those in struggle since Judaism values struggle and mandates that we support one another in our different struggles. If we truly value the human dignity of all people, then we must put our money where our mouth is and come out as allies.” GLBT Jews from every part of our one people, marching together in common support for Israel. What could be more beautiful?

      • Lisa June 5, 2012, 5:01 AM

        This is different. There’s a serious problem with the perception that frum gay Jews are primarily gay, and not so frum. When Eshel marches with JQY, that simply reinforces that idea.

  • milhouse June 4, 2012, 9:56 PM

    is the comment section broken?

    • Lisa June 5, 2012, 5:03 AM

      Why?

    • WanderingUmwelt June 5, 2012, 7:54 AM

      I’ve been having trouble leaving a comment too.

      • WanderingUmwelt June 5, 2012, 8:03 AM

        Sorry to reply to myself, but it seems that while leaving a comment on the article itself isn’t working for me, replies are working.

        Heshy, that’s the whole problem – being gay isn’t about the sex. It is about the love. By framing things around sex you miss the point and gloss over the central human conflict.

        If gay pride were just a “politically correct” term for people flaunting that enjoy anal sex, then it indeed would be an absurd thing to talk about anywhere but in private. Just as a zionist straight-people-who-enjoy-missionary-style-sex-with-their-spouses contingent would be absurd to have in the Israel Day Parade.

        But being gay (or lesbian or bi) is about who you love, (and being trans is also about being who G-d created your essence to be and affects how who you love is perceived). If your besheret (soulmate) is of the same gender as you, how is that anything but divinely ordained? If two women get married, (who would presumably not be violating the prohibition of anal sex), adopt a few children, and bring them up in a loving Jewish home as proud orthodox Jews, how is that anything but holy?

        Some may say it would be better for each of these women to marry men and have unhappy marriages: as a child of divorced parents, I wouldn’t wish anyone to grow up in a dysfunctional home. Kids know when their parents love each other and when they don’t, and the latter can be very damaging to the children. My parents’ divorce wasn’t bitter or ugly and it still affected me deeply.

        What about the men, who would want to marry somebody who can’t love them the same way, what kind of pain would that be? How could you be anything but lonely in a marriage like that? Didn’t G-d himself comment on how it is not good for man to be alone?

        And last but not least, what about the women? Are you saying that the Master of the Universe, who loves each and every person that has ever and will ever live, don’t deserve a partner that they can love? That because of how they were created, they don’t deserve the same joyful loving marriages that straight women do?

        As for the not acting on it comment in the article: “Yeh, yeh what about those who dont act on it? If I was gay, I would sure as hell be acting on itjust saying.” Some 20-30% of the general population gay men don’t have anal sex. If so many non-halachic people choose to live without anal sex for non-halachic reasons, what is to stop frum gay Jews from avoiding it too?

        • Heshy Fried June 5, 2012, 11:34 AM

          For frum Jews sex is anything remotely sexual, heck, holding hands is sexual. Although somehow mikvah, where a lot of frum gay hookups and pickups happen has never been considered sexual.

          I think it’s about love, but it’s hard to tell that to someone who thinks and will continue to think that being gay is some sort of disease of the loins.

  • Long time OTD June 4, 2012, 10:15 PM

    I openly dated a Bais Yaacov girl in HS. My rebbe publicly rebuked me and her principal threatened to expel her. We met again at Baruch College and had an off and on three year affair. In year four she fell in love with her room mate and they now live together openly in Vancouver where we visit them. Their kids wear kippot and go to a communal day school. My present wife and kids were never frumm. Our kids don’t pay attention to the two emah phenomenon when we visit Vancouver but gripe about no TV and not going for ice cream on shabbes. Our family is still welcomed at family simchas in Boro Park. Theirs are not. That is a shandeh of a double standard.

  • KosherUnicorn June 5, 2012, 2:03 AM

    1.) Heshy, you are obsessed with gayness. Where does this obsession come from?

    2. ) It’s hypocritical how so many anti-gay frum yidden are less concerned with ahavas yisroel than with what people do in their bedrooms.

    • Heshy Fried June 5, 2012, 2:24 AM

      One may say I’m also obsessed with shidduch dating, shul, shuckling, the poor state of kosher food and chabad girls…I’m also a kachlefel (pot stirrer) and nothing stirs the pot like talking about the things that piss off people the most – thank God for Charedim banning the internet, frum gay pride, Deborah Feldman and my favorite – Leib Tropper.

      Ahavas Yisroel is so easy when you only include those of your own community as Klal Yisroel. Now, who’s having sex with whom – that’s interesting.

      • A. Nuran June 5, 2012, 8:02 AM

        You’ll never run out of material.

  • Jon June 5, 2012, 2:06 AM

    The interesting thing about this whole issue is the attitude given towards what I consider to be the middle ground approach for this all. I’ll get to that soon. But first, I agree there is indeed a catch 22 in the title “frum gays.” Because being “frum” for all intents and purposes means following the mitzvot correctly, according to both Oral and Written interpretations and being gay, in some form or the other, goes against that. Like Heshy, I also don’t buy that gays won’t have full out sex with each other no matter how frum they want to be. If you partner up with a spouse, and have a need for sexual gratification, you are going to do something sexual. And for gays, if it is not anal intercourse, it will definitely be wasting seed – another thing that goes against being frum. Yes, most frum people masterbate, but again, two wrongs don’t make a right. The issue is trying to make a wrong = right. Not doing the actual wrong. A person going around saying he is frum and gay is essentially doing just that.

    Now before I proceed, I personally believe every human deserves respect, equal rights and love, even if that human walks a different way, believes a different thing, is religious or not. We are all entitled to our values, beliefs, practices etc, and that should never compensate for respect that we all deserve. I am the first person at a Shabbos table, when this matter is discussed, advocating for gay marriage (because this matter has nothing to do with religion! It is about being treated equally by the government that governs you), and I have many gay friends who I respect as human’s, some of who I love dearly. Just as well though, I feel strongly that “frumkite” or really true Judaism that has been passed down through our generations should not change and remain what it has been for the thousands of years it has been around. Just like such frumkite advocates against hatred and bigotry, which to me clearly encourages all of us to respect all humans the same, including gays, so too do I think such frumkite has an issue with gay sex and we cannot change Judaism to allow that behavior. For whatever reason, G-d does not think that is what is best for his people. So here I am, advocating for the the permanency of Jewish values, now ready to discuss the middle ground approach that I strongly believe can accomodate just that.

    The middle ground approach is doing our very best to offer an effective and true way to change from homosexuality to heterosexuality to those individuals who have strong frum Jewish values, but also have same sex attractions. This approach can only make sense though, if at the same time, we work hard to expel all hatred, bigotry and rude rejection of individuals who are gay or different in the Jewish community. Both things clearly fit under what Judaism preaches. What is crazy and ironic is how hated the change option is today. Part of the reason for that though it seems is because when someone changes from their homosexuality, right wing religious nuts like to pick up on that story to throw more hatred and bigoted comments towards gays. It is their fig leaf for more rejection and provides them with some fodder to remove rights from gays. But that is wrong too! Which is why, if the middle ground approach is to work as I am saying, prejudice and bigotry also needs to be fought against in our Jewish communities.

    The change option is crucial. Why? Because no one here can deny that there are Jews who are devout to these Jewish values and beliefs that I have been discussing, who also at the same time have same-sex attractions. What are these Jews to do in this world? Go off and live gay? But that goes against their values, what about that painful conflict?! Go and live celibate then? But that life simply sucks. When there is no option for change, and when we keep putting down even the slight thought of it, we are causing tremendous harm to these types of Jews. It is not fair to them at all. It is painful, it is damaging, it is bullying – it is all the things that gays claim religious zealouts and right wingers do to them.

    It is amazing and sadly paradoxical watching the gays be so hateful towards those who try and change when it is exactly they themselves who have suffered from hate and rejection for so long. It is even more upsetting when we as a frum Jewish community don’t spend the time or resources trying to figure out a way to make change possible and more readily available to those that want it. YES, some reparative therapy techniques have sucked horribly and don’t work at all. But there is a host of peer reviewed research studies that have shown just the opposite – that people can change, and that it is not harmful or damaging. There are many techniques and many therapeutic tools being used today for change that are not like the crazy things we hear about in the main stream media. And by the way, all of these studies and helpful techniques that I am mentioning will NOT be discussed in the news and media today thanks to the need for gay equal rights and political correctness. Rightly so too, thanks to that other problem I mentioned of people using this idea to throw hate and take away rights even more at gays. But if you look hard enough, you will find enough evidence and data showing people can change, that sexuality is more fluid than we make it out to be, that biology is not the only thing that determines sexual orientation according to all scientific political organizations, and that the therapy is not harmful if it is done right.

    Ready for the real clincher here? I am one of the many individuals who have experienced this true inner change from homosexuality. After a lot of work doing the therapy, I felt attracted enough to the opposite sex. I found my wife, got married, and now I have the cutest baby daughter in the world. My life is good this way, and it is how I have wanted it ever since I started feeling strong homosexual desires. There are many other men like me that I know too. We are an unheard voice today, but we exist. And please, let us have our middle ground. We need it, and I think so does the rest of the Jewish world.

    But really my main point is, if we are to really approach this topic right – we have to be open to the change idea, otherwise you put many Jewish individuals with unwanted homosexuality in a catch 22 that they never want to be in AND we have to start showing more respect and love to those who want to be gay, who don’t have our same frum values, and who have suffered long enough already from rejection and hate. If we could all just unite hand in hand around this issue, the gays, the people who have changed, the straights, the Rabbi’s, the ultra-Orthodox, EVERYONE, then our Jewish world would be a fantastically better place.

  • GayBT June 5, 2012, 7:17 AM

    Back in 1983, as a deeply religious college student at one of our Jewish institutions of higher learning, I took the only path that seemed to offer the possibility of staying connected to G-d while being free of the condemnation of the Torah. I was Baptized at the nearest liberal Protestant Church. Free to love G-d, I immersed myself in religion. I went to graduate school, then divinity school and emerged a minister and educator in my denomination. I met a man I love very much and we built a life. When it became legal, we married (civil marriage at the Town Hall, followed by a religious service at our parish church).

    However, even with all the love and support shown to me by my parish, I never stopped regretting that I let myself abandon the Jewish people. So, after much prayer and internal struggle, and more than 20 years as a pious Christian, I came back to observant Judaism. And here I am, no longer a young man, learning to keep the mitzvot and pray in Hebrew again. My Christian husband has been great about it, learning the intricacies of a Kosher kitchen and accepting that I won’t watch the Yankees game on Saturday (seems like cheating, because he can turn the TV on). Like many BTs, I regularly feel ridiculous. Probably more ridiculous than most. Why am I trying to be an observant Jew in my late 40s? Unlike even other BTs, I’ll never be accepted as a “real” Jew because being married to a man must mean that I don’t really believe the Torah. Well, I can’t change anyone’s mind and if I’m ridiculous, so be it. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better to be a ridiculous Jew than to be cut off from my people.

    I think support would mean creating an environment where people don’t leave the Jewish people because they want to love someone and build a life. I know everyone focuses on the sex (which is understandable because it’s GREAT) but it’s really about love.

  • WanderingUmwelt June 5, 2012, 7:53 AM

    Reducing things to sex is the whole problem – being gay isn’t about the sex, it is about the love. By framing things around sex you miss the point and gloss over the central human conflict.

    I’ve tried to leave my full comment a few times without success, so the rest of it is in on my blog here: http://wanderingumwelt.livejournal.com/1050.html

  • never frum enough June 5, 2012, 9:33 AM

    If a frum individual in my community is found guilty of a white collar crime, yes, many may know about it, but no one is bragging or asking for their behavior to be accepted. For the most part they want their misdeeds ignored. They want to be included in the community, they want to be introduced as Mr or Mrs. ______ not Mr. or Mrs. _______ the thief or jailbird. They are not “parading” (pun intended) their misdeeds for the public’s judgement.

    While I understand that a gay couple or family cannot/should not hide that they represent a family unit, I do feel that they are asking for more than to be let be. I could be wrong, but I feel like they will never be satisfied until we (the orthodox community) announce from the roof-tops that they are perfect Jews. I’m not perfect, no one I know is perfect, and most of us feel that we are not accepted in some group or another. While we may kvetch about being looked down upon by this one or that one, we don’t throw our most serious misdeeds out there, and then expect not to be judged.

    I will befriend anyone so long as their friendship does not require me to approve of every choice they make, as I would not expect them to approve every choice I make. Mutual respect is not the same as mutual approval.

  • Anonymous June 5, 2012, 1:16 PM

    See “gay hamon gog” kooloytoyra

  • T June 5, 2012, 9:08 PM

    Off theDwannaB, I thank you. You have diffused a very emotionally charged subject and whittled it down to a manageably rational discussion.

    Yes, I have significant visceral responses to pedophilia. I know these responses inform my point of view. Try as I might to divorce myself from them, I would be lying if I said they don’t influence my opinions and thoughts.

    You suggest that because pedophilia exists in all societies, it is a naturally occurring behavior. Since it is naturally occurring, it can’t be evil? I guess that is difficult for me to comprehend. My bias is too strong. Is it possible? Yes, I suppose it is.

    But when then, does this mean for our society? Where do we draw the line at what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior? Can a behavior, such as pedophilia, be unacceptable and yet not evil at the same time? My brain is feeling warped just trying to synthesize these seemingly conflicting ideas. How does this process evolve? Once, marriage between whites and blacks was seen as evil. Homosexuality is still seen this way by many. Will we sometime in the future see other behaviors that disgust us now as acceptable later? How do we draw the line?

    One might say that Torah can be our guide book but non familial pedophilia is not discussed in the Chumash. I get stuck when we start into the drabbanan vs deoraisa debate.

    Btw, I have some nice rusty pruning shears for you if you have some pedophilic penises you wish to dispose of.

  • anon June 5, 2012, 11:07 PM

    It is you who is obsessed with frum gays. You often post gay related things on FB. Frum gays are not an issue that’s widely discussed in most orthodod communities.

  • OfftheDwannaB June 5, 2012, 11:22 PM

    “Since it is naturally occurring, it cant be evil?”
    Ok, let me qualify that a tiny bit. Did you ever hear R’ Dessler’s idea of bechira? He says that free choice operates on a tiny level. Its like a battlefield. We are fighting in the trenches. There are hundreds of miles of battlefield, but there’s only a tiny portion that each soldier can conquer. The same thing is with morality. There’s a whole portion of stuff we do naturally that are, to use the easiest word, good. Most people born in america in the 21st century don’t have a compulsion to kill children to sacrifice them to God. Most (a large percentage, at least of) people born in Canaan in 1,000 BC did have that desire. Likewise, some people realistically can’t visit the sick no matter what. They may want to, but they can’t. Some people can’t not visit them. It’s in their bones. Everyone is different of course, depending on the circumstances of your upbringing Trauma, support, poverty, etc play a huge role in making us all different. But most things in your life are set by factors out of your control. You have a tiny level of control.

    There are many people who are attracted to kids, even to the exclusion of all else, and don’t act on it. There are many who do. And there are many in between. Everyone’s on a different level, but the amount of control and choice a person has is known only to that person. So the person who really has the choice to live his life without molesting kids, and feels empathy, and understands what he’s doing wrong, and all the other factors that play into it causing this choice to fall into his “nekudas habechirah”, but chooses to do it anyway has made an evil choice. If he doesn’t, he’s made a good choice.

    But many researchers don’t even think there is this nekudas habechira. If every action you are capable of thinking, or doing is programmed at an age when you have no choice, you aren’t liable for anything. You are a complex mechanism of gears and springs. Guilt playing fear, playing on desire, etc. If we had all the numbers and parameters, we could design an algorithm that would live your life exactly as you do. Personally, I’m more comfortable with R’ Dessler’s way, but I think the other possibility is just as likely.

    This is still totally different than what society should do. We come together and agree to abide by laws, and if we decide this is destructive and immoral behavior, and we want to curtail it, we outlaw it and punish any violator. That is a huge deterent. We don’t have the right to judge you though. You could be a tzaddik relative to what you could have done. But you live amongst a group of people for your own protection and benefit and are subject to the group’s decisions. You give up your right to argue when you live in their cities and use their streets, etc. They can kill you, with no moral problem. And I agree with you, there is no clear bounds as to whats good and bad. Its constantly evolving, based on religious, social, personal, and economic reasons.

    I found a good article talking about morality:
    http://www.dnafiles.org/chimp-chat/day-three

    • T June 5, 2012, 11:42 PM

      Very interesting article. In the bonobo manner, one would be a “good snake” if they cut off the pedophilic penises.

      I am also inclined to go with Rav Dessler, on many issues. This one as well. If a person develops pedophilic urges in our society, where they are strongly discouraged, then acting on them is “bad” and curbing the urges makes the person a relative tzaddik. I believe that we agree.

      I do admit that I am still stuck on the pain the pedophiles leave behind, as opposed to consensual sexual relationships. Acting on the pedophilia is criminal, like murder and assault, in my humble opinion.

      Thanks, OfftheDwannaB

  • DanaNYC June 6, 2012, 9:35 AM

    Heshy:

    I liked your piece a lot. You conveyed both points of view and pointed out that both sides often convey their points of view based on emotion and not logic or the halacha. By having pointed out that certain “acts” are the only thing that’s problematic you said it accurately.

    Thanks for that!

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