Thursday, April 07, 2005

Frum and Gay - not a confession, more important than that

Orthodox gays. I used to think "screw the lot of them", well, you know what I mean. Tough luck mister. The Torah says don't do it, so don't do it. Deal with it. Go to therapy. Overcome your yetser.

Since then I've grown up slightly. I now realize that many of us struggle with our urges and desires, and we don't always conform with Halachah. That doesn't make it right. Let me clarify, I'm talking about males (females are a slightly different issue) who believe in Torah MiSinai and want to keep Taryag mitsvot. This is targeted at them, so please lay off me if you wish to attack me for being homophobic. I'm not, I love the Simpsons/the Iliad (delete according to your level of sophistication). I'm also not discussing the impending gay pride parade in Jerusalem. A different matter entirely.

Let's postulate that I am a mamzer (btw, I'm still known to some people in the Rabbi's community as "the little mamzer"!). For those who don't know, a mamzer is someone born of specific illegitimate unions (I won't define them here), and they cannot marry a Jewish person. (For the record, am not calling gays mamzers or anything of the sort. Just a hypothetical. Relax that throbbing vein in your forehead, take some prozac and C H I L L). If I knew that I would never be able to marry nor have relations acceptable to Halachah, would I remain faithful? Never stray? Would you? I could understand it if someone like that strayed from acceptable Halachic sexual conduct (ie none!) or got married in an Halachically unacceptable marriage. I couldn't condone or accept it, I would prefer it didn't happen, but I can understand it as part of the human condition and a result of the powerful libido we have.

Another hypothetical. For whatever reason, I have a predilection for molesting young boys (G-d forbid) or having intercourse with animals. I may have been molested, beaten, horribly raped, not hugged enough, or worked on a farm as a child, which could rationalize and explain these tendencies of mine and may even come close to justifying them in some way. As society, we can say "we understand and appreciate that you have these urges , however they are wrong. You may be blameworthy as an individual, forces beyond your control seem to have pushed you to do this, but we still hold this to be wrong".

Now take our religious homosexual. Yes take him - for dinner, a movie, who knows what might happen? Let's be straight (no pun intended). Gay sex is wrong. For those of you that don't believe that, this post is not for you. No amount of re-interpretation, textual criticism, or Deriddic deconstructionism (great alliteration, NO IDEA what it means though!) can get around that fact. It's as wrong as me telling loshon horah (slander), eating a bug, or not benching after a satisfying meal.

I'm not going to get into the nature/nurture issue here. My gay friend, I recommend you try therapy, if you believe Hashem tests us and gives us urges, then maybe it will help. Learn constructive Torah, try and overcome your yetser. We all have to to that when faced with our urges. Remember though, if you fail, it is an averah. We all do them - I'm probably doing seventeen of them right now (especially if you hold by the Slifkin-banners). Don't "come out" with it. Don't publicize it. Is it appropriate for me to tell you how many berachot I forgot to say yesterday? Should we have a float at the Israel Parade of "Jewish pig-eaters"? So why "Orthodox Homos"? Keep it in the bedroom, that's where I do some of my best work. I'm not judging you personally, I'm not blaming you, not having ever been in your shoes (two sizes too small for me), but I am asking you to keep it between you, G-d, and anyone you need to talk to or get advice from. Will people talk? Let them talk. Will people try and set you up? Let them try and set you up. Make up a polite excuse. It won't kill you.

Am I asking you to effectively lead a double life? Maybe. But many of us do. You have religious fornicators, porn-addicts, even blog writers who lead two different lives and are scared of getting caught (I'll post on this another time). Should you get married? I honestly don't know the answer to that one. There are so many factors on both sides, I don't know what to say. You would need to consult with someone knowledgeable and trustworthy about that.

So my gay frum friend, I have compassion for you. I think I have an inkling of what you are going through. You might only find the answer you are looking for at 120 when the Ribbono Shel Olam enlightens us, but until then: Be strong. And stay cool. And can you help me out with my wardrobe, because apparently you guys really know how to dress!



At 4/08/2005 6:55 AM, Anonymous shira said...

Nice can of worms you just opened.

I'll just say this. Please do not play "compare-and-contrast" with averos. None of us are in a position to do this. Not even Rabbi's children.

As you said, you have yet to walk in the shoes of a Frum Homosexual. Hashem is the true judge.

At 4/11/2005 10:59 AM, Blogger Makabit said...

I thank you for saying this. I said pretty much the same thing in a webjournal and I was called everything but what I am...a child of G-d. My nephew is gay. He is not Jewish. He has been celibate for a long time but his celibacy came at a heavy price: he is HIV-positive. He has lived longer than 10 years with it. He spoke to me about his lifestyle and the way that he caught the virus. What I told me really opened my eyes.

This Gay March in Jerusalem is breaking my heart. I just don't know where to go ot who to talk to about this. I thank Hashem for Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis for her answer to someone who knew about it 2 years ahead of time. To think that there are some Jewish groups behind this hurts my heart. The Holy City!

I am a Conservative Jew and I know that the Orthodox will not/won't/don't accept my conversion regardless if I am shomer negiah, shomer shabbat and keep kosher with a kosher kitchen.

That is fine for now but I do long to become Orthodox or even Hasidic. What do you know about this, Rabbi's Kid? Do I hate gays? No. Do I approve of their lifestayle? No and I even told this to my nephew who will be 40 this year. I don't approve of straights who sleep around and act without responsibility. That is my opinion and I am allowed to have it. This nation has become PC-crazy and those who do not like your opinion feel emboldened to call the dissenter names and even cause harm to their physical saftey. I have seen this take place as well. Truth is truth. You can't get around it. Some people think that if they can yell at it, throw a briock at it, the truth will change. If only it could be that easy. I,however, am glad that the truth will stand when everything else falls down. Like I saidm this is my opinion. For those who disagree, youproblem is not with me but with the truth.


At 4/11/2005 2:44 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...


I'm not contrasting averot. I leave that to G-d. There are more severe and less severe averot that religious gay people can do, if they consider that an issue. That's their problem to deal with, and G-d will be the Ultimate Arbiter.


I'm sorry about your nephew. Hopefully with advances in medicine he will live long and as healthy.
I understand your concerns about the Gay March, I might post about this later. Please don't get upset about it.
Your conversion is a big problem and an important issue. I personally do not know of any Orthodox communities that accept Conservative conversion. I suggest you contact your nearest Orthodox Rabbi, explain the situation and see what can be done. I am curious if you were told when you converted that your conversion is not recognized by the Orthodox. As for your comments about the PC police, you are right. Don't be afraid to speak your mind in an honest, open and forthright manner.


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