Welcome to the ten minute post. Yes, that is right. This post was composed in ten minutes. Let’s see if it actually makes sense.
The impetus for this particular post is a result of the discussion taking place over at A Whispering Soul. I’d like to pick out a couple of sections and briefly comment on them.
“The Orthodox community has been notoriously slow in dealing with issues they are uncomfortable with, or which they would like to pretend do not exist (domestic abuse, childhood sexual abuse, etc.). With regard to the issue of homosexuality, I am certain there is a great deal of homophobia that comes into play in the Orthodox world. The advice normally given by Rebbeim in the past to “just get married and it will go away” clearly indicates a lack of understanding of the issues involved on the part of the Rebbeim, not to mention being horribly unfair to the individual concerned and their unsuspecting spouse.
With the recent coming out of the principal of Flatbush Yeshiva, who has stated that he can no longer be Orthodox, and the film Trembling Before God, which explores the lives and struggles of “gay Orthodox Jews, ” and with more young Orthodox Jews coming out, Orthodox Jewry is being confronted with the issue like never before. In the last year alone, I have heard four different shabbat sermons delivered at different shuls on the topic. Most advocate compassion. While that is a start, it is not enough.
No, I don’t know what the answer is, because there is no answer. I have a hard time believing that HaShem would seemingly be so cruel as to expect someone to lead a life without love or a life of celibacy, but the Torah is also fairly clear. In the end, we don’t know HaShem’s reasons, and really it doesn’t matter what the reasons are. I guess what I would like to see is for Orthodoxy to better understand the issues involved and see beyond the homophobia; to set up a framework to allow those who want to stay Orthodox but not indulge their sexuality to not feel left out of the community; and not to shun those who struggle.”
I appreciate MCAryeh’s candor and his sensitivity. It is not a black and white issue, no matter how badly some people might want it to be. If you maintain the immutability of Torah than the matter would in theory have an easy answer. You can be homosexual, you just cannot act upon the desire.
To me it is not that simple. I cannot accept nor believe that there is an omnipotent creator who set up this sort of stumbling block for people. I cannot accept nor believe in answers such as “G-d has a plan, we just don’t know what it is.”
Comments like that tend to infuriate me. I once heard someone tell a group of survivors something similar. I wanted to throttle him. Are you trying to tell me that survivors of one of the greatest horrors ever seen by mankind should be comforted because they are part of some unexplainable celestial plan.
No Way. It is unacceptable.
At some point in time you have to wonder about it all. You have to ask yourself if the concept of immutability is valid and even if it is, has man corrupted it. That is, if man is fallible have we gotten it wrong. Have we made a mistake in our understanding and interpretation and are we passing this mistake down through the generations.
What do you think?