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View Diary: The Root of Orthodoxy (37 comments)

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  •  As I understand it, (2+ / 0-)
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    LSophia, Dark UltraValia

    the black and white stuff is a combination of "This is the way 19th century wealthy or noble people dressed in Europe", although not consciously, and "Modesty means not drawing attention to yourself; black and white is safe and boring."

    I'm sorry to hear about the gay marriage thing. The last time I went to a more-orthodox shul than my usual one, I was wearing a colorful crocheted kippa and a blue shirt - no hat, no suit. I'm glad to say I was welcomed even though I wasn't wearing the uniform.

    It was not quite the same when I went to an ultra-Hasidic minyan while I was mourning my brother. I got a few odd looks, until I joined in Kaddish

    Anyway: it seems the view of gay marriage, within orthodox Judaism, is... unpredictable. We had a rabbi come from England (R' Rappaport, I think? He works for Rabbi Lord Sacks) to speak about how Jewish communities should treat gay people. I was really surprised by how progressive he was about it. His argument was, basically, that because sexual orientation is unchangeable, a gay person should be viewed as unable to fulfill the commandments relating to marriage and procreation. However, he still feels the need for romantic fulfillment and a partner in life, and he will be unhappy and feel unfulfilled without such a partner. So, naturally, he should find a partner, so that they are suitable for each other, and they should be a couple. That way they can both have satisfying romantic lives and contribute to tikun olam. As for the sex - yes, there's a Biblical prohibition, but which is worse, abstaining from a healthy sex life and being miserable and have difficulty discharging your duties re: tikun olam, or acknowledge that you're violating a commandment but be better-able to serve the needs of yourself, your partner, your community, and so on?

    He finished off by saying: so you can't just say you're going to deny gay people the ability to read Torah, lead a service or otherwise receive honors, when you allow tax cheats, adulterers or abusers to receive these honors. Either we acknowledge that people can sin without forfeiting their right to be involved, and invite gay people in, or we bar all sinners from participation.

    I wonder if some of the confusion comes from the idea that legal same-sex marriage will require kiddushin to include same-sex couples. But of course there's no halachic prohibition on civil marriage of any kind.

    "But there's one thing that gives every Marine the willies, and anyone saying otherwise is a liar. Drop pods. That shit is terrifying, son."

    by Shaviv on Tue Jan 03, 2012 at 09:18:10 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  This is truly fascinating (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tennessee Dave

      And worthy of a diary of its own.

      Yet another example of how someone who interacts with an ethic or creed on a daily basis ensures that it is still vital, whereas many Christian (and, I daresay, Islamic) fundamentalists don't spent a lot of time meditating and applying the prohibitions in Leviticus to their daily lives.  It's not a living document to many of them.

      In this, the fundamentalists are almost acting like a remnant population.  They've forgotten (if they ever knew) what the Law was for, and are instead excerpting selective bits of it to use as weapons.  

      Sad, really.

    •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      One rabbi told me that the Talmud says we don't judge people for things about themselves that they can't change - so he argues that if the Talmudic rabbis had known and understood that people are born gay, they would not have been down on homosexuality. And of course, there are plenty of gay couples in Reform synagogues who go ahead and get a ketubah and consider themselves married even though State law doesn't recognize it. This guy's opinion contrasted with what I had heard in an Orthodox setting (which was the usual message that homosexuality is sinful and unacceptable.) What the guy you are talking about says makes sense to me.

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