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Stay Out of It

On same-sex marriage, Orthodox Jews should keep the religious and civil separate—as they do on other issues

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A same-sex couple at San Francisco City Hall June 17, 2008. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Last week the two leading umbrella organizations of Orthodox Jewish synagogues issued statements opposing same-sex marriage and condemning President Barack Obama’s historic expression of support for it. As an Orthodox Jew, law professor, and a longtime advocate for same-sex marriage, I am left deeply distressed by this move. Although the Torah and Orthodox Jewish law and tradition clearly prohibit sexual activity between two members of the same sex, it is a mistake for these organizations to pick a fight on this matter. My synagogue, the Young Israel of Toco Hills, is a member of both groups, and I fervently hope they will rethink their positions. Put simply: Same-sex marriage should not be a religious issue for Orthodox Jews, because it does not threaten Orthodox Judaism.

To their credit, the National Council of Young Israel and the Orthodox Union avoided the predictable and specious arguments that same-sex marriage would harm children, threaten traditional marriage, or otherwise doom Western civilization. Instead, they grounded their opposition in Jewish religious law. In its statement, the NCYI said it opposes what it calls “same gender marriage”—I guess the word “sex” is too titillating—because it is “antithetical to the religious principles that we live by.” (Full disclosure: The NCYI is currently engaged in a long-running feud with several synagogues, including mine, about an unrelated matter, and I have been involved in efforts to reform the organization’s governance.) Similarly, the Orthodox Union, a relatively more centrist and open organization within the Orthodox Jewish spectrum, explained that even though it “condemns discrimination,” it opposes “any effort to change the definition of marriage to include same sex unions.”

This is misguided, on a number of levels. Firstly, Judaism already treats Jewish and civil marriages differently, and synagogues—like all religious organizations—are free to define marriage according to their own religious principles. For example, marriages between Jews and members of other faiths are not performed or recognized in Orthodox synagogues. Other denominations perform them as they see fit. The same approach can easily be applied to same-sex marriages. Orthodox synagogues will not be forced to redefine religious marriage on account of the legalization of same sex marriage.

More fundamentally, the word “marriage” has no special significance to Jews. The Jewish term for the sacred union between a man and a woman is kiddushin. Kiddushin and civil marriage give rise to wholly different rights and impose different responsibilities, and the processes for dissolving a Jewish union and a civil marriage also differ entirely. Likewise, although a kiddushin ceremony is sufficient to establish a civil marriage under U.S. law, the reverse is not the case: A civil marriage ceremony is not necessarily sufficient to constitute kiddushin.

My own wedding experience illustrates this idea. For reasons of convenience, my wife and I had a civil marriage a few weeks before we entered kiddushin. During the period between the two ceremonies, secular law recognized us as married and bestowed all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage on us. Our synagogue, however, recognized no relationship between us at all. And, as Orthodox Jews, we continued to live separately until our kiddushin ceremony. Had we changed our minds about our commitment to one another, we would have had to seek a secular divorce or annulment but would not have gone through the religious divorce process. Plainly, Orthodox Judaism is capable of distinguishing and accommodating the differences between marriages that have religious significance and those that do not. Same-sex marriage should be no different.

But the strongest reason that organized American Orthodox Jewry should not take a religious stand on same-sex marriage lies in our cultural identity and history. In contrast to religious Christians, our culture is not the dominant one in this country. The Christian day of rest is observed in this country, but ours is not; Christmas is a federal holiday, but Yom Kippur is not. You won’t find religious Jews Tebowing (unless they’re doing it ironically), and depictions of Orthodox Jews in popular movies are always played for the same kind of laughs as any other wacky racial and ethnic caricatures. What I am describing here is not a sense of unhealthy alienation from mainstream society, but rather the cultural distance that simply and naturally adheres to minority groups in America.

Unlike our Christian friends and neighbors, Jews grow up with our minority status deeply ingrained and without the instinctive expectation that our religious traditions and beliefs will naturally be reflected in the broader law and culture. As a minority within a minority, Orthodox Jews recognize that we reap the benefits of pluralism, tolerance, and accommodation. After all, if religious beliefs in this country were to orient secular law, we would find ourselves deeply disappointed and possibly threatened, just as we historically have in every other diaspora country.

For good reason, then, American Jews and Orthodox Jews in particular are usually reticent about imposing our religious values and views on others. For example, the NCYI and the OU have never taken a public political stance against laws that permit intermarriage, even though intermarriage represents a far greater practical threat to Jewish communities than does same-sex marriage. Likewise, Orthodox Jewish leaders would never (one hopes) support a constitutional amendment prohibiting idolatry—even though the Torah has far more nasty things to say about idolatry than it does about same-sex marriage. Orthodox Jewish institutions should approach same-sex marriage with at least the same cultural distance and dispassion.

To be sure, there may be some issues in the public sphere on which Orthodox Jews will find themselves compelled to take a political stand out of religious conviction. But these occasions should be the exception rather than the rule. And we should be especially hesitant to do so concerning the debate over same-sex marriage, in which the rights of another American minority are at stake. Instead, we ought to be grateful that we live in a society in which minority groups’ religious and civil rights are respected, and in which equality is imposed by law.

Same-sex marriage does not threaten any aspect of Orthodox Jewish religious beliefs or practices. Orthodox Jews should decide whether or not to support it on purely neutral, secular terms, and we should reconcile ourselves to our detachment from mainstream culture just as we always have.

***

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Steven48 says:

A great article. If we Jews insist on legislating our religion, what is to keep other faiths from legislating their religion, to our detriment? If legislation may be drawn from religion, with no other basis, this trend will inevitably, eventually, be “bad for the Jews”. Unfortunately, President Obama started all this – the Republicans have argued (I believe falsely) that same sex marriage will undermine society, while Obama argued that he opposed it (back when he opposed it) because it violated his faith, no other reason, a fundamentally unconstitutional basis for legislation. There must be a better reason than that for legislation that imposes a burden on others.

rocky2345 says:

 The Republican war against gay America started a long time before Obama became a household word.  I date it from Patrick Buchanan’s fiery speech at the Republican convention in 1992. It is too bad for Orthodox Jews that they felt it necessary to pile on. It is not as if Jewish America is a thriving and growing part of  21st century America. In many respects it is not. The Jewish population has barely increased from where it was in my 1959 Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, even after significant inflows from the former Soviet Union and very high birth rates in Hasidic communities. I suspect that many of the youngsters who received a copy of this book for their Bar Mitzvah married out of the faith, including the children or grandchildren of Jewish actors, economists and lawyers.

If the Orthodox feel they can afford to simply write off about 5% of  the Jewish population, that is their choice. Unfortunately, the only growing segment of the Jewish population is increasingly poor and poorly educated. Over 80% of the Hasidic community of New Square, NY was reported to be living below the poverty line in 2009 by the US census. In Kiryas Joel, the number was over 68%. Heavily (but not exclusively) Hasidic communities such as Monsey, NY and Lakewood, NJ also have high poverty rates.

In the most publicized wedding of the year, Jewish born billionaire Mark Zuckerberg (who now describes himself as an atheist) married Chinese American Dr. Prescilla Chan in a backyard ceremony. Sushi was served. No word on who officiated at the wedding but I doubt that it was a rabbi. And yes she is a real medical doctor.

 

LeoVd says:

What a great article. I am a conservative leaning Orthodox Jew, and in no way do I feel that my religion or my marriage is threatened by the possibility of same-sex marriage being legal. As I’ve told many people in the past, we Jews do not need to have an opinion about everything. Even about sensational issues such as gay marriage.

rebckoz says:

I also pretty much agree with Prof. Levin.  However, my concern is that Jews are supposed to be an “or lagoyim”, and many Christians believe that is our mission in the world.  The reason given for Orthodoxy to stay out of  this issue because doesn’t threaten Orthodox Judaism–seems parochial. Orthodox Jews are part of American culture and have much to offer in terms of teaching the rest of us of what is sacred and what is not.
Prof. Levin is correct in noting the separation between civil marriage and kiddushin–marriages recognized civilly (between Jews and non-Jews) are not recognized by Jewish law.  But many Jews don’t know the difference–or want to ignore it.  Which is why same-sex marriages ARE considered to be kiddushin in rabbis and laity in all of the non-Orthodox movements.
I would hope that if the Orthodox community is going to stay out of the larger cultural discussion, it will continue to contribute to the intra-community discussion and lend some tochecha if necessary….

ShakedandAwe says:

As an observant Jew, this is something I struggle with.  I have made the same arguments as Professor Levin in favor of letting the issue be, however, we are ultimately confronted with the seven Noahide laws.  As I understand Rambam, he is of the opinion that we are obligated to prevent non-Jews from violating the Noahide laws.  Gay marriage is a de facto violation of the prohibition on sexual immorality.  I wish this was not the case, but it is.  I could most certainly be wrong, so if someone knows more about this subject, I’d be happy to learn.

Leslie78 says:

The article isn’t saying Orthodox Jews don’t have an opinion to offer or should stay out of the discussion.  It is saying that Jewish religious bodies should not feel compelled to issue official position statements on matters of secular law that have no impact on religious practices.

PhillipNagle says:

As long as we have the government sanctioning marriage, whether to sanction same sex marriages becomes an item for public debate.  Maybe it is time for the goverment to get out of the marriage business and allow people to enter into a marriage contract of their choosing.  Also people would have the option of recognizing that marriage as they choose.  When we had a near absolute agreement on the definition of marriage (one man, one woman) it did no harm for the government to sanction marriage.  Now that there appears to be widely divergent views, it is best to let everyone go  their own way and the government not to interfere.

wildjew says:

But aren’t liberal Jewish organizations, rabbis, lay leaders, etc. offering strong support for President Obama’s political initiative?  If, as rebckoz says, we are enjoined to be a light to the nations what kind of message are we sending as Jews when we allow these statements of support for something – Jews should not support – to stand uncontested?  Apart from these organizations and rabbis lending their support to Mr. Obama, isn’t it incumbent that Jews speak out on fundamental moral issues since we are loyal and productive citizens?

salemst says:

Orthodox Jews–all Jews–have a stake in the definition of marriage.  We have in our 10 Commandments to “Honor thy father and mother.”  I see nothing ambiguous here.  Marriage is about the optimal child raising and family protection environment with a male and female ensuring civil society perpetuation in everyone’s best interests.How does homosexual marriage interject itself into this equation?  Same sex couples are all biologically incapable of conceiving with each other, thus incapable of family formation. 
 
The only reason to sanction it, is “feel good.”   And as we discover with “feel good” reasoning, what’s allowed causes deterioration whether educationally, militarily, or behaviorally.
 
Does homosexual marriage threaten my marriage?  No.  But so long as the welfare of children is the foundation for marriage, homosexuals have no more right to get married than any other non male-female arrangement. Marriage is about kids and a civil society benefiting we Jews and everyone else.  No reason to elevate their choice to traditional marriage on the basis of  rewarding “feel good” unrestrained self-indulgent behavior. 
 
Living together?  Fine.  Marriage?  No.

Leslie78 says:

I agree that a religious Jewish organization should not issue an official position in support of gay marriage either.  Community members and leaders can issue their own statements.  Jewish political institutions can as well.  The key is separating religious approval or disapproval from social action issues.

Great article. Thanks for posting it. My question – Does the Torah forbid sexual activity between members of the same sex, or only one particular sexual act shared by two men,  that has nothing to do with women at all? The Torah as far as I can tell has nothing to say about same-sex marriage, and one could make a good Torah-based argument for the place of polygamy in the Jewish world, but I don’t hear anyone doing that – yet.

Thank you Professor Levin.

But what is “sexual immortality” as put forth in Noahide law? The prohibition in Leviticus against a man lying with a man is Mosaic law. Nothing about the Sodom story, including commentary on it later in the Tanakh, demands the conclusion that the homosexual aspect of the Sodomites’ behavior was all or part of its transgressive nature. We should be careful of assuming that homosexuality must have been included on the grounds that, to some today, that seems obvious, because if we use modern, Western attitudes as a filter for interpreting “sexual immorality”, we’d conclude that Abraham’s use of Hagar and Jacob’s use of Bilhah and Zilphah to produce children would make them unsuitable objects of our admiration, yet clearly the use of concubines outside of marriage was NOT deemed a violation of Noahide law. This means that it’s very difficult for us today to say with any degree of assurance what “sexual immortality” did or did not imply under Noahide law.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned separation of church and state yet… Unfortunately (Christian) religion is legislated in this country all the time, and because it reflects the religious values of the majority it stands (i.e. “In G-d We Trust” on money, prayer in schools, abortion rights, and stem cell research). The difference between civil marriage and kiddushin is as simple as separation of church and state. For this reason, the OU and NCYI should stay out of the civil definition of marriage which serves a legal purpose in this country and doesn’t impact kiddushin. 

I think that the issue is being handled correctly by these dissenters, that is what tolerance is about in a free society. But there is a secondary issue  that should not be overlooked and that is that Israel is commanded to be a light to the nations and to bring G-d’s commands to a secular America. The image of God is expressed in the marriage of one man to one woman. And it is healthy to give G-d’s moral principle in any given situation.    

Ortho_Jew says:

The concept that mixed-gender marriage is for the benefit of raising children with a mommy and a daddy is valid up to a point. That point being menopause, or infertility, or the decision simply not to have children. Are marriages allowed then? Of course. So please don’t bring the kids into this.
Besides, same-sex couples have found myriad ways to have and raise children. Religion should have nothing to do with secular marriage.

salemst says:

Menopause and infertility have no bearing on criteria for marriage.  Men and women are biologically able to have offspring together.  Homosexuals/Lesbians aren’t.

Marriage is about an optimal environment for child raising.  The purpose is a civil society.  Homosexuals are always free to live together and draw up legal contracts.

MishkaDenk says:

The American Constitution separates “Church” and State. Therefore Noachide law has NO more influence/authority than any other in this debate.

Ephraim_K says:

“The image of God is expressed in the marriage of one man to one woman. ”
Just out of curiosity – did God tell you this? 

MishkaDenk says:

I am more than happy for Orthodox Judaism to take what it considers a “reasonable” approach. I however am gay and consider myself and my partner married under both civil and Jewish religious law. Of course I don’t expect the Orthodoxy to recognise my religious marriage but I remind all concerned that they cannot tell non-Orthodox Jews how to define marriage either!

Maybe same-sex marriages don’t threaten the Jewish institution of marriage (in this respect, the author has a point), but they do have the potential to interfere with the religious education that Jewish institutions teach their youth, and the potential to introduce confusion to young, impressionable children. 

As a very low-level, basic and plain example: how many times have you heard a boy ask, “why can’t I marry so-and-so”, to which the response is, “because he is a boy”? If you think that response is the end of the thought for the child, you’re wrong; the child processes and internalizes this, establishing it within his growing and developing neural network of morals and mores. 

And that’s just a simple example. This is actually much more intricately woven into society and into how a child sees the world around him. That’s why Orthodox organizations shield youths (whether justifiably or not) from many different aspects of society. And, so far, they haven’t for the most part had to shield any children from this particular aspect of society.

You change the definition of marriage, and you suddenly change a big part of a child’s growing understanding of sexuality long before you are able to actually broach the subject with him. (In fact, by the time you *are* able to broach the subject, so much of the environmental factors have already been ingrained.)

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not injecting my personal views into this argument as to whether I think same-sex marriage is good or not; I’m just saying that, contrary to what the author of this article is saying, I can certainly understand why an Orthodox Jewish institution would—yes, for religious reasons—want to oppose it.

MishkaDenk says:

The Patriarchs and the Kings of Israel were by your definition the greatest sinners of them all with their MULTIPLE wives……..

ShakedandAwe says:

I wish you were right, but in Hullin 92a:

Ulla
said, “These [thirty shekels] are [symbols of] the thirty commandments
that the sons of Noah accepted upon themselves. But they only keep three
of them! One is that [92b] they do not write a ketubah [i.e.,
marriage contract] for male partners. One is that they do not weigh
flesh of the dead [of either humans or animals] to sell in the market.
And one is that they respect the Torah.”

I’m not so learned, but a tradition clearly exists (it might not even be the only one) that same-sex marriage falls under the issur of sexuality immorality.

rocky2345 says:

 If the little boy grows up to be gay, you would not want him to marry your daughter.

ShakedandAwe says:

This point is irrelevant.  This article is about whether orthodox Jews should actively oppose SSM or not.  It appears to me (I sincerely hope that I’m wrong) that we have a hiyuv to protest it.

Again, this isn’t about my personal views, Rocky.

But, just to entertain your cryptic comment: if he were gay, he wouldn’t be interested in my daughter, and would be better off pursuing a civil union with someone he actually is interested in (as the religious organizations don’t necessarily oppose those).

The primary problem with Mr. Levin’s argument is that it is logical and reasonable.  In the world of religion and politics, logic and reason have very limited roles.  Sanctimonious kevetching about what is right and wrong and declaring God’s will for everyone else’s benefit is as natural  to orthodox adherents of most faiths as is giving priority to continuity over common sense.  -Otherwise, I have absolutely no opinions on the subject.  ;-)

 This is a ridiculous argument. Paul what do you tell your kids if they ask if they can eat at McDonalds, or why they can’t go shopping on Saturday, or why they can’t wear half the clothes the stores are selling? A huge number of things that Orthodox Jews do or do not do go completely against American culture yet we have no problem differentiating for our children what other people do and what we as Torah observant Jews do regardless of options society legally affords.

Apparently you do not understand my point.

I didn’t say religious Jews have a problem differentiating their customs and morals from those of society around them. I’m merely saying that the less they have to differentiate, the less they have to shelter their children. 

Some people like to bash Orthodox Jews for over-sheltering their children, but then they go and bash them for taking stands against societal changes from which they would otherwise *need* to protect them!  You can’t have it both ways.

To respond to your McDonalds example, thank you, because you bring up a perfect example in support of my argument. I am astounded by the number of Jews from Orthodox communities (whether going through a rebellious phase or just on the fringe to begin with) feel the need to sample unkosher food. It’s apparently quite tempting, and those who weren’t brought up with a strong Orthodox foundation often succumb because, “everyone else eats it”. So, yes, thank you for that perfect example of what happens when something becomes the “norm” in society. 

So, as I said, I can understand an Orthodox institution wanted to prevent adding yet another thing to their “differentiation list” (i.e., the list that for some ends up becoming the “what’s wrong with it if everyone else is okay with it list”).

Again, I’m not taking a personal stance on this here; I’m playing devil’s advocate in explaining something the author apparently overlooked when trying to understand why a religious institution would voice its opinion.

Oh, and one more thing: 

Go read that ridiculous book “Unorthodox” and go see what some of the first things this girl does when she decides to leave her sheltered life:  those first few things include two of the very things you list (eating non-kosher food and wearing the “other half” of the clothes that the stores sell). Coincidence???

Again, great examples. Thank you.

k56sf says:

After reading the posted comments, it just deeply, profoundly, inexorably, saddens me….this is how we relate to other human beings? This is how we publically express the teachings of our Torah? This is how we express what is in our hearts? This is how we are “healing” the world? This is how we viscerally, intellectually, emotionally relate to an expression and manifestation of HaShem’s presence? So sad…..

BTW, I just noticed another “Paul” on here… this one post (and any replies on this particular thread) are mine, not to be confused with others.

Sounds like a sanctimonious and kvetchy sort of analysis of religion, if you ask me. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Razi_Yerushalmi says:

This article is a kind of cop-out. The issue of homosexual marriage can be framed in many ways. Orthodox Jews, like their other fellow human beings, base their opinions on a variety of reasons, each which is legitimate. To squelch their voice concerning this issue seems dishonest and ultimately harmful.

stam487 says:

Wonderful. As someone who has spent some time in the YI Toco Hills community, I’m not surprised that these wise words came from there.

RonL says:

Sorry, but this is ridiculous. You will not be safe from Sodom and Gommorah in your Shtetl. Synagogues may temporarily be safe, at least until the left uses the 1970s precedents of forcing religious institutions to follow the 1964 Civil Right Act.  Until then, you will only have to deal with Jewish institutions other than synagogues, being forced to recognize gay marriage and the like.  If you think I’m exagerating, notice that the Obama regime is trying to force Catholic institutions other than Churches, to subsidize birth control and abortoficents. Regadless of your position on abortion, the precident is now set.  Jewish hospitals will have to recognize state-sanctioned abominations.
The left is totalitarian. This is not about equality, but about the left using the power of the state to force us to accept their desired social change. Orthodox Jews will suffer as everyone else, except that you will be undermined by the Reconstructionist, Reform, and Conservative Rabbis who have no allegience to the Torah or Halakha. Fight now, or all is lost.

RonL says:

 What makes you think that Orthodox Jewish Synagogues and schools will be protected, when Catholic institutions are not. They have votes, you don’t.

I, too am a member of a NCYI member synagogue.  And I too am deeply troubled by these statements.  If any of you agree with the following, please consider signing:

1:  
http://www.change.org/petitions/national-council-of-young-israel-retract-your-statement-opposing-same-gender-marriage?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=friend_inviter_action_box

2:  
http://chn.ge/Mgx1Tf

rocky2345 says:

 Some young gay Orthodox men are encouraged to enter traditional marriages with tragic consequences for all concerned, probably more so among the ultra Orthodox. If the alternative is rejection by one’s tradition bound family, it may appear to be the lesser of two evils.

mor2 says:

You are right, but Rambam is not the only authority. There is an article  by Rabbi Michael Broyde in which he shows that most rishonim disagree with Rambam and that the preponderance of achronim go with their view: that we have no obligation to convince noachides to keep 7 mitzvos. Only contemporary posek to hold like Rambam was the Lubavitcher Rebbe. 

Patriot493 says:

The Torah also prescribes death for adulterers and wayward sons. Are we also going to debate these punishments?

ShakedandAwe says:

Well, no, because we’ve never legislated from the written Torah.  Don’t forget the oral tradition, which made it next to impossible to actually be sentenced to death.

eudaemon says:

Gay marraige is not defacto a situation inolving homosexual activity.  Many people , both straight and gay, get married for convenience or love that does not involve sex.   Likewise, there are many more heterosexual marriages where sexual immorality happens, and this is particularly true of non orthodox jewish marriages where mikveh is not part of the lifestyle.  Yet we don’t object to these marriages on the grounds that they are “a de facto violation of the prohibition on sexual immorality.”  So why single out gay marriage?

Hershl says:

No where does Torah prohibit homosexuality.

Yes, you read that right.

The commentators on the famous verses in Leviticus state that is deals with sodomy which can be performed by a man and a woman and two men but not by two women.

Therefore, most of them concluded, if we were discussing homosexuality then lesbians would have to be mentioned.

Lesbians are no where mentioned in the Torah.

In addition, Jesus never mentions the subject. He was a pious Jew in case you forget your history.

All of this came later on by ignoramuses with homophobic agendas.

Like so many other things in Torah, the history of what is now assumed to be a prohibition is entirely forgotten.

I was told the above by Dov Lesser, zts”l, one of the greatest orthodox scholars.

Thanks for the translation, but how are we to understand ”
they do not weigh flesh of the dead [of either humans or animals] to sell in the market”? What is that supposed to mean? Whenever I buy meat, it is always by weight. And back in the former Soviet Union, it was (and still is) sold by weight. They actually put it on a scale in front of you. So, it seems to me, you need a better translation of the tractate.

Yeah, and say good bye to all the things that come along with the official status, like no tax on inheritance for spouses, the spousal privilege not to testify against your spouse, automatic presumption of paternity, and a whole slew of more than 1000 federal rights and privileges flowing from the status of marriage. Who needs any of that?

ShakedandAwe says:

Because this article is about gay marriage?

ShakedandAwe says:

I read it, and it helped me tremendously.  Thank you very much!  Let us all note that I learned something new today as a result of civil internet commenting.

Salesmt, I take it that you do not agree with North Carolina’s recent rule, then, which says that homosexuals are NOT free to draw up legal contracts.

It is unclear that civil marriage is about an optimal environment for child raising; I do agree that its purpose is a civil society.

Where we differ is whether we believe the Orthodox should have an opinion on a Methodist man being allowed to call his 30 year relationship with an atheist man “marriage” or not.

Rav Hershel Schachter said this was one of the biggest threats in America today

Rav Belsky wrote these words before forbidding voting for a pro gay “marriage” politician
“The Torah speaks about certain sins, the commission of which was the
cause for the obligation to destroy every last remnant of the Canaanite
nations. In describing their immoral behavior, the Torah says of the
acts they performed, “…kee es kol eileh osu vo’okutz bom,” they should
be destroyed and eliminated from the world so that no trace remains of a
society predicated on such a disgusting “lifestyle”. We are warned,
repeatedly, that should this filth and degradation appear among us, it
would be cause for the same instructions(amendments) to be issued
vis-à-vis the Jewish people, may Hashem protect us from this.

To our great chagrin and shame, there has arisen among us a group of
political office seekers who openly espouse this Canaanite behavior and
who are leading proponents of teaching it to innocent children in the
youngest grades and making it acceptable in American society.

Besides destroying the innocence of these children from the earliest
age and ruining any morality that remains in to day’s civilized society,
they would openly provoke the wrath of the Holy one, Blessed be
He,against our contemporary society in the same manner as it was
directed against the Canaanites.”

 

Jojo Lolo says:


Put simply: Same-sex marriage should not be a religious issue for Orthodox Jews, because it does not threaten Orthodox Judaism.”

So only what threatens Orthodox Judaism is an issue ? What a nonsense. Same sex marriage is clearly against Jewish tradition and values. You can’t oppose it for yourself and accept it for others. That’s immoral. and UnJewish. You can’t, as I heard a friend say, support it in the USA but oppose it in Israel.

Many (not all) Gay advocates state, ‘monogamy is a heterosexual imposition’. 
 
This explains why many Gay Marriages include an understanding that one of the partners *already has* another (third) partner.   “Polyamorphy’ love of more than one. Why not? The argument is, “So long as there is disclosure and permission, what could be wrong?”

One answer is that, according to a Dr. Drew Pinsky – who is very supportive of gay relationships – he says that in private counselling, he’s never found a polygamous relationship where there is not at least one miserable person, despite their public statements to the contrary, in private, the misery is revealed.

I’ve never once heard of a heterosexual marriage with this understanding, the bride wouldn’t go through with it, social pressure would be too great a barrier.

We should think long and hard before we destabilize the taboos regarding traditional marriage.

 

After all, why should any man (or woman) stick around and pay the bills and raise children with an ‘old’ partner when a socially acceptable option includes finding someone younger, less bitter, more impressed, happier, healthier, etc? 

I think it’s best when making such choices is socially abhorred, if only to keep the father raising the children and the traditional family support structure in place. 

I’m not myself absolutely against exceptions.

But the taboos should remain for the good of society.

Joel65 says:

The Torah does not “clearly prohibit sexual activity between people of the same sex”.  It is only prohibited between 2 MEN.  Please correct your article.

Anonymous1again says:

 I wasn’t going to comment, but now I feel I have to.

a) You’re right. The Torah does not forbid homosexuality as an “orientation”. It CLEARLY forbids homosexual acts between males. Females are not mentioned, as the Torah doesn’t care about lesbians one way or another, for a variety of reasons.

b) We’re Jews. The fact that Jesus doesn’t mention it means less than nothing.

c) Jesus was NOT a “pious Jew”. Jesus was a heretic who openly tried to recruit people away from the proper service of Hashem.

d) Your “ignoramus” statement clearly labels yourself. Thanks.

e) “…Dov Lesser, zts”l, one of the greatest orthodox scholars”…um…who??? I think if he was one of the “greatest orthodox scholars” I may have heard of him. I’ve been Orthodox for 30 years. Please. Educate me.

ShloymeBaruch says:

2 things:
1) Forget minority culture. An American-Israeli Orthodox wrote last week that Israel should institute same-sex marriages. Fischer implicitly distinguishes between marriage and kiddushin:  http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/same-sex-unions-and-intermarriage-against-as-a-jew-for-as-a-citizen/
2) In the American scene, Shmuley Boteach made a similar argument last week as well, though he made a marriage/civil union distinction, not kiddushin/marriage – which is a semantic issue: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rabbi-shmuley-boteach-what-if-government-recognized-only-civil-unions-and-left-marriage-to-religion/2012/05/14/

 the sefrah assurs lesbians acts
see the Rambam who paskens this way

The author is tiliting against windmills that are not there.   The Orthodox groups are pretty much staying out of this.   They have not lobbied on it >at all< in response, and are not making a big deal of it.  All they did was make a statement of their own religous position.   Is the author "deeply distressed" that they would even state their own position on gay marriage? 

rocky2345 says:

 Elizabeth Taylor was married 8 times and she stopped having babies after husband #3.  2 of her husbands were even Jewish. I certainly have no problem with your marriage. Yasher Koach! (more power to you) 

elikrak says:

r. broyde may oversimplify matters. see r. j.d. bleich’s article in the same volume (Tikkun Olam) for a more balanced view

Michael Shapiro says:

Of course, it would be very logical (I know, I know) for the Orthodox to keep out of this argument, entirely.  In fact the right thing to do would be for the Orthodox to make a statement that marriage is a religious sacrament and that the government (s) should stay out of it altogether, based on the Constitution of the U.S.  Why, you ask?  Well, the orthodox have no problems presiding over marriages between first cousins or between an uncle and a niece, both of which are prohibited by a number, if not a majority of states.

I make this statement because, with the possible exception of the nonsense about destroying the family (this with a 50% divorce rate), every argument against same sex marriage is based on the Christian religion.

Why aren’t Fundamentalist Mormans allowed to have multiple wives (passing on the underage thing)?

Why aren’t Moslems allowed to have up to four wives?

Why aren’t Sephardim allowed to have multiple wives?  Well, mostly because were too smart to do something that masochistic. 

You can hide yourself from this issue –and its consequences– if you think you can.  But as Churchill said in reply to someone who boldly declared”I am not interested in war”:  War is interested in you.

jcarpenter says:

Marriage is a civil act, thus the license; religious ceremony is optional in the eyes of the state.  Try to do otherwise, as in ignore the civil status, and just marry “in house.”  Likewise, divorce is a civil act, enacted most often through the courts or legal office; whether or not the religious body recognizes, endorses, sanctions, disapproves, condemns divorce has no bearing in the civil status. Again, try to do so otherwise.   Allowing gay marriage/civil union does no more to threaten the sanctity of marriage, nor does it promote/mitigate divorce.   It is a civil right; if religious body wishes to include/exclude, that’s their business, to the benefit/detriment of their community.

I’m surprised that no one has caught on to the most important part of the article – that the real problem facing American Jewery is marrying out, not same sex marriages. As an Israeli Secular Jew I say put your house in order first before dealing with peripheral matters which impact on a tiny proportion of the general population.

To the individuals who believe that we should be ‘or la goyim’ – there are far bigger problems in the world than this (such as teen-sex in America) that these organisations don’t make offical statements about.

BobSF_94117 says:

 ”As a very low-level, basic and plain example: how many times have you
heard a boy ask, “why can’t I marry so-and-so”, to which the response
is, “because he is a boy”? If you think that response is the end of the
thought for the child, you’re wrong; the child processes and
internalizes this, establishing it within his growing and developing
neural network of morals and mores. ”

Yes, he internalizes it.  I suppose in a society where he can see that some boys do marry other boys, that’s not so serious a problem, but in the world in which I grew up, in which no boy married another boy or dated him or danced with him or even held hands, the consequence to some boys who “internalize” the lesson is suicide.

Micky Latowicki says:

What is it exactly that you must protect yourself from? What is the bad thing that would happen if gay couples would have the same legal rights as hetero couples? How is it dangerous to Jewish hospitals that gay spouses would have visitation rights? 

Does the Torah prohibit civility and respect towards gay people? Do you, in fact, stone every gay person you meet, as the the book of Dvarim dictates?

mikemia says:

Are there laws permitting intermarriage?  There is actually a legal requirement to marry someone of another faith – that sounds very strange to me.  If the author is referring to the sentiment – then I would disagree completley, I feel that every mainstream Orthodox institution has discouraged intermarriage on a visceral level.  I am not sure that arguement really holds any water

Micky Latowicki says:

Rocky makes a good point. Some gay people have been driven to suicide because of the shame they felt. Others have made every effort to lead heterosexual lives, and even married, going so far as to raise children. When the eventual divorce came, their spouses were left as single parents, angry and bitter at the years they wasted with the wrong person.

mikemia says:

I don’t have the knowledge to argue with Rabbi Belsky but my two cents is that there could be different motivations for allowing same sex marriages and those differences spell all the difference to me in how G0-d would view the society.  For example – if the motive is, and may have been for the Cannanites, to say we will do whatever we want forget G-d forgo any sense of morality that may be one thing…I feel the average religious American who may not be homosexual but is compassionate to the cause of allowing same sex marriages does not do so in a malicious anti-religious rage…rather the source comes from a compassion of understanding the pain and difficulties that calling our fellow brothers and sisters an abomonation and not allowing them to feel a semblance of normality is acceptance could cause.  In fact that is what the article is calling for, not an acceptance on the religious level, i.e., saying hey let’s do whatever we want, rather simply an acceptance on a societal level where we could understand that not all people faced with this tremendous challenge (or who aren’t religious at all) can practice a life of celibacy so rather than make these people feel like outcasts -let’s incorporate them into our culture and let them know they are still our brethern.  Is Rabbi Belsky confident that G-d would destroy such a compassionate nation simply because he destroyed another society which may have allowed these practices in brazen defiance of G-d?  As they say in yeshiva – there might be a chiluk

How in the world Orthodox Jews who disagree with same-sex marriage.Have no right to
Speak out on the subject.I guess you have no freedom of speech less you are four same-sex manner.that’s an interesting form of democracy.PS  I am.  transgendered
and do not  think Orthodox Jews  or in love with me. I would never wish stop the freedom of speech on the subject

RonL says:

 ”What is it exactly that you must protect yourself from?” The modern Hellenists and licentious who would use the power of the state to persecute the religious. It isn’t theoretical, it is already happening in the UK and Sweden.

“What is the bad thing that would happen if gay couples would have the same legal rights as hetero couples? ”
Because those rights include forcing private and religious instituions to accept them.

“How is it dangerous to Jewish hospitals that gay spouses would have visitation rights? ”
Why have Jewish hospitals, if they must be secularized?
Why have Jewish schools, if they will be forced to teach boys how to “safely” bugger each other? It’s not theoretical, it already occurs in Europe.

“Does the Torah prohibit civility and respect towards gay people? ”
Is your ideology so totalitarian that it cannot allow people to choose who they wish to associate with?

” Do you, in fact, stone every gay person you meet, as the the book of Dvarim dictates?”
No. Would you jail me, or simply re-educate me and my children?
 

iaapcapoi says:

No matter how you word things, same sex marriage is not condoned by Jesus and it never will be. You can use all the rhetoric and logic you want, but it will not change that fact. You can try to justify it a million different ways, but that won’t change it. Sin is sin no matter how many pretty words you use to try to make it acceptable, and when people claim to be Christian  that means they follow the true teachings of Jesus, not what they think Jesus might think (He will NEVER condone sin), not what they as mere humans with human logic think it should be, and not what they want it to be. Jesus does not change and His word does not change. Yes, Jesus is a merciful Jesus, but when you knowingly commit the same sins over and over again then you are spitting on Him and telling Him He needs to follow you instead of you following Him. The same applies to those who claim to follow Orthodox Jewish teachings. The law doesn’t change no matter how much you want it to or how much you think it should.  

Micky Latowicki says:

> Because those rights include forcing private and religious institutions to accept them.

Can you be more specific? What is it that Jewish institutions cannot accept? 

> Why have Jewish hospitals, if they must be secularized?

There are many aspects of Halakha and Jewish culture that are legitimate and desired by orthodox Jews, like Kashrut, so religious institutions serve legitimate interests. This does not mean that every religious interest is legitimate, however. A tolerant society respects the religious desire to have a Kosher hospital kitchen (in a private institution), but should not respect a hypothetical religious sect’s desire to stone its wayward sons or exercise female genital mutilation. 

Thus, I hope we can agree that religious institutions have a place. So my question stands: what concrete scenarios worry you? Is it against Judaism to treat homosexual people with respect? 

> Why have Jewish schools, if they will be forced to teach boys how to “safely” bugger each other? It’s not theoretical, it already occurs in Europe.

Really? I honestly didn’t know. Can you direct me to more information about this?

Anyway, if you’re concerned about the possibility of safe-sex education in orthodox schools, then you can fight that if and when that is proposed. I don’t see how that has much to do with the issue of marriage equality. You seem to assume that Jewish life is an all-or-nothing proposition. Either everything is done according to your view of God’s words, or it’s all secular. Either Gay people are discriminated against, or there’s no point in Jewish hospitals and schools. Is that all Judaism is reduced to? Is there nothing worth preserving beyond gay-hating?

> Is your ideology so totalitarian that it cannot allow people to choose who they wish to associate with?

No. Did you find anything in my words to suggest otherwise?

> No. Would you jail me, or simply re-educate me and my children?

I don’t know where you got that idea – perhaps you were responding to my rhetorical question about stoning in what seemed to you like a similar vein. If that is the case, let me put my point more directly, and perhaps in a calmer tone: I imagine that if you discovered that one of your friends is a practising homosexual, you would neither stone him, nor shun him for the rest of his life, but would rather keep treating him as a friend, even though you think he has sinned. Perhaps you would try to convince him that what he does is wrong and that he should try to “heal” himself. Do you sincerely believe that being Jewish means that gay people simply cannot live in your community, not even as tolerated sinners? 

If you would indeed show respect towards your hypothetical gay friend, is it too much to ask that a Jewish hospital would treat homosexual patients and their families with basic respect as well? Is such respect contrary to Halakha? And please, don’t go off on a hyperbole and declare that respecting gay people would inevitably bring about mandatory gay sex education and what-not. Let’s stick to the issue at hand and deal with it on its own merits.

salemst says:

I believe the Orthodox have a stake in a civil society.  I believe homosexuality is a deviant behavioral self-indulgent choice.  In a free society such as ours I believe in peaceful co-existance, not mandated acceptance.
 
Thus who cares if homosexuals live together, what they do in their bedrooms is none of my concern.  They only make it my concern when they force me and society to accept their elevating their deviant behavioral lifestyle to normalcy and equivalence into full marriage rights.
 
Can’t see this as societally beneficial when it comes to child raising as two homosexuals can never have biological offspring together.  Some hetero couples can’t either, or choose not to.  However, clearly hetero couples biologically are capable even if individual couples decline or can’t do so

salemst says:

I believe the Orthodox have a stake in a civil society.  I believe homosexuality is a deviant behavioral self-indulgent choice.  In a free society such as ours I believe in peaceful co-existance, not mandated acceptance.
 
Thus who cares if homosexuals live together, what they do in their bedrooms is none of my concern.  They only make it my concern when they force me and society to accept their elevating their deviant behavioral lifestyle to normalcy and equivalence into full marriage rights.
 
Can’t see this as societally beneficial when it comes to child raising as two homosexuals can never have biological offspring together.  Some hetero couples can’t either, or choose not to.  However, clearly hetero couples biologically are capable even if individual couples decline or can’t do so
 
 

salemst says:

I don’t believe we should be legitimizing adultery and waywardness of sons, no.  Do you? 
 

salemst says:

 We share the same traditional Judeo-Christian values with Christians.  I don’t see it as inflicting religiosity as it is standing up for our traditional values, societally optimal. 
 

And one of the Patriarchs – Jacob – even broke God’s commandment not to marry sisters. Now, if he presumably knew Torah even before it was given on Sinai (in its written AND oral forms, mind you), he should have known he’s breaking a commandment.

Author makes a distinction without a difference. Who cares if his synagogue did not recognize his marriage when it had only been performed civilly? If he was a homosexual and belonged to a “temple” that had no standards (as defines most Reform temples) he eventually would have had  a ceremony there as well. Let the heretical “Jews” do as they wilt. Please do not drag us Orthodox into your “diversity” bacchanal. We want no part of it. Frankly, conservative-leaning Orthodox have for many years now realized we have better allies in Evangelical Christian groups than with Reform “leaders”, whether over issues like divestment of Israel, or moral issues of great importance to us (but obviously not to the author).

 Outstanding reply, RonL. But i wouldn’t waste my time trying to explain it to Deformed “Jews”.

 You were not “married” under “Jewish religious law”. Why pretend you were? So you can be even more FABULOUS? Get over yourself, and stop trying to push your drama in our faces.

“Ortho Jew”, my arse. We do not want children raised that way. Things happen,  but as religious Jews we must set a clear marker: With Mother and Father is the way a child should be raised.

“Ortho Jew”, my arse. We do not want children raised that way. Things happen,  but as religious Jews we must set a clear marker: With Mother and Father is the way a child should be raised.

The author really angers me when he tries to set a “contrast” between Orthodox Jews and Evangelical Christians. Well this Ortho feels like I have a LOT more in common with a Christian who is more observant of the Torah than most Reform “Jews” are – that is, if they have time for actual observance between fundraising drives for Planned Parenthood or Barack Obama, and inviting JStreet to their “temple” to spread lies about Israel that would make Hamas proud.

Are you completely ignorant of the religious basis of the Founders of this blessed nation? Are you also ignorant of how Jewish-centric they were as well? Did you know that the original Seal of the United States, as designed by Ben Franklin was to be of Moses parting the waters, with a pillar of fire in the background? The Founders revered the ancient Hebrews, and their love of religious values permeates every word of the Founding documents (Endowed by OUR CREATOR – not by Barack Obama).

He doesn’t care, because he doesn’t send his kids to one.

Lesbians were not mentioned, sure. Neither were the names of the wives of Noah, Nimrod, Lot, Potiphar, Abraham’s mother, etc. Do I have to draw a picture for you of the male-centric perspective of the Torah? Are you really so dense as not to get it?

The same Constitution written by Founders who believed that those rights were granted to us by THE CREATOR – NOT a state or sovereign.

Poorly educated, my ass. My Hassidic rabbi and his wife both have degrees from Ivy League schools, as does the wife of the murdered Toulouse rabbi, and as did the Rabbi murdered in Mumbai. Did you know that in New York state, the “poverty” line for a family of 6 is nearly $60,000? And Hassids are just getting started at 6. “Poverty” is not what it used to be, and your propaganda is false. Let Deformed “Jews” intermarry, turn gay, have abortions, as they are – the future is with the observant – as it was with our past.

You’re right…obeying HaShem’s commandments are SO depressing – let’s build a Golden Calf!!!

Any “Jews” who stand with Obama are not likely to be swayed by ANY “fundamental moral issue”.

Any group, community or nation that legalizes same sex marriage is cutting its own spiritual throat. There is no “gay” gene. Homosexuality is a result of traumatic conditioning in early , often repressed, and poor later life choices. People should remember that ancient Gomorrah, Athens and Rome were full of urbane, cultured and intellectual people.

The State of Israel must not go down this path.

wildjew says:

I do not expect my chances are good at swaying fellow Jews who support Obama.  In fact I know my chances are dim from personal experience.  Americans have (as many note) drunk the Obama Kool-Aid.  My purpose is to inform the non-Jewish public, Obama’s policies are in no way reflective of Jewish law and tradition.  Obama is anathema to what Jews “should” believe and hold dear.

Ron Boto says:

Mr. Levin may be all the things he claims, but he certainly has a convenient forgetfulness for what God’s Word says about homosexuality.  And if Mr. Levin thinks God just changed His mind along the way, then I’d suggest he re-evaluate his faith in God.

rocky2345 says:

 So, is a $50,000 a year factory worker expected to subsidize a near $60,000 a year Hasidic family of  6? What if the family has a more typical 8 children and two parents (10 people)?  Do they still get subsidies at $80,000 a year? Do you realize that the median household income in Monsey, NY in 2009 was under $36,000 (down from over $45,000 in 2000) and that median property taxes paid on all taxable housing units was almost $8,000? (Data from City-data.com).

The Hasidic economic model is simply unsustainable and sooner or later there will be a backlash from the non-religious people (Christians and Jews). Ground zero may be the East Ramapo School District in Rockland County, where a Hasidic controlled public school board wants to eliminate kindergarten to close the District’s budget deficit. Of course, the Hasidics send all of their children to religious schools and the cuts would impact mostly low income minorities.

Read Chaim Levin’s blog at Huffington Post.com and you will find that lots of Hasidic student receive very poor secular educations, certainly not geared to $60,000 + a year jobs. Chaim left school with the equivalent of a grade 3 secular education.

Michael Shapiro says:

Who cares what Jesus (assuming that such an individual ever existed) cares, particularly in a Jewish context.

Jojo Lolo says:

American Israelis have as much impact on the Israeli public in general as do American Jews in general, meaning none.
In reality, the fact that they are Americans is hurting what they are saying. If a haredi or religious Israeli was supporting same-sex marriages, people will think about it, but when it is an American, Israelis just think: “Well, another of these weirds guys”.

k56sf says:

Re. Joe F’s comments
 
If supporting the rights of the LGBTAI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Allied, Intersexual) communities to legally circumscribe and protect their ability to live a fulfilling, fearless, self-actualizing life is considered apostasy, a push of one’s Judaic faith down the slippery slope of devolvement back into worshipping idols (the golden calf), then I guess I must proudly declare myself an apostate. When did supporting the minority rights of a group of oppressed people through legal legislation become a “bad thing”, an act of apostasy? When did we as Jews become entrenched in our theological self-righteousness and become the ONLY interpreters of the Torah? What happened? Is this the depth of our interpretation, understanding of our erstwhile families heinous travails during the last 2000 years? Then I stand here and proudly declare myself an apostate Jew.

RonL says:

 ”Can you be more specific? What is it that Jewish institutions cannot accept? ”
Abomonations. You do understand the concept, right?
“. A tolerant society respects the religious desire to have a Kosher
hospital kitchen (in a private institution), but should not respect a
hypothetical religious sect’s desire to stone its wayward sons or
exercise female genital mutilation. ”
Are you comparing not acceptiong homosexuals to fgm?
Will you join the homosexual dominated movement to ban male circumcision?

” Is it against Judaism to treat homosexual people with respect? ”
Allowing those who openly practice abomonation into synagogues and to force religious institutions to accept them tolerance. It is intolerence towards the religious. Tolerance and inclusion are quite different.

“Really? I honestly didn’t know. Can you direct me to more information about this?’Try using a search engine. But here is an example from Sweden. A Pentacolstal minister was jailed for condemning homosexual behavior during a sermon.  http://www.catholicculture.org/news/features/index.cfm?recnum=30655


Anyway, if you’re concerned about the possibility of safe-sex
education in orthodox schools, then you can fight that if and when that
is proposed. I don’t see how that has much to do with the issue of
marriage equality. You seem to assume that Jewish life is an
all-or-nothing proposition. Either everything is done according to your
view of God’s words, or it’s all secular. Either Gay people are
discriminated against, or there’s no point in Jewish hospitals and
schools. Is that all Judaism is reduced to? Is there nothing worth
preserving beyond gay-hating?”
Actually I don’t. I’m not even Orthodox. But why should religious institutions be forced to water down their beliefs in the name of our new state church, Cultural Marxism?

Tolerance means that private institutions can turn away potential clients, whose behavior is antithetical to their beliefs.

herbcaen says:

Gays have declared war on Judaism, by leading movements to outlaw circumcision in California, and ally themselves with anti-shechitah movements. The goal of gay activists is to use government to change religion. While government could probably not force Orthodox rabbis to perform marriages between  Jews and non-Jews because it would be unconstitutional, two gay Jewish men will likely cry discrimination if they desire an Orthodox Jewish wedding but cannot find a rabbi to do so. Thus, being Orthodox and supporting gay marriage is akin to drilling a hole in your seat on a boat, and claiming that it only affects your seat

Umish Katani says:

Yentas, that what the rabbis are…. they have nothing better to do yet they hide their pedophiles in brooklyn and steal gelt all over the place. Have no qualms taking money from bernie and is ilk, please the frumies and their rabbies are hypocrites… no wonder i refuse to practice or be involved with any organized bait hakenneset ..ie shule.. …. more of the same power politics… and money traps

I agree with you completely. And I am Jewish.

bourchn says:

Dear Mr. Hillel Y. Levi,

What are our goals for America?

According to ‘The Torah’ all the nations of the world must abide by ‘The 7 Noahide Laws.’
Sodomy, according to G-d Alm-ty is forbidden.
These laws insure a G-dly, happy, productive, and prosperous society.
Is the above what we all want, or do we want an immoral, materialistic society, with
its continued high divorce and crime rate?

….”The U.S. Congress officially recognized ‘The Noahide Laws’ in legislation which was passed by both houses. Congress and the President of the United States, George Bush, indicated in Public Law 102-14, 102nd Congress, that the United States of America was founded upon the Seven Universal Laws of Noah, and that these Laws have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization. They also acknowledged that the Seven Laws of Noah are the foundation upon which civilization stands and that recent weakening of these principles threaten the fabric of civilized society, and that justified preoccupation in educating the Citizens of the United States of America and future generations is needed. For this purpose, this Public Law designated March 26, 1991 as Education Day, U.S.A.”…
Google (Yahoo, etc.) ‘The Seven Universal Laws’ Results 1 – 10 of about 23,400,000 for the seven universal laws. (0.31 seconds (Also ‘The 7 Noahide Laws’)
bhoffinger@aol.com

bourchn says:

“… between civil marriage and kiddushin is as simple as separation of church and state.”
What does this mean?
Please read: ‘Scientific Thought in Messianic Times,’ to deepen your understand of ‘the first religion’ Judaism/Monotheism.
Also read Rabbi Y. Ginsburg’s books (He’s written about 90) to better understand yourself and the world we live in.
Without delving into ‘The Torah’ you will remain in darkness. Before you criticize, be a ‘real scientist’ and investigate with patience, and prudence.
If you believe man evolved from monkeys, were did roses come, from, and thousands of other flora and fauna?
An accident in ‘the kitchen?’

bourchn says:

Dear Micky Latowicki,

There is much ignorance about ‘The Torah’ (The word ‘Torah’ comes from the ‘Loshon HaKodesh’/Hebrew word meaning ‘instruction.’)

G-d created the world with love and kindness, were He not kind, He would not create this world. G-d is a giver.

Nowhere in ‘The Torah’ does it permit killing without a warning. Being ‘gay’ is not what is forbidden, but the act of sodomy is. Sodom & Gemarra were not destroyed because of rampant homosexuality but because of robbery and cruelty. All students of ‘Torah’ know this.

Many more people are striving to become heterosexual than the opposite. How many organizations are there to assist people to become ‘gay?’

Read: ‘Scientific Thought In Messianic Times’ by Professor Sillman. A must read — amazing, deep and fascinating.

Also read Rabbi Y. Ginsburg’s books. http://www.inner.org/
‘The 7 Noahide Laws,’ the oldest civilized laws known to mankind are a must for America — Check it out!
(I don’t work for any of the above authors or institutions.)

bourchn says:

I resent ‘gay couples’ from having the same rights as myself because they are not ‘true initiates’ of marriage.
Marriage is a bond between a man & woman with the wonderful goal of having children. This is what G-d intended in ‘The Torah.’
Why should a Boy Scout demand to be an Eagle Scout (Or some such.) without knowing how to tie sophisticated knots, survive in the wilderness, etc?
Don’t study any other religion without first going to the source of these religions. Study ‘The Torah’ in Hebrew/’Loshon HaKodesh’ in order to truly understand. If not you are not being good ‘scientists.’
I assume you believe in modern science?
What is a ‘scientific mind?’
‘Searching, analyzing, comparing, thorough investigation, sampling widely, …etc.
So don’t ‘dis’ science by denying yourself a ‘scientific mind.’

bourchn says:

Dear Steven48,
Check out ‘The 7 Noahide Laws.’
Here is the answer to every problem.

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