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‘Standard’ Rabbi Revealed

Explains opposition to same-sex marriage, announcements

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Rabbi Shmuel Goldin.(Rabbinical Council of America)

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, a north Jersey-based vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, was the one who informed the New Jersey Jewish Standard that it might be best, from the perspective of its Orthodox readership (and advertisers?), for the paper to cease publishing same-sex engagement announcements. He quite scrupulously details the Orthodox community’s internal contradictions. “We believe in respect for all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation and stand adamantly against any physical, mental or social violence committed against them,” he says. “At the same time we have a deep commitment to the integrity of Torah law, which clearly proscribes same-sex relationships.”

His explanation for apparently leaning on the Standard (he denies there were any explicit or implicit threats, but it is difficult to think that he didn’t realize that the prospect of diminished circulation and/or advertising wouldn’t occur to the Standard brass whom he telephoned), however, doesn’t add up as well. “Sometimes people feel that they have the right to make their choices and then to obligate others to celebrate their choices,” he explains of his decision to ask the Standard not to run the announcements. “We believe that we cannot celebrate these choices.” Um, then just don’t?

What Do We Do When We Disagree? [New Jersey Jewish Standard]
Orthodox Unsure How To React to Anti-Gay Violence, Discrimination [JTA via JustASC]
Earlier: ‘Standard’ Publisher Clarifies Same-Sex Stance

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Parenthetically, you seem to criticize Goldin because “it is difficult to think that he didn’t realize that the prospect of diminished circulation and/or advertising wouldn’t occur to the Standard brass whom he telephoned.”

Are you advocating that influential religious leaders stop calling up publications to express their displeasure at particular coverage, since this invariably implies the potential loss of circulation to a certain clientele? How about on Israel coverage? Or is the practice only impermissible when you disagree with the viewpoint being espoused?

Come on Marc, you can do better than this.

teaneck says:

Rabbi Goldin has a warm relationship with the Jewish Standard’s leadership and can easily express himself to them without any perceived threats. He’s fairly liberal and open-minded and isn’t the threatening type. It’s precisely because the Jewish Standard’s leadership knows and respects him that they listened to him.

dan bryant says:

it is not as if the standard was publishing advertisements for primarily gay dating services. these are engagement announcements. personally, i believe having premarital sex with multiple partners (straight or gay) is much worse than two persons of the same sex marrying; why is there no outrage over these issues? these people have an equal right as jews to announce their marriage as anyone else does.

“Personally, i believe having premarital sex with multiple partners (straight or gay) is much worse than two persons of the same sex marrying; why is there no outrage over these issues?”

I doubt the standard has a classified section for group sex or virgins. But I assure you if is did there would be outrage.

“these people have an equal right as jews to announce their marriage as anyone else does.”

Yes, and the Orthodox community also has the right to stop patronizing a news paper that does not represent their moral character. The Standard could have told the Rabbi that they were committed to their position on the issue and let the card fall were they may. The chose what is economically expedient and that’s about the size of it.

Aliza

If you don’t like the news, you don’t have to read it– or read it and write a dissenting letter to the editor– but no one has the right to dictate what others should or should not read, just as no one has the right to dictate who should be loved, and who should not.

Everyone has the right to express an opinion, of course, including Rabbi Goldin, but aren’t newspapers expected to report the news? The “Standard” should stand up for a free press.

Maybe the “The New Jersey Standard” should be renamed. Let’s call it “The Double Standard” from now on.

David Jacobowitz says:

Dr. Somerstein, this isn’t a matter of just “reporting the news”. The announcement is not “news”. It is a wedding announcement placed by two gays in a Jewish community newspaper, as part of a national program on the part of certain organizations to flood Jewish newspapers with such announcements. A number of newspapers have “caved” to this campaign. The Standard’s problem is that their publisher and editor lacked the foresight to think through the community’s reaction to their hasty action. They are now “reaping the whirlwind” resulting from throwing their verbal grenade into the community.

“but no one has the right to dictate what others should or should not read, just as no one has the right to dictate who should be loved, and who should not.”

Who is dictating anything? The Standard could go on and print whatever they would prefer they just have to deal w/ less advertising dollars and maybe lower readership.

A

Many people are uneducated in this respect. Lesbians and Gays did not choose their lifestyle. They were born that way. If they choose marriage, it doesn’t harm anyone else. Why not just accept the facts. It would be nice if their wedding vows were announced in any newspaper. They pay their taxes and live like anyone else. Why single them out?

It is not true that people who practice homosexuality were born that way. It is in fact impossible. In Genesis we are told that God created male and female, not male female and homosexual. There are only 2 sexes not multiples. It is also not possible for homosexuality to be genetic. If it were since they cannot reproduce naturally it would have canceled itself out long ago. The latest information from the American Psychological Association points out that there have been no credible studies that prove homosexuality to be either genetic, hereditary nor environmental. This only leaves homosexuality to be a choice. Like any sin.

Barbara Klestzick says:

“At the same time we have a deep commitment to the integrity of Torah law, which clearly proscribes same-sex relationships.”

Just a small note: The Torah prohibits men having sex with each other (lying together the way a man lies with a woman) Relationships are okay as long as there is no sex between men. It says nothing about women or relationships.

LP Weinberg says:

Why don’t we let the readers and advertisers decide? The rabbi has a right to his opinion and to leverage it. If the readers are offended they will stop reading and The Standard will disappear. On the other hand, it would not stop me from reading it, nor would I boycott businesses that advertised. In fact, I would be more inclined to boycott a business that withdrew advertising. Publish some cartoons of Mohammed and forget about this trivial issue.

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‘Standard’ Rabbi Revealed

Explains opposition to same-sex marriage, announcements

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