Thursday, March 30, 2017

Combat Sinful Desires - Don't Celebrate Them

In the official YU newspaper a student writes about "coming out of the closet". 

He writes:

"Unfortunately, I never came out in Israel, but I replaced my vow to never be with a man [OH NO!!] with a new one. I refused to accept that being gay was wrong, regardless of what my religious leaders dictated. My new vow was: “My parents will be the first people I’ll tell, and, after them, I will tell everyone else. One day, I will be fully out of the closet.”

Why isn't it wrong to be gay? The Torah says that it is. Why should "religious leaders" change a 3,300 year tradition handed down by G-d Himself that we have consistently DIED FOR because you are attracted to other men? The Nazis made us trample on Sifrei Torah in order to debase us. Saying that the Torah is not a binding document is intellectually trampling the Torah. It is a disgrace to the memory of the millions who sacrificed everything to keep it.

I can hear a man saying: "I refuse to accept that one may not have an intimate relationship with someone else's wife. I am very strongly attracted to other people's wives." Should we abrogate the Torah because of his attractions?? How many men can say that they have never been attracted to anyone but their own wives? Nobody talks about it or admits it but I would venture that we would be hard pressed to find a minyan of such men [heterosexual of course] in the entire world. The reason is that the nature of man is to be attracted to women. The VERY SAME impulse that attracted him to his wife continues to work after marriage with other women as well. By nature - man is not a monogamous creature. Yet, the Torah remains eternal and immutable. It is forbidden regardless of our feelings. The same goes for all of the prohibitions in the Torah. The nature of man is to need to eat. Should we cancel Yom Kippur?? Man needs to sleep. Should we cancel zmanei tfilla for really tired people??

A few days after I told my parents, I texted my roommate letting him know the identity I was hiding. He excitedly asked me to FaceTime him that night so he could ask about my experience and commended me on my bravery. He was so proud and happy for me.

HAPPY FOR ME???? What is there to be happy about? That he will never father children?? That he will never have a normative family?? That he will live a tortured existence? Homosexuals have an extremely high rate of depression and suicide. One should feel HORRIBLE for such a person.

Since coming out of my hidden sexuality cocoon, I have joined two life-changing organizations: JQY (Jewish Queer Youth) and Eshel, both designed to help LGBTQ, Jewish members feel part of a community which they no longer feel welcomed in. Both are small, united communities, filled with love and an abundance of acceptance. Through these organizations, I’ve met a number of amazing people who have changed my life. These people empowered me to feel safe, comfortable, and confident as a Jewish gay man. I even hosted two events of my own for LGBTQ Jews and allies in my home on the YU campus. I never imagined a life like this would have evolved in an environment as religious and constrictive as Yeshiva University.

I too would never have imagined that in an Orthodox institution there are such organizations that are active. I am not blaming YU. It is a sign of the times. We live in a post modern era where just about EVERYTHING is OK if it makes me feel good. Instead of combating unholy instincts - we CELEBRATE them. Bivchinas - If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. 

When speaking to a class filled with men, our professors always talk about our future spouses with the pronoun “she.”

TERRIBLE!! I am going to send an email to President elect Berman, urging him to direct all professors to change that to "when you boys marry your future husbands or wives". YUCONNECTS will also have a LGBTQ section. How shameful that we expect men to marry women!!!

My JSS Hebrew teacher was the first professor I had at YU who addressed a class of male YU students with, “In your future, when you have a wife or a husband, I honestly don’t care….”


I will add that the comments to the article were similarly sickening. It was only my friend Rabbi Avraham Gordimer who wrote a response and registered a protest. I understand that there will always be people who have sexual problems and challenges - but do they deserve a public platform in the official newspaper of a University called "Yeshiva"?? 

As a YU Rebbe - I similarly protest. [OK - I am not, never was and never will be a Rebbe in YU (nor was I ever a student there. I was never a big Torah Umadda guy. Have of that equation. The Torah part). But people think I am because of the picture of me that comes up over 3,400 times on their website....:-)]