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Reflections on Yom Kippur

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  1. If you, and other gay Jews, continue to attend this Synagogue and support it with your time, talents and money, then what incentive is there for it to change?Do you really think your walking out of the service during a particularly offensive liturgy is going to be an effective way to bring about change? I don’t.Try taking your attendance, and your associated support to a Synagogue that better reflects your spiritual and personal understanding of Judaism. THAT and that alone will be an impetus for change within the Orthodox movement. When their Synogogues are empty and their financial contributions dry up, believe me, they will miraculously see the light on issues concerning Jewish gays.As long as you fill a seat at this anti-gay Synagogue, you are passively endorsing their doctrine.As a Christian, I have faced a similar conundrum with the fundamentalist faith of my upbringing. I finally found a church more in line with my understanding of the Christian faith.It’s time that gay people put their asses and their dollars (pounds) where THEIR faith is rather than where their parent’s faith is, or where their faith tradition is.

  2. ‘Whilst most right minded people will believe that a man should not sleep with his mother or that a woman should not have sex with an animal’ What right have you to say that sex between a man and his mtoher or an animal is wrong? People do it, so you have no right to judge them! Did you not see the Channel 4 programme on Zoophilia (I belive it is called), or know about the movement to stop forbidding sex between siblings? these bans are all based on religous or personal dogmas. Live and let Live!

  3. Paul Murphy 3 Oct 2006, 9:28pm

    As a gay man who was raised as a Catholic, I feel I’m better able to describe my own situation than comment on Orthodox Judiasm. In my adult life, I am often disgusted with the teachings and theology of the church. The new Pope is especially dissapointing, and I currently don’t attend mass and generally consider myself more of an agnostic. So I guess you could say I’ve left the church. But…I’m conflicted. Despite my major disagreements with the Catholic Church, it’s not a completely bad institution either. We are being too naive and simplistic if we think that the Church merely serves as a homophobic, male dominated, war-mongering bully. (And believe me, it IS all of those things unfortunately.) However, there are elements of the Catholic faith, and the church institution itself that have good in them. They have existed alongside the bad. They include taking care of the poor, philantrophy of the arts (more so in the past than now), providing solice to souls in times of grief. The church isn’t the same thing as the American Ku Klux Klan – is it? Therefore I believe that now more than ever, the church desperately NEEDS those people who are strong enough to see past the myopic policies of today which are morally corrupt. It needs people of talent, dedication, and commitment to help it grow in new inclusive directions. Only by having gay people present in the church body will it ever grow towards inclusion. An exclusion, or mass exodus of gays merely makes it easier to continue the discriminatory theology of today. I feel that this analogy works nearly the same in Orthodox Judaism. It is the joint responsibility of all Orthodox Jews, including gay jews, to help move forward.

  4. peterrivendell 4 Oct 2006, 12:30am

    Religions are controlling and corrupt organisations with the sole purpose of preserving the power of the few and controlling the many with the evil lies of the god myths.I call upon all gay people to reject all religions for two reasons – because they have rejected us throughout most of history, and because they are untrue. There are no gods, there is no afterlife. Get on with it. Get over it. Be happy.

  5. Dear Benjamin, As much as I’d truly like to agree with you and your position vis-a-vis tranitioning the established ways of Orthodox Jewry, I cannot. In fact, I was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home with an abiding reciprocated love for both my father and my grandfather, both of whom, I attending Yom Tov Services with and both of whom, if they had known I was bisexual, would have said kuddish for me. I think that Zeke has said, at least as well as I can, that you’d be best off by joining a congregation where you’d be accepted, ney embraced. It is a sad but virtually indisputable fact that by putting your money as well as your time and effort in tandem with the expertise and efforts of many of the already established GLBT groups, you will be in position to better argue altering the anachronistic Orthodox point of view. Though one man can and has moved mountains, I’m afraid that by virtue of you alone, sitting at your father’s side and ruminating regarding change – on the High Holy Days – you’re satisfying a deep-seated inner emotional need that you have. Your thinking otherwise is, at best a comgination of rationalization nicely combined with self-deception. Shona Tova et Sholom

  6. Fred Conwell 8 Oct 2006, 8:48pm

    If you feel condemned by Scripture (Leviticus 18:6-20), then you are a married straight man looking for some adulterous sex, even “prison sex” action (verse 22). And the whole Sodom and Gomorrah story is totally male rape by straight of straights. Otherwise, why would Lot offer his daughters for sex? Frankly, this queen doesn’t have a burning need for that action. That S G story is preopsterous on all levels.

  7. Michael Mitchell 31 Dec 2007, 6:42pm

    I too am a gay man who walks out on Yom Kippur afternoon during the Torah reading discussed. The Lubavitch creed says that Judaism is not all or nothing. I am a gay man, and also enjoy the spirituality of an Orthodox Shul. I will not reject my religion for a ‘more digestible’ variation of it and find the reform and liberal approach just pandering to those who want a one size fits all type. Kol Hakavod Benjamin. You’re not alone.

  8. Robert, ex-pat Brit 31 Dec 2007, 7:32pm

    Fred Conwell, I totally concur with you. In fact, the entire bible, both old and new testaments have often very conflicting and contadictory statements. Lets not forget, it is a book comprised of heresay, written by men and I doubt any divine inspiration is in any of it. I always refer to http://www.fallwell.com when I need to challenge right wing christian bigots and hypocrites and remind them of their shortcomings that are also referenced in both testaments but which they conveniently omit from their belief system for obvious reasons, but cling to Leviticus to promote hatred, intolerance and homophobia. The majority of these people are indeed sick and many of them, loose cannons. They are losing the cultural war and they know it, desperate times call for desperate measures and they’ll say or do anything to hang on to their power. We are already witnessing the decay, decline and irrelevance of catholicism and anglicanism the longer they open their mouths and utter asinine statements about sexuality of which they know nothing. They have and never will have any moral authority to speak for me or any other LGBT person let alone pass judgment on me and my fellow brothers and sisters. Long may they rot on the vine.

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