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This Orthodox Jewish rabbi just performed his first-ever ‘joyous’ same-sex wedding

Lily Wakefield February 21, 2020
Rabbi Avram Mlotek performs same-sex wedding

Nadiv Schorer and Ariel Meiri were married by Rabbi Avram Mlotek. (Avram Mlotek/ Facebook)

An Orthodox Jewish rabbi just performed his first-ever same-sex wedding, and he described the occasion as “joyous” and “full of love”.

Rabbi Avram Mlotek was ordained at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, New York, which is a modern and progressive Orthodox yeshiva, an educational institution which trains rabbis.

In 2019, Mlotek wrote an opinion piece explaining why he wanted LGBT+ weddings to be embraced by Orthodox communities, in which he said: “I hope that in doing so as a community, queer Jews will see themselves as valued in the community and see that their rabbis are ready to celebrate their life choices of sacred covenantal marriage.

“It is not only about upholding the dignity of the human being, but upholding the dignity of the Torah itself, which emphasizes the need for loving partnership.”

On Sunday February 16, the rabbi finally performed his first same-sex wedding for Nadiv Schorer and Ariel Meiri.

The rabbi wrote on Facebook after the wedding: “I had the privilege of officiating a wedding on Sunday. In many ways, it was like any other simcha I’ve officiated: joyous, Jewish, spiritual, full of love.

“What made it different was that they were two men who joined in sacred, covenantal relationship… As I shared to the chatanim, the grooms, it is their passion, charge and desire for action which made this holy day possible.

“While some may not yet or ever fully comprehend, it is their actions, deeds and maasim tovim, their mitzvot, which will speak for themselves with inherent worth and value. Mazl tov!”

Homosexuality is forbidden in most of Orthodox Judaism, but last year the first gay Orthodox rabbi was ordained in Jerusalem.

Daniel Atwood, 27, also studied at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, but the school refused to ordain him. He later travelled to the Israeli capital, where he was welcomed into the rabbinate by Daniel Landes.

Landes said at the time that the community “desperately needs gay Orthodox rabbis” and to ignore that fact could prove to be a “dangerous” mistake.

He wrote in an opinion piece for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “Biblical commandment does not give us license to ignore or abuse the significant number of carefully observant Jews who are LGBTQ.”

More: Jewish, Orthodox Judaism, rabbi, Same-sex wedding, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

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