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Retrieved 26 July Retrieved 4 June On the other hand, Reconstructionist Judaism and Reform Judaism do not hold this view, and allow homosexual intercourse and same-sex marriage.
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Conservative Judaism 's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards , which until December held the same position as Orthodoxy, recently issued multiple opinions under its philosophy of pluralism , with one opinion continuing to follow the Orthodox position and another opinion substantially liberalizing its view of homosexual sex and relationships, while continuing to regard certain sexual acts as prohibited. The traditional viewpoint is that the Torah mentions homosexuality twice in the book of Leviticus JPS:.
They shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
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None of the daughters of Israel shall be a kedeshah , nor shall any of the sons of Israel be a Kadesh. This has been interpreted as prohibiting the "sons of Israel" from serving as a homosexual temple prostitute. The story of Ruth and Naomi in the Book of Ruth is also occasionally interpreted as the story of a lesbian couple,   while the biblical description of the relationship between David and Jonathan in the Book of Kings is sometimes interpreted as male homosexual love. Like many similar commandments, the stated punishment for willful violation was the death penalty , though minors under 13 years of age were exempt from this, as from any other penalty Sanh.
However, even in Biblical times, it was very difficult to get a conviction that would lead to this prescribed punishment. The Jewish Oral Law states that capital punishment would be applicable only if two men were caught in the act of anal sex, if there were two witnesses to the act, if the men involved were warned that they committed a capital offense, and the two men — or the willing party, in case of rape — subsequently acknowledged the warning, but continued to engage in the prohibited act anyway.
In fact, there is no account of capital punishment, in regards to this law, in Jewish history. Rabbinic tradition understands the Torah's system of capital punishment to not be in effect for the past approximately 2, years, in the absence of a Sanhedrin and Temple. Classical rabbinic Jewish sources do not specifically mention that homosexual attraction is inherently sinful.
However, someone who has had homosexual intercourse is considered to have violated a prohibition. Why lesbianism is not explicitly prohibited in the Bible has become a matter of interpretation.
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Suggestions range from the idea that in ancient times, only acts in which men emitted semen were defined as sexual, to the assumption that in biblical times, sexual attraction between women did not exist, to the belief that religious rules that apply to men automatically apply to women. Sexual liaisons between women are, however, viewed as forbidden by Orthodox rabbis. This view is based on a Drash interpretation of the Biblical verse, "Do not follow the ways of Egypt, where you once lived, nor of Canaan, where I will be bringing you.
Do not follow any of their customs. The Talmud prohibits any activity which it defines as mesolelot or tribadism women rubbing genitals together. The main concern in the Talmud was whether women who carried out acts were eligible to marry a member of the priesthood. It was doubtful whether this activity removed their status as a virgin, or made them a harlot.
Maimonides suggests that this behavior should not disqualify a woman from marrying a priest. Talmudic law limits the penalty for lesbianism to flagellation, rather than the death penalty. The Babylonian Talmud is one of the few ancient religious texts that makes reference to same-sex marriage:. Bnei Noach, the progeny of Noah] accepted upon themselves thirty mitzvot [divinely ordered laws], but they only abide by three of them: The first one is that they do not write marriage documents for male couples, the second one is that they don't sell dead [human] meat by the pound in stores, and the third one is that they respect the Torah.
The Pesikta Zutrasa interprets the reason for the prohibition in Leviticus against male homosexuality in terms of homosexuality being non-procreative. Nachmanides and the author of the Sefer Hachinuch similarly follow this interpretation. The Tosafot , the Rosh and the Ran understand the reason for the prohibition as that as a result of male homosexuality, a man abandons his wife to pursue a homosexual relation. While a variety of views regarding homosexuality as an inclination or status exist within the Orthodox Jewish community, Orthodox Judaism generally prohibits homosexual conduct.
While there is some disagreement about which male homosexual acts come under core prohibitions, the majority of Orthodox Judaism puts male-male anal sex in the category of yehareg ve'al ya'avor , "die rather than transgress", the small category of Biblically-prohibited acts also including murder, idolatry, adultery, and incest which an Orthodox Jew is obligated under the laws of Self-sacrifice under Jewish Law to die rather than do. In a speech given in , the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson , discussed "individuals who express an inclination towards a particular form of physical relationship in which the libidinal gratification is sought with members of one's own gender".
He wrote that "society and government must be to offer a helping hand to those who are afflicted with this problem". Immanuel Jakobovits , in his entry Homosexuality in the Encyclopedia Judaica Keter Publishing , describes the traditional opinion on homosexuality in this way:. Jewish law holds that no hedonistic ethic, even if called "love", can justify the morality of homosexuality any more than it can legitimize adultery or incest , however genuinely such acts may be performed out of love and by mutual consent. Rabbi Norman Lamm the Chancellor, Rosh Yeshiva ["head of the yeshiva "], and former president of Yeshiva University , a major Modern Orthodox Jewish institution advocated  that some although not all homosexuals should be viewed as diseased and in need of compassion and treatment, rather than willful rebels who should be ostracized.
He distinguishes between six varieties of homosexuals, including "genuine homosexuals" who have "strong preferential erotic feelings for members of the same sex", "transitory" and "situational" homosexuals who would prefer heterosexual intercourse but are denied it or seek gain in homosexuality, and heterosexuals who are merely curious. When Steven Greenberg , who received Orthodox rabbinic ordination, publicly announced in that he was homosexual, there was a significant response from rabbis of all denominations reported in the Jewish newspapers. Rabbi Moshe Tendler , a leading rabbi at Yeshiva University , stated, "It is very sad that an individual who attended our yeshiva sunk to the depths of what we consider a depraved society.
Orthodox Israeli rabbi Ron Yosef became in the first Israeli orthodox Rabbi to come out, by appearing in Uvda "Fact" , Israel 's leading investigative television program, in an episode regarding conversion therapies in Israel. He stated that the younger generation strengthened and supported him, while the older generation had a more difficult experience. Yosef received death threats in the year leading up to the Tel Aviv gay centre shooting. In , he stated he is in a relationship with a man. The goal is not to seek permission.
But you need to give us a shoulder and support. In an open letter distributed to Orthodox community leaders,  the Hod organization appealed to the Orthodox community to recognize them as part of the religious society. This was sent to over rabbis in , and eventually was known as the "Document of Principles". In part, the document states:. Up to , Orthodox rabbis from Israel and abroad have signed this statement, among them: These four are all roshei yeshiva i. In part, the statement reads:.
Signatories include more than a hundred rabbis and laypeople. The statement affirms that homosexual sexual activity is prohibited, saying inter alia that "Halakhah sees heterosexual marriage as the ideal model and sole legitimate outlet for human sexual expression"; "Halakhic Judaism views all male and female same-sex sexual interactions as prohibited"; and "halakhic values proscribe individuals and communities from encouraging practices that grant religious legitimacy to gay marriage and couplehood". The statement emphasizes the community obligation to treat its gay friends, family, and community members with compassion and respect.
An edict signed by dozens of Israeli Orthodox rabbis and published in by the Israeli Modern Orthodox rabbinic group Beit Hillel, a group which promotes inclusiveness in Orthodox Judaism, stated, in part, "According to the Torah and halacha, the [same-sex sexual] acts are forbidden, but not the proclivities, and therefore, people with same-sex tendencies, men and women, have no invalidation in halacha or tradition. They are obligated by the commandments of the Torah, they can fulfill a [ritual] obligation on behalf of the public, and carry out all of the community functions just like any member.
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On the contrary, those around them — family and community — should show special feeling for them, and apply to them the Torah commandment of 'Love thy neighbor as thyself' and to be diligent in avoiding the prohibition of insulting another. JONAH was a Jewish ex-gay organization that focuses on "prevention, intervention, and healing of the underlying issues causing same-sex attractions".
An Authentic Orthodox View. They are what homosexual Jews who care about Judaism need from us today. Modern Orthodox leader Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein is reported to have said that the intensity of Orthodox community's condemnation of homosexuality goes beyond what its status as a religious transgression warrants, and that he feels toward homosexual people "criticism, disapproval, but tempered with an element of sympathy".
In both the United States and in Israel several groups have sprung up in the last few years that seek to support those who identify as both Orthodox and homosexual; support Orthodox parents of LGBT children;  and promote understanding of homosexuality within Orthodox communities and among Orthodox rabbis. Orthodox rabbis Shmuley Boteach and Zev Farber have questioned the opposition of orthodox groups to government recognition of same-sex civil marriages, arguing that although Judaism does not condone homosexuality, governments should not enforce any particular religion's view of marriage, and that conferring civil benefits to committed homosexual couples should be viewed as promoting family values.
In November , dozens of LGBT activists protested in Jerusalem against comments reportedly made by the city's chief rabbi Rabbi Shlomo Amar, who reportedly told an Israeli newspaper that gay people were an "abomination", and homosexuality a "cult". These words were condemned by Rabbi Aaron Bassous as "false and misguided As a matter of both Jewish law and institutional policy, Conservative "Masorti" Judaism has wrestled with homosexuality issues since the s.