One of the most difficult issues confronting the Orthodox world today is the question of how to welcome people who identify as LGBTQ+, while simultaneously affirming the Biblical injunction that forbids sex between two men, and the Rabbinic prohibition that forbids sex between two women. This initial question opens up a host of additional challenges, including: how do we explain a mitzvah that appears to many people to be immoral? Can we be welcoming to gay couples without undermining the Torah value that encourages the building of a family with both a mother and a father? Does Torah thought and law accept the idea of defining people based on their sexual preference? Can a gay couple adopt according to Jewish law? Should Jewish law make room for some form of gay marriage? Does it make sense for religious Jews to support pride parades? If we are going to be welcoming, does this include allowing men who identify as gay to lead the synagogue services? How can we understand a mitzvah in the Torah that seemingly commands that people permanently repress their basic sexual drives?
On this episode of the Orthodox Conundrum, Scott discussed these and other questions with Rav Yoni Rosensweig. Rav Yoni has a voice that carries tremendous religious weight, as he demonstrates deep, unapologetic, and uncompromising commitment to Torah and Jewish law, while concurrently displaying real compassion and understanding of the challenges that many people face.
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Check out this conversation on the Orthodox Conundrum YouTube channel.
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