The Cost Of Standing Idly By
Tue, 10/12/2010

This past spring, my partner and I moved to Cincinnati. Soon after we arrived, an Orthodox synagogue in town prohibited our attendance. The rabbi of the shul called apologetically to inform us that the ruling had come from a rabbi whose authority exceeded his own. I decided to call this rabbi, who is the head of a prominent yeshiva and a respected halachic authority. I wanted to meet him personally to discuss the decision with him. He agreed to speak with me on the phone.

He said that he had heard that I advocated changing the Torah. I told him that this is not true, that in fact I am trying to find a way for people who are gay or lesbian to still be a part of Orthodox communities. I shared with him that people who are gay and lesbian who want to remain true to the Torah are in a great deal of pain. Many have just left the community. Some young gay people become so desperate they attempt suicide.

His reply: “Maybe it’s a mitzvah for them to do so.”

At first I was speechless. I asked for clarification, and yes, this is exactly what he meant. Since gay people are guilty of capital crimes, perhaps it might be a good idea for them to do the job themselves. For the rest of the conversation I was shaking, using every ounce of my strength to end the conversation without losing my composure.

His uncensored expression, one he might wish he hadn’t said, was surely beyond the pale in every in every way, even for the strictest of Orthodox rabbis. But in retrospect I am grateful to him for this transparent, if painful, honesty. Whether it is said so baldly or not, for many in the Orthodox community it would be better for us to disappear, one way or another. When teenagers come to understand how intense the communal desire for their erasure is, how brutal it can be, they can easily give in to despair as a number of them did just last month.

I have hesitated to share this story for many reasons. I am a committed religious Jew and am indeed embarrassed to share negative portrayals of my own community. My instinct is to follow Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook’s adage: avoid complaining about what other people do wrong and simply add goodness. But silence at this point is unacceptable. I can no longer stand passively by as the blood of my brothers and sisters is spilled.

To my colleagues, I say this: it is not possible to abstain from choosing. Either stand with the more than 170 Orthodox rabbis who have openly and proudly condemned homophobia and bigotry, while at the same time maintaining a traditionalist reading of the halacha regarding homosexuality, or stand with the Rosh Yeshiva who told me that teenage suicide is a mitzvah. Either we give a teen hope that a good life as a gay person is possible, in whatever religious community he or she lives, or we confirm his or her worst nightmares — and ours.

Now, it is fair to worry, as many Orthodox leaders do, that taking a stand against homophobia might be interpreted as approving of all homosexual behavior. It surely need not be, but more importantly, is the fear of misinterpretation worth risking the very lives of our kids?

Nor is it enough simply to decry bullying. Religious communities of all sorts need to make it possible for a 13-year-old to expect that life will be good. We have a duty to make it clear that if a teenager discovers herself to be gay, she can still dream of a happy future. Depriving young people of hope for the future is a deadly game.

There are at least three steps that my colleagues in the Orthodox rabbinate, and leaders of Orthodox organizations, can and should take at this time.

First, if they have not already done so, they should sign the Statement of Principles (http://statementofprinciplesnya.blogspot.com/ <http://statementofprinciplesnya.blogspot.com/> ). Even those who think the document is too conservative ought to consider signing as a powerful rejoinder to the suicides in recent days. As the Statement itself says, “embarrassing, harassing or demeaning someone with a homosexual orientation or same-sex attraction is a violation of Torah prohibitions that embody the deepest values of Judaism.” There is no better time to reaffirm this than now.

Second, I have been deeply disappointed to see so few Orthodox institutions represented on a recent letter, spearheaded by the LGBT advocacy group Keshet, condemning bullying and homophobia in the Jewish community. Signing this letter should be a no-brainer (http://www.keshetonline.org/). The letter says nothing about the contentious issues of same-sex marriage or homosexuality in Jewish law. It says that bullying is unacceptable. It is especially disappointing for Orthodox schools to quietly abstain from signing on.

Third, Orthodox institutions must immediately cut off any support or endorsement of so-called “reparative therapy,” which has been denounced by every professional medical and psychiatric association, and that has never worked for more than a sliver of “patients.” So long as we perpetuate the myth that homosexuality is a pathology to be cured, we encourage kids who find they cannot cure themselves to despair, and consider ending their lives.

According to a 2007 study, one in six LGBT teenagers considers suicide, and one in 20 actually attempts it. This is not a marginal problem affecting just a few depressed kids; it is an epidemic, spread by hatred and its most valuable ally, silence.

Whatever our opinions are regarding two verses in Leviticus, there is another that cannot be forgotten: Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.

Rabbi Steven Greenberg is a Senior Teaching Fellow at CLAL, author of Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition, and Director of Orthodox Programing at Nehirim.

 

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His uncensored expression, one he might wish he hadn’t said

Steve, I'm sure he doesn't regret saying it.

Now, it is fair to worry, as many Orthodox leaders do, that taking a stand against homophobia might be interpreted as approving of all homosexual behavior. It surely need not be, but more importantly, is the fear of misinterpretation worth risking the very lives of our kids?

I'm quite certain they would say it is. I think even many of your Modern Orthodox rabbinic colleagues feel that way; they'd just be savvy enough not to tell you.

Whatever our opinions are regarding two verses in Leviticus, there is another that cannot be forgotten: Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.

I agree with you completely, but if the Jewish community as a whole still abided by this (if it ever really did), our Federations and their affiliated organizations would be much more effective at helping those in need, instead of merely providing cushy livings and retirement packages for their corporate officers.

I am shocked that everyone takes Rabbi Greenberg's words at face value. He is a propagandist who advocates people explore being homosexual before giving up on the possibility. See his interviews in Trembling Before God, and in Trembling Before God II (or the documentary about the impact the film had on the world). There are bad apples everywhere. I find it very disturbing that a real minority of the population (single digit percentage) has such a voice - and that people kowtow to it and accept homosexuality as normal. I feel for the human beings and certainly do not advocate any suicides. And what you do in private is your business, and please please please leave me out of it. If heterosexuals screamed from every mountaintop that they were heterosexuals we would all tell them to shut up and keep it to themselves. No one cares and it's your private life and your own business. I think it's time to tell the gays the same thing. Shut up. Keep it to yourself. If you wouldn't make such a big deal about it, nobody else would. [I have two gay neighbors who live three houses away from me. They seem like nice guys - they're always walking their dogs together. We don't talk to each other about sexuality, because honestly, it doesn't matter.]
Thank, Rabbi Greenberg, for bringing this issue to light. I am a bisexual Jew raised Reform but currently practicing more Traditional Egalitarian, and I very much appreciate your- well, existence. It is good to know that there are not only fellow queer Jews in the world, but there are those who are out, observant, and powerful leaders for acceptance. I'm still unsure as to whether I will eventually become Orthodox, but I do know that I will always be bisexual. I don't know whether I will marry a man or a woman, but I know that I can't change how G-d made me. Thank you for being a voice of reason and compassion in the face of such vitriol. I am still shocked and horrified that a rabbi (who is meant to be a community leader) could espouse such hatred.
I have not followed this issue much, but I have to say two things: (1) There is NO therapy for same sex attraction that has been shown to be efficacious by the standards that apply across the board to every other issue in medical or psychological research. None. Anyone who claims otherwise is promoting junk science. (2) Anyone who promotes suicide for any reason should be run out of the Orthodox Jewish community. Is this so-called rabbi's last name Kevorkian?
As a gay orthodox boy of 18 years old, I am appalled that a rabbi can say that. I am so very hurt but I thank you so much for writing the article. You are a very brave individual. Wish I could be brave but, sadly, I'm not. And it's all because of society and the way it looks at homosexuality, especially the Jewish orthodox community. Just thinking that a rabbi could say that makes me sad. :(
To Abe: First and foremost my name is Steven, not "Steve". It's as if you're trying to say that I'm actually Steve Greenberg, lying about who I am by using Steven. My only question to you is: who are you trying to protect? Steve Greenberg went out of his way to not mention the rabbi's name, for which he has received many complaints that he should have revealed the name. Had to tell the story in order to protect young men and women who see their only option to escape communal scorn as suicide. Lisa is telling tales to try to knock someone down purposefully. Her purpose is not to protect anyone, but rather to harm someone. That is Lashon Ha'ra. And Lisa: What is your imagined hurt that you must take out your inner demons on Greenberg? You of all people. A torah observant lesbian, by your own accounting. Carry on your argument with him, but don't try to destroy him and the good work he as done.
Unless the name of the Rosh Yeshiva is provided, the conversation does not have enough Tachlis. Unless the people who are advocating such means of ridding the world of evil are taken to task, it will not change. I am not clear why Steve didn't say the name of The Rabbi in the first place.
"His uncensored expression, one he might wish he hadn’t said, was surely beyond the pale in every in every way, even for the strictest of Orthodox rabbis" Except that it's not so. It is plainly not beyond the pale. Just like R. Shapira's Torat Hamelech anti-Muslim hate manifesto is not beyond the pale. In my opinion R. Greenberg is wrong to protect this "Rabbi"'s anonymity. He should be publically named as surely as if he were a child molester. "Chachamim hezhiru b'divrechem." "Leaders, take care with your words lest you lead people to a place of poisoned waters." The mishna understands that the words of the chachamim can be poisonous. Surely hiding a poisoner is akin to leaving a dangerous hole in the ground unsecured. The "Rabbi" in question is a danger to the community and should not be aided and abetted through a protection of his anonymity. The rest of the community has a right to know where the poison is. People will continue to unknowingly go to this scoundrel for p'sak and guidance. They have a right to know.
Righteous prophetic ire is just as much a part of Jewish tradition as the Torah. Perhaps you ought to have followed the example of an Amos and not held your tongue against a leader whose slavish obedience leads him to forget compassion, justice, and righteous leadership. The prophets well understood that such behavior on the part of leaders polluted the entire society and could well lead to its downfall.
Homosexuality is a disease which needs to be researched and cured. While shuls and anyone else have the right to ban gay couples from membership, advocating suicide is unacceptable. However, knowing Greenberg and his distortions, I believe there is an exaggeration here.
Thank you, Rabbi Greenberg, for your disturbing account and your powerfully worded call to action. Shame on those rabbis and other religious leaders out there who stand idly by while their neighbors blood is shed and their parents and communities suffer.
Rabbi Steven Greenberg, It is very important for bringing these things. After I read what you wrote, I was shocked, from the rabbi's response. This is not a "Jewish" response! Clear to me that it is not a matter of "halacha" issue but a social issue. one episode after "VAYIKRA 19" , talks about Sabbath observance and who does not keep Saturday - condemned to death by stoning. Does this rabbi would throw stones at Jews traveling on the Sabbath? I hope his response is a response exceeded his community get it out Thank you for all you do for GLBT Community. zehorit israel
It is common in Israel for Haredim to throw stones at cars on shabbat.
Rabbi Gil Student analyzes Steve's claim that he isn't out to change the Torah: http://torahmusings.com/2010/10/creative-non-halakhic-readings.html
Yosef, i'm still having a hard time understanding the logic behind your twin study comment... it doesn't really matter though b/c those of us who are gay and identify on whatever level as a religious Jew and have the full support of our friends and communities don't really care about what you think, b/c we are happy and content and are going to fall in love with whoever we want on our terms and reconcile it ourselves with OUR relationship with God and Judaism. So say whatever you want, b/c it won't change our desire or need to live our lives being true to ourselves!
to yoseif, i dont need so called studies to tell me why im gay, i have been attracted to men, since im 11,(yes as soon as i started to hit puberty, i felt attracted to men), i have never been molested,traumatized etc, i have always displayed more "feminine" interests, since i was a small child, i dont need studies to tell me WHY i am gay, and your wrong, attraction IS an emotion, so yes lets bring emotions into the discussion as proof.
I guess the question comes down to whether these Orthodox Rabbis want to denounce homophobia before or after a teen in their community attempts or commits suicide.
The twin studies provide compelling evidence that homosexuality is at the very least significantly influenced by genetics. To reject all biological evidence by discovering one pair of twins, one gay and one straight is absurd. There are other studies which are supported compelling evidence such as the birth order study as well as brain studies. The 'therapy' used to 'cure' gays i believe in the 1950's and 1960's was far more aggressive than the 'therapy' used by organizations such as narth and jonah. For example, they used electroshock therapy and hormone therapy. All of this information is available online. Also, ask yourself this question: If being gay can be turned off like a switch, why would are gay youth contemplating, attempting, or committing suicide?!?!?
To "steve" How is it that what Steve says in the article read by hundreds of thousands (at least) is not lashon Hora and what Lisa writes about Steve in her comment is Lashon Hora? Only Steve has the right to say what he wants about whomever he wants and Lisa can't talk back? We all have to sit here and be lectured by him when Lisa may have some information that may change the equation a bit?
To 'Bill', 'Avram' and 'Anonymous', What I find telling is that there is nothing of substance in your relies - only emotion. I have cited real studies and you have cited nothing. There exist studies on reparitive therapy - therapy to help people overcome this tendency) that has an extremely high success rate AND studies of identical twins. All indicate that the desire for men is a trait built over time and NOT inborn. Please, talk substance - not emotion!
The time has come to stop making excuses for homophobes who advocate that teenagers commit suicide, and the time has come to begin consider declaring a herem upon them. However great their Torah learning, they are murderers and collaborators with murders. May the Holy One keep them away from any position where their words are listened to. The Torah weeps in ourning for the souls of those dead kids.
God is love? I ask this because all I see from those who present themselves as 'men of god' is vile, ugly hatred.
Rahel, All I am talking about is the fact of whether or not one can change to be homosexual or not to be. Sure we should be compassionate - why not - but the point I am making is that notwithstanding what the Gay lobby puts out - it is something that is changable and is NOT inborn. Notwithstanding what Nicole or others claim note that I have provided serious documented studies to back me up. I can forwrd you the full study to this abstract I gave the link to above. Here it is: http://mensstudies.metapress.com/content/12u7381583313360/ If anybody would like I can get them the full study. Did you know that there have also been numerous studies on identical twins where one is a homosexual and one is not? What does that tell you? It tells you that its absolutely not inborn.
There are studies with identical twins, where one is autistic and the other is not. Does that mean being autistic is a choice? There are studies with identical twins, where one is schizophrenic and the other is not. Does that make being schizophrenic a choice? In fact, the gay studies show c. 50% of the time if one monozygotic twin is gay, the other will also be, but only 20% of the time with fraternal twins. For any condition, that's strong proof that it is deeply genetic.
Yosef, The identical twin analogy is the point that proves the fact of genetics in sexuality. The concordance rate of homosexuality is more than 50% for monozygotic (identical) twins. This compares to less than 5% concordance form dizygotic (fraternal) twins or regular siblings. There are many genetic traits which have "incomplete penetrance" so that not everybody has the trait even though they have the gene (eg Diabetes). This high concordance is PROOF that there is a genetic component to sexuality. As for reparative therpy... do you really think a straight person could be "corrected" into being gay? Why then should it work the other way? Your logic escapes me.
Rabbi Yehuda Levin is our very own Fred Phelps.
Saw your writing via Noah. Just wanted to say our family's prayers are with you. Steve
I agree that homosexuality is not a "choice." However, even if it was, I don't see how that would make the suggestion of suicide any more morally acceptable. In addition, acting on one's sexual preference is a choice, and that should be a choice individuals should make, without the tiniest suggestion that suicide is an option is such an instance! Better to leave aside the whole "is sexual preference innate?" question - it is difficult to prove, because there is likely gradient of preferences, and we should be disgusted with the comment of this "religious" authority regardless of what psychology proves at any given time.
I applaud your fairness in not choosing to censor the stupidity of those who keep trying to foster the lie that homosexuality is somehow a "choice' that can be "unlearned." Then again, it does the cause of righteousness no ill to see how ignorant the other side actually is. Judaism teaches that we all have a purpose. I have come to the idea that homosexuals were put on this earth to teach us to be tolerant of each other. So far, too few of us have been listening. This "rabbi" proves it - & i don't even have to go into this rush to judgment of a capital crime without specific proof. All i will say is that this is not actually *mainstream" Orthodoxy.
I want the name of the "Gadol" who said for gay teens to commit suicide is a "mitzva." Why are we defending these dangerous and moronic "Gadolim"? This same rabbi will be giving advise to thousands of families some of whom will be struggling with accepting gay children. Will he teach the "gay suicide mitzva"? We have enough of "Rabbi" Yehuda Levin(s) in Orthodox Judaism.
I'm sorry Nicole and Rachel (and unfortunately probably 99.5% of ppl that read this article and most of the population in general), but unfortunately, through no fault of your own, you and most people growing up in our times have been led to believe as fact that homosexuality is ingrained, genetic. The research that "proves" this is so shoddy its almost laughable, if it weren't so sad. When it comes to topics like this, it becomes clear how so many so called "emiprically validated" studies and organizations are not research based but agenda based. When the APA can come up with a policy calling reparative therapy unethical, even when requested from the patient, shows more than anything how their policies are agenda based and not research based. The "evidence" that they use to back up this statement is from the weakest I've ever seen-(you can look for yourself if you want on APA website-I think its an article in the Monitor). Beginning with the fact that the "task force" doing the project was filled with LGBT activists down to the very unconvincing data. There is real data, to the contrary, however that reparative therapy has worked for some people and has changed their lives in ways which they are ever thankful for. A lot of the confusion and conflict of those struggling with their sexual identity is not because they are feeling presure to be "straight," but the opposite. Because they have heard or been taught that some people "were just created that way," they therefore struggle with their "sexual identity." They strat thinking "am I straight or gay" etc. If they would have been taught the opposing view that it is not predetermined but rather urges and felings which can [at least sometimes] be overcome, they would then have the real freedom to choose to overcome this unhealthy urge and lifestyle-which the lifestyle itself (another area where data is covered over and not reported) often brings depression, confusion, saying nothing of the almost insurmountable obstacles that it brings to children growing up in this environment. I hope my words have entered your hearts. On the other hand this has nothing to do with how one must treat those struggling with homosexual urges and inclinations. On that there is no compromise or question-He/she has been created in the image of God and must be treated with the same resepect as one will treat any other Jew, or any other person for that matter.
shame on you. Not as much for your ignorance but for your apparent need to spew it. Pathetic. I pray you educate yourself and mend your ways.
Look, the way to treat a man struggling with homosexual urges and inclinations is to help him find a nice fella. If all people were created in the image of God, then God's at the same time male, female and transgendered (many children are born with equipment for both genders); a blonde, redhead and brunette; and all races. Why is it such a stretch to think that your concept of God spans multiple sexualities? And isn't it a bit odd to think of God as having a sexuality anyway? I mean, given monotheism, he/she/it wouldn't have any potential partners anyway...
i agree that the pressure a person who is not sure of their sexuality comes from many in the gay community.I am in recovery and have seen many addicted persons find out they were straight after getting sober.my fear is that young persons with drug and alcohol issues label themselves too soon simply to fit in or people please. i have heard many gay people tell others that they were gay instead of even suggesting that they might wait to find out for themselves.i know of a man who was "gay" but wanted to go out with a women and was afraid for his other gay friends to find out.
Yosef, when did you choose to be straight?
I'm sorry Yosef, but you are gravely wrong. Being homosexual is a trait, not a choice. Who someone marries, or has intimate relations with, is a choice. But the basic attraction and feelings can not be controlled. To suggest that there is even such an idea as successful "reparative therapy" is dangerous. Organizations such as NARTH inflict much more harm than good. There are volumes upon volumes of research and evidence that say there is no cure, and no need for a cure, to being gay. As I see it, my job on this earth is to Love Thy Neighbor and allow G-d to judge in the end.
A choice, Yosef? In every account that I've ever read or heard from gay people, once they realized their preference, usually at some point in their childhood or youth, they often felt confused, terrified and alone. Knowing the exclusion and hatred that many gay and lesbian people endure, I cannot believe that anyone would choose that preference voluntarily, for no other reason than to make a statement. (And even if they do, it's none of my business.) As for so-called change therapy -- I'm no scholar of the subject, but from what I've read and heard, there seems to be proof that in most cases, it simply doesn't work. I learned long ago that Jewish law does not consider the orientation itself a sin. True, halakhah forbids a certain act between two men, but a relationship is much more than a single physical act. And if you think that the orientation itself is a sin -- well, didn't a well-known rabbi once say that he wished that he could love the greatest tzaddik as much as God loved the worst sinner? Yosef, no one is asking you to embrace a lifestyle that you don't agree with. It's so easy to revile that which we don't know or find threatening. Would you consider an alternative -- compassion and understanding? After all, we think of God as compassionate and merciful -- we ask for His mercy in all our prayers -- and we are supposed to emulate Him. Aren't we?
That's all very nice, except that you have a book in which you absolutely do challenge the halakha. So I think the rabbi's decision was quite correct. It's one thing to have your views; it's another to publish them. And Steve, I still haven't forgotten about the evening in Jerusalem when you spent considerable time trying to convince me that Matan Torah didn't literally happen. If you've changed your views since then, I haven't heard about it, and your book certainly didn't indicate it. If you've changed your views since your book came out, I'm not sure how anyone would know it, since you haven't exactly issued a retraction. "I am a committed religious Jew" is an iffy proposition, given all that. I do agree with most of what you posted. But I wish it were coming from someone else.
Lisa-This is the definition of lashon ha-ra, and actual published lashon ha-ra yet. Knowing Rabbi Greenberg quite well, I can safely say that you took a challenging conversation and crafted an opinion of Steve's beliefs from it. And to put this in print, even in a comment section to an article, is pure slander. And I don't think Rabbi Greenberg said he wasn't challenging halakha. That's what rabbis do, they confront and challenge the system to have it address the concerns of living, breathing people. What he did say is that he isn't out to change the Torah. I believe you owe him an apology.
Halacha is not Torah.
Mattan Torah did not happen. And if it did the burden of proof is on you. Orthodoxy does not mean you have to be so fastly bound. Jewish "orthodox" law and practice has changed over time. Just read the talmud. Are jews today the jews of the talmud? I don't think so. Hassidm, Litvish, and Sepharad have many different custums and practices. Things change. When caring and respecting your fellow becomes contingent on what they believe you got take a step back and ask yourself what is really brewing in your heart. Ask yourself where you are coming from instead of trying to make everybody come to where you are.
Well said, Rabbi Greenberg. The Gay and Lesbian Yeshiva Day School Alumni has been providing support and community for orthodox gays and lesbians, of all ages, for over 15 years. www.glydsa.org
The fact is that homosexuality is a choice - yes difficult to stop once you are feeding it, just like any behavioral issue that requires therapy. Nevertheless it is not an 'identity' and it is not inborn. There have been serious scientific studies indicating as I'm saying - there is nothing of a scientific nature on the other side. See: Sexual Orientation Change Efforts in Men: A Client Perspective http://mensstudies.metapress.com/content/12u7381583313360/ Why not see this site full of information - maybe attend a conference and learn about it: http://www.narth.com/index.html
The fact that you're ignorant regarding NARTH speaks volumes.
Changing your behavior isn't gonna change your sexual orientation anymore than celibacy makes heterosexuals asexual furthermore NARTH along with JONAH are religious organizations are largely unsuccessful in changing their patients sexual orientation: largely because they rely on pseudoscience; based on the idea that homosexuality is the result of "broken relationships" the APA removed homosexuality as a disorder for a reason: it doesn't prevent a person from functioning in anyway that a heterosexual person
nonsense
"yoisef" you are the defintion of Ignorant. Yes ignorant, someone who doesnt Want to know the truth. Do you think i would honestly CHOOSE to be gay, with people like you and so called "rabbis" like this disgusting deplorable man, rabbi greenberg had to deal with, being gay is no more a choice, than being attracted to your lovely wife is, as much as i can assume this will go right over your head,and the countless other frum people who think they know everything, and have the right to judge everyone, who they want to, you are completely and utter WRONG. now instead of posting lies,, and links to criminal organizations, go home and enjoy your family, and be thankful you dont have to live every day, with the curse of being gay, in the frum community. signed, a frum jew who is on the brink of leaving this rotten jewish community im forced to be a witness to.
I am not Jewish, my friend who is gay and Orthodox sent this article to me. I am a former Catholic who cannot abide by the teaching and history of my mother church. I am now non-religious. With regard to the Jews: always I have wondered how it could be that a community that has experienced such prejudice, such hate and such physical and emotional suffering as the result of that hatred and prejudice could turn and themselves be so hateful to another group? So much so that commiting suicide is a good thing (a mitzvah). I know it is not most Jews, but that it's ANY is astounding to me. In my long life's experience I have come to the conclusion that only the Jews and Buddhists seem to "get" the true meaning of what religion should be about. I hope I am not 50% wrong. Thank you for taking my comment.
I remember how, many years ago, a young religious woman told me that her community's rabbi opposed AIDS research because it allowed gay people to avoid God's punishment for their lifestyle. I told her that I felt that a person who expressed such sentiments had no business being a rabbi. This rosh yeshiva's statements display an appallingly high level of ignorance and hatred. In a world where there are countries in which it is legal to execute people for being homosexual, they constitute a slippery slope indeed. I am glad that a person who could express such cruel and inhuman positions is no religious leader of mine.
Gratitude to Rabbi Greenberg for writing of his experience. The only shortcoming in the article is that he neglected to name the 'respected religious authority' whose stupidity and ignorance he exposed. The man needs to be publicly shamed and his authority challenged.

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