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Sun Jun 10, 2012, 11:11 PM

How can you be gay and Jewish?

Jay Michaelson

I am sometimes asked: "How can you be gay and Jewish? Doesn't the Bible forbid homosexuality?" Here is my attempt at an answer.

At the outset, I am only answering this question as part of a subset of a subset of Jews: religious Jews who feel themselves bound or in some way affected by the Torah and Jewish law. Of course, the majority of Jews do not believe themselves to be bound in any such way. For them, the issue is much simpler: any prohibitions which may exist are historical in nature and far less important than conscience, ethics, culture, and other values. The law evolves, or doesn't matter anyway. So what the questioner really means is: how can one be gay and religiously Jewish, with a religious consciousness that, for whatever reasons, treats what the Bible says with seriousness. That is the question I mean to answer.

The Bible does not forbid homosexuality. 'Homosexuality' is a modern term, a pseudo- scientific category created in 1869. It refers not only to sexual acts, but to a sexual orientation, an identity, and is today used (imprecisely) to describe a range of sexual behaviors, attractions, and ideas about the self. This way of looking at sex acts was unknown both to the Bible and to the Talmud. Where the Torah does speak of sexual acts, as we will see below, it has no conception that these acts relate to personal identity, or to love. It expresses no belief that such acts are indicative of an inborn proclivity, and no conception that acts "make you gay," or even that one type sex act is necessarily related to another. Those who say that the Bible (or Torah, or Talmud, or halacha) forbids homosexuality are simply wrong. There is no such thing as Biblical homosexuality.


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Reply How can you be gay and Jewish? (Original post)
King_David Jun 2012 OP
King_David Jun 2012 #1
rabbiAharonfarhi Jun 2012 #2

Response to King_David (Original post)

Sun Jun 10, 2012, 11:12 PM

1. Jay Michaelson


Jay Michaelson is the author of four books and two hundred articles on the intersections of religion, spirituality, sexuality, and law. His most recent book, God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality (Beacon), was an Amazon.com bestseller and has been nominated for a 2012 Lambda Literary Award. Jay is a contributing editor to the Forward newspaper, associate editor of Religion Dispatches magazine, and the founding editor of Zeek magazine, and his work has appeared in Salon, Newsweek, Tikkun, The Huffington Post, and other publications. His other books include Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism and Another Word for Sky: Poems.

Jay is also the founder of Nehirim, a national community of LGBT Jews, partners, and allies, which has been recognized by the Slingshot Fund as one of the fifty most innovative Jewish nonprofits in the US. Jay’s advocacy on behalf of sexual minorities in religious communities has been featured on CNN, NPR, and in the New York Times.

In 2009, Jay was included on the Forward 50 list of influential American Jews, and in 2010 he won the New York Society of Professional Journalists’ award for opinion writing. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and will soon be completing his Ph.D in Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he holds an M.A. in religion. Jay has held teaching positions at Boston University Law School, City College of New York, and Yale University.

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Response to King_David (Original post)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 03:14 AM

2. Jewish history and weekly torah portion

I agree to the article you done sir.We knew that the Jewish and Torah will give us a good reason to post and i knew that the post you done come to a good brain.People will find the meaning of Jewish and Torah and i will help to this website, I will fallow to this article forever.We love to announce that we have a Jewish history and now you can receive our weekly torah portion

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