Jayson Littman (“Confessions Of A Gay Zionist,” Back of the Book, April 20) states he has been able to rid his “heart of turmoil, self-hate, and questioning” while simultaneously asking God, while standing at the Kotel, “What do you expect of me?”
His seemingly simple story made me very sad.
Most boys in yeshiva consider their rabbi to be as good at guidance as a formally trained therapist, and this is usually not the case. And sadly in this case Littman did not get the help he could have used and could not feel God’s love.
However, I would like to suggest to Littman that he reconsider his current comfort zone. As he states he has found “my faith and sexuality.”
It is now his religion, not the one that God passed to the Jewish people at Sinai. I am going to suggest a religiously correct but politically incorrect response to Littman. God sends each soul down to this earth to correct a defect in the neshamah (soul). We don’t necessarily understand why it is so, but it is our job to try to correct that defect. Each of us is challenged in our own special way. No one would suggest that a person who has a gambling issue should reconcile his faith and gambling. Nor for any other challenge a human is presented.
The goal of life is self-improvement, and that does not come easy. The goal of life is not happiness as usually defined in America, or so many rich, “successful” people would not commit suicide. Happiness is a goal, but it needs to be defined by correct Torah standards. The more Torah one learns, the more one can answer Littman’s question: “What do You expect of me?”
This is a very timely message to take with you as we finish the counting of the Omer (working on raising our level of spirituality) in preparation of the holiday of Shavuot.