Attitudes Toward Gay Jews


“Orthodox Judaism considers homosexuality to be a sin,” claimed a Jewish Week article about Eshel, an organization for LGBT Jews and their families (“Orthodox Shuls Host LGBT Event, Amid Row,” June 10).

Orthodox Judaism considers not eating kosher and not keeping Shabbat a “sin,” too. But, in my lifetime experience as a member of that community, most of us do not shun such people as “sinners” and we know that they are our brothers, sisters, children, friends (and, even, ourselves). We include them in our shuls, homes and communities.

When my son was studying in a religious yeshiva in Israel during his gap year after high school, he called me to discuss what he was learning about homosexuality from his rebbes, which contrasted with what he had been taught and experienced at our home, one in which we welcomed our gay friends and acquaintances, particularly at our Shabbat table.

In a call several weeks after that conversation, I asked him if he had come to any conclusions with his struggle to reconcile the two views. I will never forget what he said. “I decided to let God judge and I will continue to love.”

I have never been prouder of him.