Aug 9, 2009

Assuming the investigation results

The Gay community is really milking this shooting for all they can.

I am pretty liberal on many things, and I am all for the gay community and think that despite their issues with the Torah prohibition against homosexuality that is no reason to deny them any rights. It is basic and they should be treated like regular people and it is not for us to decide who is good or bad in God's eyes. It is a shame it even needs to be mentioned. Are they any worse than people who don't keep kosher? Are they worse than people who steal and launder money? Do you deny money launderers rights? If not, why would you deny rights to homosexuals?

That being said, the police have yet to announce any motive or leads in the investigation of who perpetrated the shooting last week.

Despite that, we have heard nothing but outpouring of support, from all over the world, for the Gay community in the vein of assuming the shooting was done out of hatred of gays.

Yet nobody knows that was the reason for the shooting. Maybe it was a hate crime, but maybe it was just a crime. Maybe it was a robbery that went bad. Maybe it was a jealous lover seeking revenge. Maybe it was a nationalist terrorist. Maybe it was one of a million issues that we cannot even think of. Yet all we hear is hatred of gays.

Let the police investigate, and if that is what they find, then let's outpour our love for gays. Until then - the baseless accusations daily in the media and statements by leaders are starting to make me sick.


  1. You've lost a Torah observant reader.

  2. sorry Shy.

    Let me ask you - do you believe that hilonim should not have rights? in a secular state?
    do you believe people who break the law and/or halacha (use any example you want - destroying public property, theft, treif, selling treif meat as kosher, converting fraudulently, etc.) should not have rights?

    Why does the fact that someone breaks a halacha mean he does not get or deserve basic rights?

  3. The gemmora says the end of the world when they leave the closet. Soon will post makor.

  4. "end of the world" as in mashiach coming because o our sins (b'ito achishena)?
    is that worse than all the other signs of the end of days?
    and even if yes, how does that relate to how we are meant to deal with the metzius of thie existence? They exist - now what?

  5. Rafi,

    There's a world of difference between someone who violates mitzvos, and someone who makes a shita out of violating mitzvos.

    I have no problem with gays, as you say, any more than I have a problem with people who are mechalel shabbos. But if there were a Society for the Annulment of the Sabbath, I would schrei gevalt about it, and work like crazy to undermine, delegitimize and otherwise thwart their plans.

    Likewise, I have a big problem with organizations dedicated to making it "OK" to be homosexual. Homosexuality is not OK. Nor is stealing, nor is breaking shabbos. I'm not going to judge individuals who give in to their yetzer hora, but I will not be sending any lovey-dovey messages to any organizations or communities whose primary raison d'etre is the violation of even a single mitzva.

    Do you not agree that there is a HUGE difference?

  6. Shaul, while there is no real difference halachically between mechallelei shabbat and gay people, sociologically, there is.

    Mechallelei shabbat have not been historically discriminated against, arrested, beaten, shunned, etc. Gay people have.

    I support their right to live law abiding peaceful lives while enjoying the same/similar financial and personal status rights as straight people.

    I don't support their parades and flamboyant lifestyles, but I show my lack of support by just not showing up to scheduled events.

    Rafi, what were your feelings about the gay parades in J-m? I forgot,in case you've written about it.

  7. Shaul-

    I will add that you really have no idea what goes on in people's bedrooms, so making statements about violating mitzvot b'shita is a huge generalization.

    I have heard of frum gay/lesbian couples that share a life together without violating any mitzvot. It is possible.

  8. Abbi,
    You haven't contradicted anything I said. I agree, gays should have full civil rights, just like any other human being.
    I draw the line at enshrining their "right" to have homosexual relationships, or giving them rights to adopt children or enjoy other rights that are enjoyed by straight couples. Lo moridin, v'lo ma'alin. Do what you want in the privacy of your home, but don't shove it in my face, and don't expect to have your deviancy accorded special protection, much less be rewarded for it.

  9. Abbi said pretty much what I was going to say. I don't think it is ok, but it is a reality that they exist and therefore they have to be treated like you treat anyone else.

    Yes, Shaul, there is a difference, but you have to understand that 1) nobody is b'shita homosexual - they are that way whether you believe in the "sick" argument or the "natural" argument. Nobody is gay b'shita (that I am aware of. and 2) they are simply publicizing it because they feel they need to fight for their basic rights that have been denied them due to prejudice.

    They are not saying "annul the prohibition against homosexual activity". They are saying we want our basic rights to live as equals.

    I agree that that does not mean we have to give them everything they want - I am against gay marriage, for example. I do not believe that is what marriage is meant to be. But if they want to live together, why does that take away their rights to equal service and representation?

    I am against the parades, Abbi.

  10. Rafi, you said:

    >They are not saying "annul the prohibition against homosexual activity"

    Uh... yes, they are. They are demanding that homosexual relationships be accorded the same status in law as heterosexual ones.

    Let's get some perspective by substituting "gays" with "smokers". Smokers indulge in antisocial behavior that makes them stink and causes secondary effects on people around them. Smoking is banned in public places, they have to pay higher insurance premiums, their shidduch chances are reduced, employers may be less likely to hire them and their habit is widely scorned and attacked by non-smokers. A smoker might justifiably feel that his civil rights are being trampled and he is being discriminated against; a person might feel ashamed to admit that he is a smoker for fear of being ridiculed and ostracized.

    So who here is going to champion the cause of the smokers? Organize a "Smokers' Pride Day"? Campaign for recognition of smoking as a socially acceptable activity, outlaw discrimination on the basis of smoking habits, and demand that all restaurants make provision for smoking sections?

    Not I. I won't tell people they can't smoke in the privacy of their own homes, but I'm not out to make it any easier for them to practise their noxious habits in my space.

    Same goes for gays. People will do whatever they do in private, but I do not want to know about it, and I certainly will not take any action to make it easier for them. Smoking carries consequences in the form of social stigma; so does homosexuality - and IMO that is a good thing. Things that are against the Torah should have a social stigma - halevai that violating shabbos would also have a stigma. If you're prepared to live with the social stigma, that's your business. But don't expect me to pander to your lifestyle choices if you choose to do things that are against Torah (i.e. immoral).

  11. I am against gay marriage, and homosexual couples adopting, for example. But because I think the family unit is meant to be one way - husband, wife, children. anything else is out of the ordinary. Does that mean gays should not be allowed in the military or children of a gay couple should not be allowed in school? no. They should be.

  12. Today's news: "American Psychological Association, warning its membership not to counsel homosexuals toward trying to "go straight."

  13. B"H

    OK. Time for me to throw a stick in a few people's bicycle spokes.

    1. What DOES the Torah forbid? For the most it forbids beahaviors, for example anal sex between men. "Spilling seed" is not a gay issue, it's a men's issue.

    2. What happens when a "gay" man doesn't have anal sex??

    3. What happens when a there is rumor that man has had anal sex {Rashi on Wayiqra 18:22} with another man, yet there are no witnesses?? Are you allowed to believe the rumor? {Um,...NO.} Even if a frum Jew said this about himself w/o to'eleth of say, wanting help to stop this behavior, I would argue that one may not believe him. {If he talks about predatory behavior, probably a good idea to confront him and have people keep an eye on him, but that's another story.}

    Thus, going out and taking the [Torah] law into ones own hands in this case does not seem to have any halachic support: no witnesses, no hatra'ah, etc. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    This is your ONLY support for so called "civil rights." One who understands fully the sin of mishkevi isha AND does it anyway, AND doesn't seek assistance to stop, AND does it in front of witnesses, this person deserves civil rights? No.

    Hillul Shabbath OTOH is currently way more out there in the open. We combat that through education, protests perhaps, etc.

    Food for thought....

    That all being said, the promotion of "homosexual behaviors" being OK, NOT ok, and is a completely different issue.

    More food for thought...

  14. Really, Shaul, they shouldn't be allowed to adopt children? So i guess you would agree with the court that removed a lovingly cared for baby from this lesbian couple:

    I think gay/lesbian couples should be afforded the same civil rights that straight couples enjoy, including the right to cohabit and raise families, and all of the financial and personal status perks that go with that.

  15. CA, are you some kind of mamlachti {undying state loyalist}?

  16. Ben Yehuda, you lost me there.
    Nobody AFAIK is talking about issuing a death penalty for homosexuality. So far, everyone is in agreement that gays should have the same human rights as everyone else; the only thing we seem to be debating is whether they should get special protection of those rights, seeing as there's a big social stigma against gays.

    I am saying no; others seem to be saying yes.

    Have I summed up the debate fairly?

  17. Abbi, I think our point of divergence may be somewhat deeper, so let's clarify: do you believe that the Torah was given by G-d, and that the homosexuality prohibited by the Torah is an inherently immoral act?

    If not, well, we differ on much more fundamental issues than protecting the human rights of gays, and this particular aspect of the debate can serve no useful purpose.

    If you do believe in Torah min hashamayim, then how do you justify legislating homosexuals' "right" to cohabit?

  18. well rafi,

    I hope that the posts here help clarify for you why the gay and general secular community at large are using this shooting to publicize the hatred that emanates from the charedi world.

    It is interesting that some of the same arguments that many orthodox jews use to justify their hate to gays were the same arguments used against jews over the years.

  19. SB, sorry if I wasn't so clear.

    Obviously, we do not have an authority in existence which may execute the death penalty, let alone rule on such matters.

    I was simply applying the same standard to "rights" which we DO have the ability to rule on and implement via herem, making sure we do not patronize certain businesses, not counting certain Jews in minyanim, and most certainly fighting against granting such individuals rights.

    What do you mean by human rights vs. civil rights?

    I find nor differentiation mentioned in the Torah, save for a continuum of rights.

    The above phrases are of goyshe construction. Let's use Torah terms.

    Am I allowed to support such a person's business? May I count such a Jew in a minyan? Is this Jew pasul for eiduth? Am I allowed to talk to such a person? Who is the appropriate person to give tochahah here?

    Should we have confirmation that this person engages in forbidden acts?

    How do we handle a person who we do not know engages in forbidden acts, yet encourages others to do so?

    I'm just trying to throw out the questions we need to ask based on Torah logic. True, Israeli law is, in a way, a current reality we're stuck in. Yet, let's at least try to remember that the Torah applies to all aspects of our lives, and that "dina malkhuth dina" does NOT apply in Eretz Yisrael.

    Let's do the best we can to Ge'ulah minded, with Torah and Torah logic applied as much as possible.

    We may be stuck with choosing to follow Israeli [or not], but we are most certainly not bound in using non-Torah concepts, logic, and terminology, simply because the Erev Rav controlled gov't does.

    NOTE: Marriage between same gender couples is also assur, based on Wayiqra 18:3. I could be wrong but I seem to recall that Haza"l mentions that this kind of marriage was practiced in Egypt and K'na'an, and thus is included in the misswah lo ta'aseh of 18:3.

  20. The Way, you are absolutely right. That also reminds me: We still do not know who fired the shots.

    I don't know too many Haredim with M-16's.

    This could easily be a set up to further the demonization of "settlers."

  21. Way:
    As the old adage goes: you point a finger, and 3 fingers point back at you.
    Have you seen anyone here saying they hate gays? Anyone? Please provide the quotation. If you're seeing any hatred in this discussion, it's entirely in your own eyes. Methinks you are projecting your own hatred for religion/religious people...

  22. Way - nobody but the media and the gay community (I don't know which was because of which) pointed at the charedi community. According to the police, they have no prime suspect and have no specific motive under scrutiny.

    They have no idea who did it or why.

    That means it could have been done for any reason at all. Just pure criminal, revenge, mafia, religious, hatred, terror (of the nationalist kind), or other reasons.

    That which everyone is assuming it was a haredi perpetrator, despite the police never saying so, never investigating noe as a prime suspect, never claiming they have leads in the haredi community, etc. shows that people are just using this to attack the haredim for no reason. It could have been anybody for any reason. And even if it is hatred, it is not just haredim who hate gays. In america too plenty on non "orthodox jews" hate gays. That does not mean one would kill, and it means haredim are not the only haters of gays. At worst they hate them as much as everybody else.

  23. Shaul,

    You could not be more way off base. I have no hatred for religion or religious people. I have an intellectual dispute in the sense that I have a completely different reading of the torah and view of the rabbis than you. But I grew up in the ortho world, live in an area where there are many orthodox. Send my children to a jewish school that are owned by orthodox and have 80-90% orthodox families. And I have worked for years to achieve a healthy basic level of enlightenment where I hate no one and no group. I do feel bad for the orthodox. And occasionally I am frustrated by the idea that any answer an orthodox person can find for any question is a good enough answer no matter how flimsy or illogical or wrong, because the answer doesn't actually need to be right if the true answer is god. But no hate.

    As for the responses on this blog.
    1) the mere mention of a secular govt bestowing equal secular rights made shy guy run away
    2)"The gemmora says the end of the world when they leave the closet."
    3)'m not going to judge individuals who give in to their yetzer hora" calling it yetzer hora is taken as a hateful comment by those who have the genetic/biochemical? structure to be gay. You may not intend it that way but in communication, each side has an obligation to make sure their words are chosen with care.
    4)(from you again)"don't expect to have your deviancy ..." really? you don't think calling homeosexuals deviant is hatefull, or would be taken as such? really shaul? in your smoker metaphor you didn't call that behavior deviant, and that actually would qualify.

    and that are just a few quick snippets from this blog. Having grown up orthodox and remaining connected to the orthodox community I am confident that I have the ability to recognize the hatred that is openly taught and enforced and re enforced. That is why people are jumping to the conclusion, which I agree with rafi is too early assume. But the point remains. The orthodox are the most vocal haters of the gays and they use the same language that was used to "intellectually debate" the deviancy of jews in the 1920's and 30's. Then they just started killing us wholesale so the debate kind of ended.

  24. Shaul,
    Somebody said they were going to stop reading Rafi's blog over one post. You immediately jumped to his defense.

    I get very nervous when it comes to the legal system being used to enforce other's Torah observance. The slope is not that slippery to end up with some wack jobs in RBS B determining all halchic standards for everybody.

  25. Rafi,

    I agree with you. In each of my posts I have said clearly, I agree with you.

    But that doesn't mean we shouldn't listen to what the gay community is saying. If someone uses an opportunity to stand up and say, you are hurting me" it is not out of line to listen and perhaps hear what they are saying.

    Let me ask you this, what would happen in a Torah True Israel? not an ancient one, but if next election, or after the next war, if israel was compleetly taken over and run by charediim and changed the laws of the state and the nature of the state to be torah true. Would that new Israel be more like the Taliban or the Buddhists?

  26. I dont know, and I sometimes wonder about that myself...

  27. ehwhy: why do you think I "jumped to the defence" of Shy Guy, who walked out on the debate? Or that I was advocating using the legal system to enforce anybody's mitzva observance? I never said either of those things, nor would I.

    Way: I stand by my "yetzer hora" and "deviancy" comments; I would apply the same term to smoking, stealing and violating shabbos. Each of these things, to me, represents deviant behavior. The perpetrators themselves may or may not agree with me on that point, and on that we can agree to disagree. But I'm not going to change my view of what is normative/desirable and what is deviant/undesirable just because it's not PC. Doesn't mean I hate the people; just that I condemn their behavior.

  28. Rafi,

    You are making a fundamental mistake: chareidi and Torah-true are NOT synonymous!!!

    I and my family look chareidi, daven in chareidi shuls in the neighborhood and send our children to chareidi schools but we DO NOT like to be called chareidi b'diyuk for this reason. It means nothing whatsoever with regard to Torah-true, and that is part of the arrogance of the chareidi world, thinking they have the monopoly on Torah, even going so far as to call itself "the Torah world" to the exclusion of anyone who does not fit the chareidi bill, whatever that is.

  29. Shaul,

    There is a difference between thinking your way is right and believing others to be wrong.

    Read Anon's remarkes about charedii and torah true. Even in the charedii world you have someone who puts on all the trappings and is suffering because his Rabbis and idols who claim they are the torah world do not match his internal reading of the world. (perhaps I've restated his claim in a way he did not overtly intend)

    Regardless, the point is that there is enough debate that if someone says the way you talk about me and my group hurts my feelings, and further, gives implicit support for the more vocal opponents, it is not pc to recognize that there are healthier ways and words to discuss whether Gays should be granted secular rights under secular law.

    And given how many times jews have suffered the condemnation of others for their deviant behavior, one might hope that even though you believe your god makes the homosexual act a sin, perhaps it could be left at that. Perhaps the inheritors of the holocaust legacy (just the most recent in a long line) could say that everybody should be given equal rights and protections under the law and we will let god sort out what it meant about their behavior. If you don't want to commit that act, than don't.

  30. Rafi,

    If you are wondering than you already know the answer. Now you just have to accept the answer.

  31. Way:
    I hear you, but you're operating under the assumption that somebody else's sexual practices don't affect me. You come from an Orthodox background; surely you are familiar with Vayikra 18, especially verses 24-28 - the part about the land vomiting out its inhabitants because of their sexual immorality. OK, you don't believe in it, but to me it makes a very big difference to my life if somebody else is drilling a hole in the bottom of the boat, even if it's only under his seat, so to speak. It's one thing if it's a bunch of individuals doing their thing in private; it's a whole different ball game if they're "coming out", trumpeting their immorality (as I see it), and demanding recognition and special protection!

    As to your Nazi comparison, I think that's beneath this debate; you've just demonstrated the truth of Godwin's Law, and I will not relate to it.

  32. shy guy,

    Don't know if you're reading this but just in case, you're the one who's lost.

  33. Shaul - There's a world of difference between someone who violates mitzvos, and someone who makes a shita out of violating mitzvos.

    Then you must be apoplectic over the shita of the hundreds of thousands of Russians that came to Israel in the early 90's and almost immediately demanded access to pork products. Sure enough, within months, many stores opened to serve them their chazer. And those stores are still open and thriving. Even regular Chilonim, that rarely (sure the odd maadanei mizra every so often, but not regularly) ate chazer before their arrival are enjoying it much more often. And it's much cheaper now due to the large supply and steady demand.

    Both anal sex between men and eating chazer are issurei deoreita. And there are restaurants right on the street serving chazer all over the place where people eat chazer right in the open. And there's not a single sex shop on the street where men engage in anal sex with each other in the open.

    shaya - shy guy, Don't know if you're reading this but just in case, you're the one who's lost.

    GBF* is an "ancient" tradition here on the Internet. 99% of the time, they come back, either with a new name or with the old one.


    * GBF = Good Bye Forever

  34. Mark,
    Firstly, the pork-eating Russians are mostly non-Jews: es gesunteheit!
    Secondly, yes, it upsets me that some Jews eat pork, and that they do it in public. There are also many people who are mechalel shabbos in public, which is even worse.

    But, to my knowledge, there is no organization that is making a shita out of pork eating, nor is there one dedicated to abolishing shabbos. Nobody is demanding special rights and protection for pork-eaters; nobody is lobbying the government to provide incentives for businesses to stay open on shabbos.

    OTOH, there are plenty of organizations making a song and dance about giving homosexuals special rights and protection. I'm not going to barge into anybody's bedroom, but I sure as h311 am not going to support special privileges for a group of people who define themselves by the mitzva they violate.

  35. the only thing we seem to be debating is whether they should get special protection of those rights, seeing as there's a big social stigma against gays.

    The simple fact that you and others feel that one's sexual orientation should determine whether or not one should enjoy what many see as basic "rights" (marriage, child-rearing, etc) says to me that yes, the gay community does need special protection of those rights.

    And you say 'use smoking' instead of homosexuality. Well, I say substitute the word 'black' for 'gay' and we're back to the 1600's.

    As someone already said, there is no prohibition against BEING. There are certain acts which are prohibited and IMO it behooves everyone to be dan lekav zechut. Yes, I know, rose-colored glasses and all that.

    (FTR I agree with Rafi and I had said as much when discussing the shooting with friends... there is no proof that this is a hate crime perpetrated by the (ultra) religious)

  36. Pesky Settler:

    Let's define terms. Basic human rights include things like the right to life, the right to freedom etc. Actually all "rights" are really obligations on other parties - not to take away anybody else's life or freedom.

    The right to marriage that you speak of is really an obligation on the government/society to provide certain benefits to the couple. Marriage has been defined since time immemorial as a union between an man and a woman. Now we have people who are coming and wanting to redefine "marriage" to include same-sex partnerships - and I will not go along with that. They want to live together? I'm not standing in their way. They want official recognition and government benefits for their union? Get lost.

    Parenting: I don't know why you think anyone has a "right" to be a parent - reminds me of Stan wanting the right to have a baby. If a woman becomes pregnant and has a baby, that is her child. The man from whom she conceived is the father - and together, they have the obligation to be parents to the child. As it happens, I have a cousin who is a lesbian, and she went and got sperm from a sperm bank so she could have a baby. The kid (nice kid!) is hers, and she's a great mom. I have no issue with that.

    Oh, you're talking about adoption? Arguably it is better for an unwanted child to grow up under the care of a homosexual couple rather than in an orphanage - but right now in Israel there are waiting lists of childless couples who want to adopt a kid. I would much rather see the child growing up with straight adoptive parents, just for the sake of the child's chinuch. But I have much less of a problem with allowing gay couples to adopt than I do with giving them state benefits as a couple. Theoretically even a single person could adopt a child; why would you need to be married in order to take on the obligations of adoption?

    Each issue needs to be looked at in its own context. My rule of thumb is, I don't bother people about their private behavior - but don't ask me to reward deviancy.

  37. Shaul,

    I guess it depends on what you hold to be torah. The reform are "b'shita" allowing pork and what you and I call Chillul shabbos. But, They hold it's mutar. So in essence, there are groups that lshitascha are publicizing their aveiros!

    The fact is, no other issur bothers people as much as sexual issurim, specifically homosexuality. I believe that based on various reports I've read thru, it's mostly due to the fact that frum men are scared to admit that being gay is too much a possibility for them and they are afraid of it. They are not afraid of chilul shabbos or tarfus, but they are scared to death of being labeled gay. therefore, they scream and yell about how bad it is and try to eradicate anyone who has the balls to stand up and announce they are gay. If the same person stood up and stand - i hate shabbos and will lite a campfire - most of you would say - whatever.
    The fact is that homosexuality is treated much worse than any other issur that has the same punishment - I believe ther a re at least six others called a toeivah - inc eating sheratzim - e.g. lobster.

    NO ONE here is advocating we say, it's ok what you are doing. What we are saying is, despoite the choice of your lifestyle, which we feel is a private issue between you and Hashem, we do agree that you have the right to have rights like any other Human or Jewish citizen.

  38. Apropos the institutionalizing of certain issurei de'oraita: I saw an item on a non-kosher restaurant's menu named: "kid in its mother's milk" (it was for a cheeseburger with goat cheese)
    So maybe even issues of kashrut are no longer being quietly ignored but even flaunted quite mockingly (that was my take on the menu item)

  39. just to clarify: I don't mean to draw a comparison between an ad campaign which outright (almost b'shita) mocks an issur and a call by the homosexual community for acceptance and tolerance. Unless there was some float at the gay pride parade with the banner "v'et zachar lo tishkav mish'kivei isha" -- that would be a provocation. Lobbying for gay rights in a respectable manner isn't provocative. Bothersome to many, perhaps, but not provocative.


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