The Jewish Week is always here for you.
We need your support now.
Your contribution will help us bring you vital news
and frequent updates about the impact of COVID-19.
When It Comes To Gay Marriage, Are Reform Rabbis Torah-phobic?

When It Comes To Gay Marriage, Are Reform Rabbis Torah-phobic?

Associate Editor

We know Reform rabbis support gay marriage. And, yes, they support intermarriage, too. They’ve got the Jewish marriage thing all figured out.

We know.

And we know that Reform clergymen love "dialogue" with any imam or priest, anywhere, any time.

"Dialogue," by the way, is a fancy Reform rabbi word for what us regular folks call "a conversation," just like a "collation" after Temple is a fancy Reform rabbi word for what the rest of call a kiddush.

One thing we don’t know is why Reform rabbis, great advocates for tolerance, use words of incitement and intolerance when it comes to Orthodox Jews.

One fancy Reform word that’s used too often, when referring to the Orthodox, is "homophobic." You almost can’t find an article on Jews and homosexuality in which Reform rabbis (and other liberal Jews) aren’t calling Orthodox rabbis "homophobic."

You’d think Reform rabbis, with their terrific vocabularies, could come up with a better word.

That is, if their intent is to "dialogue" and persuade, rather than insult.

A "phobia" is defined as an irrational fear, even a psychological disorder.

However, if we want to be fair, the Orthodox objection, both legally and culturally, to the sanctification of homosexual marriages is rooted in the Torah, like it or not.

Anyone who seriously aspires to fidelity to the Torah and centuries of rabbinic tradition shouldn’t be branded with a psychological disorder.

Any rabbi, no matter the denomination, ought to be somewhat understanding of that, even sympathetic, even in disagreement.

If Reform clergy were serious about fostering a greater Orthodox acceptance of gay marriage and gay relationships, they wouldn’t immediately diagnose Orthodox Jews as having a psychological disorder but they’d "dialogue" intelligently — and without insult — regarding biblical verse and Talmudic texts — making the scholarly case for alternative and sympathetic interpretations.

Try persuading, instead of a pie-throwing contest.

Dear Reform rabbis, you wouldn’t like it if Orthodox Jews started calling Reform rabbis "Torah-phobic," would you?

By the way, when’s the last time a Reform rabbi dared to call an imam, or the vast Muslim world, "homophobic"?

Hey, Reform rabbis, try this. Why don’t you start talking to (and about) Orthodox rabbis with the same respect you’d give an imam?

read more: