I just read Judaism and Homosexuality by Chaim Rapoport, and the basic thesis is that “homosexuality is ‘an uneviable position’ and “we just have to show them sympathy in this ‘noble and selfless struggle.’” Basically: “It’s tough, guys. Sorry.”
I spent the last two years of my conversion journey being fine with this–even apologetic–because lots of prohibitions ARE tough. You deal. But reading this book (which is very compassionate, mind you), in which the author lays down other sexual prohibitions–”auto-eroticism” and “willful fantasy” included–made me realize how incredibly cruel this prohibition is. And besides celibacy (COMPLETE celibacy…), they’re denied the very basic tenets that make Judaism what it is–children, family, intimacy, etc. Even for some other mitzvos that don’t make sense or are hard, they’re not actually HARMFUL to people.
When I think about all my lgbt friends and how religion has kicked them around and pathologized them, I’m so exhausted with trying to find halachic loopholes and giving God the “benefit of the doubt.” I’m horrified that rabbis are OK with so many people being denied love and intimacy by a supposedly kind God, and think they can completely ameliorate it with “sympathy.” I’m horrified that while gay people are being harassed, disowned by families, kicked out of houses, and committing suicide, there are still Orthodox rabbis who find it necessary to say things like they’re fine as long as they don’t “parade their sexuality around the shul” or that they “shouldn’t be proud of their sin just like I wouldn’t be proud of eating treif.” And in a way, if halachic decision makers are this insensitive, so too is halachic Judaism.
I felt like I was being drawn to conversion, but at this point I don’t feel like I can or should convert. However, in the space where I’ve been conveniently ignoring all this, I’ve become completely entrenched in Judaism and the Jewish community, and I don’t really know how to proceed. Needless to say, I’m finding it hard to feel connected to religious Judaism much these days, and not to be melodramatic but it’s kind of hard to trust God anymore when you feel like you’ve just changed around your whole life for him to just back out on you. And that’s no relationship.
Like, it’s not even about being accepted by the community. I’m sure I could find a space where I’d be “accepted”–whatever that even means–even an orthodox space. I just can’t believe that “despite it all, God still likes gay people and wants them to succeed” when all evidence, including halacha, including the entire way Judaism is set up, is to the contrary. Either God is terrible and came up with this, in which case I want nothing to do with him, or he’s just like “woops, didn’t see all this coming!” in which case, what makes anything else in the Torah compelling?
Anyway, I’ve just been thinking about this a lot lately. Hope I didn’t bring you down too much.
Like · · Unfollow Post · August 26 at 10:07pm
PS if you reblog this with my name attached, i’ll shank you. actually i’ll probably just rick roll you