Gideon's Blog

In direct contravention of my wife's explicit instructions, herewith I inaugurate my first blog. Long may it prosper.

For some reason, I think I have something to say to you. You think you have something to say to me? Email me at: gideonsblogger -at- yahoo -dot- com

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Friday, April 25, 2003
Readers of this space may recall an argument I made last month about homosexuality from a Jewish perspective. There was an interesting piece by Rabbi Daniel Landes and his wife, Sheryl Robbin in the most recent issue of the Jerusalem Report which touches on some of the same matters. Unfortunately, it's not on-line. Landes and Robbin don't come to a conclusion, but they do point out that halacha allows for certain kinds of violations of the law as an accommodation of human need and weakness in the face of internal compulsion, and that halacha is, in this way, quite compassionate. The specifically touch on homosexuality in this light, although, as I say, they don't come to a conclusion. They suggest, though, that there is room for some kind of halachic accommodation of homosexuality - not a carte blanche saying that all sexual behavior is OK, but room for people who can only live a certain way to live that way in peace and be secure in knowing that they are following God's commandments to the best of their ability. That's pretty much what my argument was. Indeed, I went a bit further, and I argued that Judaism has to come to such an accommodation because, if it doesn't, then the entirety of its sexual ethics comes into question. If the law cannot be compassionate in a case of clear need, then one of two very bad things can happen: people can learn that compassion is not a primary religious value, or they can come to question the validity of God's law. I would argue that both results are serious problems in the Jewish world today. In any event, the article is very short, so I wish I could link to it, but I can't, so you'll just have to buy the magazine.