Sunday, 25 June 2017

The Rabbi Joseph Dweck Controversy

Presently, there is an on-going controversy in Britain in regard to a statement by the leading Sephardi rabbi in regard to homosexuality. See Leading Sephardic Rabbi Faces Backlash After Voicing Support for LGBT Community -- and follow the links. 

The reality is that Rabbi Dweck's words were unclear and he, himself, admits that he should have been more careful with his words but there is actually much to contemplate from his words. They actually remind me of an article I penned many years ago on the subject of Torah and homosexuality -- which I think would be of benefit in clarifying his words. Please see Homosexuality: Is There a Unique Torah Perspective?
Rabbi Ben Hecht


Rabbi Ben Hecht said...

When the "Trembling Before God" DVD set was released, they included a disc containing the various interviews they had with various rabbis. This included an interview with Steve Greenberg in which he presents a report on his meeting with Rav Elyashav to discuss the former's sexuality. At the time, Steve Greenberg felt he was bisexual but did not wish to speak to any of his rebbeim about it so he arranged for a meeting with Rav Elyashav. When the question was posed to Rav Elyashav about what should be done in response to this bisexual attraction, Rav Elyashav is reported as saying: you were given two measures of love, use them wisely. That was it.

In response to the issue I am presenting here, from my perspective, it would seem that Rav Elyashav did see some purpose in a same-sex attraction drive that could be applied properly within the confines of Halacha in an expression of generic love without a physical element. This would also be in line with what Rabbi Dweck really said. It is a measure of love to be applied properly.


rayantoky said...

Thank you for posting the learned opinion of HaRav Moshe Feinstein, ZSL. I mean we're talking Gadol Hador territory here.. While all the reasoning and pretzel turns presented in your article make sense in a certain forum it would seem that a true Hakham like R' Moshe would not be swayed by the latest psychology journals which puts a big point up for Torah and a big goose egg for modern thought.. I'll stick with tradition and Rav Moshe..and Dweck should take a cue from him too and pull his head out of his.. ***.

Rabbi Ben Hecht said...

Then again, please look at my comment where I present a view from Rav Elyashav. Now, of course, one may question the source for this view of Rav Elyashav, thereby challenging it, and we do not have Rav Elyashav's view in print as we have with Rav Moshe, but I still do believe that all this shows the challenge of the issue -- as I presented in my article. And, indeed, Rav Moshe's view -- no matter how politically incorrect -- is still the view of Rav Moshe. But questions on the views of chachamim is part of our tradition.