October 01, 2014
Lo Saamod - Do Not Stand By
Who Are We And Why Was The Torah Declaration Written?

We are a committee of approximately 25 people consisting of individuals who have successfully overcome their Same-Sex Attraction (SSA) along with Rabbis and concerned fellow Jews who strongly support their brave journey. We initiated this Torah Declaration because of the messages from the media and homosexual activists that are at best misleading and at worst outright untruths.

With the strong support and guidance from many of the Rosh Yeshivos, Rabbonim, Rabbis and Mental Health Professionals who have signed the declaration, we carefully articulated the main message that change is possible and mandated by the Torah.

Homosexual activists are misusing compassion to win over the public. Their primary message is that if we care about people we should just accept them as homosexual and not ask them to change. They have been reinforcing this message by asking self-identified homosexuals to constantly repeat the untruth that “change is not possible” and that people are “born this way”; that homosexuals have tried but “couldn’t change” and that if it was a choice “they never would haven chosen this”. All they want is “acceptance, happiness and love, just like everyone else”. (Please see our FAQs for a direct response to each of these issues.)

The emotional appeal is very powerful and difficult to resist. This approach has been winning the hearts and minds of secular society and popular culture and has gained a foothold in the Jewish community as well.

The Jewish people are rachmanim b'nei rachmanim (compassionate children of compassionate ancestors). The Torah mandates that we should be compassionate and caring but that compassion must be guided by the wisdom of the Torah. The Torah warns us “Do not follow after your hearts and eyes” which can lead you astray. It is very easy for us to be misled by emotionally provocative and moving circumstances. Emotional pleas from people who wish to gain acceptance for same-sex desires is a prime example of the “heart and eyes” misleading us.

As Jewish people guided by the Torah we have an obligation to take a step back from this overpowering emotional appeal and evaluate the situation from the following objective perspectives:

  1. Torah. The Torah makes an unambiguous statement that homosexuality is not an acceptable lifestyle or a genuine identity by severely prohibiting its conduct.
  2. Science. Contrary to commonly held beliefs, there is no conclusive or even substantive scientific evidence that homosexuality is genetically or biologically predetermined (that is, that people are born homosexual and cannot change sexual orientation.)
  3. Personal Experiences. Many individuals who struggled with SSA have successfully overcome their challenges and now lead Torah sanctioned lifestyles.
  4. Emotionally Based Arguments. ‘If you don’t accept and publicly recognize us as unchangeable homosexuals then you are responsible for any, or all, of the following: bullying, suicide, homophobia, hate crimes, discrimination, etc.’ Utilizing these emotionally charged words has successfully resulted in furthering the campaign to equate homosexuality with heterosexuality. (Another example; activists determined that the word “Homosexual” has negative connotations so in order to gain widespread acceptance they changed their designation to “Gay” which has more positive connotations.)

We need to take an objective approach to this emotionally driven campaign so we can intelligently be compassionate while providing the proper, Torah mandated, support and encouragement for someone struggling with this issue.

May Hashem provide us with the courage and strength, regardless of the political climate, to always stand up for truth and Torah values.

Sincerely,
The Committee