Declaration On The Torah Approach To Homosexuality
Societal Developments On Homosexuality
There has been a monumental shift in the secular world’s
attitude towards homosexuality over the past few decades. In particular over the
past fifteen years there has been a major public campaign to gain acceptance for
homosexuality. Legalizing same-sex marriage has become the end goal of the
campaign to equate homosexuality with heterosexuality.
A propaganda blitz has been sweeping the world using
political tactics to persuade the public about the legitimacy of homosexuality.
The media is rife with negative labels implying that one is “hateful” or
“homophobic” if they do not accept the homosexual lifestyle as legitimate. This
political coercion has silenced many into acquiescence. Unfortunately this
attitude has seeped into the Torah community and many have become confused or
have accepted the media’s portrayal of this issue.
The Torah’s Unequivocal And Eternal Message
The Torah makes a clear statement that homosexuality is not
an acceptable lifestyle or a genuine identity by severely prohibiting its
conduct. Furthermore, the Torah, ever prescient about negative secular
influences, warns us in Vayikra (Leviticus) 20:23 “Do not follow the traditions
of the nations that I expel from before you…” Particularly the Torah writes this
in regards to homosexuality and other forbidden sexual liaisons.
Same-Sex Attractions Can Be Modified And Healed
From a Torah perspective, the question whether homosexual
inclinations and behaviors are changeable is extremely relevant. The concept
that G-d created a human being who is unable to find happiness in a loving
relationship unless he violates a biblical prohibition is neither plausible nor
acceptable. G-d is loving and merciful. Struggles, and yes, difficult struggles,
along with healing and personal growth are part and parcel of this world.
Impossible, life long, Torah prohibited situations with no achievable solutions
We emphatically reject the notion that a homosexually
inclined person cannot overcome his or her inclination and desire. Behaviors are
changeable. The Torah does not forbid something which is impossible to avoid.
Abandoning people to lifelong loneliness and despair by denying all hope of
overcoming and healing their same-sex attraction is heartlessly cruel. Such an
attitude also violates the biblical prohibition in Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:14
“and you shall not place a stumbling block before the blind.”
The Process Of Healing
viable course of action that is consistent with
the Torah is therapy and teshuvah. The therapy consists of reinforcing the
natural gender-identity of the individual by helping him or her understand and
repair the emotional wounds that led to its disorientation and weakening, thus
enabling the resumption and completion of the individual’s emotional
development. Teshuvah is a Torah-mandated, self-motivated process of turning
away from any transgression or sin and returning to G-d and one’s spiritual
essence. This includes refining and reintegrating the personality and allowing
it to grow in a healthy and wholesome manner.
are typically facilitated and coordinated
with the help of a specially trained counselor or therapist working in
conjunction with a qualified spiritual teacher or guide. There is no other
practical, Torah-sanctioned solution for this issue.
The Mitzvah Of Love And Compassion
It requires tremendous bravery and fortitude for a person
to confront and deal with same-sex attraction. For example a sixteen-year-old who
is struggling with this issue may be confused and afraid and not know whom to
speak to or what steps to take. We must create an atmosphere where this teenager
(or anyone) can speak freely to a parent, rabbi, or mentor and be treated with
love and compassion. Authority figures can then guide same-sex strugglers
towards a path of healing and overcoming their inclinations.
The key point to remember is that these individuals are
primarily innocent victims of childhood emotional wounds. They deserve our full
love, support and encouragement in their striving towards healing. Struggling
individuals who seek health and wellness should not be confused with the
homosexual movement and their agenda. This distinction is crucial. It reflects
the difference between what G-d asks from all of us and what He unambiguously
We need to do everything in our power to lovingly uplift
struggling individuals towards a full and healthy life that is filled with love,
joy and the wisdom of the Torah.