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Ask the Rabbi #6

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January 15, 1994; Issue #6

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  • Judaism's view on Homosexuality
  • How to submit questions
  • "The Search for Truth" by Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb
  • Subscription Information
  • Back issues are indexed both by issue no. and by subject
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

  • Judaism's view on Homosexuality

    A Curious, Wondering Jew writes:

    Dear Rabbi,

    Now that science has determined that homosexuality is genetically transmitted how does that affect the Jewish view of Homosexuals?

    Thank you,

    Dear Curious, Wondering, Jew,

    Two points. First: Although there has been some research into the role genetics has on homosexuality, no conclusive evidence to support this claim has emerged. That some people have a predisposition to this kind of behavior is not in question, but the argument about its origins continues. Even if it was proven that homosexuality is genetically transmitted, that would not mean that we must condone the behavior. There are many conditions that are genetically transmitted (for example, color blindness) yet we continue to search for a way to overcome them.

    Second: The Torah's view of Jewish homosexuals is that they are just as much a part of the community as everyone else. We have an obligation to treat them with the same respect and compassion that we must treat every other human being. What is objectionable in the eyes of the Torah is the particular sexual act, NOT the person. "Thou shalt not lie with a man after the manner of a woman: it is an abomination." The Torah is not judging the person; only the behavior.

    The difficulty arises when people insist on identifying homosexuals exclusively by their sexual orientation. Then when the sexual behavior is condemned, this condemnation is transferred to their entire modus vivendi. Human beings are much more than their sexual behavior and must be treated that way.


    • Leviticus ch.18, v.22

    How to submit questions

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    "The Search for Truth" by Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb

    Ohr Somayach Institutions is proud to present:


    by Rabbi Dr. Dovid Gottlieb

    Transcribed by Joshua Hermelin

    Transcripts of 7 lectures by Rabbi Gottlieb

    • The Relevance of Religion
    • Religion: Pragmatism or Truth?
    • The Historical Verification of the Torah - Parts 1-5

    Rabbi Dr. Gottlieb is a former professor of philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, is an internationally acclaimed lecturer and author of several books. He is presently a senior lecturer at Ohr Somayach Institutions in Jerusalem.

    These files are available on the Jerualem1 Gopher under the heading "Religion Institutions" and the sub-heading "Ohr Somayach"

    CompuServe users can also download these lectures from the CIS Religion Forum, Judaism Library (3), under the file name TRUTH.ZIP

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