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The Torah Approach

Posted on January 21, 2016 at 2:40 PM

Declaration On The Torah Approach To Homosexuality

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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 are

not.

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

 

The only 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.

These processes 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 prohibits.

 

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.

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Categories: Homosexualitaet, Judaism