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Amsterdam - Chief Rabbi Of Amsterdam Is Reinstated

Published on: February 1, 2012 04:39 PM
By:  JTA
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Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag

Amsterdam - The chief rabbi of Amsterdam, who was suspended for signing a statement on “curing” homosexuality, reportedly has been reinstated.

Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag of New York, who travels to the Netherlands several times a year to rule on matters of Jewish law, had been suspended in mid-January by the Executive Committee of the Jewish Community of Amsterdam pending a face-to-face meeting to discuss his signature on the “Declaration On The Torah Approach To Homosexuality.”

“We welcome the reinstatement of Chief Rabbi Ralbag as a wise step in the best interests of the Amsterdam community,” the Conference of European Rabbis said in a statement issued Wednesday.

Ralbag was among some 180 rabbis, community leaders and mental health professionals who signed the declaration, which according to a page on the declaration website was initiated by Jews who say they have overcome their homosexuality.


Full story at JTA 

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Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »


 Feb 01, 2012 at 05:03 PM Kashrus Pro Says:

Wow! This is the first time I'm actually happy to 'see' the Triangle K on something!!!!!


 Feb 01, 2012 at 05:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Does this mean that the Rav no longer fears for his safety in Holland?


 Feb 01, 2012 at 06:34 PM vremel Says:

1 of 3
i copied the rabbis official statement i saw posted on another site, it seems the left wingers in the kehilla are trying to save face and saying the rav ch"v was chozer, but his statement ckearly says the contrary
January 26,2012
I am issuing this statement as Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam, who is proud of his heritage and Torah-based beliefs. My purpose in making this statement is to expound on my outlook – which I believe is consistent with the views of Torah sages throughout the ages – and to respond to certain harsh criticism that has been directed at me over the past few days. Let me make it clear at the outset that I am directing this statement with kindness and compassion to my fellow Jews who identify themselves with Torah Judaism but are struggling with sexual inclinations that conflict in letter and spirit with a Torah lifestyle.
I believe these fellow Jews “deserve our full love, support and encouragement”, and I recommend creating “an atmosphere” where they “can speak freely to a parent, rabbi, or mentor and be treated with love and compassion”.
I must state the truth, which I understand may be painful to a Torah-believing Jew


 Feb 01, 2012 at 06:34 PM avremel Says:

2 of 3
who is struggling with homosexual proclivities: The Torah prohibits certain forms of sexual conduct, including sexual relations between a man and another man. This form of sexual conduct is simply not an acceptable mode of behavior according to the Torah; the Torah forbids this act in the strongest terms.
If a person wishes to live a Torah lifestyle, then that person must refrain from this form of sexual conduct. I am not here to excommunicate anyone from the community of Torah believers. Nor did I ever say that homosexuality is a disease or a sickness. Nor am I here to give an opinion on whether homosexuality originates from nature or nurture. My sole point is that a person who wants to reconcile himself with a Torah-based lifestyle needs to adapt or curb his inclinations.


 Feb 01, 2012 at 06:36 PM avremel Says:

3 of 3
When I use the word ‘healing’, I am referring to a ‘healing-of-the-soul’, a ‘spiritual-healing’. This is directed to a person struggling with inner turmoil and seething with inner conflict. It is to such a person that we offer guidance to help control or ameliorate his urges, so that they be compatible with Torah. My message was one of inclusion not rejection.
Let me emphasize that conduct, not the person, is the subject of my statement
I am disappointed that the declaration - signed by me as Chief Rabbi from Amsterdam - has been the basis of such harsh criticism and tumult.
I do not believe that I have to apologize to anyone for my Torah-based beliefs; nevertheless, I sincerely regret and apologize to anyone pained by the inaccurate portrayal of my views.
Aryeh Ralbag
Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam


 Feb 01, 2012 at 08:52 PM mutti Says:

the declaration was clearly talking about behavioral healing i.e. reparative therapy to change one's physical inclinations.


 Feb 02, 2012 at 12:41 AM bookman Says:

Hmmmm. One person has a natural desire to be a homosexual. The other person has a natural desire to be mechallel shabbos. The next person has a natural desire to eat treif. Then there is a person who has a natural desire to discount shomer negia. and another person must have pizza on Pesach. In the times of the first beis hamikdash people had natural desire to worship sculptures of stone and wood. Where does it stop?


 Feb 02, 2012 at 07:42 AM sechelyoshor Says:

Mr. bookman, you think you're clever, but you're not. There are many very frum mental health professional who have publicly stated that there might be a difference between different yetzer horas.

Of course l'halacha, what's assur is assur, but there are many frum mental health professionals who have been saying for quite a few years, that some homosexuals were born with that inclination.


 Feb 02, 2012 at 10:11 AM vremel Says:

rabbi ralbag clearly states in his personal statement that its al irrelevant if you are born this way or decided to act on your taavos or its enviromental...there is only one fact and that is that is not the torah way, and that will never change...and if someone wants to change and live a torah life we are here to speak to you either thru therapy or thru helping you do teshuva..
cant argue with that...


 Feb 02, 2012 at 10:55 AM seagul47 Says:

remember that the origin of the phrase "to'evas Hashem" means to create a distance between you and HB"H (see Onkelos--uses the term "merachek d'Hashem")
so...We have a mitzva to get closer to Hashem and a person who engages in a "to'evo" is creating a distance from Hashem. (also see Onkelos in Devarim--Re'eh--referring to "lo tochal kol to'evo"--uses the term "merachek")
so you have a choice--when you engage in certain behavior, you minimize you kedusho and create a distance from Hashem.


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