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London - Chief Rabbi, Beth Din Opposes Gay Marriage

Published on: June 19, 2012 10:04 PM
By: Read more at Jewish Chronicle
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Photo credit: WikipediaLondon - The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has finally broken his silence on gay and lesbian marriages and opposed government plans to introduce it.

In a submission to a Home Office consultation, the London Beth Din (the Chief Rabbi’s court), and the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue, stated that same-sex unions were “against Jewish law”.

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In contrast to the vocal support given by the Reform and Liberal movements to equality in marriage for same-sex couples.

The statement said: “Marriage, by definition in Jewish (biblical) law is the union of a male and a female. While Judaism teaches respect for others and condemns all types of discrimination, we oppose a change to the definition of marriage that includes same-sex relationships. Jewish (biblical) law prohibits the practice of homosexuality.”

Civil marriage for same-sex couples should be rejected because, they said, “any attempt to redefine this sacred institution would be to undermine the concept of marriage”.



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Read Comments (23)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Each branch of Judaism in the UK will speak with its own voice. Its not clear which group has the most influence with the current government.

2

 Jun 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM shredready Says:

why not call it something else, civil union, and give them the same rights as married couples

3

 Jun 19, 2012 at 10:17 PM vitriol Says:

I think it is significant that the article read "finally broke his silenc". If anyone can mount an eloquent argument for the sanctity of the Biblical institution of marriage it is Rabbi Sacks. And yet, he may have been reluctant to get involved. You see, everybody is a mere "pawn" when it comes to what the Talmud predicts will happen before the redemption finally arrives.

4

 Jun 19, 2012 at 10:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Ban this in your own synagogue. Jews do not preach morality. Just intelligent honorable ways of discourse.

5

 Jun 20, 2012 at 12:42 AM Wise-Guy Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Ban this in your own synagogue. Jews do not preach morality. Just intelligent honorable ways of discourse.

Incorrect!
We are "A light unto the nations".

We preach
and teach
and are vocal when there's a breach. (Hey, that rhymes!)

Homosexuality violates (one of) the 7 Noahide laws.
Government recognition of such marriages constitutes a "sinful government", which, as Chazal teaches, poses a danger for all inhabitants.

In general, widespread immorality, slowly but surely, always has a negative effect on society at large. Including the religious.

6

 Jun 20, 2012 at 12:45 AM DovidTheK Says:

What's the chidush here? You thought maybe they would approve it?

7

 Jun 20, 2012 at 12:47 AM Anonymous Says:

Jews do not preach morality?!? That's been our role in the world since Avraham Avinu.

8

 Jun 20, 2012 at 01:07 AM The_Beadle Says:

Very disappointed with the Chief Rabbi for feeling he needs to get involved in something which is nothing to do with Jews,

9

 Jun 20, 2012 at 01:37 AM Leibel from London Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Each branch of Judaism in the UK will speak with its own voice. Its not clear which group has the most influence with the current government.

Exactly as each branch of Judaism in the United States will speak with its own voice.

It's not clear which group has the most influence with the current government.

Might I remind shredready, please, that he is somewhat behind the times. "Civil Partnership" has been legal in the UK since 2004.

It must be stressed, however, that Her Majesty's Government, in order to counter claims that this is instituting same-sex marriage, emphasised that civil partnership is quite separate from marriage.

10

 Jun 20, 2012 at 02:14 AM Mordechai Says:

I dont understand why it took so long for them to say something, besides, Rabbi Sacks is resigning soon, he can afford to let his hair down" a bit, with fear of the repercussion it may bring.

11

 Jun 20, 2012 at 07:28 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

Ban this in your own synagogue. Jews do not preach morality. Just intelligent honorable ways of discourse.

Perhaps you rather mean that you do not like to be told what to do?

12

 Jun 20, 2012 at 09:14 AM The_Beadle Says:

Reply to #5  
Wise-Guy Says:

Incorrect!
We are "A light unto the nations".

We preach
and teach
and are vocal when there's a breach. (Hey, that rhymes!)

Homosexuality violates (one of) the 7 Noahide laws.
Government recognition of such marriages constitutes a "sinful government", which, as Chazal teaches, poses a danger for all inhabitants.

In general, widespread immorality, slowly but surely, always has a negative effect on society at large. Including the religious.

This is not a law about homosexuality - nothing is changing that.

13

 Jun 20, 2012 at 09:23 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
DovidTheK Says:

What's the chidush here? You thought maybe they would approve it?

Did you ever meet anyone who would encourage his daughter or sister to to get married to someone who is naturally gay, but claims that its only a Yetzer Hora, and he will struggle to beat the Yetzer, and only act straight.

14

 Jun 20, 2012 at 09:38 AM Avreich1 Says:

Reply to #8  
The_Beadle Says:

Very disappointed with the Chief Rabbi for feeling he needs to get involved in something which is nothing to do with Jews,

As you are doubtless aware, Chief Rabbi Sacks is highly respected within the British establishment, both for his scholarship and for his מידות.

While same-sex "marriage" has no place in our collective השקפה, the Home Office (= Department of the Interior) asked him for his opinions, as depicted in the second paragraph of the story above, and he offered them.

Result: The British government now knows what one major sector (at least) of British Jewry thinks on the issue. Whether it takes any notice of Lord Sacks (or any other ecclesiastic) is another matter entirely.

AFAIK, you live in the UK so you could easily Google the Home Office website's consultation page and throw in your two pence-worth as well!

BTW, I was in London last week for a professional conference. In the course of conversation I asked several of my British colleagues what their opinions of same-sex marriage were.

Most of them were against *religious* same-sex marriage saying that it would be an abomination and a mockery of G-d's name. None of them we Jewish, incidentally, and two were avowed atheists.

16

 Jun 20, 2012 at 10:29 AM favish Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Each branch of Judaism in the UK will speak with its own voice. Its not clear which group has the most influence with the current government.

Please dont mislead. There is no different branches of Judaism. The riboni shel oilom did not give a choice menu on har sini bet orthodox, MO, reform, conservative christian etc. He gave written and oral torah(explanation to 613, NOT INTERPETATIONS) Along the way came movements like karites, christians, rerform, conservative, Mo, vchol tzutia, vchol zov, vchol tame lnefesh who started discarding above without authority.Proof all these movements somewhere down the line thier ancestors were shomrei torah umitzvos like us. did any of these movements have a new relavation to disregard torah she bal peh (besides that they dont believ in shenbekasav either or mamad har sini 10 mackos etc etc)so what judaism do they practice?

17

 Jun 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Wise-Guy Says:

Incorrect!
We are "A light unto the nations".

We preach
and teach
and are vocal when there's a breach. (Hey, that rhymes!)

Homosexuality violates (one of) the 7 Noahide laws.
Government recognition of such marriages constitutes a "sinful government", which, as Chazal teaches, poses a danger for all inhabitants.

In general, widespread immorality, slowly but surely, always has a negative effect on society at large. Including the religious.

...and if we help them along we transgress 'lifnay iveir lo sitayn michshol'' see avodah zoreh and S'U

18

 Jun 20, 2012 at 11:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
favish Says:

Please dont mislead. There is no different branches of Judaism. The riboni shel oilom did not give a choice menu on har sini bet orthodox, MO, reform, conservative christian etc. He gave written and oral torah(explanation to 613, NOT INTERPETATIONS) Along the way came movements like karites, christians, rerform, conservative, Mo, vchol tzutia, vchol zov, vchol tame lnefesh who started discarding above without authority.Proof all these movements somewhere down the line thier ancestors were shomrei torah umitzvos like us. did any of these movements have a new relavation to disregard torah she bal peh (besides that they dont believ in shenbekasav either or mamad har sini 10 mackos etc etc)so what judaism do they practice?

How dare you group in MO with the above. MO as a movement keeps shulchan orech and taryag mitzvos. It's just they go to work, don't follow the chareidi 'interpretation' of daas torah which is basically following the politics of agudah and on hashkafa have a different view to the chareidi velt,

19

 Jun 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Wise-Guy Says:

Incorrect!
We are "A light unto the nations".

We preach
and teach
and are vocal when there's a breach. (Hey, that rhymes!)

Homosexuality violates (one of) the 7 Noahide laws.
Government recognition of such marriages constitutes a "sinful government", which, as Chazal teaches, poses a danger for all inhabitants.

In general, widespread immorality, slowly but surely, always has a negative effect on society at large. Including the religious.

Wrong indeed you are.
Israel teaches ethics. "Morals" are the department of the christians. I am quite sure that Israel is the light unto the nations and does not judge them based on their realm, but rather on their ethics and humanity. True Israel does not endorse same sex sexual experiences, but in reality, this is a small pigeon on the table rather than a light post of heresy and godlessness. In reality the small pigeon can be swatted away and those who are our young can be taught what to do in that situation. But we are not the elected leaders of the nations to tell them how to live and we never will be. Israels ethics can be known.

20

 Jun 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Wise-Guy Says:

Incorrect!
We are "A light unto the nations".

We preach
and teach
and are vocal when there's a breach. (Hey, that rhymes!)

Homosexuality violates (one of) the 7 Noahide laws.
Government recognition of such marriages constitutes a "sinful government", which, as Chazal teaches, poses a danger for all inhabitants.

In general, widespread immorality, slowly but surely, always has a negative effect on society at large. Including the religious.

Jews do not preach, they adjust.

21

 Jun 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM Mayer Says:

Am I not right in thinking that there is a difference between homosexual acts which are clearly forbidden in halacha and lesbian acts which are not. Every yirei shomayim is revolted by both modes of this type of sick conduct but when dealing with the outside world we have no need to go further than what basic halacha says. There is no middos chassidus by goyim.

22

 Jun 20, 2012 at 02:38 PM The_Truth Says:

Its Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve!
Its pretty clear in the Torah that there is no room for compromise or interpretation on this one.

23

 Jun 20, 2012 at 03:26 PM Anonymous Says:

The current Chief Rabbi, like his predecessor, has been appointed a Lord.
What he says carries weight beyond the Jewish community, and it is for the good that he has spoken on this contentious issue.

24

 Jun 20, 2012 at 03:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Mayer Says:

Am I not right in thinking that there is a difference between homosexual acts which are clearly forbidden in halacha and lesbian acts which are not. Every yirei shomayim is revolted by both modes of this type of sick conduct but when dealing with the outside world we have no need to go further than what basic halacha says. There is no middos chassidus by goyim.

You are absolutely correct in both your halachic distinction and your revulsion for both homosexuality and lesbianism. However, I disagree with your implication that we try to introduce this distinction into governmental legislation. As far as "the outside world" is concerned, they are one and the same. I don't see the point of trying to educate them otherwise.

25

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