Public statement: Recently, an American Jewish clergyman officiated at a matrimonial ceremony that is incorrectly being reported by some in the media as “the first time that an ordained Orthodox Rabbi has officiated at a same-sex marriage in the United States.” We, as rabbis from a broad spectrum of the Orthodox community around the world, wish to correct the false impression that an Orthodox-approved same-gender wedding took place. By definition, a union that is not sanctioned by Torah law is not an Orthodox wedding, and by definition a person who conducts such a ceremony is not an Orthodox rabbi.

Orthodox Rabbis Stand On Principle

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

[Public statement from here: link. Also from there: If you are an Orthodox rabbi and would like to add your name to this statement, please e-mail your name and city of residence to [email protected]. See also this post: link.]

Recently, an American Jewish clergyman officiated at a matrimonial ceremony that is incorrectly being reported by some in the media as “the first time that an ordained Orthodox Rabbi has officiated at a same-sex marriage in the United States.”

We, as rabbis from a broad spectrum of the Orthodox community around the world, wish to correct the false impression that an Orthodox-approved same-gender wedding took place. By definition, a union that is not sanctioned by Torah law is not an Orthodox wedding, and by definition a person who conducts such a ceremony is not an Orthodox rabbi.

Jewish tradition unequivocally teaches that marriage can only exist as a union between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of a homosexual relationship. It is a distortion of Torah to confound that sacred principle. We strongly object to this desecration of Torah values and to the subsequent misleading reportage.

We appreciate the sensitive nature of intimacy. We, as rabbis, lovingly play a crucial role in helping Jews who may be facing great personal challenges to feel comfortable and welcome in our communities. Rabbis are always available to discuss congregants’ personal issues, including intimacy. We understand from our experiences in offering pastoral care that some individuals experience deep inner conflict as they seek a holy path to serve G-d and to fulfill their spiritual needs. As rabbis, we devote our lives towards helping all those in our broader community achieve their loftiest spiritual potential, while fully upholding the timeless values expressed in our Holy Torah.

The public should not be misled into thinking that Orthodox Jewish views on this issue can change, are changing, or might someday change. The Rabbinical Council of America recently declared that “the Torah, which forbids homosexual activity, sanctions only the union of a man and a woman in matrimony.” This is the only statement on this matter that can reflect Orthodox Judaism. Any claims or statements to the contrary are inaccurate and false.

SIGNED:

Rabbi Elie Abadie – New York, NY
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein – Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Eitan Allen – Fairfield, CT
Rabbi Sol Appleman – Woodsburgh, NY
Rabbi Moshe Averick – Chicago, IL
Rabbi Ian Bailey – Silver Spring, MD
Rabbi Yisroel Bendelstein – Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Etan Berman – New York, NY
Rabbi Azriel Blumberg – Brighton, MA
Rabbi Heshy Blumstein – Hewlett, NY
Rabbi Avram Bogopulsky – San Diego, CA
Rabbi Kenneth Brodkin – Portland, OR
Rabbi Zev Cinamon – West Hempstead, NY
Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen – West Palm Beach, FL
Rabbi Judah Z. Cohen – Hewlett, NY
Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen – New York, NY
Rabbi Mordechai Cohen – Milwaukee, WI
Rabbi Yosef Cohen – West Hartford, CT
Rabbi Nissim Davidi – Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Eliezer Eidlitz – Valley Village, CA
Rabbi Ari Enkin – Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel
Rabbi Ephraim Epstein – Cherry Hill, NJ
Rabbi Aaron Feigenbaum – Memphis, TN
Rabbi Dovid Feinberg – Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman – Jerusalem, Israel
Rabbi Ilan Feldman – Atlanta, GA
Rabbi Eliyahu Ferrell – Passaic, NJ
Rabbi Yitzchok Fingerer – Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Shmuel Fink – Lawrence, NY
Rabbi Dov Fischer – Orange County, CA
Rabbi Arie Folger – Munich, Germany
Rabbi Barry Freundel – Washington, DC
Rabbi Zvi Friedlander – New York, NY
Rabbi Cary Friedman – Passaic, NJ
Rabbi Zev Friedman – Lawrence, NY
Rabbi Mallen Galinsky – Jerusalem, Israel
Rabbi Benjamin Geiger – Forest Hills, NY
Rabbi Avraham Ginzburg – Forest Hills, NY
Rabbi Saul Gold – Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Efrem Goldberg – Boca Raton, FL
Rabbi Jay H. Goldberg – Far Rockaway, NY
Rabbi Chaim Goldberger – Minneapolis, MN
Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer – New York, NY
Rabbi Shlomo Grafstein – New York, NY
Rabbi Michoel Green – Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel
Rabbi Alan Greenspan – Jerusalem, Israel
Rabbi Yonah Gross – Wynnewood, PA
Rabbi Yosef Grossman – Monsey, NY
Rabbi Ben Hecht – Toronto, Canada
Rabbi Ari Jacobson – Monsey, NY
Rabbi Ari Kahn – Givat Ze’ev, Israel
Rabbi Howard Katzenstein – Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski – Richmond, VA
Rabbi Ira Kronenberg – Passaic, NJ
Rabbi Pinchas L. Landis – Cincinnati, OH
Rabbi Eliezer Langer – Austin, TX
Rabbi Levi Langer – Pittsburgh, PA
Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz – North Woodmere, NY
Rabbi Avi Lebowitz – Palo Alto, CA
Rabbi Yonah Levant – Queens, NY
Rabbi Menachem Levine – San Jose, CA
Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz – Chicago, IL
Rabbi Yaakov Luban – Highland Park, NJ
Rabbi Avraham Maimon – Sunnyvale, CA
Rabbi Reuven Mann – Phoenix, AZ
Rabbi Harry Maryles – Chicago, IL
Rabbi Baruch Pesach Mendelson – Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Jacob B. Mendelson – Bridgeport, CT
Rabbi Yossi Mendelson – Queens, NY
Rabbi Lester Miller – Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Yerachmiel Morrison – Lakewood, NJ
Rabbi Jonathan Muskat – Oceanside, NY
Rabbi Yehuda L. Oppenheimer – Forest Hills, NY
Rabbi Gavriel Price – Passaic, NJ
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky – Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Aharon Rakeffet – Jerusalem, Israel
Rabbi Michael Rapps – Far Rockaway, NY
Rabbi Hershel Reichman – New York, NY
Rabbi Rachmiel Rothberger – New York, NY
Rabbi Gidon Rothstein – Riverdale, NY
Rabbi Lawrence Rothwachs – Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Yackov Saacks – Dix Hills, NY
Rabbi Nosson Sachs – Pittsburgh, PA
Rabbi Nachum Sauer – Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Hershel Schachter – New York, NY
Rabbi Moshe Schapiro – Bergenfield, NJ
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld – Queens, NY
Rabbi Zev Schostak – Queens, NY
Rabbi Tsvi G. Schur – Baltimore, MD
Rabbi David Shabtai – New York, NY
Rabbi Dov Shapiro – Spring Valley, NY
Rabbi Jay C. Shoulson – Long Island City, NY
Rabbi Zecharia Sionit – Dallas, TX
Rabbi Ze’ev Smason – St. Louis, MO
Rabbi Aryeh Sokoloff – Queens, NY
Rabbi Aryeh Spero – Great Neck, NY
Rabbi Reuven Spolter -Yad Binyamin, Israel
Rabbi Leonard Steinberg – Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Gil Student – Brooklyn, NY
Rabbi Michael Taubes – Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Moses David Tendler – Monsey, NY
Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner, Toronto, Canada
Rabbi Benzion Twerski – Milwaukee, WI
Rabbi Michel Twerski – Milwaukee, WI
Rabbi Avrohom Union – Los Angeles, CA
Rabbi Noach Vogel – San Jose, CA
Rabbi Gedalia Walls – Potomac, MD
Rabbi Yaakov Wasser – East Brunswick, NJ
Rabbi Philip Weinberger – Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Matan Wexler – New York, NY
Rabbi Isaac Yagod – Easton, PA
Rabbi Ari Zahtz – Teaneck, NJ
Rabbi Asher Zeilingold – St. Paul, MN
Rabbi Aharon Ziegler – Jerusalem, Israel

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

132 comments

  1. I don’t understand the purpose of the statement. From a halachic perspective, even R. Steve Greenberg agrees with this. He has clearly written “My position was and still is that is that kiddushin is not appropriate for same-sex couples.”

    But, from a civil perspective, as Judge Walker has ruled: “Marriage in the United States has always been a civil matter. Civil authorities may permit religious leaders to solemnize marriages but not to determine who may enter or leave a civil marriage. Religious leaders may determine independently whether to recognize a civil marriage or divorce but that recognition or lack thereof has no effect on the relationship under state law”.

    If the RCA wants to forbid member Rabbis from officiating at civil marriages whose purpose is not kiddushin, let them rule as such.

  2. IH – If he believes kiddushin is inappropriate between two men, then why did he provide them with the modified language? Or better yet – why would he preside over a ceremony that he deemed inappropriate? Either he believes that sheker, in addition to homosexuality is okay, or that quoted statement is inaccurate.

    What a sad time we live in, that Rabbis have to sign a letter like this… Growing up I didn’t understand how during Bayit Rishon, with Chachamim 50 times the stature of anyone on this list, people still were Oved Avodah Zarah. Now I realize

  3. Where in the statement is Kiddushin mentioned? A rabbi is also not allowed to perform a civil gay marriage or gay commitment ceremony.

    And this wasn’t an RCA statement.

  4. “the sensitive nature of intimacy”?

    Surely it means to say “the sensitive nature of sex” or “the sensitive nature of human sexuality”. If this is a statement for the broader public (including non-Jewish and secular reporters), why are code-words and euphemisms being used?

  5. MiMedinat HaYam

    or a civil intermarriage (or civil commitment.)

  6. Skeptic: Euphemisms were used to be as inclusive as possible of media venues. It makes good PR sense to cover as many bases as possible.

  7. Yehuda — A public petition has no meaning and only stokes sinat chinam (given your 2nd paragraph; and you will remember that sinat chinam skula k’neged shalosh aveirot, avoda zara, gilui arayot and shfichut damim).

    The way to deal with this is via the RCA’s internal processes as has been done with others who haved pushed boundaries.

  8. IH: He isn’t an RCA member but still calls himself Orthodox, and the media reported this story that way. And, of course, a public objection accomplishes something. Shesikah ke-hoda’ah.

  9. “We, as rabbis, lovingly play a crucial role in helping Jews who may be facing great personal challenges to feel comfortable and welcome in our communities.” how is this so? if true, do we see it in these rabbis’ communities that they are open and welcoming to gays? or do i misunderstand this statement – or does it mean that we are open to those that have these tendencies but can change? confused.

  10. Gil — thank God for the defenders of the faith. Have you signed similar petitions each time a sex abuse scandal involving a Rabbi has occurred? Or a fraud involving a Rabbi?

  11. IH: The RCA has, in fact, issued resolutions on both of those subjects as well as many more. And most people caught deny their guilt and the issue becomes one of evidence. Here, he freely admits what he did.

  12. Ruvie: how is this so? if true, do we see it in these rabbis’ communities that they are open and welcoming to gays?

    Different rabbis have different styles and act in different ways. No one said anything about changing orientation.

  13. “We, as rabbis, lovingly play a crucial role in helping Jews who may be facing great personal challenges to feel comfortable and welcome in our communities. Rabbis are always available to discuss congregants’ personal issues, including intimacy”
    May I ask what percentage of rabbi’s on this list have congregants?

  14. Beware the law of unintended consequences.

  15. Who knows but there are plenty. There was an intentional effort to include rabbis from different places and serving in different roles. This is a statement from across a spectrum.

  16. IH- A public petition like this stokes sinat chinam? It didn’t even mention anyone but the Apikorus who made a Chillul Hashem B’Farhesia! And even that it did with kid gloves on! I think you’re mistaking Sinat Chinam with what normal people call ‘Outrage.’

    The ceremony was highly publicized and caused much confusion! If an ‘orthodox’ rabbi was matir chazir and all the newspapers published it, you think it would be inappropriate to publish an open letter stating that chazir is assur? Or rather we should quietly reprimand him behind closed doors… You have got to be kidding me!

    As to the sex-offending rabbis, we don’t issue statements against them because they don’t cause the masses to err. Even an antisemite knows Judaism doesn’t support child molestation (don’t test me on that, I’m probably wrong, but its a rhetorical remark, I’m sure you get the point.)

    As to the fraud cases, there are those who cause balabatim to violate dina d’malchuta dina, and the worst kind of geneiva. I have heard many of the rabbis who signed the above petition speak strongly against them. However, I think it may be that either (a) their halakhic pronouncements haven’t gained much publicity in the secular press, and thus these petitions are unneccessary or (b) those ‘poskim’ are too powerful to be condemned publicly. A sad state of affairs.

    Either way, stop equivocating for the Apikorus! Let him be denounced! I assure you, he isn’t going to be bothered one bit.

  17. r’ gil – how is “to feel comfortable and welcome in our communities.” demonstrated in these rabbis shuls or communities. i am just asking if this is true and if it is what is the proof that it is. or is this a throw away line to show that we as rabbis are not anti – gay or homophobic. but “comfortable” and “welcome” – really how so – openly from the pulpit?

  18. ruvie – my rabbi is welcoming to mechallelei shabbat and tries to make them comfortable in the synagogue. That doesn’t mean he speaks from the pulpit justifying their behavior.

    The fallacy that treating people with respect equals saying that their behavior is okay should be above you, you’re a smart guy…

  19. “There was an intentional effort to include rabbis from different places and serving in different roles. This is a statement from across a spectrum.”

    I was struck by some of the strange bedfellows (perhaps a bad phrase to use in this context but you know what I mean). Could you tell us, Gil, who was behind this and how it came to be?

  20. Ruvie: As I wrote before, with a group as broad as this you can’t generalize. Shuls are open in different ways.

  21. IH: Did you warn about unintended consequences regarding the Statement of Principles?

    Joseph: All I can say is that the public spokesman for the signers is R. Steven Pruzansky.

  22. come on R’ Gil. based on your passionate defense its clear that you are the driving force behind this. just tell us why.

  23. I’m sorry I asked.

  24. Interesting theory but not actually true. I advised against issuing the letter on three separate occasions but agreed to sign it anyways because I agree with it.

  25. “I advised against issuing the letter on three separate occasions”

    For what reasons?

  26. yehuda – apologize for not being clearer. i do not mean that one has publicly say that gays are welcomed – with or without a banner – (but people tend to know who is sympathetic) just that some rabbis – from the pulpit – may send the opposite message (or have in the past in coded ways). i was just asking how this statement is at all true in any realistic way that people can see. is that too much to ask so it is not disingenuous?

  27. There are indeed some odd patterns in the signatories.

    To take one, there seem to be at least 7 faculty members affiliated with Rambam Mesivta in Lawrence, NY: (Rosh Mesivta Zev Meir Friedman, Rabbis Appleman, Fink,and Muskat, R’ Reichman as a long-time lecturer and ex-staffers Rabbis Cinamon and Miller)

    I find this to be particularly troubling for two reasons:

    1. The apparent “locus” of names associated with a single institution speaks to closed community of those rabbis who participated; And

    2. The special responsibilities and difficulties of educators in handling these issues. If the proper attitude is indeed one of sensitivity and privacy, students need not feel their educators are lining up behind a statement in an apparently undeclared fashion, especially as this statement is clearly–perhaps rightly!– in opposition to other philosophical positions or attitudes towards homosexuality.

  28. I was extremely disappointed that I was unable to recognize any cross-over whatsoever from both statements of principles. That’s really pathetic for both sides.

  29. Ruvie-

    I think many are misled by the general milieu of society that homosexuality has to be proclaimed loudly and that any claim against such an attitude indicates a negative approach to people’s personal business. If a married heterosexual announced to me that he was going to have relations with his wife, I would think he was disgusting, just as I find a parade of half-naked men announcing their sexual proclivities disgusting. (Although I must admit admiring the quite colorful spectacle)

    However, the latter is extremely prevalent, and I think it concerns those whose job it is to safeguard the Jewish people’s moral character.

    It is indeed a disconcerting position for homosexuals to feel an affinity for a group that expects you to negate a large part of your self when larger society expects you to proclaim that same part proudly, and it is a tempting feeling to expect the smaller group to change, in accordance with larger society, rather than to try to change yourself, so as to conform to a smaller society’s norms.

    However, I think it’s naive to say that when a rabbi speaks publicly against homosexuality, or rebukes someone for strident violation of torah prohibitions, it means he isn’t comforting or welcoming to one who wishes to observe the torah but has tremendous difficulty.

    I guess you could say that the rabbis in the above letter are comforting and welcoming to homosexuals who admit their own imperfection, but not those who claim the torah is imperfect.

  30. “We, as rabbis, lovingly play a crucial role in helping Jews who may be facing great personal challenges to feel comfortable and welcome in our communities.” This statement is an overwhelmingly false generalization; rabbis patting themselves on the back and portraying themselves as lovers of all members of k’lal yisroel. Sorry. Gay Jews – unless they’re willing to suffocate in the closet and pretend to be straight nebechs who haven’t found their besherte – are simply unwanted and unwelcome in most of the orthodox community. When these same Jews – many very well Yeshiva educated – see the criminals and lowlives who are accepted in the orthodox community – they often decide to leave orthodoxy and even leave Judaism entirely. I know of too many cases in modern orthodox days schools where rabbis have joined in with students in persecuting and verbally abusing kids who were perceived as gay. Please – at least be honest.

  31. I think you are all missing the bigger picture here:

    “Rabbi Alan Greenspan – Jerusalem, Israel”

    He got smicha so quickly after working in the Fed! AND made Aliyah!

  32. ” Please – at least be honest.” That’s not being honest, that is cherry picking your data.

    How would you even know if there were gay people accepted and working with a rabbi?

    Do you know which people masturbate but work with a rabbi regarding it?

  33. “I was extremely disappointed that I was unable to recognize any cross-over whatsoever from both statements of principles. That’s really pathetic for both sides.” Agreed.

  34. I think the only positive, memorable thing I took away from the letter was that there was an American rabbi named “Eitan Allen.”

    Waiting for another scandal so I can search for a Rabbi “Yogev Washington” or “Yochanan Adams” on the list of signatories.

  35. Avi: I know him; he introduces himself as “the other Alan Greenspan.”

    (He’s a RIETS classmate of my father and a former US military chaplain; his son is the famous halakhic adventurer Ari.)

  36. Is it just me or does it not seem that this statement is really meant to counter the “liberal” statement of principles, and the Greenberg incident presented opportune occasion to do so?

  37. “Is it just me ”

    I think it’s just you.
    This letter is about marriage, not about acceptance in society.

    “Avi: I know him; he introduces himself as “the other Alan Greenspan.””

    Nice! But really, it should be reversed 😛

  38. We appreciate the sensitive nature of intimacy. We, as rabbis, lovingly play a crucial role in helping Jews who may be facing great personal challenges to feel comfortable and welcome in our communities. Rabbis are always available to discuss congregants’ personal issues, including intimacy. We understand from our experiences in offering pastoral care that some individuals experience deep inner conflict as they seek a holy path to serve G-d and to fulfill their spiritual needs. As rabbis, we devote our lives towards helping all those in our broader community achieve their loftiest spiritual potential, while fully upholding the timeless values expressed in our Holy Torah.

    Why is there an entire out of place and entirely self-serving paragraph devoted to telling the world how highly the signatories conceive of themselves?

    Being a rabbi and being a pastor are two different things, and it is an unfortunately small percentage of even the most well-meaning communal rabbis who have any business offering guidance regarding “personal issues.”

    Also, given the language, why were non-communal rabbis asked to sign? Why don’t R. Student and R. Enkin list their phone number so people can make good on their offer and make use of their experiences in offering pastoral care.

    If the signatories were being honest with themselves they would insist on striking that paragraph and making it addendum to be signed only by those rabbis who are willing to field calls from anyone who has “issues with intimacy,” which I assume includes not only homosexuality, but adultery, sexual addiction, and various forms of paraphilia.

  39. “Being a rabbi and being a pastor are two different things, and it is an unfortunately small percentage of even the most well-meaning communal rabbis who have any business offering guidance regarding “personal issues.””

    Why does one need to be a communal rabbi to offer guidance on personal issues? Are friends not allowed to offer guidance on personal issues? Are Teachers, role models, and mentors not allowed to give guidiance?

    “Also, given the language, why were non-communal rabbis asked to sign? Why don’t R. Student and R. Enkin list their phone number so people can make good on their offer and make use of their experiences in offering pastoral care.”

    Again, what does being a communal rabbi have to do with anything? Second, why should anyone give out their phone numbers so people they know nothing about, have never met, and have never learned with can ask them questions about personal issues?

    It’s a sick mindset that says that only someone who deals with everybody is allowed to help anybody. You think Chavrutas are created just for the sake of arguing the Talmud?

  40. Why does one need to be a communal rabbi to offer guidance on personal issues? Are friends not allowed to offer guidance on personal issues? Are Teachers, role models, and mentors not allowed to give guidiance?

    Allowed to and ought to are two different things. More importantly, people turn to rabbis because they are rabbis and that is often taken to be a religious imprimatur of their practical wisdom. Is every rabbi signed both claiming that they are qualified and willing to handle these issues?

    Again, what does being a communal rabbi have to do with anything?

    The statement reads “We, as rabbis, lovingly play a crucial role in helping Jews who may be facing great personal challenges to feel comfortable and welcome in our communities. Rabbis are always available to discuss congregants’ personal issues, including intimacy.”

    Second, why should anyone give out their phone numbers so people they know nothing about, have never met, and have never learned with can ask them questions about personal issues?

    Of course they shouldn’t. It was a rhetorical request taking them up on the offer made in the document they signed.

    It’s a sick mindset that says that only someone who deals with everybody is allowed to help anybody.

    I’m not sure why you think I qualify as having that particular sickness.

    You think Chavrutas are created just for the sake of arguing the Talmud?

    No, they were created for the sublimation of desire.

    Seriously, is that a call for every guy in yeshiva struggling with his sexual identity to unburden himself to his chavrusa? That’s not very good advice. 99 times out of 100 that chavrusa isn’t going to last past the end of morning seder.

  41. “I’m not sure why you think I qualify as having that particular sickness.”

    Because you write things like this:
    “Seriously, is that a call for every guy in yeshiva struggling with his sexual identity to unburden himself to his chavrusa? That’s not very good advice. 99 times out of 100 that chavrusa isn’t going to last past the end of morning seder.”

    Did I say “every guy”? No I did not. I did not even sepecify most or many or a few. My simple point was that learning with someone, and having a rabbi can and often is more than just ‘morning seder’. If someone feels comfortable with their chavruta they should talk to eachother, if they don’t, then they shouldn’t.

    Just because not Everybody can do something, doesn’t mean that not anybody should do it.

    This is a sickness that grows from ideas that regulations and certifications are the only legitimate ways to get things done. And it’s nonsense outside of governmental types of organisations.

    Again, you don’t have to be a communal rabbi (A rabbi in charge of a large community who also acts as a pastor) for the phrase “congregant” and “community” to apply to you. There are congregations of 1, and communities of 2. You seem to be suffering from a severe case of pedantry. And you seem to be thinking that if something is statement of principle then it has to apply to all people by all people stating the principles, when that isn’t at all what is being said, or ever true.

  42. Moshe Shoshan

    “I was extremely disappointed that I was unable to recognize any cross-over whatsoever from both statements of principles. That’s really pathetic for both sides.” Agreed.

    There is no substantive disagreement between the two documents I can see how a person could feel comfortable signing both.

    Furthermore the SoP does address the issue of homosexual marriage:

    Halakhah sees heterosexual marriage as the ideal model and sole legitimate outlet for human sexual expression. The sensitivity and understanding we properly express for human beings with other sexual orientations does not diminish our commitment to that principle.

    and later

    Halakhic Judaism cannot give its blessing and imprimatur to Jewish religious
    same-sex commitment ceremonies and weddings, and halakhic values proscribe individuals and communities from encouraging practices that grant religious legitimacy to gay marriage and couplehood.

    I think he two documents agree on the issue of same sex marriage

  43. avi, I will from now on use the tag for your benefit.

    Just because not Everybody can do something, doesn’t mean that not anybody should do it.

    It’s amazing you think I said anything negating this truism.

    This is a sickness that grows from ideas that regulations and certifications are the only legitimate ways to get things done. And it’s nonsense outside of governmental types of organisations.

    I said nothing of the sort and I’m not sure why you are projecting this preoccupation onto my words. I merely said that the paragraph in question is both mistaken and misplaced, and should not have been signed by those who are not able and willing to serve in the capacity described. L’mashal, should a person with a medical degree who never practiced medicine sign a statement of principles beginning with “as doctors we are always willing to discuss our patients health problems?”

    There are congregations of 1, and communities of 2. You seem to be suffering from a severe case of pedantry.

    And you are suffering from an overly charitable reading of a rather straightforward statement.

    And you seem to be thinking that if something is statement of principle then it has to apply to all people by all people stating the principles

    If a statement of principle includes normative self-referential language then of course it should be applicable to all people stating the principles. Why is that hard to understand. If a statement of principles professes certain beliefs they should be held by anyone willing to sign. If it professes that the undersigned are ready and willing to serve in a certain capacity then only those ready and willing to serve in such a capacity should sign it. If it makes statements of fact about the signers then only those about whom these facts are true should sign it.

  44. (First line above was supposed to read irony tag)

  45. Jon Brooklyn: R. Ben Hecht and R. Mordechai Torczyner signed both (the latter signed late but is on the website). The signatories were obtained by a small group who reached out to their personal contacts. Many refused to signed explicitly for political reasons (my boss or rabbi X might get upset) or because they thought this was obvious or not an issue worth addressing. And there was an intentional effort to avoid asking rabbis who might pressure people to remove their signature (or tell someone who will pressure). We (I include myself as someone who knew what was going on and had a voice) wanted to avoid all that behind-the-scenes drama even if it cost some points with those who play insider baseball and count who is on and who is not.

    MJ: Is it just me or does it not seem that this statement is really meant to counter the “liberal” statement of principles

    Not in the least.

    Why is there an entire out of place and entirely self-serving paragraph devoted to telling the world how highly the signatories conceive of themselves?

    And if it wasn’t there, people would ask why there was no indication of what the rabbis are doing to help. No one can win at the game you are playing.

    Also, given the language, why were non-communal rabbis asked to sign? Why don’t R. Student and R. Enkin list their phone number so people can make good on their offer and make use of their experiences in offering pastoral care.

    You mean why are chaplains and teachers included? Believe it or not, but they counsel people also. And, while I can’t speak for R. Enkin, I am occasionally approached (via e-mail — it’s the 21st century!) by people for personal advice, including more than a handful of gay readers (and one bizarre marital dispute).

  46. In other news, Catholic priests come out against abortion.

  47. and one bizarre marital dispute

    Hashem yiracheim. Did it have something to do with the Flatbush Eruv?

  48. Yehuda – “However, I think it’s naive to say that when a rabbi speaks publicly against homosexuality, or rebukes someone for strident violation of torah prohibitions, it means he isn’t comforting or welcoming to one who wishes to observe the torah but has tremendous difficulty.”

    you can’t have it both ways. its a throw away line if what you say is true and its not welcoming at all. all i ask for is any proof that these rabbis mean what that line says – its seems from gil and yourself its no in the public realm and hence the community cannot be welcoming if rabbis are hostile from the pulpit (not saying that all the rabbis here are). but i would assume many on the list if not most believe these folks can change with therapy.

    i understand the reasons to make a clear statement that people should not confuse orthodoxy – or jewish law (don’t understand why they said jewish “tradition”) in accepting any ceremony for gay unions/marriage. there is no disagreement between the 2 statements of principle.

  49. I updated the list of signatures from the website @8am

  50. ” L’mashal, should a person with a medical degree who never practiced medicine sign a statement of principles beginning with “as doctors we are always willing to discuss our patients health problems?””

    I don’t see why not.

  51. “If it professes that the undersigned are ready and willing to serve in a certain capacity then only those ready and willing to serve in such a capacity should sign it. ”

    Read it again, it never speaks about the ‘undersigned’

  52. yehuda and r’ gil – since this statement is being led by r’ pruzansky (as r’ gil noted) it is interesting to note his view about how welcoming and understanding (lets not confuse this with accepting) of gays in our communities:

    “And, as a rabbi, I need not decide whether a person who has homosexual tendencies can receive an aliya or perform some other public religious function – if I am not privy to that information. I don’t want to know and I don’t need to know – and if these matters are kept private by the relative few beset by them, then the declaration becomes superfluous.”

    http://rabbipruzansky.com/2010/07/30/homophobia-phobia/

    how can you be accepting and open if you state the above? hence the line in the statement about being comfortable and welcoming is questionable or false but unlikely true unless shown otherwise.

  53. R. Pruzansky is the spokesman, not the leader. Big difference. Although in reality there is no leader. Call this Occupy Rabbis.

    To your point, he can easily disagree with you about what it means to be open and welcoming, and claim that he is welcoming to every Jew. One rabbi tells me that his father’s position was that anyone, even a mechallel Shabbos, could get an aliyah as long as his car keys didn’t jangle when he went up for the aliyah. Some might call this welcoming and others might call it the exact opposite.

  54. Shalom Rosenfeld

    R’ Gil, on that note (to lighten the mood here):

    As a teenager, Rabbi Joseph Elias was a baal kriah in Toronto. A major financial backer of the shul once got an aliyah on shabbos, made a generous Mi Sheberach pledge, then pulled a dollar bill from his wallet and said “oh and this is for the boy.”

    🙂

  55. I advised against issuing the letter on three separate occasions but agreed to sign it anyways because I agree with it.

    Gil — why did you advise against issueing the letter?

  56. I saw your question and chose not to answer it publicly.

  57. Your first 3 instincts were correct.

  58. Your endorsement makes me reconsider 🙂

  59. “If it professes that the undersigned are ready and willing to serve in a certain capacity then only those ready and willing to serve in such a capacity should sign it. ”

    Read it again, it never speaks about the ‘undersigned’

    Avi,
    What do you “we” refers to in a document like this if not “the undersigned”

  60. >>” L’mashal, should a person with a medical degree who never practiced medicine sign a statement of principles beginning with “as doctors we are always willing to discuss our patients health problems?””

    >>I don’t see why not.

    Because having a medical degree does not make one, in any relevant sense, a doctor.

  61. Emotions aside, the key questions to ask about this petition are:

    1. What is being asked?
    2. Of whom is it being asked?
    3. Why should they (those being asked) care?

    It seems to me the whole issue would be more effective if neutered of its controversial elements. As far as I can tell, the overarching point of the exercise is to articulate that:

    a. Orthodox Jews see marriage as a religious matter, irrespective of its civil legal status.
    b. Orthodox Judaism has a set of rules proscribing religious marriage which is ultimately consecrated in a ceremony called Kiddushin.
    c. Orthodox Rabbis may not officiate at civil weddings that do not include Kiddushin.

    In so doing, this principle would cover all marriages that are not al pi halacha: from the special case of Kohanim, to intermarriage, to same-sex marriages.

  62. By the way, for completeness, a revised petition should also include the point that Orthodox Rabbis may not perform Kiddushin for a couple who are not legally registered to marry in that State.

  63. Gil

    “R. Pruzansky is the spokesman, not the leader. Big difference.”

    Is this convincing to you? You don’t see why “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is incompatible with “comfortable and welcome in our communities.” How can he offer pastoral counseling – or speak for a group who claims that they do and they will give such counseling – if what he espouses is “I don’t want to know and I don’t need to know”?

  64. on shifts in attitude by orthodox mental health professionals see this latest article:

    http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/orthodox_mental_health_workers_seen_changing_homosexuality?

  65. I’m actually surprised, R. Gil. In February, I criticized the plethora of rabbinic petitions here: http://adderabbi.blogspot.com/2011/02/dozens-hundreds-of-rabbis-say.html

    You included the post in your news and links: https://www.torahmusings.com/2011/02/news-links-34/

    And also wrote in the comments: “I sign on to this post! Seriously, though, excellent post. I’ve forwarded it around because it makes such an important point.”
    http://js-kit.com/api/static/pop_comments?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fadderabbi.blogspot.com%2F2011%2F02%2Fdozens-hundreds-of-rabbis-say.html&path=%2F3504713090615694055

  66. “It seems to me the whole issue would be more effective if neutered of its controversial elements:

    a. Orthodox Jews see marriage as a religious matter, irrespective of its civil legal status.
    b. Orthodox Judaism has a set of rules proscribing religious marriage which is ultimately consecrated in a ceremony called Kiddushin.
    c. Orthodox Rabbis may not officiate at civil weddings that do not include Kiddushin.”

    I don’t understand why homosexual marriages have to be treated as some sort of sacred cow that must be danced around. The statement was fine as is, in my view. Besides, non-orthodox Jews/gentiles have absolutely no idea what the above jargon means.

  67. “I don’t understand why homosexual marriages have to be treated as some sort of sacred cow”.

    Precisely. Why is it any different than intermarriage from a halachic perspective?

  68. Abba's Rantings

    IH:

    “In so doing, this principle would cover all marriages that are not al pi halacha: from the special case of Kohanim, to intermarriage, to same-sex marriages.”

    1) this was a polemic regarding a particular issue, not a comprehensive policy directive. no need (or requirement) to go through the laundry list. i.e., pointing out double standards, hypocrity, etc. (if these even exist here) doesn’t mean they are necessarily wrong in this case. i’m not making any statement here wrt the statement, but you have to understand what it is.

    2) would you support a more comprehensively worded document that inter alia that included the standard orthodox rhetoric and attitude regarding gay marriage? honestly, do you want gil et al to change their attitude toward gays and gay marriage or rather to expand their public polemic to include the other problems?

    “a revised petition should also include the point that Orthodox Rabbis may not perform Kiddushin for a couple who are not legally registered to marry in that State.”

    oh please, that’s just fraud. can we please get back to the conversation about morality, halacha, etc.

  69. “Avi,
    What do you “we” refers to in a document like this if not “the undersigned””

    Orthodox rabbis as a group. The undersigned, agree that that is what Rabbis (should) do.

    “>>I don’t see why not.

    Because having a medical degree does not make one, in any relevant sense, a doctor.”

    But it does, and it means they are educated in what a Doctor should and should not be doing. They may not practice medicine, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified to know what Doctors do and don’t do.

  70. Abba's Rantings

    “But it does, and it means they are educated in what a Doctor should and should not be doing. They may not practice medicine, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified to know what Doctors do and don’t do.”

    would anyone seriously entertain getting medical advice concerning a serious issue from someone who went to medical school but who did not do licensure, residency/fellowship, pass boards and practice?

    for that matter, would anyone seriously entertain going to a cardiologist for psychological care?

    on a related matter, once we are speakig about qualifications with regard to the signatories here, i really don’t see how someone who sat and learned shas and poskim for a few years (and whose expertise even here may be dubious) is in any way qualified to counsel someone dealing with homosexuality (or a host of other issues that rabbis are frequently confronted with).

  71. “this was a polemic”

    Spot on.

  72. One last time: what has changed is Judge Walker’s overarching statement that:

    Marriage in the United States has always been a civil matter. Civil authorities may permit religious leaders to solemnize marriages but not to determine who may enter or leave a civil marriage. Religious leaders may determine independently whether to recognize a civil marriage or divorce but that recognition or lack thereof has no effect on the relationship under state law”.

    This came up in the context of same-sex marriage, but the implications are far more over-arching. It fundamentally disagrees with the official RCA position that:

    In our view, the term “marriage” by its very definition cannot be construed or applied to same-sex relationships. To do so is to deprive the term of its fundamental and defining meaning. The institution of marriage, and family life, as defined and practiced for thousands of years as between a man and a woman, a father and a mother, respectively, is far too important and essential to the bedrock of society and civilization as we know it, to be thus undermined by those who presume to redefine its essence.

  73. MiMedinat HaYam

    one of the main issues (not completely adressed here) is that the gay community want their relationships recognized as religious (and social, etc) events. that is improper, and should be noted.

    every mechallel shabat knows to park his car two blocks from the shul. occassionaly, you have an instigator (noah feldman, remember him?) who insists on flaunting his “chato’im” in front of us. (or jingling his keys, where there is no eruv.)

    but if he would open a shul for mechalleli shabat, we cannot recognize it.

    the fraudster is not flaunting his fraud as a religious event. (maybe those who steal for the yeshiva, but not your run of the mill fraudster.)

    2. “The way to deal with this is via the RCA’s internal processes as has been done with others who haved pushed boundaries”

    are you kidding?

    they have never thrown out a member for such issues, just a poor rav whom they refused to convene a din torah for, despite his request.

    in fact, you can have a seruv issued against you, and remain an rca member.

  74. Abba's Rantings

    IH:

    “Spot on.”

    sometimes polemic has a place

    but in any case, i still don’t understand your point here? do you want them to desist from opposing all forbiden marriages, including gay? oppose all forbiden marriages excluding gay? or not oppose any forbidden marriges?

  75. Abba — my point is that rather than venting their spleens in a polemic, they should make a principled stand about the broader issue now that we have come to the crossroads defined by Judge Walker in his Prop. 8 ruling.

  76. Walker is not relevant yet. Wait for Supreme Court decision in Perry v. Brown (FKA Perry v Schwarzenegger). Only the SCOTUS can give Walkers legal opinions true relevance.

  77. Abba — the RCA takes very seriously issues related to LWMO, despite their laxness elsewhere as you spell out 🙂

  78. Shimon — until the CoA and Supreme Court rule, Judge Walker’s ruling stands as federal law as I understand it. But, I am neither a lawyer nor do I play one on TV.

  79. Abba's Rantings

    IH:

    how does judge walker define our crossroads?

    and le-ma’aseh what is the “broader issue”?

  80. IH – as you can see, despite Walkers ruling you cannot get a SSM marriage licence in CA. That is because the CoA granted an appeal as well as a stay. Actually, today is the last day of proceedings in Perry at the CoA and the final decision can come any time now. Further appeal to SCOTUS will probably not mean a further stay and CA will have to issue marriage licences for SSM. As for other states, my prediction is that it will have zero effect until the SCOTUS ruling.

    Think about Brown v BoE after District Court in Kansas but before SCOTUS (just an example, not an exact parallel).

  81. Not today, this Thursday Dec 8th. Sorry.

  82. “a revised petition should also include the point that Orthodox Rabbis may not perform Kiddushin for a couple who are not legally registered to marry in that State.”

    oh please, that’s just fraud. can we please get back to the conversation about morality, halacha, etc.

    THere is nothing fraudulent about it. You are merely not following the bureaucratic rules of the State. In NY, such marraiges are valid after the fact. This is a classic example of malum prohibidum.

    I am not recommending it — I do believe in dina de malchusa, and my wife and I did get a marraige license before we got married. But calling it “fraud” is a gross exxageration. On the scale of things, it is about as bad as getting a parking ticket.

  83. “In NY, such marraiges are valid after the fact.” Even if the wedding officiant is not registered?

    BTW in NYS you have no problem with polygamy as long as you are honest about it and don’t pretend these are legal marriages. Don’t try that in Utah.

  84. “would anyone seriously entertain getting medical advice concerning a serious issue from someone who went to medical school but who did not do licensure, residency/fellowship, pass boards and practice?”

    Yes, because unlike you, most people don’t care about the bureaucratic processes but just care about self proclaimed knowledge and trust in individuals.

    There was an old man in my old shul who people regularly went to to understand what their doctor had told them, even though this man never worked a day in his life as a doctor.

  85. Tal – I also agree. Anyway, courts will only consider whether there is a (civil) fraud if the allegedly fraudulent action had some material and real result (like monetary gain/corresponding loss). In this case, there is no material result at all and as you pointed out, it simply a case of not following administrative rules and doing things out of order.

    As for the appeal, speaking as a Canadian lawyer, an appeal stays the decision being appealed, whether the appellant first has to seek leave of the court to appeal or its a straight appeal without the initial step. Therefore, Justice Walker’s decision has no bearing until such time as the higher appeal’s court renders its decision.

  86. i agree with your initial instincts gil – publicly declaring this could come back to haunt you one day.

    what bothers me about this letter is that some of these rabbis (whom I know personally) have no problem accepting large donations from across the jewish religous spectrum (reform, conservative, etc) to further their organizations (even to the point of honoring them at annual dinners, etc) but when one orthodox rabbi does something wrong in their eyes (inevitably to the left of them) they pounce and feel the need for public proclamations.

  87. Rafael,

    in the US an appeal from a District Court does not result in an automatic stay. In this case the defendants (or rather intervenors in this case) filed for an emergency motion to stay the decision and the Court of Appeals granted that motion. It didn’t have to.

  88. Abba's Rantings

    TAL:

    “THere is nothing fraudulent about it.”

    what about the reason for which so many people get married without the civil license? is that fraud? (the more i thought about it i wondered if technically the reason is indeed fraud, but since you’ve already clarified that such marriages are indeed marriages after the fact, it seems like there is indeed fraud?)

    RAFAEL:

    “In this case, there is no material result at all”

    ask an american friend to spell it out for you

  89. Just to be clear: Perry v Brown is a constitutional issue and a (possible) Supreme Court decision will be binding for all 50 states.

  90. what about the reason for which so many people get married without the civil license? is that fraud?

    What is “the reason?” Most frum people I know who don’t get a license simply don’t want to be bothered, and don’t think it is important. They do end up living as husband and wife.

  91. Rafael Araujo

    Don’t you have the concept of common law marriage in NYS? Not having a marriage registered but meeting criteria of common law would suffice. How in the world would that be fraud?

  92. NY does not have common law marriage. But I was told by someone who is well versed in these things that if a marraige is solemnized by a member of the clergy, even if not licensed, then after the fact NY will recognize that as a valid marraige.

  93. Tal, the part about unregistered clergy member privileges sounds very unlikely. Any sources?

  94. “How in the world would that be fraud”

    wrt to benefits that accrue to a single (or child of a single parent)

    and if not fraud as you maintain, then no problem with rabbis as a matter of course circumventing state law?

  95. shaul shapira

    I haven’t read all the comments so I apologize if I’m rehashing.
    1)Judge Walker is entitled to his opinion. But if marriage is a civil matter then let Juge Walker offiate- whence cometh RABBI steven greenberg?
    2)Homosexuality is acapital crime in halacha – akin to incest, not intermarriage.

  96. Tal, you might be actually right. While Domestic Relations Law of New York 3:11b establishes an obligation for the wedding clergy to register, failure to do so might not effect the validity of the marriage.

    The only question is who is a “clergyman”. According to Religious Corporations Law of NY section 2 it is not clear what is a status of a Rabbi without a Shul (and not associated with a major organization).

  97. Rafael Araujo

    Abba – that doesn’t occur at the moment of marriage. No connection.

    As for your question – circumventing state law, as you put it, is wrong. But its not fraud, which has a specific legal definition.

    Tal – that’s interesting. In the Province of Ontario, if a clergyman is registered, they can solemnize a marriage. Also, interesting enough, here is s.20(6) of the Ontario Marriage Act, which allows clergy, who is registered, not to perform a wedding contrary to the registrants religious beliefs and doctrines:

    (6) A person registered under this section is not required to solemnize a marriage, to allow a sacred place to be used for solemnizing a marriage or for an event related to the solemnization of a marriage, or to otherwise assist in the solemnization of a marriage, if to do so would be contrary to,

    (a) the person’s religious beliefs; or

    (b) the doctrines, rites, usages or customs of the religious body to which the person belongs.

  98. “Rabbi Alan Greenspan – Jerusalem, Israel”
    He got smicha so quickly after working in the Fed! AND made Aliyah!

    Don’t you think a rabbinic degree was a secret precondition for becoming the head Elder of Zion – I mean Federal Reserve chair, rather than something he did later? And seeing what he did to the US economy, why are you surprised that he fled to Israel? 🙂

    (for the benefit of anyone who may come across this comment later: this is a joke…)

  99. “(for the benefit of anyone who may come across this comment later: this is a joke…)”

    Ah, you are correct… I had the story line completely backwards! His work in Vietnam now makes more sense 🙂

  100. From there:

    A statement on homosexuality signed by several leading Orthodox rabbis and Orthodox mental health professionals asserts that homosexuality is a curable condition and calls for resistance against “the infiltration” of homosexual activists in the Orthodox community. The statement, publicized last week on the Huffington Post, forbids a gay individual from being alone with a member of the same sex and cautions Orthodox individuals about “accepting some false notions.”

    I assume this is the competing statement representing Orthodox Rabbis that has the haskama of R. Kamenetsky.

    Will the real representatives of Orthodoxy please stand up?

  101. Abba's Rantings

    RAFAEL:

    “that doesn’t occur at the moment of marriage. No connection.”

    doesn’t occur at that moment but marriage conducted in such a manner for that purpose.

  102. Will the real representatives of Orthodoxy please stand up?

    What, you’re surprised to see charedim disagreeing with MO?

  103. Nope, but I am surprised that the Rabbis who signed this petition think the American public distringuishes between flavors of Orthodoxy (if they care about what such a small minority of American Jews think in any case) and that this statement will clarify the situation.

  104. Better a mixed message than a completely negative (if only the “other side” comments) message.

  105. The rest of the JTA article about the Nefesh conference provides the needed balance. This petition will only sow more confusion among the public to which it is addressed (as if they care in any case).

  106. On the other hand, if the statement is about the role of Orthodox Rabbis in civil marriages of any kind, they can take the high ground and make a helpful point of principle.

  107. IH: Neither R. Kamenetsky’s statement nor the Nefesh conference have anything to do with gay marriage. It is not clear to me why you think they do.

    Civil marriages are irrelevant to the discussion.

  108. As you wish…

  109. >>But it does, and it means they are educated in what a Doctor should and should not be doing. They may not practice medicine, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t qualified to know what Doctors do and don’t do.

    Avi,
    you clearly have no clue what one learns in Medical school. And smicha is no different.

  110. >Precisely. Why is it any different than intermarriage from a halachic perspective?

    Because to be as blunt as possible, intermarriage is not a society-wide issue. It’s a Jewish issue that has no outside moral issue outside of us. On the other hand I don’t think Judaism differentiates between Jewish Kiddushin, and civil marriage. A marriage is a marriage. Kiddushin is simply the Jewish method of how we marry. Theft is a Jewish issue, but it’s not ONLY a Jewish issue. You gotta get out of the “daled amos halachichic” way of thinking and look at it more as a question of values.

    People can sense changes in the wind and that homosexual pride, lifestyle or whatever is ever more present around us and being taught to a younger audience. Hence, I believe this statement of principle was made.

  111. Why is it any different than intermarriage from a halachic perspective?

    When was the last time an Orthodox rabbi officiated at an intermarriage, and such was widely reported in the news? I agree that if an Orthodox rabbi did it, he should be condemned and excoriated. Meanwhile it has not happened in some time, to my knowledge.

  112. Because to be as blunt as possible, intermarriage is not a society-wide issue. It’s a Jewish issue that has no outside moral issue outside of us. On the other hand I don’t think Judaism differentiates between Jewish Kiddushin, and civil marriage. A marriage is a marriage. Kiddushin is simply the Jewish method of how we marry. Theft is a Jewish issue, but it’s not ONLY a Jewish issue. You gotta get out of the “daled amos halachichic” way of thinking and look at it more as a question of values.

    Actually halakha supports what you are saying. Homosexuality is forbidden to non-Jews and Jews alike. As a friend of mine once said, it is a human issue, not a Jewish issue.

    Acc. to the Torah, one can be a fine human being, one of the chassidei umos ha olam, without keeping Shabbos, Kashrus or Niddah. But you cannot be if you are a murderer, thief, idolator or engage in arayos, including homosexual behavior, as well as adultery.

  113. Apropos:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/world/united-states-to-use-aid-to-promote-gay-rights-abroad.html?pagewanted=all

    “She argued that gay rights transcended national, political and even culture boundaries, casting them as universal rights like those adopted by 48 nations in the aftermath of World War II in what was called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

  114. “Avi,
    you clearly have no clue what one learns in Medical school. And smicha is no different.”

    MDJ, you clearly have no clue what one learns in Medical school.

    http://web.missouri.edu/~bondesonw/MedicalEthicsSyllabus.html

  115. MDJ, you clearly have no clue what one learns in Medical school.

    I sure hope he does. He spent some four years there (though rumor has it he spent a lot of time hanging out with some of the humanities faculty).

    Since a random website isn’t always usefull, I dug a bit further for you MDJ.

    This is too funny.

  116. “I sure hope he does. He spent some four years there”
    Which means he knows what is taught at one individual school.

    “This is too funny.”

    What exactly is so funny about a study regarding the differences of what people learn at different medical schools?

  117. Avi,
    the question is not the content of the medical school curriculum. It is the relationship between covering that curriculum, in terms of depth, environment and, perhaps most importantly, duration of experience of independent decision making, and the acutal practice of medicine. Medical school merely prepares you to learn to be a doctor in residency. It does not teach you to be a doctor.

  118. Avi,
    I just saw you’re last comment, so I will be a bit more explicit. As I said, it is not the published curriculum that is the issue. But as for variety in curricula, I am familiar with many (my medical school, the one I teach at now, the ones my friends a colleagues went to). There is some variation, but none in the core factors — independant clinical experience and decision making — that are salient here.

  119. Oops. Should be “your” comment.

  120. ” — independant clinical experience and decision making — that are salient here.”

    And what do either of those have to with signing a piece of paper which declares principles of ethics in regards to how you should treat a patient?

  121. MiMedinat HaYam

    in NJ, a clergyman who didnt register presents pblms, that a change in the law about ten years ago resolved retroactively.

    2. a friend of mine was legally married by a C rabbi (actually, O rabbi of a C temple) since the O mesdaer kiddushin realized he was not registred in NY, so they asked a guest C rabbi to sign the license after the ceremony.

    3. improper marriages may be fraud issues, vis a vis benefits of marriage — adding spouse to insurance policies (you’d be surprised how often that comes up), inheritance issues, tax filing status, pre nup (i dont mean RCA pre nup, but that would definitely be unenforceable), etc.

    4. civil marriages without chuppa ve’kiddushin — dispute between r henkin (and almost all other rabbonim) vs RMF (who, it turns out, developed a practical rule to prevent future mamzerut issues), though RMF’s nice neat rule flies in the face of halacha. nevertheless, his rule was adopted, for its practicality, i would say, vs its obvious halachic flaws.

    5. there are a number of “rabbis” who claim medical expertise (and claim doctors consult with them, for their expertise) and run referral office$. usually, charedi rabbonim, but not always.

  122. Avi,
    Because medical student, and medical school graduates, really have no clue about how one really interacts with patients. But, I would also point out that the original context asked whether one would go to a med. school graduate about a medical problem, (parellel to whether one should go to to stam a guy with s’micha about one’s counseling needs. IIRC).

  123. Perhaps, it would be interesting to compare the signatories on this petition with the signatories on the SOP on this issue that was discussed here more than a few months ago.

  124. Compare using what metric, Steve?

  125. IH wrote:

    “Compare using what metric, Steve”

    The simplest would be who would you to turn to for Halachic and Hashkafic guidance, regardless of the nature or difficulty of the issue at stake.

  126. Where the you in “who would you to turn to for Halachic and Hashkafic guidance” is who?

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter


The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

Archives

Categories

%d bloggers like this: