Friday, February 25, 2011

Lefi anias daati (again)

All right folks, here's the story: why is gay marriage wrong for a non-Jew? Because acting on homosexual instincts is wrong for a non-Jew. Why are homosexual acts wrong for a non-Jew? Because they're prohibited in the 7 Noahide laws. As Jews, and specifically as Lubavitchers, we have the obligation to teach non-Jews about the 7 Noahide laws. Therefore, we have the obligation to say that gay marriage is wrong. Right? Right.

Now... according to the 7 Noahide laws, murder is verboten. According to the Rambam, abortion, at least for a non-Jew, is murder. As Jews, and specifically as Lubavitchers, we have the obligation to say that abortion is wrong. Right? Right.

Now... when was Roe v Wade? 1973. What did the Lubavitcher Rebbe say about this legalization of abortion? I'm sure he said lots about it in letters and in private, but in public? Hmm? Can anyone give me any place where the Rebbe said anything about abortion?

So... the same Rebbe who said we have to publicize the 7 Noahide laws (apparently) didn't say anything publicly about abortion. And remember, the Rebbe was not afraid to speak his mind in public. On Shleimus Haaretz, he was extremely vocal. And so too with many other issues. But on abortion?

I very much suspect that the Rebbe would be equally reticent on the issue of gay marriage. Do we have to promote it? Of course not. Should we picket gay pride parades? Did the Rebbe say to picket Planned Parenthood?

34 comments:

sarabonne said...

When I was in art school, I was always scrupulous to tell my gay friends that they were sinners but that it was not too late to mend their ways.

That wasn't true at all.

The Real Shliach said...

Is it funnier if it's true or if it isn't?

e said...

Hmmm. I wonder why the Rebbe didn't say anything.

e said...

(Lefi ani'us da'ati, a better example of the Rebbe's speaking out on controversial issues would be mihu yehudi. The Rebbe's shleimus ha'aretz position can be justified logically. But the Rebbe's opinion on mihu yehudi is really distasteful to any non-fundi.)

The Real Shliach said...

e1: any suggestions?

e2: you are correct, that is a better example.

sarabonne said...

I suppose it depends on the individual...

sarabonne said...

subscribing

e said...

trs: no
trs: yes

The Real Shliach said...

Sara: I suppose.

e: I thought this post would bring out the fighter in everyone. Apparently I was wrong.

Mottel said...

TRS: You are mistaken the Rebbe did speak about homosexuality at length - see Sichas Purim 5746.

In regards to abortion: Roe v. Wade does not legalize abortion - it provides for the right to privacy. Speak to Nemo about it if you want to know the differences etc.

Above it all - What of it? The Rebbe often stressed the 7 Noahide laws in positive manner ... when did the Rebbe ever push for picketing?

It seems that your getting at something here, but not saying it befeirush . . .

Dowy said...

hi everyone

The Real Shliach said...

Mottel: Did I say that the Rebbe said anything re: homosexuality?

I'm not Ch'"v saying that the Rebbe condoned in any way shape or form homosexuality, but the fact remains...

Yes, I probably am.

Dowy: Hello to you too.

sarabonne said...

Good to see you're still alive Dowy.

e said...

DOWY!!!!

Mottel said...

-TRS: You said, "I very much suspect that the Rebbe would be equally reticent on the issue of gay marriage."
That Purim sicha was said in connection with the issue of Gay Marriage in NY back in the day. See there for further discussion on the issue.

While on this subject subject please see my latest blog post here.

double double negative negative said...

It is true that the Rebbe didn't never about gay marriage and abortion. But he spoke about it very, very rarely. So TRS' of the word "reticent" is not misplaced.

The Real Shliach said...

Mottel: I remember learning that sicha. I never said that the Rebbe would in any way condone such a thing- what I said was that I highly doubted if the Rebbe would tell his chassidim to do anything about it publicly.

Which is exactly my point in this post. Being gay is wrong. Doing something about? How's this for a story?

My (Jewish) cousin is an openly gay academy award nominated documentary filmmaker. He is Jewish and we just had Shabbos with him last week. He was in Israel filming for a documentary and was at the Kotel. Someone asked him to put on tefillin and he said it was a really moving experience. Like, a seriously moving experience. Like the most positive Jewish experience he ever had. The person started blessing him to have Jewish children who should marry Jews, and he explained to the man that he in fact doesn't have and will not have children. The man asked why and he told him that he is gay. The man started yelling at him and told him he is an abomination against G-d and he is nothing more than an animal, he's a terrible human being etc.

You know who that was? Gil Locks. You know what he caused? That someone who had an amazing Jewish experience at the Kosel should come away with the exact opposite. Is this what the Rebbe wanted?

e said...

"My (Jewish) cousin is an openly gay academy award nominated documentary filmmaker."

You needed a few hyphens and commas in there.

Mottel said...

The rebbe (almost) never encouraged people to protest - especially not in such an abrupt way - that being irregardless of how many times or how passionately he about an issue.

In other words mai kamashma lan that the rebbe didn't tell us to do things in an unpleasant way.

All of that is besides the fact that Gill Locks is not a lubavitcher, is a certified madman, and may in fact be a sociopath...

Menashe said...

Really? Before you tell such a negative story about another Jew in a public forum maybe it would be a good idea to get his side of the story? The chosid that writes on mpaths hardly fits the mold that you two have painted.

The Real Shliach said...

e: True. It was hurriedly typed, which of course is no excuse.

Mottel: Exactly. I'm glad we've both agreed.

Menashe: Chossid?

It's a blog, not an online journal said...

trs: it is an excuse. it's a comment, not the fucking new yorker

The Real Shliach said...

Some of us have standards.

Anonymous said...

which you violate?

The Real Shliach said...

We apologize if such a thing occurs.

Mottel said...

-Menashe: my understanding of who Gil is based on his own personal writings, those of his nephew AJ Jacobs, and relaible people who have been around him.

Let's put it this way - the response said to TRS' Openly Gay Academy Award - or something like that - is highly inappropriate. It speaks for itself.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

Well, it just seems that the Rebbe was very practical about these kinds of things. He was against picketing at the Soviet embassy. Not because he did not believe that USSR was an evil empire, but because he realized that it would cause more harm to Jews.

For the same reason, the Rebbe was against screaming Yechi: not because the message is not true, but because it would turn the people who are ignorant and don't know the context (i.e., the majority) away.

Leo de Toot said...

Dear Mr. R.S.
I have recently been traveling and away from a reliable internet connection so was not able to participate in this discussion when it was more timely. Regardless, your initial post raised a number of interesting issues, some of which have already been discussed. One point, though, in response to the story of your cousin and Gill Locks (whom I've never heard of) I am reminded of an episode when I was present when a very observant (non-Lubavitch) rabbi was challenged regarding his invitations to congregants for Friday nights at his home knowing that they would drive home afterwards. He responded that if he knew that they were driving anyway it was better they drove to his house and experienced a Shabbat meal and some Torah discussion rather than drive to a restaurant or movie. Besides if they suddenly "got religion" he and his wife were more than happy to have them stay over for the whole shabbes. Point is, Mr. Locks (Rabbi?) was so incredibly out of line and his pontification on the subject of homosexuality only served to crush what might have been the start of a very positive relationship with Judaism in a Jew who, regardless of his politics, orientation, career etc. was clearly open to such a meaningful connection. Based on my reading of published letters and reports of meetings, the Rebbe clearly appreciated when to be subtle and gentle and when to insist and, metaphorically, pound on the table. Individuals such as Mr. Locks (actually, come to think of it, should not be designated "Rabbi" even if he has the qualification) do more harm than good - didn't attitudes like his bring the destruction of the Temple? Very angrily yours, L de Toot.

The Real Shliach said...

Mottel+CA= 2x Yup

LdT: Yes, yes, they did. But what can you do?

Anonymous said...

@TRS -
For the record - you still DO have do write a disclaimer that in the (seldom!) case that it would be a precarious situation, and choice between mother or child, the Rebbe - and indeed halachic poskim - voiced otherwise.

@Mottel, TRS -
Apparently, there are other angles in the Rebbe's view, aside for Purim '46.
I haven't seen it inside, but I understand that Rabbi Rappaport of England has written an extensive book on the topic, and found other mekoros in the Rebbe's works (another sicha, and a letter?) which keep it more open than only 1 issue.
RR does his research, and keeps on finding Rebbe-related stuff on the topic, as a confidant of his related to me.

Anonymous said...

I wrote @ 12:05,
Just to add, just as I wrote with abrotions, same was Rebbe's shita - indeed halacha - by the pill. Depending on the situation (and asking your LOR obviously), there is place to permit it..

Just stating the obvious.

The Real Shliach said...

re: abortion: When I become a posek then I'll be sure to tell people that.

re: gays: Nu, what does he say?

Anonymous said...

TRS-
Again I'm sorry, don't remember, maybe one of our posters read the book or are in contact with its author..

ex-Mossad said...

The Rebbe took example fron the previous rebbe. During the end of WWII rabbi made a demostration in front of the white house in order to mobilize relief for the murder of Jews. The Previous Rebbe was against that form of action.

Source: Rescued from the Reich: How One of Hitler's Soldiers Saved the Lubavitcher Rebbe by Bryan Mark Rigg