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Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity


Sexual orientation has been a pivotal issue for Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity Judaism since the s. A major Jewish denomination in the U. As with other branches of Judaism debating the acceptability of sexual orientations other than heterosexualityConservative Jews faced both long-standing, rabbinic prohibitions on homosexual conduct Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity well as increasing demands for change in the movement's policies toward gays, bisexuals, and lesbians.

Previously, the Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity movement had changed its policies toward womenfor example, by allowing the ordination of women as rabbis in Similarly, the Conservative leadership has been asked to stop discriminating against gay, bisexual, and lesbian people.

This goal has been partially completed with the approval of the ordination of gay, bisexual, and lesbian rabbis in and of same-sex marriage ceremonies under Jewish law in ; However, the Conservative decision did not call same-sex marriages kiddushin, the traditional Jewish legal term for marriage, because that act of consecration is nonegalitarian and gender-specific.

The CJLS consistently refused to pass several proposed takkanot concerning the Levitical prohibitions on male-male anal sexbut also on all forms of homosexual intimacy in general.

Inthe CJLS action affirmed its traditional prohibition on homosexual conduct, blessing same-sex unions, and ordaining openly gay, bisexual, and lesbian clergy. However, these prohibitions grew increasingly controversial within the Conservative movement.

Rather, a widely held view is that Rabbis must be an example for the community, and it would be in direct opposition to the prohibition of gay sex to ordain someone who violates that Jewish law.

A variety of liberal proposals had been brought forth in the non-Orthodox community, including some by Rabbinical Assembly rabbis. Some argued that a change in Jewish understanding and law on this issue must change due to new information about the biology and genetics concerning human sexuality.

Others argued that a change was required solely on ethical grounds. However, these arguments were soon expanded upon within more formal halakhic responsaone of the most prominent by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson. He used historical, sociological and ethical considerations to argue that homosexuality, as it is now understood today, was not described by the Torah, or understood by traditional rabbis.

As such, one would be able to restrict the understanding of the Torah prohibition to cases not being considered today. His views were considered important, but they were not Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity, by themselves, as halakhically convincing. A few years later Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff used these arguments in his case for re-evaluating Conservative Judaism's stand on sexual orientation, but held that Artson's paper was insufficiently halakhically rigorous.

Dorff studied the Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity of coercion, arguing that Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity who were innately homosexual due to biology were not to be regarded as sinning. His early papers on the subject began to gain acceptance among a minority of RA rabbis, but ultimately it was made clear that the CJLS would not accept this argument as sufficient.

Tucker's paper stated that it is necessary to expand the definition of the halakhic process, and the Geller, Fine, and Fine paper redefined the corpus of Halakha as the representing the evolving beliefs and ideals of the Jewish people of a particular time and place as distinct from representing an infallible Divine will.

While both papers had the support of at least 6 members, a majority of the CJLS found that both papers represented so extensive a change that they could not be accepted as a mere changes of Jewish law, but each should be regarded as a Takkanah that would uproot a Torah prohibition if passed. Under the CJLS rules, once a majority of the committee found a responsum to be a Takkanah, accepting it would require a majority of the Committee 13 of 25 votesConservative judaism homosexuality in christianity an ordinary responsum could be accepted as a valid alternative with as few as 6 of 25 votes.

On December 6,the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards adopted diametrically opposed responsa on the issue of sexual orientation. The CJLS's action permits each congregational rabbi and rabbinical school to decide which responsum to adopt and hence set its own policy on the subject. The adoption of dual, contradictictory responsa represents a straddling of the contemporary societal divide over sexual matters. It also represents a sharp change from previous Conservative policy, which Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity had adopted a consensus position reaffirming a blanket prohibition on homosexual conduct while welcoming gay, bisexual, and lesbian people as members.

One responsum, by Rabbis Elliot N. DorffDaniel Nevinsand Avram Reisnerreduced the extent of traditional restrictions and substantially changed Conservative views on homosexual conduct.

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It characterized most such restrictions as Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity in character. It found rabbinic restrictions subject to reconsideration by the CJLS under its interpretation of the principle of Kavod HaBriyotthe Talmudic rule of legal reasoning that rabbinic but not Biblical restrictions can be overridden on the basis of "respect for others" or "human dignity".

Holding that the concept of kavod habriyot interpreted as human dignity reflects Conservative Judaism's evolving understanding of human nature, it Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity rabbinic restrictions on homosexual conduct inconsistent with human dignity contemporarily understood and accordingly declared such restrictions lifted.

Finding that it lacked authority under the kavod habriyot principle to lift biblical prohibitions, it analyzed the Biblical passages involved and found that male-male anal sex was the sole De'oraitha Biblical restrictions. It held that as a Biblical prohibition such conduct remained prohibited in Conservative Judaism. The responsum permitted Conservative rabbis to allow same-sex union ceremonies, and gave the option for Conservative rabbinical schools to admit and ordain openly gay, bisexual, and lesbian rabbis.

It held that same-sex couples should be presumed not to engage in prohibited conduct in the same way that Conservative Judaism presumes that married heterosexual couples observe sexual prohibitions such as Niddah. After a discussion of contemporary theories of sexuality and a warning against promiscuity, the responsum interprets Leviticus The responsum described rabbinic prohibitions on sexual relations as mere fences, many of which, it said, the Conservative movement had already lifted.

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It compared Rabbinic prohibitions on homosexual conduct to strictures on a husband approaching or touching his wife during the Niddah post-menstrual period:. This teshuvah makes a distinction between a Torah mitzvah and later rabbinical fence laws. It argues page 8 that:. The responsum questioned whether requiring celibacy for same-sex couples was feasible, quoting Deutoronomy The responsum invoked and extensively commented on the concept of Kevod HaBriyot"human dignity," noting that the concept is traditionally limited to Rabbinic enactments:.

After an extensive discussion of this principle, the responsum applies it to declare all rabbinic prohibitions on homosexual conduct overridden, leaving only what it finds to be the biblical one:. In conclusion, the responsum declined to rule on the Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity of same-sex relationships, but declared that "the celebration of such a union is appropriate.

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The CJLS also adopted two restrictive responsa, one as a majority and one as a minority opinion. The majority responsum, by Rabbi Joel Roth[4] was also adopted by 13 votes. It maintained traditional prohibitions on homosexual conduct and forbade Conservative rabbis from blessing same-sex unions and rabbinical schools from ordaining gay, bisexual, and lesbian clergy.

According to Rabbi Roth, the central problem with the permissive responsum is that it adopted a claim that the Biblical prohibition on homosexual conduct is limited to anal sex only based on insufficient support in precedent, the view of only "one sage".

Rabbi Roth argued that it is impermissible to adapt such a minority view:. Rabbi Roth also said that "Even if the prohibition against sexual behavior other than male intercourse is rabbinic in authority and not biblical, what justifies our abrogating that prohibition? Rabbi Roth stated that in his perception, the supporters of the permissive responsum were blinded by their predisposition to rule favorably and were unable to view the issue with a dispassionate legal mind.

Rabbi Roth ended by articulating what he regarded as the fundamental difference between the traditionalist and the liberal wings of the Conservative movement. From the traditionalist point of view, acceptance of the hypothesis that the Torah was transmitted through multiple manuscripts and redactors in no way changes its status as a Divine, "legally infallible" document, a "given" reality to which any theological Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity must conform:.

Rabbi Leonard Levy's responsum, adopted as a minority opinion by six votes, delineated ways in which to ensure that gays and lesbians would be accorded human dignity and a respected place in Conservative communities and institutions while maintaining the authority of the traditional Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity against same-sex sexual activity.

Although it gained seven votes, the minimum to accept a responsum, it was classified as a takkanah legislative decree rather than a judicial interpretation. By CJLS procedural rules a takkanah requires Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity votes to pass. Accordingly, it was Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity as a dissenting opinion with a note that "concurring and dissenting opinions are not official positions of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards".

Rabbis Myron GellerRobert Fineand David Fine wrote a dissent arguing for complete abolition of Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity against homosexual conduct, and explicit recognition of same-sex religious commitment Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity, on grounds that strictures were no longer socially relevant and religious support was now socially required.

The opinion characterized Halakha as. The responsum argued that so regarded, Halakah Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity and should be updated to reflect changed values and social circumstances as they arise.

Meanwhile, many Conservative synagogues outside of the US, which have historically been somewhat more traditional than the American movement, continued to maintain a complete ban on homosexual conduct, gay, bisexual, and lesbian clergy, and same-sex unions. The Masorti Movement's Israeli Seminary also rejected a change in its view of the status of homosexual conduct, stating that "Jewish law has traditionally prohibited homosexuality. On Junethe American branch Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity Conservative Judaism formally approved same-sex marriage ceremonies in a vote.

However, each of the 12 Masorti communities will be free to decide, whether they want to conduct same-sex marriage or remain only with heterosexual marriage.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Dorff, Daniel Nevins, and Avram Reisner. Homosexuality, Human Dignity, and Halakha. Archived from the original Conservative judaism homosexuality in christianity on Archived from the original on This article does not cite any sources.

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Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 5 Octoberat By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Sexual orientation has been a pivotal issue for Conservative Judaism since the s. A major Jewish denomination in the U.S., Conservative Judaism has wrestled with homosexuality and bisexuality as a . Religion and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Overview. Homosexuality and religion · Transgender. One of the four leading branches of Judaism, the Conservative Movement is We therefore celebrate today's decisions on gay marriage by the. That American Jews as individuals strongly support gay marriage should come The Conservative movement, the second largest denomination, has especially Christian marriage and the conventional Western notions of.

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