During my journeys through cyberspace I came across this link for an article in the Huffington Post. I had never encountered Rabbi Shmuley Boteach before, so I looked up his website and was impressed with his common-sense approach to life as a person of faith. His article on homophobia in America is well worth reading, because it introduces hope and a way to stop churches, synagogues and society from pulling themselves apart.
The Rabbi shares some scriptures, puts the usually quoted verses into context and contends the following:
As an orthodox Rabbi who reveres the Bible I do not deny the Biblical prohibition on male same-sex relationships. Rather, I simply place it in context. There are 613 commanments in the Torah. One is to refrain from gay sex. Another is for men and women to marry and have children. So when Jewish gay couples come to me for counselling and tell me they have never been attracted to members of the opposite sex in their entire lives and are desperately alone, I tell them, “You have 611 commandments left. That should keep you busy. Now, go create a kosher home with a mezuzah scroll on the door. Turn off the TV on the Sabbath and share your challah with many guests. Pray to G-d the prescribed three times a day for you are His beloved children. He desires you and seeks you out.”
Rabbi Boteach finishes his article by sharing his views on the differences between moral and religious sin. For me, he makes a compelling case for tolerance; he also shows us a way whereby we can love one another, whatever………… and isn’t that the way we all want to be loved and accepted?