This past week’s parashat (Torah portion) was all about the Holiness commandments, love your neighbor as yourself, honor your parents, leaving the corners of your field untouched so they may be harvested by the poor and the visitor, and then the 12 forbidden sexual relations. These verses get twisted and turned and used by the right wing to show how homosexuality is an abomination. As someone who is converting and gay, let me say that Reform shul I go to is very accepting as a whole but especially the Rabbi. The reform movement’s newest initiative is reaching out to the gay Jewish community as well as the broader gay community. I’m going to take a very liberal stance on the verses, because a) times have changed and b) I can. Homosexuality has been redefined, even since I have been born, it has been shown that being gay is not a choice, nor can it be reversed. The Torah and the mitzvoth that we follow have been changed as well, over the millennia and some are not even followed because we do not have a Temple in Jerusalem.
The following is a response I made to a comment on my Rabbi’s Facebook page regarding his sermon on Parshat Kedoshim (5774)
Have you seen any Romans or Babylonians walking on the street today? No I didn’t think so, think about where those societies are, GONE, all except Judaism. The Torah is a living document that changes with society’s needs. Do you follow every commandment that’s outlined in the Torah? I know I don’t but I try my hardest to follow the ones that pertain to my life in the 21st century. Societies change, new discoveries are made in the sciences and the humanities, perceptions have changed as well. The 12 forbidden sexual relations with exception of one are all choices, the one that isn’t is Homosexuality. It has been proven by academics and society that it is not a choice and that one is born gay. Yes I am gay, no I didn’t choose to be gay, you are straight and you didn’t choose that either. The Torah does not speak about sexual acts it only speaks of how one shall lie with another man. I have yet to hear or meet a man that was born with a vagina, therefore I cannot lie with a man in the same way as with a woman. One can choose to have sex with a beast, or with one’s fathers’ wife or one’s uncles’ wife. You asked who makes the decisions on which commandments are valid and which ones aren’t, here’s my answer to that question; SOCIETY. Not to long ago people owned slaves the Torah has a commandment about paying your slave his earning on the day he earned them and not to hold them back, do you own a slave? I don’t think so because society says it’s illegal.
As Jews we are still a light upon the nations even though some of us are converts, some born into it, some are black, some are Asian, some are gay and some are straight, we are that light by being accepting, understanding, different from the world around us.
I think that what goes on behind the closed doors of my bedroom is for myself, My partner, and Hashem to know about and I don’t try flaunt or push my sexuality on others, just like I don’t care what goes on in a straight couples bedroom.