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Conservative judaism beliefs on homosexuality

opinion
Sexual orientation has been a...

The question of whether to ordain gay clergy has challenged and divided many denominations, including now Conservative Jews along with the Orthodox and Reform, one of the three main movements of American Judaism. The Orthodox strongly oppose Conservative judaism beliefs on homosexuality ordination. Reform Jews accept it. Now, the Conservative movement's Committee on Conservative judaism beliefs on homosexuality Law and Standards has recommended that Conservative seminaries should be allowed to admit gays.

InConservative seminaries began ordaining women -- a big change. And now there is what some consider a bigger and even more controversial change: Rabbi Elliot Dorff was one of the three rabbis who wrote the paper in favor of the decision.

Scientifically we now know about the etiology of human sexuality in a way that our ancestors never did. And so we know that when people engage in homosexual sex they are not doing it as an act of rebellion against Jewish law.

They're doing it simply because that's the way they were created. Most Conservative seminaries abroad are against admitting openly gay students. Latin America's Conservative seminary in Argentina won't even consider it. Canada and the United Kingdom, though both generally liberal towards gays, are against, as is Conservative judaism beliefs on homosexuality, which has yet to consider female ordination.

And in Israel, they've just begun to discuss the issue. The verse in Leviticus chapter 18, verse 22, is frankly not clear: So what the law committee did was to admit gays into the rabbinate only if they do not engage in that one homosexual act. It's a compromise between trying to maintain the tradition on the one hand and on the other hand trying to be aware of modern scientific realities and modern personal realities.

Jewish law is clearly without ambiguity opposed to any sexual behavior, either between men or between women. It is almost impossible to justify permitting such behavior, and that is precisely what the authors of that paper did. Rabbi Joel Roth, a professor of Talmud at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, which has yet to decide whether to admit gays, co-wrote a paper opposing gay ordination.

Although he was instrumental in the movement's ordaining women, he feels that Jewish law clearly prohibits gay ordination. This is the uncontested, universal, unanimous position of Jewish legalists for 2, years. To overturn it on the basis of weak presumptions of law puts you outside the system.

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