Review of “Judaism and Homosexuality: An Authentic Orthodox View” By Rabbi Chaim Rapoport
When he published his book Judaism and Homosexuality: An Authentic Orthodox View in 2004, Rabbi Chaim Rapoport was one of the first Orthodox Rabbis to speak seriously about the Halachic and Social issues facing lesbians. Since then, he has spoken to Orthodox communities, counseled many people privately, and met with Orthodox gays and lesbians. His understanding of medical ethics and of halacha has led him to counsel against unproven and potentially harmful forms of therapy. He has emphasized the importance of an inclusive Jewish community, and challenged gay and straight Orthodox Jews alike to view themselves and those in their communities as works in progress, to be encouraged in their path to greater observance of Halacha.
Rabbi Rapoport counsels queer people to remain single, rather than entering into a heterosexual marriage. He does not outline how a gay couple could function within Halacha in great detail, which is a shortcoming of the book for those of us who are seeking to form committed frum relationships. He has spoken publicly, since, of his support for those gay people who decide to find frum partners to live a halachic life with, as well as his feeling that promiscuity is far more unhealthy and problematic than a committed relationship.
While he devotes most of his book to a discussion of gays and lesbians as a unit, he devotes parts of his book specifically to the subject of lesbians, and to our status in Halacha. It’s an important read for anyone who wants to engage seriously with the halachic dimensions of the lesbian orthodox experience.
Posted by: queeryeshivameidel.