Some Halachic Writings by Frum Queer Women

November 25, 2008 at 1:34 pm 5 comments

The status of lesbians in Halacha is, for the most part not mentioned. Modern books on the halachic status of homosexuals tend to focus mainly on men, and mention women only glancingly, if at all.  Recently, learned women have begun to research the subject and sift through the sources for a greater understanding of the halachic traditions approach to lesbian sexuality and family life.  

While they are not Poskim and certainly do not claim to be, Lisa Liel of Orthodykes and Ziva Ofek of Bat-Kol have written learned articles on the subject.  They are available on the Orthodykes, and Bat Kol websites. Lisa Liel has written in English, including translations of the origional halachic texts, and Ziva Ofek has written in hebrew (I hope she will consider translating her work to Enlgish to make it more accessable). 

I am glad to see that these women, for whom halacha is so important, have chosen to share their thoughts and insights with us.

Posted by queeryeshivameidel.


Entry filed under: Dating & Relationships, frum, frum queer, Halacha, Homosexuality and halacha, Judaism and Homosexuality, Living in the Orthodox World, Marriage & Commitment, Orthodox, orthodox judaism, orthodox lesbian, Torah, Uncategorized.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dina  |  January 1, 2009 at 11:49 am

    is this tirtzah group of gay made for men as well or its for woman only? please reply

  • 2. queerbasyisroel  |  January 1, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Dina: We are a group for women only, but we sometimes collaborate on events with other groups that are for both men and women, or with men’s groups.

  • 3. queeryeshivameidel  |  January 1, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    we list a few resources for men on our “e-mail list page”

  • 4. yashar el  |  June 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    While I may respect each one as a Jewess, and dare not judge you, I sharply disagree with your opinions. While many poskim do not deal with homosexuality, primarily because it was not as great of an issue back then as it is now, it is explicitly mentioned in Shulchan Arukh and Talmud ( Furthermore, with all due respect for each ones intellect, all too often when we want to do something that we feel is wrong we try to find allowances and exceptions. You do not need to take my word for it, although I have plenty of experience with none other than myself, just observe yourself the next time you desire something and it is not so clear whether it is allowed or not especially something of a sexual nature. It truly takes a lot of self control, so I have to admit, I understand why some people give in, it is hard! Nonetheless, I am not in favor of it. There are two other places in the Torah that may hint to the prihibition of homosexuality, lo telekhu and maase eretz mitsrayim. When I started on my way to Judaism I learned a very useful rule, when not applied to my life has caused me much grief. If you feel that a rabbi is wrong in his judgement by all means question the matter further until you arrive to the truth that quenches your thirst, please do not take this out of context. Everyone of us has a faint voice within that tells us what is right and what is wrong, call it what you will, everyone has it. Now this voice will make itself known to us once, twice. Thrice, but no more because we either crush it by doing contrary to what it advises and make the act a habit, or because we find an exception or an allowance that satisfies us intellectually. But the facts do not change, what’s wrong is wrong what’s right is right. To all of you ladies out there, you may be wonderful and educated people, I wish you all clarity, and direction from Above. My personal opinion on all of this, and I do not intend to be offensive whatsoever, I feel that women have needs sexual, intellectual*nd emotional. Most men, especially in the frum from birth circles are not able to satisfy all of them, but I could be wrong! If a man takes time out to really and sincerely satisfy his wife things like this would probably occur less often. As a matter of fact, sexual regidity may sometimes be harmful, just like all else, and husbands and wives need to find each other pleasing in every way that is why I think that restrictions in intimacy have to eased up a bit, considering that we live in a very open society. With a berakha for all!!!

  • 5. queeryeshivameidel  |  July 10, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Yasher El- There are specific acts that are mentioned in the Shulchan aruch and in the Talmud, but until contemporary times there has been little discussion of people who are gay or lesbian. As they become increasingly aware of the life experiences of GLBT people in the Orthodox community, it is my hope that Poskim will begin to address the questions of GLBT with knowledge and sensitivity.


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About Tirtzah

We are a community of frum queer women who gather to celebrate and study our yiddishkeit. We are committed to the value of shleimut (wholeness) and to supporting one another in observing a meaningful, integrated, honest and joyful Jewish life.


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