Rabbi Yuval Cherlow on Pesach Sheini and the need for inclusion in the Jewish community

April 25, 2010 at 10:19 pm 1 comment

In an article for Yediot Achroniyot, Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Rosh Yeshiva of the Hesder Yeshiva in Petach Tikvah, explores the exclusion of the “other” in the orthodox community. He argues that “The main issue facing the Torah of Israel today is the relationship with the ‘Other’. ” It is not only the “Othering” of the Gentile that we grapple with as a community, he says- but the “Othering” of our fellow Jews. He emphasizes that “those who are attracted to members of their own gender cannot be removed from the community.” He explores the idea, which has been written about by Dina Berman and Tamar Gan-Zvi Bick of Bat-Kol, that Pesach Sheini offers us a perspective that allows us to keep Halacha as it has been traditionally understood intact while finding a place for GLBT people in the Orthodox community. “We recognize”, he says, ” in Halacha there are many instances where the Halacha develops in order to redeem a human being from crisis. This development is always a limited, temporary one, and does not destroy the structural foundation. So it is with Pesach Sheini- Pesach Sheini does not speak towards changing the essence of Pesach, but about a solution to a crisis, in a way which is described well by the article…” By engaging honestly with the questions facing the “Other” in the Jewish community, he argues, we are able to find “at least partial redemption for a painful reality.”


Entry filed under: frum, frum queer, Gender, Halacha, Holidays, Homophobia, Homosexuality and halacha, Identity, Judaism and Homosexuality, Living in the Orthodox World, Orthodox, orthodox judaism, orthodox lesbian, Torah, Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Aaron  |  April 21, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Shalom from Belgium,

    I need advice. I doubt very much me, my liver, my choice in my professional life.
    I’m gay, I deeply regret that because I’m gay because of that I lost contact with my family and friends.
    So my question is: How can I live my life as a “good Jew” while I represent a taboo?
    In Israel there are a few Orthodox Rabbis who offer counsel to Jewish gays. I don’t know about Europe..


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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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