It's been quite a while since I have written. In my last post from March, I wrote about attending a book reading by K. David Brody as he launched his book "Mourning and Celebration".
A little background....David Brody contacted me after I had written to his rabbi in Montreal. His Rabbi, Adam Scheier, was one of the rabbis who responded to my email. He passed this blog onto the author, who in turn contacted me.
Here is his letter to me. I hope he doesn't mind that I am publishing it, but it is so warm and from the heart, that I feel compelled to share it with you.
Enjoy the book.
All the best.
Dear Saul David:
First, I want to say that my heart goes out to you and parents in your situation. I’ll just say the words that come straight into my mind: what a “chillul Hashem” that, because of a variant in human nature, parents should feel ashamed of the life they have brought into this world. The circumstances are so much akin to anti-Semitism – unreasonable hate for what we are, not for what we do – and the “rationalization” is that which caused the Holocaust. After all, homosexuals were in the camps with the Jews.
I am now a senior citizen (hate that phrase – I feel only 14), but I am so glad that I resisted the temptation to “come out” to my parents when I was a teenager. At that time, with their best intentions in mind, I would probably have been subjected to shock therapy, which would have ruined my life.
Today, I am not “proud” to be gay, I just am. In my teenage years, I vowed that if I could ever help other young people to avoid the anguish I suffered, merely because I was gay, I would do so. My book is part of that effort. From a young man terrified of discovery, I am now telling total strangers that I am a gay Orthodox Jew, and earning respect for it. Unbelievable! I also lead a very fulfilling life.
I want to share my “credentials” with you: in my childhood, my father, z”l, was a shochet, a part-time chazan and the principal of an after-school Jewish academy in London, UK. I now live in Montreal, and my rabbi, Rabbi Adam Scheier of Shaar Hashomayim, a man wise beyond his years, passed me your blog, which I read entirely on Friday afternoon. I had planned to write to you today, regardless of your e-mail to me.
I don’t know where you are located, but if you are also in Montreal, on the evening of Tuesday, February 23, I plan to give a talk at Shaar Hashomayim on Growing Up Orthodox and Gay, part of their Tuesday evening lecture series. If you can attend, I would like very much to meet you. You can even still call yourself “Saul David”!
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please do not be disappointed in your son. He loves you enough to have shared with you who he is. It’s a different world today. Had I been born ten or twenty years later, for sure I would have even had children of my own. And we are so lucky to be living in Canada.
I hope your son is receiving the support he needs from you, and that you will share my book with him.
My website address is www.mourningandcelebration.com