Monday, June 16, 2008


When I began this blog, I tried to answer each comment individually, but I was told by a seasoned blogger that this is not good form because it raises the comment and hit count on the blog. So instead, I decided to copy and paste your comments and to answer them in the body of the blog.

Here goes.......

nopeanuts said

It is unfortunate that the Rav could not offer any references. However, it is very encouraging that he was open-minded about the issue.
Open-mindedness in the OrthoJew community is the only thing that will resolve this phenomenon, and the only thing that will help Jewish homosexuals feel at home in shul. Of course realizing that this will take a tremendous compromise with and possibly even a reinterpretation of the traditional readings of certain religious conventions- and perhaps it is not even fair to ask for this tremendous step. However, it may be the right (tzadik) thing to do, even if not fair.
But it will be open-mindedness that will finally make these support groups obsolete, and hopefully cast light unto where there is darkness.

Dear Nopeanuts,

The Rav was as open-minded as he allowed himself to be, I'm afraid. As I look around the shul on any given morning I can see a few embezzlers, insurance fraudsters and experts in weights and measures, all looking frummer than the next guy.
It's going to take a lot more than having an open mind to deal with the issue of homosexuality.
It's going to take an openly honest mind.

Tanya said...

My younger brother recently announced to my parents that he was bisexual and that he has been this way for the past three years. My parents are yiras shomayim irlich people. Needless to say, they feel that they have failed; are at a loss of what to do and how to react. Amazingly, they have not stopped davening and are still so full of hope that my brother will iy"H one day lead a normal life.
They did go to a PFLAG group but were amazed at how all the parents in attendance were so accepting of their son's status and new way of life.
I recently read an article:
which talks about trying to lead a normal way of life with siyatta di shemaya.
I don't know much about this struggle and how difficult it would be for a man to overcome and live with these urges.
My brother is defiant, obstinant and not concerned at all with how much this is hurting my parents or me. He does not want to think about the future and of the prospect of raising a family. He is enjoying the here and now with his partner. I would like to get in touch with someone via email who can share advice and chizuk.

Anonymous said...

I can hear that you and your family are truly struggling with what sounds like shocking news. I am sorry to hear that, and hope that this blog gives you the chizuk you are seeking. What is interesting to me in your comments is that you seem very concerned about your parents. Having limited experience, but being as I am a proud family member, I have to say that yes its important to feel for your parents and support them but I think its also important to love and respect your brother for who HE is and for the courage it took him to open up and strength it takes him to face his surroundings daily. Not for whom he was, who you expected him to be or who you imagined him to be, but for whom he IS. This was not necessarily a choice for him, but the fact that he has chosen not to suppress his feelings and has chosen to share his life with someone, and for that matter with you is a huge step. You claim that he does not seem to care about you or your parents feelings, and with very little background about your specific family situation, I beg to differ. It seems like he very much cares, and for that reason has opened himself up and has maintained his relationship with you, despite how you yourselves and not to mention your community must be reacting to his lifestyle. I think in light of this very scary world we live in, life is very precious. Family is something that is not easy to be a part of and even harder to be without. Maybe instead of always worrying about how people will react, what the right thing to have done, or to do is, its time we see and appreciate people for who they are; including their flaws, their amazing character traits and what they have to offer and not so much the clothes they wear, the box they fit into or the flag they wave.

Dear Tanya,

I have not heard from you since you showed the courage to write on March 4th. I hope you have been reading the entries to the blog and especially the response from anonymous a week after you wrote in. "Anonymous" wrote me privately as well, but she has permitted me to tell you that she is a younger sister of a young man who recently came out to his family. She wrote me that the man has continued to be frum even though it is a constant struggle and his family is standing behind him knowing that this is a difficult situation for all of the family.

Rivka Chana said...

I am happy to see another Orthodox parent who is accepting of his/her son's being gay. It seems that you are in Israel. Do you think it makes it easier or harder? We are in New York, and I have not yet met another "accepting" set of parents. My son is in his late 20s and came out to us about 6 years ago; he is selectively out to other people. I'd be happy to have a dialogue/conversation with other interested families.
Rivka Chana

Dear Rivka Chana,

I have not heard from you since you wrote in February. You may be surprised how many "accepting" parents there actually are out there.

Please keep in touch with all of us. It is the only way, at this point in time, for "accepting" parents to realize that they are not alone.

Anonymous said...

Three and a half years ago I too 'came out' to my parents.

Let me say first, I cannot even begin to express my admiration for your empathetic, and honest manner in grappling with the myriad emotions in assimilating what your son's revalation means to you.

I also wanted to, from a very specific vantage point, point out how courageous I think your son is.
You see, when I came out to my parents it was in the same phone call that I informed them that my marriage was ending. That the 'perfect couple' that had given them wonderful grandchildren were anything but. That their 'perfect son' had decieved them, their daughter in law, and had violated her trust and the sanctity of their marriage.
I meet people like your son (and I am involved with JQY so odds are I have met him) - people ten years or so younger than me and I have nothing but admiration for their self-honesty and courage in not doing what I did - taking the easy path of listening to those shiduchim, of dating the girls, of denying first to himself, than a wife, that this is not the path Hashem meant him to take.
I know your hearts are shattered by the loss of the life you envisioned for him, but allow me to have the chutzpah to say that this is the right path, the one of yashrus and honesty. I would give anything to turn back the hands of time and find the voice inside myself to say, No, I am gay, no I won't have the beautiful wedding and the beautiful wife. It would have been pain but it would have been honest pain and it would have spared my ex-wife and parents all that followed.
So whatever complicated feelings you may feel about your son, I wanted to point out that in the world he comes from, the deception of self and others is the path of least resistance. I hope you and your wife can find a way to take pride in the fact that he bucked that and was honest with himself first and then with you.

Enough written for now.

For those who have written comments, thank you for the courage you have shown. I am sure that you have given some strength to those who are reading this blog.

Thank you.

Saul David

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