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Attitude Towards Homosexuality PDF Print E-mail
Written by Tzvi Fishman   
Monday, 01 November 2010


Given that homosexuality is a sin, what is the proper attitude to take towards homosexuals?


The word sodomy comes from Sodom, the biblical city which G-d overthrew in His anger. While the city was renowned for its lack of hospitality and cruelty to visitors, rampant homosexuality was another celebrated vice. When the residents of Sodom gathered around Lot’s house, demanding he turn over his visitors, they declared that they wanted to “know them.” Rashi explains that their intention was to sodomize them.
Indeed, the Torah calls the transgression of homosexuality an “abomination, saying, “Thou shall not lie with a man after the manner of a woman; it is an abomination” (Vayikra, 18:22). The Torah does not classify homosexuality as a disease, but as a transgression, which man has the ability to overcome by choosing good over evil. And while the term abomination is certainly a harsh condemnation, other sins are also referred to as abominations, for instance adultery, and the eating of creatures which creep on the earth. Thus while homosexual acts have terrible personal, social, and spiritual consequences, a homosexual need not be put under a communal ban, or be denied entry to the synagogue, or even be denied the privilege of being called up to the Torah.
Certainly homosexual behavior must be rejected and scorned in no uncertain terms, but it is wise to keep in mind that when Avraham prayed to spare the city of Sodom from destruction, homosexuals were also included in his plea for mercy. In effect, we are all sinners, in one way or another, and without G-d’s gracious compassion, none of us would be able to stand before the Divine Throne.      

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