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Orthodox Responses to Conservative Homosexuality Responsa

The RCA released a statement, available here, and Agudath Israel sent out a release that I’ve pasted below.


“An Abandonment of All Pretense of Fealty to Judaism”

NEW YORK – Noting with sorrow the Conservative movement’s “Committee on Jewish Law and Standards”’ shameless endorsement of a position permitting “commitment ceremonies” between people of the same gender and the ordination as Conservative rabbis of people living openly homosexual lives, a spokesman for Agudath Israel of America called the decision “an abandonment of all pretense of fealty to Judaism.”

Rabbi Avi Shafran, Agudath Israel’s director of public affairs, stated that “this ruling doesn’t conserve the Jewish tradition, it defies it.”

“The entire corpus of halacha, or Jewish religious law,” he said, “makes abundantly clear that homosexual behavior is sinful. That a movement claiming to uphold the Jewish religious tradition can arrogate to stand halachic Judaism on its head is tragic. It will no doubt cheer those who place contemporary mores above the Jewish mandate, but in the end, it seals the fate of a movement long mired in muddle and malaise.”

“While every Jew is precious in the eyes of Heaven,” Rabbi Shafran continued, “and while some of us may face more difficult challenges than others as we strive to live by the Torah’s prescriptions, that striving is the very essence of what it means to be a Jew committed to Judaism.”

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