A wry smile might have crossed the lips of anyone who read the JC letters page last week. Not often do you find the chairman of the Reform movement jumping to the defence of the Chief Rabbi, after he had been attacked for opposing government plans to introduce civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples. But they do uphold the right of religious readers to speak out on social and moral issues. The Chief Rabbi had come under fire from 21 prominent Jews — among them actor Stephen Fry — who believed he should simply have kept quiet rather than risk dragging the Jewish community into a contentious public debate.
Gay marriage: Pope representatives calls for Catholic alliance with Muslim and Jewish groups
Same-sex marriage and Judaism - Wikipedia
The Torah provides very little guidance with regard to the procedures of a marriage. The method of finding a spouse, the form of the wedding ceremony, and the nature of the marital relationship are all explained in the Talmud. According to the Talmud , Rav Yehuda taught that 40 days before a male child is conceived, a voice from heaven announces whose daughter he is going to marry, literally a match made in heaven! In Yiddish , this perfect match is called "bashert,' a word meaning fate or destiny. The word "bashert" can be used to refer to any kind of fortuitous good match, such as finding the perfect job or the perfect house, but it is usually used to refer to one's soul mate. There are a number of statements in the Talmud that would seem to contradict the idea of bashert, most notably the many bits of advice on choosing a wife. Nevertheless, the idea has a strong hold within the Jewish community: look at any listing of Jewish personal ads and you're bound to find someone "Looking for my bashert.
French Jewish leaders weigh in against gay marriage
From a Jewish perspective, it is hard to see why anyone religious can be against same-sex marriage without being accused of acute hypocrisy. Christians might quote the Bible and the verse in Leviticus However, despite those who piously cite Scripture, they have no problem ignoring other verses in the same sacred book. Those who conveniently overlook those commands but still object to homosexuality, are just doing a pick and mix job with the Bible, and are driven not by religious beliefs but by anti-gay prejudice. As for Jews who take all of the Hebrew Bible seriously, there are three choices when approaching the verses on gays.
The subject of homosexuality and Judaism dates back to the Torah. The book of Vayikra Leviticus is traditionally regarded as classifying sexual intercourse between males as a to'eivah something abhorred or detested that can be subject to capital punishment by the currently non-existent Sanhedrin under halakha Jewish law. The issue has been a subject of contention within modern Jewish denominations , and has led to debate and division. Traditionally, Judaism has understood homosexual male intercourse as contrary to Judaism, and this opinion is still maintained by Orthodox Judaism. On the other hand, Reconstructionist Judaism and Reform Judaism do not hold this view, and allow both homosexual intercourse and same-sex marriage.