Tuesday, November 30, 2021

I would like to thank Rabbi Yisrael Motzen for his article “A First Step: LGBTQ+ and the Frum Community” (September 27, 2021) for pointing out several issues in our community relating to the treatment of our LGBTQ+ children, siblings and friends. Additionally, I am grateful he acknowledges that being a member of the LGBTQ+ community is not a sin in itself. He correctly relates that many of the analogies frequently used to describe the LGBTQ+ are not truly comparative. (Shabbat is restrictive only 25 hours a week while one is gay seven days a week).

However, I disagree with his comment suggesting that our rabbanim don’t need to discuss the issue “from their pulpit,” rather asking the rabbanim to “convey a sense” they can be approached to discuss these issues. It is difficult to subtly communicate pastoral availability and interest on such a weighty topic. The LGBTQ+ community and their allies have tremendous interest in discussing their challenges with their respective rabbanim and communities, but most feel that their rabbanim and communities are not interested in the discussion, and worse, are biased against them.

A public statement, from the pulpit, would be a wonderful first step to make LGBTQ+ members feel welcome and begin community wide discussions. The fear of losing not only the LGBTQ+ individuals in our community to Yiddishkeit, but their parents, siblings and friends as well due to lack of rabbinic leadership, or in solidarity, is real.

Tzvi Small, MD
Sign up now!