Friday, February 3, 2012

Rabbi Ralbag reinstated as Amsterdam Chief Rabbi

The Orthodox Jewish community of Amsterdam reinstated its chief rabbi, Aryeh Ralbag, on Thursday after briefly suspending him last month for having co-signed a statement in which homosexuality was described as an inclination from which one can be “healed.”

According to the board of the community, NIHS, Ralbag’s reinstatement came after he “acknowledged both verbally and in writing” that he “should not have signed the statement using his title as chief rabbi of Amsterdam.”

Ralbag, a US-born rabbi who was made chief rabbi of Amsterdam in 2005, was temporarily relieved of his duties by the board of the NIHS after signing the “Declaration On The Torah Approach To Homosexuality” which called on “authority figures” to “guide same-sex strugglers towards a path of healing and overcoming their inclinations.”


  1. So he bent like he bends the rules in kashrus? Try not to be shocked everyone lol.

  2. here is the rabbis official statement i saw posted online:

    January 26, 2012
    I am issuing this statement as Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam, who is proud of his heritage and Torah-based beliefs. My purpose in making this statement is to expound on my outlook – which I believe is consistent with the views of Torah sages throughout the ages – and to respond to certain harsh criticism that has been directed at me over the past few days. Let me make it clear at the outset that I am directing this statement with kindness and compassion to my fellow Jews who identify themselves with Torah Judaism but are struggling with sexual inclinations that conflict in letter and spirit with a Torah lifestyle.
    I believe these fellow Jews “deserve our full love, support and encouragement”, and I recommend creating “an atmosphere” where they “can speak freely to a parent, rabbi, or mentor and be treated with love and compassion”.
    I must state the truth, which I understand may be painful to a Torah-believing Jew who is struggling with homosexual proclivities: The Torah prohibits certain forms of sexual conduct, including sexual relations between a man and another man. This form of sexual conduct is simply not an acceptable mode of behavior according to the Torah; the Torah forbids this act in the strongest terms.
    If a person wishes to live a Torah lifestyle, then that person must refrain from this form of sexual conduct. I am not here to excommunicate anyone from the community of Torah believers. Nor did I ever say that homosexuality is a disease or a sickness. Nor am I here to give an opinion on whether homosexuality originates from nature or nurture. My sole point is that a person who wants to reconcile himself with a Torah-based lifestyle needs to adapt or curb his inclinations.
    When I use the word ‘healing’, I am referring to a ‘healing-of-the-soul’, a ‘spiritual-healing’. This is directed to a person struggling with inner turmoil and seething with inner conflict. It is to such a person that we offer guidance to help control or ameliorate his urges, so that they be compatible with Torah. My message was one of inclusion not rejection.
    Let me emphasize that conduct, not the person, is the subject of my statement
    I am disappointed that the declaration - signed by me as Chief Rabbi from Amsterdam - has been the basis of such harsh criticism and tumult.
    I do not believe that I have to apologize to anyone for my Torah-based beliefs; nevertheless, I sincerely regret and apologize to anyone pained by the inaccurate portrayal of my views.
    Aryeh Ralbag
    Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam

  3. His official statement I saw posted somewhere on line will try to find the link I think it was vos is naiz he didn't seem to of bend at all to the contrary held out firm till the end and the kehilla bent after he wouldn't budge from halacha


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