Monday, May 20, 2013

Female LGBT Reform rabbi married to a non-Jewish woman protests the Reform movement's prohibition against intermarried rabbinical students

Forward   I am writing to urge you to reconsider the HUC-JIR requirement that all prospective rabbinical students sign an agreement that “any student engaged, married, or partnered/committed to a person who is not Jewish by birth or conversion will not be admitted or ordained.”

It matters to me: I am a HUC-JIR rabbi, ordained in 1991 and partnered with a non-Jew since 1984. In 1993 I founded a now thriving congregation that has engaged hundreds of people in Jewish life. I have worked toward conversion with dozens of candidates. The HUC-JIR requirement might have prevented me from becoming a rabbi, as it will future rabbis whose efforts would be as significant as mine.

My partner is a woman. I was an LGBT student at a time when this status was not recognized at the college and there was no such required agreement to sign. We were married under a chuppah on our 20th anniversary, in 2004, and were legally married when we could do so in New York State, in 2011. We have a grown daughter who celebrates the Sabbath and holidays. In 1988, my partner began welcoming the Sabbath in our home even when my student pulpit took me away. She attends services in my congregation, reads Jewish texts with interest and annually counts the Omer with me.

11 comments :

  1. Forward is BackwardMay 20, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    As far as I can tell, Purim is about 11 months away. The azus of using this rhetoric to make unacceptable behavior into the norm is absurd. The newspaper that publishes this, as if there were basis for legitimacy is proclaiming its own anti-Torah bias.

    I believe it is time for this rag to be banned, or ignored by the frum community, whichever will work best to let it become obsolete.

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  2. First thought: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
    Second thought: How does such a person justify their own red lines? I mean, clearly pretty much all of halacha is irrelevant to Reform so how do they justify making a stand on this?
    Third thought: nothing wrong with Purim Torah during the summer. After all, we already spend an entire year worrying about where the chometz is getting into...

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    1. I thought it was obvious - all they need to do is count Omer together in Hebrew.

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  3. Absolute paradigm of Torah living.

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  4. utterly reprehensible. It's a shame to accredit it with a blog spot. There's a limit to how far we can stretch the ish in JEW-ISHHHHHHHHHHH without losing the Jew.

    I think this report reached it

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  5. What! They got married without signing the RCA prenup agreement? If one of them walks out, the other one could easily be left an agunah! More proof that halacha is unfair to women!

    Its time that the HUC-JIR started being more sensitive to women. But there's nothing to worry about. If one of them does leave, I'm confident ORA will rescue the agunah.

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  6. Rav Eidensohn,

    Why did you choose to post this on your blog? It appears that this is about as far from "Da`as Torah" (in any understanding of the expression) as one can get. If that was your point, so what? Put more respectfully, what, if anything, do you think can be done about it?

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    Replies
    1. I think it's just a little comic relief.

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  7. Just a thought. Under Jewish law, a child's religion is determined through the maternal line . As the daughter has 2 mothers, one Jewish the other a gentile, is she Jewish or not?

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    Replies
    1. And if the ovum comes from one of the mother's but the other one is a surrogate, then you can enjoy some real Halachic acrobatics!

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  8. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4382643,00.html

    Obsession with modesty killing us

    Op-ed: Haredi journalist says modesty epidemic serving as tool for exclusion, humiliation of women in her society


    From one extreme to another...

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