Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Conservative rabbi is supported by congregation after announcing he is gay and divorcing his wife of 20 years

Washington Post   The leader of one of the Washington region’s most prominent synagogues on Monday came out as gay, telling his thousands of congregants in a brutally personal e-mail that a lifelong effort to deny his sexuality was over and that he and his wife of 20 years would be divorcing. [...]

In his letter to the congregation of 1,420 households, and then in an interview, Steinlauf described an in­cred­ibly close relationship with his wife, whom he met in rabbinical school. The pair, he told The Washington Post, spent the past three years “desperately looking at one another, thinking, how can we hold onto this marriage, because we love one another so much?” And concluding that a reality he’d walled off since he was a boy wasn’t going away. [...]

Washington Post  The full text of an e-mail from Rabbi Gil Steinlauf to the Adas Israel congregation:
Dear Friends,
I am writing to share with you that after twenty years of marriage, my wife Batya and I have decided to divorce. We have arrived at this heartbreaking decision because I have come to understand that I am gay. These are great upheavals in my personal life, as in Batya’s and that of our children. But it is plain to all of us that because of my position as Rabbi of Adas Israel, this private matter may also have a public aspect. We recognize that you may well need a period of reflection to absorb this sudden news. I am most grateful for the support Adas’ lay leaders and clergy have provided my family and me in the short time since I brought this matter to their attention. That support makes it possible for us to prepare for this new chapter in our lives, and for me in my ongoing service as Rabbi of Adas Israel Congregation. [...]

A text I’ve sat with for years is from the Babylonian Talmud (Yoma 72b) and states, “Rabbah said, any scholar whose inside does not match his outside is no scholar. Abaye, and some say Ravah bar Ulah, said [one whose inside does not match his outside] is called an abomination.” Ultimately, the dissonance between my inside and my outside became undeniable, then unwise, and finally intolerable. With much pain and tears, together with my beloved wife, I have come to understand that I could walk my path with the greatest strength, with the greatest peace in my heart, with the greatest healing and wholeness, when I finally acknowledged that I am a gay man. Sadly, for us this means that Batya and I can no longer remain married, despite our fidelity throughout our marriage and our abiding friendship and love. As our divorce is not born of rancor, we pray that together with our children we will remain bound by a brit mishpachah, a covenant of family. [...]


  1. If all he was worried about was not being tocho kebaro, all he had to do was come out of the closet and he would be able to stay married to his wife. Instead, he divorces his wife so that he will be able to follow his true inner self. Wow! What a tzaddik! Mamesh leshem shomayim!

  2. i just dont get it at all.

  3. The medrash at the end of Parshas Bereishis says that the destruction of the world was because of kosvim kesuba lezochor. Add the Conservative frauds to the list of those pushing the destruction of America. They are nothing but biological Jews. They are not Jews in any other sense of the word.

  4. I dont get it either. He quoted the gm, that stated if your inside and outside don't match then your an abomination, but got to the conclusion that he'll stay an abomination as gay?!? He quoted a gm to prove he's more abominable!!


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