Friday, August 30, 2013

In Hirhurim herem

Here are some quotes for you from a famous Torah blogger:

There is more to the Torah than forbidden and permissible. Those areas also teach us about values.

It seems clear from multiple places in rabbinic literature that some prohibitions are considered worse than others. And some permitted but frowned upon acts are also considered terrible.
You continue to pursue the permitted/forbidden line of argument so we are just talking in circles, which is not worth either of our times. I am not interested in repeating that we [need] to look to the Torah for guidance beyond permitted/forbidden...

As you might have guessed from the title, these are from Rabbi Gil Student, proprietor of Hirhurim (now called Torah Musings). Honestly, I do not frequent the site, but this week I saw a link to David P. Goldman's "Can Conservative Religion Survive Gay Marriage?" It's an interesting piece, although much of it was lost on me because I don't have a background in Catholic theology. I commented, and Goldman responded to me very politely. I had some remaining issues, so I responded, at which point Gil stepped in. His point seems to be that even though there is no halakhic ban on lesbianism among non-Jews, we still need to fight for DOMAesque legislation based on "values." So I asked what the value was. That was the end of that thread. Gil independently raised what I had written, so we engaged anew, until I asked: "What about gay marriage is improper based on values? If you say that they cannot form sacred unions, why not? Because the Torah forbids it? That is a forbidden/ permitted argument QED." We went back and forth, and I asked again, "What is this value that gay marriage does not have?" Gil responded that he would not repeat himself, so I asked him to please tell me where he said it in the first place. You can't see that last comment, because he hasn't approved it. In 15 hours. While a comment from 12 hours later has been approved.

I think I've been banned. Well, until DB bans me here, I'll give you my take on the one Jewish source mentioned in the article, raised two months ago by another blogger...

Of lesbians and levirs

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