Head to Head is a new weekly feature in JPost.com in which two people face off on a controversial issue that's making headlines
Head to Head #1: The Green Line
Head to Head #2: Conservative gay ruling
The US-based Conservative movement's recent endorsement of a position permitting "commitment ceremonies"
between people of the same gender and the ordination as Conservative rabbis of people living openly homosexual lives has stirred widespread debate.
Pro: Brokeback minyan, by Prof. Samuel Freedman
The decision to open a space of theological acceptance for gays and lesbians seems to me deeply true to the Conservative movement's mission of interpreting Halacha in light of modernity. One can appreciate the gravity of the choice, and the wisdom of it, by comparing the vote on gay equality to the vote 56 years ago by the law committee permitting driving on the Sabbath.
Con: A tragic & telling decision, by Rabbi Avi Shafram
To be sure, the decision is tragic and telling. Tragic because it turns Halacha, or Jewish religious law, on its head - and does so, moreover, in the name of a "halachic" process. What's telling is that it conclusively gives the lie to the movement's claim of fealty to the halachic process.