A rainbow coloured placard in the colors of the LGBT flag [Illustrative].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A large group of leading National Religious rabbis have given strong backing to the state’s stance in favor of maintaining the ban on gay couples adopting children in Israel, in a letter to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
Among the rabbis were Israel Prize laureate Rabbi Haim Druckman, perhaps the most politically influential National Religious rabbi at present, as well as Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the far-right religious leader Rabbi Dov Lior, and Chief Rabbi of the Samaria district Rabbi Elyakim Levanon. More than 30 rabbis signed the letter.
The rabbis described gay adoption as “contradicting human morality, whose roots are in the holy Torah” and praised Shaked for her position on the issue and her “protection of the moral, and values-based family unit.”
Continued the rabbis, “Our holy Torah is a tower of light and a moral compass for the Jewish people and the entire world, and it is therefore fitting that the State of Israel stands guard for the strengthening of family values and the public space which respects the moral values of humanity and Judaism.”
The letter was addressed to Shaked for her part in formulating the state’s response to a petition to the High Court of Justice by gay couples seeking to overturn the policy of rejecting their applications to adopt.
Speaking on Army Radio on Wednesday morning, Eliyahu stepped up the rhetoric, saying that he and other rabbis would “not allow the country to become LGBT-istan.”
Said Eliyahu, “There is terror from LGBTs which is forcing itself upon the system against healthy thinking.”
Going even further, the rabbi suggested that being gay is a sickness, saying, “The word ‘ill’ is very delicate; it [homosexuality] is something that needs treatment and fixing.”
Daniel Jonas, chairman of the Havruta organization for religious gays, scorned Eliyahu’s comments, observing that he and other rabbis have been insisting for a long time that it is possible to “treat” homosexuality, but noting that they have had little success so far.
In response to the rabbis’ letter, Jonas noted that the current period of the calendar leading up to the fast of Tisha Be’av was a period in Jewish history in which “human morality was pushed into the corner and crassly trampled out of a worldview more concerned with purifying vessels than spilling blood.”
Addressing the rabbis who authored the letter, Jonas said, “Whatever your positions are, come and speak with us, not about us!”
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