UK chief rabbi about LGBTQ+ Knesset speaker: Love every Jew

UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, speaking about Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, said LGBTQ+ Jews should be treated with love and respect.

 UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis lights Hanukkah candles with then-UK prime minister Boris Johnson (Illustrative). (photo credit: Number 10/Flickr)
UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis lights Hanukkah candles with then-UK prime minister Boris Johnson (Illustrative).
(photo credit: Number 10/Flickr)

UK's Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said in an interview with Israeli television that any LGBTQ+ people should be treated with love and respect, and not the way some haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis reacted to Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said recently in an interview with an Israeli television station.Ohana is the only openly gay Likud MK and was also Israel’s first openly gay cabinet minister.

“Love your fellow as yourself, I am Hashem. Rabbi Akiva said of this mitzvah: This is a great principle in Torah,” Mirvis said, quoting the Jerusalem Talmud

"Love your fellow as yourself, I am God. Rabbi Akiva said of this mitzvah: This is a great principle in Torah."

Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

Every human being was created “in the image of Hashem,” he said. “This is how we must look at each and every one.”

Senior rabbi: Amir Ohana is "infected with a disease"

Rabbi Meir Mazoz, a haredi rabbi who has ties to National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Interior Minister Arye Deri, on Saturday night referred to Ohana as “being infected with a disease."

Mirvis said a pamphlet he published about LGBTQ+ in the Jewish community a few years ago was “the first guide in the world for the Orthodox Jews that deals with the subject of LGBTQ+. I wrote, from a Torah point of view, exactly how we should treat such difficult situations and how to guide youth in our communities from a halachic point of view in our schools, with a heart that is open and connected to each and every one, so that each of them will feel part of the religious world of Judaism.”“We all know the [halachic] prohibitions, but at the same time, we forbid to hate,” he said.

 Amir Ohana seen during a welcome ceremony for him at the Ministry of Justice in Jerusalem on June 23, 2019.  (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90) Amir Ohana seen during a welcome ceremony for him at the Ministry of Justice in Jerusalem on June 23, 2019. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)

"This is the first guide in the world for the Orthodox Jews that deals with the subject of LGBTs," Mirvis said. "I wrote from a Torah point of view exactly how we should treat such difficult situations and how to guide youth in our communities from a halachic point of view in our schools, with a heart that is open and connected to each and everyone – So that each of them will feel part of the religious world of Judaism."

Mirvis added that "we all know the [halachic] prohibitions, but at the same time, we forbid to hate."

The anchor, Israeli television veteran journalist Amnon Levy told Mirvis that he should be Israel's chief rabbi since he is so "Liberal."

Mirvis laughed. "I don't think this is a liberal position, this is the Torah's position," he said.

Mirvis is set to be granted a knighthood by King Charles III, according to the 2023 New Year's Honours List published on Friday evening.

Gadi Zaig contributed to this report.