What does it mean to live as a gay man in the Orthodox community? Four such stories were shared the night before in a forum sponsored by Yeshiva University’s “Tolerance Club” and the Wurzweiler School of Social Work. An unofficial transcript of the event can be found by clicking on the Curious Jew blog.
The event, which drew almost 1,000 people, modeled a kind of compassionate listening and human decency which neither trumped nor trivialized the deeply conflicting views about gayness held by people in the audience. Instead, it proved that we all have the ability to listen and feel beyond the borders of any particular doctrinal conclusion, and that when we do so, we never jeopardize our commitments to those doctrines, we simply connect more deeply and more lovingly to those around us. And that, can never be a bad thing.
Whatever one thinks about being gay, about being gay and Orthodox, about homosexuality and halakha, I urge you to think about that claim, to read the transcript, and invite yourself to allow the powerful stories of four individuals to serve as a model for building spiritual community in the midst of conclicting opinions about very serious issues, whatever they may be.