Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"When my time comes to stand before HaKadosh Barush Hu..."

A few months ago my son and I were trying to resolve a halakhic dilemma which he had encountered while he was in Europe. It was in reference to finding a way to carry his key on Shabbat in Prague. After a few minutes, he halted the discussion and said "in light of everything that is going on in my life, I am not sure if this is relevant any more."

My response was a simple "uh-huh".

What else was there to say?

After a few pensive moments, he continued the discussion. He said that he has a friend who says "that when his time comes to stand before HaKadosh Baruch Hu, he is going to ask Him why he was forced to be judged by such a different set of standards than everyone else."

What else was there to say?

Wishing you a year of good health.

Saul David

7 comments:

Yaakov said...

i totally agree with what u wrote. when i was davening just now on yom kippur, reading the words that say that i regret the sins of this past year and commit to not sin in this coming year, i applied that sentiment to my general behavior. but in terms of my gay issues, i consider them to be out of that picture. and for sure, as ur son said, i often feel that one factor in my becoming more lax about certain halachic issues is my being gay. what i wonder, though, is why even heterosexual jews don't ever think about this and have similar issues with halacha in general? what i mean is, why don't other jews think: if the halacha forbids homosexuality, which doesn't really make sense since people can't change that, then why should other parts of halacha be followed so stringently? (i know that this thought process is not bullet-proof, but i would think that it has some merit to it.)

Simcha said...

I must respectfully disagree with the article and the first commentator, Yaakov. There is no sevoro that one's inability to fulfill one mitzvo makes one patur from fulfilling another mitzvo. If I am missing an arm - I must still put on tefillin shel rosh. What does being gay have to do with shmiras shabbos?
On the second point, Hashem judges each person - annually on Yom Hadin and ultimately when one stands before Him to give a din v'cheshbon - in a very individual and distinct manner. We learn in the gemoro that Hashem judges each person one by one. The Shem M'Shmuel elobarates on this point when discussing the posuk "hameivin el kol maaseihem" i.e. the posuk does not say that Hashem "sees" ones deeds, but that he "understands" one's deeds, that each person's deeds are judged after consideration of who that person is and what temptations he faced.
Just for background: I must say that after realizing I was gay while still in Yeshiva - I have remained a shomer torah & mitzvos. There is much more to say but Yom Tov approaches. Git Yom Tov!

Jay said...
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Anonymous said...

Simcha, I would like to read more about your thoughts, as you ended your comments by saying that you have more to say on the subject,but have run out of time because of Yom tov. It is interesting to read your take on the halachic issues concerning homosexuality and your confirmation in being shomer torah and mitzvot. I agreed with your position,that being shomer shabbat has nothing to do with the issue of homosexuality. I am a Mom of a gay child and it's important for Parents out there to hear what gay frum men and women are struggling with, though it sounds like you are not. It's interesting to hear an opposing position for a change.Please elaborate wen you have a chance.

liber said...

On shabbat, I sat through the speech of an orthodox Rabbi who praised the fact that Proposition 8 did not pass. He equated homosexuality as a test from God via a comparison to Avraham and concluded that homosexuals who demanded equal rights (in this case marrige) or generally had intimate relationships with eachother had failed their life's test. He suggested we treat gay jews as we treat other jews who are not shomer mitzvot in what I assume he thought was a modern open notion. Let them open the aron, let them come to shul, and so on. Yay.
As I sat there, surrounded by people who seemed to tacitly agree with the rabbi's sentiments, I realized that this is why I will leave orthodox judaism eventually. And I am tired of being called a failure and being told I can be accepted in some secondary way. I am not a failure and I am not a bad person. When will the orthodox world realize that it's absurd to deny gay people the right to forgo an important part of anyone's life, loving relationships? I want to be fundamentally accepted by the community that raised me, taught me, and which in many ways I love. But it will never happen. This is the rhetoric everyone is subjected to in shul, at home, and in yeshiva or seminary and I cant take it anymore.
If I had more guts I'd stop being shomer mitzvot so I wont have to associate with the narrow mindedness and bigotry of the orthodox world. That's another reason not to be frum, the company you are forced to keep.
Its one people havent mentioned yet, and its an important one for me at least.

Jay said...
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Anonymous said...

"If I had more guts I'd stop being shomer mitzvot so I wont have to associate with the narrow mindedness and bigotry of the orthodox world. That's another reason not to be frum, the company you are forced to keep."


Respectfully...

Are you religious for yourself, or for the community?

I have gone through the same things but ultimately it's all about YOU, and not what they think of you or say.