Top rabbi: more honesty needed on homosexuality

By Sandy Rashty, January 3, 2013
Rabbi Lichtenstein: (Photo: Yeshivat Har Etzion)

Rabbi Lichtenstein: (Photo: Yeshivat Har Etzion)

A senior modern Orthodox rabbi has said that the violation of Shabbat is worse than homosexuality.

Rabbi Dr Aharon Lichtenstein made the statement that recognised homosexual feelings, according to a report on Ynet news.

Rabbi Lichtenstein also said that halachic concern should focus on the breach of Shabbat rituals or fraudulent behaviour – rather than invoke an “aggressive” attitude to homosexuals.

In an unprecedented announcement, Rabbi Lichtenstein (who leads the Har Etzion Yeshivah in Israel) said: "I’m not in favour of homosexuality - but we do need to agree to abide by a greater measure of honesty in dealing with that community than I think at present applies.”

Though Rabbi Lichtenstein still asserts that homosexual people can be “cured”, a spokesmsan for Kamoha, an organisation for homosexual Orthodox Jews, said: "The rabbi placed a mirror in front of the public, demonstrating that many times the fear of homosexuality does not stem from halachic considerations but from pure homophobia.

“We are glad that a senior rabbinical personality like Rabbi Lichtenstein chooses to voice his opinion openly and without fear."

Last updated: 3:24pm, January 3 2013