New attack on Rabbi Dweck in ‘gay love’ dispute

Israeli Orthodox Beth Din say it is impossible for him to serve as a spiritual leader


One of the most prominent charedi rabbinical courts in Israel has published an open letter declaring that Rabbi Joseph Dweck’s lectures “are complete heresy”.

The Beth Din Tzedek of Bnei Brak is headed by Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, one of the most respected leaders in the Orthodox world.

On Sunday, it published a letter addressed to  “the esteemed Rabbis and Dayanim of London and Manchester”.

Referring to Rabbi Dweck by name, the letter said: “While he heads a respected community, his lectures stand contrary to principles of Jewish religion, and of belief in the Written and Oral Torah, and are complete heresy.

“He teaches in public, in a way which is understood to allow that which is forbidden, and is clearly a danger to his audience.”

Rabbi Dweck, who heads the S&P Sephardi community in London, has been attacked by a number of rabbinic authorities after giving a lecture in which he said that while sex between two men was forbidden, there were ways in which men could love each other.

He also said he genuinely believed “that the entire revolution of feminism and even homosexuality in our society… is a fantastic development for humanity.”

In the past two weeks Rabbi Dweck has been condemned by rabbis in the US, UK and Israel – including by two of his uncles by marriage, Israel’s Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Rabbi David Yosef.

This latest letter states that Rabbi Dweck should not continue in his post.

It reads: “Having thoroughly investigated this matter and listened to his recordings and to testimony, we hereby inform you that it is clear it is completely impossible for him to serve as a rabbi or spiritual leader of any Jewish community.

“It is incumbent upon all who fear God to do all in their power to diminish his negative influence such that none of our Jewish brethren should fall in his net”.

Last Wednesday it was announced that Rabbi Dweck would be stepping down from the S&P Sephardi Beth Din in London “whilst we resolve the matter”.

In a letter, which was sent to members of the S&P community on Wednesday, Sabah Zubaida, lay head of the congregation, said that "a great deal of the criticism has been based on misunderstandings, some deliberate, and some not.

“However, Rabbi Dweck accepts that some of the criticism is justified and needs to be addressed within the wider rabbinical world."

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