Rabbi's belief that 'God is a notorious homosexual' divides Liberal community

Rabbi Lev Taylor wrote that Hashem is 'trans and so many other subversive things'


A Liberal rabbi has sparked controversy in the community after alleging that God is a "notorious homosexual."

Last week, Rabbi Lev Taylor, of South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue (SWESRS), posted a photo to Facebook of graffiti that read “God is gay”.

The image proved controversial, and sparked hundreds of comments debating what form, if any, the Jewish deity could take.

“God is God, and has no sexuality,” wrote Harry Saul Markham.

“Offensive, unnecessary, and absurd. You really think your congregants would be happy if they saw this?”

Suzy Rachel hit back: “As Jews, our literal name means ‘to wrestle with G-d’. A rabbi means teacher or spiritual leader. 

“Therefore a Rabbi presenting a piece of provocative art about G-d with no commentary and watching his congregants enthusiastically debate and wrestle with their ideas is literally that Rabbi doing their job and doing it well.”

Commenting on his own post, Rabbi Taylor wrote: “You’ve all had such interesting conversations while I was off for Shabbat.

“I spent the day with Hashem, who is literally a notorious homosexual - and, as others have pointed out - also trans and so many other subversive things. I love Her so much.”

After seeing this, synagogue member Martin Hizer messaged the shul on Facebook to complain.

“I believe very, very strongly in our traditions,” the taxi driver told the JC. 

“Traditions kept us alive for 2,000 years… I thought it was incredibly disrespectful.”

The Essex synagogue replied: “Rabbi Lev Taylor is a respected member of our community.

“We are looking into the matter and will address this with our Senior Rabbi Jordan Helfman on his return from leave.”

Responding to the broiges, a Progressive Judaism spokesman said the synagogue and Progressive Judaism were totally supportive of Rabbi Taylor.

Rabbi Lev Taylor said: "I believe in a God who is personally engaged in the lives of human beings. Although infinite and universal, God appears to us as we most need them. 

“For gay and trans people today, facing attacks from government and media, God is appearing to us as gay and trans, standing by our side."

SWESRS Senior Rabbi Jordan Helfman said: "We stand by our rabbi and by our values.

“SWESRS is a synagogue that celebrates gender and sexual diversity and continually works to be inclusive. We will not allow an angry minority to derail us from that prophetic Jewish mission." 

Synagogue chair Lester Allen added: "We are proud to be a Reform synagogue where everyone is welcome in finding their own relationship with God." 

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, speaking on behalf of Progressive Judaism, said: "I have been following this post. It fills me with hope that, even on Facebook and even through the means of graffiti, our rabbis and congregants are so engaged in relevant and inspiring theology. 

“Our rabbis follow a rich tradition of Progressive theology whose roots can be found as far back as Torah. I can only thank my colleagues and congregants for such rich High Holy Days sermon material.” 

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