I never thought I’d say this, but: “Shmuley Boteach rocks!” Or at least his latest piece for the Jerusalem Post does. In response to the intense protests against the gay pride parade schedule for this Friday in Jerusalem, Boteach writes:
I have always found it puzzling that religious people of all denominations continue to see gay men and women as the single greatest threat to civilization and the ultimate sin…
For religious Christians in America homosexuals are the single greatest threat to the family, even though gays are no more than five percent of the population, while the heterosexual divorce rate stands at 50 percent.
So who needs gays to finish off the family when straight men and women are already doing that job admirably? …
The vitriolic Orthodox and haredi response to the gay pride parade and the recent riots in Mea She’arim, which left a dozen police officers injured, show that we Jews are just as capable of mistakenly making gay sex into the foremost religious issue of our time.
I don’t necessarily agree with Boteach’s political commentary about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that follows, but it’s nice to be reminded that Rabbi Boteach — who has been accused of being a celebrity hound — has some smart things to say, too.
Rabbi Boteach’s appeal is only more powerful because he still believes that homosexuality is a sin.
I am an Orthodox Jew, and I do not deny that homosexuality is labeled a sin and an abomination in the Bible. But the word abomination appears 122 times in the Torah, including for such behavior as eating certain non-kosher foods (Deut. 14:3), a wife remarrying her first husband after she has been married to someone else in the interim (24:4), and offering a sacrifice that is blemished (17:1).