This week on MyJewishLearning, Rabbi Daniel Nevins reflects on his role in the Conservative movement’s recent debate on homosexuality and halakha. Rabbi Nevins co-authored the responsum that allows for gay rabbis and commitment ceremonies.
My “ah-hah” moment came a few years ago when I was studying daf yomi, the daily Talmud page, and came back to a passage I hadn’t thought of in this light before. In Tractate Brakhot 19b there is a discussion of human dignity–kvod habriot–and its legal implications.
As I looked up parallel sources and then later applications of this concept in halakhic sources, I realized that this might be the key to the conundrum: How to be inclusive and sensitive to human dignity, while still being authentically halakhic? (MORE)
The responsum in its entirety (it’s 55 pages including notes) can be found here.
Pronounced: TALL-mud, Origin: Hebrew, the set of teachings and commentaries on the Torah that form the basis for Jewish law. Comprised of the Mishnah and the Gemara, it contains the opinions of thousands of rabbis from different periods in Jewish history.