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    Homosexuality & the synagogue – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Your recent answer about gay marriage prompts me to ask what a synagogue should do if a homosexual applied for membership.

    A. These are some principles that I would propose:
    1. Synagogues should not ask members about their sexuality.

    2. They should not debar a homosexual from being a member, or from being counted to a minyan or receiving an Aliyah.

    3. They should however object if a person uses synagogue involvement in order to make a statement or promote a militant cause.

    Jewish teaching prohibits many kinds of activity but it still expects the people concerned to participate in and maintain Jewish observance.

    It deals with acts, not ideations; people’s minds think of many forbidden things but what creates a problem is if they act upon the thoughts.

    It is concerned at any form of sexual (including heterosexual) obsession, and indeed at all forms of obsession (including money, status and violence).

    It is also concerned at any form of selfishness and self-centredness; it sees (heterosexual) marriage as balancing the self and the other, and using this balance to construct the future.

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