“Five Reasons for an Orthodox Rabbi to Support Gay Marriage” – A response to Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz

If you haven’t seen this post, go read it! and then we can talk: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuly-yanklowitz/orthodox-rabbi-gay-marriage_b_4452154.html

Rabbi Yanklowitz shares his personal reflections and halakhic struggles – and in so doing, he expresses the most traditional kind of Judaism, that which teaches the value of hiddush (innovation within the law) and the humility of our ancestors. They knew that “even the most innovative teachings of a wise student in the future will also be Torah m’Sinai” (JT Peah).

It is worth noting, for all who are so exercised about this social question in both directions, that United States legal tradition makes a distinction between that which is a civil right and that which is a religious right. To insist that our religious convictions have a place in determining the civil rights of others is a dangerous thing, given that in liberal, tolerant San Francisco there was recently an effort at the local level of government to prohibit the Jewish religious ritual of circumcision!

We who are religious leaders are better off supporting equal civil rights for all American citizens and spending our time on more legitimate ground, working within our religious communities to reinforce our religious values. That’s where such activism belongs.

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