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Public letter To Whom It May Concern,
I am a rabbi at Columbia University and a graduate of Beis Midrash Gavoah in Lakewood, NJ.
I have transgender students, transgender congregants, and I have a transgender child. As Jewish educators, we donít teach Torah, in that the Torah doesnít need us as a rebbe. Rather, we teach children, Godís children Ė in Godís dwelling place, the classroom. We are taught in Shabbos 119b that Godís house in Jerusalem was only destroyed because schoolchildren were diverted from learning Torah. The Maharal observes that the purity and holiness of schoolchildren is greater than that of the Holy Temple. He explains that the wood and stones of the Temple are limited in their ability to accept holiness by their finite physical nature. By contrast, children, possessing an eternal soul, have an expansive capacity to hold Godís holiness through Torah learning. When the Jewish People prevented schoolchildren from being the natural receptacle of Torah that they are, it showed that they were not sensitive enough to appreciate even the lower level holiness of the Temple, and were therefore unworthy of it.
What do our actions say about our understanding of the Torah, which doesnít itself have a soul, when we deny its intended purpose, which is to be learned by the souls of Godís children? We are only worthy to teach Torah when we can appreciate the holiness and goodness of those whom we are teaching. All of Godís children are equally loved and entitled to the inheritance of a Jewish education, because they are the holiest among us.
No child should be denied admission based on gender identity. Further, Jewish schools should be welcoming, respectful, and affirming of the gender identities expressed by students. This means at least assuring safe and comfortable bathroom access, usage of preferred pronouns, and gender-affirming application of school dress codes.
The divine mandate to teach Torah comes with the holy responsibility to teach it properly Ė holding in our hearts that each childís most pronounced identity is being created in the image of God.
- Rabbi Mike Moskowitz

September 26, 2016, 04:04:32 PM
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2018 Arctic Expedition Coming Soon!


March 26, 2018, 04:34:48 PM
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Re: 2018 Arctic Expedition.
If you're gonna finish this before I really get going on my 2016 TR, you're gonna be banned from future trips.

Just sayin'.

What makes you think I wanna come again? :)

Just sayin'.

March 26, 2018, 04:42:20 PM
1
Re: 2018 Arctic Expedition.
What makes you think I wanna come again? :)

Just sayin'.

Dunno, you seem to be enjoying your self in this shot ;D (beard-sicles notwithstanding):


March 26, 2018, 04:48:22 PM
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