Author Topic: Public letter  (Read 46416 times)

Offline Cheesecake

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #140 on: October 07, 2016, 01:12:15 PM »
I have a question that has been bothering me.  I respect the primacy of torah and halachic observance.  Obviously observances and standards vary  between communities, but there are some core halachic concepts that are indisputable.  I get that.  The question is what is the community's responsibility to people that don't fit into the halachic box?  What do we do with someone who believes in Halacha and Torah Misinai but isn't attracted to people of the opposite gender or who suffers from the various gender dysphoria issues?  Is there room to reject the sin but accept the sinner?  Obviously nobody can say that halachically the actions are acceptable but is there a mechanism to make the people suffering from these issues not feel like outcasts?  I'm not entirely sure what the answer looks like but I'm interested in your take.
If they kept their issues private, they wouldn't be outcasts.

Offline bermo

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #141 on: October 07, 2016, 01:16:45 PM »
I have a question that has been bothering me.  I respect the primacy of torah and halachic observance.  Obviously observances and standards vary  between communities, but there are some core halachic concepts that are indisputable.  I get that.  The question is what is the community's responsibility to people that don't fit into the halachic box?  What do we do with someone who believes in Halacha and Torah Misinai but isn't attracted to people of the opposite gender or who suffers from the various gender dysphoria issues?  Is there room to reject the sin but accept the sinner?  Obviously nobody can say that halachically the actions are acceptable but is there a mechanism to make the people suffering from these issues not feel like outcasts?  I'm not entirely sure what the answer looks like but I'm interested in your take.
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Offline JoeyShmoe

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #142 on: October 07, 2016, 01:19:14 PM »
I have a question that has been bothering me.  I respect the primacy of torah and halachic observance.  Obviously observances and standards vary  between communities, but there are some core halachic concepts that are indisputable.  I get that.  The question is what is the community's responsibility to people that don't fit into the halachic box?  What do we do with someone who believes in Halacha and Torah Misinai but isn't attracted to people of the opposite gender or who suffers from the various gender dysphoria issues?  Is there room to reject the sin but accept the sinner?  Obviously nobody can say that halachically the actions are acceptable but is there a mechanism to make the people suffering from these issues not feel like outcasts?  I'm not entirely sure what the answer looks like but I'm interested in your take.
There's nothing wrong not being attracted to the opposite gender (other than not getting married because of that) or having gender dysphoria issues, the problem is that when acting on those issues they might be transgressing a Lav (or in the case of משכב זכור be Chayev Misah). I do think that helping those people (assuming the issue is a psychological one...) will do more than shunning them
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Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #143 on: October 07, 2016, 01:19:59 PM »
If they kept their issues private, they wouldn't be outcasts.

Right, I hear that.  The problem is that these are things that are hard to keep private.  That leads to depression, miserable spouses and families, suicide attempts, or unfortunately successes. Imagine knowing that you will never in your lifetime be allowed to have a satisfactory sexual experience.  That must be devastating to a person.  "Shev Bisheket" or "Zai Shtil" or whatever may not be the right community approach for such a person who is suffering.  Do you ever see a scenario where the community will treat this like depression?  Have it come out of the shadows and the sufferers supported while somehow not condoning the sin? 

« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 01:24:19 PM by ShlockDoc »

Offline Cheesecake

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #144 on: October 07, 2016, 01:24:12 PM »
Right, I hear that.  The problem is that these are things that are hard to keep private.  That leads to depression, miserable spouses and families, suicide attempts, or unfortunately successes.  Do you ever see a scenario where the community will treat this like depression?  Have it come out of the shadows and the sufferers supported while somehow not condoning the sin?
Those who confide in the right people, e.g. rabbonim, are treated (I assume) like someone who suffers from depression, and are referred, I would hope, to the appropriate professionals.

Offline grodnoking

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #145 on: October 07, 2016, 01:28:03 PM »
I have a question that has been bothering me.  I respect the primacy of torah and halachic observance.  Obviously observances and standards vary  between communities, but there are some core halachic concepts that are indisputable.  I get that.  The question is what is the community's responsibility to people that don't fit into the halachic box?  What do we do with someone who believes in Halacha and Torah Misinai but isn't attracted to people of the opposite gender or who suffers from the various gender dysphoria issues?  Is there room to reject the sin but accept the sinner?  Obviously nobody can say that halachically the actions are acceptable but is there a mechanism to make the people suffering from these issues not feel like outcasts?  I'm not entirely sure what the answer looks like but I'm interested in your take.
There are many different organizations for people who feel unconnected to Judaism, or are rebelling against it, to help them come back to thier roots. This problem is not large enough yet (god willing never) for organizations to be created (unless their are organizations I dont know of).

Would you accept a OTD boy into a ultra-orthodox yeshiva? No, you send him somewhere to help him in ways he needs. So to here you'll have to find a way to help this kid without tarnishing many other kids mindset.
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Offline grodnoking

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #146 on: October 07, 2016, 01:30:29 PM »
Right, I hear that.  The problem is that these are things that are hard to keep private.  That leads to depression, miserable spouses and families, suicide attempts, or unfortunately successes. Imagine knowing that you will never in your lifetime be allowed to have a satisfactory sexual experience.  That must be devastating to a person.  "Shev Bisheket" or "Zai Shtil" or whatever may not be the right community approach for such a person who is suffering.  Do you ever see a scenario where the community will treat this like depression?  Have it come out of the shadows and the sufferers supported while somehow not condoning the sin?
Basically you want someone to take the initiative to publicly (as in help anyone who shows up at his doorstep,  and keep them in complete confidence) help these people.
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Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #147 on: October 07, 2016, 01:43:22 PM »
Basically you want someone to take the initiative to publicly (as in help anyone who shows up at his doorstep,  and keep them in complete confidence) help these people.

Not necessarily someone to help.  I think you were right about there eventually being an organization to offer to support.  In the meanwhile, I'm more thinking aloud about some way for them not to be banished and shamed if their situation becomes known.  I don't know if it's realistic.  I just have heard stories of how much they suffer and that makes me hope for a way that they can be accepted like any other sinner (ie all of us) while not communicating acceptance of the sin. 
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 01:46:23 PM by ShlockDoc »

Offline sguitarist18

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #148 on: October 07, 2016, 02:41:17 PM »
In terms of technical hashkafa, if you have someone who suffers from these issues but is not acting on them, I think it's pretty clear that they should be treated like anyone else. Probably respected for their struggles.

The question is in terms of public policy. It's very difficult to publicly have acceptance for the people with these struggles without also showing some level of acceptance of the lifestyle. Or in other words, if a person feels the need for this desire of theirs to be public, then they're making a statement that it's not just a desire that they have, but rather a part of themselves that they want to be publicly accepted for.

As you say, the issue is given that atmosphere, what happens if a person's private struggle, which they're working to keep private, somehow becomes public? It's a very difficult line to toe, and I'm glad the responsibility for those kinds of decisions doesn't fall on my shoulders.

In comparison to depression, of course, there's generally no "treatment." You cannot cure someone of being gay. And you're definitely right, that
Imagine knowing that you will never in your lifetime be allowed to have a satisfactory sexual experience.  That must be devastating to a person. 

And in a private way, it needs to be dealt with sensitively. The problem is that there's no easy answer, no simple solution For people in that situation, it means a difficult struggle. Then again, none of us were created to NOT struggle, although theirs is different than most.

Offline Cheesecake

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #149 on: October 07, 2016, 02:47:13 PM »



In comparison to depression, of course, there's generally no "treatment." You cannot cure someone of being gay.

I don't know that that's true.

Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #150 on: October 07, 2016, 02:50:41 PM »
In terms of technical hashkafa, if you have someone who suffers from these issues but is not acting on them, I think it's pretty clear that they should be treated like anyone else. Probably respected for their struggles.

The question is in terms of public policy. It's very difficult to publicly have acceptance for the people with these struggles without also showing some level of acceptance of the lifestyle. Or in other words, if a person feels the need for this desire of theirs to be public, then they're making a statement that it's not just a desire that they have, but rather a part of themselves that they want to be publicly accepted for.

As you say, the issue is given that atmosphere, what happens if a person's private struggle, which they're working to keep private, somehow becomes public? It's a very difficult line to toe, and I'm glad the responsibility for those kinds of decisions doesn't fall on my shoulders.

In comparison to depression, of course, there's generally no "treatment." You cannot cure someone of being gay. And you're definitely right, that
And in a private way, it needs to be dealt with sensitively. The problem is that there's no easy answer, no simple solution For people in that situation, it means a difficult struggle. Then again, none of us were created to NOT struggle, although theirs is different than most.

I'm not sure theirs is different than most.  We all have tayvos to commit sins and we all give in to those tayvos.  Without exception.  That's why I'm not comfortable with the qualifier that these people have to not give in to their tayva in order to be accepted.  We don't make that requirement for the rest of us.  There are jewish organizations that support jewish people in prisons.  Not because they endorse the sin but because they love the sinner as a brother.   We should be rachmonim b'nai rachmonim for our brothers and sisters that are going through a very difficult experience.  If that is the baseline for discussions then I think we've made progress.  Comparing them to people who want to marry rocks or want to become chickens as I've seen in the rest of this thread takes the humanity away from it.  These are our bretheren that are suffering and who do no more sins than the rest of us do...
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 02:58:05 PM by ShlockDoc »

Offline sguitarist18

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #151 on: October 07, 2016, 03:22:53 PM »
There may be people who are attracted to both genders, that can work on focusing on the opposite gender. For people who are absolutely only attracted to one gender (~1-3%)? My understanding (based on conversations with experienced people in the mental health field) is that there's no way to change that. If you have research showing otherwise, I'd be happy to learn about it.

Offline Cheesecake

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #152 on: October 07, 2016, 03:33:52 PM »
I'm not sure theirs is different than most.  We all have tayvos to commit sins and we all give in to those tayvos.  Without exception.  That's why I'm not comfortable with the qualifier that these people have to not give in to their tayva in order to be accepted.  We don't make that requirement for the rest of us.  There are jewish organizations that support jewish people in prisons.  Not because they endorse the sin but because they love the sinner as a brother.   We should be rachmonim b'nai rachmonim for our brothers and sisters that are going through a very difficult experience.  If that is the baseline for discussions then I think we've made progress.  Comparing them to people who want to marry rocks or want to become chickens as I've seen in the rest of this thread takes the humanity away from it.  These are our bretheren that are suffering and who do no more sins than the rest of us do...
See Igros Moshe OC 4: 115

I don't mean this is a reason to not treat a sinner as a brother, but this is different than other taivos.
 

Offline sguitarist18

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #153 on: October 07, 2016, 03:40:35 PM »
More importantly, I don't think there's a movement anywhere for people to normalize adulterous relationships. Or to push for the idea that criminals have done nothing wrong, and there is nothing in their actions to criticize.

Therefore, there can be an organization to provide support for people in those situations, publicly, without anyone becoming more accpeting of those actions.

The same is not true in terms of same-sex attraction.

And in terms of gender dysphoria, as well - the world at large is moving away from any chance of understanding the condition, and towards considering it normal. Once you go there, there's no limit to what people can demand to be accepted as (animal, plant or mineral).

The condition certainly exists, whether it's purely psychological, or not. But if there's a community that wishes to remain with the understanding that's it's a sad and cruel condition, there's not really any good approach - will it help children with that condition to be considered to have a condition on par with schizophrenia?

Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #154 on: October 07, 2016, 04:09:14 PM »
See Igros Moshe OC 4: 115

I don't mean this is a reason to not treat a sinner as a brother, but this is different than other taivos.

Can you please take a picture or summarize? I don't have an Igros Moshe in my house.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 04:13:31 PM by ShlockDoc »

Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #155 on: October 07, 2016, 04:13:09 PM »
More importantly, I don't think there's a movement anywhere for people to normalize adulterous relationships. Or to push for the idea that criminals have done nothing wrong, and there is nothing in their actions to criticize.

Therefore, there can be an organization to provide support for people in those situations, publicly, without anyone becoming more accpeting of those actions.

The same is not true in terms of same-sex attraction.

And in terms of gender dysphoria, as well - the world at large is moving away from any chance of understanding the condition, and towards considering it normal. Once you go there, there's no limit to what people can demand to be accepted as (animal, plant or mineral).

The condition certainly exists, whether it's purely psychological, or not. But if there's a community that wishes to remain with the understanding that's it's a sad and cruel condition, there's not really any good approach - will it help children with that condition to be considered to have a condition on par with schizophrenia?

This is a fair description of why this is different than other sins.  The push in society to normalize the behavior can cause the Torah True communities to swing the other way in self defense.  That makes sense.  The question though is how to we separate the societal movement from the  individuals within our communities who are not attending Pride parades and not looking to make political statements but are just struggling with an issue and need our support to not be ostracized from the community they want to participate in and from the torah that they want to observe and learn. 

Offline ShlockDoc

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #156 on: October 07, 2016, 04:15:05 PM »
There may be people who are attracted to both genders, that can work on focusing on the opposite gender. For people who are absolutely only attracted to one gender (~1-3%)? My understanding (based on conversations with experienced people in the mental health field) is that there's no way to change that. If you have research showing otherwise, I'd be happy to learn about it.

Both sides of the conversion therapy argument have studies/research to prove their side.  It'll be some time until we find out if they are effective/neutral/harmful. 

Offline henche

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #157 on: October 07, 2016, 04:18:11 PM »
Can you please take a picture or summarize? I don't have an Igros Moshe in my house.

http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14677&st=&pgnum=208

Offline ShlockDoc

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Offline hvaces42

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Re: Public letter
« Reply #159 on: October 07, 2016, 04:37:40 PM »
Both sides of the conversion therapy argument have studies/research to prove their side.  It'll be some time until we find out if they are effective/neutral/harmful.
Conversion therapy has been found to be a crock by the law. There is no need to wait for studies to mature. New Jersey courts allowed a "Rabbi" to be sued for his "conversion therapies"
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