Rabbi: keep LGBT+ out of our schools

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

A PROM­I­NENT Is­raeli Charedi rabbi has at­tacked Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis for his guid­ance on LGBT+ re­la­tion­ships and also crit­i­cised the re­ac­tion from other strictly Ortho­dox rab­bis as not strong enough.

Rabbi Moshe Stern­buch, the nona­ge­nar­ian head of the Beth Din of the Eda Charedit in Jerusalem

— which sits to the right of Is­rael’s of­fi­cial Chief Rab­binate — said Bri­tish Jewry was in dan­ger be­cause LGBT+ peo­ple might be­come “le­git­i­mate mem­bers of our com­mu­ni­ties”.

Rabbi Mirvis’s guid­ance to schools on their duty of care to­wards LGBT+ pupils, pub­lished shortly be­fore Rosh Hashanah, was con­sid­ered the first of its type in the Ortho­dox world.

In re­sponse, a num­ber of strictly Ortho­dox rab­bis from Lon­don, Manch­ester and Gateshead is­sued a state­ment agree­ing that chil­dren should not be bul­lied in school be­cause of their “in­cli­na­tions”.

How­ever, with­out openly crit­i­cis­ing Rabbi Mirvis, they said they wanted to clear up any “mis­con­cep­tion” by em­pha­sis­ing that same-sex re­la­tion­ships were for­bid­den.

But their state­ment did not go far enough for Lon­don-born Rabbi Stern­buch. In an open let­ter to Ortho­dox rab­bis in the UK, he protested that it “does not con­tain an ob­jec­tion to the Chief Rabbi’s state­ments that … that these peo­ple must be … treated lov­ingly.”

Rabbi Stern­buch said he had the “deep­est re­spect” for the UK rab­bis who had is­sued the state­ment but added: “When there is a des­e­cra­tion of the Di­vine Name, we do not ac­cord hon­our to a rov, and it is sur­pris­ing that they did not raise a protest in their let­ter against the ac­tual idea of main­tain­ing within our ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions stu­dents who con­duct them­selves in an abom­inable man­ner con­tra­ven­ing To­rah law and the foun­da­tions of our re­li­gion, not to men­tion the idea of hon­our­ing and pro­tect­ing them.”

Some stu­dents dis­play ‘abom­inable con­duct’

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