Rabbi: keep LGBT+ out of our schools
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’