Thursday, October 2, 2008

Teshuva & Homosexuality - A Bold Article at Aish.com


Aish.com has published a very bold and interesting article by a man named "David" who's a man in his 40's with a wife and children, who lived a homosexual life for a very long time. I was very surprised by his approach. I had read R' Aaron Feldman's article a few years ago, suggesting that homosexual men not attempt to marry women, etc., but rather to take advantage of their "inability" to get married and dedicate their lives to doing things for the Klal that "family men" can't really do because of the difficulty in traveling with a family at home. This is certainly a very different approach. And it is one that I was taught to reject as an option for homosexuals, back in my pre-frum days. I'd be interested to hear other people's reactions as well.
Aish.com: The Straight Path Home

-Dixie Yid

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10 comments:

Menashe said...

Great is the zchus of someone that resists this kind of taiva. Unlike the majority without this challenge, there really isn't a kosher outlet.

Litvak said...

"I was very surprised by his approach. I had read R' Emmanuel Feldman's article a few years ago, suggesting that homosexual men not attempt to marry women, etc., but rather to take advantage of their "inability" to get married and dedicate their lives to doing things for the Klal that "family men" can't really do because of the difficulty in traveling with a family at home. This is certainly a very different approach."

Very good article, kudos to Aish.

The other article you refer to was written by R. Aharon Feldman, not his brother R. Emanuel (one n) Feldman. It was an innovative attempt to deal with the situation now in the Western world, in the face of very strong propaganda from the proponents of 'alternative lifestyles'. However, ultimately it is not the traditional approach, is flawed, and should be discarded, even if it was written by a big talmid chochom, in a spirit of compassion. Perhaps his great compassion led him to concede too much from the traditional stance.

DixieYid said...

You're right. Sorry about that. R' Aaron Feldman.

So you're saying that the traditional approach is to encourage marriage?

There's one major major problem with this approach, not that I'm b'shita arguing with it. It could in many situations be very very bad for the marriage the wife and the children. One one level, it's psychologically heart-breaking for a wife who will sense that her husband is not really attracted to her. This is something that women have a real need to feel in their marriage, and if they do not, it is "bad news for the Jews." The other major problem, is that if he can't control his desires and has an extra-martital homosexual relationship, this is also horrible for the marriage and the children. In fact, there was recently a frum polititian who resigned in a situation like this.

I'm not saying to say that I b'shita disagree, but that there are major risks to this approach, and I"m curious to see how you or others address these concerns.

Shkoyach for the thoughts!

-Dixie Yid

Litvak said...

"So you're saying that the traditional approach is to encourage marriage?

There's one major major problem with this approach, not that I'm b'shita arguing with it. It could in many situations be very very bad for the marriage the wife and the children. One one level, it's psychologically heart-breaking for a wife who will sense that her husband is not really attracted to her. This is something that women have a real need to feel in their marriage, and if they do not, it is "bad news for the Jews." The other major problem, is that if he can't control his desires and has an extra-martital homosexual relationship, this is also horrible for the marriage and the children."

You are assuming that the person was not successfully cured. If they were thoroughly and successfully cured, and there is monitoring in place to guard against any possible reversion, chas vesholom, it should be doable.

Of course, to rush things too fast, before the person may be ready, could be problematic.

It is a delicate thing and not to be done too hastily and lightly, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have the goal in front of our eyes, of the person living a traditional frum adult lifestyle.

Αλέξανδρος said...

No easy answers here, that’s for sure.

On the one hand, there is a mitzvah to have children. Yeah, you can compare a homosexual to someone who physically cannot have children, but it’s just not true… On the other hand, yes, a wife needs to feel loved, etc. Back in the day this wouldn’t be an issue. People had bittul. Nowadays, I don’t know what the “proper” solution would be.

To DY: I just like the way it looks, no big thought behind it :)

Αλέξανδρος said...

The problem I personally have with the approach: it’s iskafiya only. No possibility for ischapcha. Very mussardik. Not very chassidish. :) One shouldn’t break a vessel, but transform it.

How? I don’t know…

DixieYid said...

Litvak, it could be you're right. I'm just pointing out that it may not be so clear when someone's "cured." A man could fool himself into thinking he's cured, when those feelings have only gone into hiding. It's a very dangerous situation with high stakes, if it turns out that he "reverts."

Alexander,

Good points. As to the mitzvah to have children, I wouldn't be surprised if there were some kind of heter if there was a chazaka that the only marriage he might have would be ruined with wife and children suffering much damage.

As to the wife not needing the feeling of love "back in the day," you're probably right. Though it's hard to see how that would fit into the ideal form of marriage. Marriage should be filled with a fiery love between husband and wife. Otherwise, marriage wouldn't be the moshel that it's supposed to be to how our relationship is supposed to be between ourselves and Hashem.

-Dixie Yid

litvak said...

"Litvak, it could be you're right. I'm just pointing out that it may not be so clear when someone's "cured." A man could fool himself into thinking he's cured, when those feelings have only gone into hiding. It's a very dangerous situation with high stakes, if it turns out that he "reverts."

1) Litvaks are always right, don't ya know? ;-)

2) And what if a BT reverts to chillul Shabbos, eating treif, etc. ? Also dangerous.

I think that you are extra-worried here due to the propaganda that the people cannot really change. But we believe that it is possible. They spread the propaganda that change is not sustainable in the long run in an effort to sabotage it. Their propaganda effort is massive and dangerous. We need to expose it and take it for what it is.

Menashe said...

"But we believe that it is possible."

Who is saying this? Is it anywhere in mamarei chazal? I am not saying to attack; I am just looking for a makor for such a statement.

May we immediately merit the day when the yetzer hara, as the Rebbe explained so many times, will be but a remnant of itself and eventually disappear altogether.

Anonymous said...

People can change through intense prayer and developing insight and wisdom about the root causes of this taiveh. These include the development of a false sense of self due to missing or inappropriate role models of the same sex in childhood, and/or lack of appropriate love from adults of the opposite sex. The solution is for the individual to use the sechel to rebuild the masculine/feminine balance in the lower 7 sefirot by directly accessing the light of Hashem through the 6 partzufim. Long and arduous work, but not impossible. I learned this not from Chazal, but from personal experience and my own relationship with Hashem. I am not frum, but I believe that the balancing concepts to be learned from Chassidus and Kabbalah can be taught to all human beings who want to overcome this painful challenge.