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Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I don't even know how to react to this kind of craziness:
As preparations for the World Pride Jerusalem Parade were in the final stretch, an anti-parade flier distributed in Jerusalem's ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim as well as other neighborhoods on Tuesday, offered an NIS 20,000 reward for "anyone who causes the death of one of the people of Sodom and Gemorrah," referring to homosexuals taking part in the parade.

It was suggested in the flier to use homemade firebombs, and instructions for how to make them were provided in the flier.
Lovely. Though I rest assured that this is the work of a fringe lunatic group or individual, it is certainly troubling nonetheless.

Here is a repost of something I put up about a year ago, after a participant in last year's gay pride parade in Jerusalem was stabbed:
I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone who opposed the gay parade in Jerusalem could think that critically stabbing a marcher is the solution. I'm sure the stabber considers himself a modern-day Pinchas, who stabbed and killed Zimri for publicly having intercourse with a Midianite woman. Though Pinchas is praised as a zealot, Rambam and R' Chisda both tell us that had Pinchas asked for halachic advice, he would have been told not to kill Zimri. Furthermore, Rabbah bar Channah says that had Zimri stopped sinning even for a moment, and Pinchas killed him then, Pinchas would have been brought to Bait Din, and possibly even given the death penalty. Clearly, according to these opinions, simply marching in the parade would not qualify someone to be stabbed by a zealot, even one who considers himself to be following in the footsteps of Pinchas. I hope to see condemnations of the stabbing from the same Rabbis who roundly condemned the parade. I'm not holding my breath.
I have not changed my opinion on the subject.


Blogger Yehuda Berlinger said...

Honestly, I suggest you react to it the same way that I did. Ignore it.

You can be sure that this was the work of some idiot kid. No rabbis would sanction this, even the radical ones.


8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yehuda, I think this is probably more than one kid. i am sure this kind of rhetoric around yerushalayim is just gettimg started.

Om, nice vort.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

All it takes is one dumb kid with a computer and printer. Don't look too deeply into this.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Don't look too deply into this"

Um...hello? Someone was stabbed last year? There is definitetly this thought of killing the gays circulating. How can you poo-poo it?

10:11 AM  
Blogger rebba shlita said...

although i still dont understand this whole gay thing and how i still think these people chose this life and not created, but through a conversation with a trusted friend he did make a point, and that is just b/c he is gay it does not mean that he is doing an isur act. and therefore by being gay is doing nothing wrong(although they are not being mekayaim pru urevu) and therefore these people including myself can protest these people but by no means can they take matters into thier own hands and physically attack these people.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

I assume CWY meant not to assume that this is a movement with support beyond a fringe handful just because there was a wide distribution of flyers.

The problem I see here (aside form the very obvious one about killing people) is that supporters of the march point to this type of thing (flyers, stabbing, etc.) and try to use it to silence those who are vociferously opposed to the parade. The parade is a terrible thing, and it is quite proper for the Rabbonim to condemn it strongly. Until and unless they say something in support of murdering the marchers (or appear at an anti-march gathering with those who do, etc.), they should not be held responsible for the actions of fringe zealots, and certainly should not be required to attenuate their strong opposition to the parade.

To continue OM's Zimri analogy - Moshe would not have been responsible if Pinchas had in fact killed Zimri at a time he wasn't sinning - even though Moshe had condemned the activity in the strongest unequivocal terms.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rebba shlita said

....just b/c he is gay it does not mean that he is doing an isur act. and therefore by being gay is doing nothing wrong(although they are not being mekayaim pru urevu)

Where on earth did you get smichah???

10:28 AM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

Rebba - agreed on not attacking the marchers. But do you really think that a "gay pride" parade is on any level about being gay but avoiding particular acts? Rather its about celebrating every aspect of that lifestyle without limitation. So good point about gays in general, but not really applicable here.

10:29 AM  
Blogger OrthoMomsBiggestFan said...

how could you not blog about the sanitation election??

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Irrespective of one's position on the Gay Pride Parade, in a climate where rational people throughout the world - and particularly Israelis - argue that committing murder in the name of religion (i.e., suicide bombers who kill in the name of Islam - whether in Israel or elsewhere) is barbaric, unjustified, and unacceptable, advocating the murder - most ironically by bombing - of those (such as gays) who apparently violate one's religious tenets completely undermines the credibility of Jews/Israelis who justifiably find such acts of zealotry a complete mockery of religion when those acts are aimed against them. Granted, the mindless morons in meah shearim are incapable of such a sophisticated or politically focused analysis of their actions, but the rabbis they follow are sufficiently intelligent and politically savvy to better direct their misguided minions.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

A gay pride parade is people getting together and celebrating their homesexuality. They are celebrating the fact that they have sex with people of the same gender. They aren't celebrating that they have fabulous shoes.

While they will probably not fornicate during the parade, that doesn't mean that everything is ok and muttar.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CWY - are you as irate and judgmental when, for example, you hear your wife gossiping on the phone or see her using a slotted spoon on shabbos or have you decided that lashon harah and chilul shabbos are more ok and muttar than "fornicating" with one of the same gender? Funny how this one particular topic peaks the ire of so many men in our community.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

There's no ire and I'm not being judgmental. But even under the most expanded defintion of dan l'kav z'chus would still permit me to believe that the men marching in the parade are celebrating the fact that they have sex with other men.

By the same token it would be correct to believe that the marchers in a parade celebrating eating pork are people who do in fact, eat pork, even if all the marchers don't eat anything while at the parade.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Or, by the same token, if there was a Lashon Harah Pride parade, it would be safe to believe that the marchers do in fact speak lashon harah, even if the parade is competly silent.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats at completely avoiding my point.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

For those of you who think that the Rabbonim actually tacitly support this kind of violence, please see the Jerusalem post website (I have no idea how to create a link). Excerpt:

"Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, head of the ultra Orthodox Edah Haredit rabbinic court and a leading opponent of the planned Gay March in Jerusalem, said Tuesday that he was opposed to violence against homosexuals."

I hope that's clear now.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

anon 12:36 - last I checked ,the imperfections of our community in one aspect of the Torah (not that I imply any such imperfections on CWY's part) do not require us to be silent in the face of any other violation of Torah law. By your logic, we should not get too exercised about the J4J types either, because who says that Avodah Zara and being a Maysis U'Madiach is worse than the sins what we in our community in our imperfect human state regularly commit?

More to the point - are you really arguing that there is some sort of problem (within the precepts of Orthodoxy please) with deploring the parade and the conduct of the marchers?

12:59 PM  
Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Anon- I'm not quite sure what your point is. Why people don't get as worked up about other averios?

12:59 PM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

OM - could you add a link to the Jerusalem Post article I quoted above to the main post?

I know you said in the post that this is probably a fringe group, but I think it can only do good to publicize that even the Chareidi Rabbonim do not support this advocacy for murder and violence.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhat Anon:
I'm always conflicted about whether or not to even acknowledge your often nonsensical rants, but I can't even conceive of the connection between objecting to missionaries in our neighborhoods and my query about the interestingly zealous attitude of many frum men toward homosexuality when these same guys have no similar actively enraged reaction to many other more prevalent and controllable sins that they could actually exert some influence over - often in their own homes. No - don't be coy - I'm not saying we should support the Gay Pride Parade. For pete's sake - most of us don't even bother with the Israeli Day Parade!
-anon 12:36

1:16 PM  
Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

Jerusalem Post article

"We must protest the desecration of the Holy Land," said Sternbuch in a phone interview. "But we must do it nonviolently."

1:16 PM  
Blogger Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

anon 12:36- what "enrages" people is that it's flaunted. If loshon hara speakers would have a parade celebrating lashon hara, it would probably enrage a lot of people as well.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lashon harah is not "flaunted?" True in some limited circles, perhaps, but c'mon. Generally, there's not much shame or stigma associated with the subtle, or not-so-subtle shtuch, joke, or supposedly harmless remark about one's neighbor, friend, rav . . . in most of our communities. It's just the evil we're familiar with, as opposed to a bunch of loud, multi-pierced, drag-bedecked, rainbow-striped parade-goers most of us can't relate to.
-anon 12:36

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lashon hora is frequently violated an tolerated, but it is not "flaunted" and I can guarantee you that if there were a lashon hara speakers parade through the holy streets of Yerushalayim many people would be up in arms about it.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

anon 12:36 - Thank you for the ad hominem about my "often nonsensical rants". I would quibble that while I will concede the possibility that my comments could potentially be percieved as nonsensical (especially in the limited blog format), in no way should they be characterized as rants. While I often comment on controversial topics, I do not believe that I ever resort to personal attacks or blanket condemnations of groups of people, and my posts are not written in an angry tone, even if they are occasionally somewhat sharp responses in the middle of a debate. As such the description of my postings as "rants" is inapposite. Thank you.

(A substantive response will follow).

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just one example, anon 1:43 of "flaunting" lashon harah is the supposedly sanctioned "l'tachlis" lashon harah that has become a blanket heter to destroy people's reputations in connection with shidduchim. And that's not even talking about the general tolerance that you concede exists in our communities for harmless chatter.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somewhat Anon:
I'd quit while I'm ahead on that substantive response. In the words of someone older and wiser, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine . . . you are no Jack Kennedy. (I do believe you are savvy enough to comprehend My reference Fully)

2:01 PM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

Anon 12:36 (Substantive response, Dan Quayle reference aside) - My previous response (about J4J etc.) was based on the assumption that your issue with the "particular ire" being addressed to this parade was one of hypocrisy, that people care about this sin, but not about their own sins in other areas. If you go back and read my comments, I think they make sense as an objection to this proposition, even if it was not what you were aiming at.

I also was not implying that you thought we should "support" the parade. I had gotten the impression (and still do) that you feel it is improper to strenuously "object" to such a parade. Feel free to disavow this position as well if I've gotten it wrong here.

I admit that I am confused as to what your position actually is, as you have been rather reulctant in stating it clearly. The only other possibility that springs to mind is some sort of insinuation that Orthodox men are particularly worked up about this because of some sort of repressed homosexual urges on there part. I will refrain from addressing this contention in the hope that I have misunderstood you yet again.

In sum - please clarify what your general point and or objection is regarding the outrage over this parade.

2:18 PM  
Blogger thekvetcher said...

this gives a new meaning to "Gay und drerd"

2:32 PM  
Blogger Tzvi Meir & Ayala said...


sort of what people were already saying...

2:53 PM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

anon 1:53 - I certainly agree that people need to be better educated as to what is permissible to say as "tachlis" for Shidduchim purposes. However I have found that the problem extends in the other direction as well, where people are reluctant to discuss matters that are important and should be discussed (e.g. significant mental illness of a party that one knows has not disclosed).

In any event, there is a huge difference between tolerating a parade specifically designed to celebrate forbidden conduct (particularly conduct of this sort), and between the failure to properly deal with the existence of an aveirah in our own community.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

could someone explain why it is called WORLD PRIDE rather than GAY PRIDE?

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yisrael Eichler, former UTJ MK and head of the Center for Jewish Hasbara, doubted that haredim were behind the pamphlets.

You did not mention this part of the article. A very real possibility

"The haredim have an interest in talking about the subject as little as possible," said Eichler. "In contrast, the organizers [of the march] are interested in as much publicity as possible. My conclusion is that one of the organizers wrote those pamphlets to besmirch the haredim and manipulate public opinion

5:55 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'Until and unless they say something in support of murdering the marchers'

Rabbi Yehuda Levin is identified in many press accounts as the leader of the anti-Pride efforts. This is on a web site that looks like it is his group:


It concludes:

'Who caused the bloodshed at the march?'

'Was it the young man, a quiet Talmudic scholar, father of five, with no police record, who stated that he acted "in the name of G-D…"'

'…Or was it the left-wing politicians and the left-wing judiciary, who forced this abomination on an unwilling populace? '

This isn't explicitly calling for murder, but it is definitely excusing violence. Shame!

6:17 PM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

CH - trying to shift the blame for past violent incidents (while I disagree with their premise) is not really the same thing as advocating for violence before the fact - basically the argument here seems to be "look at the terrible lengths that you've driven this person to", not advocating violence (again I disagree with the justification). In any case, see the JPost article linked above for a clear denunciation of violence by one of the gedolim.

8:02 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

In any case, see the JPost article linked above for a clear denunciation of violence by one of the gedolim.

Ok, I'll give you that ONE Rav spoke oput against this violence. But there IS a precedent for violence (see last year's incident), and with that salient fact in mind, as well as recent cases of violenct rioting on the part of certain members of Charedi communities, I think there needs to be a loud and vociferous statement made by many Rabbanim that as much as they may object to the parade and the marchers lifestyles, violence is simply never a tactic. Fair?

8:07 PM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

OM - Fair enough, although I don't know that I'd call Rav Moshe Sternbuch "just one rav".

8:13 PM  
Blogger NetureiKartanik said...


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8:14 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

although I don't know that I'd call Rav Moshe Sternbuch "just one rav".

When I said "just one", I didn't qualify his status - that is indisputable. I quantified Rav Sternbuch's company in denouncing the flyer - he seems to be alone at this time.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

His status aside (although that was the assumption I made, my apologies), I was also assuming (and the article strongly implies)that he was speaking as the head of Edah Charedis, so he speaks for more than just himself.

While I think we're all pretty much in agreement about the basic issues here (The march is bad, and so is trying to kill/injure the marchers) - I don't see why it is the responsibility of those opposing the march to do more than issue a basic (and sincere) condemnation of violence in this context (as has been done). Now that they have disassociated themselves from those (fringe) persons who are advocating violence, why is there a continuing need to campaign against violence? Particularly because doing so makes it seem like there is a significant group in favor of violence, and will distract from the focus of the message opposing the march.

9:28 PM  
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10:14 PM  
Blogger Pragmatician said...

It saddens me that some Jews want to act like the Arabs do.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'Now that they have disassociated themselves from those (fringe) persons who are advocating violence, why is there a continuing need to campaign against violence?'

You would not hold Arab leaders to such a lenient standard, would you?

11:26 AM  
Blogger Somewhat Anonymous said...

CH - If (1) the level of violence committed by the Arabs was as low as the level here, (2) the Arab denunciations actually were sincere and (3) the Arab leaders in question had no close connection to those committing the violence in the first place - then yes, that actually is the standard I'd hold them to. But of course the reality is far different in that case.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Sholom said...

Are any of these Kano'im even aware that the entire "sins of Sodom = homosexuality" argument has absolutely no basis in the Jewish body of texts and is purely a Christian invention?

1:20 PM  
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