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Fri Feb 1, 2019, 06:18 AM

To My Gay Friends: I'm Not Here for Your "Casual" Anti-Semitism

I don’t believe in organized religion. To me, Jewish identity is about history, family, tradition. It’s less about a preset order of prayers to absolve one of sin. I attended Shabbat services a few months ago at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah (CBST)—the nation’s largest LGBTQ synagogue. During services, my friend Josh ran in and plopped down beside me. Josh looks like the long-lost son of Al Pacino—if Al had shacked up with a Hebraic woman.

We agreed to catch up over coffee a few days later. As I approached Ninth Avenue, I saw Josh waiting for me, waving wildly from across the street with a toothy smile. He removed his baseball cap to reveal a yarmulke. He told me he wears the baseball cap to avoid the stares he gets. In addition to being an Orthodox Jew, Josh is also openly gay, but if you didn’t know him, you would think he was a perfectly secular mensch living in Hell’s Kitchen.

Wearing his Jewishness on his head, Josh has a difficult time dating. As soon as he tells a boy that he keeps kosher and has separate sets of dishes (one for meat, one for dairy), the guy says it’s not going to work.

“Do you think it would be the same for observant Christians?” he asked me as our cappuccinos arrived. I honestly didn’t know. Christians didn’t have separate dishes. It felt to us like there was an ick factor if you were an observant Jew.

“We are gay with our Jewish friends and Jewish with our gay friends,” was the comment one congregant offered at CBST. I was 18 at the time and this was my first Yom Kippur attending services. Indeed, this insight illuminated feelings I never realized I had.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 06:31 AM

1. I think many gay men might be uncomfortable with getting involved with a fundamentalist Xtian

or anyone who had a religion that condemned his sexuality.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 06:37 AM

2. What?

What does that have to do with someone being anti-Semitic?

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 06:50 AM

3. It has to do with a gay person being leery of dating ANY person with a religion

that isn't supportive of LGBT people's sexuality -- whether the potential date is a fundamentalist Christian, a conservative Catholic, Jewish, or any conservative or fundamentalist religion.

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/orthodox-judaism-and-lgbtq-issues/

The liberal Jewish movements have undergone dramatic shifts in their approach to gay, lesbian and transgender Jews in the past two decades, but among the Orthodox the changes have been far less dramatic — and in many quarters, virtually nonexistent.

Two seemingly clear biblical denunciations of homosexual sex, as well as the corpus of rabbinic commentaries and legal codes based on those verses, limit how far Orthodox Judaism, marked by its fidelity to traditional understandings of Jewish law, or halacha, can move on this subject.

Though several efforts have emerged in recent years to lend more support to Orthodox Jews experiencing homosexual desires and make the community more compassionate and welcoming toward them, all these efforts stop short of sanctioning gay relationships.

Across the spectrum of Orthodox practice, the consensus view is that gay sex and marriage are inconsistent with Jewish tradition. The objection is rooted in two verses in Leviticus that expressly prohibit a man from lying with another man “as one lies with a woman,” an act described as an “abomination” that is punishable by death. Though the prohibition is understood to refer to a specific sexual act, later rabbinic authorities expanded the prohibition to include lesbian sex and sexual activities other than intercourse.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 07:03 AM

4. And yet, that is NOT what the article was about in the least.

It was about people not wanting to date people who identify as JEWS. Did you not even bother to read the first line? Here it is again:

I don’t believe in organized religion. To me, Jewish identity is about history, family, tradition.


If you don't want to date some one who is religious or over-religious, that is one thing, but to not want to date someone because s/he is a Jew, that is another thing...ANTI-SEMITISM.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 07:25 AM

6. But isn't the writer Jewish himself? My impression was that he was at a Jewish service

that was supportive of LGBT people, that he attended for "cultural" reasons, but he wasn't interested in being involved with a Jewish person with conservative religious beliefs, as he believed the other man had.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 03:54 PM

8. He is a Jew and gay.

Something for which I, personally, understand. The article was about expressions of anti-Semitism from within the gay community, not "apprehension" about religious people, though he does touch on his own prejudice regarding any religious person.

Do you understand that these statements are anti-Semitic?

“Jews are a drain on the economy, living off taxpayer money,”

"Jewish people were ugly"

Jewish lesbians were kicked out of the Dyke March in Chicago because some marchers were offended that they carried a rainbow flag with the Star of David on it.


Do you understand those comments are not about how religious or not a person is, but that they are Jews!

The article is about anti-Semitism in the GLBT community and the need to address that bigotry, not make excuses for it.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 05:44 PM

9. The confusion is I was addressing only the part of the article you posted.

I didn't go to the link and read the whole thing. Yes, these parts are anti-semitic. It is about self-hate.

When I post from longer pieces, I try to post the most significant part of an article, IMHO. I never assume anyone will go to the link because I have learned most don't. If it's important to read the whole thing in order to understand something, I'll say so.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 06:16 PM

10. At leasst you admit you didn't read the article.

AS evidenced by your remarks and your continued remarks: "It is about self-hate."

If you can't be bothered to read the entire article, perhaps you should not comment on it. Or, maybe YOU should let people know you didn't bother to read the article and are only addressing the excerpted part.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 06:18 PM

11. When someone is Jewish and anti-semitic, as you say the person who refused the date is,

Last edited Fri Feb 1, 2019, 06:52 PM - Edit history (1)

isn't that self-hate?

Unless you are trying to trap people in a "gotcha," I think you should post the parts of the article you are addressing, and not rely on readers going to a link and trying to guess what point you're making.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 10:04 PM

13. So, you not only didn't read the article, you didn't get the excerpt.

Finally, everything falls into place.

The excerpt has nothing to do with the author dating the other person in the story; they were friends discussing what it was like to be gay and Jewish and finding a date with non-Jews.

Unless you are trying to trap people in a "gotcha," I think you should post the parts of the article you are addressing, and not rely on readers going to a link and trying to guess what point you're making.


That doesn't make any fucking sense. I posted the four allowed paragraphs, and didn't say anything about it. I responded to your remarks. You are the one who didn't read the entire article. You are the one who didn't understand the excerpted part, not me. If there is a "gotcha" going on, it would be on your part as you didn't read the article, and thus didn't respond to the question I posed when I could make sense of your conclusions.

It shouldn't be an out of the ordinary expectation for someone who posts to have read the article. Perhaps, you could let people know you are only interested in the excerpt and didn't read the entire article. For the record, I rarely post an article any other way than I did here, that is to say, I almost always post just 4-5 paragraphs of the first part of any article, and I rarely comment in the body. I do make exceptions, but for the most part, I follow the format laid out in LBN.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 10:24 PM

14. Point taken. But I think you didn't "get" my point. I didn't think, based on your excerpt,

that the "ick" factor was based on his being Jewish, but on being religious.

If you want to make a certain point, I think it's best not to post the first 4 paragraphs, but the 4 most relevant paragraphs -- or at least tell people that the part that's most important is at the link.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 07:10 AM

5. This paragraph jumped out at me...

snip--"I believe in this. I believe if oppressed communities—people of color, Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ folk, immigrants and refugees—could set aside their differences and come together, we would have the upper hand in politics and take down a racist executive administration. But it seems we have not found that common ground—at least, not yet."


And while he does speak of the 2017 Dyke March in Chicago, I did not see any mention of his lesbian & bi sisters in follow up meetings by the members of that specifically involved community. He does speak of Diane Von Furstenberg family's survival from the Holocaust.


I will note in his above paragraph, he does not mention women. That strikes me as a major blindness here in his analysis.


>>>>I think he has discovered the Intersectionality of the human being. And I'll be interested in seeing if his thoughts expand on this as time passes.



Thanks for sharing this.

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Response to irisblue (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 03:48 PM

7. Disappointing for sure.

However, it is also disappointing that the antisemitism of the article was largely ignored. The "analysis" was not about "intersectionality", but about anti-Semitism in the GLBT community. Frankly, I am not surprised by what I read or by the reactions to the article. When it comes to anti-Semitism, seems people sigh a big "meh" at best, or find another way to not discuss it.

His article was mainly a "first person narrative," and it is possible his lesbian/bi female friends, if he has any, didn't experience or share their encounters with anti-Semitism. The example of the Dyke March was a national story, which also produced a number of anti-Semitic excuses and defensive remarks from the LGBT community. The irony in that story, is the person who reported on it and was later fired, was a transgender woman! So much for solidarity.

When it comes to bigotry within a minority community, it should be discussed in the same open fashion as when the community responsible is not a minority.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 1, 2019, 06:43 PM

12. I need some time to respond to this.

I want to think it through before I reply. My upthread post was written an hour-ish after reading and rereading the article. I have not experienced direct bigotry from my Jewishness with out the obvious female bigotry first.
Bigots seem to go for the obvious first.

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