This was written shortly after my book, Leviticus: You Have No Idea was published almost a decade ago. To read the full book review, click here or on the image below.
Tag: Leviticus 18
One of my Leviticus / LGBT jawns
First, for those unfamiliar with Philly slang, this.
Okay. This is me archiving this piece that Keshet and My Jewish Learning ran a few years ago, being re-shared now in case it’s useful to someone.
“Among LGBT Jews & their allies, Leviticus is a dirty word”
Among LGBT Jews and their allies, Leviticus is a dirty word. And not just because of its two famous homophobic verses. There are many challenging issues with Leviticus. For instance, while we support gender equality, Leviticus establishes an all-male system of ritual leadership. While we affirm the equal worth of people with physical disabilities, Leviticus excludes them from the priesthood. And of course, while we celebrate the blessing and beauty in loving same-sex relationships, Leviticus prescribes the death penalty for gay men who have intercourse.
So how do we work with a sacred text that is at odds with some of our deepest values–values that other parts of Torah affirm (like every person being created in God’s image)? For me, it starts with an approach to sacred texts that views them as human-created documents. Consistent with my Reconstructionist philosophy, I view the Torah as a record of our Israelite ancestors’ best efforts to describe their experiences of God and Truth.