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From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time

-- F.A. Hayak

Friday, October 15, 2010

Shmuley Boteach on the Sin of Homosexuality

Shmuley Boteach is a well-known Orthodox Rabbi and has been long known for his advocacy of the importance of Jewish Values. In an essay in today's Wall Street Journal, Rabbi Boteach draws an interesting distinction, vis, homosexual acts. He writes:

Homosexuality is a religious, not a moral, sin. A moral sin involves injury to an innocent party. Who is harmed when two unattached, consenting adults are in a relationship? Homosexuality is akin to the prohibition against lighting fire on the Sabbath or eating bread during Passover; there is nothing immoral about it, but it violates the divine will.(My underline)

I am in complete agreement with respect to Rabbi Boteach's advice to those who are unable to resist their homosexual impulses. To this end, he advises gay couples that of the 613 commandments in the Hebrew Bible, homosexual couples are in violation of only two – committing homosexual acts and not having children. Thus, he writes, …

…when Jewish gay couples tell me they have never been attracted to members of the opposite sex and are desperately alone, I tell them, "You have 611 commandments left. That should keep you busy. Now, go create a kosher home. Turn off the TV on the Sabbath and share your meals with many guests. Pray to God three times a day for you are his beloved children. He desires you and seeks you out."

This is wonderful advice and I could not have expressed it better. However, I do not agree that a sin against one's fellow man is immoral while a sin against God is not. But, my view of the Rabbi's categorization of sin is not important. What is important is his advice on how to treat others who are burdened with sinful desires…

… and who among us is not so burdened?