In case you were under the impression that anti-gay rhetoric exists only in Christian denominations, a liberal Orthodox yeshiva is refusing to ordain a gay student.
The New York Jewish Week explains:
In a statement to The Jewish Week, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) student Daniel Atwood, 27, wrote: “Four years ago I came out as gay during my first year at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, and it was decided that I would receive semicha [ordination] as their first openly gay student. After four years of study and my completing almost all of the program’s requirements, YCT decided not to give me semicha, news delivered to me only a few weeks ago, three months before my graduation, without any prior conversation on the matter.”
The yeshiva’s leader insists that sexual orientation isn’t an issue for them provided that the students follow the religious rules. Atwood said he would follow the rules. So what’s the problem? Is it that he’s engaged? Is it that he’s currently cohabitating with his partner? Did he do something wrong during seminary?
They refuse to say because “the yeshiva does not discuss particular students and why any student may or may not be receiving semicha.”
So… we’re left with a “liberal” yeshiva that is functioning like an anti-gay traditional one.
Judaism is the one of the world’s smallest religions, and the Orthodox sect is one of the smallest within it. Fortunately for Atwood, there are still other Jewish denominations and synagogues that will welcome him for who he is.
He said he would be pursuing an independent ordination.
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