Friday, November 12, 2010

Gay Orthodox Jews: "It Gets Better"

Well worth watching, whatever your religious background:

And remember, it's not just "hold on, it will get better" - we all have to do our part to MAKE IT BETTER!

My thanks to Chaim, Eli, Moishe, Mordechai, and Justin for speaking OUT, standing UP, and making this video happen.



ivanova said...

I love this!
It also reminded me a little of the documentary "Trembling Before G-d."

AliceB said...

Thank you for posting this, Lee.

Daniel Teeter said...

I must say I'm mystified. Gay Orthodox Jews, Log Cabin Republicans, even black Conservatives, it's time to step away and hold the oppressors accountable, people! The ancestral and tradition worshipping, the institutional loyalty, the standing by non-accepting families, it all needs to stop. I see Mordechai covering his head out of respect for the deity and tradition that (scripturally speaking) hates him and I'm mystified. I suppose M doesn't believe his deity is the hater they say He is. Then, he believes in the fallibility of the Torah. M is both loyal and a heretic. Or worse, an infidel!

My feeling is that until we move away from these offending traditions and starve them of our complicity, loyalty, and participation, they'll never "get better." Otherwise, for these Gay Orthodox Jews it's just another version of Don't Ask Don't Tell. I'll grant them this: They're far more forgiving and reconcilable than I. I'll give them that.

Forgive me if I've offended anyone. I'm not a big fan of religion or blind loyalty to traditions, especially oppressive ones, if you couldn't tell.

Otherwise, their message and story is quite moving.
And that's my heretical and spirited opinion.

Namaskars to all.

AliceB said...

Daniel, perhaps another way to look at it is that their orthodox Jewish culture is also part of who they are. They aren't gay in a vacuum -- no one is. I find it wonderful that they have embraced who they are on many fronts, even if it feels contradictory to you and me.

Daniel Teeter said...

To Alice: I agree w/ you, it is "who they are." It's the meme they just can't let go of and there's the rub. And I agree it does feel contradictory to me.

I'd argue tho, who they are is gay. That they cannot change. A ethno-religious tradition they can at will, which, anthropologically speaking, the "ethno" aspect is utterly mythologic (a Jew of untold generations from No Africa is the same ethnicity as a Jew of untold generations from No. Europe? How do they do that?). Such traditions we tend to cling to stubbornly. Being forced into a life that brings such pain b/c that's who your grandmother was, I'll admit, it mystifies me. (And, yes, maybe I'm being a little ethnocentric here. In my family, traditions were broken from. I suppose that's "who I am.") They choose not to undergo this rebirth at their own peril and that's their choice. Like any birth, it will likely be a painful process.

And this may've been your point too: By staying they're fighting for understanding, a more aggressive tact perhaps than fleeing. By staying they're also endorsing the tradition.

You know what? It's complicated. Interesting topic tho, huh? What a great subject for a mid-grade/YA.