December 24, 2009 3:24 pm at 3:24 pm #591003
YU recently had a forum where 4 baalei toevah got up and spoke. I do agree with Dr. Pelcovitz that there is a difference between having the nisayon and giving into it, as Rabbi Aharon Feldman stated. but the 4 speakers were active baalei toevah, and YU was promoting this lifestyle. You can’t control what people do. but giving a forum to laud their lifestyle is not something an Orthodox institution should do.
EDITEDDecember 24, 2009 3:35 pm at 3:35 pm #670795
I agree. Especially an institution with a name like YESHIVA University.December 24, 2009 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #670796
Was this the undergraduate school which is frum students only, or one of the graduate schools?
If the latter, sadly the politically correct atmosphere in the US as expressed in various civil laws could land YU in trouble for not permitting this as part of study of certain subjects.
If the former, then it is very out of character and whoever organized it should be disciplined in some way.December 24, 2009 4:20 pm at 4:20 pm #670798
For a candid conversation about a toeivah lifestyle to take place at a New York City university might be commonplace. Certainly, it would be expected at any one of the liberal campuses around town.
But at Yeshiva University, a school considerably more conservative than its neighbors?
Thrust into the thick of a debate over a toeivah lifestyle and Orthodox Judaism in recent weeks, the school did just that on Tuesday night. Pushed to do so after an anonymous toeivah student wrote an article in the school paper, organizers sought to address the painful conflict of living a toeivah lifestyle in the religious world.
At the outset, Rabbi Yosef Blau, spiritual adviser at YU, stressed that the discussion was not meant to be a debate about halacha. His words were echoed by a toeivah student who addressed a packed audience.
Organized by the YU Tolerance Club and Wurzweiler School of Social Work, the event attracted hundreds of students, graduates and faculty members. Dozens were turned away and fire officials were on hand at one point when security guards said the building had reached capacity.
But not everyone felt that way. There were rumors Tuesday night that some fliers for the event were defaced. On Facebook, where the event was publicized, some published critical comments of those who would ignore the religious prohibition of toeivah.
Indeed, during a question and answer session, audience members sought to understand how the toeivah men maintained their level of observance.
YU itself has a rocky history when it comes to dealing with toeivah on its campuses. In the 1990s, the university grappled with whether to allow toeivah clubs at its law school. In the past, the school has been accused of denying housing to toeivah couples at its medical school.
Last year, the founding of a Tolerance Club, which welcomed toeivah members, was simultaneously praised by some and decried as blasphemous by others.December 24, 2009 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm #670799bptParticipant
Lets be honest. Each of us have a particular shortcoming that we wrestle with that is against halacha.(kaas, loshon horoh, things like that, and even things that can’t be mentioned out loud).
The difference is, we KNOW its wrong and eventualy do teshuva, and hopefuly overcome (to the extent humanly possible) our personal no-nos.
Toeva advocates are seeking acceptance and that is wrong. We all have a dark side (business, personal) but we fight it tooth and nail. Thats how we earn schar… not by saying “accept me as I am”.
Hashem demands more from us!December 24, 2009 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #670800
It seems to me that Rav Mordechai Gifter has been proven right once againDecember 24, 2009 7:00 pm at 7:00 pm #670801oomisParticipant
I thought this was closed. I am actually glad you opened it up again (if you did), because we cannot hide our heads in the sand and make believe this is not a real problem in the frum world.December 24, 2009 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #670802bombmaniacParticipant
the situation at YU ever since Rav Soloveitchik was niftar is disastrous. when he was alive YU was not a bad place to be. unfortunately his words and teachings have been twisted in such horrifying ways…December 24, 2009 7:22 pm at 7:22 pm #670803cherrybimParticipant
Oomis1105 – Every Isur stated in the Torah, and more, is a problem in the frum world. As BP Totty said, everyone has their own unique weakness, but we look down publically at someone else’s weakness, not our own.
And we are always “don l’caf z’cus” ourselves and find teirutzim for ourselves, not others.
Let the yeshivas and frum institutions stop taking money from those who support the gays; until then let’s stop the hierocracy and let’s stop criticizing YU.December 24, 2009 7:33 pm at 7:33 pm #670804
The situation with this toeva is even worse.
This toeva is a mental disease with a possible genetic component, and if that component were to be isolated, the disease could possibly be stamped out in a generation or two since toevaniks do not reproduce. We Jews did it with Tay Sachs and the world could do it with toeva if they only recognized it for what it is.
Instead of society recognizing toeva as a disease as it once did, thanks to this toeva pride and tolerance nonsense it is being celebrated! While there are some unusual disabled people who do embrace their disability as a sort of identity, these people are few and far between and most people who are suffering from any type of physical or mental limitation or disease are desperate to find a cure – except when it comes to the disability of toeva.
So, rather than science searching for cures for the toeva impulse the way it does for other mental illness, it finds ways to defend toeva as something natural. Just the physical mechanism of toeva relations is so obviously unnatural and abnormal that it boggles the mind as to how anyone could consider toeva a normal “lifestyle”. It is no more normal than schizophrenia, manic depression, or muscular dystrophy LA – it is a disease that needs to be cured. The action it leads to is a toeva that is in turn an issur skila. Reinstitution of skila is not an option nowadays (and there is no excuse to mistreat baalei toeva so long as they are not trying to encroach on our rights not to have to accept their lifestyle and actions as normal or to have to allow their behavior in our moisdos) – but if baalei toeva were seen as the ill people who they are it would lead to treatment that would wipe out the impulse and no cases of that impulse in future generations.December 24, 2009 7:35 pm at 7:35 pm #670805Feif UnParticipant
It should be noted that the Roshei Yeshiva of YU wrote a letter opposing the discussion.December 24, 2009 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #670806
No one else is trying to impose their weakness as a lifestyle or to demand rights because of it.
And taking money from people who support that which is against Torah is just a fact of life across the board. Why should any Yid be deprived of the mitzvah of giving to a real tzedoko? Do we exempt Otisvillers from Shabbos when they are there? No Jew is exempt from any mitzvoh and the object is to get every Jew to do as many as he or she can.
MO and Torah true institutions alike accept money from mechalelei Shabbos and treyf eaters (I am not speaking of kiruv oriented institutions either, where the institutions are open to everyone and are often supported by those who are not frum because of the social aspects of their institutions, or because they feel at home there).December 24, 2009 7:52 pm at 7:52 pm #670807
There is a manuscript of the gathering on blogspot. I read much of it. The gathering was mainly 4 frum young men who told their own personal stories and struggles about realizing they were “different”. Pretty sad really. I feel bad for them.December 24, 2009 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm #670808
BTW, they were all FFBs. One from a yeshivish home.December 24, 2009 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #670809cherrybimParticipant
A600KiloBear – “No one else is trying to impose their weakness as a lifestyle or to demand rights because of it.”
Oh, really?! What about talkers in shul, as an example? Or kiddish-clubbers? Or computer bloggers?December 24, 2009 9:24 pm at 9:24 pm #670811
Oh, really?! What about talkers in shul, as an example? Or kiddish-clubbers? Or computer bloggers?
HUH??????????????????????????? A freilichen Purim!
Talkers KNOW they are doing something wrong and hush up when told to do so (repeatedly). Kiddush clubbers – I barely know what that is but it sounds like they go off and do their own thing. If they’re going back into the main davening drunk and acting up then the club has to be canceled.
Bloggers are just stating their opinion and you pick and choose which ones you want to read (I have the worst kefira and LH/MSR blogs blocked by my filter along with other forms of schmutz).
The toeva crowd wants us to recognize marriages between members of the same gender (laughable if it weren’t so sad), sues employers for discrimination, insists on being able to live in places where their displays of their lifestyle are just plain offensive, and who knows what else.
And let us not forget for one moment the plague that they spread, which at one time affected and took innocent frum (and other) CHILDREN who received tainted blood.
Toeva is an illness. It needs to be cured because it is not gay in the least. I have had to deal with (non-Jewish) MZ’ers in business and even before I found out they were MZ’ers I could see something was abnormal about them.December 24, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm #670812
It’s an issue and it needs to be dealt with. Fortunately, Rav aharon feldman Shlit”a wrote a letter years ago regarding his views on the subject, which match what rabbi Pelcovitz said.
That is NOT the same thing as giving an open forum to baalei toevah to say yes I commit yehareig ve’al yaavors (nitein lehatzilo benafsho) but accept me for who I am. I accept those who struggle and deny their urges. I cannot accept those who give into them and expect “support” for their decision.December 24, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #670813Pashuteh YidMember
Kilobear, I don’t think anybody was trying to legitimize it. They have a nisayon that the rest of us can’t comprehend. Whereas straight people have permissible ways to indulge their tayvos (pas bsalo), the others do not. This causes them trmendous pain. They were only asking for some sympathy which they deserve. WHo knows if they are on a much higher madreiga because they get schar for resisting things that the rest of us have no desire for. Do you think we get schar for this mitzvah? We don’t even get one ounce, since it doesn’t take any effort. The same I believe with eating rats or snakes. Most of us do not get schar for that since it grosses us out anyway, and we would never think of doing it. One can only get schar for a nisayon.
As far as it being an illness, so if we grant you that point, then al achas kama vkama you must give them sympathy. One who is sick and can’t control what he says, or a manic depressive who loses touch with reality and acts irrational certainly deserves sympathy, not anger, even if he does something outrageous like somersaults in shul.December 25, 2009 12:30 am at 12:30 am #670815
Those who ask that we give sympathy to those who wish to legitimize Toeiva are dur to the fact that its a nisoyon are invited to look once again at the story of Dina and Shechem.
Rashi says clearly that what magnified the tragedy of Shechem was the simple fact that from the time of the mabul there had never beeen such a thing done.
In the history of Mankind there has been the nusoyon of Toeiva the biggest proof of this is the fact that there is an issur to engage in such behavior if there had been no nisoyon there would be know issur (alternativley the fact it is assur would create a nisoyon) yet at no time has there ever been a public discussion of it.
(Those who say there has been are asked to kindly state there sources)
It does not take a rocket scientist to understand why some things are kept hidden, publicizing something inherently legitimzes it.
Publicizing Toeiva gives a legitimacy on whatever level to the sole thing the Torah saw fit to call an abomination, it would seem obvious then that those who see fit to publicize it would ask Da’as Torah if it is permitted, if the gains they claim would come from such “discussions” outway the losses,
I would ask if those who had such a gathering did so L’shem Shomayim, if in truth they recognize the severity of what they have done then can they produce the Da’as Torah that allowed it? Can they produce the Da’as Torah that stated it is necessaty to do that which we have no mesorah for what so ever?
If the ansewer is they cannot produce the Da’as Torah then it shows they in fact do not comprehen the severity of what they discuss.It shows they have not done what they did as L’Shem Shomayim rather it was done because that is what pshycologists feel should be done.
Woe is to us who would toplerate turning our backs on the Torah in favor of a science brought to the fore by complete Kofrim (fread and co) Rav Gifter’s words remain relevant years later.December 25, 2009 1:33 am at 1:33 am #670817irMember
haveing rachmanus for yidden who stand in a nisayon is not the point. Support can be given in any number of ways. The true colors of this event were shown when a flier that was validated as authentic was handed out with Rabbi Heshel Shachter’s authentic signature on it (verified) and it was ignored. Rav Shachter is their own gadol. If they are not listening to their own gadol, then what exactly was the purpose of the meeting? How can the agenda of the organizers be trusted?December 25, 2009 9:50 am at 9:50 am #670818
I want to put an end to their suffering, through curing those who suffer now and making sure no further sufferers are born. Same as Dor Yeshorim and Tay Sachs. The world without toeva would be a far, far better place both for those who deal with it and for the world at large.
Letting them tell how they suffer may help people see toeva as what it is rather than what the oilem goilem says it is.
However, from the description given in the original post, these people apparently do NOT resist their temptation, and they therefore deserve no sympathy, but rather that indeed everyone should know who they are and know to keep a wide berth. If they were speaking as cured toevaniks, just as we hear cured alcoholics speak, then it is worthwhile.
And if YU has an undergraduate “Tolerance Club,” then there is something seriously wrong. However, if Rav Shachter made it clear it was not supported by the rabbinic leadership of YU then at least that leadership is doing its Torah mandated job.
Finally, does anyone know what the turnout was or how active the Tolerance Club really is? I was just arguing with an eccentric who despite living a frum life mourns the demise of Communism and says he’d take the old days over what he has now – there are weirdos everywhere and in a free world you can’t squelch their weirdness (it is good for comic relief anyway in this case). This wannabe Commie is just talking to the wall, and if that is how the Tolerance Club is seen then so be it and it already gave me an idea for a new theme for a certain blog…..December 25, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm #670819
How about a “Zero Tolerance” club?December 25, 2009 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #670820Feif UnParticipant
ir: Do you continue to trust people in Lakewood after they ignored the call of the Rabbonim there to vote for Corzine?December 25, 2009 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #670821positiveaynayimMember
I’m having a very hard time understanding the purpose of what the discussion/panel was about.
Some are saying, that since this is likened to a “sickness”, we should have empathy for what they are struggling with. It was mentioned in a post that if someone has mental illness, we should learn to empathize. I imagine that is only if others are not hurt in the process. Only if the person aware of the challenges they are personally facing has no negative consequence to anyone else.
I just don’t understand why everyone needs to know in a very public way, what these people are going through. What tachlis does it serve to the hamon am? Exactly what kind of empathy are they looking for, or do they need? Would it be more productive if they sought hadracha in a more personal, quiet way, and got the empathy they needed from the appropriate people, to help them through their struggle? I ask these questions because I truly don’t understand.December 25, 2009 3:35 pm at 3:35 pm #670822
Since many of you are speculating about what was said and what was asserted or endorsed at the YU gathering, I just wanted to clarify a few things about it.
As I wrote above, I read most of the manuscript from the gathering. There was no discussion of whether they resist temptation or not. I think they davka excluded that from the discussion. Basically, in a nutshell, the main point was for the 4 young men to tell people that it was not something that they chose for themselves, they tried to deny it to themselves, tried dating/liking girls, but eventually realized that it is what they are.
Dr. Pelcovitz made a statement at the end that, if the mods would allow, I will include it as part of my post to clarify what their stance is regarding the young men, halacha, and the gathering. Otherwise many things you are all asserting is just based on guessing and speculation.
Dr. Pelcovitz: There were four very eloquent voices that we just heard and what I was struck by was how different each of the voices was and how different each of the stories was and how incredibly complex the journey was. And I just want to make a few brief points. The program is not really meant to hear from a psychologist and certainly is not meant to hear from anyone other than the four men you just heard from.December 25, 2009 3:46 pm at 3:46 pm #670823
Feif Un, I live in Lakewood and to the best of my knowledge the majority of Rabbonim called for the oilam to vote for Cristie this includes but is not limited to Rav Shmuel Meir Katz, Rav Forsheimer, Rav Osher Chaim Lieberman,Rav Aaron Zuckerman and Rav Simcha Bunim Chohen. While there were organizations that endorsed Corzine it is noteworthy that the Igud HaMosdos endored Cristie I was told this was a result of a conference call they had with Rav Yosef Rosenblum shlita.December 25, 2009 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #670824Pashuteh YidMember
While I have sympathy for people going through this nisayon, I personally think it is one they should struggle with privately, and I don’t know exactly what the point of making it so public is. It seems kind of embarrasing, actually, to want to have everybody know these personal details about you.
I wasn’t at the gathering, and I may try to read the transcripts that NY Mom says are available, but until then I will reserve judgement.December 25, 2009 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #670825oomisParticipant
This is a terrible rachmanus, and I wish there were a magic pill to give them. I have much respect for same gender CELIBATES, who like unmarried frum and celibate straight people, live a moral life in spite of their physical desires. It is the AVEIRA that is the toeiva, NOT the person, which is something we tend to forget.
EDITEDDecember 25, 2009 5:43 pm at 5:43 pm #670826
what does David Pelcovits mean “it may not be observence in completley the way we like to think about it”, the last I checked there is only one type of “observence’.
Also those who would like to compare David Pelcovits remarks with the letter by Rav Aaron Feldman shlita are urged to obtain a copy of Rav Feldman’s book Eye of the Storm in which states his views on the matter.December 25, 2009 5:48 pm at 5:48 pm #670827bombmaniacParticipant
personally the way i see it is the reason they publicize it its to justify it in a way…if they make it acceptable to the general public there is no reason for them to feel bad about itDecember 25, 2009 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #670828
I have tremendous sympathy for those who struggle with this nisayon, like I have for those who struggle with pedophilia. Yet, we expect those who struggle with the latter nisayon to have a “zero failure rate”, as the cost to society for failure is devastating. The same thing applies to the former category, as both are yehareig ve’al yaavors. I do agree that those who struggle and succeed have nisyonos that many of us cannot imagine, and have sechar that many of us cannot imagine. Dr. Pelcovitz basically stated what Rav Aharon Feldman stated. but to have active baalei toevah speak is what pushes it into unacceptability. We are asked to sympathize with active baalei aveirah, and that is wrong. If they had the event with just Rabbi Blau and Rabbi Pelcovitz, it would have been a completely different event.
Toeva is toeva. Chillul Shabbos is chillul shabbos, even if you have a terrible nocotine craving. Arayos is arayos, no matter how strong the nisayon. “yashav velo avar aveirah” gets tremendous sechar. But I will not celebrate baalei aveirah. “Matzdik rasha umarshia tzadik, Toavas Hashem Gam sheneihem”.
- The topic ‘YU’s Toeiva Discussion’ is closed to new replies.