Hikind Decries Apathy Of Religious Institutions In Opposing Toeiva Marriage Legislation [UPDATED WITH VIDEO]

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[VIDEO LINK ADDED AT BOTTOM] Following the YWN editorial written by Rabbi Yehuda Levin yesterday – decring the same-gender marraige legislation being rushed into the NY Senate, and demanding action by our major Jewish organizations  – Assemblyman Dov Hikind released a statement this morning.

Before we post that statement, please read the following paragraph which appeared towards the end of Rabbi Levins editorial:

“We must demand that our organizations:  Aguda, O.U., Young Israel, Chabad, Chasidic groups, Mizrachi, Modern Orthodox, etc… coalesce quickly, develop in depth talking points, and have them read, posted and distributed in every synagogue through the state.  Each mispallel should be asked to sign a letter or petition, opposing this legislation.  In each synagogue and neighborhood, a delegation of Rabbis, synagogue officers, anyone who is a “macher” or connected to politicians or a donor to their campaigns should demand prompt face to face meetings with the politicians and indicate that we are drawing a line in the sand! No exceptions, no narrow carve outs!”

The following is the statment by Dov Hikind: 

In a letter sent yesterday to Jewish and Catholic leaders, Assemblyman Dov Hikind decried the seeming apathy of religious institutions in opposing same-gender marriage legislation.

“The New York State Assembly has just passed the “gay marriage bill” by a vote of 89-52,” Hikind wrote. “Owing to aggressive efforts on the part of the Toeiva lobby, several legislators, including Republicans, were convinced to change their “no” vote from 2007. And yet, despite our religious convictions, we have remained relatively silent on this issue. Our silence is deafening. There has been no public outcry from Jewish or Catholic institutions. We have planned no protests, issued no scathing condemnations, or made any serious overtures to make our position known.”

“There is no sense of urgency about this issue in our communities,” remarked Hikind. “In what could just be a matter of days, the State Senate may very well secure enough votes to make same-gender marriage a reality in New York, and we will only have ourselves to blame. And yet, we sit idly by. Where is our moral outrage?”

Hikind made his position on this issue very clear when the bill was debated earlier this week. In explaining his opposition to the legislation, Hikind said, “‘It is about God. It is about what I believe God wants…..I can’t stand here and deny what God says clearly, unequivocally, to me and hundreds of millions of others all over the world. I can’t do that.'”

Hikind wants to mobilize forces with the Archbishop of New York, Agudath Israel, the Orthodox Union, the Rabbinical Council of America, the National Council of Young Israel, as well as millions of other New Yorkers to defeat the bill in the Senate. He has urged the leadership of these major religious institutions to “use all resources at your disposal to make your opposition to this bill known.” Hikind added, “It is my hope that we will be successful in preserving the sanctity of marriage as God intended.”

YWN VIDEO LINK: Click HERE to watch a video of Dov Hikind making his speech in the NYS Assembly on why he’s voting “no”.

(YWN Staff Writer – NYC)


47 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Hikind, your service to Boro Park has been outstanding. But, I would have much preferred you getting up and decrying the vote of Shelly Silver who is supposedly a Shomer Torah and Mitzvos who davens in an Orthodox shul whenever he visits his home district of the Lower East Side.

  2. I’m glad our good Chaver Reb Dov finally woke up. To me it doesn’t matter that he had to be prodded into activity. All that matters is that once he gets involved in something, he takes it to the end.

    A great big thanks to Rabbi Levin for bringing this issue to our attention and a great big thanks to Dov Hikind for doing the right thing and mobilizing the troops.

  3. Dov Hikind is hitting the nail on the head as usual.
    Personally Rav Levin is not a major player in any sphere of life. The words must be heard by the religious Torah organizations LOUD & CLEAR. The problem is and has been for ages, 1)the Torah organizations thinks (?) that this new bill has no connection to their people. 2) The attitude has always been WHY expose & talk about issues that will then become part and parcel of our children’s vocabulary and world view.
    GET OUT OF THE CLOSETS and face reality this is the reason hashem put us on this planet to bring KAVOD to his name.

  4. the midrashim say, that the mabul was decreed only once the people went so far as to make legal a “kesubah between two men or two women”. Only then once it wasn’t an “taboo” anymore did Hashem say that now there is no chance for teshuvah. At that point the world was destroyed.

    Do you want to live in NY or America for that matter under these conditions?

    Do you feel safe here?

  5. We all look for signs for a supposed recovery to days gone by. Forget all about it. In the immortal words of Hagaon Rav Avigdor Miller, ZT”L, ” The day America takes out “In G-d We Trust” and/or accepts This disgusting act of Toeiva Marriage, it will start its true decline in every aspect of its society.”

  6. Rabbi Levin as usually , you have outdone yourself and you keep the fight of Rabbi Miller alive . How can we sit and be quite when this will effect all our lives and especially the future of this country. Unfortunatelly there have been 4 states of the USA that allow and have passed gay marriage laws. What is next rachmono litzlon. Keep up the great work and we should have a 3 million person march to Albany to put a stop to this potential Bill.

  7. THANKS SO MUCH DOV.

    WE ALL NEED YOUR ELOQUENT VOICE IN THIS BATTLE. YOUR STATEMENT IS A KIDDUSH HASHEM.

    NOW, IF YOU WOULD ONLY REVISIT AND REVERSE YOUR SUPPORT OF THE SNEAKY AND PERNICIOUS DUANE/MARKEY BILL…

  8. Here is the real tragedy in all of this. We seem enthralled by the words of a politician and a Rabbi of a Shul in Flatbush who is well known for previous political aspirations and for traveling to Georgia to pray for rain (as shown on the picture of the posting of his letter).

    If the leadership of the major Jewish organizations, in this case the ultra Frum and others, have not said anything yet they must have a reason. If you want to know their reason feel free to call them and ask. Every gadol has a listed phone number, Davens in a shul and is available to you. If you want just go to the Torah Umesorah convention later today and you will find many of them there for the next 3 days.

    The Aguda issued a statement. If that did not call for action then none should be done. When Pollard needed our help we were instructed what to do and we did.

    Let’s stop blaming the leadership. I have heard nothing from Malcolm Hoenlein and the Conference of Jewish Presidents. Nothing from the RCA, nothing from the OU nothing from YU as well as nothing from any other organization telling me to take action. So until then let’s stop this individual calls for action and posting the opinions of people who (in their minds) KNOW what needs to be done.

    I know I don’t like what I am seeing or hearing and it scares me of what may happen if this bill passes but I am smart enough to know that I am NOT in a position of authority and therefore await instructions.

    Oh and by the way…..Both Dov Hikind and Rabbi Levine are well aware of who to speak with from ALL of the major Jewish organizations so they too should be ashamed of their public calls for action without having first gone to ANY organization to see if there is support in their cause.

  9. deepthinker:

    Why?

    Doesn’t the Torah require the owner of a shor muad to pay for damages? Adam muad leolam. A yeshiva that allowed and covered an employee’s nezek is responsible.

    It’s the same Torah, you can’t pick and choose.

  10. 26 estates: “Both Dov Hikind and Rabbi Levine are well aware of who to speak with from ALL of the major Jewish organizations so they too should be ashamed of their public calls for action without having first gone to ANY organization to see if there is support in their cause”

    actually, shame on you for saying that. do you know for a fact that they both did not reach out to every single major jewish organization?
    di you speak with every organization? di you speak to both rabbi levin and hikind?

    just for the record, rabbi levin has tried speaking to the organizations and its like talking to deaf people.

    nuff said

  11. Kudos to Rabbi Levine & Dov Hikind. What specifically can the lay frum person do that could have an impact?(this is not a rhetorical question.)

  12. #7 USA decline started with voting in obama, with ‘throwing’ g-d out of the court (judge moore)etc etc. Romes decline started when this toaive plus others was sanctioned.

  13. “in this case the ultra Frum and others, have not said anything yet they must have a reason”.
    You are being dan l’kav zechus which is honorable yet not what is called for now. I always wondered did Nachshon ben Aminadav ever check out his outrageous jump into the Yam with others? Can u imagine if the daughters of Tzalafechad were told by their mother, ‘please do not rock the boat and ruin your chance for shidduchim by approaching Moshe rabbanu without the agreement of the nesiim’?
    Hundreds of more examples are available, check out pirkei avos “In a place where there is no man (maybe??? of action) BE ONE!!!

  14. “If the leadership of the major Jewish organizations, in this case the ultra Frum and others, have not said anything yet they must have a reason.”–26 estates (NO. 12)

    GOOD QUESTION!

    There are two answers–a good one and a bad one.

    The good answer is that many Rabbonim are fearful of discussing this issue too openly for, fear of contaminating the minds of our children with this TumAh.

    The bad answer, as per Rav Avigdor Miller, ZT”L, is that many of our organizations are intimately involved with the very same politicians–like Shelley silver–who are promoting this Schmutz, and they are afraid to take them on, for fear of losing funding.

  15. the reason the Organizations stay quiet is because the truth of the matter is they don’t feel strong enough to speak out and stick their necks out on this matter, and I say this from the inside. Dr. Laura became disgusted with all of Yiddishkeit for this exact matter. When she was in the hot seat for standing up to the gays etc no one came to her defense.

    It is a charpeh and busha that we lack leadership. In this matter, because of the perceived backlash either in funding or PR Organizations are afraid to speak out, AND THATS THE WHOLE TRUTH WHY NO ONE WILL COME TO HIS AID.

    mark my words, once you have one or two who will have the guts to come out and speak all the other shepslech “leaders” will follow suit.

  16. “can anyone provide a link or e contact info for who we need to contact. please make this public.”

    HERE IS ONE IMPORTANT ONE:

    Majority Leader’s Office
    Office of New York State Senator Malcolm A. Smith
    250 Broadway, Suite 1930
    New York, NY 10007
    Tel: (212) 298-5585 / Fax: (212) 298-5605
    Email: [email protected]

  17. I recall that Dov very actively suuported Kevin Parker in the most recent election.Has Dov leaned on Kevin to oppose this bill being that a big part of his constituents are vehemantly opposed.

  18. #14 – my point exactly. If these 2 reached out and came across deaf ears then the response is just that. Do nothing! If they wanted you to do or felt you should they would have answered. (and who knows maybe soon they will tell us to do something but until they do its Shev Val Taaseh)

    How many thousands of people line up to hear Rav Chaim Kanievsky say just two words to them – Brocho Vhatzlocho. Does that mean that after speaking with the Gadol Hador he has deaf ears because all he says is Brocho Vahatzlocho? Of course not. It means I heard you, I wish upon you the best. In private I will take care of what I can.

    #18 – Learn your Medrash and Mamorei Chazal well start to finish not just s few lines. Nachshon DID ask. Nachshon was not the only one to jump in. Here is not the place to go through the entire Medrash. look it up. The Bnos Tzlofchod came forward with kovod, Derech Eretz and Yiras Shomayim they did not make protests and “marches”. They came to their leader with what they felt was a valid Tayna and were dealt with. Torah is Nitzchiyus and we must learn from these stories otherwise it would not been written.

    Send just ONE example where an individual on his own simply because he decided it was the right thing to do or he decided what was happening was wrong so he went without asking and publicly voiced his issue. There isn’t one. Anything that has happened in our History with a good outcome only came because the Torah without compromise was followed. Its called Daas Torah not Daas Yochid for a reason.

    Individuals may take the initiative and through their efforts masses act and results happen but in every instance that had a Kiyum it was done properly.

  19. As I’ve pleaded twice before in comments on this issue: enough already with our GOLUS MENTALITY! We are merely sojourners in this country (as Yaakov was with Lavan) and have no right to dictate to the goyim what laws they should or should not pass. Unlike Yonah’s charge regarding Ninveh, we have NOT been assigned the task to convince goyim in America to do teshuva.

    G-d willing, our stay here is about to come to an end. If we all truly believe that the final geula is imminent, then why fight about an issue which will soon be irrelevant to us. (Perhaps this explains the silence of our Orthodox leadership organizations). Those who call for the frum community to yell and scream in protest, for fear of the threat to our Torah lifestyle, must be planning to remain here in America for some time to come. Being so adamant about remaining comfortable here, it’s a good chance that they will be among the majority who will never get to leave.

    But like S’dom, this country is too far gone. Avraham was instructed to get his family out…period. The Ribbono shel Olam is sending us a message: it’s time to say ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’ to America and go home to Eretz Yisrael. My own application with Nefesh B’Nefesh is on file. Everyone else’s should be too.

  20. I mamesh don’t get some of the outrage here. First and foremost, let me get out of the way that I know the only definition of marriage is that between two people who can procreate, therefore only between man and woman.

    What puzzles me is that the only definition of marriage relevant to God fearing Jews is the Jewish one. No other marriage is halachically relevant. You could “marry” a doorknob to a parakeet, a non Jewish man to a non Jewish woman, or a same sex marriage, and they are all equally undefineable as MARRIAGE. Marriage is a term invested with religious significance, and NO legislation, even that in Canada where this business is legal, tells any religious official that he MUST perform such a marriage under pain of criminal or human rights prosecution.

    Now, if the argument is that the proponents of this legislation are not simply looking for the constitutional and legal benefits of a “family”, but rather are intent on defining morality on their hedonistic terms for all, including God fearing Jews, then I understand and fully support the fight. But if it is purely halacha-marriage discussion, we have no part in it, because it doesn’t touch our definitions.

    If their goal is to define morality for themselves, as abhorrent as it may be to you and me, if it is constitutionally sound I don’t see where there is room to succeed, and I don’t believe in wasting effort time and resources on unwinnable wars. We have internal issues to spend time effort and resources on that cry for our attention.

    On another note, Are we as makpid on all of the other issues the Torah describes as Toevah and similar terms as we are with this issue? If not, why not? Is there something more at play than simply keeping in line with Torah prohibitions?

    The issue is simple to define, but the response is not simple at all.

  21. We are standing at a defining moment in History! Rabbi Yehudah Levin & Dov Hikind are standing up for Hashem’s glory! They are trying to save all of us from the impending Spiritual doom! After 120 they will get Schar Kineged Kulom! All the pacifist’s, let’s wait and see crowd, and the disgusting “Baale CHANIFA”, are going to join their friends from SODOM down below! Hashem, save us!

  22. You know, I think that I have to agree here with all of those who are wondering what the big uproar is here. The U.S. is NOT Eretz Yisrael. This is a country for gentiles run by gentiles. While of course we should not have jewish legislators supporting this, who are we to come out and yell and scream what the goyim should or should not do? We have so many of our own Chilul Hashem problems. We are in this Galus because of Sinas Chinam and Lashon harah! Where is the uproar to fix that up? Where are the calls to stop burying people alive with slander, lashon harah & rechilus? Are we really serious about improving ourselves and the world? are we serious about wanting to bring Mashiach? Or are we busy with the sensationalist press, politicians and aspiring politicians?

  23. We are in a sorry and desperate state.
    We have imported so many hashkafos and hadrachos from Eretz Yisroel that we have forgotten the actions of R. Moshe Scherer, R. F. Mendelovitz and others with daas torah in leadership positions.

    What do I mean? In E”Y the charedei parties concentrate on ONE AGENDA only, what is essential and important to our kehilla while ignoring all and every other issue… This seems to be the present derech of torah org.- morality issues etc. are not ours to deal with we rally, demonstrate and write letters for Yeshiva funding, zoning and issues that deal with Shabbos observance (impt issues for sure). Let America’s citizens go down the sewage, it is not our problem, same attitude in E”Y.

  24. Once again,
    To all of the organization bashers, for the record the following statement was released on April 17, 2009. The Agudah is on record with their disgust and protest against this bill.Posted here on YWN. That the Agudah had the courage to stand up for what is right in the face of potentialy staggering budget cuts from this same Governor, speaks volumes and should be acknowledged.Silence on this moral issue would have indeed been a Chillul Hasem. Shtika K’hodah.What we dont know is the aggressive lobbying behind the scenes which has been the derech of many G’dolim over the years.
    Make no mistake the politicians including Shelly know well that the Agudah and the OU came out forcefully against it and went through with this bill anyway. We live in a very sad world full of Monday morning quaterbacks. I assure you, just as all of you took the time to bemoan the passing of this disgusting bill had you maybe done something more concrete and work together with our Klal organizations be it the Agudah, the OU the Young Israel etc…, to fight for our community we could accomplish so much more. The critics are full of things our organizations didnt do or couldnt do. Ask Rabbi Zwiebel next time you see him what you can do to help Klal Yisroel. Call Rabbi Lerner from the Young Israel. Im sure that these men would welcome your genuine help and support.
    We need more doers. Stop the crying and get up and fight for your communities. Vote on election day.If you dont care for the way things are heading, get involved. I’m tired of reading the same criticism every day- enough get up or shut up. Hikind and R Levin want us to protest? Now? Sounds great. Dov is an expert protester set it up. Join the ranks of the doers but stop the complaining.

    Agudath Israel Reaction to NYS Governor Paterson’s Marriage-Redefinition Bill
    April 17, 2009
    Following New York State Governor David A. Paterson’s introduction yesterday of a bill to legalize “Toeiva” marriage in the state, Agudath Israel of America reiterated its long-standing opposition to the proposed move. The organization’s official statement is below.

    Agudath Israel of America strongly opposes the proposed redefinition of marriage in New York State.

    Societies’ mores constantly shift, but eternal truths remain. The institution of marriage in its traditional form has served as the foundation of family and the bedrock of civilized society since time immemorial. In Agudath Israel’s view, tampering with marriage in the most fundamental way possible, by abandoning its definition as the sanctioned union of woman and man, is fraught with grave social danger.

    Moreover, as has been repeatedly shown over recent years, the push to redefine marriage seeks to belittle those individuals and institutions who refuse to abandon their deep-seated and sincere religious beliefs. It is that prospect, more than the preservation of traditional marriage, that should be unacceptable to anyone concerned with basic civil rights.

  25. TO: askan (NO. 29):
    You wrote:”The Agudah is on record with their disgust and protest against this bill.”

    Did Aguda actually call individual senators and lobby effectively, or did Aguda simply issue a perfunctory statement, and leave it at that?

  26. To 26 estates & lenco,
    I’m appalled at your krumkite! Did you put on tefillin and tzizis today? If yes -why? Did a godol tell you to? The gedolim don’t have to tell you the basic difference between right and wrong. If you really don’t have common sense in this so you go personally and ask a godol what to do. Saying that you weren’t given any orders is just an excuse to do nothing. When a person sees something disgusting they vomit. Does someone have to tell you to? It’s natural -this is also natural to get disgusted over! To lenco:
    We aren’t dictating them to do anything -we are pleading with them and trying to strongly convince them not to demoralize us anymore than we are already! Ninveh was a special area – Yona didn’t live there, he was given a special command to tell them to do teshuva. Even though we are living in the 50th level of tumah, we are required to make our stay in this golus a little bit less filthy.

  27. Deepthinker, I have no doubt that lobbying and advocasy was done to prevent this bill from seeing this sad day, based on decades of fighting for morality.
    For that matter, if you will look up your history,
    despite Rabbi Levin’s assertions to the contrary, the Agudah has always gone against the popular tide to defend morality, sometimes publicly and often behind the scenes. If you really care to know the origins of the Toaivah battle in NY, look up NYC executive order 50 where Mayor Koch demanded that all tax exempt organizations make certain allowances and benefits for same gender people.At the time,the Agudah was the one and only organization to fight the city on it (not even the Catholics), thus creating a great Kidush Hashem and creating a precedent for the organization to follow until today. History shows that Rabbi Moshe Sherer Z’l fought the naysayers and cynics of the community then, though not on blogs, and I’m pretty confident that R’Zwiebel will move past them now. But Let’s talk Tachlis.
    It cannot be ignored that the Toaivah lobby is powerful, well funded and organized. The religious community cant get out of our own way because of infighting and lack of Achdus (Two steps forward 3 step back). We do not support our organizations enough. We think its our birthright to expect the OU and the Agudah to be there when we really need them but ignore or worse malign them when we dont. How foolish we are. Read these pages and see how fast and easy it is to criticize (anonymously of course). For us to succeed,we need to unite and fight as one army, but until that happens, all of the heavy lobbying and advocacy in the world, no matter how effective, will not achieve our desired goals of the Frum community, to combat things like Toaivah marriage and the other social plagues descending on us. Its a cliche but
    “united we stand -divided we fall”
    Let us also not forget that the Catholics are also a powerful lobby and were ignored this week in Albany as well.

    SoDeepthinker, to answer your question, the answer is an emphatic YES!

  28. TO: stan the man (NO. 28):

    THE MAIN BATTLE(S) ARE WHAT OUR TORAH SAGES TELL US THEY ARE, NOT WHAT A bALabUS–EVEN AN INTELLIGENT ONE, LIKE YOU–SAYS IT IS.

    OUR TORAH SAGES ARE ACUTELY SENSITIVE TO WHAT HASHEM DESIRES OF US. WE BLABATIM ARE TOO IMMERSED IN MONEY AND PLEASURES TO UNDERSTAND WHAT ARE THE MOST CRITICAL ISSUES FOR OUR CONTINUED SURVIVAL IN GOLUS.

  29. TO ASKAN (NO 34):

    “Agudah was the one and only organization to fight the city on it (EXEC. ORDER 50-ED KOCH):

    Wrong! Aguda hesitated, while The Salvation Army emphatically refused, and risked losing all City funding. Aguda was shamed into following their example.

    By the way Mike Long, NY Conservative Party chairman, says that Mayor Bloomberg is the strongest lobbyist for this Toeval Bill, calling all the wavering State senators.

    So, why is Aguda honoring him at their Hilton dinner this Sunday, with a glowing press release by Rabbi Zwiebel?

  30. #35 (health) – Yes men put on Teffilin and Tzitzis because yes a Gadol told them to. That would be the Torah written by Moshe Rabainu, the Shulchan Aruch, the Mishna Berura etc etc all Torah authorities.

    Yes I know the difference between right and wrong but just because I know doesn’t mean I have the right to act. I have said all along, I am ready to do but I am a soldier not the general and soldiers follow orders they don’t make them. This is not an excuse to not do it is a reality of who we are as the Am Hashem. We follow instructions not write the rules.

    Yes this is disgusting so yes I (as you say) vomit. The difference is I do it at home in private not out in public.

    My priorities are well in order.

  31. I watched the video of Dov Hikind’s statement to the NYS Assembly and I am in awe of this man. I don’t know how he votes in every situation, however, here he humbled himself in front of HaShem and told all the goyim that as a Frum Yid, he has to follow HaShems laws. I’m sure it did not come easy, because the fear is always that if you mention HaShem, you look weak and foolish.

    Kol HaKavod Reb Dov!!

  32. Deepthinker,
    Great Google searching job, but for an intelligent guy I am pretty surprised that you answered so quickly without investigating my statement a little deeper to actually find out the real truth. Ask some of the older community leaders/officials
    (Abe Biderman, Menachem Lubinsky, Ed Koch or Stan Breznoff )and you will owe me an apology and I will wait for it.
    As for the Mayor of NYC I dont work for the Agudah nor is the Agudah honoring him. Again another error you write. It has been long held practice that a government official be invited to address the Agudah constituency at the dinner. Not an award ceremony or anything like that.
    Last year was US Supreme court Justice Antonin Scalia.

    Bash away my friend but it wont solve your problems.

  33. To 26 estates,
    Now that I know your’e a woman maybe I shouldn’t be responding to you, but just because you are waiting to hear from the gedolim (I hope you don’t wait too long); some of us know what to do without having to be told. If those people want to complain to their gov. reps., they don’t need their Rabbis giving them the green light if it’s clear in their mind that they are doing the right thing!

  34. ORTHODOX UNION DECRIES NEW YORK ASSEMBLY’S PASSAGE OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BILL
    May 13, 2009
    ORTHODOX UNION DECRIES NEW YORK ASSEMBLY’S PASSAGE OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BILL; LEGISLATION A RADICAL CHANGE TO A TIMELESS INSTITUTION; LEGISLATION LACKS REAL PROTECTIONS FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

    The Orthodox Union, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization representing hundreds of synagogues and their members in New York State, is gravely disappointed by the New York State Assembly’s passage of legislation legalizing same sex-marriage.

    The Orthodox Union’s leadership issued the following statement in the wake of the Assembly’s vote:

    The Orthodox Union opposes in principle the recognition of same sex marriage based on Jewish religious tradition, and we reiterate our opposition to this radical change to a timeless institution today.

    Additionally, we take this occasion to particularly note the grave threat to a fundamental civil right – that of religious freedom – this legislation poses.

    Legal scholars on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate agree that codifying same-sex marriage without providing robust religious accommodations and exemptions will create widespread and unnecessary legal conflict that will “reverberate across the legal and religious landscape.” We have already seen religious congregations, social welfare agencies and youth groups which object to same-sex unions penalized by authorities in states where such unions have been legalized.

    In recognition of this reality, two states that have recently enacted same sex marriage – Connecticut and Vermont – have incorporated robust and thorough protections of religious liberty in their laws. New York’s legislation has no such protections.

    Irrespective of one’s view on same-sex marriage, it should be extremely troubling to all that New York’s legislation poses a grave, unprecedented threat to religious liberty. Without modifying the legislation to include proper protections for religious liberty, such as those enacted in other states, New York State is about to expand the legal rights of some New Yorkers at the expense of the rights of other New Yorkers.

  35. Health – sorry to disappoint but I am a man, a husband, a father of many wonderful children and active in my community. If it makes a difference to you I am also involved with Kollelim, Yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs as well as Kiruv organizations and over the 20 years of service in “klal” work have had the Zchus Gadol to speak with many of our Gedolim both here in America and in EY on various different issues. They will tell you that one of the most difficult problems facing Klal Yisroel today is the internet – not only for the obvious but also because it is a forum for Frum people to reach out to so many with their personal agendas without the ability to control it.

    YWN is a WONDERFUL site that takes pride and is concerned in spreading only what is important to Klal Yisroel. These posts can be looked at as a problem because everyone voices their opinions and there are thousands of people who check YWN on a daily basis. Or we can look at these posts and see that passion so many Yidden have to see us succeed. There is no nation like ours.

    But keep in mind the powerful words of Rav Pam ZT”L, and Rav Elya Svei ZT”L of recent or of R’ Aron Kotler ZT”L, Rav Shach ZT”L – all of which is known and available to hear. The ONLY Torah we can have is one WITHOUT ANY compromise whatsoever. Anything else is not Torah. It is only Gedolim as they who can decide what is a compromise and what is not. If our leaders today feel this is not an important issue, or it is important but not that we become vocal about it then too bad on us if we feel otherwise. It makes no difference how clear something may seem to you but you DO need their green light (as you say)in order to know if what you want to do is the right thing.

    Don’t make the mistake of acting on your own based on what you think is right. Don’t attempt to gather the troops to support what you think is the way to go. Korach also meant everything Lshem Shomayim. Penina also meant everything Lshem Shomayim when on her own she decided to “bother” her sister Chana in order to inspire her to Daven better, but in the end Penina’s children all died and Chana had Shmuel Hanavi.

    Our intentions may be good but if it is not what Hashem wants the real tragedy will be far worse. Only our leaders (not us) can tell us what Hashem wants.

  36. G-D bless Dov Hikind for finally stepping up to the plate to rally the troops against this moral disaster threatening to befall New York State, rachmana litzlon. Do you think Dov’s radio show caller SOL-FROM-FLATBUSH finally got to his conscience on this matter?

  37. “It is only Gedolim as they who can decide what is a compromise and what is not. If our leaders today feel this is not an important issue, or it is important but not that we become vocal about it then too bad on us if we feel otherwise”.

    TRUE, so true except there are a few minute details missing. Issues are brought to the moetzes hagedolim with the proper information, they then discuss, research and decide. Since mentioning that you are personally involved with our heiligh gedolim, surely you are aware that there is not MAJORITY opinion on each issue (& hardly ever b”h). There happens to be a vote and the majority decides. (eg. Rav Elyashuv shlit”a and Rav Steinman shlit”a disagreed on a certain issue and the 2 different p’sak was accepted). You have painted a colorful mural of mutual agreement by all leaving out the various strands that make up this mural.

  38. Stan – if there were any opinions one two three or more we would hear them. If behind closed doors they differed but for the sake of the Klal came out with one unified opinion we would hear it. As as soon as I hear them I will follow what they say. If they say nothing then there is a reason and I do not need to know it. I am not on their level.

    Just a quick personal story: I once asked Rav Matisyahu Solomon (about 2 years ago)why if there are so many tragedies both personal and for the Tzibbur going on, why don’t the Gedolim tell us what to do? It seems they are very quiet. His response was so fantastic. He answered: They ARE!!! Every time something happens we ARE told clearly what to do. The problem is we don’t want to listen and we think it is not good enough. We want the “Segula” without the “Ikkur”. We don’t feel satisfied that we are doing anything unless it is something tangible. The problem is not the Talmidei Chachomim staying silent said the Lakewood Mashgiach, the problem is the Yetzer Hora is preventing Klal Yisroel from accepting the answer as an adequate one.

    I asked the Mashgiach what is this we are being told that we won’t accept. He answered it is SAY TEHILLIM, DAVEN WITH KAVANA AND FIX THE LACK OF DECORUM IN OUR SHULS! As soon as we realize that the one and only thing we must do is become closer to Hashem everything will be better. Until then, we are sent all types of messages from the RBS”O reminding us that we need to turn to him.

  39. To 26 estates,
    Mr. Macher -acc. to you -this was brought to the gedolim’s attention and they decided that people should do nothing, right? I don’t think anybody asked them -not even you. But you are right- people like you should stay off the net because you start thinking you are a godol or Hashem’s gift to the world. Get off your high horse! If you quote me a name of a godol that said to do nothing about this, you will be exonerated, but I don’t think you have even one!