Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Homosexuality

The Torah does not prohibit nor does it deny homosexual feelings or impulses. It is merely prohibited to act on them. When Hashem created homosexuals, he created them with a tremendous Nisayon. Their job in this world is to fight the temptation. If they do, then, like all those who resist temptation to sin, they are considered the greatest of Tzadikim. It doesn't matter what your temptation is; your righteousness depends on how much you fight it. You are not responsible for who you are or how you feel - which you cannot control. But you cannot act on those feelings - and your actions you can control.

It is terribly painful and difficult, granted, but if celibacy is the only alternative to abomination, then celibacy it is.

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Rav Moshe Feinstein ZTL says that homosexuality isn't natural, but created. But I do not believe he meant all homosexual behavior in all cases - a dysfunction of nature, a type of illness if you will, can certainly create within a person any kind of bizarre biological fact - but even according to what he says (i.e. the taavah is because of mayim genuvim yimtaku - "stolen waters are sweet", and the fact that it is wrong makes it desirable), it is not the person's fault he has the orientation - mayim genuvim yimtaku is also a taavah that he did not choose to have. The fact that stolen waters are sweet means that it is not natural, but it is still not of his choosing since he did not ask the stolen waters to be sweet.

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Lesbianism is prohibited under the Torah prohibition of Maaseh Eretz Mitzrayim.
"Abomination" (toevah) is referring to men, not women. I must say, however, that regardless of whether there is a prohibition of "negiyah" for two lesbians, that behavior is definitely against the spirit of the law, and would certainly be prohibited under creating a Nisayon for yourself.

The teshuva for this is the same for all aveiros. You know that you regretted it the same way you know whether you regretted any aveirah - you have to be honest with yourself. Simple as that. And if you indeed (a) regretted it and (b) resolved not to do it again, then your Teshuva is accepted, since halachicly performed teshuva is always accepted.

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Some people with homosexual impulses actually have an attraction to both genders.

In those cases, there is an easier light at the end of the tunnel. You should keep in mind always that one day soon (and my advice is to make it as soon as realistically appropriate) you will have your outlet. Then the battle with your Yezter Horah in this area will be easier to resist.

If this is not correct, and even if it is, this situation until he is married is an incredibly painful Nisayon. The "positive" in this situation is that our purpose in this world - our sole purpose - is to be Omed B'nisayon (Mesilas Yeshorim). And the rule is, l'fum tzaara agra. Throughout history, our people have been beset with unspeakable Nisyonos - from starvation to persecution, shmad, and concentration camps r"l. Hashem asks of us only that we fight as hard as we can. Our level of righteousness is determined not by which Nisyonos we have, and not by how easily we succeed in beating them, or even how often we succeed, but by how hard we fight.

The harder you fight, the bigger a Tzadik you are.

The Yetzer Horah is a sparring partner for us. He tries to knock us down, but hopes that we are skillful enough to beat him. The more skillful a fighter is, the harder the sparring partner he gets. Sometimes, you can get put in the ring and get frightened to death when you look at the monster of an opponent that G-d put you in the ring with.

But we have to know that G-d is always with us. He wants us to put in our best effort, and then He provides siyata d'shmaya.

In Olam Habah - where the Real World is revealed and the illusory materialistic darkness of Golus is lifted - your preference or orientation will not matter; there will be no difference in this aspect between you and Moshe Rabbeinu. The only thing that will be "seen" about you is how much you fought the Yetzer Horah. If you put in effort equal to Moshe, you will be as big a Tzadik as Moshe.

We are here in this world for only a limited amount of time. We will be in the next world for millions and millions of years - and longer. Forever.

By that time, we will have long forgotten what the details of the Nisyonos we had on this world were. What will count for eternity is how much we fought them.

You may have been given a frightful opponent to fight. The more effort you put into fighting it, the more of a Tzadik you are. Others have not been given such a Yezter. Even if they beat their own, less difficult Yetzers, they will not be able to rise to the level that you can by fighting your, more difficult one.


That having been said, it is worthwhile to pursue what is called "reparative therapy". check this out: http://www.narth.com/docs/repair.html). I would suggest calling Dr. Norman Goldwasser in Florida (305-673-3101 - office) for advice in that direction.

That having been said, please understand that there are people "out there" who would try to convince you that your situation is not merely a Nisayon but an identity and that you are not "cut out" for your community or your lifestyle etc etc etc. There are those who will even tell you that there are three genders. Male, female, and homosexual.

Ignore all of this. It does not come from Torah, but from the "Other Side". Even if you hear it from a frum person do not fall into the trap of ever considering such a thing.

This situation says nothing about one's identity. It says something about one's Nisyonos. That's all.

As far as Barasi Torah tavlin, you can go for help. If you want to speak to a Rav I would suggest Rav Mattisyahu Solomon of Lakewood (who I know has an understanding of this type of thing). What is needed most is chizuk to fight the Yetzer Horah, and encouragement not to ever think for a second, that your situation means anything but that Hashem has given you a huge sparring partner in Olam Hazeh. There is no intrinsic difference between you and anyone else.

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If Hashem made you a certain way, then that’s His Will, not some kind of accident or mistake. It means you were chosen for whatever reason for this particular nisayon.

As I said, in a while - in Olam Habbah - you will be as "normal" as Moshe Rabbeinu. It how you respond to your Nisyonos that counts. Not what they are.

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Sometimes there is a therapy that can work, often not. It's called Reparative Therapy, and the gays deny it’s even possible, but it is. Sometimes. If you email me privately - Frumteens@yahoo.com - I will give you the name of someone who has had some success in this area. [Moderator had made this offer a long time ago, multiple e-mails asking for it now might cause confusion and backups. Moderator, are you able to post the information here, so anyone who needs it can use it?]

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Being gay is an excruciating Nisayon. Why Hashem give it to people is no different than asking why Hashem gave people the Nisayon of being in a concentration camp, or starving in Siberia, or being born with AIDS or some other terrible sickness. I went to Yeshiva with a guy who had Elephant Man's Disease (neurofibromatosis). He was horribly disfigured, to the point where it was almost impossible to look at him without recoiling in horror.

Believe it or not, he got married and had kids. He died very young, leaving a wife and orphans l"a. Who can imagine the pain that this guy went through all his life?

We ought to no more wonder about this particular Nisayon than any other in the world.

One thing is for sure, though. This word is only temporary - we live only 120 years. When that's over, we're going to be around for million and millions of years, for eternity, and then whatever pain we went through in this world we will be compensated for in the next world such that we will not be unhappy that for such a little time during our live - the time we were in this physical world - G-d gave us the pain.

It's like when a company takes money off your paycheck and invests it in their stock. Your wife may complain that you didn't bring home as much money as you could, but when the stock goes through the roof, the only complaint she's going to have is that they didn't take more off than they did.

So too in the next world, those of us who suffered here are going to see how much our suffering is worth, and even though now we don't know why some people have to have some of their happiness in this world taken off their paychecks, in the next world, believe me, the only complaint we will have is why Hashem didn't give us more of a Kaporah while we were still here.

May Hashem spare all of us from pain and Nisyonos and may we all know only happiness.

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There is a din of Yichud by gay guys. The Shulchan Aruch (Even Haezer 24) says that where homosexuality is prevalent you must avoid Yichud even with a guy.

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