Orthodox Rabbi Barry Dolinger Testifies in Support of RI Same-Gender Marriage Equality


rabbi-barry-dolingerDear friends,

A few weeks ago, the state of Rhode Island changed its laws and recognized toeivah ‘marriage’. Earlier, when the bill was being debated, an Orthodox rabbi, testified in public, in the RI State Senate, in favor of the recognizing same-gender marriage, andwas also quoted in the press along those lines.

The rabbi grew up non-Orthodox and it seems that he still retains some of the liberal beliefs of that background. He is also affiliated with the IRF, International Rabbinic Fellowship, an left-wing rabbinical organization.

I post sources for readers to follow. The first contains a video of Rabbi Dolinger’s testimony:



Rabbi Dolinger was raised in North Bellmore, a small town on the South Shore of Long Island. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in political science and minored in Ancient Near Eastern Studies. Afterwards, he spent a year studying at Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh in Israel. He received semichah from Yeshiva University in 2011, and graduated from Fordham Law School. Currently, he serves as the rabbi of Congregation Beth Sholom, an Orthodox community on the East Side of Providence, RI, where he lives with his wife, Naomi.

I believe Rabbi Dolinger should be held accountable for such a chillul Hashem. He is a young man, in his twenties, so one might say that he has yet to attain wisdom, but still, as an Orthodox rabbi, and prominently advertising that fact, he should know enough to not act so recklessly in allying himself with forces of tumah.

I realize that perhaps he has escaped censure so far due to his actions not being widely known in the Jewish centers of New York and elsewhere, but, nevertheless, such actions should not be tolerated or ignored. There should at least be public condemnation of them.

A Concerned Yid

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. “He received semichah from Yeshiva University in 2011”!

    Now that Lipman & Dolinger have left the path of Torah, WHY ISN’T THEIR “SMICHA” LOL TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM???

  2. Another genius.

    It was not enough of a chillul Hashem that we had VP Biden the other day praising Yidden for bringing in toeivah ‘marriage’, Hashem yeracheim, for him? This fellow wants the headlines next year to be Obama thanks ‘Orthodox’, or ‘Orthodox’ ‘Rabbis’ for support of marriage redefinition??

    Aren’t Rabbis supposed to have some seichel?

    How about revoking his semicha (ordination)? Let him hand in his Orthodox semicha, maybe the Reform will give him an honorary doctorate for supporting toeivah.

  3. What does Dov Lipman maintain about same gender marriage? His boss, Lapid, supports it. I assume he is for it too. Can matzav.com find that out and expose it?

  4. A Concerned Yid, sounds quite facetious. Go do something else for a change.

    Recently Matzav has been featuring a blitz of these pompous self-righteous letters.

    Stick to news.

  5. Listen to his talk. it is sophomoric. That we would suffer by a lack of tolerance for “toeivah rights” is beyond joke. To place tolerance as the primary value that a society has to flourish is wrong. What society needs to flourish is God. God cannot and will not be present in a society in which the family unit has no sanctity. It is worthy to contact the yeshiva, Netiv Aryeh and get his semicha revoked. He may have learned Yoreh Daya but it did not penetrate.

  6. Why do we care what goyim do? Let them have as much toeivah as they want. This rabbi is hardly making a chilul Hashem- unless we should start forcing goyim to keep kashrus!

  7. Ok, so he supports same gender marriage in society. That’s civil marriage, not religious marriage. Isn’t civil and religious marriage separate?

    Thought so.

  8. In Rabbi Dolinger’s defense, he did not say he is in favor of same gender marriage. He said he would never perform such a marriage and he takes the prohibition in VaYikrah literally.

    His argument was based on separation of Church and State. Meaning even though he thinks its bad he doesn’t think the State should forbid it.

    That is a defensible position.

  9. To my fellow Concerned Yid

    You are bothered by a chilul Hashem, yet you call for the drastic step of a public condemnation, something which rarely results in a kidush Hashem. Can I brazenly suggest that you are less motivated by the “klap” to Hashem’s kavod and more by the “klap” to your own kavod by seeing a guy in a kipah espousing views contrary to yours?

    But let’s not get distracted by periphery. Did you listen to what this guy has to say? He clearly says he opposes same-gender marriage, but he thinks that government should not tell a minority what to do, as that hurts all minorities. What does this mean for us? if we tell the government to ban same-gender marriage because we think it’s immoral, the government can ban metitzah b’peh because they think it’s dangerous.

    You may or may not agree with that argument, and it’s not one that I would have made, but I don’t think it’s one deserving of censure, certainly not public condemnation. Sometimes it’s best to just not make issues out of things.

    With due respect, me fellow yid, perhaps you too have yet to attain wisdom.

  10. Thank you for a thoughtful and meaningful letter, A Concerned Yid. Thank you for bringing this to unfortunate saga to our attention.

    People have to relize, when a person who is not at all known – and is receiving disporpotionate attention or speaking engagments to his achievments, there is a reason. Why is he being asked to speak? He’s being used! They have zero respect for him – they’re just USING him. Nebach. I cringe in embarrassment for these people. Nebach. They’re being made the fool.

  11. What can you do… he isn’t the only one, and we have another “Rabbi” in the Knesset who went to Yeshiva and he says the same thing…

  12. The IRF whom this individual is affiliated with is the rabbinical association of the graduates of Yeshivat Chovevei whom the Rabbincal Council of America (RCA) refused to let in. They believe in “Open Orthodoxy” an oxymoron if there ever was one. The “open orthodox” rabbi in our community, a graduate of Chovevei Torah, invited a reform woman rabbi who is living with another women, to give a Torah lecture at this shul! His last words are quite telling: “Even those of us who oppose it [same-gender marriage] are asking you to do [approve] it. Did you notice everyone laughing at him after these words? What a fool, and what a terrible Chillul Hashem.

  13. I will not condone anyone, when the asked for condemnation hides behind a mask, and will not identify themselves.

  14. There is no shame today. He calls himself an orthodox rabbi; doesn’t matter to him what he really is and that is – DEFINITELY NOT ORTHODOX! In the meantime, it’s causing also a chilul because it gives impression to non-frum Jews and non-Jews, that chas v’sholom, Orthodox Rabbis approve of this, r’l.

  15. The problem with him (and similar with some other ????? ???????) is that he is like twenty six or twenty seven years old now, and he thinks he knows better, and can decide such a sheila against the position of gedolei Yisroel, our great and venerable leaders. I would like to know if he asked his Rabbeim, the ones who gave him semicha (perhaps Rav Hershel Schachter, other Rabbeim from RIETS) if his position was correct, and if it was proper to come out in public with his daas katan on the matter.

    Acting like that passes for an Orthodox Rabbi today? In his eyes, he is the youngest Rabbi in Rhode Island, so that means he knows better than people there and elsewhere, great talmidei chachomim and Rabbis, who are much older than him? Did he ask the local Rosh Yeshiva what he holds?

    ???? ??? ??? ???!

  16. this website seems to be the only place online that actually cares to print things that stand up for Torah and mitzvos.

  17. if you are going to call Rabbi Dollinger out for something he said and least be man enough to sign your name.

  18. We received something at Sinai.

    It stated the worst act a person can do is ..

    Such a person loses his right to live

    You are allowed to kill him on the way.

    This creature is anti human

    He is the Enemy of Mankind

  19. Wow, what a bunch of haters most of you are. Rabbi Dolinger supports the separation of church and state, and as such, would support the civil union of two people under the state. That is totally reasonable, ethical, and in accordance with Torah values.

  20. This was a wonderful speech by Rabbi Dollinger. It seems to me to be a Kiddush Hashem, promoting tolerance to minorities that we, as frum Jews, benefit from in the country every single day.

  21. His contact info can be seen at http://www.rabbisofgreaterrhodeisland.org/rabbi-barry-dolinger.html

    You can see there that he is part of an ‘interdenominational’ ‘board of Rabbis’ there in Rhode Island, something which was prohibited by gedolei Yisroel over fifty years ago. So it is not a surprise that when he sits with those phony, so called ‘Rabbis’ and ‘Rebbetzins’ of the heretical nonorthodox movements he is negatively influenced by them and picks up their non Jewish attitudes in favor of debasing kiddushin, the traditional Jewish sanctification of marriage.

  22. I wonder if any of the commenters here took the time to research his position on same-gender marriage, which isn’t highlighted in this article.

  23. >>>>>>>>> Why do we care what goyim do? Let them have as much toeivah as they want. This rabbi is hardly making a chilul Hashem- unless we should start forcing goyim to keep kashrus!

    Because Goyim are just as obligated in 7 mitzvos Bnei Noach as Jews are obligated in the 613 Mitzvos.

  24. Your ‘concern’ is touching – and full of hateful, horrid garbage. You call out a man for standing up for the rights of others and condemn him while spreading lashon hara with your every word. You don’t even have the guts to sign your own name while you do it. You are a disgrace and your views even more shameful, and you don’t speak for all am yisroel. You and the other fools on this comment thread have no right to say whether or not anyone is orthodox.

    Thank you for perpetuating the chillul hashem that this stance for ‘traditional marriage’ has become.

  25. this is what happens when we vote for pro same gender “marriage” politicians.

    and many rabbis (in all circles) don’t speak out against this.

    PS one of his former Roshai Yeshiva (rav Eliyahu Ben Haim) said it’s a mitzva chiyuvies to vote for Erick Salgado because he’s against toevah “marriage”

  26. “even a complete tzaddik cannot stand in the place of a baal teshuvah”
    Rambam’s Code of Jewish Law: Laws of Teshuvah 7:4.

    Unless you’ve spoken to an individual who is thorough in his knowledge of halacha, you have no right to publicly shame and slander anyone, particularly a Baal Teshuva for a specific position taken on specific halachic matter.

  27. Moderators,

    Comment No. 43 appears to advocating murder (although I am not sure of whom). That comment should be removed.

  28. Rabbi Barry – I think you are following another Barry, Barry Obama, aka Barak Hussein Obama (BHO). He also changed his position and came out in favor of toeivah marriage recently.

    Let me give you some good advice. Do not follow or imitate BHO. He is not a proper role model for an orthodox Rabbi.

  29. In case all of you forgot, or just never learned it, the United States of America is constitutional democracy. That means that the laws and regulations of the country are dictated by the constitution. And just in case you forgot that too, the first entry in the Bill of Rights is Freedom of Speech. Within the first Amendment there is a clause that, in short, says the government will not sponsor any religion. That means in laymans terms separation of church and state. That also means that whatever the United States decides to do, it will not dictate NOR BE DICTATED BY any religion. This country was founded on freedom, in fact, the very freedom that allows you to host this website without fearing for your lives, and denying it to anyone is simply unconstitutional. While you might disagree with a religious union between a homosexual couple, a civil union is completely out of your realm and Judaism has ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL over the laws in this secular country. Rabbi Dolinger was standing up for the notion of limited government and preventing the government from restricting our inalienable rights. If you disagree with this countries policies move somewhere else! Move to Germany where they want to ban circumcision. Move to France where they cannot protect their own Jews. The problem is America protects rights where those countries do not, and those very rights are right of gay people as well. Maybe you should pull your head out of your gemorah once and a while and learn a thing or two about the country that enables your existence.

  30. His day of judgement will come for going out of his way to remove the societal barriers that have been in place for thousands of years against this terrible immorality.