Rabbi Dolinger Responds

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rabbi-barry-dolingerEditor’s comment: Please note that we vehemently disagree with Rabbi Dolinger’s response, as it is contrary to the stance taken by leading rabbonim. However, out of respect for him and to give him the courtesy of responding, we print his letter here:

Dear Concerned Yid,

A few points in response to your letter published yesterday on Matzav.com:

1)  First, I’d like to address the substance of your claims.  Throughout your article, you made many false assumptions.  If you’re truly as concerned as you claim to be (I have no way of knowing, but you do), you might take the time to verify assumptions before publishing them on the internet.  You could have contacted me, if you’re truly concerned, and seen whether your assumptions were correct.  After all, the seal of Hashem is emes, and Jews should strive to be honest and accurate in what they say.  This is prudent and religious all in one.

You posit that my support for civil same-gender marriage is a remnant of my “liberal beliefs” and “background” left over from the days before I was observant.

Truth is, while I used to be far more liberal politically than I am today, I’ve opposed same-gender marriage publicly and privately for as long as I’ve been old enough to have an opinion on the subject.  In recent months, however, I’ve changed my mind, specifically because of my religious observance and affiliation.  As an observant Jew, I appreciate more than ever the protections of the First Amendment.  In the United States, our small minority religion is afforded tremendous protection.  Thousands of our Jewish brothers now refuse to work on Shabbat and holidays, knowing full well that their government will support their religious convictions and penalize anyone who tries to discriminate against them by firing them or refusing to hire them.    Our rituals (brit milah, kosher slaughter, etc.) are protected by the government, and our institutions receive support, honor, recognition, and even funds from states and the federal government.  Jews in public schools are no longer coerced into Christian prayer, and a general spirit of tolerance and understanding has allowed our people a golden age like none other in the diaspora.  This is true on both a governmental and social level, and has become an important part of the fabric of our country.

Therefore, it is our obligation to argue for the protection of minorities, be they religious, ideological, etc., and to advocate to prevent the use of religious doctrine in legislation at all levels.  If the state has the power to legislate marriage based on Judeo-Christian religious principles, then there’s nothing to stop the state from regulating other areas of life based on religious principles, Judeo-Christian, Christian, or otherwise.  That’s only a stone’s throw away from the days of “the lord’s prayer” and all the rest.  It’s bad jurisprudence, bad for the Jews, and coerces people against their will, which is not helpful religiously either.

One more thing.  From a purely political perspective, it’s not necessarily a “liberal” argument to argue for same-gender marriage.  I’ll note that there was unanimous support for same-gender marriage among conservative republicans in RI’s State Senate, based on a mixture of conservative and libertarian principles.  Conservative – If [same-gender] men and women are involved in relationships (which is a given), isn’t it better for them to form committed monogamous relationships with stable family structures?  Libertarian – the state ought to stay out of defining, encouraging, or manipulating people’s private or social preferences, especially if they’re doing so based on religious convictions in possible violation of the First Amendment (the Court will tell us about that shortly).  I argued as I did largely because of my libertarian political leanings, not that it should matter, not liberal ones.

2)  A few pieces of advice.  If you want to engage in an ad-hominem attack against someone, sign your name to it and face the consequences, positive and negative.  Doing so anonymously is cowardly and characteristic of the culture of fear that pervades our community lately.  Let’s be mature enough to have important conversations with each other using our real names please.  This is true both locally in the current argument and generally in broader Jewish scene.

Also, if you want to critique and argument or position, fine.  In that case, you should state what you think I advocated, explain why you think it’s wrong, and support your position with reasons and sources.  For a more complete argument, you might even offer self-critique, explaining the weaknesses of your own position.  All of the personal attacks, prejudicial comments, guilt-by-association character assasination mumbo jumbo (IRF Liberal Left Wing Loving Call His Rabbis Revoke His Degree Public Consequences Chillul Hashem etc.) distract from the content of the actual debate, and are not befitting of reasoned and enlightened discussion.  Orthodox Jews should be interested in serious discussion on the merits of the issues rather than vague and uninformed generalizations.  Erev Shabbat Shalom.

Sincerely,

Barry Dolinger, another concerned Jew

{Matzav.com Newscenter}

59 COMMENTS

  1. R Gifter Z’ztl once gave a Shmuess on Abortions in E’Y and in America on how bad it was, i approached him afterwords and asked,I can understand the pain of babies being aborted in E’Y but who cares what they do in America?
    He answered me..It bothers him because it brings the moral standards down ‘Peeschu lee Machat’ and it degrades the country further

    Same here . yes free country and all the trappings that come with it, But with all do respect you cannot be against same gender Halachakly and support it in the world at large
    It’s like saying .I keep kosher at home but i eat Traif outside my home

  2. So if he is now supporting same gender marriage BECAUSE of his “religious observance”, then he IS a whack job.
    He also seems to argue that we should trade our morality and adherence to halacho (same gender marriage) in return for government protection of our freedom to practice the very same religion – in this diminished capacity.
    Liberal naar, you agreeing to a catch-22; you are a sell-out.

  3. Hi Barry,

    With all due respect, I believe that you are missing something here.

    As Yidin, we don’t use the Constitution as our moral guide to tell us what’s right or wrong. I do appreciate the fact that we have one in this wonderful country and that Yidin are able to live freely because of it.

    We use the Torah as our moral compass. When the Torah states that something is wrong, then it doesn’t matter if we believe that Government should or shouldn’t be telling us what to do, and that if we don’t stand up for these deviants (that’s what they really are) then who knows if we are next.

    When you as a private citizen stand up for something, then it’s your right. However, when you wear a Yarlmuka, you represent me and all the other “Concerned Jews”.

    When a religious non-Jew sees a frum Yid standing up for something which is clearly against the Torah, then it’s a real Chilul HaShem.

    Have a wonderful Shabbos!
    Nachman Stern
    Brooklyn, NY

  4. This response is so wrong on so many levels, I don’t know where to start.
    Suffice it to say that no Torah leader or any roshei yeshiva of his alma mater at YU agree with his approach. WHat a joke to even say this seriously.

  5. DOlinger is lost. Gosh
    He says that we should support same gender marriage even though we say at the same time that it is wrong
    His hashkafos are warped.
    Weak response from him./

  6. There is one thing I must respond 2! I don’t care about the political side of this argument but PLEASE do not say your are pro same gender marriage because you are an orthodox jew. This is the biggest nonsense and paradox i’ve ever heard! It’s clearly stated in all our holy books and our tzadikim and gedolei hador keep crying that it is a toeivat Hashem so PLEASE do not hide behind our religion to express YOUR individual opinion on the matter.
    You ask that the author of the previous article come forth and reveal his identity and bring sources that support his opposition; where are your sources?!? I have yet to see a source in the Thora or a tzadik support same gender marriage.
    Please brother do teshuva and take back this article and your support to this toeivat Hachem. Consult your rabbi for I hope u have one and let him direct you in how to truly live as an orthodox jew.

  7. This is why R. Chaim Brisker didn’t allow a maggid who had unacceptable hashkofos to speak in Brisk even though he promised to speak only ‘kosher’ words. R. Chaim said that kosher meat cooked in a traife pot is still traif.

    Barry Dollinger you would like us to play by your rules, state our names and argue with what you deem an acceptable (to you) argument. There would certainly be discussion of gemora, poskim, etc.

    Clearly, same-gender marriage is not ‘toaivah’ to you but the reasonable expectation of a persecuted minority. The Torah doesn’t go through a great deal of detail explaining why not to have such relationships, it only reacts with disgust. Toaivah.

    Best of luck in your arguments but you have chosen the group you want to be associated with.

  8. Althogh I strongly disagree with your position on same gender marriage Rabbi Dolinger, I have to say that I agree with your letter or at least the second point of it.

  9. Yes we are in favor of freedom of religious pursuits, and we are so thankful to the wonderful government of the USA for allowing us this freedom. However, just as we don’t allow people the right to impose their personal proclivities on others, when that would cause harm to the public, we have to maintain certain standards in our behavior. Same Gender marriage is a dangerous introduction of deviant behavior into the public forum. We don’t want our children to consider it ‘normal’ behavior-it is a biblical abomination, and is against a decent family value system. Yes, a person can do what they want to in their own private place, but as soon as you make it a public norm, you have stripped the values of the entire society. Our society is faced with heretofore unheard of tragedies, shooting, gang killings, public scandals. Where is the inspiration for idealistic behavior? Where are our role models for the basic fabric of society where children develop in a normal wholesome environment? Our children are forced to see public deviant behavior, where teachers used to agonize about how to keep the kids from sticking gum on their seats, they are now dealing with how many metal detectors to install, and how much military training to give their teachers. Why is this not serious discussion? How can you compare the freedom to practice religion to the freedom of sexual deviation- what is the limit – will I have to accept people who have unmentionable behavior as my neighbors, and explain shocking habits to my innocent children? Has the ‘openness’ given us such amazing success? Do you like the results of the breakdown of societal rules? How can you couch your opinion in well spoken but ill defended arguments. Unfortunately, we see the results of our having accepted deviant behavior in our society, and if we don’t try to hold on to this vestige of a society with basic rules of decency, we will only see a further decline in normal behavior.

  10. Rabbi Dolinger, despite your tender age, you feel you are the first one to realize the hypocrisy in a Jew arguing against a minority.
    You sorely, sorely, miss the point. If your Father calls something toeva, basic ahava and basic yirah require us to protest vehemently. Perhaps the aforementioned hypocrisy would make protesting impossible, but can you possibly believe G-d’s will is to support same-gender marriage?! (Gedolim shlita aside.)
    How do you not tremble before the ozen shomaas?

  11. Sir,
    With all respects due, do not lump together “religious and ideological minorities” to SGM. It is not an ideology, but a clear brake down of basic moral behavior.

    Look, they want to be able to adapt children – do you truly believe children should be handed out as pets, or maybe we should choose what’s best for the child? is a child as good off without a mother (a female one)?

    Are you really worried about your rights as a Jew? do you really think our rights we enjoyed in the past 100 years will really improve if SGM is passed? Don’t you see that somehow all the guys for SGM are the same ones who have no problem with killing babies, and even after birth… and most of them are murder/terrorists apologetics…

    and even if it’s clear to you that this is their first amendment right, If you are religious you know your rights don’t come from the “first amendment”, but from the almighty, the giver of the bible. Don’t protect the human “first amendment” in expense of Hashems moral code.

    another basic thing: According to your reasoning, if tomorrow a group declares it holds an ideology that people should walk without clothing, you would support it. Don’t answer me foolishly that this is different since “they don’t bother any one” – you know very well that it has a tremendous impact on every corner of society.

    You probably did not learn what the Talmud says about why the great flood happened. You probably didn’t merit yet to learn the line in the Talmud that says that one of the 3 last merits the nations still have is that “they don’t write a marriage contract to a male” (Chulin 92:2)

  12. Rabbi Dolinger writes that he has changed his mind and is now in support for same-gender marriages “specifically because of my religious beliefs.” This is incredible! He’s not saying that he supports it because of separation of church and state. As an orthodox Jew, one’s belief can lead to one and only one conclusion- against the proposed legislation.

    Rabbi Dolinger furthermore says that as a Libertarian, he supports this legislation based on the reasoning that the state should stay out of people’s private preferences. The Talmud doesn’t see it that way. Chulin 92 quotes Ulla who praised non-Jews in that they did not write marriage documents for male couples. We see that our Sages condemned even secular legislation to this end. They didn’t hesitate to state the Torah viewpoint towards the non-Jewish society around them. Rabbi Dolinger obviously hasn’t learned Talmud sufficiently.

  13. I’m so glad you responded. The attack was vicious and must have been terribly hurtful.

    I agree with your basic premise, but strongly disagree with your testimony qua Orthodox rabbi. You should have made it more clear that on the basis of your religious beliefs you personally view such behavior to be repugnant, but don’t want the government to impose definitions of morality where there is no unwilling victim.

    I realize that was the gist of your argument; it should have been more emphatic.

    I also agree that anonymous attacks are shameful and cowardly.

    Eliezer Eisenberg, Chicago

  14. Let us not allow the discussion of how to respond overshadow the issue at hand. Same gender marriage is morally wrong. Although governmental regulation in the wrong area can be detrimental to religious life, public recognizance of behavior which stands diametrically opposed to all that we believe in is largely unjustified. Making a public statement of that nature, with such ramifications, is not something for a young rabbi. I am just curious to know if you consulted with any of your mentors before you acted as you did. Haste makes waste. If you didn’t realize the effects of your comments before, you can still retract them. To stand strong in your folly (which I believe those who you look to for advice would agree was foolish) would be more stupid from stupid.

  15. He is correct. This is one of the reasons why under R’ Sherer, the Agudah did not get involved with same gender marriage. (Another reason was that it was inevitable and there was no purpose to spend political capital preventing it.)
    For people to discredit his opinions as wackadoodle just need to brush up on history.
    We are indeed a minority here and our rights can be taken away should others feel it is immoral to their beliefs.

  16. Rephael Lander yours is the only comment that shows you understood the gist of what R’ Dolinger said and your responded accordingly, respectfully and sensibly – good job!

  17. “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . .

    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

    John Adams

  18. ?? ???? ???? ??? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ???? ???
    -???? ??”?

    Freedom to sin is one thing, but to make it “official” with a kesuba thats a red line that brings a chorbon onto a nation ch”v

  19. A Jew from a “liberal” background should be allowed to grow in Judaism and deserves his opinion. Who is to know why Hashem had him or her born into a diaspora of jewish souls in a reform or conservative origin. And perhaps there are strengths in his own experiences and perspective.

  20. “Therefore, it is our obligation to argue for the protection of minorities, be they religious, ideological, etc., and to advocate to prevent the use of religious doctrine in legislation at all levels.”

    So will you now push for legalization of polygamy (it is anti-mormon, muslim, etc.)? What about bestiality? Or is it just that you decide to selectively jump on the liberal pro toeivah bandwagon when it became the style to do and a litmus test among liberal elements?

    Your stance is especially offensive being that you come from Rhode Island, of all places, and even more speccifically a place called Providence. It got the name Providence as its religious founders believed in Divine Providence, and it was specifically set up as a haven for religious freedom. Rhode Island was the home of a very early Jewish community in the USA, the Touro Synagogue, to whom President Washington wrote his famous letter of tolerance. Tell me, have their been any pogroms in Rhode Island since then? But nevertheless, all of a sudden now, over two hundred years later, you, a newcomer to the state, decided that if you don’t step out and support the legalization of Biblical abomination ‘marriage’, there will be wave of anti-semitism? What planet are you living on?

    P.S. Could you tell us who gave you semicha, and if you discussed this issue with them?

  21. We (Torah Jews) are against same-gender marriage because the Torah forbids it. Rabbi Dolinger’s argument, as I understand it, is that “the Torah forbids it” is not a valid reason for a legislature to forbid it because legislatures are not allowed to base their prohibitions on religious commandments.

    Furthermore, this rule, that legislation cannot be based on religious commandments, is very good for us Jews because it is what allows us to practice the Torah freely without fear of Christian interference.

    Therefore, it follows that we Jews should support any strengthening of this rule, even as it applies to other minorities.

    I can think of some counter-arguments to this but it is far from obviously wrong.

  22. Any state, nation or kingdom that legalizes same gender marriage is cutting its own spiritual throat. Ancient Gomorrah, Rome and Athens were full of urbane, “cultured” people who thought they knew better than G-d. There is no “toeivah gene” either. The world can almost be divided into two camps at the moment. Those that believe same gender marriage is ok and those that don’t. Recently the French lower and upper houses have passed the law but a mass protest organised by the “Manif pour Tous” people against the move will be held this Sunday all around the country. Fortunately the parliaments in Northern Ireland, Australia, Finland and Russia turned down such toxic legislation. Thank G-d most Jews respect traditional values such as marriage and monogamy, so it is very unlikely that the State of Israel would go down this path. Interestingly, the Arab/Muslim majority nations also are in the same camp as Israel on this issue.

    Shabbat Shalom !

  23. Barry,

    Do you realize the blaring contradictions in your arguments?

    First you claim that all you would like is for Government to stay out of private lives. Therefore, they should allow anyone to do as they wish in their private life.

    [Somehow you extend that to having the government recognize their private lives, and grant them a certificate for it. You should realize that staying out of private lives has no relation to Government allowing a minority to impose their definitions upon the govmt, and force government to grant them certificates.]

    Then you go on to issue a contrary argument: “If [same-gender] men and women are involved in relationships (which is a given), isn’t it better for them to form committed monogamous relationships with stable family structures?”

    Wait a second here. If you would like government to stay out of private lives and private behaviors, why do you want government to help them form “committed and monogamous relationships”? By the same token that their behavior is one the government shouldn’t mingle into – then the government shouldn’t mingle and shouldn’t seek to help them form “committed and monogamous relationships”.

    I look forward to a clear, on-topic, and respectful response from you on how you rectify this contradiction.

    ____

    P.S. Why did you feel the need to get up publicly and speak to the senate? Why not just not mingle into other peoples business? Were you paid for this speech?

  24. “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.

  25. Not getting involved, as Rabbi Sherer chose to do, is not the same as advocating. For an “Orthodox” Rabbi to publicly proclaim support for something that the Torah clearly says is an abomination for any human being, sends a very misleading and dangerous message to the world at large. It would seem to be a huge Chilul Hashem. It may not be a popular stance in today’s society but popularity is not a value that can compete with Emes.
    Our job is not to save Hashem and His Torah. He does fine with that without us. Our job is to be faithful to the directives and spirit of the Torah without compromise, in as pleasant a manner as possible.

  26. To Yossie Abramson. The chasm between remaining uninvolved and public support is tremendous. How can anyone know what the future will hold? Blatant encouragement of immorality will not cause The One Above to act with us favorably. My heart goes out to Rabbi Dolinger. I understand that he got himself caught in a tremendous mess. Hashem Yeracheim.

  27. The right answer is #24, Not so Simple: This comment says what needs to be said. The world was once destroyed because of this aveirah and it is encumbent on all of mankind to heed Hashem’s warning. No good can come from it. Pathetic of who is being ordained – he needs help.

  28. without getting into the moral aspect of the issue. The bottom line is rabbi, the definition of marriage is at stake here. When you open up the dictionary, there is only one definition. the same way you would understand that one cannot be married to a table.

  29. It seems that Rabbi Dolinger is (or was) a member of the RCA, as well as the IRF. If so, I ask, is it acceptable for an RCA Rabbi to testify in favor of toeivah marriage? It should be grounds for expulsion.

    Has any other ‘Orthodox Rabbi’ testified in a legislature for toeivah ‘marriage’? I think he may have been tthe first. Which makes what he did even worse.

    If he holds that what he did is so correct, why is not featured on his blog and his Shul’s website? Is it being hidden from them?

    Furthermore, he is very naive when he said at the end of his testimony that he is confident that religious rights will be protected despite legalization of toeivah ‘marriage’. People should take a look at the blog of the National Organization for Marriage (http://www.nomblog.com/) to see what is really going on, how people are being harrassed and persecuted and discriminated against now for standing up for traditional marriage now, yes, by your liberal friends and toeivah bullies. You should not make decisions based on liberal propaganda. I have studied this for a long time and seen writing from both sides. It seems that you have not seen what the opponents say sufficiently, if at all.

  30. How can a man who believes in God be as bigoted as the person who wrote the note without giving his name. How many people have been denied rights in the name of religion. I am a Jew who believes people have rights as long as no one is hurt. Shame on those whose personal religion hurts others. You are no moral man.

  31. He began as a tinooch sh’nishba …. Looks like nothing changed.

    Once a rabbi always a rabbi? This one and I know others who’s smicha should be revoked.

    It is true we must live by the laws of the country in which we live, but where does it say we must practice or support those laws?

    I feel sorry for this young man. However I feel worse for “Orthodox” Judaism because its being hijacked by boys like this.

    How times change…My great great grandfather was a Yid… My great grandfather was an Observant Yid… My grandfather was an Orthodox Jew… My father was an Ultra Orthodox Jew and I must be an Ultra Ultra Orthodox Jew.

    And my great great grandfather was on a higher madrega than all…he was simply a Yid.

    How did Yiddishkite find itself in such shape?

  32. What a shallow and narrow minded argument. Did you perhaps notice that none of us are trying to enforce Ever Min Hachay or any other Mitzva on our neighbors? This is a moral issue, and it is the concept of morality itself which is under attack. It is already considered a derogetory remark when you call someone a moralist.

    If my sense of morality is affected by the Torah (gasp!), is that so much worse than what affects a typical American’s sense of right and wrong?

  33. Rabbi Dolinger, would you use the same arguments to support rights of those who wish to marry animals? 50 years ago, no one in America would have dreamed there would be Pride parades. So where do YOU draw the line, Rabbi Dolinger?

    Sam Rosen
    Toronto

  34. Rabbi Dolinger:

    While agreeing to an extent with your comments concerning the etiquette of public discourse, I wholeheartedly disagree with the entire premise underlying your political/constitutional argument. Support of same gender marriage on a legislative level is entirely distinct from support of religious liberties on a constitutional level.

    Whether or not we should support the imposition of public morals as constitutionally permissible is a valid debate. The overwhelming majority of Rabbis and the unanimous view of recognized Gedolei Torah is that we should support the constitutional recognition of certain heretofore objective public morals.

    Until recently those recognized public morals included abortion and same gender marriage among the many permissible legislative impositions of public morals (drugs, gambling, and many others come to mind). I recognize that even true Yerei Shomayim might differ on this point, largely due to some of the concerns you mentioned and I think a public discourse discussing the differing views on this matter would be very healthy.

    However, to support same gender marriage on the legislative level is an entirely different matter and, in my mind, a position untenable for a frum person. Support for same gender marriage on a legislative level does nothing for religious liberties as a whole. It is merely an expression that we, as a people, are ready to accept and embrace immorality as an acceptable choice. When a Rabbi stands up in support of that pronouncement as a public reflection of the Torah community he purports to represent it can only be called a Chillul Kvod Shomayim.

  35. THE WORLD STANDS ON MORALITY

    OUR RIGHT TO EXIST IS PREDICATED ON BEING A “LIGHT TO THE NATIONS ” SPECIFICALLY AS IT PERTAINS TO MORALITY.

    OTHERWISE WE SHOULD CEASE TO EXIST.

    CORRECT,BETTER WE SHOULD ALL DIE.

  36. IF THIS CREATURE WOULD GIVE HIS RATIONALIZATIONS FOR ,SAY, ALLOWING MURDER OF SENIOR CITIZENS
    WOULD WE TOLERATE AND ALLOW IT?

    20. Comment from Yossie Abramson
    Time May 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    He is correct. This is one of the reasons why under R’ Sherer, the Agudah did not get involved with same gender marriage. (Another reason was that it was inevitable and there was no purpose to spend political capital preventing it.)

    FALSE and MORE FALSE

    R’ Sherer AND the Agudah MADE SURE everyone was clear where they stood (including quoting Chulin 92 in amicus curaes’,etc.)

    At the most R’ Sherer tolerated some politicians – and even that was unacceptable to the LEADERSHIP

    R’ Sherer WOULD THE FIRST TO DENOUNCE THIS guy

    “For people to discredit his opinions as wackadoodle just need to brush up on history.
    We are indeed a minority here and our rights can be taken away should others feel it is immoral to their beliefs.”

    REALLY?? FOR Israel or any small community benefit, the’minority’ is always seem willing to demand the roof
    SUDDENLY HERE !!!??

  37. THE GOYIM EXPECT AND WISH FROM US TO STAND ON MORALITY

    (Even the ones that in public kick and scream)

    STOP THE RATIONALIZATIONS

    STOP CALLING SUCH PEOPLE JEWS

    IF YOU DO ZERO ELSE IN LIFE BUT WAR AGAINST THIS YOU WILL INSCRIBED ON SIDE OF GOOD

  38. Dear Barry,

    You seem like a nice fellow with good intentions.

    To make a long story short: A young, inexperienced, & obviously not learned (Hashkafakly & Halachakly) wonderful person like you, should NEVER EVER take to the podium, Especially so called “representing” the Orthodox “view”.

    A person’s Gaavah will many times deceive them into thinking that they are of superior intellect, & posses the vast moral/knowledge base, to articulate & represent our holy/ancient nation’s perspective on this or other matters.

    Yes, a Jew should be confident in his stand as a MEMBER of our holy nation, but never should they be confident in their REPRESETATION of our Torah & it’s Holy nation!

    The Steipler, who was a Illui (genius), no less than you are, was pained about going to Chasunos (weddings) knowing that there will be people who heard of him that he’s a Tzaddik, yet- he said, he was worried sick, that when they actually see him, they would be greatly disappointed by what they practically see.

    Now, that’s humility!

    The Steipler, who we all know, was an angel walking on earth, thought that his demeanor MAY cause a Chillul Has-hem (yes, he said this himself), how much more so, us- we should be careful from Gaavah, thinking we are qualified to speak in representation of our genius of a nation, prior to consulting with the greatest of intellect walking on planet earth, our Gedolim!

    May Has-hem bring purity to your heart, to recognize the great mistake you’ve made with this public action, & you’ll have within you the ability to do a Kiddush Has-shem to counteract one of the greatest Chillul Has-hems I’ve witnessed in my lifetime.

    Your friend,

    Chaim Ashvilli

    Lakewood, NJ

  39. Rabbi Dolinger:

    While agreeing to an extent with your comments concerning the etiquette of public discourse, I wholeheartedly disagree with the entire premise underlying your political/constitutional argument. Support of same gender marriage on a legislative level is entirely distinct from support of religious liberties on a constitutional level.

    Whether or not we should support the imposition of public morals as constitutionally permissible is a valid debate. The overwhelming majority of Rabbis and the unanimous view of recognized Gedolei Torah is that we should support the constitutional recognition of certain heretofore objective public morals.

    Until recently those recognized public morals included abortion and same gender marriage among the many permissible legislative impositions of public morals (drugs, gambling, and many others come to mind). I recognize that even true Yerei Shomayim might differ on this point, largely due to some of the concerns you mentioned and I think a public discourse discussing the differing views on this matter would be very healthy.

    However, to support same gender marriage on the legislative level is an entirely different matter and, in my mind, a position untenable for a frum person. Support for same gender marriage on a legislative level does nothing for religious liberties as a whole. It is merely an expression that we, as a people, are ready to accept and embrace immorality as an acceptable choice. When a Rabbi stands up in support of that pronouncement as a public reflection of the Torah community he purports to represent it can only be called a Chillul Kvod Shomayim.

  40. 1.Where is the RCA in all this?
    2. Who gives Dolinger the right to claim his opinion in the name of the entire Jewish Orthodoxy?
    3. Dolinger claims a minority must secede to the majority. Would he claim the same for the blacks in their struggle for freedom? Or for the state of Israel in their struggle for independence? After all the Arabs are the majority.

  41. his whole essence of Modern Orthodoxy is “being a Jew and a prominent and active member of the world”. Today the Goyim are affecting us.

  42. This is a seriously flawed response. First of all, the anonymity is complete understandable given that liberal groups have target those who oppose gay marriage for economic boycotts and public shame. Second, the Rabbi’s assumption that by respecting another minority group, goodwill will reverberate to the Jews is wishful thinking. The more likely outcome as that as same gender marriage become increasingly acceptable, orthodox Jewry (and Israel in particular) will be viewed as a kind of hate group and Israel’s position in media and academia will be further marginalized.

    Although any American can take any public position he so chooses, to do so under the banner of the orthodox rabbinate carries certain consequences. This man should not bear the name Rabbi.

  43. Rabbi Dolinger – hopefully by now you realize that you made a great error. Now you can make a great kiddush Hashem, sanctification of G-d’s name, by publicly renouncing your previous remarks and apologizing. Hashem yearns, so to speak, for people to do teshuvah (repent). Seize the opportunity!

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