Ahavas Sholom – an Historic Landmark and Sacred Space

Newark's Last Remaining Synagogue born of the Great European Migration at the turn of the 20th Century

145 Broadway, Newark, NJ 07104
Phone: 973-485-2609 | Email: cahavassholom@optimum.net


Simon Says, April 29, 2022

Chapter 17 and Chapter 18 of Leviticus, contained in this week’s Torah portion Acherei Mot, start what we call the Holiness Code.  Chapter 18 contains verse 22:  “Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence.”  My Yom Kippur sermon a couple of years ago was about verse 22, but verse 22 deserves to be revisited.

Much of the Country can’t abide men loving men.  Much of the Country can’t abide discarding your born sexual identity in favor of the opposite sexual identity.  Who cares?

Tolerance is defined by what-you-do-does-not-matter-until-your-life-style-affects-me.  I am not affected by men loving men.  I am not affecting by men switching their sex or women switching their sex. 

Verse 22 is the root of all evil.  The Conservative Movement (and the Reform Movement) interprets that verse to refer the male, cult prostitutes.  Verse 22 was written long ago, a time when male, cult prostitutes tempted the Israelites.  You can be an observant Jew (or Christian, or Muslim) in addition to being a homosexual or a transgender person.  Nowadays, we leave sexuality alone.