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Orthodox Rabbis stand on principle

Orthodox Rabbis stand on principle

Recently, an American Jewish clergyman officiated at a matrimonial ceremony that is incorrectly being reported by some in the media as “the first time that an ordained Orthodox Rabbi has officiated at a same-sex marriage in the United States.”

We, as rabbis from a broad spectrum of the Orthodox community around the world, wish to correct the false impression that an Orthodox-approved same-gender wedding took place. By definition, a union that is not sanctioned by Torah law is not an Orthodox wedding, and by definition a person who conducts such a ceremony is not an Orthodox rabbi.
 
Jewish tradition unequivocally teaches that marriage can only exist as a union between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of a homosexual relationship. It is a distortion of Torah to confound that sacred principle. We strongly object to this desecration of Torah values and to the subsequent misleading reportage.
 
We appreciate the sensitive nature of intimacy. We, as rabbis, lovingly play a crucial role in helping Jews who may be facing great personal challenges to feel comfortable and welcome in our communities. Rabbis are always available to discuss congregants’ personal issues, including intimacy. We understand from our experiences in offering pastoral care that some individuals experience deep inner conflict as they seek a holy path to serve G-d and to fulfill their spiritual needs. As rabbis, we devote our lives towards helping all those in our broader community achieve their loftiest spiritual potential, while fully upholding the timeless values expressed in our Holy Torah.
 
The public should not be misled into thinking that Orthodox Jewish views on this issue can change, are changing, or might someday change. The Rabbinical Council of America recently declared that “the Torah, which forbids homosexual activity, sanctions only the union of a man and a woman in matrimony.” This is the only statement on this matter that can reflect Orthodox Judaism. Any claims or statements to the contrary are inaccurate and false.
 
SIGNED:
 
 Rabbi Elie Abadie – New York, NY
 Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein – Los Angeles, CA
 Rabbi Eitan Allen – Fairfield, CT
 Rabbi Sol Appleman – Woodsburgh, NY
 Rabbi Yossi Azose – West Hempstead, NY
 Rabbi Moshe Averick – Chicago, IL
 Rabbi Ian Bailey – Silver Spring, MD
 Rabbi Yisroel Bendelstein – Brooklyn, NY
 Rabbi Etan Berman – New York, NY
 Rabbi Yehudah Black – London, England
 Rabbi Azriel Blumberg – Brighton, MA
 Rabbi Heshy Blumstein – Hewlett, NY
 Rabbi Avram Bogopulsky – San Diego, CA
 Rabbi Kenneth Brodkin – Portland, OR
 Rabbi Zev Cinamon – West Hempstead, NY
 Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen – West Palm Beach, FL
 Rabbi Judah Z. Cohen – Hewlett, NY
 Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen – New York, NY
 Rabbi Mordechai Cohen – Milwaukee, WI
 Rabbi Yosef Cohen – West Hartford, CT
 Rabbi Nissim Davidi – Los Angeles, CA
 Rabbi Eliezer Eidlitz – Valley Village, CA
 Rabbi Ari Enkin – Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel
 Rabbi Ephraim Epstein – Cherry Hill, NJ
 Rabbi Aaron Feigenbaum – Memphis, TN
 Rabbi Dovid Feinberg – Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel
 Rabbi Emanuel Feldman – Jerusalem, Israel
 Rabbi Ilan Feldman – Atlanta, GA
 Rabbi Eliyahu Ferrell – Passaic, NJ
 Rabbi Yitzchok Fingerer – Brooklyn, NY
 Rabbi Shmuel Fink – Lawrence, NY
 Rabbi Dov Fischer – Orange County, CA
 Rabbi Arie Folger – Munich, Germany
 Rabbi Barry Freundel – Washington, DC
 Rabbi Zvi Friedlander – New York, NY
 Rabbi Cary Friedman – Passaic, NJ
 Rabbi Zev Friedman – Lawrence, NY
 Rabbi Ari Galandauer – Ottawa, Canada
 Rabbi Mallen Galinsky – Jerusalem, Israel
 Rabbi Benjamin Geiger – Forest Hills, NY
 Rabbi Avraham Ginzburg – Forest Hills, NY
 Rabbi Saul Gold – Brooklyn, NY
 Rabbi Efrem Goldberg – Boca Raton, FL
 Rabbi Jay H. Goldberg – Far Rockaway, NY
 Rabbi Chaim Goldberger – Minneapolis, MN
 Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer – New York, NY
 Rabbi Shlomo Grafstein – New York, NY
 Rabbi Michoel Green – Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel
 Rabbi Mordechai Greenfield – Jerusalem, Israel
 Rabbi Alan Greenspan – Jerusalem, Israel
 Rabbi Yonah Gross – Wynnewood, PA
 Rabbi Yosef Grossman – Monsey, NY
 Rabbi Ben Hecht – Toronto, Canada
 Rabbi Schlomo Hoffmeister – Vienna, Austria
 Rabbi Ari Jacobson – Monsey, NY
 Rabbi Ari Kahn – Givat Ze’ev, Israel
 Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky – Woodmere, NY
 Rabbi Howard Katzenstein – Brooklyn, NY
 Rabbi Yaakov Klass – Brooklyn, NY
 Rabbi E. Samuel Klibanoff – Atlantic Beach, NY
 Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski – Richmond, VA
 Rabbi N. Daniel Korobkin – Toronto, Canada
 Rabbi Ira Kronenberg – Passaic, NJ
 Rabbi Pinchas L. Landis – Cincinnati, OH
 Rabbi Eliezer Langer – Austin, TX
 Rabbi Levi Langer – Pittsburgh, PA
 Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz – North Woodmere, NY
 Rabbi Avi Lebowitz – Palo Alto, CA
 Rabbi Yonah Levant – Queens, NY
 Rabbi Menachem Levine – San Jose, CA
 Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz – Chicago, IL
 Rabbi Yaakov Luban – Highland Park, NJ
 Rabbi Avraham Maimon – Sunnyvale, CA
 Rabbi Reuven Mann – Phoenix, AZ
 Rabbi Harry Maryles – Chicago, IL
 Rabbi Baruch Pesach Mendelson – Brooklyn, NY
 Rabbi Jacob B. Mendelson – Bridgeport, CT
 Rabbi Yossi Mendelson – Queens, NY
 Rabbi Ron-Ami Meyers – Seattle, WA
 Rabbi Lester Miller – Brooklyn, NY
 Rabbi Yerachmiel Morrison – Lakewood, NJ
 Rabbi Jonathan Muskat – Oceanside, NY
 Rabbi Yehuda L. Oppenheimer – Forest Hills, NY
 Rabbi Gavriel Price – Passaic, NJ
 Rabbi Steven Pruzansky – Teaneck, NJ
 Rabbi Aharon Rakeffet – Jerusalem, Israel
 Rabbi Michael Rapps – Far Rockaway, NY
 Rabbi Hershel Reichman – New York, NY
 Rabbi Ely Rosenzveig – New Rochelle, NY
 Rabbi Rachmiel Rothberger – New York, NY
 Rabbi Gidon Rothstein – Riverdale, NY
 Rabbi Lawrence Rothwachs – Teaneck, NJ
 Rabbi Nosson Sachs – Pittsburgh, PA
 Rabbi Chaim Sacknovitz – Jerusalem, Israel
 Rabbi Eliyahu Safran – Brooklyn, NY
 Rabbi Nachum Sauer – Los Angeles, CA
 Rabbi Hershel Schachter – New York, NY
 Rabbi Moshe Schapiro – Bergenfield, NJ
 Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld – Queens, NY
 Rabbi Zev Schostak – Queens, NY
 Rabbi Tsvi G. Schur – Baltimore, MD
 Rabbi Yerachmiel Seplowitz – Monsey, NY
 Rabbi David Shabtai – New York, NY
 Rabbi Dov Shapiro – Spring Valley, NY
 Rabbi Jay C. Shoulson – Long Island City, NY
 Rabbi Zecharia Sionit – Dallas, TX
 Rabbi Ze’ev Smason – St. Louis, MO
 Rabbi Aryeh Sokoloff – Queens, NY
 Rabbi Aryeh Spero – Great Neck, NY
 Rabbi Reuven Spolter -Yad Binyamin, Israel
 Rabbi Leonard Steinberg – Brooklyn, NY
 Rabbi Elly Storch – Woodmere, NY
 Rabbi Gil Student – Brooklyn, NY
 Rabbi Yerachmiel Swift – Pittsburgh, PA

 Rabbi Michael Taubes – Teaneck, NJ
 Rabbi Moses David Tendler – Monsey, NY
 Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner, Toronto, Canada
 Rabbi Benzion Twerski – Milwaukee, WI
 Rabbi Michel Twerski – Milwaukee, WI
 Rabbi Avrohom Union – Los Angeles, CA
 Rabbi Noach Vogel – San Jose, CA
 Rabbi Gedalia Walls – Potomac, MD
 Rabbi Yaakov Wasser – East Brunswick, NJ
 Rabbi Philip Weinberger – Teaneck, NJ
 Rabbi Mark Weiner – Chicago, IL
 Rabbi Matan Wexler – New York, NY
 Rabbi Jeffrey Woolf – Efrat, Israel
 Rabbi Isaac Yagod – Easton, PA
 Rabbi Ari Zahtz – Teaneck, NJ
 Rabbi Asher Zeilingold – St. Paul, MN
 Rabbi Aharon Ziegler – Jerusalem, Israel


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