Jewish leader considers Orlando a sign to open synagogues for LGBT people

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 27: Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis gives a speech as he attends a Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony at Central Hall Westminster on January 27, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Chief Rabbi has said that Orthodox Judaism must reform to become LGBT-inclusive, following the attacks in Orlando. Orthodox Jewish church does not welcome LGBT people, though reformed Jewish churches are often LGBT-inclusive and even have gay Rabbis. But the Chief Rabbi’s movement, the United Synagogue, did not consider it necessary to welcome LGBT people in their church. Till now.

The Chief Rabbi said: “In the face of such unspeakable violence, we must be introspective. The Torah takes a clear, well-known position on acts of homosexual intimacy but it also leaves us in no doubt about our responsibility to provide a welcoming environment in our Synagogues and beyond for all Jews, regardless of their level of religious observance, ethnicity or sexuality. After Orlando, we must take a step beyond condemnation and open our hearts and our Synagogues so that no Jew feels persecuted or excluded from the warm embrace of our communities. Together with adherents of all faiths and none, may we all find the courage to overcome the forces of division and darkness so that we might create a more peaceful and tolerant world.” He added: “As Jews, we join with all of those across the world who stand defiant and united in declaring that there is absolutely no place for hatred or intolerance in our societies. We must also be honest enough to recognise that there are places where the scourge of homophobia persists, even in our own communities, and that is totally unacceptable. Where that hate is religiously motivated, faith leaders and faith communities carry a particular responsibility to act.”


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