A disturbing development is afoot in Israel, and it involves people blowing other people up. But for once, it doesn’t involve Palestine or Islam.
No, it looks like some wing-nut conservative group is planning on.
From Arutz Sheva (Israel National News):
(IsraelNN.com) A leaflet distributed in several neighborhoods in Jerusalem offered NIS 20,000 to anyone who kills participants in the International Gay Pride Parade scheduled to take place in Jerusalem next month.
The flier also suggested that fire bombs be used to kill the participants and gave instructions on how to construct them.
The parade has generated much opposition from many religious groups in the city who are opposed to the holding of such a parade in Jerusalem. Public opinion polls show that the vast majority of Jerusalem residents are against the parade.
Later this week, a police report is expected to be issued as to whether the parade is considered a security risk. If the report determines that it is, the parade may be cancelled.
Now I’m all for free speech rights denouncing or supporting whateverthefuck you want. But this isn’t free speech, this is threatening violence. They need to find whoever published these leaflets and arrest them for intimidation.
Furthermore, I think it’s funny because the Orthodox Jews really don’t have any theological leg to stand on here. I’ll expound on homosexuality in the rabbinical Law after the jump, for those that want to learn more.
Basically, no matter what side of the fence you lie on in Judaism (Orthodox, Reform, whatever), they all. From the official position of the Orthodox Committee on Jewish Law and Standards:
Therefore be it resolved that we, the Rabbinical Assembly, while affirming our tradition’s prescription for heterosexuality,
1) Support full civil equality for gays and lesbians in our national life, and
2) Deplore the violence against gays and lesbians in our society, and
3) Reiterate that, as are all Jews, gay men and lesbians are welcome as members in our congregations, and
4) Call upon our synagogues and the arms of our movement to increase our awareness, understanding and concern for our fellow Jews who are gay and lesbian.
The Reform Jews are more or less okay with homosexuality, and will usually ordain homosexual rabbis and perform homosexual marriages.
But the ultra-Orthodox are the ones that are behind this leaflet, most likely. But what does a strict interpretation of the Law reveal? That homosexuality is only really mentioned twice in the Torah, never in the Tanakh, and neither time it is actually condemned.
The first “proof text” offered would be the mitzvah Leviticus 18:22, the English translation of which typically reads:
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
However, the actual Hebrew reads:
וְאֶת-זָכָר–לֹא תִשְׁכַּב, מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה: תּוֹעֵבָה, הִוא.
V’et zachar lo tishkav mishk’vey eeshah toeyvah hee.
The most literal translation of this would be “And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman, it is ritually impure.” The word “toeyvah” has been erroneously translated by most Hebrew scholars into English as “abomination” or “enormous sin” or the like. In reality, however, “toeyvah” means “ritually impure.” It was translated into Greek for the Septuagint back around 300 BC as “bdelygma,” meaning “ritually impure.” This would put it in the same category as women on their periods, people who had just had sex, et cetera. It just meant that they couldn’t partake in a few ceremonial aspects of the Jewish religion temporarily. If the author of the verse had wished to call homosexuality a moral sin, he would have likely used the Hebrew “zimah.”
I doubt even the most conservative ultra-Orthodox Jew would desire to throw firebombs at women on their periods. So why gays?