www.blogs.timesofisrael.com

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Mike Sigman and Grama LinLin #homophobia blogs.timesofisrael.com

Mike Sigman: Why can't I disapprove of some activity without it being called a "phobia" by these people on the Left? Is there a "phobia" because I disapprove of incest? Is there a "phobia" because I disapprove of pedophilia? Is there a "phobia" because I avoid people who are unhygenic? Is there a "phobia" because I don't want to have extended conversations with people who are slow-witted? Maybe the author of the piece should ask himself why he feels compelled to virtue signal and to encourage others to think as he does.

Grama LinLin Just take a look at what God did to Sodam and Gomorrah, and tell me again that being gay is not a sin! And if you do, I will call you a liar!!!!

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David Benkof #fundie blogs.timesofisrael.com

[This is part of a response to Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, senior rabbi of the largest Conservative synagogue in DC, who came out as gay and divorced his wife.]

Steps like yours no doubt feel like the right thing to do for gay men in loveless marriages. But you’re not just any gay man. You’re one of the most important Jewish leaders in your city. Part of your job is to help model a loving Jewish family.

Leave aside homosexuality. What does your announcement say to the many men in your synagogue who are more sexually attracted to younger women than to their wives? I doubt you’d approve of a congregant breaking up his family to chase after his 28-year-old secretary.

Oh, but you say being attracted to men is “who you are.” Well, for a lot of heterosexual males, being attracted to younger women is “who they are” too, but we don’t give them dispensation to seek – casualties be damned – self-actualization.

I’m not telling you this as an Orthodox Jew to a Conservative one – or as a celibate gay man to one who wants to explore same-sex relationships. I speak as a coreligionist who is concerned about the impact your decision will inevitably have on the people around you.

Yes, you came out yesterday. That doesn’t mean you can’t “go back in” today. If you don’t, I recommend that Adas Israel start looking for a new senior rabbi.

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David Benkof #fundie blogs.timesofisrael.com

While many American Jews have been big backers of public schools, our current system discriminates against traditionally religious Americans through what I call "the frum tax." (Frum is Yiddish for observant.)

Here's how the frum tax works: If you're secular and want to educate your children with your own values, it's free. But if you're frum, it costs tens of thousands of dollars to do the same thing. That's discrimination.

[...]

And no, the public schools are not "values-neutral." Public schools take strong stances on issues about which Americans differ. A version of American history built around the themes of race, class, and gender is not "neutral." There are many ways to teach our nation's history, such as focusing on the growth of capitalism, or on the contributions of great men. Jews from Orthodox sects that believe the Earth is less than 6,000 years old don't want to pay both for (public) schools that reject that view - and for (religious) schools that support it.

It's not the government's business to decide which historiographical or cosmological ideas are correct - and to confiscate money from citizens who have the "wrong" views in order to promulgate the "right" ones.

[...]

Three years ago, the school district of Ramapo, New York, elected a school board with a Hasidic majority. Ramapo includes cities such as Monsey and New Square that are heavily populated by Orthodox Jews. Since the state's educational structure massively discriminates against such voters - taking their money while barely helping their children's education - the board began to make cuts to security staff, sports teams, AP classes, and more.

The school board has been attacked for its "selfishness" and lack of community-mindedness. But if secular students in the district are now being treated unfairly, the frum majority living there has suffered too - and for a much longer time. Good for the Orthodox voters in the area for upholding America's founding principles of "No taxation without representation."

I hope frum people and their equivalents in other faiths will start following the Ramapo model. Join me in voting against any increased taxes for public schools, and in electing school board members who support spending only for the bare minimum (math, science, language arts, and social studies) - until the system stops discriminating against us. And since the idea of a "neutral" public school is a myth, we should pressure elected officials to choose textbooks spreading our beliefs, not those of our ideological opponents.