J1: "Black is a color!"
J2: "NO! it is not!"
J1: "It is a color!"
J2: "Rabbi, is black a color?"
Rabbi: "Well, sure..."
J1: "See, I told you. And so is white!"
J2: "White is not a color!"
Rabbi: "Well, yes, white is a color"
J1: "See, I told you Moishe, I sold you a color TV"
Hello, I'm Gil Steinlauf
I'm a rabbi, and six years ago, at the age of 45, I very publicly came out of the closet as gay by writing a letter to my 1500-family Conservative congregation, Adas Israel, in Washington DC. My coming-out was received with love and open-arms by my congregation. It was quite a pleasant surprise, because only a few years earlier, Conservative rabbis were fired simply because they were discovered to be gay.
Since then, I have moved on from Adas and started The Hineni Fellowship for LGBTQ Jewish Leadership. Hineni is a program designed to empower and inspire LGBTQ professionals who are leaders in their fields to take on (lay) leadership roles within the Jewish community. The idea behind Hineni is that even though the mainstream Jewish community has come so far in welcoming and accepting LGBTQ Jews, most Jewish organizations, synagogues and schools are still too heteronormative. That is, Jewish people who are hetero still occupy the positions of power and privilege within the Jewish community, and despite good intentions, they wittingly or unwittingly exclude or even erase LGBTQ Jews in their communities. Hineni is designed to empower LGBTQ Jews to take on leadership positions within all of these organizatIons and effect change from the inside--to help the Jewish community overcome its heteronormativity and become genuinely inclusive and diverse, to LGBTQ people, and to all others who have been marginalized within the Jewish community.
In addition to Hineni, I am the rabbi at Kol Shalom in Rockville, Maryland, where I am founding several new initiatives, including the Jewish Teen Leadership Institute, the Jewish Identity Institute, and the Yeshiva of the Arts.
I live with my partner in the DC area, and I am happy to say that despite the changes in my life, I am still incredibly close and loving with my former wife and my three amazing children, all of whom are in their twenties.
This fell on deaf ears in r/Mormon, so I thought I’d post it here just for some.... idk validation?
The thing about following Leviticus is this: it’s Hebrew law. It was supposed to be followed until the Messiah came. Orthodox Jewish folks don’t believe Jesus was the messiah, so they still follow these rules.
Romans 10:4, Colossians 2:13-14, Hebrews 8:13 are some direct scriptures about this. The Mormon interpretation of these verses is usually all caught up in the renewal of the dispensation, but I talked to some theology folks including a rabbi. In Jewish theology and the context surrounding the Torah: you follow the laws of Leviticus until the Messiah comes, and the Messiah renews and brings new laws, so that’s what these are referring to. The prevailing interpretation for theologians is that the Old Testament is a history, while the New Testament is the new guideline. Some Christians justify following parts of Leviticus because they differentiate between ceremonial and moral law, so things like sexual morality are upheld. But Mormons totally got lost along the way with things like piercings and tattoos or the “hot drinks” stuff Bc Joseph Smith was misled on the history. These are ceremonial like not eating pork, wearing mixed fabrics, or cutting hair, which..... most Mormons do those if I recall.
I also found out there are all these mental gymnastics with queer folks being married. In historical interpretations as well as in the direct Hebrew, these verses are actually referring to adultery. Not to mention the racist stuff justifying slavery, which again, should have been ignored if you believed Jesus was your Savior.
TL:DR; If you believe Jesus was the Messiah, the laws of Leviticus are nullified.
EDIT: referring to adultery like sexual domination or ritual sex, not sex outside of marriage-type.
They wander across a farmstead and ask to spend the night.
"I only have room for two, so one of you will have to stay in the barn," says the Farm Owner.
The Hindu immediately volunteers, insisting it's no problem. However, a few minutes later, he knocks on the front door.
"I'm sorry, but there is a cow in the barn, and they are sacred to me."
"No problem," says the Rabbi, and he goes to the barn. Again though, he returns and knocks. "There is also a pig in there, and that is against our teachings."
"I will go then, friends," says the Jehovah's Witness, and he proceeds to the barn. A few moments later, there is a knock at the door. It's the cow and the pig.
Come tomorrow, January 27th at 2pm to ask Rabbi Gil Steinlauf anything.
>Rabbi Gil Steinlauf is a nationally recognized spiritual leader who innovatively combines bold vision and grounded wisdom to steward and evolve communities and organizations.
>Rabbi Steinlauf is currently the director of the Hineni Institute for LGBTQ Jewish Leadership in Washington, D.C. and is the Rabbi at Kol Shalom in Rockville, MD. He joined Adas Israel Congregation as senior rabbi in 2008 and currently serves as Senior Rabbinic Advisor. He is also the co-creator of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism’s “Innovation Labs” for synagogue renewal. Rabbi Steinlauf is widely respected for his success in re-envisioning the nature of Adas Israel, the largest and oldest Conservative synagogue in Washington, DC, and has pioneered a national paradigm shift that lifts up innovative modes of study and exploration of meaning as central in synagogue and organizational life.
>Rabbi Steinlauf is the first senior rabbi of a large, historic, conservative congregation to come out as openly gay, and through his honesty, has sought to create an atmosphere of constructive dialogue on the issues facing modern culture and Judaism.
>Along with Adas clergy and staff, Rabbi Steinlauf co-founded three nationally recognized projects now operating out of Adas Israel: [email protected] for Jewish Young Professionals, MakomDC for 21st century experiential learning, and the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington for meditation, yoga, and contemplative Jewish practices.
>Rabbi Steinlauf had previously been the rabbi of Temple Israel in New Jersey, is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, studied at the Pardes Institute in Jerusalem, earned an MHL from the University of Judaism, and received rabbinic ordination and an MA at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Currently, Rabbi Steinlauf is on the boards of the Washington Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, A Wider Bridge, and ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal. He also sits on the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion Council, and on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee of JTS. He is an alumnus of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, a member of the Center for Jewish Learning and Leadership’s Rabbis Without Borders program, and is on the current GLEAN cohort of spiritual entrepreneurs.
I see lots of apologist arguments for the Book of Mormon having chiasmus and other Hebrew literary styles and traditions that supposedly prove it's authentic Hebrew culture, but are any orthodox Jews convinced?
Is there any story of an orthodox Rabbi saying, "I Went to Hebrew school since I was three, and learned to read the scriptures in the original Hebrew/Aramaic, and spent years in Yeshiva studying Torah for days, and when I read the book of Mormon for the first time at age 30, I knew right away this was an authentic translation of works by Biblical Hebrews, because all the literary style and phrasings and culture and names in Lehi's family were all so accurate! I knew it must be true scripture, so I threw my Talmud in the trash and became Mormon the same day!"
I'm guessing such a person doesn't exist.
A rabbi and a priest meet up after a year not seeing each other.
The rabbi goes: "Man, you've put on some weight since last time!"
Priest: "Yeah I know, it is a new technique I came up with. You go to a restaurant, eat as much as you can. When the bill comes, you tell them you already paid for it."
Rabbi: "Sure, but the waiter won't believe you, right?"
Priest: "Of course he won't. That's when you tell him how dare he doubt a man of faith? It usually works and you can leave without paying."
Rabbi: "Very nice, I'll be trying this."
Later that day, the rabbi goes to his favorite kosher restaurant. After eating 5 plates, the waiter comes up to him with the bill.
Rabbi: "Oh, I already paid."
Waiter: "Mmm, I'm pretty sure you did not sir."
Rabbi: "You know I'm a rabbi, how dare you doubt a man of faith? I told you, I already paid."
Waiter: "So sorry sir, you are right, it must be some misunderstanding, you're good to go."
15 minutes goes by and the rabbi is still at the table. 30 minutes... 45 minutes... 1 hour and he is still there! The waiter walks up to him: "Sir, why are you still here?"
Rabbi: "Well, I'm waiting for the change!"