Monday, January 28, 2008


The reading project:

I'm still pretty knee-deep in this; I've been taking notes - writing down questions, thoughts, interesting quotes - on most of the books I've read. When I have time, hopefully, I will post some of the more relevant notes up here.

Reunions / Homosexuality & Orthodox Judaism:

A friend recently called my attention to the Flatbush reunion story. It seems a lot like the Noah Feldman article from a while back...

I understand that the schools promote a certain ideology, but it seems strange to me that this stretches beyond the bounds of educating the children currently in their schools. In other words, while I certainly don't agree with the schools' viewpoints & I don't condone what Feldman's school (allegedly -- some claim it wasn't as he said) did to the group photo, this latest story seems to make even less sense to me.

What I mean:
Okay, Flatbush strongly disagrees with how this particular alumnus is living his life. But a reunion isn't a newsletter. I'm not really sure how allowing the partner to come to the reunion translates into condoning his lifestyle choice.

The whole thing just seems weird to me. Granted, I don't subscribe to the belief system that says homosexuality is wrong. But to me, a reunion is just for the alumni to get together, reminisce, reconnect, etc.. The reunion might also be used to procure donations for the school and photographs of the reunion might later be used to promote the school's image, but the reunion itself should be about the alumni (whoever they turned out to be), not the school.

Of course, this issue also serves to highlight one reason I feel highly uncomfortable being part of the OJ community. Most OJs I've talked to have argued that there's no way OJ (and as an extention of that, OJ schools) can accept homosexuality as it is biblically forbidden. And they're right; it is biblically forbidden. It would require a revision in the way I think about Tanach's role in Judaism for me to be able to reconcile this. And if I accepted that revised way of thinking about the Tanach, would I still be considered Orthodox?