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Introduction... (The first blog post in 2011)...

I am a frum, gay & married male who feels compelled to share. Let me get this out of the way, when I say I am gay ,  I will qualify it...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Being Deaf (Insert Gay) and Orthodox...

This from a friend of mine, Mordechai Levovitz....

"Being Deaf and Orthodox" an article in a Right Wing Orthodox Magazine outlines a template for Orthodoxy to approach LGBT Jews"

For those of you who get Ami magazine, the Pesach edition, I highly recommend reading the 8 page spread on what it's like being Deaf and Orthodox. Ami Magazine is a right wing Chareidi magazine, pretty accepted in the Black Hat world. The arguments presented in the article prove that within Black Hat Frum Orthodoxy there is a template of thinking that can be very helpful for LGBT people. In the article there are personal narratives, an interview with a therapist, and rabbinical input. It can be easily seen how this thinking can serve as a template within Orthodoxy that may allow for far better understanding of LGBT people and LGBT pride in the Orthodox Community. The article will most likely be incorporated into JQY's training curriculum for Orthodox Mental Health Counselors. You can all feel free to make the connections for yourself. Some Highlights include:

The important of Deaf pride and not being seen as a disability but a difference to be valued:

-"In my deaf world we are proud of our deafness and carry it as a badge of honor. I know this sounds strange to you. Why would we be proud of being "disabled"? But the fact is that to us, deafness is NOT a disability but a different state of being. In our eyes, deaf people are not a subgroup of the disabled, but a minority group." -Rabbi Yehoshua Soudafoff

On the idea of fixing or curing deaf people:

-"I have asked many times if I have ever davened for the ability to hear. My answer is no. I never felt the need to daven for such a thing...I've always felt like a regular person and that there is nothing wrong with me." -Rabbi Yehosuah Soudakoff

-"I wouldn't want a doctor to 'fix me'. This is how G-d created me. This is my Identity". - Zissy Moskowitz (Orthodox interpreter and counselor)

On Orthodox Rabbinic Responses to Deaf People:

-" There is absolutely NO ROOM for being machmir when it comes to deaf people"

On some people coming up with other names or phrases to describe Deaf people:

-"You don't mind if I call you Jewish, do you? It's the same thing. It's who we are, and there is no need to try to invent fancy phrases to say the same thing. We are DEAF DEAF DEAF. (And JEWISH, JEWISH, JEWISH).

On Some Deaf Orthodox Jews needing to look outside of Orthodoxy and Judaism for resources and well-being:

-"...Abandoning their Judaism...I don't blame them (It isnt easy being Jewish and Deaf)."

-" Due to limited facilities for Jewish deaf children, (orthodox) parents reluctantly sent (Child) to St Vincent, a Catholic School."

Deaf Orthodox Jews face a myriad of Hallachic issues from hearing Shofar, Megilla, and Parshas Zachor, to wearing electric hearing aids on Shabbos and using electric lights and resources on shabbos that allow them to respond to their children, safety and the outside world. It is an issue where "different" not "disabled" people are in a category that allows for Hallachic exceptions, but still advocate for pride about their identities. The sentiments expressed in this article, are beautiful, and can help Orthodox parents, leaders, therapists and rabbis, embrace a similar approach to LGBT people in the frum community.

Good Yomtov all.

-Mordechai Levovitz

Monday, March 25, 2013


Redemption does not come naturally. It can take years of servitude to a power you don't think you can overcome.

When you finally put in the effort to break through and maybe it involves a miracle or two, you can then feel redemption.

To each their own on his or her level. Small redemptions add up as well.

We can never allow ourselves to forget where we were and how far we've come.

Happy and healthy Passover to you and yours.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Physical and sexual abuse - "“It could be that the whole thing is a bubbe-mayse (Tall tale)"

When I was a child I suffered physical abuse by the hands of camp counselors for a full 2 month summer in a popular sleep away camp in the Catskills. It is something that I think about often even today 30 years later.

I have been 'blessed' to have never suffered sexual abuse. One can't compare abuses of any kind although I have met many victims of sexual abuse that suffer day in and day out their entire lives. It affects their interpersonal relationships, sexual identities/relationships and haunts them their entire lives sometimes in pain and agony. Many protect their abusers by thinking they deserve to be abused and/or they are terrified to say something.

Here is yet another chillul Hashem of huge proportions in relation to the victims of abuse. Greater the sting due to the stature of the Rabbi being quoted. It perpetuates abuse by protecting the abuser and worrying more about their reputation than it does the victims suffering.

Click here for the article

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

You want my donation... Are you kidding me???

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a contributor to many charities especially local ones. No one knows to what capacity because I have always kept it to myself.

For the record, there are many people who are reaching out to me for their charities. Be it board members, Rabbi's, rosh yeshivas or volunteers.

Understand that I see right through you. You haven't said a word to me since August. That is when I went through some of the biggest struggles of my life. Yes, it's been 8 months of hell without a word from you. Now you come to me for money. With all my gayness, challenges and lack of your communication, I am all of a sudden acceptable to you and by you to support your organizations.

Know that when I say yes and give your organization a donation, it is because I see past your BS. It is not because you individually are reaching out and/or are connected to it. Again; it is not because of you. It is because I am supporting your organization. I believe in it. I believe in your schools. I believe in children in need. I believe in kids at risk. I believe in giving back to my community.

Your inconsistency is not news to me because while you preach Torah, Avodah and Gemilus Chasadim, you honor people at your dinners and banquets that are crooks and lowlifes. In my line of work I deal with people on a financial scale who have treated me and my team with disrespect and have asked me to preform fraud on various levels. They ask me to do reprehensible acts with their threats and criticism. I of course never give in. These are chillul Hashems on the grandest of levels. At the same time, these are people you honor and show respect to. These are people who represent your organizations.

You clearly know who you are. I don't need to go into details.

I am not a sinner. I don't cheat in business. I treat people with love and respect. Yet, I am only reached out to when I am needed. Please don't prostitute yourself. It is not consistent with your teachings.

You should be ashamed of yourselves for selling your soul for a donation.

PS The irony is that the people from organizations that have kept up with me consistently are the ones that have not asked me at all for donations this year. Go figure.

PPS Just got a call from a Rabbi who is well aware of the struggles that I have gone through. HE is looking for money for his organization. I have heard from twice since this went down. Now and before Sukkos for the same reason. And the fun continues.