Lily Berger, product engineer at a medical device company in the Twin Cities, is a source in MPR News’ Public Insight Network.
As Jews, we know what it’s like to be persecuted for practicing our religion, and even to be persecuted just for who we are, as occurred in the Holocaust. We also know what it’s like to have other religions forced on us. That’s why the Maccabees stood up to the Greeks when they tried to force the Jews to worship Greek gods, and it’s why tens of thousands of Jews fled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition rather than choose between converting to Christianity or being tortured and killed.
I am a Conservative Jew. That means I belong to the Conservative Movement of Judaism. You may not know this, but Conservative Judaism allows same-sex marriage; so do Reform Judaism and Reconstructionist Judaism — that’s three out of the four Jewish movements, which comprise the vast majority of Jews in America. So when people try to enact laws making those marriages — religiously sanctioned marriages, performed in traditional Jewish wedding ceremonies in synagogues across the country — legally invalid, this infringes on our religious freedom. Why should our Jewish marriages be defined by other people’s religions? People working to make or keep same-sex marriage illegal are working to violate my and my coreligionists’ First Amendment rights.
Torah is the final authority, and there has never – throughout the history of Judaism – never been any such arrangement as marriage between the same sex. It is not halakhic, it is not part of Judiasm, and claiming it is so by being a member of a renegade, deconstructionist Jewish sect is intellectual dishonesty. You have allowed your politics to instruct your Judaism. Two people of the same sex can never have a Jewish marriage. It is a violation of Torah and halakha.
It is an irony that you invoked the oppression of the Jews by the Greek homosexualists and Hellenists as a source for your argument.To invoke the Holocaust and European Christian oppression as some kind of slippery slope analogy to preventing two homosexuals from marrying each other and claiming it to be Jewish is a vile desecration, it is a Chillul HaShem and a desecration of those of our people who perished in the Shoah and medieval Europe during the Crusades and pogroms (HY”D).
You and the other DFL-Green Party Jews want to be accepted by the Hellenists? That’s up to you no matter. Hellenist Jews will disappear into history just as they have done in the past, and the Jews will survive as we have done for 5,772 years.