Homosexuality and Halakhah

Traditional sources on homosexuality.

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A Summary

We can now summarize the classical halakhic position:

Judaism is concerned with explicit acts, not inner feelings.
A homosexual act between two men is explicitly forbidden in the Torah.
A homosexual act between two women is forbidden by the rabbis (i.e. it was not forbidden by the Torah, but was in later times forbidden; this type of prohibition is less severe).
Homosexuality is considered an act of volition for which one can repent.
The reason for the prohibitions seems to be that such behavior undermines the Jewish family ideal of marriage and children as set out in the Torah.
Rabbinic thinkers in the past did not consider homosexuality a Jewish behavior problem.

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Rabbi Michael Gold

Rabbi Michael Gold is the rabbi at Temple Beth Torah, Tamarac Jewish Center in Tamarac, Florida. He is the author of four books, and his articles have appeared in Moment, Judaism, Jewish Spectator, B'nai Brith International Jewish Monthly, and numerous other publications. He also served as co-chair of the Rabbinical Assembly's committee on human sexuality.