Skip To Content
Breaking News

Chief Rabbi Claims Jerusalem ‘Disgusted’ by Gays

Only months after an Israeli teen was murdered by an ultra-Orthodox man during the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade, the city’s chief rabbi Shlomo Amar has lashed out at the LGBT community, saying “I believe that this phenomenon will wane and disappear, because most of the public is disgusted by it and detest it.”

Amar, who was chief rabbi of Israel until two years ago and remains a member of the High Rabbinical Council, was speaking in an interview with the ultra-Orthodox website Behadrey Haredim.

“The level of shame has been breached and trampled these days,” he said. “There’s almost nothing left. And since then, we’ve seen impudence and brazenness which previously no one would have even thought of. People do them publicly and we need to find ways of dealing with it.”

But Amar voiced disapproval of the murder of Shira Banki, which was committed by Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox man.

“Sometimes, when we fight with force, we achieve the opposite of what we intended, like the one who committed that unthinkable act,” the rabbi said. “He’s not a court and he doesn’t know what is forbidden and there is no justification for what he did.

“It was a terrible act of blood-letting and nothing can justify it. He did unimaginable damage to all ultra-Orthodox Jews, who now have to see themselves in that act. Action requires a lot of forethought.”

Referring to the gay community in Jerusalem, Amar said: “When all is said and done, Jerusalem is in a relatively good situation compared to other cities in Israel… They’re trying to legitimize [homosexuality] in the legislature and the courts, but it’s not natural, not normal. The Torah called it an abomination and we certainly need to find more considered ways of fighting it.”

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.