Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Letters

On the Right Side

Michah Gottlieb’s equation of contemporary efforts to redefine marriage with the efforts to emancipate American slaves in the 19th Century (“When Orthodoxy Goes Too Far,” June 8) is, to be gentle, unimpressive. While the Torah, recognizing the reality of slavery throughout most of history (including in many lands to this day), provides rules governing that unfortunate phenomenon, it nowhere in any way commands the embrace of slavery. It does, however, forbid in no uncertain terms behavior that same-sex marriage is designed to honor.

Yes, as Gottlieb notes, American law and Jewish law do not inherently intersect. But secular law is a teacher. And when it redefines marriage it teaches Americans, including children, something that the Torah considers deeply wrong for Jews and non-Jews alike.

We Orthodox may not be able to stand up to the juggernaut of the marriage redefiners. We may even be, in fact, on the “wrong side of history.” But so was Abraham the “Ivri” — the “other sider” — who wasn’t afraid to stand on “the other side” of his era’s idolatrous society. We Jews who hold fast to the Sinaitic covenant are content, and unabashed, to be on the right side of Torah.

Rabbi Avi Shafran
Agudath Israel of America
New York, N.Y.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

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.