Letters the Week of October 3, 2013


Two readers criticize the rabbinic response to same-sex marriage.

It’s the Rabbis’ Responsibility to Teach Torah

It’s bad enough that a Christian minister rudely and wrongly had to remind Josh Shapiro about what he thinks the Torah says. It’s worse that we don’t know Mr. Shapiro’s answer — if there was one (“Rabbis Come to Defense of Shapiro,” Sept. 26).

It’s nice that 10 liberal rabbis supported Josh Shapiro in the name of the humanist values of gender equality and happiness posing as an evolution of Torah. But until those same rabbis and others directly address those Torah verses that some say condemn homosexuality, the religious right within Judaism, Christianity and Islam will continue to profess to know what God wants — even though to date, no one has seen His vote.

There are linguistic and historic reasons why I believe the verses have been mistranslated. But it is the rabbis’ responsibility to be a light to the nations and teach Jew and non-Jew alike the words of Torah. If they don’t subscribe to those words, they should disclose that. But if the rabbis do subscribe — and if they come forward in a real way — then the only support for the right’s moral high ground will be undone.

Maurice Feldman | Wyncote

10 Rabbis Should Be Feeling Embarrassed

The Rev. Bill Devlin, quoted in your Sept. 26 article, “Rabbis Come to Defense of Shapiro,” spoke correctly when he said that the commissioners should be embarrassed to issue a marriage certificate to same-sex couples.

The 10 rabbis who signed the letter of support should also be feeling embarrassed, believing that their wisdom is superior to that of all cultures up until the present time. Marriage has always been defined as a union between a man and a woman, and has never been defined as a same-sex couple.

It has also never been defined as the union between one man and two women or one woman and two men. Where does such chutzpah arise from to defy the wisdom of all ages, since the dawn of time?

While there is certainly emotion — and perhaps intellect — behind the signatures on that letter, what’s lacking is the fear of God.

Ronald Werrin | Merion Station


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