Homosexuality - Why Not?: Intimacy Issues Response on Ask the Rabbi
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Homosexuality - Why Not?

I don’t understand what is wrong with the homosexual act? It is, after all, an act of love. Who are we to decide that it’s wrong?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

There is no disagreement in society on the need to oppose certain sexual activities. The only issue is which forms to oppose. If society allows gay marriages, then why not change other definitions as well? What about polygamy and incest? Of course these activities are wrong.

Judaism put boundaries into human sexuality which enabled society to flourish and function. Those societies that were unable to control sexuality eventually broke down and failed.

As Dennis Prager explains: "Man's nature, undisciplined by values, will allow sex to dominate his life and the life of society. When Judaism demanded that all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, it changed the world. It is not overstated to say that the Torah's prohibition of non-marital sex made the creation of Western civilization possible."

Judaism says that homosexuality is wrong, too. Why? Primarily because God said so. But to understand from our human perspective, it is because sexual activity is reserved solely for the confines of marriage.

In contrast to other societies, where sexuality is a function of pleasure (secular) or procreation (Christianity), Judaism considers sexuality a mechanism to bond with one's spouse. This powerful tool is necessary to aid a couple in their goal of self-perfection. A human being can only achieve this perfection through marriage with the opposite sex, because only by the joining of opposites – male and female – can this bonding occur.

An outgrowth of the marriage bond is the family unit, and then society. Judaism defines essentially three areas of human development: self, family and society. All three require a paradigm shift from "me"-oriented to "other"-oriented. Marriage with the opposite sex forces one to grow and adapt to each other's differences and become one. Through that bonding, perfection can be achieved, and by extension – through bringing children into the world – the perfection of society is likewise attainable.

A study from the late 1970s (before AIDS) puts the average number of sex partners among male homosexuals at 500. It is not just an issue of whether someone is wired for attraction toward men or women. It's also an issue of unbridled promiscuity. Although we are sympathetic and concerned for the individual, we should not tolerate behavior that is detrimental to society.

It is strange that today there isn't an outrage by women against homosexual behavior. Historically, whenever homosexuality increased, women were left to the periphery of life. For example, the Greek Poet Palladus declared during the heyday of Greek homosexual decadence: "Marriage brings a man only two happy days: the day he takes his bride to bed, and the day he lays her in her grave."

Even if we were to condone it in private, it would still undermine society. Every act that a person does, even in private, unconsciously affects the society as a whole.

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