Rabbi Ariel: LGBT People are Not ‘Forced’ to Sin

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan and President of the Hotam association, one of the most respected leaders and Torah Sages of the religious Zionist sector, said that the Jewish community needs to understand the difficulties inherent in being LGBT, and to draw those suffering from it closer.

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan and President of the Hotam association, one of the most respected leaders and Torah Sages of the religious Zionist sector, reacted to the words of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin with respect to whether active homosexuals can be held accountable for transgressing the Torah prohibiton for the act.

Rabbi Riskin, rabbi of Efrat, Gush Etzion and founding head of Ohr Torah Institutions, was interviewed recently in Hebrew by the Israeli liberal-religious Makor Rishon newspaper, where his unprecedented opinion that homosexuals are in the halakhic category of those held unaccountable for a sin because they are coeced (Ones rachmana patrey, ed.) caused a strong backlash in the Orthodox rabbinic world in Israel – and abroad. Rabbi Riskin excluded “those who could have chosen to lead a heterosexual life and instead chose otherwise.”

“Their lives aren’t easy, and in their current state, they cannot build a proper family,” Rabbi Ariel wrote, adding that we “should help them financially and emotionally to extricate themselves from this situation, which they did not choose to be in.”

“We must explain to them, in a pleasant fashion, that flying the ‘pride’ flag of being different is not helping them extricate themselves from their difficulties. In fact, it makes their difficulties worse.”

Rabbi Ariel also contradicted Rabbi Riskin’s declaration that the Torah does not punish homosexuals, since they are considered “forced” to act that way. Though the Torah does not punish a person for something he is “forced” to do, Rabbi Ariel said homosexuality does not fall under that category. Read the full story on Israel National News