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LGBT Connection to Judaism, in Israel

Religious LGBT activist Zehorit Sorek reflects on two religious-related videos that center around the LGBT community; The videos premiered in Israel just before Yom Kippur

On Saturday, two videos premiered in Israel. The first one, a kind of docu, “He’s My God Too,” portrays famous TV host Assi Azar in his quest to marry his boyfriend in a traditional Jewish wedding. The second video is the one about the religious community, in which rabbis and teachers make a reckoning about their attitude to the LGBT community ahead of Yom Kippur.

The first is moving. Undoubtedly the foundation of a relationship of two partners is a moving thing, regardless of religion, race or gender. Assi’s film is also an important film, not only because of Assi and his deliberations before God as a gay person, but mostly important because of his father, or rather the process his father goes through in the documentary. This is very significant for viewers who are our parents, who watched it on prime time tv.

However, I found Assi’s film lacking any reference to the religious LGBT community. Seriously, Assi, it’s more than a decade that the LGBT religious community has created a dialogue that leads to a change in a community dealing with sexual orientation and religious identity and builds bridges between them on a daily basis – and you couldn’t interview any religious person dealing with his God? The video of the religious community dancing at this year’s Jerusalem pride parade gained tens of thousands of likes and views. But Assi’s film showed not a single frame from it.

Will Assi’s film affect the religious community? Probably not.

The promo to Assi Azar’s movie.

Then came the video of the rabbis and teachers – which is not a moving video. Nobody wipes a tear with a handkerchief when they talk about home and belonging (which was what I did when Albert- Assi’s husband- spoke at the wedding ceremony), but this clip probably will cause a change in the religious community.

This is a video I had hoped to see (and thanks to the producer Moran Nakar who allowed me to take a small part in this process).

This is a video that clearly and loudly demonstrates the voices of rabbis and teachers of religious law and increases the intensity of the volume.

The interviewees in this video may pay a public price, but they have the courage to go out and lead a change in the perception of the community regarding the LGBT community.

They are worthy of being recognized. Their activities and their names should be recognized, because their small light demolishes much of the darkness.

G’mar Hatima Tova