Recently, an American Jewish clergyman officiated at a matrimonial ceremony that is incorrectly being reported by some in the media as “the first time that an ordained Orthodox Rabbi has officiated at a same-sex marriage in the United States.”
We, as rabbis from a broad spectrum of the Orthodox community around the world, wish to correct the false impression that an Orthodox-approved same-gender wedding took place. By definition, a union that is not sanctioned by Torah law is not an Orthodox wedding, and by definition a person who conducts such a ceremony is not an Orthodox rabbi.
Jewish tradition unequivocally teaches that marriage can only exist as a union between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of a homosexual relationship. It is a distortion of Torah to confound that sacred principle. We strongly object to this desecration of Torah values and to the subsequent misleading reportage.
We appreciate the sensitive nature of intimacy. We, as rabbis, lovingly play a crucial role in helping Jews who may be facing great personal challenges to feel comfortable and welcome in our communities. Rabbis are always available to discuss congregants’ personal issues, including intimacy. We understand from our experiences in offering pastoral care that some individuals experience deep inner conflict as they seek a holy path to serve G-d and to fulfill their spiritual needs. As rabbis, we devote our lives towards helping all those in our broader community achieve their loftiest spiritual potential, while fully upholding the timeless values expressed in our Holy Torah.
The public should not be misled into thinking that Orthodox Jewish views on this issue can change, are changing, or might someday change. The Rabbinical Council of America recently declared that “the Torah, which forbids homosexual activity, sanctions only the union of a man and a woman in matrimony.” This is the only statement on this matter that can reflect Orthodox Judaism. Any claims or statements to the contrary are inaccurate and false.
Rabbi Elie Abadie – New York, NY Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein – Los Angeles, CA Rabbi Eitan Allen – Fairfield, CT Rabbi Sol Appleman – Woodsburgh, NY Rabbi Moshe Averick – Chicago, IL Rabbi Ian Bailey – Silver Spring, MD Rabbi Yisroel Bendelstein – Brooklyn, NY Rabbi Etan Berman – New York, NY Rabbi Azriel Blumberg – Brighton, MA Rabbi Heshy Blumstein – Hewlett, NY Rabbi Avram Bogopulsky – San Diego, CA Rabbi Kenneth Brodkin – Portland, OR Rabbi Zev Cinamon – West Hempstead, NY Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen – West Palm Beach, FL Rabbi Judah Z. Cohen – Hewlett, NY Rabbi Yitzchok Cohen – New York, NY Rabbi Mordechai Cohen – Milwaukee, WI Rabbi Yosef Cohen – West Hartford, CT Rabbi Nissim Davidi – Los Angeles, CA Rabbi Eliezer Eidlitz – Valley Village, CA Rabbi Ari Enkin – Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel Rabbi Ephraim Epstein – Cherry Hill, NJ Rabbi Aaron Feigenbaum – Memphis, TN Rabbi Dovid Feinberg – Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel Rabbi Emanuel Feldman – Jerusalem, Israel Rabbi Ilan Feldman – Atlanta, GA Rabbi Eliyahu Ferrell – Passaic, NJ Rabbi Yitzchok Fingerer – Brooklyn, NY Rabbi Shmuel Fink – Lawrence, NY Rabbi Dov Fischer – Orange County, CA Rabbi Arie Folger – Munich, Germany Rabbi Barry Freundel – Washington, DC Rabbi Zvi Friedlander – New York, NY Rabbi Cary Friedman – Passaic, NJ Rabbi Zev Friedman – Lawrence, NY Rabbi Mallen Galinsky – Jerusalem, Israel Rabbi Benjamin Geiger – Forest Hills, NY Rabbi Avraham Ginzburg – Forest Hills, NY Rabbi Saul Gold – Brooklyn, NY Rabbi Efrem Goldberg – Boca Raton, FL Rabbi Jay H. Goldberg – Far Rockaway, NY Rabbi Chaim Goldberger – Minneapolis, MN Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer – New York, NY Rabbi Shlomo Grafstein – New York, NY Rabbi Michoel Green – Ramat Bet Shemesh, Israel Rabbi Alan Greenspan – Jerusalem, Israel Rabbi Yonah Gross – Wynnewood, PA Rabbi Yosef Grossman – Monsey, NY Rabbi Ben Hecht – Toronto, Canada Rabbi Ari Jacobson – Monsey, NY Rabbi Ari Kahn – Givat Ze’ev, Israel Rabbi Howard Katzenstein – Brooklyn, NY Rabbi Joseph Kolakowski – Richmond, VA Rabbi Ira Kronenberg – Passaic, NJ Rabbi Pinchas L. Landis – Cincinnati, OH Rabbi Eliezer Langer – Austin, TX Rabbi Levi Langer – Pittsburgh, PA Rabbi Avi Lebowitz – Palo Alto, CA Rabbi Yonah Levant – Queens, NY Rabbi Menachem Levine – San Jose, CA Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz – Chicago, IL Rabbi Yaakov Luban – Highland Park, NJ Rabbi Avraham Maimon – Sunnyvale, CA Rabbi Reuven Mann – Phoenix, AZ Rabbi Harry Maryles – Chicago, IL Rabbi Baruch Pesach Mendelson – Brooklyn, NY Rabbi Jacob B. Mendelson – Bridgeport, CT Rabbi Yossi Mendelson – Queens, NY Rabbi Lester Miller – Brooklyn, NY Rabbi Yerachmiel Morrison – Lakewood, NJ Rabbi Jonathan Muskat – Oceanside, NY Rabbi Yehuda L. Oppenheimer – Forest Hills, NY Rabbi Gavriel Price – Passaic, NJ Rabbi Steven Pruzansky – Teaneck, NJ Rabbi Aharon Rakeffet – Jerusalem, Israel Rabbi Michael Rapps – Far Rockaway, NY Rabbi Hershel Reichman – New York, NY Rabbi Rachmiel Rothberger – New York, NY Rabbi Gidon Rothstein – Riverdale, NY Rabbi Lawrence Rothwachs – Teaneck, NJ Rabbi Yackov Saacks – Dix Hills, NY Rabbi Nosson Sachs – Pittsburgh, PA Rabbi Nachum Sauer – Los Angeles, CA Rabbi Hershel Schachter – New York, NY Rabbi Moshe Schapiro – Bergenfield, NJ Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld – Queens, NY Rabbi Zev Schostak – Queens, NY Rabbi Tsvi G. Schur – Baltimore, MD Rabbi David Shabtai – New York, NY Rabbi Dov Shapiro – Spring Valley, NY Rabbi Jay C. Shoulson – Long Island City, NY Rabbi Zecharia Sionit – Dallas, TX Rabbi Ze’ev Smason – St. Louis, MO Rabbi Aryeh Sokoloff – Queens, NY Rabbi Aryeh Spero – Great Neck, NY Rabbi Reuven Spolter -Yad Binyamin, Israel Rabbi Leonard Steinberg – Brooklyn, NY Rabbi Gil Student – Brooklyn, NY Rabbi Michael Taubes – Teaneck, NJ Rabbi Moses David Tendler – Monsey, NY Rabbi Benzion Twerski – Milwaukee, WI Rabbi Michel Twerski – Milwaukee, WI Rabbi Avrohom Union – Los Angeles, CA Rabbi Noach Vogel – San Jose, CA Rabbi Gedalia Walls – Potomac, MD Rabbi Yaakov Wasser – East Brunswick, NJ Rabbi Philip Weinberger – Teaneck, NJ Rabbi Matan Wexler – New York, NY Rabbi Isaac Yagod – Easton, PA Rabbi Ari Zahtz – Teaneck, NJ Rabbi Asher Zeilingold – St. Paul, MN Rabbi Aharon Ziegler – Jerusalem, Israel