Israeli Charedi leader accuses Chief Rabbi Mirvis of ‘blasphemy’ over LGBT guide
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Israeli Charedi leader accuses Chief Rabbi Mirvis of ‘blasphemy’ over LGBT guide

Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch claims the British Orthodox Jewish leader was “encouraging” homosexuality by releasing guidance against bullying

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis

One of Israel’s most senior Charedi rabbis has reportedly accused Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of “blasphemy” in launching a new LGBT guide for Jewish schools.

Rabbi Mirvis was accused of “encouraging” homosexuality by urging Jewish schools to help cut anti-LGBT bullying, according to a document purportedly based on the teachings of Jerusalem-based Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, 90, an anti-Zionist and vice-president of Israel’s Rabbinical Court.

The document seen by the Jewish News, claimed Sternbuch, who was born in London and survived the Blitz before making aliyah, said Mirvis was “using the cloak of lofty principles” to “formulate a new theory of drawing sinners into our camp”.

The Orthodox critic has a large following around the world, his visit to a Satmar conference in New York in June bringing much of Brooklyn to a standstill, with thousands fighting just to touch his motorcade.

Sternbuch purportedly said Mirvis “blasphemes our holy Torah and runs counter to the foundations of the holiness of our nation, since the halocho obligates us to distance such people, not legitimise them, especially since drawing them closer would pose a great danger to other students”.

Earlier this month, Mirvis launched the first-of-its-kind guide focused on the wellbeing of LGBT students for Jewish Orthodox schools falling under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate.

It urges teachers to protect Jews identifying as non-heterosexual or as a different gender, noting their high levels of self-harm and suicide attempts.

Written with Jewish LGBT umbrella group Keshet UK, it was welcomed by JFS, the biggest Jewish school in Europe, but UK-based Charedi leaders were underwhelmed, saying it did not speak for the strictly Orthodox community.

READ MORE:

LISTEN to this week’s episode of the Jewish Views podcast:

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments