It's the same in any lingo

בַּת-בָּבֶל, הַשְּׁדוּדָה: אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם-לָךְ-- אֶת-גְּמוּלֵךְ, שֶׁגָּמַלְתּ לָנוּ
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ אֶת-עֹלָלַיִךְ-- אֶל-הַסָּלַע

How can one be compelled to accept slavery? I simply refuse to do the master's bidding. He may torture me, break my bones to atoms and even kill me. He will then have my dead body, not my obedience. Ultimately, therefore, it is I who am the victor and not he, for he has failed in getting me to do what he wanted done. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? If not now, when? ~ Rav Hillel, Pirke Avot

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes

This Red Sea Pedestrian Stands against Judeophobes
Wear It With Pride

29 October 2009

It's Called Ben Adam L'Chavaroh

Earlier this week, Yehidot Ahronot reported an extraordinary story about a religious Jewish settler who befriended a gay Palestinian who was in danger of being lynched by the people of his family's town. Typically, Arab homosexuals are publicly hanged or thrown off buildings by their fellow Arabs. Many religious Jews frown upon homosexuality as being against G-d's will. So here, in the middle of this mess between Arabs and Jews, something happens that has to make G-d fearing people reevaluate just what exactly His will is; at least G-d fearing people with a conscience.

Here are the highlights. To read the whole thing, go here.

A young gay Palestinian man, who is in grave, life-threatening danger and cannot return to his home with his Israeli partner, was saved by a stranger who came to his aid – a religious West Bank settler.

The Palestinian, T., and the Israeli, Doron, became a couple 10 years ago. Eight years ago, they drafted a marriage agreement between them, but this did not help on the bureaucratic side. T. is tormented: The State has yet to authorize family unification with Doron. As a result, he has yet to receive permanent authorization to live in Israel. He does not have health insurance, a bank account, or a drivers' license. Nor can he take out a mortgage.

"We live in a difficult reality," said Doron on Tuesday. "It's been many years that they are checking him out, but he hasn't done anything wrong. T. is a goody-two-shoes."

Recently, T.'s father, who lives in a West Bank village, fell ill, and his son wanted to go visit him. Because going to the village is life-threatening for him because residents there are not willing to accept his sexual orientation, a father-son meeting was held outside of the village.

About ten days ago, T. entered the West Bank via one of the checkpoints. His sick father, accompanied by his mother, waited for him a short distance from the checkpoint. It was an emotional meeting. The family members finally got to see one another and T. gave them a sum of money that he had been saving for them.

However, following the brief meeting, all started to go wrong. T. started making his way back to Israel, but was surprised to discover at the checkpoint that he was not allowed re-entry. Even though he is currently under consideration for family unification and despite the fact that a yearly temporary residence permit was authorized for him, it was decided not to allow him back into Israel for security considerations.

T. found himself in an impossible situation: he was not allowed to return to his home in Israel, but returning to his parents' home in the village would put his life in danger. Left with no other choice, he turned to the only person he knew in the area who could help him – a religious settler who has known him for some years. The man decided to give asylum to T. even though he knew it would not be looked upon favorably in the settlement.

So, this is how it came to be that T., a gay Palestinian, has been hiding out in the home of a religious Jewish family in a settlement.

Since this incident took place, T has faced an increasingly frustrating, and life threatening situation with bureaucratic nonsense being perpetrated by Israeli security. The simple truth is that if it weren't for the kindness and compassion of the settlement that has agreed to host him, T would be dead, period. And so, once again we see what real Jewish leadership is: taking action and ignoring religious mores in favor of p'cuach nefesh...saving a life.

"They are intentionally endangering his life," said Doron on Tuesday. "A few years ago, he was arrested by the Palestinian Shin Bet, tortured for two weeks, and now my country is causing me terrible anxiety. He has been in Israel since the age of 13. He grew up within the Israeli reality. Anyone who brings a foreign woman is sorted out with family unification. But we – who live a normative life and don't impose any burden on the State, work, pay taxes – experience this suffering all the time. Ultimately, I ask for a little understanding, a little humanity, a little emotion."
What Doron is talking about is the Jewish concept of ben Adam l'chavaroh; being responsible for our fellow human beings. T shouldn't be put through this. This is not a murderer of Jews. He's a gay man who cannot go home to his partner in Israel.

Doron, and the community sheltering him, are a blessing to Hashem, and the Jewish people. Kol HaKavod! And may T's situation be resolved justly, and soon.


Mary Ellen said...

Oh wow, Shtuey, you just hit on a subject that is the one thing that most upsets me about our world today, the hatred of gays.

As you know, the Catholic Church, and many other Christian churches have that same half assed backwards idea that being gay is "against the will of God" or as the Catholic Church puts it, an "objective disorder and a "moral evil".

What's "morally evil" is killing someone because they are gay, or refusing to protect that person from being killed...because he/she is gay!

I have no idea why those who call themselves religious are so blind to what God means when He says, "LOVE ALL". All means ALL...heterosexuals AND homosexuals. When God said that man was made in His image, He didn't say "some" of man was made in His image!

Honestly...I hope that one day this world will come to peace with this. And I have to admit, I secretly hope that God is gay...and that he's really really pissed!

(Sorry for the rant)

Shtuey said...

Nunly, if you can't rant here, where can you?