Defying more than 3,000 years of Torah tradition and belief, Greenberg, an Orthodox rabbi who recently publicized his homosexuality, embarks on a thorough, if questionable, trek to reevaluate the overt biblical prohibition of male-male relations. Central to his argument is a rereading of Leviticus 18:22, "Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence" (JPS translation) to be understood as "And (either a female or) a male you shall not sexually penetrate to humiliate [;] it is abhorrent." The story of Sodom's destruction, the love between David and Jonathan and the creation of Adam and Eve figure prominently as sources of new and interesting perspectives, yet they are all based on subjective evaluations that bear no textual confirmation. While he is obviously well versed in Torah knowledge and rabbinic law, Greenberg admits that he is "not a disinterested party on the matter of homosexuality"; indeed, many of his arguments stretch the truth or omit vital segments of biblical text to reach their desired conclusion, and, in addition, are fraught with expressions of unease such as "maybe" and "perhaps." This is not to say that his attempt bears no fruit. He effectively portrays the plight of closeted and openly gay Orthodox Jews who struggle daily with their sexual desires and with the knowledge that the Torah and the rabbis forbid homosexuality. While Greenberg's controversial biblical claims on this long-taboo topic may infuriate some and gratify others, his book arouses deep empathy for Orthodox homosexuals.
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"[Greenberg] effectively portrays the plight of closeted and openly gay Orthodox Jews who struggle daily with their sexual desires and with the knowledge that the Torah and the rabbis forbid homosexuality." - Publishers Weekly "As useful for Christians as it is for Jews.... I heartily recommend this book to Christians who wish to take their Hebrew scriptures seriously and who are willing to examine their own responses to this raging debate." - the Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire"See all Editorial Reviews
I find this writing somewhat bias as the author seems to be found grasping at straws. He still does make several key points though somewhat sloppily. Read morePublished 1 month ago by R.K. Sprau
Great discussion about some very provocative issues involving orthodox Jewish values and literal interpretations with a kinder and gentler REINTERPRETATION that accepts LGBT Jews... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mark P Behar
A groundbreaking work of significance to Orthodox Judaism. Every Rabbi should read this.Published 10 months ago by Liscard
This is a wonderful book that deals with a very sensitive topic in a scholarly, thoughtful and nuanced way. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Lonely Man of Faith
I believe that this book goes a long way for helping one understand a biblically/theologically sound approach to the debate on homosexuality. Read morePublished on January 1, 2013 by D. M. Schiewer
Great textual analysis within a traditional framework. He was the FIRST openly gay ORTHODOX rabbi that found a way to be gay and remain orthodox. Read morePublished on December 21, 2012 by R. dweck
The good news and the bad news is that this book was written in 2004 and so in some ways it feels a little dated. Read morePublished on December 3, 2012 by Claire
The subject of homosexuality and traditionalism, especially within Jewish thought, is a controversial issue. In depth analysis can be a divisive experience. Read morePublished on September 23, 2012 by Jikido-san
The book was in excellent quality and was extreely helpful in writing my paper and educating me in the subject area.Published on July 14, 2011 by zagsforlife91