Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Conservative teshuvot on homosexuality

The Rabbinical Assembly has now posted the teshuvot on its website: Rabbi Roth's teshuvah, "Homosexuality Revisited," and the teshuvah by Rabbis Dorff, Nevins, and Reisner, entitled, "Homosexuality, Human Dignity, and Halakah," both of which were accepted by the Committee on Law and Standards. They have also posted "The Halakhah of Same-Sex Relations in a New Context," by Rabbis Geller, Fine and Fine, which was ruled a takkanah and thus needed more votes to pass. It was not accepted by the Law Committee. They have also posed "A Concurring Opinion to Levy," by Rabbi Weiss, but have not posted Rabbi Leonard Levy's responsum itself as yet.

The responsa are currently on the home page of the Rabbinical Assembly under "Hot Topics," but I imagine they will eventually migrate to the Teshuvot page, which includes many other responsa on various topics, including the responsa that were written in 1992 on the subject of homosexuality. (They are under the category of הלכות אישות, interpersonal relations).

The website also includes responsa on a number of interesting contemporary issues, such as "Tatooing and Body Piercing" (a responsum by Rabbi Alan Lucas under the halakhic heading of "Idolatry and Sorcery"), which rules that Jews who have been tatooed or who have piercings are permitted to receive synagogue honors or to be buried in a Jewish cemetery. Tatooing is an explicit prohibition from the Torah, but there is no Torah prohibition on piercing.

The issue of whether a minyan can be constituted via the internet is also considered, in a responsum by Rabbi Avram Reisner entitled "Wired to the Kadosh Barukh Hu: Minyan via Internet." (This is in the category of Blessings).

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