October 10, 2016 at 5:11 PM
Devorah asked 3 years ago

What does the Torah, sages, etc say about homosexual, lesbians in the synagogue, even going up to the binah. Is it ok for women to go to the binah for Torah reading, if not, why not and where is it found in the Torah. On the first question, depend on your answer; should I then find another synagogue?
Thanks for taking time to read them and hopefully answering them. 
If public has to read it, please no name nor email. otherwise give answer to me along. Thanks again and much  blessings.
By the way, I truly like your teaching, you are very humble and your teaching comes from your heart. Baruh HaShem

1 Answers
Rabbi Alon Anava answered 3 years ago


Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate it.

The Torah is very clear that homosexuality is completely forbidden! you can find the source for it the the book of Vayikra (Leviticus) Parashat Kedoshim Chapter 18 verse 22. You can also find a source of the prohibition in the Talmud (Gemara) tractate Suka page 29a. Of course there are many more other sources and place you can find this prohibition.

Since it is totally prohibited, therefore should NOT be accepted in the synagogue at all. And that of course is when it is presents in an obvious way in the synagogue (such as two men holding hands, kissing etc.) which that causes shame and disgrace to the Torah.

BUT, if an individual (man or women) that has homosexual tendencies, understands it is prohibited, and that person wants to repent and stop sining, there is no prohibition in having this person in the synagogue and this person should be accepted and welcomed (As long as he/she is not living their life as a homosexual). Needless to say a couple can NOT behave in an inappropriate way in the synagogue at all and needless to say go on the Bimah etc.

No, women are not allowed to go up to the Bimah for Torah reading and you can find the sources for that in the:

-Talmud, Tractate Megila page 23a
-Rambam (Maimonides) Laws of prayers 12/17
-Shulchan Aruch – Orach Chaim 689
-Shulchan Aruch – Orach Chaim 119

(Shulchan Aruch שֻׁלְחָן עָרוּך is the Code of Jewish Law)

And yes, find a different synagogue where the Torah is respected exactly how the Torah tells us to live and not how humans find it comfortable and convenient to live

Wishing you great success
Rabbi Alon Anava