After a new recording of Yigal Levinstein, who functions as a rabbi to the Bnei David pre-military modern Orthodox academy in Eli, surfaced on Thursday, listeners could hear him conducting yet another conversation filled with homophobic and misogynistic remarks, ridiculing the mother of a gay man and comparing same-sex relationships to incestuous relationships. The recording's release came seven months after his last firestorm surrounding similar statements of his denigrating women and calling gays "perverts". Now, 26-year-old Yuval Avrami has called out Levinstein, after recognizing himself to be the gay man Levinstein was referring to in his latest recording.
In a conversation with Ynet, Avrami said that his father had served with Levinstein in the IDF, and that the two had maintained a friendly relationship over the years despite their distinct ideologies. "My family knows him well. They've always managed to bridge the gaps and respect one another despite their differences," said Avrami.
Following Levinstein's "perverts" speech from several months prior, Avrami's parents decided to try and communicate with him, and so they sat down for a meeting.
"My mother told me about that conversation, and it was my understanding that good things came of it, as well," recounted Avrami. "That's why the things he then told the students were so surprising and insulting. Suddenly, we realized he took it differently.
"When I heard the things he said at the yeshiva I immediately realized he was talking about me. They were the same quotes I had heard from my mother, and I assume he doesn't have many personal conversations with the parents of gay men," continued Avrami. Feeling betrayed and offended, he decided to channel his emotions into a post on Facebook, where he would detail his grievance with Levinstein's repeatedly recorded homophobia.
"Hi Yigal, this is Yuval. Gideon and Shirley's son. Gideon, who served and commanded with you, and Shirely, who you called 'a miserable woman,' publicly and behind her back. I'm the person you called a pervert in that same conversation."
"I'm writing to tell you and anyone exposed to your shocking comments (about me and in general) that I am a real person, not a pervert and not someone with converse tendencies, and that you will not speak about me or my family in this manner. You were recently a guest at our house. You were a guest at my circumcision and my Bar Mitzvah. You were a friend to our family for 30 years. But none of that stopped you from mocking my mother. Or hinting to your students that you think it would be better if I were dead.
"The problem here is that you've taken up everything that is bad or hateful, slanderous or disrespectful to others. The ideas you spread judge people to a life of suffering and self harm, as you already know too well. It would benefit any person who believes things can one day be good here, who believes in a future of respect and understanding and unity in this place, to distance themselves from you.