"It is doubtlessly a disease, seeing as anything in nature that deviates from the norm is a disease," wrote Rabbi Ratzon Arussi, referring to homosexual tendencies. He was responding to a letter sent to dozens of rabbis throughout Israel by operators of a website catering to the homosexual community, HOD.
"We must make an effort to act in an intelligent way so that those who have homosexual tendencies are treated and rehabilitated ," the rabbi wrote. He called for all rabbis to assist homosexuals in their communities that "can find no cure."
Arussi also admitted that in many cases Orthodox Jews respond with violence in the face of open displays of homosexuality because they are "shocked, hurt, and offended."
"I have read your letter with much consideration because it is touching and insightful," Arussi wrote in his response to Rabbi R., who wrote the letter on behalf of homosexuals. "The religious community requires the correct tools in order to deal with homosexuality, and especially one exhibited openly."
"Those who can live normally with a female should not develop these unnatural instincts in themselves," he wrote.
'The sin of our time'
Arussi encouraged R. and his friends, and compared them to bastards born as a result of illicit relations, who could never marry according to halacha. "Our holy Torah is a way of life and, in contrast to the Christian faith, does not sentence us to celibacy, but rather, encourages and even commands us to be sexual.
However this is meant to make us holy, to purify our souls before the passionate intoxication of sexual lust, and therefore sexuality has been placed within the context of procreation, which builds the world," he wrote.
In conclusion, the rabbi wrote: "We need to know how to deal with homosexuality, which is the sin of our time, and woe to us for having come to this. We need to know how to deal with those sons of Israel born as homosexuals, in order to ease their pain, and to show them that there are other ways to find true happiness."