Photo: Amit Lev
Pride flag in Jerusalem
Photo: Amit Lev

Don’t march in Jerusalem

Rabbi Chaim Shein explains why gay Pride Parade should not be held in capital

The right to protest is a basic right in modern democracy. The High Court of Justice ruled in several important cases that the right to protest is derived from freedom of expression – a freedom that democracy cannot exist without. Members of the homo-lesbian community, just like all other citizens, have the right to demonstrate. This right is particularly valid when dealing with a community that seeks recognition and identity; a community that for many years was hidden away.


These days we see the annual ritual where the community seeks to hold a pride parade in Jerusalem. Pride over what? This is unclear. Apparently, in the post-modern world, where sociology of the absurd rules, there is great pride in being an anomaly; the pride of victory over human nature where males and females have been created in order to ensure the continuity and survivability of the human race.


The community’s unequivocal and uncompromising demand to hold the parade in Jerusalem of all places does not stem from the political fact that this is the State of Israel’s capital. Holding the parade in Jerusalem hides a statement that is beyond the deep connection that exists at times between a citizen and his capital.


Jerusalem is the light of the world and the heart, compass, and conscience of the whole Jewish nation; Jews have been dreaming about it and yearning for it for thousands of years. Jerusalem is the symbol of the Jewish people’s eternity; it was the home of the Temple and the Sanhedrin, and symbolizes the fundamental values of the people of Israel – values that ensured its continued existence against all odds.


The community’s insistence on holding the parade in Jerusalem has to do more with a provocation against the spiritual Jerusalem than the corporeal city. It is a provocation against the values of the Jewish family, divine morality, and humanity’s hopes for eternal life – values that were Jerusalem’s banner for generations. This provocation is meant to snuff out Jerusalem’s light.


Holding the pride parade in Jerusalem, a parade that is accompanied by a nadir of vulgarity, debauchery, and lust is an attempt to turn Jerusalem into a port city on the shores of eternity; a port city on all this entails. Safeguarding Jerusalem’s sanctity is not the exclusive mission of the ultra-Orthodox or religious public. It is the duty of every Jew.


Respect faith of others

Special protection is required at this time vis-à-vis the bad winds blowing in current day Israeli society; the winds of a new family where the relationship amongst its members are based on a contract rather than on holiness. Protection is needed in the face of the attempt to show an anomaly as an acceptable norm; protection against foreign culture that seeks to drown Israeli society in a sea of decadence and hedonism.


Israel’s homo-lesbian community is able to live its life in complete freedom. Nobody prevents them from doing so. At the same time, in the name of democracy and for the sake of the past and future of the Jewish nation, please free Jerusalem, which is holy to all religions, from the shackles you seek to place upon it. You would be able to take pride in doing so, and for that there is no need for a parade.


Those who demand that their lifestyle be respected should respect the faith of others. If the community’s independence day parade is so important, perhaps you should consider holding it somewhere else, at a location where most community members reside.


Rabbi Dr. Chaim Shein is a senior philosophy lecturer at the Shaarei Mishpat College


פרסום ראשון: 06.23.08, 15:30
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