After homophobic comments made by Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, head of the pre-army preparatory yeshiva Bnei David in Eli, raised a flurry of criticism that forced him to write a letter of non-apology, another rabbi from the same yeshiva has come under fire for making similar comments.
In a lesson to his students, Rabbi Yosef Kelner referred to gay men as "miserable people, who are the way they are from birth or due to their life's circumstances." He added that "gay intercourse is an abomination, or in more modern terms, disgusting."
Yet despite calling them "sick and perverted," Kelner said that he had nothing against them, explaining, "A person born this way isn't evil, he just can't feel or think any other way."
Kelner explained that while actualizing their sexuality is what makes LGBTs "miserable," they could break out of their misery if they avoided acting upon their desires.
"You are only an abomination if you are sexually active in line with your perverted sexuality," he told his students. "However, someone who stops himself from doing so is considered a highly righteous person."
Kamoha, the Orthodox organization for gay men, responded to Kelner's remarks by saying, "Beyond the fact that nowhere in the Bible are homosexuals called sick or perverted, it appears that some of us have forgotten that gay people have feelings, too. It would behoove everyone to carefully weigh our words, so as not to commit the transgression of humiliating another."