File photo. Rabbi Yigal Levinstein

Eli rabbi: homosexuality a 'problem to be exterminated'

Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, deputy head of the Bnei David pre-army preparatory yeshiva in Eli who has gotten into hot water in the past over statements against LGBT persons, women in the army, once again attacks homosexuality, says it is a 'problem to be exterminated like AIDS'; 'They have taken men and women's tragedy and turned it into an ideology,' he adds.

Rabbi Yigal Levinstein of the Bnei David pre-army preparatory yeshiva in Eli once again made remarks against the LGBT community, this time calling to "exterminate" homosexual tendencies.



"I'm convinced that on the day there will no longer be agreement that this is normal, physiological and psychological science will have no issue dealing with this problem, which only needs to be deemed a problem," Levinstein said.


"You remember there once was a thing called AIDS, right?" he asked assembled yeshiva students. "The entire medical community attacked it and was able to exterminate it. Problems are to be exterminated."


Rabbi Levinstein said homosexuality was a 'problem to be exterminated'
Rabbi Levinstein said homosexuality was a 'problem to be exterminated'

Previously, Rabbi Levinstein engendered controversy by referring to gays and lesbians as perverts and comparing them to an incestuous relationship, and by disparaging women serving in the IDF.


"There is no relation between this sexual distortion or defect or tragedy and the rest of (a person's) personality," he opined in a recording broadcast on Channel 10. In a series of lessons he gave students over the past month in religious-Zionism's most important pre-army preparatory yeshiva, Rabbi Levinstein again and again dealt with same-sex sexual orientation.


The rabbi—many of whose students went on to form religious-Zionism's military elite—created a stir 18 months ago when he called LGBT people "perverts," and again a year ago when he degradingly spoke about women in the army in a speech to graduates of preparatory yeshivas before their recruitment.


Following his remarks, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman urged him to resign and threatened to slash the Bnei David yeshiva's budgets. The head of the institution, Rabbi Eli Sadan, wished to calm spirits and Rabbi Levinstein took a leave of absence. He has resumed his duties recently, however, and continued espousing his views.


Defense Minister Lieberman previously called for Levinstein's dismissal (Photo: Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Lieberman previously called for Levinstein's dismissal (Photo: Defense Ministry)


"These guys with the opposite tendencies come into schools and offer young people a taste, a taste of forbidden things," the rabbi said. "If everything is permitted and it's all just a basket of stimuli, why not this one? Try it. Now, people without limitations who only care for extreme excitement and experiences will do just that."


Rabbi Levinstein also explained why he found it difficult—in this current liberal age—to send students to conversion therapy. "Everyone have dealt with the question of how you can help a child living with his situation rather than thinking about how he can be helped to escape it and live a normal life," he said.


"How can I tell him it isn't good and that he should see a doctor that will help him live a normal life? Psychologists in the United States were sued for making such offers," Levinstein complained.


The heads of Rabbi Levinstein's yeshiva published a public statement Thursday morning attacking media reports on his speeches. "To our great dismay," it said, "a new practice has developed of manipulatively ripping sentences out of lessons given in the yeshiva and turning them into news items, devoid of the proper context and background."


"This is tantamount to shaming us and distorting our image," the rabbis said.


Rabbi Levinstein's most recent lessons dealt almost exclusively with the tensions inherent between religious-Zionism and feminism, certain liberal values and sexual identity.


The yeshiva's comment on the aforementioned remarks refrained from offering an apology. "The lesson in question was respectful and inoffensive, and stemmed from knowing facts and attempting to help students," the message said.


"The quotes express a valid opinion that is attempting to echo humanity's obligation. Experience has proven that people with opposite tendencies may in many cases be helped to resume normalcy," the yeshiva's comment concluded.


פרסום ראשון: 02.15.18, 23:46
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