Chabad Rabbi Urges Us To Accept Others Unconditionally?

Would he apply this to murderers, child abusers, pornographers, drug dealers, who exactly is deserving of this unconditional love?

From “I’m here to stand with the community, [in] solidarity,” said Rabbi Gedalia Potash of Chabad of Noe Valley. “We have to learn to accept each other unconditionally — it’s much more than embracing diversity. Only then have we learned what it means to be a Jew, the true message of Judaism. Any violence smacks in the face of the fundamentals of Judaism.”

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Most striking of all, among those participating were representatives from the Orthodox community.

On Aug. 3, a vigil took place in San Francisco, co-organized by Congregation Sha’ar Zahav’s largely LGBT membership. Among those attending were Rabbi Yosef Langer of Chabad of S.F. and Rabbi Gedalia Potash of Chabad of Noe Valley, who said, “We have to learn to accept each other unconditionally.”

In a Washington, D.C., vigil, one Orthodox rabbi said, “It’s time to do some internal accounting,” referring to the role homophobia within the Orthodox community may have played in fomenting anti-gay violence.

It’s good to see Orthodox Jews expressing outrage over this sickening deed. However, it is possible that a few years ago we would not have seen them speaking at memorials for slain gays and lesbians.

Not that they would condone murder. But in the past it might have been an affront to their religious sensibilities to stand shoulder to shoulder with a community they cannot wholeheartedly endorse.

That no longer seems to matter as much in the wake of the Aug. 1 rampage.

As Israel’s minister of welfare and social services, Isaac Herzog, said, “Saturday night’s shooting of gay teenagers was an attack on our entire society and it demands that we immediately find a way to provide treatment to the entire community.”

He was right. No matter one’s feeling about homosexuality, or how one interprets Torah, no one in good conscience can even remotely condone the savagery committed in Tel Aviv. No Jew can stand idly by while innocent Jews are gunned down in cold blood.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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