The Passover Haggadah provides an interesting context for the comments of Phillip N. Jacobs ’79 on gay synagogues and gay people (Mailroom, March/April).  He writes: “[H]omosexuals, like all people, are G-d’s creations, and as such we must treat them with kindness.  However ... it must be clear that their behavior is ... not to be condoned.”  In this, he shows himself to be equivalent to the wicked son of the Haggadah, the one who asks, in the words of the Haggadah, “‘What mean you by this service?’ By the word ‘you,’ it is clear he doth not include himself, and thus hath withdrawn himself from the community.” By seeing himself as part of a “we” who feels entitled to treat “them” in a certain way and judge “their” behavior, Jacobs betrays the exclusionary attitude of the wicked son. The wise son of the Haggadah story would probably ask, “How shall we understand those of us who are homosexual?” thus including all in the bosom of the Jewish community. That is the true spirit of Judaism. By the way, even the Haggadah can’t contextualize the ignorance of one of Jacobs’s other points. Very few Jewish scholars, now or in the past, have interpreted the sin of S’dom as primarily one of homosexual behavior.  That is a later Christian interpretation.

Lawrence Jurrist ’70

Hollywood, Fla

Comments (1)
The Passover is not about sexual orientation. It should not be used by any group to force their agenda via the seder. Gays were excluded from the Exodus because there were none who came out of Egypt (Dayeinu).None of the important partiarchs or matriarchs were gay. Elijah and Miriam certainly were not (Dayeinu). And it is they who it is said will usher in the Messianic age. Anyone who forces into the Haggadah the gay lifestyle has gone away from the Passover purpose. Why pervert such a simple evening of faith? Is there anything sacred to Jews they will not pervert or allow to be changed? Why not be content Jewish ancestors stood at Horeb as proof of the fourth cup (Dayeinu)? 
If these perversions continue as have come forth in the past 30 years, the time may come when Passover will be nothing but a dinner where pork replaces the lamb. I think for many the unclean is already the seder focus.
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