Monday, January 26, 2009

Regarding "coming out"

A bit of a rough draft (I am not on my computer, so forgive errors etc.) of my answer to Hesh's post about his friend's coming out of closet (which, apparently, may not be a PC term).

A few points from me, to begin with:

1. Obviously, one cannot and should not judge someone before being in his shoes. This is a general address of the issue.

1.5 I am not subscribing to the general conservative (right-wing) homophobia. It's wrong and bad because Torah forbids it. Just like breaking Shabbos. If it wasn't for Torah, I'd have no problem with it (of course, there is a question of what's wrong with anything if it's not for Torah -- I am not getting into that, though).

2. Judaism does not prohibit having forbidden desires. Judaism forbids continuing to fantasize and, especially, G-d forbid, act on these desires -- whatever they are, from homosexuality, to adultery, to eating cholov stam. But obviously, Judaism recognizes that we have tendencies and forbidden desires, while we are reshoim and beinoinim. Judaism does not forbid poking one's eye out with a pencil (specifically), because for the most part there is no such tendency.

3. I don't understand the reason behind coming out. He felt like he was lying when his buddies were making comments about passing girls and he had to make those comments too? This is a frum Jew?.. Maybe this is Hashem telling him to stop hanging out with this crowd.

(Also, what frum Jew wears a wife-beater in a way that others see it? OK, as I said, non-judgmental. :)

4. I don't understand the general idea of coming out (unless it's necessary for therapeutic purposes). Imagine yourself coming to shull and saying: "Hey, I am a pedophile!" Or: "Hey, I break Shabbos secretly." Or: "Hey, I cannot control myself and have desires about eating pork -- and from time to time, I eat it."

If you have them, you have them. You deal with them, you struggle with them -- whatever. You talk about them to your mashpia, your friends or relatives, or your rabbi or shrink. But the idea of coming out -- does this mean this person doesn't consider his desires or (G-d forbid) actions (which, I know, have not happened yet) no longer wrong? I will certainly never come out about my sins, such as my secret infatuation with Andrszei Sapkowski's books. (Oops...)

5. Finally, Chabad Chassidus offers the general approach of how to deal with sadness and depression from what one knows to be wrong desires. Obviously, just learning this bit of Chassidus (Ch. 27 of Tanya) isn't going to help and solve all the problems -- one needs general immersion into the ideology and "air" of Chassidus. But the following may help.

Some clips may be not in order and need to be reposted or not accessible now (the first three clips are addressing the actual issue — although you may want to skip ahead a bit in the first one; the rest you can watch for the your general benefit).

Anyway, I am from Russia and not used to technology, so don't judge me.

Seriously speaking, if this helps somebody, at least to some degree, I think it will be a good thing. I am not posting this, because I think it's a cool video, or because I want to have an additional chance to spread Chabad Chassidus propaganda (well, not only because of that), but because I genuinely think this may help somewhat.

From Tanya class on Ch. 27 with Rabbi Shmuel Posner (Chabad of Boston):

Watch live video from chabadboston's channel on

Watch live video from chabadboston's channel on

Watch live video from chabadboston's channel on

Watch live video from chabadboston's channel on

Watch live video from chabadboston's channel on


Heshy said...

I was wondering why didn't make any comments on the post- you should definitely make a comment and leave your link in the comment- I will moderate it so it wont go to spam

Child Ish Behavior said...

With #4 you definitely make an excellent point. I think it is people's way of entrenching themselves in their own personality. If you tell the world your faults, they become less like faults and more who you are. The same rational would be for anyone that publicizes something that they actually do wrong. It's called morah heter, I suppose.

LE7 said...

Thank G-d I don't have to battle with that beast.

Crawling Axe said...

As I said, we all have shiksa girlfriends.

LE7 said...

Or sheigetz boyfriends it seems in this case.