Rabbis: Jewish law does not recognize artificial gender changes - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Rabbis: Jewish law does not recognize artificial gender changes

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(A7) A number of leading Religious-Zionist rabbis have sent a letter to the leaders of the religious public school system regarding the case of a girl in third grade who has been passing herself off as a boy for over two years at a religious school in Givat Shmuel.

The rabbis state in their letter: “The girl must be placed in a girls’ class. We must be careful not to hurt her feelings and to be patient with her.”

Halachah [Jewish law] does not recognize artificial changes and forbids such behavior. Boys may not dress as girls, and girls may not dress as boys,” the rabbis stress. “Therefore, this girl must join a girls’ class. The role of a religious school is to teach the halachah and ensure that students act in accordance.”

It is appropriate, the rabbis write, “to be careful not to wound this girl. One must help her with patience, to recognize the identity in which she was created. Imagination does not change reality and she should be helped to accept the wonders of Creation and the fact that G-d created her as a girl and with the privilege of growing up to be a woman and a mother.

“In the public atmosphere in which we find ourselves, it is necessary to emphasize the blessings we have: Fortunate are we, and how good it is that we follow the path of the Torah, which protects us from erroneous ideas and enlightens our eyes to recognize the straight path.”

At the end of their letter, the rabbis state that ideally it would have been appropriate to handle this matter in private and in a personal conversation with the girl’s family, “but since the problem is now in the public domain there is no way to avoid addressing it in an authorized public way.”

The letter is signed by Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi Chaim Steiner, Rabbi Eitan Eisman, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Rabbi David Chai HaCohen, Rabbi Uri Cohen, Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Rabbi Zalman Melamed, Rabbi Ya’akov Filber, Rabbi Isser Klonsky, Rabbi Aryeh Stern, Rabbi Mordechai Sternberg, Rabbi Yaakov Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Artziel.

A previous report on Channel 12 News had alleged that the decision made by the local inspector of state-religious schools, to allow the girl to pass herself off as a boy in class, was taken following a consultation with Rabbi Ariel, who is considered one of the foremost poskim (decisors of Jewish law) in the Religious-Zionist community. The girl is apparently undergoing what is sometimes referred to as a “gender reassignment process.”

The Education Ministry itself claimed that, “The policies and decisions on this issue were made by the state-religious system together with professionals along with central figures in Religious Zionism, including Rabbi Yaakov Ariel.”

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