Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Fifth Son -- Muqata's View of the Gay Parade

With the entire parade's existence in question due to the over 80 active terror warnings (that's equivalent to INFRARED on the USA's Homefront Security Warning scale) resulting from yesterday's IDF artillery shelling of terror positions in Beit Hanoun -- I decided to be the absolute LAST blogger to discuss the issue.

Everyone's given their 2 cents, from Treppenwitz, Orthomom, Akiva, DovBear, JoeSettler, The Purple Parrot, Robby, Israel-Rules, and many I can now write mine (having the benefit of reading theirs as well)

Listening to IDF army radio this morning on my way to work, a Chareidi columnist was interviewed and he admitted that perhaps...maybe...the entire Chareidi threat of "defending the honor of Jerusalem" from the Gay Parade, was wrong (tactically, not strategically).

He commented that the Gerer Rebbe said NOTHING about the entire episode and that many rabbanim remained quiet. Not because they agree with it, but by escalating the issue to mammoth proportions including violence and destruction, they inadvertently gave so much publicity to the parade, that EVERYONE knows about it now.

From a small parade that would have ended with little publicity, the parade has become a symbol of fighting the religious establishment -- instead of just a pro-rights parade. From a parade which would probably have had little davka to it, it has become a cause to rally around for many people who ordinarily wouldn't have cared.

Unfortunately, my kids now know all about gays, lesbians and the parade, since the Chareidim have made this a huge issue, and now I have to discuss these issues with them at a far younger age than I would have preferred.
Commerical Break: A Muqata Dinner Story from Tuesday evening.

My 8 year old son brought to the dinner table, a rainbow kite he had made, to show off his kite-building talent.

My 13 year old son takes one look at it, and says, "I didn't know you were going to the P A R A D E this Friday...."

Not surprisingly, my 3 oldest knew exactly what he meant.
The radio interviewer said that the Fifth son at the seder who doesn't show up, is the gay one. Or maybe he does show up, but the Hagadda doesn't specifically label him. There's no reason to, as it will just attract more attention than it's worth.

Perhaps if the Chareidim would have let the parade happen without all the violence and hoopla surrounding it, there would be so little attention, that it would have just passed...and we could get back to dealing with other issues.

Let me say this clearly; the Torah clearly prohibits certain acts and calls them an abomination. Yet I also have enough serious things to do with my limited time, and I'm not sure the most important thing religious Jews should be doing now, is trying to shut down a parade...which will just attract even more attention to a lifestyle we disagree with.

And to tell you the truth, I'm surprised the Chareidim are even reacting like this in the first place. The usual Chareidi hashkafic answer to everything is to sit, learn, daven and say tehillim.

Which makes me surer that politics are involved here, and not purely the wish to "keep Jerusalem holy."

Wishing everyone a quiet, safe and peaceful shabbat (with lots of rain).


PS: Due to the security situation, I doubt I will be awake enough tomorrow morning to make waffles. We'll see. Updates on Sunday :-)

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Annie said...

Jameel- I think that instead of "strategically" you meant "ideologically", as strategy and tactics are pretty close to synonyms.

Also, I disagree with the interviewer's idea that the "fifth son" is gay. The sons are supposed to be representative of different approaches to Judaism. Homosexuality is not an approach to Judaism. By literally trying to create a fifth column the interviewer is excluding gays from Judaism even more so than they may already be.

yitz said...

Last report [a few minutes ago, Kol Yisrael] was that the gays have cancelled the parade. Now they're talking about a "demonstration" in Givat Ram stadium. We'll see.
AS TO YOUR POINT, I understand, BUT...there are just some things that you cannot ignore. When someone comes into your street and acts obnoxious -- let's say they're just blasting very LOUDLY, obnoxious music that you don't want to hear -- do you just IGNORE IT, and it'll go away? I think not...

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hi Annie -

Hmm - you may be right (idealogicaly vs. strategically). Would you like to proof-read my posts for me? :-)

I think the interviewer wasn't trying to exclude the person, rather exclude his lifestyle. In any event - thanks for your thoughts.

Yitz: Actually, sometimes, it's just best to ignore it and it DOES go away, rather quickly. As you are aware of the expression, אל תהיה צודק, תהיה חכם
(Be Smart, not just Correct).

Actually; ignoring this would be the EASIEST way for it to disappear. Think about this; did last year's violence prevent the parade from coming back this year? All it did was reinforce their resolve. And the Chareidi who stabbed 3 people? His life is ruined...and I wonder if his family feels proud of their son's actions.

Cosmic X said...

This is similar to what I wrote last year:"My advice to all Jerusalemites is to stay away from the gay parade. There is no reason to go there and protest against the deviants. That is exactly what the organizers of the provocation desire. Instead, stay at home or go to the synagogue and do what we do best: pray"

I have since changed my mind.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

CosmicX: Why did you change your mind?

If we ignored it last year (with no violence either) then it would have been quiet this year. I can promise you that next years will be even bigger...because of all the violence so far.

Anonymous said...

would you feel the same way if there was a procession to sacrifice a pig to Zeus on Har HaBayis? We should just ignore it? Homosexuality and Avodah Zara are in the same category Averos you must die rather then perform. Try to keep that in mind when you say we shoul djust ignore such a sick abomination

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Mr. Loyalist: No one is asking you to perform arayot. There is ALSO avoda zara going on, IN JERUSALEM. How come there's no riots against...Satan worship?

We do not have the authority to kill people for their aveirot, yet there are many who feel that anti-parade violence is a kiddush Hashem...even if people are killed.

Is that what you are encouraging?

tafka PP said...

Good post, Jameel. Shame that some seem intent on misunderstanding you.

yitz said...

Jameel - From Arutz 7's report:
While the Supreme Court prepares to hand down its response to four petitioners who demand that the parade be legally stopped, the organizers have essentially thrown in the towel on their own. Fearful that the police would cancel the parade because of both increasing terror warnings and unyielding religious-community threats to actively protest it, the Jerusalem Open House - organizer of the parade - pre-emptively canceled it on its own. Instead, it will hold a closed event in the stadium of the Givat Ram campus of Hebrew University, not far from the government complex.
Seems to me that something was indeed accomplished. And let's remember to, that the hypocrisy of the "powers that be" has now been fully exposed: Mazuz's rationale for allowing the show to go on is now going to be applied to other things, like going up to the permitted parts of the Temple Mount.
And let's remember too, that it's not only chareidim who were involved in the protests. Again from A-7: The organizers of other protests were also convening this afternoon to decide how to respond to the victory. Yaakov Shternberg of Jerusalem, one of the organizers of the religious-Zionist protests, told Arutz-7, "Basically, we have already won. But we may still hold a dignified mass protest in Kiryat Moshe [a Jerusalem neighborhood just west of Givat Ram] in any event."
Afterwards, at approximately 4 PM, it was learned that the leaders of the largest groups of protestors - hareidi-religious sage Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Eida Hareidit head Rabbi Yitzchak Tuvia Weiss - had agreed not to protest against the planned stadium rally tomorrow. However, their conditions include: the release of all the hareidi protestors arrested this week, no parade next year, and no signs of the rally outside the stadium.
Finally, I'm curious to know, what's your take on Nadia Matar's reaction?

Jack Steiner said...

Well said Jameel. I hear echoes of Cain and Abel in the comments.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

TAFKAPP: Thanks.

Jack: And thanks to you as well.

Yitz: YNET reports that the demand is for no parade THIS year. Not that I trust them anymore than other news agencies. We'll soon see this evening.

And I will read Nadia's take on this later...

Lab Rab said...


I disagree. You are blaming the Haredim for responding to a situation where they had no other choice. The true blame lies on the organizers of the parade and on the government that allowed them to set it up. [I posted further on this as well; you're welcome to take a look.]

And if there is discussion among your kids about gays - it did have to happen sometime, and you have an opportunity to educate them about the right and wrong approaches to handling cultural differences.

Anonymous said...

If not for attorney -general Mazuz
the whole thing would have gone away.

Robbie said...

Jameel - I agree with you - if the parade just happened without much fanfare, everyone would have been happier - everyone.

The gay community would feel the acceptance they're craving, the charedi community could still call it everything they want, but we wouldn't need to get to violence.

And what's more of a shame, I think, is not that your sons knew about the parade and who it involved, but that it was used as an insult - agree or disagree, it's real people we're talking about.

And I have to disagree with Labrab - the fault lies in those who couldn't control themselves to act appropriately in disagreement.

Anonymous said...

I was also thinking that maybe people shouldn't say anything and just let it happen. But then I was thinking that if nobody did anything to try to stop the difilement or Jerusalem, the opponents would be guilty too for Not doing something when they could have tried.

Anonymous said...

I was also thinking that maybe people shouldn't say anything and just let it happen. But then I was thinking that if nobody did anything to try to stop the difilement or Jerusalem, the opponents would be guilty too for Not doing something when they could have tried.

The back of the hill said...

Seeing as I live in a town well-known for gays and a gay parade, you will of course understand that I'm less concerned about that issue than many who are geographically or ideologically closer to Jerusalem.

I am more interested in the waffle experiment (about which I will want to see a report, please).

Also, I am more concerned about what happened in Beit Hanoun - specifically the after effects.

Dutch internet forums I visit have overwhelmingly slammed the Jews (eh, what else is new?), and supported the Hamas threat to take revenge on Jews and Americans where-ever possible. Other European reactions I've seen are largely similar.

It is disturbing that so many in "pacifistic" Europe are so out of touch with reality that they have become so much more moral-supportive of terrorism than they were even only a few months ago.

This is not easy to deal with. I have not yet managed to achieve a new balance and perspective that will calm me down.

Sarah Likes Green said...

well said.

"many rabbanim remained quiet" --> because they realise that any publicity, even negative, is 'good' publicity. as you said, it probably would have stayed small and not a big deal without the dramatic protests.

Sara with NO H said...

I don't know how quiet this ever could've stayed. I think no matter what the protests were inevitable. All I can say is duck and cover. I'm not going to post my stand on the issue as I have on so many other blogs, but I'll only say to you, be safe and try to avoid the madness as much as one can.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree as well.

My impression, from half a world away (correct me if I am wrong), is that this year's parade was seen as a much higher stakes gathering than in years past because it was seen as the make-up for the "World Pride Fest" which was canceled during the Lebanon war. The WPF group clearly went out of their way to antagonize the religious - why else choose Jerusalem for the international gathering? In fact, their previous WPF event was in Rome (first tick off the Catholics, then the Jews, next...?). Their inauspicious choice of venue had been widely reported in the press for a couple of years. It wasn't a secret, and it was hard to ignore. The Chareidim, therefore, were already itching for a fight. Whether, in the absence of protests, tomorrow's event would have been calm and fully dressed, we cannot know. But it's fair to guess that the opposite would have been true, and it would have been impossible to ignore.

And I think the Chareidim have matured past "The usual Chareidi hashkafic answer to everything is to sit, learn, daven and say tehillim." Now they are happy to flex their muscles - for their own protests on their own terms. Unfortunately Gush Katif wasn't their issue, but you can bet the government will never dream of destroying Beitar or Kiryat Sefer.

JoeSettler said...

Gee, that was pareve.

Ha'aretz also discusses the fifth son.

Michael said...

I've haven't blogged about this, because I don't know enough about Haredi or gay societies in Israel, but I will comment...

I don't think that what two people do, in private, affects anyone else. If it runs counter to Torah, then it's between those two people and God. Let them sort it out.

I have always beleived that Judaism does not reject the sinner; that we always want to them to repent and return. So why shove away gay Jews? Seems to me that "don't ask, don't tell" would be the way to go.

bec said...


"I don't think that what two people do, in private, affects anyone else. If it runs counter to Torah, then it's between those two people and God. Let them sort it out." --michael

exactly, so then, why the need for a parade at all? and isn't it inappropriate to hold a parade honoring one's sexual preferences anyway? i mean, do what you want in the bedroom but leave me out of it and please, don't shove it in my face. it's just a sign of immaturity.

YMedad said...

My comments:

Go Wood said...

All make good points. That is the paradox of this issue that is so frustrating. If you try to prevent displays of "gay pride" (I'll pass on the biblical irony) then publicity is generated, and the gay agenda is moved forward by active compromise. And if you ignore them, the gay agenda is moved forward by passive compromise. Either way, sin and degeneration advance in society.

Jameel, that our children know more about this than we did, what can we do? The friend of one of my sons has two moms. If I forbid him to play with the boy, my son will probably subconsciously resent and sympathize with their cultural lifestyle choice, because they are, after all, nice people, and not what an immature pre-teen can distinguish as living a degenerate lifestyle. I let it go, and pray that our home lifestyle and faith is more influential. A friend of mine saved for three years to take a dream family vacation to Disneyworld. The day they show up - Gay Pride Day! 20,000 gays at the park (the paper said) many in their most vulgar display of "pride". Sounds like a bad dream, right? No, just another day living in Babylon the Great.

Michael, believe me, they don't intend to stay in the privacy of their bedroom. Bec, it is their full intent to shove it in your face, so you are forced to "accept" them. Sin craves more than anything else, acceptance and company.

So struggle against it, even pass laws against it, and inspire even more anti-Semitism in the rest of the world (like you need it). Or accept it, and slowly but surely lose the soul of your country.

Seems to me this is a very big issue for Israel.

kasamba said...

Love gays, just not in Yerushalyim and I don't want details about what they DO.

Anonymous said...

Hardly at all!! Its the silence on your part that is the sin as well.

This (as with the girush) has focused on the wrong aspects. It has nothing to do with the charedim geting offended thats just another thing being thrust out.

It has everything and completely do to with the kedusha of yerushalayim and eretz yisrael as a whole.. and thats all!

I'm sure there are satanic worshipers and j4j and plenty of missionaries in eretz yisrael..

But this is a parade which was originaly going to have tens of thousands and a serious toeva equaling sedom and amorah of which we just read about in the torah..

Anonymous said...

Isnt a city punished for the sins of those in their midst if they dont root them out ?

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