18 May 2012
The Australian Jewish News Melbourne edition
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Wild thing made my heart sing
THE death of Maurice Sendak takes me back to my childhood, on a journey that many of us could share similarly. I recall turning the pages of his Wild Things book with wonderment and enjoying the scariness of the story and illustrations.
Not knowing until today that Sendak was of Jewish heritage, it is but one of the many things about him of which I was previously unaware. Another is that he had a male partner of 50 years, Eugene Glynn, who pre-deceased him in 2007.
I’m confident that Sendak’s diverse legacy will live on and enrich the lives of future generations, as it did mine.
Rabbis opposition to same sex marriages
DIKLA Blum (AJN 11/04) need be neither surprised nor baffled by the Rabbinical Council of NSW submissions (in consort with those of the Organisation of Rabbis in Australasia and the Rabbinical Council of Victoria) to the Senate and the House of Representatives opposing a change in the law that would recognise samesex marriage.
As a self-describing “mainstream” Orthodox Jew, Ms. Blum ought to be aware that the concept of homosexual marriage – and indeed homosexual relations – is incompatible with Orthodox, i.e. halachic Judaism.
Moreover since homosexuality is outlawed in the Noachide Code which is the basis of the JudaeoChristian ethic that has governed modern Australia since its inception, rabbinical organisations as guardians of that ethic have seen fit to fight to guard and protect that ethic.
Regarding the RCNSW’S use of the word “mainstream”, our president Rabbi Ulman has already clarified (AJN 27/04) that “by its very definition Reform/progressive theology deviates from the mainstream” and therefore it is an adjective we are fully entitled to use.
As for the representation issue: the rabbinic bodies in Australia purport to represent Torah and Torah values as is our mandate.
If this happens to conflict with the dogmas and mantras of the modern age which have turned some heads 180 degrees on this particular issue within a single generation, we the teachers of Judaism cannot be held to blame.
As it happens, I believe that were a survey of the opinions of the Orthodox community, and for that matter the wider Jewish community, to be conducted anonymously Ms Blum would again be surprised.
RABBI CHAIM INGRAM
Bondi Junction, NSW