Caulfield Chabad Lamplighter editor Mendy Rimler recycles homophobic drivel in time for Yom Kippur

Lamplighter masthead

Disappointingly, the editor of Melbourne’s Caulfield Chabad “Lamplighter” Mendy Rimler has chosen to plaster the cover of his September 30 2022 Yom Kippur edition with a 15-year-old piece of homophobic claptrap by Rabbi Yossy Goldman.

The most challenging arena of human conduct, the one that really tests the mettle of our morality, is not how we behave in the synagogue but how we behave in our bedrooms. […] In a world of ever-changing, relative morality where gay marriages and Euthanasia have become acceptable, the Torah does indeed seem rather antiquated. […] So we read that adultery was forbidden in Moses’ day and it still is in ours. So is incest. But it wouldn’t shock me at all if the same forces motivating for new sexual freedoms soon began campaigning for incestuous relationships to become legal. And why not? If it’s all about consenting adults, why deny siblings? Given the slippery slope of our moral mountains, nothing is unthinkable any more.

Rabbi Yossy Goldman

Hardly fresh “news”, this opinion piece about sexual immorality runs the tired slippery-slope trope of “if gays can get married people will want to marry their siblings next”. This conveniently overlooks the slippery slope starting with heterosexual marriage, not gay marriage. One could easily argue that if heterosexual people want the right to get married, those in other consenting relationships might want the same legal protections as well. As for marrying one’s sibling, perhaps a wild fantasy of Goldman’s, but I don’t see anyone lobbying for such a reform.

Rimler and Caulfield Chabad should take a more responsible approach to the content they run in their Lamplighter and avoid stigmatising vulnerable minorities. Doing so feeds into the alarming rates of self-harm and suicide for people who are forced to hide or feel bad about same-sex attraction.

Unless Rimler and Caulfield Chabad want to publish material shaming the private sex lives of their heterosexual congregants, dwelling on their various peccadillos and fetishes, it would serve them well to stay clear of material that obsesses on the private sex lives of same-sex attracted people.

Gay and bisexual people are easy targets for the likes of Rimler, Goldman and their Chabad masters. My best advice for them, if they can’t find it within themselves to say anything positive about LGBTIQ+ people, is to say nothing at all. We are human, we have feelings, and we hurt when people abuse us.

Rimler, Goldman and Chabad don’t need a lesson on how it feels to be targets of hate. They ought think twice before publishing intolerant content in the name of their religious values.



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