JTA becomes the first to identify the Orthodox rabbi who met with staff at the Jewish Standard to discuss the now famous same-sex wedding announcement:
“Sometimes people feel that they have the right to make their choices and then to obligate others to celebrate their choices,” said Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, a past president of the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County in northern New Jersey. “We believe that we cannot celebrate these choices.”
Goldin was the rabbi who in a meeting with The Jewish Standard warned the paper that its same-sex wedding announcement might alienate Orthodox readers.
Goldin, the spiritual leader of Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood, N.J., said he has spoken from the pulpit against anti-gay discrimination and encourages others to do so. Goldin also is the vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America, the main modern Orthodox rabbinic organization.
“The Orthodox approach to gays in our community is guided by two principles that are somewhat conflicting,” Goldin said. “We believe in respect for all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation and stand adamantly against any physical, mental or social violence committed against them. At the same time we have a deep commitment to the integrity of Torah law, which clearly proscribes same-sex relationships.”