General

Sexual identity problem

02.03.16

Question

My 20 year old daughter told me that she had a sexual identity problem and she is attracted to girls and has "friend-spouses.“ Of course I was in total shock, considering she graduated from a religious high school and thinks of herself as a religious girl. I tried to tell her that this is a very serious prohibition, but she claims that the prohibition is only between males and not females. I tried to talk her out of it and she tells me that it is not her choice, that’s just the way she is. What am I to do? I'm at a loss and feel very stressed about it. How can I help her?

Answer

The very tendency in itself can not be defined as improper. It is not unlikely that it may be somewhat innate in her. However, despite having a tendency, it doesn’t justify being with a partner in a prohibited manner. G-d gives strength to every Jew to overcome his temptations and tendencies that go against the Torah, and a person who has a tendency to steal or rape is not exempt from the law on the pretext that he is attracted to this thing.

Maimonides explains that what your daughter is doing is prohibited by the Talmud. He explains in the Laws of Forbidden Sexual Relations in Chapter 21:8:

“Lesbian relations are forbidden. This is ‘the conduct of Egypt’ which we were warned against, as [Leviticus 18:3] states: ‘Do not follow the conduct of Egypt.’ Our Sages said: What would they do? A man would marry a man, a woman would marry a woman, and a woman would marry two men.

“Although this conduct is forbidden, lashes are not given for it, for it is not a specific prohibition and there is no intercourse involved. Therefore such women are not considered prostitutes and are not forbidden to marry into the priesthood, nor does a woman become prohibited to her husband because of this, for this is not considered harlotry. It is, however, appropriate to give them stripes for rebellious conduct because they performed a transgression. A man should take precautions with his wife with regard to this matter and should prevent women who are known to engage in such practices from visiting her and her visiting them.”

The Shulchan Aruch in Even Ezer Chapter 20 (2) also says: “Lesbian women (the term used in Hebrew imply those who play and rub each other) are prohibited since this is “the conduct of the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 18:3) that we were warned against. One who behaves in such a fashion should be lashed lashes of rebellion, since they transgressed a prohibition. A man should be careful with his wife about it, and should prevent her from coming and going with women known for such behavior.”

There are girls who have a tendency only for girls and not for boys, and they can not marry a man without receiving treatment. There are many who are attracted to both girls and boys. They should marry and after their marriage, their tendency for boys will increase and their tendency for girls will weaken.

There is an organization called Eitzat Nefesh that greatly helps boys and girls overcome this tendency.

I also want to caution you to be careful not to hurt her feelings and tell her that she can not be religious if she has this or that tendency. It will not help release her from this tendency and on the contrary it will cause her to completely reject Judaism, G-d forbid.

 

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