Two very unfortunate things occurred last week.
The first is that a parade glorifying a lifestyle which is unwanted by the Creator of the world took place in Jerusalem, and it would be just as wrong if it would have taken place in Tel Aviv, in London or in New York City, because the Torah is as relevant to NYC as it is to Jerusalem.
The second thing is that an individual, perhaps mentally unstable, found the wrong way to voice his anger about this parade and murdered one and injured five more participants. Condolences to the grieving family and may Hashem help these individuals heal quickly from their wounds.
But if “two rights don’t make a wrong”, certainly “two wrongs don’t make a right.”
And yet that’s exactly what is happening: wrong actions of one unstable man against people who glorify a wrong behavior tainted an entire community which now feels intimidated to voice their concerns on an already deeply controversial and emotionally charged topic lest they be seen as justifying his actions. Two wrongs, (1) a glorification of an undesirable behavior and (2) an attempted murder, created an unnatural right; the right to not be condemned for wrongdoing!
Jews who live by the Torah have laws governing and defining which behaviors are acceptable and which are not. There are laws in the Torah about marital and intimately associated choices and there are laws about the value and sanctity of life.
The same Torah which said that the only atonement — under certain circumstances — for some misconduct in the above mentioned realm is to take one’s life in a due process of law also says that these man’s actions — under certain circumstances — which led to the loss of life are to penalized by capital punishment, in fact of a more severe status!
One of these circumstances is the authority to judge capital cases, an authority that since forty years prior to the destruction of the second Holy Temple (around 2,000 years ago!) lays no more in the hands of the religious Jewish leadership!
Two wrongs don’t create a new right, but they highlight an already existing G-dly duty – the duty to pray for those who need healing and the duty to heal them by virtue of the Divine power doctors were granted by G-d, “Heal you shall heal.” (Shemos 21:19) The sages of the Talmud explain this verse so: “from here we see that a Doctor was given permission to heal.” (Berachos 60a)
While we pray for the recovery of the physical wounds of the individuals injured yesterday we also must remember another obligation we have: to pray that the spiritual and emotional ills of the injured (and murderer) be healed.
The very same obligation of the Torah — not politically-correctness — which makes us denounce and condemn these violent acts makes us denounce this movement and its motives, because we feel that just as this man’s psychiatric condition has merited over time to be researched and perhaps some cures to be presented for it, some of the people he has harmed deserve this right to be cured too. They too deserve to find cure for their torn souls and merit to establish normal and healthy families, a right this movement is stripping its members them of.
“May sins be eradicated from the world and not the sinners.”