We cannot explore the textual foundation of Jewish views on sexual orientation issues without first asking ourselves: how do I/we confront difficult texts. Difficult texts are those with which we do not easily identify and, even more, those that stand in opposition to our own sense of Torah. Yet, we cannot ignore those difficult texts. Interpreters of Torah have found and will continue to find ways to redeem them. Every Jew is an interpreter of Torah and therefore must ask him/herself: what do I do with a text that, at first glance, I find troubling - or even offensive.|
In April 2001, the journal, Sh’ma, published an issue on difficult texts. In it, several leading Jewish thinkers and scholars wrote about their efforts to reach some sort of resolution. This is an excellent collection of articles that may be helpful in guiding your study of many of the texts in this area of the Virtual Resource Center.
As you read the articles, try to formulate your own response to each individual author. Ask yourself:
How does this author deal with difficult texts?
Do I agree with him/her?
What problems do I see in his/her solution?
What part of his/her solution resonates with me?
After reading the articles, ask yourself: what are my own questions about difficult texts?
How do I respond to them?
To view Sh’ma online, go to: