Netherlands – The decision by Amsterdam’s orthodox Jewish community to suspend its chief rabbi because of his controversial beliefs about homosexuality is ‘verging on fascism’, a committee of orthodox Jews in the US has told the Volkskrant.
The Committee for the Declaration on the Torah Approach to Homosexuality told the paper in an email it is ‘shocking’ that a chief rabbi in the Netherlands has been suspended for his statements on ‘centuries-old religious truths’.
Amsterdam’s orthodox Jewish community (NIHS) suspended rabbi Aryeh Ralbag as its nominal chief last week after the New York-based official signed a statement describing homosexuality as an illness which can be cured.
New Jersey rabbi Steven Pruzansky, who is mobilising intenational support for Ralbag, blames Dutch tolerance for the situation, the paper says.
‘Dutch society is so tolerant, with legal and open prostitution and a sharp reduction in faithfulness in marriage, that it is impossible for Jews who grow up in such surroundings to embrace the moral message of the Torah,’ the Volkskrant quoted him as saying. ‘They are in spiritual shock.’