Grade 7 this week visited Our Lady of the Assumption, a Catholic Church on Bathurst Street just north of Holy Blossom Temple, which is now an ethnically Filipino church.
The first half of the visit included learning about the various rituals items around the room, and how they are echoes of Judaism. The second half of our visit was consumed with an explanation by the lay leader of why the church does not perform gay and lesbian weddings. This was a challenging discussion, which we will debrief in more detail when we meet next. If you want to begin this conversation with your children, here are some things to discuss:
- The lay leader spoke from his heart about why he doesn’t think LGBTQ fit in his religious space, quoting the Torah (yes- our Torah) as the basis for his beliefs. If you were to respond to him, what would you say?
- The lay leader compared people that are gay and lesbian with people with disabilities who need to be treated with love. This is a common way of discussing gays and lesbians in faith communities (including some Jewish communities). How would you respond to them?
- Do people of a specific community have a right to define who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’ from their community? Why or why not?
- What do you know about Holy Blossom’s history on this discussion? Where do we stand now?
We will discuss this more on Monday. If you feel like you need support in having this discussion at home before hand, please do not hesitate to contact Rabbi Helfman who is happy to either talk you through it, or talk to your child earlier than Monday. Have a good week!