'We're not homophobes'

Ramat Gan Yeshiva dean says community is not homophobic, believes in Torah and sanity.

Eliran Aharon ,

Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira
Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira
Yoni Kempinski

Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, who serves as the dean of the Ramat Gan Yeshiva, spoke on Tuesday evening at a conference held in Jerusalem and organized by the Ichud Leumi party.

Ichud Leumi and Bayit Yehudi joined together before the 2013 elections.

"We are not homophobes, and we are not phobic. We do not live out of fear, and we are not scared. We are courageous people, we are the Land of Israel's heroes, and we are not scared of the LGBT trend," Rabbi Shapira said.

"I have invested many hours in helping people with difficulties in this area. But no, we're not homophobes, we're believers and we're healthy people. And there is an illness which is growing and spreading, and more and more, we are becoming a country that looks like LGBTistan.

"Anyone who speaks about a believing and healthy family is immediately classed as someone who has phobias. He's an extremist. Why? Because he he said something that has always been the basis of all of humanity and all of the Torah. It's insane to see this as the problem with Religious Zionism's image.

"When there is an atmosphere of LGBTistan, we don't belong, and they hate us because we're sane. But we need to fight with strength for the sake of the family, for Shabbat (the Sabbath), for the Rabbinate, for governmental kashrut (kosher) supervision, for conversions to be according to Jewish law - something which all our rabbis stand behind.

"We are attacked now...as if we left Religious Zionism and became haredim.

"The mainstream Religious Zionists...believe that private conversion is unacceptable. They believe that privatizing kashrut supervision is destructive. Are we haredim? There are those who leave Religious Zionism, and we call out to them to return with love. We are believers, we are healthy, and we will continue to be this way."