- Torah Reading
Shalom Rav, We have a bar-mitzvah coming soon and we want to know if we can give an aliya to two uncles from America. One uncle lives with a non Jew, they are civilly married. The other uncle divorced his wife gave her a get, and now lives with her without remarrying her. We are members of an orthodox shul and I did not want to consult my local rabbi yet in order not to embarrass the uncles or myself and cause a strain on the simcha. We are shomer Torah vemitzvot. The uncles are not. What is the halacha? Thanks in advance for your help.
This question should e really asked to the Rav of your community as only he can asses the case in its entire spectrum of implications. In general, there are sins that are a breach of the most basic and fundamental Jewish values; marrying out is one of them. In order to express our discomfort (to say the least) from this situation we don’t honor such a person with an Aliya to the Torah in shule lest he would think we legitimize the crime. This is not to say that any sinner can’t get an Aliya - that will narrow the possible candidates list just a bit too much…, therefore a man whom lives with his unmarried partner will be Halachacly permitted to be called to the Torah. This is all again, in general terms, however, every community has it own dynamics and the rabbi is the only one that can really rule what standards that specific community should follow and what are the ramifications of such a ruling. One should also sincerely ask himself whether these family relatives will really be offended by not being called up to the Torah or maybe it’s all in our head; you can always give them another honor like opening the Arc etc.