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Transgendeer in Halacha


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Cheshvan 30, 5783
I think it is naive to consider the reasoning behind gender reassignment to jealousy. furthermore the Tziz elieser (10th voloume) recons a halachic gender by the way that person looks, so much so that a man married to a women (and viceversa) who transitioned would not require a get. I am sure not all agree, but it is a valid opinion. By "explaining the complications to the person affected it will not solve the issue. Many may look at this a pikuach nefesh, due to the high % of suicides.
You're entitled to your opinion, but should also realize that others, including Judaism, see it much differently, including the Tzitz Eliezer who definitely doesn't condone such cross-dressing and how much more so castration, and as all rabbis, sees them as serious and explicit Torah prohibitions. Judaism is entitled to disagree with the current liberal fad, and as an eternal people, we have an obligation to rise above fly-by-night understandings, that will most probably change with time. Once eugenics was seen in the U.S. and Germany as enlightened and modern, but mankind matured and eventually saw that it was simply scientific racism. The world always functioned knowing that a man is a man, and a woman is a woman, and the recent post-modern fad of seeing even such basic givens as subject to change, is seen by Judaism as denying reality. Especially when the man and the woman's respective souls each need different mitzvot to become Godly. Life is full of challenges, and we believe in "destining our fate", turning the challenge into an opportunity for growth. "I'd rather be a sparrow" than a person, is a day-dream which distracts us from life and dealing with a certain problem, thinking the "grass is always greener on the other side". God loves us as He created us, and we should love ourselves as we are, as well. "Who is wealthy? One who is happy with his share". In addition, Judaism sees family life as a central aspect of Torah, and such extreme attempts to change nature are fighting with both nature and God. The high suicide rate today compared to similar people with similar issues in the past, apparently davka stems from them seeing gender as something changeable, and accordingly fixating, thinking and talking about it all the time and seeing it as a legitimate option, which just exacerbates and surely doesn't solve the problem. America is entitled to their opinion, but how much more so is the eternal Judaism entitled to our opinion. Such issues are much easier in Israel, where Judaism has the "home-court advantage", and the definition of normal family life doesn't change as much as in America, where one who disagrees is silenced and considered archaic.
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