Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Isn't It Ironic? Rabbi Burstein Style

A Guest Post By E. Fink
Rabbi Menachem Burstein of the Puah Institute for fertility has been in the news quite a bit lately. Last week DovBear posted Rabbi Burstein's now famous opinion that single women should not bear children. The post and discussion focused on his assertion that:
"Judaism does not permit one person's happiness at the expense of another, and it has been proven that a child born to a single woman from in vitro insemination suffers greatly."
Needless to say, this opinion was severely criticized in the comments.

Rabbi Burstein is in the news again. Vosizneias reported that in Haaretz Rabbi Burstein was quoted as saying that the Orthodox world should be more sensitive to homosexuals. This is hotly contested issue with misconceptions abound in the charedi world. Rabbi Burstein takes a step forward on this issue preaching sensitivity and understanding towards orthodox homosexuals.

Rabbi Burstein also presents an idea which is still under consultation. Orthodox men who are keeping mitzvos and are homosexual would marry a woman with the understanding that even without any physical attraction they could have children and raise a family together. The man would also be permitted to maintain his relationship with his significant other provided there was no "forbidden sexual intercourse".

Do you see the irony?

Rabbi Burstein would prefer two people with no love for each other, no physical attraction for each other and no reason to marry each other than to procreate in a business type relationship raise a family than an honest single mother who yearns to bear a child and does not undergo a fake relationship to be a parent.

Let's suspend reality and imagine that we agree with Rabbi Burstein on the matter of single mothers being unfit to raise children, wouldn't it be consistent to say that a loveless marriage is going to provide a negative environment for raising children?

When do the children get to find out that their father doesn't love their mother? Do they get to know their father's lover?

And what about the "happiness of one at the expense of another"? Is a woman "using" a gay man to bear a child not worrying about her happiness at the expense of his?

It may be that Rabbi Burstein can defend and support this paradigm. I just can't figure it out.

Search for more information about non-traditional families at 4torah.com.

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