Who We Are
ואהבת לרעך כמוך
And you shall love your neighbor as yourself…
Kamoha – Gay Orthodox Jews (reg. non-profit org.) was founded by gay, Orthodox Jews, from the Religious Zionist community who studied in Orthodox high schools and yeshivas across the spectrum, including pre-IDF, hesder, and advanced yeshivas, people like you
Basic Points of Kamoha's Approach
Kamoha is a group for gay, Orthodox Jewish men. Throughout the years, various groups have been established with the goal of gathering together and assisting gay, orthodox men.
In order to achieve the broadest possible base of men from which to draw, some of these groups made some concessions, concessions which raised some halakhic (Jewish legal) problems. Because of this, the membership base of these groups was successfully broadened, yet many orthodox men were then unable to find their niche within them. Many rabbis were then unable to have the opportunity of recognizing the importance of gathering together and providing assistance for these men. Some of these rabbis even came out against such groups.
Kamoha is here to say just one thing – We are Orthodox in every way, and make every effort to be strict in the performance of the mitzvot in their entirety. For example, it is obvious to us, that one should not transgress a Torah prohibition. On the other hand, what is also clear to us is that a man having feelings of attraction to another man is not a sin, in and of itself, and that instead of preaching morality to men in such a position, helping them to achieve some understanding of their situation and to receive assistance in finding solutions is the preferred approach.
Kamoha is here to serve as a home for gay, Orthodox Jewish men who try to be strict in the observance of difficult mitzvot, as well as easy mitzvot. And, thus, in order to open up to the rabbis and the Orthodox public the difficulties of gay, Orthodox men, so that together and to find consensus and solutions.
Kamoha has two types of functions:
- External Group Functions – To promote internal community, social change in the status of gay, Orthodox men within Religious Zionism, conveying the recognition through joint operation and dialogue with rabbis.
- Internal Group Functions – To serve as a social place and home for Orthodox, gay men, not standing in conflict with Kamoha's ambition to bring the acceptance of Orthodox, gay men into existing religious communities.
We believe in the following:
* Increasing awareness within religious Zionism in regards to the complex situation of the gay, Orthodox man.
* Promoting the integration of gay, Orthodox men into existing, religious communities.
* Participating in events with relevance to the gay, Orthodox Jewish man, except for events which oppose the Orthodox Jewish way of life (Note: Kamoha avoids being connected with, and discourages the publicity of, events considered to be immodest, “Conservative” and “Reform” events, events which are exploitive of and/or antagonistic toward Jewish law, the “Pride” parade, and the “gay minyans.”)
* Recognizing the rights of those interested in psychological treatment of their sexual tendencies, and realize of the possibility of treatment, while also recognizing that there is no guaranteed success of changing ones tendencies from such treatment, and that the outcome and measure of its success have not been adequately confirmed.
* Encouraging honest, heterosexual connections, not based on hiding or lies, but in aspiration for lives in light of Torah.
(Kamoha's Basic Points were written with the participation of Rabbi Menachem Borstein, Chair, Machon Pu'ah; Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, Rosh Yeshivat Petach Tikvah; Rabbi Yechiel Faust, former Rosh Yeshivat Moreshet Ya'akov)
Kamoha's Participation Guidelines
As a participant in "Kamoha" activities and gatherings, I am aware of these guiding principles:
*Admittance is for those 18 years and older.
*Discretion and respect for the privacy of those attending our events is expected, as well as common courtesy.
*Avoidance of activities which run contrary to the spirit of halakha and the Torah, and the belittling of them.
The Kamoha website's logo was designed by Roni Shukron, and for his work, our thanks go out to him.
The Kamoha website's designer is the talented Eli Toister, whom we thank.
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