Question for Welcoming Shules

I have read noble expressions of welcome for those who identify themselves as LGBT.

My question is this: a woman who transgenders into a male, with operations. Is she/he eligible to be called up for an Aliya at Caulfield or other welcoming Shules?

Should they sit downstairs with the men?

Is her voice Kol Isha?

Conversely a male who is lopped and augmented and transgenders into a female insists that since they were born a male, they would like an Aliya to the Torah. Would he allow that?

Does that ex-male need to inform females of their change vis a vis use of toilets, change rooms, mikvaos as a spiritual cleansing?

As I have written elsewhere, I know many homosexuals at Shule and have to my knowledge never treated them differently to another male.

Transgender introduces new problems of ‘welcome’ as outlined above.

I know about Tumtum and Androginos.

I’m interested to know what all welcoming shule’s Rabbis pasken on such issues. Ask them?

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

7 thoughts on “Question for Welcoming Shules”

  1. The only teshuvah I have ever seen that deals with sex change is that of the Tziz Eliezer, who holds that sex is determined by the external organs, and therefore if a man has been surgically altered to have the body of a woman she is now a woman, and vice versa. He rules that such a person’s wife is permtted to remarry without a get, because she is no longer an eishes ish, and there’s no such thing as eishes isho. I am not aware of any other teshuvah on the matter, so in the absence of any contrary psak that would seem to be the state of the halacha.

    However, this only deals with those who have had surgery. Perhaps you are not aware that the modern trend among what they call “the trans community” is not to have surgery but simply to declare that one is now the opposite sex, and everyone must immediately accept this and pretend that such people not only are now what they say they are, but have always been so, they just didn’t know it.

    The new article of faith on the left is that “gender” and “sex” are unrelated attributes; sex is what the body looks like, while gender is a state of mind, and it’s purely a coincidence that almost all people who are born with male sex are also born with male gender identity, and vice versa. It could easily be some other way. It’s further asserted that gender, not sex, is what matters, so if a person with a male sex has a female gender “she” must be treated as a woman. And since there is no way to objectively determine what someone else’s gender is, one must take their word for it and accept whatever gender declaration they are making at any given moment, even if it’s different from what they were saying five minutes ago.

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    1. The following is from Rabbi Prof. Aryeh Frimer.

      There has also been some discussion of whether a woman who has undergone a
      transgender operation can receive an aliyya. R. Meir Amsel and Idan Ben-Ephraim
      are lenient assuming that kevod ha-tsibbur is not relevant when the candidate is
      externally a male; see R. Meir Amsel, ha-Ma’or, 25:6 (Kislev-Tevet, 5763) 19,
      s.v. “Kevar”; R. Idan Ben-Ephraim, Sefer Dor Tahpukhot (Jerusalem, 5764) 163. On
      the other hand, R. Yigal Safran, “Nitu’ah le-Hahlafat ha-Min,” Tehumin, XXI,
      117-120, forbids, nevertheless, because halakhically she is a woman. despite the
      transgender operation.

      See end of Note 27 in

      (a) “Women, Kri’at haTorah and Aliyyot (with an Addendum on Partnership
      Minyanim)” Aryeh A. Frimer and Dov I. Frimer, Tradition, 46:4 (Winter, 2013),
      67-238, online at http://www.traditiononline.org/pdfs/46.4/0065-0238.pdf or
      http://www.rcarabbis.org/pdf/frimer_article.pdf.

      (b) “Nashim, Keri’at ha-Torah veAliyyot (im Nispach al ‘Minyanei Shutafut’)” a
      Hebrew translation of the above article (with corrections and additions) is
      available at http://rcarabbis.org/pdf/Aliyyot_Wmn_Heb_Rev.pdf.

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      1. But did this Rabbi Safran, whoever he is, actually determine that the operation is ineffective, based on genuine sources, or did he just assume it without even giving it five minutes’ thought? If the latter, that is not a psak. That’s why I specified teshuvos; any “psak” that is not a teshuvah laying out arguments is worthless, even if it comes from a well-known person, let alone from someone nobody has heard of.

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          1. I think that it’s quite likely that he never considered the matter at all, but simply wrote what seemed “obvious” to him. That is of no value.

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