Built around intimately-told personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian, the film portrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma - how to reconcile their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the drastic Biblical prohibitions that forbids homosexuality. Written by
up and out
The spelling of the last word in this movie's title comes from the Jewish tradition of treating any written representation of the name of God with respect, and not writing it on any document that might be treated carelessly or accidentally or deliberately defaced, destroyed, or erased (a longstanding Rabbinical interpretation of Deuteronomy 12:3). Since this movie, like most, had posters, sales materials, contractual paperwork, DVD covers, and other ephemera with its title on them go out into public hands, the filmmakers used the G-d spelling out of respect and recognition that there was no way to know how the documents on which the name would be treated outside or their presences. See more »
Rabbie Meir Fund:
...so the Jew who is gay by choice... work like mad to overcome it... a Jew who is, as we might say, wall-to-wall gay... I will hold his hand, figuratively... and do the best I can to give him strength to serve G-d.
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It isn't an unfamiliar mantra, but that doesn't mean it loses its power.
Look, glbt people of faith have been told for a long time that they should either "straighten up" (pun intended) or leave their faith traditions. I've experienced that myself by identifying jointly as lesbian and Christian. But is it really the place of any community of humans to dictate the status of my relationship to G-d? Well, I suppose that in the Jewish tradition it is even more complex, where faith, culture, ethnic identity, and family are more tightly intertwined than anything. And it pained me... the thought that anyone would be forced out of their faith community or even their sense of relationship to G-d by human reaction to sexual orientation.
I have great respect for the history and theology that underlies orthodox Jewish observance. But I want there to be a space for all people who share that bond with G-d and who want to observe, just as I want that for myself in Christianity. Is that REALLY too much to ask? And is the consequence worth it? That is the question of Trembling Before G-d... a wonderful film.
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