Caulfield Synagogue Anti-Homosexuality Protest – Tolerance or Intolerance?

“Harry Elkus” and the Caulfield Synagogue anti-homosexuality protest


Gay orthodox rabbi Steven Greenberg was billed as guest speaker at the Caulfield Hebrew Congregation on Friday June 16 2017:

Rabbi Steven Greenberg guest speaker at CHC

It came to our attention last week that a document “HERESY-CHC” was being distributed around the Melbourne Jewish community calling for concerned members of the Jewish community to protest this event:

Heresy pamphlet

The document contains the name “Harry Elkus” in the Author field of the document Properties:

Heresy document properties

It also came to our attention that some of the information in the flyer was apparently misleading:


(i just received this from a protest organiser)
Please send this out ASAP
To the Melbourne Jewish community,
Yesterday an email was disseminated to the community calling for a public protest outside Caulfield Shule during its upcoming event this Friday night.
Following consultation with leading communal Rabbonim we hereby inform the community that the planned protest has been cancelled. We discourage anyone from participating in any public protests as it will only serve to escalate the controversy surrounding the issue.
We also wish to clarify one aspect of the email distributed yesterday. Some in the community understood from the email that the (now cancelled) protest had the widespread support of the Rabbinate including, but not limited to, the Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) and the Rabbinical Council of Australia and New Zealand (RCANZ). We wish to clarify that at no point were the RCV or the RCANZ consulted about the said protest. We apologise sincerely to both Rabbinic bodies for any implication otherwise.
We maintain our view that the event at Caulfield Shule should not be under the auspices of Orthodoxy but we recognize that public protests are counter-productive.
May Hashem help us in seeing Torah true Judaism upheld in our community.


It is deeply disappointing and disturbing that some members of the Jewish community wish to use their religion to demonise and further marginalise homosexual people.  There is no room for discrimination or intolerance in the Jewish community.


Please see the original article and site:


5 thoughts on “Caulfield Synagogue Anti-Homosexuality Protest – Tolerance or Intolerance?

  1. It is deeply disappointing and disturbing that you refuse to recognize the point of the intended protest—that Greenberg’s views are not representative of Orthodox Judaism and his views don’t qualify as Orthodox, never mind those of a rabbi. Instead, in typical fascist liberal style, you accuse the letter writer of intolerance and demonization.
    It is indeed an utter disgrace that he is being hosted in a supposedly Orthodox shul, and the silence of the rabbis is deafening.

    • What are you suggesting in your comments – that the LGBTQ community is not welcome in Judaism/Orthodoxy or that the community is welcome. Your comments are as ambiguous as the protest. We make no accusations at all. Perhaps you can do us all the good graces of explaining the point of your comment, the position that you are taking and the notion of tolerance versus intolerance. As we see it, the Orthodox community in the context of an anti-homosexuality protest is intolerant. As we see it, religious Judaism should be more tolerant and G-D knows there is no shortage of hypocrisy. So, which position, exactly, are you trying to espouse?

      • You definitely have a reading and comprehension problem. The protest would not have been against homosexuality (whatever that would mean anyway) but against the warped secular ideas of this guy that conflict with basic Jewish teachings on sexual sin being aired in a supposedly frum shul. Supposedly Orthodox people should actually take the Torah seriously as a guide for our lives and not throw its timeless teachings out in order to conform to the secular script. Elkus is completely right (and may he be blessed) that Greenberg speaks heresy and should therefore not be given a forum in a shul. Let him speak at Reform.
        As for being welcoming, there is, in fact, a middle ground–every Jew should be welcomed but at the same time one should not endorse or be seen to endorse sinful behaviors in any way, which is really the agenda of Greenberg and company. It is also obscene to identify a group as a community by the specific sins they commit, or forbidden desires they harbor, which is obviously intended to legitimize, normalize, and promote those self-destructive, sinful behaviors.

        • So, our problem is not one of comprehension or of reading but rather of a fundamental belief that perhaps the teachings to which you so “devoutly” espouse are either being misinterpreted or perhaps Orthodoxy needs to make way for alternative lifestyles. If you do not wish to follow this blog, then don’t. We don’t believe that one cannot be both a “devout” member of the Orthodox community and be a member of the LGBTQ community. We are all G-d’s creations.

  2. Spelling in the protest article:
    adjective, noun, verb
    1. a frequent misspelling of divine”

    Content in the article: reflects a frequent misunderstanding of how to deal with important communal matters…

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