Articles by Daniel Jonas
By Peter Stockland with Daniel Jonas
August 25, 2017
As Ottawa heads into one of the last Pride weekends of the summer in Canada, Convivium publisher Peter Stockland interviews Daniel Jonas, an Israeli LGBT activist trying to balance contemporary interpretations of human rights and identity with his devout commitment to the timeless truths of Orthodox Judaism.
Daniel Jonas is the chairperson of Havruta, a religious community that works for tolerance of LGBT people in Orthodox society in Israel C: But isn’t the Orthodox community abroad, in the diaspora, even more conservative than the Orthodox community in Israel? Why would that be? Is the focus of your work really about helping LGBT people live normal, public lives in Israel while remaining foundationally religious people? He expresses the complex balancing of civil freedom with religious obligation that is fraught with peril in North America’s secular culture, and a Solomonic conundrum in a land such as Israel where faith and State are so deeply interlocked In the diaspora, the chances that you’d stay in your (religious) community, or even that your kids would stay Jewish, are not so high Convivium: How much influence does the diaspora have within Israel on this issue? Or, the other way, how much effect does Israel have on the diaspora on the issue? But when it's a mass of people from all over, from many different communities, then suddenly, it will have to become an issue that the community needs to deal with What is it to be gay in an Orthodox community? What about family? What about the children? What about companionship? All these things have nothing to do with the deeds themselves, with what is written in the Bible, with what is forbidden