(Questions and Answers)
Ask Torah Teacher Ariel
(Note: all quotations are taken from the Complete Jewish Bible, translation by David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc., unless otherwise noted)
What is the Messianic Jewish position about remaining single. I've always heard that the rabbinical teaching is that a person is not truly a man until he has procreated. I am single and it looks like I may be remaining so. Does this mean that I'm less a man? Does God want everyone to marry? What about a homosexual person who foregoes all sexual activity in order to be faithful to the Lord? I'd be interested in your thoughts on these issues.
I want you to read 1 Corinthians Chapter 7. In it youll find some very good instructions given to the married and unmarried alike. It is true that the rabbis had, and still have, a high view of marriage. The Talmud stresses this view. The unmarried person lives without joy, without blessing, and without good (Jeb. 62b); An unmarried man is not a man in the full sense; as it is said, Male and female created He them, and blessed them and called their name man (Gen. 5:2) (Ibid. 63a). A wife meant a home; hence the saying, A mans home is his wife (Joma I.I), and R. Jose said, Never have I called my wife by that word, but always my home (Shab. 118b). But dont let all this scare you. Remember this is commentary on the Torah, not the authoritative Torah itself! These are mens opinions. High remarks are made in the Torah, to the single individual who fully devotes himself to HaShem in his singleness! Pray about your potential mating. It is a very important decision to make! To be sure, the Torah designed it to be a lasting one. Now as far as the issue concerning homosexuality goes, the Torah is explicitly clear: this lifestyle is not pleasing to HaShem, and is thereby forbidden. In the TaNaKH, the instances are told of pagan temple prostitution, by those women (and sometimes men) who had separated themselves unto the temple cult. This sanctification is where we get the Hebrew word kadosh from, meaning, set apart for a specific work. This separation was certainly not prescribed by the Torah of Moshe, and was not condoned by the Holy One! If you mean a homosexual turning from that lifestyle, and forgoing all further sexual activity in order to pursue faithfulness to HaShem, then let his tshuvah (repentance) be true renounce his sin of homosexuality and turn to HaShem with a renewed heart! True biblical separation always agrees with the Will of HaShem, and accomplishes the purposes of HaShem. Because homosexuality is outside the pale of a biblically correct lifestyle, it is not sanctified or blessed, but rather condemned by the Torah. This rabbi does not recommend such a lifestyle for anyone, but forgiveness through the shed blood of Messiah Yeshua has been made abundant for all, regardless of your past sins!
Torah Teacher Ariel ben-Lyman HaNaviy