Skip to main content

New York rabbi: Cure gays with chemicals

A controversial New York rabbi has reacted to an article by Chaim Levin detailing his experience of reparative therapy saying homosexuality could be tackled with chemical castration.

Rabbi Yehuda Levin, who is not related to Chaim Levin, was reacting to the latter’s experience of gay cure, which was republished on last week.

The New York rabbi wrote to the Jewish Press: “Chaim Levin’s recent article and appearances on video and Jewish radio provide ample evidence of an agenda far more wide-ranging than merely opposing bullying and reparative therapy.

“It’s an exact duplication of the militant homosexual activist playbook: Desensitize society through constant discussion of homosexuality, urges, etc. Create feelings of guilt in others by exaggerated, unsubstantiated claims of Jewish homosexual suicides due to “bullying,” discrimination, etc. Gain public sympathy by using the media, and then solidify gains by forming organizations like Jewish Queer Youth.”

He said Jewish philosophers had described Amalek, enemies of the Jews, as “practitioners of homosexuality”.

He wrote: “Rambam rules that one who is tempted to sin disguise himself, sin secretly and act the hypocrite in public so as not to desensitize society to sin. Urging youth to join in a group that identifies itself with Amalek-type behavior reinforces negative self-identification and more often than not results in sinful misbehavior.”

The rabbi questions whether a group could be formed in an Orthodox synagogue of adulterers or the incestuous.

He says such groups would be “spiritual oxymorons and would constitute a fifth column in the Torah community”.

Rabbi Levin concludes: “I have tremendous sympathy for those challenged by temptations and unkosher desires. As you do with cancer, you never stop trying to find a better treatment to cure yourself. If all therapies fail, as a last resort you use chemicals to stop the urge to act in a forbidden manner. (This resolution is ordered by European courts for offenders and it works.) Unpleasant, surely; but better than committing adultery, homosexuality or incest.”

Chaim Levin told today: “Many people have told me we should ignore people like Rabbi Levin, but this time he shot at me personally by responding to my article. This time I said I’m sick and tired of these people. The public may not be listening to Rabbi Levin, but they are hearing him.

“It’s enough for one gay teen to hear what he says and consider committing suicide. I find it deplorable that people would call him a rabbi. He’s a bigot, he’s extremely dangerous, hurtful and reckless and it’s about time the public started telling him this is not OK.”

Rabbi Levin is well-known for his anti-gay views; his blog describes Mitt Romney as a “dangerous homosexualist”.

Rabbi Ariel Friedlander, co-convenor of the Jewish LGBT forum Keshet UK, told “The Torah tells us that every human being is made in the image of God. Homosexuality is not a disease, it is how God made me. There are Jewish communities, rabbis and groups who behave in the image of God in that they love and respect every human being. This is not a disease or any kind of illness, this is part of human nature.”

Rabbi Levin’s attack comes during ongoing debate about so-called ‘gay cures’. The chief rabbi of Amsterdam’s Orthodox Jewish community was recently reinstated after accepting he should not have signed a ‘gay cure’ declaration with his official title. A northLondon Jewish School, JFS, was criticised for showing students a slide about ‘gay cure’ organisation Jonah in a lesson about homosexuality. In response, ex-students, including founder and Channel 4 News correspondent Benjamin Cohen recorded ‘It Gets Better’ videos about being Jewish and LGBT.

In her column in the Daily Express last week, Ann Widdecombe questioned the lack of availability of therapy for “gays who do not want to be gay”.

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, said ‘gay cure’ attempts do not “produce harm despite the Royal College of Psychiatrists and others maintaining the contrary”.

Chaim Levin blogs at and tweets at @chaim89


  1. I strongly hope he wasn't reading Joseph Mengele when he came up to this conclusion.

    Jeff P

  2. A "Rabbi" like Yehudah Levin is much more an oxymoron than a Gay Orthodox Rabbi".

    Mr. Levin teaches no-one how to be more observant of the Torah.

    He probably realized he did not have what it takes to make a living without making hatred the most important commandment. Maybe now he can make some money. I hope he does better than he deserves in the world to come.


Post a Comment

Feel free to post any comment or questions. Negative commentary that does not serve a useful purpose will be deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

Sharing Stories With Deborah Feldman

Discussing plans for our futures, finding the humor in our similar and traumatic pasts and enjoying uncommon empathy, Deborah Feldman and I had coffee on the Upper East Side on a bright Friday morning. My time with her was a refreshing pleasure and an honor. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots. Deborah helped me with something that I’ve been trying to navigate lately. Deborah reminded that I’m not an ex gay survivor, an ex Chabad, a gay man, a Jew, an activist, etc.; she told me that who I am is just Chaim Levin — who just also happens to have an interesting story to share and an opportunity to inspire change. She insisted that we all have our own lives and personalities that we must care for, cultivate and celebrate.

Deborah had entered mainstream media a few months ago with her fascinating memoir. I haven’t had a chance to finish reading her book yet; in fact, I just started the other day. But with every page, I…


I am publishing this letter today to notify the public of an individual named Tuvia Perlman and the immediate threat he poses to the safety of any and all children in his vicinity. I first met Mr. Perlman when I was 18 while attending an organization called JONAH (a Jewish conversion therapy organization that was shut down in 2015 after losing a lawsuit). When I met Mr. Perlman, we were on a retreat together called Journey Into Manhood, this retreat was facilitated by an organization called People Can Change. After this retreat, Mr. Perlman, who lived in Baltimore used to call me often, to the point where even at that time I felt extremely uncomfortable by his calls and long voicemails. Mr. Perlman as far as I knew at that time, had recently stopped being a teacher at a cheder (Hebrew word for elementary school). In a group setting that was facilitated on by JONAH on their premises in 2007, Mr. Perlman admitted to the entire group that he molested at least 2 of his 12/13-year-old stu…

When it's Someone you Know: Levi Moscowitz

I’ve been torn inside and out ever since I found out that someone who I otherwise knew to be a good friendly guy, someone that I shared good memories in yeshiva with, pleaded no contest to one of the most heinous crimes that has ever come across the arsenal of cases that I’m personally familiar with.

Levi Moscowitz committed suicide on Saturday in Griffith park in Los Angeles. This came just weeks after the charges against him as well as a very damning police report became public. Despite having known Levi for over 10 years and once considering him a close friend, I knew that sharing this information with the public was crucial to the safety of any and all children that he may have come into contact with. At the same time though, his death brings about some very unfortunate realities and issues that have yet to be addressed when confronting this cancer of sexual abuse.

While there are many who have expressed no remorse over his death, and others who even seemed to rejoice in it, I don’…