Harav Simcha Bunim Cohen Shlita Takes A Stand On To’eiva Marriage

Reb Simcha Bunim Shlita TrentonPHOTOS (in extended article) of Harav Simcha Bunim Cohen Shlita, Rov of Ateres Yeshaya and grandson of Hagaon Reb Avigdor Miller Zatzal-protesting this past week, at NJ’s Statehouse in Trenton. In a bold move, the Rov Shlita, was joined by close to 40 Yungerleit as well as by R’ Moshe Bresler, (Torah Jews For Decendcy), Roshei Chabura, a Rosh Hakollel and by Rav Binyomin Yudin Shlita, Rov in Fairlawn NJ. After the vote for the marriage bill was postponed-in which many believe may be an effort to regain support-the group from Lakewood took the opportunity to voice their strong opposition to the bill. Rabbi Cohen Shlita-following in the footsteps of his righteous grandfather-can be seen holding a sign which reads ” Marriage Equality=The American Nightmare”.

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  1. Maybe someone can elucidate why so many prominent Roshei Yeshivos and Rabbonim are fighting this issue? It does not pose a threat to our insular Oilam and those out there care very little about the sentiments of the religious leaders aopposed to the law. I am finding it awkward to have to explain these headlines and photos to my young children.

  2. Rabbi Cohen practices what he preaches he not only talks the talk he walks the walk. He says he is just following in his grandfathers mehalach and that is why he has the success he has.

  3. To #1 , there are many fundemental reasons..which I will leave for others to expound upon. One practical reason is, the LGTG community has an agenda, and it doesn’t stop at marriage. If society allows it to become accepted, then it will then be as accepted to see same gender teens holding hands and doing other amourous things in public…not only would it be excepted it will also eventually be expected to teach and to include. They are trying to equate their struggle to Womens rights..just like no one can imagine a Female in USA not having right to vote or any thing else, yet there was a time that she wasn’t allowed..so too, their hope is for there to become a time when all things are the same…and when I say ALL , I mean ALL…even many of the people fighting for it, don’t realize what they are party too.

  4. Rav Moshe feinstein zatzal in a famous letter implore Frum Yidden to do whatever they can to defeat such legislative bills. Rav Avigdor Miller zatzal famously said that once 25 states ratify gay marriage, there will be another holocaust. The Brisker Rav zatzal used to see “if it hurts you, scream”. If youahve an attitude of “why fight this” it means it doesnt bother you, and THAT is a bad attitude to have regarding something Hashem in His holy Torah calls ” an abomination”

    THIS brought the mabul, and THIS will bring another holocaust and prevent the Geulah if we dont fight it!

    Kol HaKavod to Maran Rav Simcha Bunim Shlita.

  5. Huge mistake, IMHO. Several reasons:

    1. This is a purely symbolic issue, and as such, it’s importance is only as much as people give it. To the extent that frum people make it relevant to us it will have an increased relevance, in a symbolic manner. To the extent that they ignore it it will be less relevant.

    1a. The overwhelming likelihood is that SSM will eventually become law in this state (& in all other states). Right now it’s a very hot issue because the amount of support it has is slightly less than the opposition, but the level of support has increased drastically in recent decades and is likely to continue to increase.

    2. There are probably about 3 million gays in this country and they in turn have a lot of relatives & friends. By contrast, frum Jews are about a half million, and their relatives and friends tend to be other frum Jews. Frum Jews are alienating a whole lot of people with their approach of trying to deny other people what they and their symphathizers see as equal rights, in the name of very vague rationales.

    2a. Related to the above, at the core of OJ being able to survive as a small minority in this country is the notion of “everyone leave everyone else alone”. The vast majority of Non-OJ see us as being backward people with quaint ideas, but they are willing to go with the idea that “these people sure seem strange, but it’s not my business to tell them what to do”. For frum Yidden to visibly reject this very attitude when it comes to matters like SSM undermines it.

    I suspect that people like RMF, and possibly even RAM, might only have advocated making such matters a priority based on the situation decades ago, when these ideas were being pushed by a small minority of people who were at the fringes of society. At this point that is far from the case.

    And FWIW I think it’s also possible that many if not most of the contemporary rabbonim who push this issue are simply unfamiliar with the mindset through which moderate random goyim off the street view this issue.

    Throughout the generations in golus I don’t think you will find Jewish communal influence being used in an attempt to force the secular authorities to adopt general moral codes that are in line with Jewish values. Our concern is our own ability to live our own lives in accord with the Torah. Wait till moshiach to start worrying about the goyim.

  6. Dear Fotheringay: FYI. Orthodox Jews are not the only ones opposed to SSM. The Catholic Church and other truly religious gentiles also oppose, and are protesting, what G-d called “an abomination”. It’s in Leviticus in black and white. These so called human beings are living a lifestyle that is abhorrant and unnatural. They do not deserve the same rights as everyone else as they chose to live their lives in a way that is deviant from the norm and against G-d’s Devine plan. Condoning their behavior is tantamount to overruling G-d’s laws. If you can’t see that, I pity you. Nobody has a right to mess with G-d!

  7. #9 Fotheringay is wrong and desperately out of touch on every count.

    1) SSM Inevitability

    For 25 years Liberals have been arguing that their agenda is both the wave of the future and inevitable. In the last 25 years we have seen the Reagan revolution, a more Conservative Supreme Court, right-wing talk radio and Fox news. The impact on popular opinion on issues such as abortion is measurable.

    In the 1970s Liberals argued that universal acceptance of abortion was inevitable. Fast forward to 2007 and a CNN poll found that 50% of respondents identified themselves as pro-life versus only 47% who saw themselves as pro-choice.

    Until recently many Conservatives thought that defeat on SSM was inevitable. See this exchange between a Conservative blogger and Maggie Gallagher the head of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) back in April of this year http://blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2009/04/maggie-gallagher-dont-give-up.html

    As it turns out the NOM has since achieved a string of unexpected successes in Maine, in New York State and now New Jersey.

    Just a few years ago opponents of SSM were struggling to find a message that would resonate and they seemed doomed to failure.

    Today the NOM very significant money behind them and they have used it to completely overhaul their message. The NOM was responsible for the successful adoption of proposition 8 in California and as recently reported in the NYT they have used the experience and talent of advertising firms to draw up talking points that are far more effective than earlier arguments:


    Extensive and repeated polling agrees that the single most effective message is:

    “Gays and Lesbians have a right to live as they choose,
    they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

    This allows people to express support for tolerance while opposing gay marriage. Some modify it to “People have a right to live as they choose, they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”

    Language to avoid at all costs: “Ban same-sex marriage.” Our base loves this wording. So do supporters of SSM. They know it causes us to lose about ten percentage points in polls. Don’t use it. Say we’re against “redefining marriage” or in favor or “marriage as the union of husband and wife” NEVER “banning same-sex marriage.” ”


    NOM has also taken the message to unexpected places. Nationwide they have launched radio and TV ads targeted at the African American community who are disproportionately opposed to SSM (62% against) and they have put the fear of G-d into Democratic politicians who are scared of primary challenges from more moderate Democrats who like President Clinton in the 1990s are today still opposed to SSM marriage. That is why SSM lost so heavily in New York State.

    No, Fotheringay, inevitability is a Liberal propaganda ploy that we have heard for 25 years and there is no truth at all to it.

    Why, I heard Rabbi Berel Wein say that in the 1950s in our own Jewish community he remembers that it was considered inevitable that Orthodoxy would die. He remembered a ten year span in which with one or two exceptions every Orthodox shul in Chicago became Conservative. He remembers how Orthodox Rabbis would encourage their children to go to JTS and become Conservative Rabbis because that was supposed to be the wave of the future. It did not turn out as anyone expected.

    2. Antisemitism caused by opposition to SSM

    As far as antisemitism is concerned the greatest danger we face is from the religious right-wing who are far more numerous and dangerous than the negiligible minority of hard-core pro-gay rights supporters. Jews have long been associated with Liberal politics in this country and that is one of the greatest potential sore-points for the religious right. The religious right has neither time nor interest in “Live and Let Live” and we will hardly escape their fury by hiding behind such nonsense.

    Rav Avigdor Miller Zt”l was a visionary in that he was the first to realize the necessity to get out a message that there are Orthodox Jews who are ready and willing to stand alongside the religious right in the US.

    3. SSM is only Symbolic

    Fotheringay claims that SSM is only a symbolic issue. He is taken in by pro-SSM propaganda that religious liberty will be preserved. The truth is that legal scholars, especially pro-SSM legal scholars disagree. See http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/191kgwgh.asp?pg=1

    That’s why the Orthodox Union (OU) who are certainly not kanno’im by any stretch have weighed in on SSM marriage in DC http://www.ou.org/public_affairs/weblog_single/60999.

    No, Fotheringay is absolutely wrong. SSM is far from symbolic and as religious Jews we need to stand up for our religious freedom even if we don’t understand any other reason to oppose it.

    4. Counter-Productive

    Fotheringay claims that focusing on SSM as an issue is counter-productive since it attracts more attention to it. He misses the big picture here. The problem with SSM is much bigger than the fact that people may find out that it exists. The problem that SSM presents is that it represents an erosion of moral values that is seen by many including Fotheringay himself to be inevitable.

    There was a time when it seemed that Hellenism was the wave of the future and the path of the majority. We have a Yom Tov of Chanuka that proves that it was not. There was a time that it seemed that Haskolo was the furture and we have lived to see that it was not. There was a time in the 1920s when many (especially Jews) believed that Communism and the USSR was the future and today we see that it was not.

    That’s why today we as religious Jews need to join others in the religious right and demonstrate to Fotheringay and others like him that moral degeneration is not the future. That is very productive. That is what Rav Avigdor Miller Zt”l pioneered, that’s what Rav Simcha Bunim Cohen Shlit”a is following and may Hashem reward them for their worthy efforts and bring enlightenment to those like Fotheringay who have prematurely given up the fight before it has even begun.

  8. No, what’s better is these “Charedei” singers selling CDs to your children that take Tehillim and the words of Kaddish and turn it into Tarfus. And you go into your little book store after your kids get finished yelling and screaming and climbing over the tables in the Pizza place without care for anyone around them, and you shovel out your dollars, the ones left over from the brick reface job done on your mansion in the ghetto, and you buy and blast it from your Lexus SUV. But you’re against gay marriage, and you don’t have a care in the world of the world’s perception of you.

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