The above video by Y-Love, titled Focus on the Flair, featuring Israeli singer Onili and produced by Shemspeed‘s boss man Diwon, was released hot on the heels of the bombshell announcement in the pages of Out magazine no less, that Orthodox rapper Y-Love is gay. And why did he decide to come out now?

At 34, Jordan hopes he’ll be able to finally date “in the light.” After a brief, failed marriage to a Jewish woman and dealing with the constant attention of matchmakers for years—and even a form of blackmail when one suitor’s brother “outed” him to rabbis—he wants to date men openly and build a future with a man… “My number one priority is to get back into dating. I’m ready to find a husband,” Jordan says. “I’ll be able to have a dating profile and use my real name. I’m ready to live without fear.”

Struggling with his sexual identity couldn’t have been easy:

Although Jordan discovered organizations for gay Orthodox Jews—like GLYDSA and the fledgling JQY—he continued to be conflicted, alternately embracing them as much-needed support groups and cursing them as heretics. He tried a form of reparative therapy for a time and lived a double-life that was not healthy for him until he says, it finally hit him: “It’s God’s will to be gay.”

We wish Yitz, a Jewlicious Festival alum, the best of luck in everything he does. You can read the full article here. Y-Love’s new single is available on iTunes, Amazon, and bancs direct.

About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

19 Comments

  • … and let’s go on pretending that gays actually find “husbands” and settle down… when in reality they waste most of their lives in hookups, then – if they survive – settle for open, promiscuous relationships that pretend to be “marriages”.

    Uh-huh.
    Like the Rest of Us don’t have eyeballs in our heads, or brains behind ’em.

  • Something seems wrong here. How can someone be Orthodox and also openly gay and proud of it? Self-reighteous liberals to this day claim that Yigal Amir is not religious because he killed. What’s the difference?

  • OK I’ll ignore the comparison between Yigal Amir and Y-Love. I’ll just say that Y-Love’s activity involves consenting adults, and Yigal Amir’s doesn’t. I think the point is that just because you’re gay, it doesn’t excuse you from celebrating the Sabbath and holy days, keeping kosher, going to shul etc. What anyone gay does behind closed doors is between them and God. The state of being gay is not in and of itself a sin, even according to the strictest interpretations of Halacha.

  • The state of being gay is not a sin? What exactly is your interpretation of being gay? abstinence from women?

  • OK Josh, let me school you, ok? From the Torah:

    Lev.18,22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination.

    and

    Lev.20,13 And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    What is described here is an act, not a state of being. In fact, one need not even be a gay man to have sex with a male – see prison rape and pedophilia (vast majority of pedophiles and prison rapists are heterosexual).

    So for instance, if you really want to violate the Sabbath – that’s not at all the same as actually violating the Sabbath, a sin punishable by death and worse than eating on Yom Kippur. Wanting to violate the Sabbath is not a sin. Similarly, being a gay man is not in and of itself a sin. A man who is sexually attracted to other men is not in a perpetual state of sin.

  • Why the whitewash and vagueness?

    What you quoted from the Torah describes being gay or not? I didn’t ask you about the Torah. Is gay sexual or not? The common definition is that being gay includes male on male relationship. Despite what you say, male prisoners (so is the partner if he is consenting) and pedophiles who lie carnally with other males are gay. This is undeniable.

    By your definition, you can be gay, and never have sex with men. Is that really possible? It’s like saying, I love to collect chocolate, cigars, and wine, but don’t consume. Yes, very possible, but ultimately quite rare.

    About your Shabbat analogy, I can be a Haredi man who wants to violate Shabbat and sleep with lots of women on Shabbat but never does, and never declares this publicly, as well as then supporting the people that do. Sure, you can be gay and continue to living in the closet and never go over the line. But declaring yourself gay, and the support of this ‘state of being’, is ultimately meant to legitimize the sexual act which A) you described and B) denies the positive commandment of making babies, which is the basis for our society, not just Judaism.

  • Josh, you’re the one that asked “The state of being gay is not a sin?” And the answer is no. It’s not. At least not in the Jewish religion. Everything else is blather. The overwhelmingly vast majority of prisoners who engage in man on man sex in jail do not continue to do so once released. The overwhelmingly vast majority of male pedophiles who have sex with little boys do not have sex with adult men.

  • Sure, I guess you can be temporarily gay and not be on the market. I know many people who are not in relations and taking time off. But it’s undeniable, that proclaiming it openly, the person is supporting the main movement which is to legitimize permanent state of being of which the main aspect is sexual. I believe that someone can be Orthodox and not religious, but you cannot be ‘religious’ if you are openly supporting the violation of Torah commandments.

    Everything else is blather. hmm, good dialogue.

    • Josh,
      OK let me try a different tack. Let’s say you’re gay. Like super gay even. When you get sexually aroused, all you think of is naked men. You desire men, you want to sleep with men, you just love men. But for whatever reason, you decide not to act on your desires. You marry a woman, father children with her, go to shul every day, keep kosher, celebrate the Sabbath and holidays, study Torah every day, send your new clothes to a shatnes lab and live your life in every other respect as an Orthodox Jew. While still lusting after men. By any definition, you’re gay. But if the shul you go to and the Rabbis you follow are Orthodox, then you are Orthodox. You’re not any less religious than anyone else as result of your unfulfilled desires, right?

      Also please explain to me how one can be Orthodox and not religious. For instance, can you be Orthodox while violating the Sabbath, a capital offense mideorayta? And sorry about that “blather” comment. Didn’t mean any disrespect.

  • The Torah gets it right again.

    CK is right – the Torah does not address the “state of being gay”.

    Because there’s no such thing in reality, outside the echo-chamber of “progressive” propaganda.

    For 30 years gay rights activists repeated the mantra that “we’re born this way” to sidestep moral and psychological judgement – but:

    1) We finished mapping the human genome in the early 1990s – and no gene or gene pattern is associated with homosexuality.

    2) Any geneticist will tell you that genes don’t work like this to influence complex behaviors like sexuality.

    So the gay-rights lie that “I was born gay just like others are born with blue eyes” is total BS.

    Homosexual attraction is dysfunctional behavior – not a “natural variation”.
    And the Torah describes it correctly — and gets the moral hazard correct, as well.

  • CK, yes to the first paragraph. If you’ve lived overseas, you know that many people who frequent orthodox shuls are not religious, yet they identify with that stream. I don’t consider people who violate Shabbat and drive to orthodox shuls on Yom Kippur to be secular, reform, conservative or reconstructive. You might be in Israel too long if you’re cataloging people that way – either religious or secular. Yes, I think you can be Orthodox and non-religious. You can even be Haredi and fail to be a tzaddik.

    To go further with an analogy, you can be a Haredi or even a reform Jew and lust after women. If you are married, even unhappily, but still do not act actively on those desires, this might actually ‘normal’, and you must continue to fight these desires. Addictions are not healthy. Yes, you can be Haredi, lust after men, maybe even surf to gay pron sites. I’m not condoning it, because even a hetero viewing pron is not healthy. I think you can truthfully be gay and stay Haredi, just continue to fight those urges. Marry a women, make kids, and stay out of trouble. It’s the struggle most hetero married people deal with as well. Certainly, don’t come out of the closet by announcing it publicly and expose your desires looking for sympathy either way (lust women or men), announcing you are on the market. Again, part of being Jewish is the constant struggle to resist the temptation of non-mitzvah desires, whether sexual or otherwise.

  • I wanted to address two points that were made, rather ignorantly in my honest opinion. First is Ben David who claimed that the “born this way” argument (whatever that is) is invalid because any geneticist will tell you that genes don’t influence complex behaviors. You’re right more than likely you will not find a gene that makes one gay. However it does not prove that one is not born gay. I love chocolate ice cream and can’t stand strawberry ice cream( I apologies if I am trivializing the relevance and complexity of sexual identity but…let me finish) it is a preference, we are all born with them some times our taste change sometimes not, genetics isn’t the only thing that constructs us.

    The second point is Josh’s about fighting you’re urges and marrying a woman and making kids and keeping out of trouble, I think you should refresh your reading of masechet ketubot, for a gay man to marry a woman and have kids could be a huge Torah violation. Would you offer up your daughter to a marriage where she can’t recieve the necessities she needs to obtain her needs? Would you offer up your son to that sort of relationship? It will only end up disastrous, the spectrum of disastour can range anywhere between a life of unhappiness to abuse to worst of all suicide.

    I am a Breslov Chasid, I’ve lived in various religous communities and have sat in Yeshivah actually learning, that being said I often violate Torah(As do you!) not because I do it willingly or inspite, keeping Halacha is a journey, sometimes our Yetzur defeats us sometimes we live to fight another day. The key is that we chose to fight our battles not necessarily that we win them.

  • Omer – for 30+ years the gay rights movement has hammered on the “born that way” myth to create the notion – which you embrace – that people can be identified as “gay” and that this is permanent. It’s also used to shut down anyone who points out how dysfunctional the gay life is.

    NONE of that is true.

    Your taste in ice cream is not hard-wired biologically.
    It is a result of very general traits – perhaps a sensitive stomach and a cautious personality – and a whole lotta cultural and environmental influences. If you were born in Mongolia, you’d love fermented yak’s milk and probably not even like ice cream.

    Once we see clearly that nobody is born gay – we can see that this is a problem, not a variation on normal. Continuing your ice cream analogy: people who eat entire gallons of ice cream and then make themselves throw up are not “living an alternative ice cream lifestyle” – they have developed a self-destructive, unhealthy, pattern in a normal human function (eating and enjoying food). Anorexia and bulimia are dysfunctions, not lifestyle options.

    We can then use all the tools we use to overcome addictions, sinful compulsions, and other behaviors that violate the Torah’s view of how we should act.

  • Omer,
    yes, most of us violate the Torah. We try not to, we learn to improve and make less mistakes. Coming out of the closet is like getting a tattoo. Besides the concrete restriction of getting tattoos, the abstract message of getting one is one of permanency – something very unJewish. It says, that’s who I am, forever, accept it.

  • “We finished mapping the human genome in the early 1990s – and no gene or gene pattern is associated with homosexuality. . . . So the gay-rights lie that ‘I was born gay just like others are born with blue eyes” is total BS.'”

    Fascinating. Really fascinating. Of course, not nearly as fascinating as finding someone who actually gives a shit about the implications of genetic research on the “legitimacy” of homosexuality. Reasoning this powerful really should be augmented with other equally compelling evidence to make it even more ironclad, perhaps such highly relevant, not-at-all-completely-full-of-shit scientific data as the latest research from the American Phrenologists Association.

    All in all, this level of wisdom, integrity and sheer intellect makes it so difficult to understand why Israeli settlers remain among the most widely and intensely loathed group of human beings occupying space on the planet Earth, instead of any other run-of-the-mill ultra-nationalist cult of authoritarian religious fanatics.

  • “All in all, this level of wisdom, integrity and sheer intellect makes it so difficult to understand why Israeli settlers remain among the most widely and intensely loathed group of human beings occupying space on the planet Earth, instead of any other run-of-the-mill ultra-nationalist cult of authoritarian religious fanatics.”

    Um, you recognize that people are being killed or jailed in some countries for homosexuality, right?

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