Given that homosexual relations is a biblical sin, I would like to know if a Jewish male homosexual has an obligation to try to change his sexual orientation (as opposed to just not acting on his homosexual impulses)?

I am aware that there is considerable controversy over organizations like JONAH (related), my question is not whether or not to use a specific organization or technique, but rather if there is an obligation to use any and all possible means to change.

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    Why would you think he needs to change? Pru urvu?
    – Double AA
    Dec 26, 2014 at 15:31
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    How posekim answer this halachic question may depend on their understanding of the empirical question of whether, and under what circumstances, such a change is possible.
    – Isaac Moses
    Dec 26, 2014 at 15:35
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    @IsaacMoses isn't that exactly what mussar is?
    – user6641
    Dec 26, 2014 at 16:20
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    @user6641 Their identity is not bound to a sin. That is a gross misunderstanding of what it means to "come out". Homosexuals don't identify as Baalei Mishkav Zechur; they just realize that it's harder for them to avoid it then for you or me. Are alcoholics binding themselves to sin by recognizing they have a predisposition to a certain desire? The first step of AA is admission!
    – Double AA
    Dec 26, 2014 at 17:54
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    @DoubleAA alcoholics or anyone with an addiction certainly seems to be binding their identity to a behavior as "I'm Bob and I am addicted to 'X'" would imply. Society and medical science seem to determine what falls in most of those categories. I believe my question could apply to "I'm Bob and I'm an adulterer" just as well, only AFAIK nobody claims that to be an unalterable condition, even though there may be biological predisposition (as well as increased yetzer hara - mayim genuvim yimtaku) to it.
    – user6641
    Dec 26, 2014 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


While not a direct answer to your question, I think you can glean insights from Rav Twersky's response to a "gay forum".

From this, I infer that his main focus is that the Torah describes homosexuality as an abomination - "to'evah". This is a very strong term that the Torah rarely uses. Rav Twersky delves into the importance of what true Halachic commitment means. In brief, I infer from the article that his opinion would be that yes, there is a halachic requirement to change one's orientation.

  • As R Twersky says, "If you're talking about k'vod shomayim, one does what is right, what is calibrated for k'vod shomayim, and it doesn't make any difference, any other cheshbonos. It doesn't make a difference what anyone else thinks. If it's the right thing for kvod shomayim, if it expresses what should be said and what should be expressed for kvod shomayim, it doesn't make a difference what anyone else thinks. Sof davar hakol nishma — it doesn't make a difference what anyone else thinks." It is thus by his ruling that I encourage everyone to avoid reading that response/chillulhashem.
    – Double AA
    Dec 26, 2014 at 17:59
  • Can you please explain EXACTLY what lead you to that conclusion. Also, please differentiate between homosexual conduct which is prohibited or simply "being" homosexual.
    – Gavriel
    Dec 27, 2014 at 19:29
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    @Gavriel - I'm uncertain if you are addressing me or DoubleAA. I think that Rav Twersky states that there is no difference between the two. I.e. - thoughts / orientation eventually leads to conduct. This is true in numerous areas of halacha, which is why the rabbis have built "fences" to prevent people from incorrect thoughts. You are welcome to disagree with Rav Twersky's or my opinion.
    – DanF
    Feb 25, 2015 at 17:25
  • Note that there being a requirement to do so does not imply that there is any way to do so.
    – Double AA
    Feb 25, 2015 at 18:56
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    why would there be a requirement,if there si no way of doing so,that is torture?(at least in this topic)
    – Aigle
    Feb 7, 2016 at 7:50

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