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Transgender in Jewish Religion Research Paper

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Updated: Sep 15th, 2021

Introduction

Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies that diverge from the normative gender role (woman or man) commonly, but not always, assigned at birth, as well as the role traditionally held by society. It is the state of one’s gender identity (self-definition as male, female, both, or neither), not matching one’s assigned gender (identification by others as male or female based on physical/genetic sex). It does not imply any specific form of sexual orientation, transgender people may intensify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, or asexual. (Charlie, 2005)

Its precise definition remains in flux, but includes relating to or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender but combines or moves between this.

People who were assigned gender at birth and based on their genitals, but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of themselves. A transgender individual may have characteristics that are normally associated with a particular gender, identify elsewhere on a traditional gender continuum, or exist outside its agendas, intergender or third gender. These people may also identify as bigender, or along with several places on either the traditional transgender continuum or the more encompassing continuums, which have been developed in response to the significantly more detailed studies done in recent years. (LDS church, 1992)

Evolution of the term transgender

The term transgender was popularized in the 1970s describing people who wanted to live cross-gender without sex reassignment surgery. In the 1980s the term was expanded to an umbrella term and became popular as a means of uniting all those, who gender identities did not mesh with their gender assigned at birth. In the 1990s the term took a political dimension as an alliance covering all those who have at some point conformed to gender norms, and the term became used to question the validity of those norms or pursue equal rights and anti-discrimination legislation leading to its widespread usage in the media, academic world and law.

Many people also identify simply as transgender, but transgender i8dentity includes many overlapping categories. These include, transsexual, crossdresser, transvestite, androgynes, genderqueer. (Charlie, 2005)

Transsexual

Transsexual people identify as or desire to live and be accepted as a member of the gender opposite to that assigned at birth. Many transsexual people want to change their bodies. These physical changes are collectively known as sex reassignment therapy and often include hormones and sex reassignment surgery. (Charlie, 2005)

Transvestite

A transvestite is somebody who cross-dresses. The term transvestite is used as a synonym for the term cross-dresser although it’s known that crossdresser is the preferred term

A crossdresser is a person who has an apparent gender identification with one sex and who has and certainly has been birth designated as belonging to one sex, but who wears the clothing of the opposite sex because it is the clothing of the opposite sex. This excludes people who wear opposite clothing for other reasons. Also, the group doesn’t include those female impersonators who look upon dressing as solely connected to their dressers. (Charlie, 2005)

Crossdressers

Crossdressers may not identify with, or want to be the opposite gender, nor adopt the behaviors or practices of the opposite gender, and generally do not want to change their bodies medically. The majority of cross-dressers identify as heterosexuals

Genderqueer signify gender experiences that do not fit into binary concepts and refers to a combination of gender identities and sexual orientations. One example could be a person, who gendered presentation is sometimes perceived as male, sometimes female but whose gender identity is female, gendered expression is butch. (LDS church, 1992)

View of transgender in the Jewish religion

A new pattern continues to emerge as courts, as well as local, state, and federal legislatures, spurred by cultural and political changes across the country, apply the concept of equality to sexual orientation, just as homosexuality has moved from the fringe closer to the mainstream of American culture in recent years, the battle for equal rights for gays and lesbians has become a flourishing area of the law

Proceedings in fits and starts positive changes in how the law treats gay, lesbian bisexual, and transgender individuals have been less the result of a single court ruling or pieces of legislation than a collective response to the shift in public attitudes about homosexuality. Polls show an increased acceptance of gay nationwide, movies and television programs are portraying more gay characters and advertisers have begun openly appealing to gay customers. (Charlie, 2005)

Despite these gains, discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals is alive and well in America. Gaps in current law omit an entire segment of the population from a variety of laws protecting against a number of different areas in which discrimination occurs in e-health, employment, insurance, marriage, adoption, the justice system, and others.

The Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) is the primary source of the Jewish views on homosexuality. It states that. A man shall not lie with another man as he would with a woman, it is a toeva (abomination) Leviticus 18:22. like many similar commandments, the stated punishment for a willful violation is the death penalty, although, in practice, rabbinic Judaism rid itself of the death penalty for all practical purposes 2,000 years ago

Rabbinic Jewish tradition understands this verse to specifically prohibit a man from having anal sex with another man. Rabbinic works ban lesbian acts of sex as well. What people today describe as the psychological or purportedly biological homosexual inclination is not discussed among classical rabbis. The sources only discuss specific same-sex acts and not the modern concepts of homosexual identities/relationships. (Charlie, 2005)

Orthodox Judaism views homosexuality as sinful. Many orthodox Jews view homosexuality as a choice; some sources claim it to be deliberate deviance. The majority view is to consider all homosexual activity as an abomination as per Leviticus 20:12-15. A trade of studying the issue of homosexuality has recently begun to occur, with a view towards understanding and reaching out to religious homosexual Jews. It is common practice amongst orthodox Jews to encourage young Jew known to be gay to marry someone of the opposite sex in the hope that this will cure them. Many rabbis and community leaders have condemned this as potentially cruel to both spouses (Charlie, 2005)

Religious support for homosexuality

In centrally to the Jewish religion, there exists groups and denominations whose interpretation of scripture and doctrine states that homosexuality is morally acceptable and a natural occurrence. Some conclude that there is no scriptural prohibition against homosexuality as it is presently understood, namely as the outworking of an orientation. Others consider that scriptural prohibition only relates to pederasty, which was a mode of same-sex practice in ancient times.

Others consider that scripture has a thoroughgoing patriarchal bias, which expresses itself in disapproval of all gender transgressive sexual practices, present-day reading must account for this. Proponents of liberation theology may consider that the liberation of gay and lesbian peoples from stigmatization and oppression is a kingdom imperative. Similarly, the inclusion of the unclean gentiles in the early church is sometimes said to be a model for the inclusion of other people called unclean today. (Charlie, 2005)

Others consider that Christ made the commandment to love God and one’s neighbor and to love, one neighbor as one’s self touchstones of the moral law, that this implies radical equality, and by this, the principle of equality, the Law of Moses is to be adjusted. Jesus exemplified this principle in his teaching to divorce. Furthermore, it is said that Jesus

Christ instituted a virtue ethic, whereby the worth of one’s action is to be adjudged by one interior disposition. For this reason, it is said that to condemn homosexuality is to fall into pre-Christian pharisaical legalism.

People adopting one of the foregoing positions would hold that morality, which applies to heterosexuals, should similarly apply to gay men and lesbians I e sex is acceptable with a monogamous relationship or same-sex marriage. Others seek a naturalistic justification for the view that homosexual behavior is moral or that morality does not apply, pointing to evidence of the existence of such behavior of the animal kingdom. Therefore it is said to be natural, perhaps even integral to species survival. (Charlie, 2005)

Opinions

A transgender visibility increases across western culture as a whole, gender-transforming Jews have started to carve out space for themselves in Jewish society. They have stared down gender preconceptions, paranoia, and misunderstandings. But in many cases, they have found that transitioning has enriched their relationship with Judaism and vice versa.

Trans Jews have also created their own communities on the Internet and elsewhere. This includes a trans-Jews email group on yahoo, a community on livejournal.com, and an acclaimed Zine called Tim Tum. A tans Jew zine, written by tranny anti-occupation activist Micah Bazant, who also wrote the trans manifesto, a well-circulated online call for the recognition of equal rights for the Tran gendered. (Leupp, 1995)

Inevitably, when a Jewish person, changes gender, this changes his or her relationship to the religion. Israel American bethoren completed her transition from male to female in 1997and finds that her status is a little different now. Orens runs the Dina email list for orthodox Jewish Tran people

On the other hand, transitioning from male to female made involvement with Judaism possible. Jerrold, a twenty-four-year-old man said as a female, he had no connection to the religion at all

Even if changing your gender makes you more comfortable with Judaism, there is no guarantee that every Jew will accept their new gender identity. The majority of orthodox rabbis refuse to recognize the gender identities of people who have had genital surgery regarding it as gentian mutilation, much less those of people who have merely taken hormones or taken on genderqueer identity. (Leupp, 1995)

The majority of halachic authorities in Israel take the position that a person’s gender is irrevocably fixed at birth. According to a 1998 article in the Jerusalem Post. Not only that but the article cites the influential 1977 opinion of yeshiva university professor J. David Bleich that genital reassignment surgery violates the prohibition on sterilization for women, or castration for men. The article also cites a minority view by rabbi Eliezer Walden, a judge in the supreme rabbinical court in Jerusalem, that surgery does change someone’s gender. Often cited by orthodox trainperson such as Beth Oren as an authoritative halachic position.

Members of orthodox Jewish community, which with 900,000 members is the most traditional branch of Judaism, welcome all Jews as members but view gay sexual behavior as an abomination it is silent on transgender issues. Synagogues do not excommunicate members for sexual attraction towards someone of the same sex. However, a person who felt such attraction would be considered in need of religious guidance. (Leupp, 1995)

Orthodox movement defines marriage as a sacred institution between a man and a woman. On the other hand, it does not endorse the federal marriage amendment, which would write discrimination against same-sex couples into the U.S. constitution although some individual orthodox rabbis have come out in its support.

The reform movement, the largest Jewish movement in the United States with 1.7 million members welcomesGLBT people as members and clergy. The central conference of American rabbis passed a resolution in 1977 that changed the movement’s official’s interpretation if Jewish law, making gay sex no longer a violation. The same year the CCAR called for an end to discrimination of gays and lesbians. (Leupp, 1995)

Treatment for transgender

Transsexual people are not comfortable in their birth gender and feel that they were born in the wrong body. This is a medical condition known as gender diasporia. It is unlawful to discriminate against transsexual people on grounds of gender reassignment in the areas of employment and vocational training. They have the right to be recognized in their acquired gender, following the gender recognition act 2004. Legal recognition follows from the issue of a full gender recognition certificate by a gender recognition panel

It is unlawful for service providers to treat transgender people less favorably than others for a reason relating to their gender status unless such treatment can be justified. A service provider may be able to justify treating transgender people less favorably or not making reasonable adjustments to provide them with goods, facilities or services, if the provider reasonably believes that the treatment is necessary to safeguard someone’s health or safety, whether disabled or not, the treatment is reasonable because the person is incapable of entering in to enforceable agreement or giving an informed consent, the treatment is necessary to allow the provider to provide the goods, facilities or services to the disabled person or to other members of the public. (Donald, 1997)

Sex discrimination is lawful in certain circumstances e.g. when selecting participants for sports and other events of a competitive nature where activities are confined to competitors of one sex. It is also lawful to discriminate in certain circumstances on the grounds of nationality, place of birth or length of residence in a particular place when selecting people to represent a place or country in a competition.

When providing fostering arrangement for children, or when providing personal care services to people, it may be unlawful to discriminate on grounds of sex orientation and hence as a result, treatment to the transgender should be administered equally as the other people. (Donald, 1997)

Union for Reform Judaism, world congress of gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender Jews social services. The los angel gay and lesbian community center offers many services including youth program and education and computer training, medical care, employmeny, training and placement services, presenting cultural arts and extensive HIV/AUDS related services. In addition, the organization houses one of the largest HIV/AIDS drug related pharmacies

Jewish family service of los angels, meeting the needs of individuals, families, children and seniors with more than 40 programs in 26 locations that provide counseling services, medical assistance, immigration and citizenship, nutrition programs, transportation and a community burial program. (Donald, 1997)

Jewish federation of greater los angels is the voice of Jewish los angels, and the community building at 6505 Wiltshire Boulevard is the central address of Jewish life for some 520,000 Jews in great los angel’s area. The federation also maintains offices in west hills serving the five-valley area and tolerance, serving the south bay. The federation is the central planning, coordinating and fund raising body for 18 local and international agencies that offer the entire community a broad range of humanitarians programs. The united Jewish fund, the annual fundraising campaign, supports these campaigns and is the largest single year round fundraising endeavor in the Jewish community. (Donald, 1997)

Jewish free loan association, administers free loan administration to families with financial problems undergraduate and graduate students, the sick and the disabled, frail elderly and enterprenuers. Loans are available to support adoptions, help victims of domestic violence, fund Jewish residential camping and Israel experiences for teens and college age young adults, housing, cars and car repair, medical, dental and other emergencies. (Donald, 1997)

Training and licensing issues

It is natural to wonder if electro logy is an area of professional health science, part of the beauty and cosmetology industry, or unregulated and uncontrolled business. This field is made up of the above. (LDS church, 1992)

Conclusion

Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors and groups involving tendencies that diverge from the normative gender role (woman or man) commonly, but not always, assigned at birth, as well as the role traditionally held by society. It is the state of ones gender identity (self definition as male, female, both or neither), not matching ones assigned gender (identification by others as male or female based on physical/genetic sex). It does not imply any specific form of sexual orientation, transgender people may identify as heteresexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual of asexual.

Its precise definition remains in flux, but include relating to or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to Despite these gains discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals is alive and well in the America. Gaps in current law omit an entire segment of the population from a variety of laws protecting against a number of different arenas in which discrimination occurs I.e. health, employment, insurance, marriage, adoption, the justice system and others.

It is unlawful for service providers to treat transgender people less favorably than others for a reason relating to their gender status unless such treatment can be justified. A service provider may be able to justify treating transgender people less favorably or not making reasonable adjustments to provide them with goods, facilities or services, if the provider reasonably believes that the treatment is necessary to safeguard someone’s health

Reference

LDS church (1992): Understanding and helping those who have homosexual problems: Suggestions for ecclesiastical leaders.

Leupp, G (1995). Male colors, the construction of homosexuality in tokugava Japan.

Congregation for the doctrine of faith. (1986). Letter to the bishops of the Catholic Church on the pastoral care of homosexual persons.

Charlie A (2005): Choirboy. Intersection between gender and religion.

Donald, J. (1997): Sociolegal control of homosexuality: Multi nation comparison.

Biale, D (2002): Cultures of the Jews: A new history.

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