LGBTQ+ community 'responsible' for earthquake aftershocks in Israel: chief rabbi

LGBTQ+ community 'responsible' for earthquake aftershocks in Israel: chief rabbi
Israel's Sephardic Chief Rabbi claimed that aftershocks felt in Israel following the earthquake in Turkey are the result of homosexuality.
2 min read
28 February, 2023
Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar has been accused of making homophobic comments in the past [EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images]

The Sephardic chief rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar has claimed that recent earthquake aftershocks in Israel are a result of the rights and freedoms being given to members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Amar made the bizarre comments during his weekly sermon, and used a passage from the Talmud - the primary text of Jewish theology and religious law - to assert his point of view. 

"God said you are shocking your people for something that is not yours," he said, quoting from the Jewish text according to The Jerusalem Post. 

Israel has felt several aftershocks following the devastating earthquake in Turkey, which killed at least 50,000 people across Turkey and Syria. People across the region, including those living as far away as Cyprus and Egypt, reportedly felt the shockwaves.  

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The rabbi has made several homophobic comments in the past. 

In 2016, he described homosexuality as "a cult of abomination" and said that Jewish law dictated that homosexuals should receive the death penalty.

He has also claimed that those that identify as homosexual could not be religious Jews, and called sexual orientation "a wild lust that needs to be overcome," according to the Jerusalem Post.

Amar is not the only rabbi to have attacked the LGBTQ+ community. Earlier this year, Rabbi Meir Mazuz claimed that the newly appointed speaker of the Israeli parliament, Amir Ohana, was "infected with a disease" because of his sexuality. 

In 2020, Mazuz claimed homosexuality and gay pride parades were responsible for the coronavirus spreading across Israel.