‘The LGBT Issue Is Slicing Israel’s religious-Zionist Community in Two’

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10/25/2020

Rabbi Mordechai Vardi thought he already knew quite a bit about Orthodox LGBT people when he decided to direct the film “Marry Me However,” a documentary on one of the burning issues in recent years in the religious-Zionist community: gays and lesbians who want to marry a member of the opposite sex to maintain an Orthodox way of life. After meetings with his students in the Netanya and Ma’alot yeshivas, he began to research the issue. When he told his family about the film, he was surprised to hear that his own daughters had had experience with boyfriends enduring such dilemmas. “One of my daughters went out with a young man who told her he was attracted to men, but they wanted to get married. They got along well, and she agreed. She didn’t want to abandon him because of this. She didn’t come to me, she didn’t tell me,” Vardi says. “In retrospect, she told me she thought things would work out after the wedding. In the end, the relationship fell apart. She married someone else and the first young man came out and left Orthodoxy. My other daughter was going out with someone, and six months after they broke up he asked her to try again. She told him she was about to get engaged, and a while later she saw that he had come out.”

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