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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 1 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 44
Oy vey! Will soy turn you Gay? Rabbi says soybean 'hormones' could have unbiblical side effects
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Oy vey! Will soy turn you Gay? Rabbi says soybean 'hormones' could have unbiblical side effects

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

And now, conclusive proof that the Catholic Church has no monopoly on silly religious dogma.

The Hasidic Rebbe of Gur has told the estimated 13,000 families who follow him that their boys must not eat soy products, because that might lead to 'unwanted sexual arousal.'

According to a report in the Israeli newspaper HaMevasser, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter issued the ruling because he believes that 'hormones' in soy products could cause boys to become effeminate.

If these boys became more like girls, Alter said, then teachers and older students in their yeshiva would become attracted to them, and who knows where that would lead?

The rabbi is also concerned soy will cause girl students to become sexually mature faster than normal.

A MODICUM OF TRUTH
Soy products do contain chemicals known as isoflavones that mimic estrogen, but a male would have to consume a huge amount to have any noticeable effect. It has not been connected to sexual orientation at all.

Alter is the seventh Rebbe in the Gur dynasty, having succeeded his uncle in 1992. He is also the leader of the Agudat Yisrael party in the Israeli Knesset. Agudat Yisrael represents the Haredim, the most traditionalist of the Orthodox Jewish sects.

Alter is also one of Israel's richest citizens, with an estimated net worth of more than $200 million.

The Gur dynasty of Rebbes was founded in 1859 in the Polish town of Gora Kalwaria, known as Gur, or Ger, in Yiddish. Before the Holocaust, the line of Rebbes had perhaps 100,000 followers. Today most Gur followers live in Israel, but there are also communities in Brooklyn and London.

Jewish historians say that the Haredi movement grew in reaction to the 19th-century "Jewish Enlightenment," which gave rise to modernist Reform Judaism.

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