Founder R. Levik's Bio

I am Richard Steven Levik, born 12/01/1959 (30 Cheshvan 5720) and raised in Flushing, N.Y.  At age 16 I joined the J.D.L. (Jewish Defense League) when American Nazis were planning to march through Skokie, IL.  Skokie was a heavily Jewish suburb of Chicago with a large number of Holocaust survivors.  This was just too many slaps in the face for me to sit still for.  That year I was also disgusted by Anita Bryant and other religious persons bashing of homosexuals.  That same year I had also begun to discover my own sexual attraction to men. I did not particularly care for this new development.  What greatly disturbed me was how others made this their problem.  I hoped to one day discover what was wrong with these fundamentalists and the many others who judged and condemned homosexuals and homosexuality.  I imagined one day rubbing their noses in their faults, unless that is I found that they were in fact correct about homosexuality.  Though even if correct, I did not at all appreciate the way they treated gay people.  On the other hand, I was discovering that I was not too thrilled with how most gays behaved either.

After Skokie I soon departed the J.D.L..  The J.D.L. leaders spoke of having attacked and of planning future attacks on Jews for Jesus. Jews for Jesus were handing out religious tracts, as I had witnessed at Queens College.  This was a fundamental freedom, or so I thought.  The Orthodox Jews in the J.D.L. did not agree apparently.  This convinced me that being Jewish was just not worth fighting for, as the Orthodox are the main upholders of this word, Jewish, for over two millenia now.   If people do not understand the fundamental right of allowing others to pass out a piece of paper with words on it, then it is time to move on. Except to where? It had to be Christianity, at least as a first step.  Even though I held contempt for  Christianity, regarding (homo)sexuality, as well as their well documented history of anti-Jewishness.  Yet with what I'd seen and heard in the J.D.L. I needed to hear the Christian/Jews for Jesus side of things.  Besides, avoiding Christianity in my planned escape from being Jewish was near impossible.  Little did I know at the time, ALL the New Testament authors were products of a Jewish society.

Just prior to my turning 21, I temporarily put aside being Jewish and read the Bible. I read the Bible as a human being.  I was ready to become a Christian, though only if I agreed with Christian beliefs and practices. Besides I wanted and felt the need to experience Christianity from the inside.  The Bible, to my amazement was a very Jewish book. While reading the Bible in a two week span I became a believer in the Law of Moses and then the Gospels of Jesus and Revelation.  I did not accept Paul and the other letters which are a major part of the New Testament however.  That such “letters” could be included in the Bible further fueled my contempt for religion. Nonetheless, my journey into religion: Christianity, Jews for Jesus, Messianic Judaism and presently Reform Judaism had begun.

I noticed something else significant when I read the Bible.  I recognized a close variation of my family name, Levik, throughout much of the Law of Moses.  The third or middle book is in fact entitled Leviticus.  I also realized how the house of Israel, also known as the 10 Tribes of Israel, house of Joseph, or house of Ephraim had allegedly disappeared over 2700 years ago, taking with them other Levites who had been apportioned to each tribe.  No one in the Jewish world had found the House of Israel as yet. As far as I could surmise, only some Sephardic Jews had even looked for them. This seemed quite inexcusable and had to explain why Jews have been and remain hated by so many. This further convinced me of my need to move away from being a Jew and Israel would be my escape.  Except it would not be Israel the country, but Israel the people.  It is only recently that I can state that I am no longer a Jew.  Ironically this has made me comfortable enough to join a synagogue.  In 5769 I joined Beth Chayim Chaddashim, the world's first GLBT synagogue.  

The idea of an organization entitled The Levite Line came to me many years ago as I continued to wrestle with separating myself from the Jewish community.  Though my beliefs are Biblical and not rabbinic, most come under the umbrella of Judaism.  There are many reasons for my needing and wanting to separate myself from being Jewish.  One reason was simply the ability to express my objective opinions and criticism of Jewish life without getting my skull crushed or getting killed.  The Orthodox Jews in the J.D.L. and otherwise convinced me that many of them are quite willing to maim or murder those with whom they disagree, particularly other Jews.  In 5768 I began The Levite Line.  There is a logo based upon the Book of Numbers, Chapter 2.  I also designed a flag for Israel, representing the 12 tribes or sons of Jacob/Israel. My belief in the House of Israel and who they are is now much more clear.  

Yet the forerunners to Anita Bryant are still very much in power within and throughout Christianity, though progress is being made. Judaism is also making great strides in the area of GLBT rights, with Reform being the most progressive. I remain highly disgusted and disrespectful of most Western religions and have every intention of expressing my views. I've experienced much name-calling and I take it from the brain-washed and bastardized sources from whence it comes. I appreciate constructive criticism. I do not appreciate name-calling, judgmentalism, and labeling.  And NO, I won't ignore them!
Remember, it is your mind, your mouth, your soul, your everything. Take control or others will, if you allow them. In most cases they've taken control since you were born or sometime thereafter. They will tell you how they know what is best for you.   Even if they are correct, you need to wrestle control back or you can make excuses.  You should be guided and taught how best to run your own life, to think and decide for yourself.  Others should not run your life.