These Haredi Men Chose to Have 'Conversion Therapy' to Control Their Desires. This Is How It Went

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'The Therapy' director Zvi Landsman: Growing up, homosexuality was 'a sin, a deviance, something better not spoken about'
'The Therapy' director Zvi Landsman: Growing up, homosexuality was 'a sin, a deviance, something better not spoken about'Credit: Emil Salman
Nirit Anderman
Nirit Anderman
Nirit Anderman
Nirit Anderman

“I give my kids hugs as much as I can. I’m just so petrified that they’re gonna turn out the way I turned out,” Lev Seltzer, an ultra-Orthodox man, says to his therapist in a heartbreaking moment in a new documentary, “The Therapy.”

In another scene, he attends group therapy. Six men stand in a circle, and each of them declare in turn, “I’m Doron and I’m clear,” I’m Daniel and I’m clear,” “I’m Sam and I’m clear.” When it’s Lev’s turn, he smiles in embarrassment, shifts his feet, looks right and left, looks down, and finally admits, “I am Lev, and I’m not clear.” The therapist asks him if he can say why, and Lev answers in the affirmative. But he can’t manage to get it out. Instead he keeps on shifting in his seat, with an embarrassed smile. He struggles to put his embarrassment into words.

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