was successfully added to your cart.
Monthly Archives

August 2014

Why Is Torah Law So Restrictive of Contact Between the Genders?

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Question:

I understand that Torah law forbids all physical contact between a man and a woman — or even for them to be alone in a room together — unless they are first-degree relatives or married to each other. This applies to any man and any woman, regardless of their ages or whether or not they are sexually attracted to each other. And then there are all those rules about “modest” dress. Isn’t that carrying it a bit far? Are we really such animals?

 

Answer:

When a man and woman are together in a room, and the door closes, that is a sexual event. Not because of what is going to happen, but what has already happened. It may not be something to make novels of, but it is a sexual occurrence, because male and female is what sexuality used to be all about.

It is true that in our world today, in the “free world” certainly, people have, on the whole, stopped thinking in these terms. What happened was that we started putting up all these defenses, getting steeled, inured, against the constant exposure and stimulation of men and women sharing all sorts of activities — co-educational school, camps, gyms — is that we started blocking out groups of people. We can’t be as naturally sexual as G-d created us to be. When a man says, “I have a woman friend, but we’re just friends, nothing more, I’m not attracted to her in any sexual way, she’s not my type,”  you’ve got to ask yourself what is really going on here. Is this a disciplined person? Or is this a person who has died a little bit?

What does he mean “she’s not my type?” When did all this typing come into existence? It’s all artificial. It’s not true to human sexuality. And it really isn’t even true in this particular context because given a slight change of circumstance, you could very easily be attracted. After all, you are a male, she’s a female. How many times does a relationship begin that is casual, neighborly, and then suddenly becomes intimate? The great awakening of this boy and girl who are running around, doing all sorts of things, sharing all sorts of activities, and lo and behold, they realize — what drama, what drama — that they are attracted to each other. These are grown-ups, intelligent human beings, and it caught them by surprise. It’s kind of silly.

So closing a door should be recognized as a sexual event. And you need to ask yourself: Are you prepared for this? Is it permissible? Is it proper? If not, leave the door open. Should men and women shake hands? Should it be seen as an intimate gesture? Should any physical contact that is friendly be considered intimate? Hopefully, it should.

These laws are not guarantees against sin. They have never completely prevented it. There are people who dress very modestly. They cover everything. They sin. It’s a little more cumbersome but they manage. All these laws are not just there to lessen the possibility of someone doing something wrong. They also preserve sexuality — because human sexuality is what G-d wants. He gave us these laws to preserve it, to enhance it — and makes sure it’s focused to the right places and circumstances — not to stifle it.

We have become callous about our sexuality. Even in marriage, a kiss on the run cheapens it, makes it callous — then we run to the therapist for advice. And do you know what the therapist who charges $200 an hour for his advice says? He tells the couple not to touch each other for two weeks. Judaism tells you that free of charge. Yes, there are two weeks each month during which a husband and wife don’t touch. This therapy has been around for 3000 years. And it still works. It’s a wonderful idea.

When you don’t close the door on yourself and that other person, you are recognizing your own sexuality. You are acknowledging the sexuality of the other person. Being modest, recognizing our borders, knowing where intimacy begins and not waiting until it is so intimate that we’re too far gone, is a very healthy way of living. It doesn’t change your lifestyle dramatically, but enhances it dramatically, and you come away more capable of relaxing, better able to be spontaneous, because you know that you can trust yourself. You’ve defined your borders. Now you can be free. It takes a load off your mind and it makes you a much more lovable person.

Random thoughts on Morality and War

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

A.  Morality is meant to save lives and bring peace. One does not die for ones morality – Self sacrifice should be reserved for religious issues.

B.  Morality should make you stronger not weaker, it should work for you not against you.

C.  The only excuse for war is self defense, the only purpose of war is peace.

D.  Morality that is nice on the surface but ends in death is not morality at all.

E.  We cannot control our enemies misbehavior, but we may not contribute to it.

F.  Self defense is a moral obligation not a right.

G.  Peace comes not for the love of peace but from the dread of war.

H.  Self defense means: to do whatever it takes to insure the safety of your people.

I.  The west fights every war with one hand tied behind their back, nice sentiment but not morally correct.

 

The moral form of war is :

A war fought to conclusion not to a stand still.

A war fought to a quick victory so the country can go back to normal life.

A war that brings at least forty years of peace.

On Serving

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Here’s a “class quote.”

 

Serving

“Sometimes we feel a sense of injustice, that we give to our husband or children more than we get in return.

“In reality, we were created to give, to serve. This is what life is all about from beginning to end. We are here to serve G-d. When you acknowledge that you were created to serve your Maker, serving you spouse and children is part of the bigger picture. But if you’re not serving G-d, why should you serve others?

“We’re confused. “Becoming something” has replaced serving the Creator. “Be all you can be” has replaced G-d.

“Let’s get back on track. Ultimately, the only thing we won’t regret in our lives is the service we did for others. That’s what has real validity.

“So ignore it when your children say you’ve ruined their lives. And the fact that your mother was always there for you will, in the end, outweigh what she did or didn’t do for you. We will always regret some things we did to our kids. But we will never regret that we did for them. Be totally comfortable doing the serving — not to receive in return, just to serve; that is true humility. “

Response to “Unsure”

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Dear “Unsure”,

You are torturing yourself unnecessarily. As a fifteen year-old, why would you expect to ‘know for sure’ all the truths of Torah? How are you supposed to ‘know’ who created the world?!

You don’t how an airplane flies or how an antibiotic works. You’ve never seen a germ or a virus, and probably don’t know where your spleen is or what it looks like. Does any of this matter? No, you live your life based onknowledge received from the past without need to reinvent the wheel.

G-d created the world and gave the Torah on Mt. Sinai unless you have witnesses to the contrary.

The best and wisest minds among our sages, every one of them smarter than Einstein, studied the Talmud for three thousand years without doubt of its origin and you are not sure!

So you feel guilty as if you are responsible to prove or confirm cosmic truths! Get real. Relax. It’s not your job. Your job is to elevate yourself to a more productive, noble, respectful life every day.

Work on that. I guarantee you won’t regret it!

All I Got Was Words

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Speaking of words… here’s a really old classic.

 

All I Got Was Words

by: unknown

 

When I was young and fancy free

My folks had no fine clothes for me

All I got was words:

Gott vet geben!

Gott tsu dankn!

Zoll mir nur leben un sein gezund.

 

When I was wont to travel far

They didn’t provide me with a car

All I got was words:

Gay gezunt!

Fuhr pamelech!

Hob a glicklikhe reise!

 

I wanted to increase my knowledge

But they couldn’t send me to college,

All I got was words:

Hob seichel!

Zei nit kein nahr!

Toire iz di beste schoire!

 

The years have flown. The world has turned.

Things I have forgotten, things I’ve learned,

Yet I remember:

Zog dem eemss!

Gib tsedakah!

Hob rachmaness!

Zei a mentsch!