May 26th, 2018

Tanakh distraction

So I went to torah study this morning, primarily because I wanted to talk with the rabbi about what would be the appropriate venue at shul to circulate the Portland Just Energy Initiative. Rabbi wasn’t there, no one else knew. And the day’s torah portion was one of those dedicated to the proposition of proving that parts of this ancient book are superstitious horseshit.

If a man is jealous of his wife, and has no evidence of actual fooling-around on her part, he is to go to the rabbi with his wife and complain, and the rabbi is to cast a spell on the wife that will make her sick if she is indeed fooling around. Casting spells, guys? Come on. And who can be responsible for an emotion other than the person feeling it? The main point of the setup is that she and her hypothetical lover are the only ones who know if she *is* fooling around. So maybe the jealous guy’s right and maybe he’s wrong, but not only doesn’t *he* know, pretty much nobody else does either. His ignorance is *also* his job to deal with – either learn more, or come to grips with not knowing.

Me, when my now-ex-wife found a lover, he was a nice guy, so I married him too. Different times, different values. (Hi, Jer, if you’re reading.)

There was some interesting hypothesizing going on about the displacement of Goddess-based worship with male-centered culture. The group were entirely amateur scholars, however, so evidence and citations were lacking, but the viewpoint of trying to determine the sociological background and the acknowledgement that the document was written by committee over centuries were both part of my personal Jewish identity, so that bit was fulfilling. The group was about ¾ female, which fits my own experience of Jewish culture; the men try to exert some influence through the worship and custom because that’s about all the input they get. Don’ mess with the balabusteh.

None of which gets my nine follow-ups written. Back to work.