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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 4:16:51 PM PST
cbk says:
>>Psychologists attribute man's stronger sexual drive to many factors.

Carl Jung believed what the Torah has said for millenia, that illicit desires and addictions of all kinds come from an inner yearning of the soul for spiritual fulfillment.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 4:26:53 PM PST
paul best says:
*w/o modesty Judaism is not proper Judaism*.
with too many restrictions, especially forced upon the teen girls dress code/standard, this supression of the girls normal growing up lifestyle, is also NOT healthy Judaism.
Judaism's only purpose is to be a Light to the ignorant gentiles.
Light = Wisdom/Knowledge /Understanding/ Health in Mind, Body , Soul.
God intended for Abraham's progeny to create a line of Wise men.
But as we know even Abraham had his issues with trying to figure God's Ways.
Joseph, Daniel, Moses, the Prophets, these are God's Sons. Isaac, Jacob had some good things about them, David had tremendous potential, but had no true friends that kept an eye on him.
Solomon had serious issues most of his adult life.
Point being, The history of the Jews is just as dark as the gentiles, both species of man have fallen away from God.

Posted on Jan 16, 2012 4:46:08 PM PST
cbk says:
Paul, you do realize that you are ignored by most of, if not all of, the active people here, don't you? I don't read what you write any longer because you are on ignore, but I do see your name. Your innane beliefs and rantings are just plain silliness and you bring shame and dishonor to your fellow believers and your god itself, by giving so much fodder to mock. Is that really what your god wants? Answer to yourself; no one else will read it.

Posted on Jan 16, 2012 5:24:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2012 5:41:26 PM PST
Linda Sang says:
jeffesq613: Men should not listen to women singing, because it can lead to impure thoughts. (Mishnah Berurah 75:17) The source is from the Talmud (Brachot 24a): "A woman's voice can be erotic, as it is written, 'For sweet is thy voice and thy countenance is comely.'" (Song of Songs 2:14)

Linda: LOL! So can a man's! In fact, in a recent email to a Jewish man I mentioned a very pleasant memory I had of the erotic quality of his voice...when reading poetry, not singing, but the same general principle applies.

Also, the quote from the Song of Songs evokes a whole constellation of memories from somewhat earlier in that same period of my life. Since when are erotic thoughts necessarily "impure" or unspiritual? More to the point: just how authentically "Jewish" is that attitude anyway? The much older and more authentic approach is what the mystical understanding still is: NOT that sexuality and spirituality are opposed to each other, but that they are deeply connected. There is a reason the Song of Songs is called "the Holy of Holies," after all.

To this day, I consider myself fortunate in the fact that my Reform upbringing allowed me to experience that connection as a reality in my own life, not simply as an abstraction. There are many examples I could bring up, but as long as I started with the Song of Songs I'll confine myself to that. Just what do you think my favorite book of the Bible was when I fourteen and in a Reform confirmation class? I remember how astonished I was when I discovered it on my own. I couldn't believe something so erotic was actually in the Bible. I probably don't need to tell anyone that pretty soon my copy of the Tanakh (in English, of course) fell open by itself to the Song of Songs.

My point here is that my reasons for being so intrigued with the Song of Songs especially at that age were definitely sexual, but in no way impure or unspiritual. Quite the opposite, in fact. I have no reason believe Jewish men see it that much differently, unless their thinking has been poisoned by the anti-sexual perversions of Islam or Christianity...or ultra-Orthodox Judaism.

--Linda

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 5:30:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2012 5:32:07 PM PST
jeffesq613 says:
Sexuality can be very holy, in private, between a husband and wife. As for Song of Songs, if one doesn't understand that it's a metaphor for something else entirely, one misses the point.

Posted on Jan 16, 2012 5:48:11 PM PST
Linda Sang says:
jeffesq613: Sexuality can be very holy, in private, between a husband and wife. As for Song of Songs, if one doesn't understand that it's a metaphor for something else entirely, one misses the point.

Linda: Not "something else entirely," but the universal or cosmic version of the same thing. Or as Yeats said, "Natural and supernatural with the self-same ring are wed." Please understand that I was not born yesterday, and I have also read "The Hebrew Goddess" by Raphael Patai.

--Linda

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 6:09:23 PM PST
Omnireader says:
jeff

The problem is that there is no input from women into what is taught or written, they are treated as ciphers (if at all) in the decisions made on modesty.
If you discount women as sources of wisdom and objects of respect then male children make games of debasing women and girls.
They call them names, they disrespect them, pull at their clothing and insult them openly.
They do this even to their sisters and mothers.
Sometimes they use the insults behind their backs, often openly.

Having women wrapped up so they cannot easily move makes them victims, and objects.
It marks them as less than men, lesser humans.

This is quoted from your post my input is in brackets [ ]:

"While it might be hard for a woman to imagine such a thing, the Sages are very in tune with human nature - and this rule has been observed by Jews for thousands of years. [The sages were all men}

So with this in mind, when the Torah [written by men] sets up barriers to protect society's [men's] moral fabric, the emphasis was placed to counter the reality of man's weaker character in these areas. Hearing the pleasant melody of a women singing is just one way a man could become aroused, therefore he should avoid this medium, given that we are obligated to refrain from exposing ourselves to erotic situations. (Maimonides - Isurei Biah 21:1, based on Leviticus 18:6)"

If men were taught by both men and women to be respectful of each other as humans in the image of G-d then there would be fewer problems.

All humans go through phases where they are awash with sexual hormones. The teen years and early adult-hood are those ages most effected.

What could be done is to recognize it and deal with it better.
Perhaps acknowledging that humans evolved from animals but are more than animals and can control their urges.
Perhaps then kids can know that their lives will change for a time, and that they need to slowly increase their self-control and self-discipline through the pre-teen years and be better prepared for puberty.

Teach them that sex is not evil, or dirty, or innately wrong, but that sex between people is special, and reserved for very special relationship with your beloved.

Just as birthday cake and birthday presents are reserved for birthdays, so sex with a person is reserved and special. It has special times and with particular people. It is a gift and a sweet time between lovers.

Having birthday cake and presents every day, or too often, takes away the uniqueness. It makes them just another piece of cake and another trinket.

When your birthday comes around there is no special treat to it, it's just another day. Your gift has no luster.
When you share a special gift with many others it becomes devalued.

Waiting for your special time, with a very special person, within the holiness of marriage in religion, heightens and keeps the experience sacred, unique, infinitely desirable.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 6:21:27 PM PST
cbk says:
>>. Since when are erotic thoughts necessarily "impure" or unspiritual?

Were you looking for an exact date and time? When those thoughts are not about one's spouse, they are impure and unspiritual.

>>And more to the point: just how authentically Jewish is that attitude anyway?

Authentic

>> The much older and more authentic approach is what the mystical understanding still is: NOT that sexuality and spirituality are opposed to each other, but that they are deeply connected.

True. But only when it is about one's spouse. To say that they are connected without adding that it is only regarding a spouse, is NOT Jewish, and certainly not based upon any Kabbalistic idea.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 6:22:39 PM PST
cbk says:
>>Having women wrapped up so they cannot easily move makes them victims, and objects.
It marks them as less than men, lesser humans.

We've been through that point about burkas, and we all agree on it.

Posted on Jan 16, 2012 9:28:27 PM PST
Linda Sang says:
paul best: Judaism's only purpose is to be a Light to the ignorant gentiles.
Light = Wisdom/Knowledge /Understanding/ Health in Mind, Body , Soul.

Linda: It's ONLY purpose? Certainly its main purpose is to enable us to fulfill the prime directive to be "a light unto the nations." Even liberal Jews like me agree on that score, but if you are not Jewish yourself, are you really the person to remind us of that? Seems kind of condescending to me!

paul: Point being, The history of the Jews is just as dark as the gentiles, both species of man have fallen away from God.

Linda: Paul, while I appreciate your Jungian orientation and clearly have issues with the more conservative posters on this thread, you seem to have picked up on some rather stereotypical notions about Jews from the NT and other sources. These are not welcome here, since this topic and other one, "Jewish Unity" are intended as brainstorming sessions among Jews as to how we can best fulfill our prime directive. While we may disagree with each other emphatically, we are still all on the same side. None of us intends any harm to klal yisrael (the household of Israel), and posters who do are not welcome here. Stick to the interfaith topics and even at that try to tone down the criticism and hostility. Otherwise you're just going to end up on the troll list!

I don't understand how you can say "the history of the Jews is as dark as the gentiles." You are going to have to explain that one.

--Linda

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 9:35:43 PM PST
Linda,

Please don't ask him to explain anything. We all have him on ignore. Acknowledging him, is certain to make him stick around. He comes in to the forum, makes a post, doesn't get a response, and goes away-- but not if someone talks to him. Then things get weird.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 10:53:19 PM PST
Omnireader says:
cbk

Actually I was not speaking about burkas but about the long skirted dresses of some of those who are Orthodox. Many times these long dresses do not allow women to walk very well. They are used to mark the women out.

As far as customs about modesty there is the story of Tamar and Judah in Genesis.

Chapter 38
{13. And it was told to Tamar, saying, "Behold, your father in law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep."

14. So she took off her widow's garb, covered [her head] with a veil and covered her face, and she sat down at the crossroads that were on the way to Timnah, for she saw that Shelah had grown up, but as for her she was not given to him for a wife.

15. When Judah saw her, he thought she was a harlot, because she covered her face.}

So you can clearly see that covering your head and face is not thought modest in this case, it was merely a disguise to avoid embarrassment of being known as a harlot. That is why Judah mistook Tamar for a harlot.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 12:33:25 AM PST
Linda Sang says:
KNYN: Please don't ask him to explain anything. We all have him on ignore. Acknowledging him, is certain to make him stick around. He comes in to the forum, makes a post, doesn't get a response, and goes away-- but not if someone talks to him. Then things get weird.

Linda: A Jungian troll? That's a new one on me, and kind of disappointing. I am a longtime fan of C.G. Jung myself and can't even imagine such a thing. But I'll take your word for it and put him on ignore. You've been around here longer than I have, and I also picked up on the trollish notes myself. That's why I posted to him.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 12:49:49 AM PST
cbk says:
>>So you can clearly see that covering your head and face is not thought modest in this case, it was merely a disguise to avoid embarrassment of being known as a harlot. That is why Judah mistook Tamar for a harlot.

I see that covering her face lead to that perception. But your conclusion is painted in your bias. I understand where you're coming from. I struggled with many of these issues when I became religious. I'm not discounting your feelings. I just don't agree with your conclusions. Nor those of your judgements about long skirts. If you are uncomfortable in those clothes, that is your perogative. But don't project your discomforts onto other women who choose those clothes. And yes, they do make that choice. Others wear shorter dresses and are still within the spectrum of modesty according to the Torah.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 1:14:00 AM PST
Omnireader says:
cbk

Thank you for your post.

I agree with you when you say: "f you are uncomfortable in those clothes, that is your perogative. But don't project your discomforts onto other women who choose those clothes. And yes, they do make that choice."

To me it is far more modest to wear loose fitting slacks than to wear skirts or dresses which can blow up in the wind or that you have to sit down in whilst crossing your ankles and always being alert to flashing somebody inadvertently.

When little girls have to wear them I applaud the moms that make them wear tights too.
Instead of layering clothes in hot weather it is better to have the option of loose fitting slacks or loose fitting jeans.

Nobody accuses men of immodesty when they wear loose fitting long pants, in fact it is considered normal Orthodox wear.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 4:59:22 AM PST
anne says:
Omnireader: <Nobody accuses men of immodesty when they wear loose fitting long pants>

anne: But men aren't sexy to start with.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 6:31:26 AM PST
cbk says:
>>To me it is far more modest to wear loose fitting slacks than to wear skirts or dresses which can blow up in the wind or that you have to sit down in whilst crossing your ankles and always being alert to flashing somebody inadvertently.

I would agree.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 8:24:43 AM PST
jeffesq613 says:
Not having read the Patai book, I have no idea if we're talking about the same thing. I suspect not. Here is a brief quote from Maimonides that points more to what I was referring to:

<What is the proper [degree] of love? That a person should love God with a very great and exceeding love until his soul is bound up in the love of God. Thus, he will always be obsessed with this love as if he is lovesick.

[A lovesick person's] thoughts are never diverted from the love of that woman. He is always obsessed with her; when he sits down, when he gets up, when he eats and drinks. With an even greater [love], the love for God should be [implanted] in the hearts of those who love Him and are obsessed with Him at all times as we are commanded [Deuteronomy 6:5: "Love God...] with all your heart and with all soul."

This concept was implied by Solomon [Song of Songs 2:5] when he stated, as a metaphor: "I am lovesick." [Indeed,] the totality of the Song of Songs is a parable describing [this love].>

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/911914/jewish/Chapter-Ten.htm

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 8:26:46 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2012 8:28:32 AM PST
jeffesq613 says:
As to things that are imposed by zealots that do not reflect halakhah, I would agree with you. As to the rest of your post, I understand how one who does not have a belief in and respect for the Sages and the halakhic process can reach such conclusions. We would have to agree to disagree.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 8:35:39 AM PST
jeffesq613 says:
We learn from Numbers 5:18 that uncovering the hair of the Sotah was a way of humiliating her, because a married Jewish woman would always keep her hair covered. See tractate Ketuvot 72a.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 8:39:16 AM PST
jeffesq613 says:
Traditional Judaism does not allow less learned individuals to decide for themselves what is or is not required by halakhah. While there may be room for certain choices within the halakhah, choosing an option that is outside the halakhah based on one's own logic never was permitted in any halakhic system.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 8:40:57 AM PST
jeffesq613 says:
Do you know of a reliable halakhic authority that would agree that loose pants are preferable to a skirt below the knees?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 9:24:56 AM PST
Emma says:
Omni - Actually I was not speaking about burkas but about the long skirted dresses of some of those who are Orthodox. Many times these long dresses do not allow women to walk very well. They are used to mark the women out.

Emma - Hi Omnireader, I'm not sure what you mean by "mark the women out". Could you explain?

Also, I'm not sure which orthodox women you've seen wearing long and constrictive skirts. The strict interpreters of halacha say that skirts should be 4 inches below the knee - that's about mid-calf, a length that is very conducive to walking. Of course, if a woman sees a skirt that she likes that is longer, that is fine. Also, halacha states that skirts should not be tight, so because the skirts are a little loose, there should be no impediment to walking. In the 3 orthodox areas I've lived (1 in Israel, 2 in America - one more Chassidish and one more Yeshivish) i've never seen any woman wearing a skirt she couldn't walk in. Especially the Chassidish women, because many of them walk everywhere. Just wanted to add this to the discussion :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 9:39:09 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2012 10:20:18 AM PST
Omnireader says:
jeff

Define: 'less learned individuals'.
I would assume that anybody who is not from the era of the Judges and Prophets of the First Temple is not as learned as those who were from that era. That was 'Traditional Judaism'. Everything from that time forward is a shadow of that exalted time.

We are all less learned than those who heard Moses, who followed Joshua, who lived whilst the great Judges lived, and listened and followed the Prophets before the destruction of the First Temple.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 9:55:42 AM PST
Omnireader says:
jeff

Define: "reliable halakhic authority".

Would you wear a loose dress? That is what the ancient Jewish men wore.

What we term as pants was an invention of the Persians and Gaulic/Germanic tribes.
Ancient male attire in the Middle East was marked by loose robes (dresses).

[Trousers first enter recorded history in the 6th century BCE, with the appearance of horse-riding Iranian peoples in Greek ethnography. At this time, not only the Persians, but also allied Oriental and Central Asian peoples such as the Bactrians, Armenians, and the Tigraxauda Scythians, Xiongnu Hunnu (nowadays Mongolia) are known to have worn them.[4][5] Trousers are believed to have been worn by both sexes among these early users.[6]
The ancient Greeks used the term "ἀναξυ`1;ίδες" (anaxyrides) for the trousers worn by eastern nations[7] and "σαράβα;ρα" (sarabara) for the loose trousers worn by the Scythians.[8] However, they did not wear trousers since they thought them ridiculous,[9][10] using the word "θύλακε;ς" (thulakes), pl. of "θύλακο;ς" (thulakos), "sack", as a slang term for the loose trousers of Persians and other orientals such as a Altaic]
Wikipedia: Trousers
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