THE TORAH: What’s All This Talk I Hear about Some Rods?

The Chuppah of Fortune, Bride Edition

Now, let’s circle back to finish up our unit on the sheep. Or at least this part of it. Take a moment to review the previous units, if necessary:

We will wind up with Rashi and his inimitable style, who adds, with his usual panache, “The female animal saw the rods, it was startled at the sight of them and recoiled; its mate then pairing with it, it afterwards gave birth to young marked similar to the rods.” 

What does this mean?

Modern dating is a situation of swipe right and you have a picture of THE WHOLE TAMALE before you ever meet the guy.

I didn’t actually need to see that as much as he needed to advertise it. Something about wiring.

Tonight I will be attending Seattle O.T.O. Horizon Lodge’s Summer Solstice event honoring the Norse god Freyr, who is always pictured with an erection. This is the old shamanic approach to the control of male sexuality, which is to address it up front, also very prevalent in Amerindian mythology as well as those smutty tales of old Egypt with just too much sticky stuff to be popular until swipe right.

Nobody around here has ever seen a Latin American coffee cup!

I spent my later childhood in East Texas among the MAR-MONS. Believe it or not, a nice girl never encountered that thing until the wedding night, and before the days of universal photos of everything imaginable, didn’t know more about it than changing the diaper of her baby brothers.

Imagine the shock when encountering the manhood locked and loaded for the first time after the husband has ripped off the beautiful white silk dress.

I recall my DARLING MORMON BOY HUSBAND (DMBH) and I sitting around at a table with two other young couples at Brigham Young. We were swapping tales about the big unveiling.

It was universal. We women took one look and exclaimed at the impossibility of marriage.

That will never fit.

The young husband always takes a second to smirk at his own magnificence, and, somehow, it is always caused to fit.

One of the young women at that table was heavy laden with proof of that, about to bring forth her first child.

We all just smiled.

There is nothing like that today as everyone knows everything. It is likely that in the era of Rashi, everything was similarly circumspect.

The ancient world’s raucous acceptance of THE THING had given over into the extreme opposite in the Judeo-Christian culture as it sought to distance itself from the rampant venereal disease occasioned by large heaps of people all in one place newly in cities at the dawn of agriculture. An awful lot of what Judaism is — and I am a newbie here from East Texas observing these structures and saying, AH FARM — seems to be an approach to solving the problems of agricultural lifestyles.

When I visited Guatemala on an NEA grant in 2005 about 25% of women in the Highlands perished of reproductive-related events. There was no Social Security. People depended on their children for their livelihood in retirement, and in order to survive old age, each couple had to have four living children. The infant morality rate being about 1/3 meant that each person had to try to have about seven children.

Maternal mortality, infant and childhood mortality, and the exigencies of old age made life and death a shifting bevy of CHANCE.

Even in my lifetime, a young woman of our family perished following the birth of a child.

I have watched the paramedics carry away two beautiful women in death. They are very tender with the long tresses of the ladies, always stopping for a moment to arrange them as the woman is carried in for JUDGEMENT.

Judaism of old required men to gather three times a day for prayer and Torah study. The Law places considerable restriction on marital relations vis-a-vis menstruation and pregnancy, so there are quite limited opportunities for relations even in marriage. A lot of the time it was ZIP IT and do without, which leaves the search for things to do like Kavvalah. We can only imagine those gentlemen sitting at the table pausing for a bit to recall the moment of GLORY when the young bride encountered her husband in full fertility for the first time and recoiled before accepting life in all its CHANCES.

It is a universal human response.

Jewish culture requires a man to recite the Shema, the fundamental prayer of Judaism, twice a day. The only day that this is not required is the wedding day, when he is allotted the Shema but once.

It is said that the young groom will be too nervous for the second prayer and is therefore excused.

What is not said is that he is about to face the collision of two commandments of equal weight in THE LAW. The commandment to Be fruitful and multiply often causes the wreckage of the other equally important edict:

Thou shalt not kill.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s