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  •  I studied to be a rabbi. (4+ / 0-)

    I don't believe it literally in the slightest.  Nor do I believe that every story has a kernel of truth.  

    There are object lessons, but you don't need to tell a true story for that - check snopes if you want hundreds of object lesson stories that are all absolute lies.  But the FEEL like they should be true, which is what makes a good object lesson story, doesn't it?

    He had no sons.  They were also not married - they had been offered to the citizens only pereks before, remember?  They also left Zoar during the event, as Lot was afraid to stay there - so the girls didn't know what had been spared and what had not - they were in a cave with their father.

    So while your reading is interesting - it's not in line with the Hebrew text as laid out, or any of the talmudic explanations either.

    The reasoning given for Isaac's late birth is that both Abraham and Sarah were actual intersexed, not that he was the son of another man - it was difficult for Sarah to conceive and stay pregnant to term as a result.

    There's always a lot going on in there...

    •  Ah, you are right, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CA wildwoman, Calamity Jean

      The girls had never known a man, but still Lot did have "sons in law" who had pledged to marry his daughters (in the KJV they were married, although still the girls had never known a man--perhaps Lot was embellishing for the benefit of his interlocutors?). Also the KJV implies there were sons, (Hast thou any here besides?) but other translations make it seem like the angels are just asking who's in his family, not telling him to get them all out. So I was relying too heavily on the translation.

      The point of my reading--which you condescendingly agree is interesting though not canonical, and which I myself admit to be heretical--is that I read as a woman, and I interpret based on how power dynamics between women and men are still shaping our society. So I question received wisdom, because my point of view is almost entirely excluded. Your talmudic explanations were written by men, so they never bothered to ask themselves if the men who wrote the bible had their thumbs on the scales.

      I'm just saying that statistically, it's more likely that Lot raped his daughters than that they raped him. And even if they did want to preserve their father's seed, the object lesson I would take from that would be don't worship patrilineal privilege because it leads to "mamzers" (a word of which I, too, was ignorant!) and abomination.

      But it has been quite interesting discussing it with you!

      (Regarding Isaac: there's that whole story of Abraham telling Abimelech that Sarah is his sister (which is something he's done before in other kingdoms) and when Abimelech finds out she's actually Abraham's wife, he's all, "I never touched her! I never touched her, and to prove it, here's a large cash settlement." The VERY NEXT BOOK, Sarah's finally pregnant. Later on Isaac is hanging out in Abimelech's household and getting lippy with his father Abraham. So that's why I drew the conclusion that I did. I'm certain that talmudic explanations are not in line with it!)

      Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~John Watson

      by FriendlyNeighbor on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 07:40:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm also trans and somewhat arguably intersex (0+ / 0-)

        myself, so your assumption of condescension is not only unwarranted but freaking rude.  I read everything from both perspectives personally, though you assumed I would not.

        But hey, it's almost Yom Kippur, so whatever.

        I don't use translations, I read.  So whatever the KJV says is not my concern, I am dealing with the text I know, which says they were unmarried and he had no sons.

        It's a story and an object lesson, not a history lesson.  The object lessons drawn from it have been explained to you from the context of the culture that actually wrote them - whether you agree or not doesn't really matter.  That's what we use them for - and it's our book and our stories.

        If you want to think Isaac is a bastard and a mamzer, you go ahead and do that - but we as his descendants pretty much disagree whole heartedly.  Again, our book our stories, our lineage.  

        You seem to have some odd ideas about the power dynamic of Jewish culture, but this is neither the time nor the place to go into them as I am now getting rather cranky,  being an apparent misogynist from a long line of illegitimacy.

        Thanks.

        •  Here I thought you were the one being rude (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CA wildwoman

          But I wasn't going to say anything about it.

          I do apologize for assuming that training to be a rabbi meant that you were cis male. I don't know you and I made an assumption. I am sorry.

          Because of my training, I am very sensitive to being patronized, and I felt like you were patronizing me. But as you point out, you have your instructions from your culture. I don't think you get to claim exclusivity, because the old Testament is in my culture too and I was raised to think of it as mine (though rather messed up), but I do see how my coming in and poking something that you hold to be sacred is rude. I entered this discussion as a gadfly, but gadflies often get swatted!

          Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~John Watson

          by FriendlyNeighbor on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 08:07:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am many things. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chaoslillith

            But cis is not one of them.  I was raised as a female and am well aware of the ways western American culture is shitty to women and justifies it with "biblical" beliefs.

            That are not really biblical at all, but that's not necessarily the topic of discussion.   I did attend an orthodox yeshiva and live as a man - but that does not erase my understanding or experiences as a girl and briefly as a woman.

            I do ask in all seriousness though - why you think that it's ok to appropriate a whole cultural belief system and turn it on its head (because Christianity is inherently anti-Torah from a scriptural point of view - and yes, I'm very familiar with the NT as well, though my Koine Greek is pretty poor) to support something outside that cultural construct is ok?  And then get irritated when the people who wrote the cultural system disagree that it's yours - or that you're reading it correctly?

            This really bothers me actually as a general thing.

            Torah is sacred to my cultural identity, it is not something I literally believe.  But as my heritage and something I devote time and energy to understanding within the context of the culture that it engendered, it matters to me and millions of other Jews.  I do think we have a certain exclusivity and even authority concerning the stories within it - because they are only completely understandable within the construct of our culture.  

            You don't see First Peoples or Australian Aboriginals pontificating on the meaning of the Eddas, now do you?  Because it's not their book.  Thank you Lewis Black.

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