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View Diary: D'var Torah: Vayeshev (Golden Child, Scapegoat, Rebel, Hero, and Mascot) (59 comments)

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  •  The women of course bear the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ramara

    blame for causing the sexual temptation because of darn old Eve!

    •  "Darn old Eve!" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mettle fatigue

      That's not part of the Qur'an.  But of course you wouldn't know that.

      Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

      by JDsg on Fri Nov 22, 2013 at 07:06:16 PM PST

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      •  The author of the Qur'an (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mettle fatigue

        borrowed the creation story, Adam and all, from the Old Testament writings. He did not name Eve specifically, but just referred to her as Adam's wife. And he did not get into the details of who transgressed first.  HOWEVER, later on in Sura 4, he makes sure that the reader knows 1- that man was created first and woman was created from the man, and 2- "Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God hath gifted one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them."

        So maybe not the exact same story, but the basic theme is the same... women are inferior to men. The creation story blames it on Eve tempting Adam which somehow gets translated into having a sexual component to it. The Qur'an does not link the creation story to the issue of sexual temptation, but there are plenty of other passages that let the reader know who runs the show in the arena of sexuality, and it sure ain't the women, probably because they have that menstration "illness".

        •  menstration? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ramara

          is that similar to fenestration?

          seriously, 'tho', male domination of the record so extensively in human history probably has more to do with literal physical domination via greater muscle mass and larger physical stature of male physiology than with rationalizing occasional blood from the female reproductive tract, which might equally be attributed to miscarriage - most medical viewpoint seems adamant that monthly menstruation is today uncommon in the undeveloped third-world today because of food limits and extreme exertion demands, and that for similar reasons it was uncommon in the ancient world.  

          in conquest and empire-building, the dominant culture identifies itself as superior in strength(weaponry/skilled fighters), wisdom, "goodness", etc, to the conquered as inferior in those attributes.  naturally the concepts translate to judgmental/self-justifying attitudes 'tho originating as indications of physical position.

          in mammals generally, the male physiology is more muscular and larger than the female. this would not go unobserved.  in primitive thinking (including today), the obvious might makes right makes best. in gothic thinking, that which is "higher" in physical position is closer to g-d, and not only the architecture but also the clothing of that christian era consciously adopted that view (especially headgear ... on noblewomen... )

          women as the constructors and sustainers of what intangible civilization [morality, 'it takes a village', etc] is possible would suggest that the female 51% of the human species is indeed the "better half"and i rather like that idea but must admit that the whole concept of any generalized class of human beings being categorized as best and others as lesser enough to be denied equal rights is only reversing the categorizing rather than eliminating it.  e.g., i don't know that there's any proof that noblewomen/women of the power class thru'out history were any better quality human beings than their male counterparts.

          •  I won't make the joke I thought of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mettle fatigue

            with the term fenestration... ;)

            My point was to refocus the commenter on the fact that the Qur'an is very misogynistic, as are all Abrahamic based faiths, despite the dodging and weaving often done by Islamic apologists when it come to those texts.

            There is an interesting diary that was posted on here about the destruction of the women centric tribes by the invading semitic tribes in this area of the world, but I forgot the author's name. There was also a discussion of the Minoans, another female dominated (meaning politically and religiously) society that had some contact with the area of Caanan.   Now I'll have to go and try to find that again!

            •  i suspect w'd all agree misogyny was the rule (0+ / 0-)

              thru'out documented human history, with perhaps some isolated exceptions, 'tho those may be more validly hypothesis than theory, at least until more is learned.  E.g., i'm not certain that goddess-centered religion evidence  nor female pictorialization in art is sufficient to postulate legal & social gender equality.  

              my personal absolutely unsupported notion of islam is that http://en.wikipedia.org/... muhammed's first wife is who did it (for lack of a better verb) and that its spiritual and moral power quickly attracted different adherents taking it in a variety of directions (which i've been interested to learn is a view about christianity widely shared, both cases making sense to me politically and psychologically, given what i've learned informally from a sikh friend about the origins of her own faith).  and while a woman in a formal position of power is no guarantee of egalitarianism, a woman as unauthorized originator of a belief system might somewhat more be.

              of course, i like things to make sense objectively, and human behavior --including metaphysic belief as a behavior-- cannot really be relied upon to make sense a lotta the time.  but in mass-motion human terms maybe it can.

              as Sheldon's novella The Screwfly Solution quotes (perhaps fictionally), "Man’s religion and metaphysics are the voices of his glands".  If so, we just need to get everyone's glands fair share in the conversation.

              hmmm, i may have gone rather far afield there...

              •  I actually don't think that's the case. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mettle fatigue

                Patriarchy has certainly been the rule through most of European civilization and through large parts of Asian civilization, but there's more to the world than that.  There's documented evidence that many African societies were matriarchal, for one.

                (Legal and social gender equality wasn't necessarily a thing there either, of course; males may have been the second-class citizens there.)

          •  I found it! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mettle fatigue

            It's the Punishing Eve series on Daily Kos by Janet Wise. The essay on the Minoans, etc. is in part VI.

            •  I've seen that series. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mettle fatigue

              Janet has at least twice misquoted the Bible and refused to retract her misquotations when they're pointed out to her (with citations).  She seems pretty knowledgeable about Minoan society, but she seems pretty knowledgeable about the Bible too if the reader doesn't know any better.

              It's a pity, because I was finding it a fascinating series to begin with.

    •  You are talking about Christian theology (5+ / 0-)

      Not Judaism, which believes that the story of the apple was no big deal, and the expulsion from Eden was fated anyway.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

      by Navy Vet Terp on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 03:34:43 PM PST

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      •  In other word, no original sin in Judaism n/t (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mettle fatigue, JDsg, Eowyn9, ramara

        "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

        by Navy Vet Terp on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 03:38:34 PM PST

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        •  No original sin, yes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Navy Vet Terp, mettle fatigue

          and while I don't know that I'd say "no big deal," the story of the apple definitely bore no connection to sex.

          •  In Christian theology (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mettle fatigue

            Christians can correct me here if I am messing this up  - Eve's sin was passed down generation to generation, every human being was born in sin thanks to Eve, until Jesus died on the cross and in dying for our sins He cleansed us of our sins.  The temple sacrifices were also to cleanse people from Eve's sin but Jesus rendered the sacrifices obsolete.

            The Jewish belief is that every baby is born free of sin, unencumbered by Eve's primordial sin.  This makes eating the apple a big deal for Adam and Eve but not for us.

            "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

            by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 02:44:41 PM PST

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            •  Almost but not quite -- (3+ / 0-)

              the emphasis in traditional Christian theology is actually on Adam's sin rather than Eve's, as elaborated in Paul's letters. For example, in Romans 5, Paul contrasts Adam and Jesus (Adam, though created perfect, ate the apple and sinned, but Jesus, also perfect, did not and thus undid the evil that Adam had brought into the world). He returns to this theme in Corinthians 15:20-22:

              "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."

              Eve isn't really mentioned all that much in Paul's letters, either positively or negatively -- I just looked it up on Bible Gateway and there's just two citations (suggesting she was "deceived", certainly, but hardly that she was the bringer of all evil.)

              "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

              by Eowyn9 on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 04:13:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks - which should make it easier (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mettle fatigue, Eowyn9

                for Christian women, if it was we males that took the hit.

                Adam is Hebrew for man.  The Hebrew word in the Bible that is translated as Eve is Chavah, which appears to be related to the word for Life.  Not sure how Chavah came to be Eve in English but that's a different story.

                The inferior status of women in Judaism is derived from the Mishnah Kiddushin 1:7, which states that women are obligated to follow all commandments not time oriented, but are exempt from time oriented commandments.  This excused women from prayer and synagogue attendance, and is one of the three passages in Talmud that led to gender segregation in synagogues with male only services and males only counting for the 10 person minyan (quorum) required to have a synagogue service.  (The other two passages deal with gender segregation in the Temple on the first night of Sukkot when everyone partied and got drunk and made hanky panky in the side rooms of the Temple, so the rabbis created gender segregation on this one night of the year to enforce sexual morality, and the second passage dealt with segregating noisy and chatty latecomers to synagogues who were disturbing the serious worshippers - these latecomers might have been male or female.)

                Early in the 20th century the non-Orthodox integrated synagogue seating, and by the 1980's women in non-Orthodox synagogues were given equal rights to lead services, read Torah, and be rabbis, and counted to help make up the 10 person minyan for services.  You may have heard that this is today a controversy in Jerusalem, where the ultra-Orthodox have pelted men and women with human feces and rocks for the crime of trying to pray together.

                "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

                by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 05:44:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Well, there was still the notion (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Navy Vet Terp, Eowyn9

              that all of humanity still bears the consequences of the sin of the apple (banishment from the Garden, manual labor, painful childbearing, etcetera).

              But there is a serious difference between bearing the consequences and bearing the guilt for that sin.  The former has always been part of our tradition; the latter, never.

      •  Yeah, there's a lot of the "Baptist Bends" in... (4+ / 0-)

        ...his writing, that and an inability (so far) to consider material from viewpoints other than the Christian paradigm he's familiar with.  From my perspective, he's trying to describe Islam and the Muslim world as if he saw everything only while standing on his head.  Everything's @$$-backwards.  His old habit of going off-topic also seems to be coming back.

        Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

        by JDsg on Sat Nov 23, 2013 at 06:06:38 PM PST

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    •  i share your dislike for the rationale, altho' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ramara, Navy Vet Terp

      i'm not sure we are both assuming the same source of the rationale.  it certainly seems prevalent in the heavily christian fundamentalist area where i live.  

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