Geoffrey Stern

Thou Shalt Not Lie Alone

Thou Shalt Not Lie Alone

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim (Leviticus 16-20) A live recording of Madlik Disruptive Torah on Clubhouse every Friday at 4:00pm.  Today we have a spirited discussion with Rabbi Adam Mintz on the Bible’s first commandment to mankind that it is not good to be alone.  We discuss how this relates to gender definition and gender preferences.   Link to Sefaria Source Sheet: www.sefaria.org/sheets/316534 ויקרא י״ט:א׳-ב׳ (א) וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר (ב) דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־כָּל־עֲדַ֧ת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֥ אֲלֵהֶ֖ם קְדֹשִׁ֣ים תִּהְי֑וּ כִּ֣י קָד֔וֹשׁ אֲנִ֖י ה' אֱלֹקֵיכֶֽם׃ Leviticus 19:1-2 (1) The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: (2) Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy. Chapter 19 of Leviticus has been characterized as a parallel to the Ten Commandments. Rav Hiyya explained that the reason it was to be read “unto all the congregation” is because most of the essential laws of the Torah can be derived from it. (Leviticus Rabba 24). I invite you to read it! It is in my humble opinion, far superior to the Ten Commandments. It’s lyrical in the way it seamlessly moves from the ethical to ritual. It calls the lie to anyone who would distinguish between ritual law and moral law…. As Everett Fox writes: “[It] is wide-ranging and rhetorically powerful. It extends holiness to virtually all areas of life – family, calendar, cult, business civil and criminal law, social relations, and sexuality.” (The Five Books of Moses, Everett Fox p. 600.) What detracts from the breadth of vision, is the emphasis in the preceding and following chapters (Leviticus 18, also read at the afternoon service of Yom Kippur, and chapter 20) which seem to be fixated on sexual perversion of every kind.. and I mean every kind, including incest, bestiality and homosexuality. I would have you consider that much of what the Torah detests about sexual deviation, has nothing to do with being puritanical and disrespectful of alternative gender definitions and preferences. To the contrary, it prescribes that every human being enter a relationship and find a help mate. Rather it is a rejection of the individual self sufficiency which belongs only to God and a rejection of the inbreeding necessary to support the autocratic rule and tribal caste system of the Canaanites and the Ancient Near East. בראשית א׳:כ״ז (כז) וַיִּבְרָ֨א אֱלֹקִ֤ים ׀ אֶת־הָֽאָדָם֙ בְּצַלְמ֔וֹ בְּצֶ֥לֶם אֱלֹקִ֖ים בָּרָ֣א אֹת֑וֹ זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה בָּרָ֥א אֹתָֽם׃ Genesis 1:27 (27) And God created man in His image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. בראשית ה׳:א׳-ב׳ (א) זֶ֣ה סֵ֔פֶר תּוֹלְדֹ֖ת אָדָ֑ם בְּי֗וֹם בְּרֹ֤א אֱלֹקִים֙ אָדָ֔ם בִּדְמ֥וּת אֱלֹקִ֖ים עָשָׂ֥ה אֹתֽוֹ׃ (ב) זָכָ֥ר וּנְקֵבָ֖ה בְּרָאָ֑ם וַיְבָ֣רֶךְ אֹתָ֗ם וַיִּקְרָ֤א אֶת־שְׁמָם֙ אָדָ֔ם בְּי֖וֹם הִבָּֽרְאָֽם׃ (ס) Genesis 5:1-2 (1) This is the record of Adam’s line.—When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God; (2) male and female He created them. And when they were created, He blessed them and called them Man.— בראשית ב׳:י״ח (יח) וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ ה' אֱלֹקִ֔ים לֹא־ט֛וֹב הֱי֥וֹת הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְבַדּ֑וֹ אֶֽעֱשֶׂהּ־לּ֥וֹ עֵ֖זֶר כְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ׃ Genesis 2:18 (18) The LORD God said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him.” רש"י על בראשית ב׳:י״ח:א׳ לא טוב היות וגו'. שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוּ שְׁתֵּי רָשׁוּיוֹת הֵן, הַקָּבָּ"ה בָעֶליוֹנִים יָחִיד וְאֵין לוֹ זוּג, וְזֶה בַתַּחְתּוֹנִים וְאֵין לוֹ זוּג (בראשית רבה): Rashi on Genesis 2:18:1 'לא טוב היות וגו IT IS NOT GOOD etc. — I shall make an help meet for him in order that people may not say that there are two Deities, the Holy One, blessed be He, the only One among the celestial Beings without a mate, and this one (Adam), the only one among the terrestrial beings, without a mate (Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer 12). דברים ד׳:ל״ה (לה) אַתָּה֙ הָרְאֵ֣תָ לָדַ֔עַת כִּ֥י ה' ה֣וּא הָאֱלֹקִ֑ים אֵ֥ין ע֖וֹד מִלְבַדּֽוֹ׃ Deuteronomy 4:35 (35) It has been clearly demonstrated to you that the LORD alone is God; there is none beside Him. תורה תמימה על התורה, דברים ד׳:ל״ה:ג׳ אין עוד מלבדו. זה הוא מלכות Torah Temimah on Torah, Deuteronomy 4:35:3 There is none Besides Him: This is Kingship... בראשית רבה ח׳:א׳ (א) וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ (בראשית א, כו), רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן פָּתַח (תהלים קלט, ה): אָחוֹר וָקֶדֶם צַרְתָּנִי וגו', אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אִם זָכָה אָדָם, אוֹכֵל שְׁנֵי עוֹלָמוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: אָחוֹר וָקֶדֶם צַרְתָּנִי, וְאִם לָאו הוּא בָּא לִתֵּן דִּין וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים קלט, ה): וַתָּשֶׁת עָלַי כַּפֶּכָה. אָמַר רַבִּי יִרְמְיָה בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁבָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן, אַנְדְּרוֹגִינוֹס בְּרָאוֹ, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (בראשית ה, ב): זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בְּרָאָם. אָמַר רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר נַחְמָן, בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁבָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֶת אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן, דְּיוּ פַּרְצוּפִים בְּרָאוֹ, וְנִסְּרוֹ וַעֲשָׂאוֹ גַּבִּים, גַּב לְכָאן וְגַב לְכָאן. אֲתִיבוּן לֵיהּ וְהָכְתִיב (בראשית ב, כא): וַיִּקַּח אַחַת מִצַּלְעֹתָיו, אֲמַר לְהוֹן מִתְּרֵין סִטְרוֹהִי, הֵיךְ מָה דְאַתְּ אָמַר (שמות כו, כ): וּלְצֶלַע הַמִּשְׁכָּן, דִּמְתַרְגְּמִינַן וְלִסְטַר מַשְׁכְּנָא וגו'. Bereishit Rabbah 8:1 (1) ... Said R’ Yirmiyah ben Elazar: In the hour when the Holy One created the first human, He created him [as] an androgyne/androginos, as it is said, “male and female He created them”. Said R’ Shmuel bar Nachmani: In the hour when the Holy One created the first human, He created [for] him a double-face/di-prosopon/ du-par’tsufin, and sawed him and made him backs, a back here and a back [t]here, as it is said, “Back/achor and before/qedem You formed me” [Ps 139:5]. They objected to him: But it says, “He took one of his ribs/ts’la`ot . . . ” [Gn 2:21]! He said to them: [It means] “[one] of his sides/sit’rohi”, just as you would say, “And for the side/tsela` of the Tabernacle/ mishkan” [Ex 26:20], which they translate [in Aramaic] “for the side/seter”. ברכות ס״א א:ה׳ אִי נָמֵי כִּדְרַבִּי יִרְמְיָה בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר. דְּאָמַר רַבִּי יִרְמְיָה בֶּן אֶלְעָזָר: דּוּ פַּרְצוּפִין בָּרָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בָּאָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״אָחוֹר וָקֶדֶם צַרְתָּנִי״. Berakhot 61a:5 Alternatively, this duplication in the language of creation can be explained in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Yirmeya ben Elazar, as Rabbi Yirmeya ben Elazar said: The Holy One, Blessed be He, created two faces [du partzufin] on Adam the first man; he was created both male and female in a single body, as it is stated: “You have formed me [tzartani] behind and before” (Psalms 139:5); tzartani is derived from the word tzura [face]. God formed two faces on a single creation, back and front. The First Adam, Androgyny, and the ʿAin Ghazal Two-headed Busts in Context Author(s): Irit Ziffer Source: Israel Exploration Journal , 2007, Vol. 57, No. 2 (2007), pp. 129-152 Published by: Israel Exploration Society Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/27927170 Two-headed human statues with a common torso are a known feature of the ancient Near East, beginning with the inception of monumental statuary in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period (the first half of the seventh millennium BCE) at ‘Ain Ghazal, north-east of Amman. The following survey focuses on the two headed statues from ‘Ain Ghazal the earliest of their kind to have been discovered so far in an attempt to establish their significance. The Sages in early Talmudic times knew the myth of the primeval androgyne and used it to account for the contradiction between the two stories of creation. In the Midrash, the first human being, the 'Adam', was androgynous, incorporating the genitals of both sexes, and the tale of the creation from the rib in Genesis 2 provides for the separation of the two sexes of the primeval body, reconstructing them as two human bodies. According to the Babylonian Talmud (Berakhot 61a; Erubin 18a), Genesis Rabba 8.1 and Leviticus Rabba 14 (fifth century), the man was created dipros?pos, 'two faced' (VDliHD-n), that is, male and female (Meeks 1974:186). 'Two faced' is a way of describing Adam, the first human being, with out the use of corporeal or sexual terms, a euphemism for the bisexual progenitor of the human race. Historically speaking, androgyny symbolizes the perfect human being: female attributes cast into a male vessel. In the Mesopotamian creation myths, the human body is a divine creation made of clay in which divine ingredients are mixed. It is not defined according to gender; it was produced in a single process before the existence of sex and gender, and therefore encompasses every possible gender. Only in the second creation were male and female couples created with genital organs vital for the reproduction of the species (Asher-Greve 1998: 29). בראשית ב׳:כ״ג (כג) וַיֹּאמֶר֮ הָֽאָדָם֒ זֹ֣את הַפַּ֗עַם עֶ֚צֶם מֵֽעֲצָמַ֔י וּבָשָׂ֖ר מִבְּשָׂרִ֑י לְזֹאת֙ יִקָּרֵ֣א אִשָּׁ֔ה כִּ֥י מֵאִ֖ישׁ לֻֽקֳחָה־זֹּֽאת׃ Genesis 2:23 (23) Then the man said, “This one at last Is bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh. This one shall be called Woman, For from man was she taken.” רש"י על בראשית ב׳:כ״ג:א׳ זאת הפעם. מְלַמֵּד שֶׁבָּא אָדָם עַל כָּל בְּהֵמָה וְחַיָּה, וְלֹא נִתְקָרְרָה דַעְתּוֹ בָּהֶם (יבמות ס"ג): Rashi on Genesis 2:23:1 זאת הפעם THIS NOW — This teaches that Adam endeavoured to find a companion among all cattle and beasts, but found no satisfaction except in Eve (Yevamot 63a). בראשית ב׳:כ״ד (כד) עַל־כֵּן֙ יַֽעֲזָב־אִ֔ישׁ אֶת־אָבִ֖יו וְאֶת־אִמּ֑וֹ וְדָבַ֣ק בְּאִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וְהָי֖וּ לְבָשָׂ֥ר אֶחָֽד׃ Genesis 2:24 (24) Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, so that they become one flesh. רש"י על בראשית ב׳:כ״ד:א׳ על כן יעזב איש. רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ אוֹמְרָה כֵן לֶאֱסֹר עַל בְּנֵי נֹחַ הָעֲרָיוֹת (סנהדרין נ"ז): Rashi on Genesis 2:24:1 על כן יעזב איש THEREFORE A MAN LEAVETH — The Divine Spirit says this, thus prohibiting immoral relationship to the “Sons of Noah” also (Sanhedrin 57b). in other words, the source of unchaste sexual behavior (“Arayot” in Hebrew) is when a man does not leave his father and mother… sister, brother etc. but mates with them! סנהדרין נ״ז ב:י׳-י״א אימא בת נח שזינתה לא תיהרג דכתיב (בראשית ב, כד) על כן יעזב איש ולא אשה א"ל הכי אמר רב יהודה (בראשית ב, כד) והיו לבשר אחד הדר ערבינהו קראת"ר איש מה תלמוד לומר (ויקרא יח, ו) איש איש לרבות את הכותים שמוזהרין על העריות כישראל Sanhedrin 57b:10-11 Rav Avya asked further: Why not say that a female descendant of Noah who committed adultery should not be executed, as it is written: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24); a man, but not a woman? Rav Pappa said to him: This is what Rav Yehuda says: At the end of the verse it states: “And they shall be one flesh.” The verse then combines men and women, indicating that the same halakha applies to both. § The Sages taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “No one [ish ish] shall approach any that is kin to him, to uncover their nakedness” (Leviticus 18:6): The verse could have stated: One [ish] shall not approach. Why must the verse state “no one”? It is to include the gentiles, who are prohibited from engaging in forbidden sexual relations, as Jews are. ויקרא כ׳:י״ז (יז) וְאִ֣ישׁ אֲשֶׁר־יִקַּ֣ח אֶת־אֲחֹת֡וֹ בַּת־אָבִ֣יו א֣וֹ בַת־אִ֠מּוֹ וְרָאָ֨ה אֶת־עֶרְוָתָ֜הּ וְהִֽיא־תִרְאֶ֤ה אֶת־עֶרְוָתוֹ֙ חֶ֣סֶד ה֔וּא וְנִ֨כְרְת֔וּ לְעֵינֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י עַמָּ֑ם עֶרְוַ֧ת אֲחֹת֛וֹ גִּלָּ֖ה עֲוֺנ֥וֹ יִשָּֽׂא׃ Leviticus 20:17 (17) If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, so that he sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace; they shall be excommunicated in the sight of their kinsfolk. He has uncovered the nakedness of his sister, he shall bear his guilt. רש"י על ויקרא כ׳:י״ז:א׳ חסד הוא. לְשׁוֹן אֲרַמִּי חֶרְפָּה חִסּוּדָא; וּמִדְרָשׁוֹ אִם תֹּאמַר קַיִן נָשָׂא אֲחוֹתוֹ חֶסֶד עָשָׂה הַמָּקוֹם, לִבְנוֹת עוֹלָמוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהילים פ"ט), עוֹלָם חֶסֶד יִבָּנֶה (ספרא; סנהדרין נ"ח): Rashi on Leviticus 20:17:1 חסד הוא IT IS A WICKED THING — It is an Aramaic expression, the Hebrew חרפה (disgrace) being in that language חסודא (cf. Onkelos on Genesis 34:14). A Midrashic explanation of it (of חסד הוא) is; If you should say, "But Cain married his sister!" then I reply, Cain's case was an exceptional one; an act of kindness (חסד) was done by the Omnipresent in order that His world might be built up through him (i. e. He made the propagation of the human race possible through this union), as it is said (Psalms 89:3) "The world was built up through חסד, loving-kindness" (Sifra, Kedoshim, Chapter 11 11; Sanhedrin 58b). The biblical premise remains… inbreeding is a rejection of God and a rejection of God’s role as man’s only ruler. Royalty wants to mix and re-mix it’s blood to protect their superior “blue” blood and to justify the subjugation of the commoner and stranger. God wants us, wherever possible, to leave our father and mother and create our bloodline with our fellow human commoners. ויקרא י״ח:כ״ב (כב) וְאֶ֨ת־זָכָ֔ר לֹ֥א תִשְׁכַּ֖ב מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֑ה תּוֹעֵבָ֖ה הִֽוא׃ Leviticus 18:22 (22) Do not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abhorrence. To claim that one can have a child, without the need of the other sex, is to claim divinity…. and therefore an abomination.

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