Translate

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Couple of Jewish Perspectives on Tradition and Consanguinamory

This blog has previously discussed a little about consanguineous sex and consanguinamory and the Bible.

At timesofisrael.com, Yoseif Bloch wrote, under the headline of "My Sister is Really Hot" about the use of "sister" in Song of Songs...
A few more hints in the text flesh out the picture. 1:6 states: “My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!” So she has maternal brothers, but apparently no maternal sister, as in 6:9: “My dove, my perfect one, is the only one, unique to her mother, flawless to her that bore her.” She says of the male protagonist, “O that you were like a brother to me, who nursed at my mother’s breasts! If I met you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me.” In other words, if they shared a mother and not just a father, their kisses would be innocent and familial; but since they do not, their interactions are erotic and romantic.
He contrasts that with passages in Leviticus, then writes...


This seems pretty clear and unambiguous (if not redundant), except of course for the use of the word hesed, usually translated as kindness (or lovingkindness, but not that type of loving), but here carrying some pejorative connotation. Granted, it’s a bit jarring to slip SoS between these two passages. But maybe it’s a cultural thing; after all, sibling marriages were common in ancient Egypt and other societies. Certainly, the Jewish nation, founded by Abraham and Sarah, would never–
Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife. Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the hesed you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother.’” (Gen. 20:11-13)
OK, OK, but that’s because of the vagaries of matrilineal descent in Jewish law. Certainly we would never countenance marrying one’s full sister, unless–
Come and hear! Why did not Adam marry his daughter? So that Cain should marry his sister, as it is written, “For I said, the world shall be built up by hesed” (Psalms 89:3). But otherwise, she would have been forbidden? Once, however that it was permitted, it remained so. (Sanhedrin 58b)
Well, sure, historically, but once we get past Abraham, Jews start marrying their cousins, like decent folk, not their sis–
“And they took Dinah from the house of Shechem” (34:26)… R. Huna says: she was saying, “But I, where can I take my shame?” (II Sam. 13:13), until Simeon vowed to her that he would marry her. Thus it says, “The sons of Simeon were… and Saul the son of a Canaanite woman” (46:10) Dinah was the “Canaanite woman,” because her behavior was like that of the Canaanites, says R. Judah. (Gen. Rabbah 80:11).
That would be Simeon, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, marrying his full sister Dinah. And fathering a kid with her. Hmmm…
This prompted Rachel Cogent to write this.

As always, this blog is not here to endorse any particular belief about religion or spiritual matters, other than supporting the freedom of people to not have to live under the dictates of someone else's religion.
— — —

No comments:

Post a Comment

To prevent spam, comments will have to be approved, so your comment may not appear for several hours. Feedback is welcome, including disagreement. I only delete/reject/mark as spam: spam, vulgar or hateful attacks, repeated spouting of bigotry from the same person that does not add to the discussion, and the like. I will not reject comments based on disagreement, but if you don't think consenting adults should be free to love each other, then I do not consent to have you repeatedly spout hate on my blog without adding anything to the discourse.

If you want to write to me privately, then either contact me on Facebook, email me at fullmarriageequality at yahoo dot com, or tell me in your comment that you do NOT want it published. Otherwise, anything you write here is fair game to be used in a subsequent entry. If you want to be anonymous, that is fine.

IT IS OK TO TALK ABOUT SEX IN YOUR COMMENTS, BUT PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR WORDS CAREFULLY AS I WANT THIS BLOG TO BE AS "SAFE FOR WORK" AS POSSIBLE.