Friday, January 29, 2010

Parsha Bo: The Plague of the Killing of the first born.

Third portion of Exodus Chapter 10 - Chapter 13 Verse 16.

I myself am a first born and my parents did have the coin they redeemed when I was 30 days old. At least they tell me that. Anyway I did have a question. In Exodus 13:14 it does mention you should redeem any first born male. It is sad that I have no where to go for some passovers (I haven't had Passover with my parents for 15 years and they always go away when I can't because of tax season) even though this is a main part of the holiday that G-d saved people like me.

This is as a sign that G-d saved Jewish first born while killing the Egyptian first born. My only question in general it doesn't mention the gender of the first born until this passage. And it says that G-d killed all first borns. It does use the male noun but I would think this could be just the generic form of male and not the specific male gender although my hebrew knowledge is OK but I'm not an expert on grammer or it was specifically male as otherwise why only redeem first born males.

It would make sense that G-d killed the first born males in that Pharoh tried to kill all boys to be born although let the girls live and it also may very well be that the men were treated harsher then the women for similar reasons. So is it just the first born males that G-d smote of the Egyptians or all first borns. It seems to be it was only male first born (and that is what I was taught) but if anyway knows anything different let me know.

Parsha Va'eira: Great people need both good fathers and good mothers.

The 2nd reading in Exodus Chapters 6-9 talks about the first plagues to punish Egypt for persecuting the Jewish People. In Chapter 6 Verses 20,23,25 it not only mentions the father it mentions the mother as well. According to Artscroll their reasoning is great people need not only distinguished fathers but distinguished mothers as well. Children take on the name of the father yet healthy children need a strong influence from both parents which is why in these cases it was mentioned although in other cases it was not although righteous children can come from unrighteous parents. Abraham I don't think they mention the mother. It may be these women deserved being mentioned for their own righteousness which did many times lead to righteous children. That sames to be the bigger message here. Same in Genesis that our Patriarchs are mentioned along with matriarchs and for healthy transmission of idea's you need a healthy family consisting of both a man and a woman.

Sadly my own religion has it's problems in this regard as Rabbinic Judaism (and some Talmudic passages) feels a Rabbi is more important then a Father and because of a Rabbi a child will go to the world to come yet a father only helps give birth man in this world. Very disturbing passage because the truth is basic morals and decency a boy can only learn from his father and all a Rabbi can do is maybe expand on it but basic decency the father is far more important then anybody else yet Rabbi's in this regard over estimated their own influece which, they do have a conflict of interest since they are talking about themselves. The Talmud has to bring proof from the written torah to keep the Rabbi's in check that what they are saying is what G-d really said as Rabbi's are human beings like the rest of us and have free choice and if you read the later prophets throughout our history we have had false religious leaders. Rabbinic idea's in the Talmud or elsewhere without biblical proof are at best Rabbinic laws to but they are not something G-d said and Rabbi's since they are just men can make mistakes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shouldn't both genders be involved in preserving the torah.

Sad to say, certain pagan idea's have crept into Judaism throughout the exile IMO. I would just check some of the books by Spence publishing on the Ladies against feminism where they site how Goddess worship and Christianity in general has become very feminized and women good men evil (except the male leaders of course) has become very mich part of the religion and I have to say Judaism is very similar in this regard is not worse from what I can see and there is no biblical basis for this. G-d is pretty fair and doesn't pretend that either gender is above sin and holds each gender accountable for their actions.

Anyway, I was reading the blog Domestic Felicity which is a pretty good blog. This idea that a woman should work so a Rabbi can learn is IMO against the torah and to violate the torah to somehow learn more of the torah is just not going to work because actions speak louder then words and whatever your learning is not torah because a man is suppose to support his wife not the other way around overall. This is the man's more dominant role. The type of jobs women do in general many are subsidized by taxpayers which in the end is a no sum game.

But anyway, some Rabbi's feel women don't even have to learn torah which how they are going to do what is right is beyond me. Again, they have adopted goddess type thinking that women were naturally do the right thing. Well the torah says we should not follow after our heart and eyes and a woman that doesn't try to understand what G-d wants from them is not going to do the right thing and she is going to do what her eyes and heart want and rationalize that this is the right thing.

In the first part of the torah it says that G-d made a woman the helpmate to a man and G-d also tells the man to cling to his wife which obviously is not just physical but emotionally as well as a woman can't be a helpmate to a man that doesn't share his world.

This should apply in torah area's as well. A woman should help the man in preserving G-d's torah which in certain area's woman may be better then men. Men are better at analytical analysis but woman are better at certain emotional aspects and also remembering names and lists which I think throughout the exile we have forgotten the names of various animals in the torah that they mention for purposes of what animal is kosher and what animal is not kosher. Maybe if the men used their wives for certain area's of the torah (like remembering lists and what each animal was) we wouldn't have now forgot what some of the animals are in the tanach and maybe when it is revealed again we will understand both genders have to work together using their different talents to preserve the torah.

Anyway any comments I would love to hear.

Thoughts on Parsha Shmot. and Egyptian Culture of the Time

If you read Parsha Shmos (Exodus) (Just look at the first chapter) you see from the beginning that the Egyptian are worried about the Israelite people becoming too powerful and not side with the Egyptians.

So the question becomes, well, what do the Egyptians have to worry about? They are the more dominant culture as if they are having healthy families they should remain the dominant culture. The answer must be well the Egyptians were not having a healthy family life and birth rates to the point that they were worried about a minority group taking over them.

The Egyptians could have said well you know we need to do something about our own problems to keep our own society and culture strong. However, sadly, I guessed they reached a point in their culture that they couldn't or wouldn't want to do that. Maybe the girls just wanted to have fun and not have children and the boys didn't want to work to support a family. Maybe Pharoh didn't want women to marry other men because it lessened his power.

So they didn't want to solve their problems so instead they wanted to oppress the minority population (the Jewish people) because of their own immorality.

It then reached a point WHERE PHAROH wanted to kill the boys and let the girls live. You have to ask yourself how a society could reach this point and one conclusion I have is that he felt most women were corrupt and the men hating competition from other men and the women wouldn't mind killing boys because they view boys as bad and the less boys the better. Of course some of the women in the end thankfully did not reach this low point.

Reading this though you see there is nothing new under the sun. The Egyptian society rather then focus on their own family live and reproducing to preserve their culture they focused on the Jewish minority since they could not deal with their own corruption and people not wanting to get married and/or have children. Pharoh didn't want to tell the women there is more to live then having a good time. That being the case they were worried since they weren't reproducing that the minority Jewish people would soon outnumber them.

The question then becomes why did G-d punish them with hard labor if they were having children and having somewhat moral family life. It could be that the Egyptians because of their own problems exagerated the threat the Jewish people had and overall the Jews were acting immorally as well. In addition you could still have children but not be moral. YOu could support a family through immoral means which is not something I think G-d wants. Anyway these are some of these thoughts on this weeks Parsha.

I know it must anger feminists. They only wanting to kill the boys. I guess in that area they would not mind. It also is sad that much of Judaism today really treats Jewish men in harsh ways for no real reason other then the male leaders don't like men that ask questions and are afraid of competition from other men.