Monday, July 11, 2011

Abomination? Who is really guilty?

"You shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, it is an abomination".

I think we can all agree that when the Torah uses the word toeva, it is in relation to the prohibition in the text. The biblical prohibition is the act of anal sex. This act per the pasuk is a toeva

Ministers, Rabbis and anti gay activists alike, enjoy pointing out that the prohibition against homosexuality is somehow more important than everything else mentioned in the bible. They base this on the word "abomination" used in the text. Protesters tend to have variations of the word abomination plastered in big letters on their posters.

I bet you 9 out of 10 (or 10 out of 10) of these people don't know that this isn't the only place Toeva is mentioned in the Torah.

Here are some of the other places;.

1) Sacrifices - Offering one with a blemish; or one that was used as a prostitutes fee or one that was purchased through an exchange for a dog.
2) False Idols
3) A man wearing a woman's clothes and a woman wearing a mans clothes.
4) (One of my favorites) Remarrying an ex-wife after she has been with another man. 
5) Cheating in business (Not just cheating, even just owning false weights before having used them is called an abomination, the implication is that actually cheating would be worse than an abomination).
6) In summarizing all acts of forbidden relations in Leviticus 18:26-27 the text twice refers to them as abominations. This includes adultery and living with a woman while she is menstruating.

This word is also used throughout Nach for sin in general, for loving money and for a host of other wrongs.

There are also other variations of abomination used in the Torah to give emphases to certain prohibitions such as eating non kosher animals, fish and insects (sheketz or disgusting).

This begs the question; where are the religious groups that scream about the abomination going on in the business world every single day? I get 6 pieces of false advertising in the mail daily from credit cards, mortgage and insurance companies etc...Open the newspaper to the automobile section and let me know when you can get the Mercedes for no money down and $99 a month.  Cheating on taxes, insurance scams etc...WHAT AN ABOMINATION!!!!

Why aren't there organizations called AMRS or Anti Menstrual Relations Society. It is horrible that people are sleeping with their wives while they are "On the rag". It's an abomination!!!

Realizing you made a mistake about your first love and reconciling with her after she lived with another???? OH MY LORD!!! It's an ABOMINATION!!!

It might come off as if I am trying to mock the Torah. That isn't my intent, I am also not minimizing the fact that the Torah points these out as abominations. It did so for a reason.

It is obvious that there are reasons that Hashem chose the word toeva for a wide variety offenses. Some are easier to understand than others. The root like the gemara says is "Toeh ata bah", you are making a mistake. That is the common denominator.

So why do these folks choose homosexuality out of the many items listed above as their target? There are a variety of reasons that I can think of. They might find it uncomfortable or threatening. Maybe it's an easy target to rally against. It's just not that sexy to rally against wearing a member of the opposite sexes clothes (By the way, if you are thinking to make the correlation between the homosexual "abomination" and cross dressing, that pasuk mentions nothing of the sort. The "Lo silbash" pasuk can even be one item of the opposite sexes clothes and the Rabbis say it applies to a host of other things that even might extend to a man wearing jewelry or getting a manicure/pedicure).

Bottom line, to the religious right; face the music and own up. Don't lie to yourself. You are attacking homosexuals because of your bias and discomfort, not due to a higher calling or cause.

Be honest with yourself. We see in the Torah that cheating in business (dishonesty) can be an abomination. You wouldn't want to be accused of any piece of that now, would you?

1 comment:

  1. Amen brother. I have some good thoughts on this one. next time we walk. B.