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Sex, Women, and the Bible

Movement of the Ten Tribes of Israel

Deviations: Homosexuality, Lesbianism, Masturbation.
Female Leadership and Initiative.
Transvestism Forbidden. Women in the Military
Women and Their Menfolk.
Women and the Ten Tribes.
The Biblical Paradox: Self-Esteem.
Conclusion: Make it Better through Scripture.


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Sex, Women, and the Bible


We were sent an article about a woman who described herself as Jewish, a lesbian, and a Priestess.
The article was quite short and did not really say much but we were requested to commit upon it.
As a result the following short composition evolved.
On a personal level the experiences of the present author with women have been of a mixed nature but on the whole positive.
The following essay given below however is not talking about the author or anybody else but rather what Scripture indicates on the subject or rather a few selected aspects that came to mind or we came across.

The entries and quotations below should be considered source material, food for thought.
This is not  the chosen sphere of Brit-Am. For practical matters the reader is encouraged to study more and consult others, elsewhere.

Deviations: Homosexuality, Lesbianism, Masturbation
The article we were asked to comment upon features a woman who says she is (or was) a lesbian and claims to be a priestess.

Judaism is the same as the Bible. Homosexuality is forbidden.

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22 KJV).
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them (Leviticus 20:13 KJV).

Judaism and Homosexuality. Traditional Judaism on Homosexuality
From Lisa Katz

# Rabbi Menachem Schneerson accepted the fact that certain men and women have an inherent sexual attraction to the same sex. However, these men are not "gay" and the women are not "lesbian." Rather, these are people with a sexual preference for the same sex. In addition, the Rebbe believed this preference is a result of social conditioning, and not a result of an irreversible physical condition.

# Consequently, the
Rebbe believed that those with homosexual preferences could and should be encouraged to give heterosexual relationships a try. Traditional Judaism believes that even someone born with homosexual preferences may be able to find sexual fulfillment in a heterosexual marriage. And it is the heterosexual marriage that most benefits the community. Just as Judaism encourages a Jewish bachelor to get married, it encourages someone with homosexual preferences to try to reorient their sexual attraction and enter into a heterosexual relationship.

 Lesbianism is also forbidden
though it is not on the same level as Homosexuality. Homosexuality is an explicit prohibition. Lesbianism is a perversion forbidden by a general injunction:

#I am the Lord your God. You shall not copy the practice of the land of Egypt where you dwell, or of the land of Canaan to which I am taking you; nor shall you follow their laws. # (Leviticus 18:2-3).

# And what did they [i.e. Canaanites and Egyptians whose practices we are forbidden to copy] do? One man marries another man, a woman marries a
woman,and a man marries a woman and her daughter, and a woman marries two [men]. # [Midrash. Sifra Aharei Mot 8:9].

The community have a responsibility to prevent these transgressions.

Masturbation is also forbidden but it is more a matter that the individual is responsible for.
Here there may not be much others (e.g. educators, parents, etc) can do about but at the least they should not encourage it and they should perhaps help the afflicted individuals to get over it.

As for being a priestess the Canaanites had priestesses whereas the Hebrews did not.

Female Leadership and Initiative
There were however female leaders.

Miriam the sister of Moses was quite prominent. She lead the women forth with timbrels to dance in celebration of the crossing of the Sea (Exodus 15:20-21).

There were women who were prophetesses: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hanah, Abigail, Hulda and Esther.

Both Abraham and Sarah had the gift of Prophecy. In the case of Hagar, the Egyptian hand-maiden, Abraham was told to listen to the voice of Sarah his wife (Genesis 21:12).

Even as a young unmarried  girl Rebekah demonstrated independence, initiative, self-assertiveness and self-assuredness along with an outgoing publicly involved attitude (Genesis 24:15-25).

The matriarchs Rachel and Leah were consulted by Jacob before he decided to stop working for their father and return to the Land of Israel (Genesis 31:4-17).

Deborah was the Judge and Leader for all Israel (Judges chapter 4 and 5). Jael (Yael) the wife of Heber was praised for inducing Sisera to fall asleep and then assassinating him (Judges 4:18-22).

King Josiah sent emissaries to consult with Huldah the prophetess (2 Kings  22:14). Hulda was the wife of Shallum, keeper of the wardrobe in the court (2 Kings  22:14).

Women had businesses of their own. They were encouraged to take initiative, help support their families,
and do good to others. The woman of valor in Proverbs 31 sounds like a lady who runs the show, does everything herself, takes care of the household, supervises the maidservants. She oversees the linen weaving operation and vineyard, etc., and also worries about the welfare of her workers. Her husband is enabled through her to participate in local affairs being freed from other more prosaic burdens (Proverbs 31:10-31).
Proverbs 31 depicts as a role model one active dynamic assertive lady.

Women often acted independently of their husbands e.g. Abigail brought a gift of supplies to David and saved the life of her husband and his employees (1-Samuel 25:14-44).

In principle women can do whatever they wish as long as they do not commit transgressions.

Ruth is advised by Naomi to initiate an encounter with Boaz (Ruth 3:4).

In fact the Biblical women were in some ways more independently minded than modern feminist women-rights activists. These women-rights people often act as if they wish to psychologically castrate complete strangers but in their own lives they have little of their own.

Women are part of the society in which they live and will act or react accordingly.
It could be that men are responsible for the way women are.

Transvestism Forbidden. Women in the Military

Women wearing the clothes of men or Men wearing the clothes of women is forbidden.
Indications exist that in at least some cases Transvetism begins when mothers encourage their sons to dress up as girls.
Mother-child problems also explain many cases of sexual deviation.

In Biblical Times women had many rights and privileges but a woman should not wear male clothes:
Deuteronomy 22:5
# A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this. #
In Hebrew the first part of this verse may be translated,
# A woman should not bear the tools [or clothing] of a man #.
This was also understood to say that a woman should not be conscripted into the army.
This may not sound like much to base a prohibition upon but the Sages were very strict about this.

I-Samuel ch.8 lists the rights of the King:
I-Samuel 8:
11 And he said, 'This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots....13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers.'

From this it would appear that King (i.e. Government) has the right to conscript females to at the least perform auxiliary duties such as preparing food etc.
Nevertheless the Sages and the Rabbis after them were very much against girls being conscripted for any purpose whatsoever.
One Rabbi said that even if the girls were given nothing to do other than say Psalms all day it would be strictly forbidden to conscript them.
According to Jewish tradition a woman should not go out to war.
If however it comes to a question of saving life or honor a woman must do whatever she is able to including the use of weapons.
May our womenfolk always be safe from such decisions.

[ The Scythians did employ female warriors and this may have given rise to legends of the Amazons.
Bedouin and Afghan women and those of other primitive peoples are much crueler than the men and delight in torturing prisoners to death. ]

Girl soldiers in the Israeli Army are not cost effective. The Army suffers and so does Israeli society.
Females in Israel are conscripted for ideological reasons rather than pragmatic ones.
[We are speaking in general terms only. Some girls very efficiently fulfill certain  tasks in the Army. There are some things that females may be better at.]

Women and Their Menfolk

The husband has veto rights over the activities and  commitments (even religious ones)  his wife makes (Numbers ch. 30).

A woman who is brazen and head-strong may be suspected of lewd characteristics.
Jeremiah 3:
You have had a harlot's forehead;
      You refuse to be ashamed.

The Book of Proverbs is full of comments about women both negative and positive.
The woman builds and destroys.
Proverbs 14
 1 The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

Proverbs chapter 7 describes the harlot who betrays her husband and seduces the foolish young man.
This woman is a gad-about:
Proverbs 7:
11 She was loud and rebellious,
      Her feet would not stay at home.

The Hebrew word translated above as "rebellious" is "sorarat" from the root "SRR" which connotes rulership
and control: She tells her husband what to do and then thinks of betraying him.

King Ahaseurus for the good of his kingdom decreed:
Each man should be master in his own house (Esther 1:22).

The message of Abigail to David is that a woman will (or should) reflect her husband and want it to be that way (1-Samuel ch.25).

I once met a woman who told me she thinks men should be in touch more with their female sides and women with their male ones.
I think it should be just the opposite. The human soul strives to perfect its individual uniqueness.
Men are happier when they are masculine and women when they are feminine. Women should encourage their menfolk to develop their masculinity.

The Biblical Paradox: Self-Esteem
Sociological Studies in Israel conducted about 20 to 25 years ago and published in the popular secular daily newspaper "Yediot Acharont" showed that the sector in which women had the highest esteem for themselves and satisfaction with their lives was the Ultra-Orthodox community.
Women in the Kibbutz Movement had the LOWEST regard for themselves than any other section!
This was a time when the Kibbutz Movement was still strong and held a high-prestige dominating position in Israeli Society. The Kibbutz Movement advocated equal rights for women and liberal sexual mores.
The Ultra-Orthodox lived according to Biblical Principles. Popular stereotypes held that females in a Biblical-type regime would be discriminated against and even oppressed.
Apparently the women did not see it that way!
Facts on the ground showed that women in the Kibbutzes were not really equal and did not feel well-treated.
The Ultra-Orthodox women had grateful God-fearing husbands, large families, supportive communities, ran their households, helped their neighbors and were helped by them. They also often had their own careers or businesses.
Things are not always how one would imagine.

Women and the Ten Tribes
A rough guess would say that about half the Descendants of the Ten Tribes are women since half the general population are females!
[ Will this observation merit us with Immortality for Profound Thought?]
Many of the subscribers and supporters of the Brit-Am Movement of the Ten Tribes are women.
The Daughters of Israel played an important role in Delivering the Hebrews from Egypt.
Will they do the same for the Return of the Ten Tribes?

Conclusion: Make it Better through Scripture
A lot of people have problems.
Life is not always easy.
The Bible can help us make it better and that is what we are asked to do.
Nothing more. Do what you can and the Almighty will help you.

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