CONFESSIONS OF AN ORTHODOX JEWESS
THE MAGIN DAVID SCARLET LETTER
By Elana Laham © 2013 Elana Laham
The Jewish People have a three thousand five hundred year-old monotheistic religion that has survived worldwide anti-Semitism, and, in spite of nineteen hundred years of being in brutal exile, Jewry is now safely returning to the rebirth of its Homeland, Israel. The Jewish People ought to be celebrating a revival. Why instead has ninety nine percent of the Jewish global population abandoned their Jewish way of life?
When I was twenty-two years old I became what is known as a Baalet Teshuva – a Jewess who returns to the Jewish way of life. I was an honor student with an overall 3.5 grade point average graduating from Moorpark Community College and I came from a financially disadvantaged home. So I was awarded scholarships and financial aid that paid for all of my educational expenses at the University of my choice. But I sacrificed my hard earned free education at the University of California Santa Barbara - UCSB to study Judaism at Machon Alta and Neve Yerushaliyim for three years full time in order to learn about my Jewish Heritage. Afterwards, I was religiously observant for sixteen years following the path of Chassidic Judaism, which is the strictest form of religious observance that there is.
After being an Orthodox Jewess for sixteen years, I came across a newspaper article in the Jerusalem Post, entitled, “Looking for a Real Man” by Naomi Ragen. The article is about Orthodox Jewish husbands who refuse to grant their Orthodox Jewish wives a divorce and pay alimony. Yet, in spite of the fact that these Jewish men are transgressing Jewish Law, the entire Orthodox Jewish community desecrates God’s name by sanctioning their sin and by ostracizing these devout Jewish women and their Jewish children.
Moved by what I read, I wrote a reply about how the entire Orthodox Jewish community was transgressing Jewish Law, and desecrating God’s name by ex-communicating me from my own Jewish heritage by preventing me, a single Orthodox Jewess, from ever getting married, in spite of the fact that I took my Judaism seriously. The Jerusalem Post published my editorial entitled, “Reply to Looking for a Real Man” by Chaya Elana Uriel HaCohen. That was my pen name.
If the reader is interested in viewing the article and editorial in the Jerusalem Post then please go to hyperlink 01 at www.bullcrapbusters.com.
The article and my own editorial inspired me to write the following expose entitled Confessions of an Orthodox Jewess, which is about how my living in three of the largest and strongest Orthodox Jewish communities in the world demonstrated to me why only one percent of the entire Jewish population embraces Judaism.
If the reader is interested in viewing the Glossary of the Jewish Terms in Confessions of an Orthodox Jewess then please go to hyperlink 02 at www.bullcrapbusters.com.
RETURNING TO I AM THE DAUGHTER OF ISRAEL
In the month of June, in the year of 1981, I boarded an El Al airplane that flew me to the state of Israel. I was 22 years of age. As a young adult I felt a spiritual void in my life. I was born Jewish. Both of my parents were Jewish. But neither of them observed any Judaism. I did not grow up around any Jewish people either. So I knew nothing about my own Jewish heritage. My parents were so far removed from their own Jewish origins that they had neglected to anoint me with a Jewish name. So I made up my own. I decided to call myself, “Teshuva Ani Bat Israel”, which in Hebrew means, “Returning to I Am the Daughter of Israel”. When the El Al airplane landed in Tel Aviv, I traveled from the airport three hours by bus to a small town near the northern border of Israel called Zafed. It was nighttime when the busload of passengers arrived. A dense fog covered the ground. The fog was so thick that I could hardly see past my own Jewish nostrils. Even the native Israeli bus driver was having so much difficulty seeing where he was going that he nearly drove us over the side of a cliff. The fog made the town of Zafed appear unusually still and quiet. It evoked an eerie feeling upon me that reminded me of another time that I had encountered such a fog.
I was three years old then. During the middle of one night I suddenly woke up for no apparent reason. While awake I had an unexplainable urge to look out of my bedroom window. I stood up upon my bed, and climbed up upon my tiptoes to peer out of the windowsill. Looking blankly into the pitched blackness of my backyard at first I saw nothing. Then, ever so slowly, an image appeared upon the cones and rods of my eyes. It was a village that was covered in fog. Gradually shapes began to emerge. The first one I saw was a large, white, single story, square shaped building. Sitting atop the building was a gold, onion shaped dome. To the right of the dome was a black spire that reached skyward. At the very top of the spire I saw a very large, black cross. The bottom of the cross was merged with the top of the spire. But the head and arms of the cross each blossomed out at their ends into what looked to be a black, three-leafed clover. Now appearing through the fog before me was a winding road that went all the way around the entire village. The road was made of cobblestones. Accompanying the cobblestone road was a wall also made out of cobblestones. The wall gradually sloped along the road in a descending staircase like fashion. It was the middle of the night in the foggy village and there were no people about. Suddenly an eerie feeling came over me and all went black. Once again I found myself staring into the pitch darkness of my own backyard. Blinking, I got down off of my tiptoes, crawled underneath my bedcovers, and went back to sleep. Nineteen years later, I discovered that my dream was no dream. The cross that I had dreamt about was a 16th Century Russian Cross that existed in the old towns of Russia. The cross was afixed atop Eastern Orthodox Russian Churches. During that era some of the members of the Eastern Orthodox Russian Churches called Cossacks committed Pogroms against the Russian Jewish People. It was not until after I began exploring my own Jewish roots that my parents told me what little I know about my Jewish family lineage. My ancestors lived in Russia four generations ago. They were poor people who eked out a living as fur trappers. Their last name was Kopek, which in Russian means “penny”. Due to religious persecution and dire poverty they left their mother country, Russia, and the towns of Minsk and Pinsk that they had lived in, and immigrated to the United States of America in search of a better life. I, too, was in search of a better life. I longed for a life full of spiritual meaning and spiritual purpose.
The bus driver finally reached his destination and the bus pulled its passengers up to a bus stop in the old city of Zafed near a Jewish Seminary called Machon Alta. It was a Chabbad religious Jewish school for women. Chabbad, otherwise known as Lubavitch, belongs to a branch of Jewry called Chassidism. Although I had not gone through the regular channels of having been M’Karved into Lubavitcher Chassidism, which entailed going to its Jewish Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and learning with its world renowned Rabbi Manis Freedman, Machon Alta found me on its doorstep. In a quandary the Lubavitchers asked me how I had gotten there, especially since I was a Ba’alet Teshuva not Frum from birth.
So I told them. I was interested in studying Judaism but I was also drawn towards Kabbalah. So I contacted the Israeli Consulate in Jerusalem regarding Jewish seminaries that taught Torah. Out of the hundreds that existed all over the State of Israel only one taught Jewish Mysticism to Jewish women. It was Machon Alta. After I divulged my explanation to them, they stared at me, paused, and asked me the same question again as if I had not already answered it. So, once again, I told them how my sheep had wandered into their flock. After that, they gave me permission to be a student of theirs.
I remember the first time I ever picked up a Bible. I was so excited I read it front cover to back cover without putting it down. Being exposed to Jewish biblical concepts and ideas moved me to intense feelings of closeness to God. Now here I was living in my very first Jewish community, Zafed, and studying at my very first Jewish Seminary, Machon Alta. The program was rigorous. The studying was vigorous. But I was ecstatic. While I was there, the Rosh Yeshiva named Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld, told me to take a Jewish name. When I told him that I called myself Teshuva Ani Bat Israel, he told me that it sounded like a sentence instead of a name and advised that I take a Jewish name from the Torah. So I did. I took the Jewish name of Chaya Elana, which in Hebrew means “Tree of Life”. I choose that name because more than anything else, I desired to have a God fearing, God loving Jewish family.
Finally, the day came for me to leave, get married, and raise an Orthodox Jewish family, and that was when everything went awry. I tried to make my way through the religious Jewish community as one of its members, but something was seriously amiss. Initially I did not know what. But as one year passed into the next and as I moved from one Orthodox Jewish community to another, the same trouble continued to befall me. Having been deprived of my Jewish heritage my whole life, whenever I prayed to Hashem and studied the Torah, I felt elated. However, wherever I made the effort to relate to those who were by birthright my own People my heart felt struck by stone. There were many instances in which I felt an acute lack of affinity and an obtuse lack of belonging to my own kindred. But for lack of time and lack of space I can only recount some of them.
THE MAKINGS OF A TORAH SCHOLAR
After one and one half years of studying Judaism full time at Machon Alta it was time for me to get set up on Shidducheem. In the meantime, I continued to study Judaism full time at another Jewish seminary called Neve Yerushaliyim. There, I lived in my second Jewish community called Bayit Vegan in the city of Jerusalem. Neve appointed me two Shadcheneem to go see for Shidducheem. I met Rebbetzim Rotman at her home. She interviewed me. One of the inquiries that she made of me was, “How did you become a Ba’alet Teshuva?” My reply was, “God made me religious”.
A couple of days later she called me up on the phone and told me that she had arranged a Shiddach for me. She set me up on a date with a Bachar that, according to Orthodox Jewish standards, was very impressive. (1) He was a Talmud Chocham and (2) He was Frum from birth and (3) He was a Jerusalemite, which meant that for many generations his family lived in the holy city of Jerusalem and (4) He was a Cohen, which meant that only a Betula was allowed to marry him. Only a Cohen Gadol is obligated to marry a Betula. But no one knows who the Cohen Gadol is anymore since both Bayit Hamikdasheem have been destroyed. Thusly all Cohaneem must marry Betulot. Hence, I was eligible to meet him.
In order to meet him I had to go see his Rav. The Rav informed me that I was about to meet a Talmud Chocham. The Rav went on to say that this Bachar was so smart that he was outgrowing the Rav with his Torah learning. And so the Rav was going to have to find him a more knowledgeable Torah teacher.
The following evening I met the Torah Scholar. He was a few years younger than I. He dressed according to the garb of a learned Yeshiva student. He wore a black Strimmel on his head, and had a shiny, black, long robe draped around his body, which was belted to his midsection with a matching shiny, black sash. He wore black pants and had black men’s dress shoes on. He had the usual full moustache and bearded face that many Orthodox Jewish men have. He had a full head of black wavy hair that was cropped short. His face had the longest Peyot that I had ever seen. They were black and wavy as his hair. But their length showed that they had never been cut since he was three years old, which is the Minhog amongst many Orthodox Jewish males. Soon enough I observed that he had a habit of slowly twirling with his left index finger his left Peyot.
The Torah Scholar only spoke Hebrew and I only spoke English so we had to converse in my rudimentary Hebrew tongue. Barely a moment after we were introduced, as if I were a horse to be appraised, he scanned my entire body from head to chest to hip to toe and then in reverse order from toe to hip to chest to head. Then, he stared at my face for a long moment. His eyeing me like that made me unduly uncomfortable. After that, as he was twirling his Peyot, he suddenly announced in Hebrew that our Shiddach was over. Just like that! I was dumbfounded.
That Shabbot I spent with a family that I had gotten to know while I was working for them as an Ozeret. They asked me what had transpired with my Shiddach with the Torah Scholar. I told them. The husband and father of the family whose name was Mr. Nadler who happened to be a Rabbi who was also a Kolel student told me that I had been “flat” out rejected by this Torah Scholar because, as he put it, “Men of Ruchniut marry women of Gashmiut”.
MY BA’ALAT TESHUVA STORY
When I went to see the second Shadchen, Rebbetzin Feldman, we met at Neve. She gave me the same interview as the one I had had with Rebbetzin Rotman but with a very different outcome. Like Rebbetzin Rotman, Rebbetzin Feldman asked me “How did you become a Ba’alat Teshuva?” And so, as with Rebbetzin Rotman, I answered, “God made me religious”. Suddenly an irritated tone entered her voice and as if she did not hear me the first time she snapped, “Okay, but who made you religious?” Once again I replied, “God did”. After that she sighed and gave me a weird look.
A few days later I received a call from her. She told me that she had a suitable marriage candidate for me. She went on that he came from a wealthy family, was my age, and handsome. I felt uneasy about her description of him. I wondered why she said nothing about his Yiddishkeit. I decided that the best way to find out about him was to meet him. So I agreed to do so.
Our initial meeting went very well. We talked and he even brought a chaperon, an elderly Orthodox Jewish lady, who sat at the table with us. We seemed to get along and like each other very much. But the second time that I met him, he tried to rape me. Luckily, I got away. The following day, Erev Shabbot, I made repeated calls to the local Rabbi of Neve to tell him what had happened to me. No one was home.
Meanwhile, while I was preparing for Shabbat a few hours before Bench Licht, a very bad feeling suddenly came over me, and I accidentally cut my finger on the knife I was using to slice some of the vegetables for one of the Shabbat meals. Then, while I went around the block to the local bakery to buy some dessert for Shabbot, to my horror of horrors there was the man who had tried to rape me! Even though he lived on the other side of the city of Jerusalem in a neighborhood called Maya Sha’areem, I saw him sitting at the local bus stop on Hapisca Street in the neighborhood called Bayit Vegan where I lived. I hardly recognized him for he was dressed in Arab garb! I was mortified. Yet somehow I managed to keep my composure. I crossed the street so that I did not have to pass by him. As I walked by, on the opposite side of the street from where he was sitting, I kept a normal pace, and I kept my head down in the hope that he would not notice that I was there.
When I arrived home, I immediately dialed the local Rabbi’s phone number again. This time he answered the phone. I told him what had happened and what was going on. Fearing for my personal safety, Rabbi Yoseph Levy escorted me to the Jerusalem bus station where I took a bus to the city of Tel Aviv to stay with a family that he knew for Shabbot. Motzei Shabbot Rabbi Yoseph Levy talked to my stalker and convinced him to have no further contact with me.
The following week I went to Rebbetzin Rotman and told her what had happened with the Shiddach that Rebbetzin Feldman had set me up on. Rebbetzin Rotman told me that she had told Rebbetzen Feldman not to set me up with him because he was, as she put it, “mentally unstable”. I also called Rebbetzin Feldman and told her what had happened with the Shiddach that she had set me up on. I could hardly believe my ears the words that I heard that came out of her mouth. She said to me, “You told me you’re Ba’alat Teshuva story was that God made you religious so you and he are well suited for one another as you are both crazy.”
A WOMAN OF VALOR
While I was still attending Machon Alta I got word from home that I had been accepted into a couple of four year California State Universities. Because I was financially disadvantaged but academically an honor student, they awarded me scholarships that completely paid for all of my college expenses, tuition, books, and housing. I came from a low, blue collar, middle working class family that struggled financially just to survive. This was my chance to improve my lot in life. When I informed my Mashpiah whose name was Rabbi David Turkav of the news back home, he told me that I must go see the Rosh Yeshiva of Machon Alta who was also a Dion and Cohen whose name was Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld. and that I was commanded by God to do whatever Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld advised me to do. After giving me five minutes of his time, Rosh Yeshiva, Dion, Cohen, Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld told me not to continue my secular education because acquiring a Parnosa was the Orthodox Jewish man’s job to do. He informed me that my job as an Orthodox Jewess was to become what he called an Aishet Chiyul. Then, he told me that an Aishet Chiyul was a woman of virtue, which he defined as a woman of good character. After that, my grant in aid awards and acceptance into four-year University lapsed.
From the get go, my search for a soul mate all over the State of Israel went like this: I knock on the door. The door opens. I tell the Shadchen that I am looking for a Shiddach. The Shadchen asks me how I became religious. I tell her. Next, the Shadchen looks me over to take special note of how fashionably I am dressed, even though my clothing is up to religious Orthodox Jewish standards since it is modest, clean and undamaged. Because I am wearing miss-matched garments that come from the Gamacht, the Shadchen let’s me know that I am not attractive. The next thing the Shadchen asks me is, “What sort of secular college education do you have?” I tell the Shadchen that I gave up my aspirations for a career since my Rabbi told me that the only thing an Orthodox Jewess has to be concerned about is being an Aishet Chiyul. To that, the Shadchen tells me that I am too religious. And so I never pass inspection.
Instead, the door closes or I am set up with potential life partners who are either physically un-kept, financially between jobs, emotionally disturbed, mentally ill, or spiritual indecisive as to whether or not they desire to continue to be religious. I had learned from every Torah teacher that I ever had and from the Torah itself that God had cursed Adam HaReshon for sinning against God by eating the forbidden fruit with, “You will eat by the sweat of your brow”. That meant that, the task of earning a Parnosa, God assigned to the Orthodox Jewish male. I had become religious to escape secular society, which based upon my observation of it, only valued those who were “the haves” and did not value those who were “the have nots”. Now, I was made to learn the hard way via the Hard School of Knocks – my own personal life experience – that the Shiddach scene in Israel only catered to the Orthodox Jewess’s who possessed the “externalities” of an attractive physical appearance and money. So, after three years of studying Torah and living in Israel to become a God loving, God fearing, Orthodox Jewess, who was marriageable and ready to raise a Jewish family, I returned to the United States penniless, jobless, and homeless for the money that I had saved up for three years to go to Israel had run out.
Upon my return to the United States, I heard that, Rabbi Menachem M Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe Shlita was no longer giving Yechud to any of his followers. However, he made an exception. He gave Yechud to one Orthodox Jewess. During that one on one session, he blessed her that God will grant her anything she wished since she had given up her career to be an opera singer in order to be an Orthodox Jewess. Because he is considered a Tzadeek, according to the Lubavitcher Orthodox Jewish community every word that leaves his lips is as if it has exited out of God’s mouth. I met this woman. She lived in the third Orthodox Jewish community that I move to – Fairfax, Los Angeles, California. She was exceptionally beautiful looking. Her parents were millionaires. She married an Orthodox Jewish man who was a millionaire. I came to her house for Shabbot once. She was actually a really nice person. Meanwhile, here I was, an unattractive and now poor Orthodox Jewess, having given up my one and only chance to have a career, which I had prepared most of my life for. Yet the Rebbe Shlita, whom the Lubavitch community claimed had Ruach Hakodesh, either did not know, or did not care that I had sacrificed all of what little I had to become an Orthodox Jewess. He never ever offered me Yechud so that he could bless me with the Lord’s holy words, that I, too, will get anything that I desire.
I wrote many-a-letter to the Rebbe Shlita over the years because I was instructed by Lubavitchers to do so since I was considered a Lubavitcher Chassidic Orthodox Jewess. I did not receive any letters back from the Rebbe Shlita. Then, one day a Mashpiach of the Rebbe Shlita told me that one has to include Tzadaka in the letters that one writes to the Rebbe Shlita in order to get a letter back from the Rebbe Shlita. I did not know this. So the very next letter I wrote to the Rebbe Shlita I included eighteen dollars with it, which was all the money that I was able to afford to give away. After that, the Rebbe Shlita sent me my one and only letter from him. This is what it said verbatim, “Surely you know that all things come from Hashem and so the way to widen the channels of material and spiritual blessing is to increase your observance of Torah and Mitzvot”. Meanwhile, according to the Shadcheneem of Israel, I was already too religious to go out with any of their eligible, single, Orthodox Jewish men. Now, it was beginning to become painfully clear to me, starting with Rabbi David Turkav, continuing with Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld, and ending with Rabbi Menachim M. Schneerson, the Rebbe Shlita, that being a God loving, God fearing, Orthodox Jewess, who is therefore esteemed to be a wife of a Torah Scholar, and a mother of Israel, was only valued within the holy scripture of the Torah. In the actual world of Chassidic Orthodox Jewry, she really had no value. At that point I stopped being a member of the Lubavitcher Chassid branch of Orthodox Jewry.
THE MAKE OVER
My first year back in the United States I was poorer than an Israeli immigrant, even though I was a fourth generation American citizen. Priority number one, I had to set my sites on securing employment. But, I kept getting fired job after job after job. Having been a college dropout I had no marketable skills. After three years of being a “pay check” away from living on the streets, I heard that the Los Angeles Unified School District was giving out emergency teaching credentials. I was hired. After I took a teaching job, I went back to night school at the California State University of Los Angeles to earn a Professional Clear Teaching Credential while I taught Learning Handicapped children during the day and kept up my religious observance. Such meant that I had to take the Chageem off from work and school in addition to observing the weekly Shabbot. I was not allowed to do any secular activity during the Chageem or Shabbbatot. This left me one day out of the entire week, Sunday, to do all of my chores – laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, research papers, long term projects, studying for exams, daily lessons plans, etc. I did not have the money to own a car, so I had to travel by Rapid Transit Bus all over the city of Los Angeles to commute. So six days out of the week, I woke up at 6:00 in morning and went to sleep at Midnight. Nevertheless, I was determined not to let my hardships detour me from getting married and raising children within the Orthodox Jewish way of life.
While living in my third, Jewish Community, Fairfax, in Los Angeles, California, I met Rebbetzin Bella Seagull. She was a Shadchen who seemed genuinely interested in helping me find a suitable marriage partner. She took up my cause by insisting that I get a physical makeover. Besides making sure that I combed my hair, brushed my teeth, and took a shower, I never paid much attention to my outward appearance. So aside from not knowing what a makeover was, I was astonished when Rebbetzin Bella Seagull warned me, “If you dress frumpy people will think you are a lazy good for nothing slob”. I never wore make-up in my entire life. Now I was to wear the glam. I never wore jewelry either. Now I was to wear the glitz. Next we replaced my coke bottle nerdy glasses with gas permeable contact lenses. After that was my hair. Rebbetzin Bella Seagull took a scissors to it and cut bangs for me that gave my head height to minimize my strong square jaw line. Then, there were the pump and stiletto high-heeled dressy shoes. Most shoes I was not able to wear as a result of having had foot surgery to correct a bone deformity in both of my large toes when I was a young adult. So I had to settle for two inch heeled open toed summer sandals with a strap around my heel to give my feet some support. They say in California that when it rains it pours. Being that sandals were the only dress shoe I was able to wear, I wore them even during the torrential shower storms that flooded Los Angeles California during the winter, while I walked to my hosts’ homes every Shabbot to be their Shabbot guest. After that came the stylish garments. I never thought much about clothing. I wore it strictly for the practical reasons of covering up my nakedness and to keep warm or cool. Now not only was I to acquire a taste for fashion, being an Orthodox Jewess, I was also required to drape myself in modest attire. This meant that I had to wear hosiery, slips and heavy fabrics that covered me up to the neckline and passed the elbow and the knee, even during the hottest summer days that Los Angeles’s California’s desert summer’s sun was able to scorch its inhabitants with. My shopping sprees were a total disaster. With my extremely low budget and complete lack of shopping sense, though I spent hours going to every department store within the community, the outcome was always the same. Instead of coming home with bulging shopping bags full of clothes, I came home empty handed with the department stores’ doors slamming my bottom behind me. Then, one day, I stumbled upon a book in the local bookstore called, “Color Me Beautiful” by Carole Anderson. I bought it. I read it cover to cover several times and within three months I was a fashion plate. Now Rebbetzin Bella Seagull and all of the other Shadcheneem were telling me, “You look great! Now you will have no trouble getting married.” And they started setting me up on Shidducheem with decent, Orthodox, Jewish, single men.
A MALE VERSION OF MYSELF
On one particular Shabbot, while I was a guest at Rebbetzin Bella Seagull’s house, I noticed that one of the single, Orthodox Jewish males, who was also a guest at the Seagull’s Shabbot table, got into a debate with Rebbetzin Bella Seagull’s husband, Rabbi Nachman Seagull, about a Torah discussion that they were having. I watched him get as passionate as I did about learning. Excited, I joined in to their mentally stimulating conversation. Just as he had done, I expressed an opinion that opposed Rabbi Nachman Seagull’s opinion.
But before I was able to finish what I was saying, everyone at the table verbally attacked me. In utter shock and confusion I froze. Then Rebbetzin Bella Seagull scolded me as if I were a bad child by demanding that I apologize to her husband for embarrassing him. Feeling concerned that I had somehow offended Rabbi Nachman Seagull, but not knowing what I had done to offend him, I promptly apologized to him. However, no one rebuked Rebbetzin Bella Seagull for committing the Avarah of embarrassing me in public, and no one gave me the benefit of the doubt, which is a Mitzva that whatever I had done I had not done intentionally.
I hadn’t a clue as to why everyone had gotten so angry with me. So I asked Rebbetzin Bella Seagull why it was okay for the male version of my self Shabbot guest to engage in a verbal disagreement with Rabbi Nachman Seagull, but it was not alright for me to. Rebbetzin Bella Seagull flat out said, “Because he is a male.” She then told me that Orthodox Jewish females are not permitted to discuss the Torah with Orthodox Jewish males, let alone disagree with them. After that, I tried to talk about the Torah with other Orthodox Jewess’s, as I had done while in Seminary in Israel. But their eyes glossed over and they reverted back to the Shabbat or Chag topic of the hour, which was discussing their kids’ dirty diapers. It was not until later that I discovered on my own, that according to the Torah, there is no such ruling that a female Jewess is not allowed to engage in Torah discussion or argument with male Jews.
Meanwhile, I continued to be set up on Shidducheem. But the whole process began to get confusing. On the one hand the Shadcheneem told me not to intimidate men by discussing Torah with them. On the other hand the Shadcheneem told me to just be myself. I tried my utmost to follow their advice. One evening, while I was waiting for the Shiddach that had been arranged for me by a Shatchun as I was mumbling to myself, “Be yourself but…” my Shiddach walked into the room. We introduced ourselves to one another. He was an attractive, young man who appeared to be “normal” as Rebbetzin, Shadchen Bella Seagull often said. He took me out on our date to play Ping Pong. During our friendly Ping Pong match he was creaming me. But then I started to keep my eye on the ball and my shots improved. That made him nervous and his shots got worse. Eventually he lost the game by making his own mistakes of hitting the ball improperly. Remembering that I was a female Jewess in training I blurted out that I was sorry for winning the game. Instead of accepting my apology he said, “If you were an intelligent woman you would learn how to hide your intelligence.” Upon hearing his sore loser remark, I wondered to myself, “How am I supposed to hide my intelligence if I don’t know when I am acting intelligent?”
Apparently, an Orthodox Jewish woman also had to hide her intellegience whenever she was simply in the presence of an Orthodox Jewish man. I found that to be disturbing. So I inquired about it to many single and many married Orthodox Jewish males. What I discovered was that there existed Orthodox Jewish couples in which the wife abandoned her Torah learning after she got married because her husband had requested her to do so. This was the case even in the households where the wife was the breadwinner and the husband did not even have a job. I also encountered orthodox Jewish Rabbis who scolded their daughters for leaving their Phi Beta Kappa (collegiate secular academic honor society) stars in places were their prospective marriage partners could find them, and threatened them that if they continued to do so they would never get married. I also met with Ravs who instructed their Orthodox Jewish male Talmudeem to marry Orthodox Jewish females who were as they put it, “Stupider than they were”. I was astounded. When I ventured to ask why the Orthodox Jewish man was uncomfortable with an Orthodox Jewish woman who happened to be smart they told me that it made the “men” feel inferior. I found it difficult to reconcile how it was that Orthodox Jewish men’s egos were so delicate that they felt threatened by Orthodox Jewish females whom they believed were smarter than them.
Wasn’t the male gender regarded as the stronger sex and the female gender regarded as the weaker sex? According to Matan Torah this was so. When the Jewish people received the Torah, Rabbanu Shel Olam spoke to the Jewish males with “Devor”, which means in a strong manner, but spoke to the Jewish females with “Omar”, which means in a gentle manner. I have heard many times the Orthodox Jewish people bragging about how our Yiddisha Kup is smarter than the Goyisha brain, which supposedly is the reason why the religious Jewish people still continue to exist in spite of the secular world. So the question that came to my mind was, don’t orthodox Jewish men want to marry orthodox Jewish women who are “smart” so that they can have intelligent orthodox Jewish children so that the Jewish Race can continue to survive in the Gentile World?
WHERE THERE ARE TWO JEWS
THERE ARE THREE OPINIONS
More than anything else what had encouraged me to venture upon my path back to Judaism was the sort of learning experience that I had had with Hillel, a campus outreach center for assimilated Jews. The Hillel group on the California State University of Northridge campus was my very first Bible study class. A reformed conservative Rabbi led our study group, which consisted of about twenty Jews and Jewesses who were unaffiliated with the Jewish religion. For Yom Kippur the topic of our learning session was the book of Yonah. We all took turns reading a little bit of Yonah. While we did so, the Rabbi asked us what we thought and felt about what we read. Members of the group volunteered their opinions including myself. Everyone in the group was respectful of everyone else’s point of view. There were no judgments. There was no focus on right or wrong answers. There was only sharing. Whenever two people did not agree, they agreed to disagree. This type of learning expanded my mind with new inspiring concepts, and flooded my heart with new aspiring ideas. That hour I got so high from learning for the sake of learning that my body felt as if it had merged with every other body in the room, and my head felt like it had disconnected from my neck and had floated up to the top of the ceiling.
After I became an Orthodox Jewess my Torah learning experiences drastically changed. There are serious problems with the way in which Orthodox Jewry studies the Torah. The following are some of them:
One, the Orthodox Jewish people erronouesly call themselves the People of the Book (Jewish Bible). I had a dream one night about what it meant to be a People of the Book. In my dream me, myself, and I was a book reading the Book (Jewish Bible). To me that meant that both a Jew’s and a Jewess’s private and communal commitment to studying the Book (Jewish Bible) was supposed to make one delve deeper and deeper into it in order to improve ourselves as a people. Nevertheless, year in and year out for the entire time that I was an Observant Jewess every Torah Shiur that I ever attended spewed the same old material that it had spewed the year before. How were we supposed to become Menchin if we did not cover new material to peak our enthusiasm and heighten our knowledge so that we could reach greater and greater Madraigot of Jewish conduct?
Two, there is an old Jewish saying that wherever there are two Jews there are three opinions. When it came to the Orthodox Jewish way of learning that was a farce. As far as the Orthodox Jewess was concerned the only type of learning that was offered to her was the kind that taught her only one thing, how to be passively narrow minded. As far as the Orthodox Jew was concerned the only type of learning that was offered to him was the kind that taught him only one thing, how to be aggressively egotistical. Out of their angst at not being permitted to learn anything in the Torah except for those Halachot that pertained to family purity, keeping kosher, observance of the holy days, being Sniut, and attending the Mikvah, the Orthodox Jewesses morphed into what I regard as, “The Rebbetzin Your Wrongers”. Every time I attended a Torah Shiur and tried to contribute my perspective on what we were learning, without even letting me finish my sentence, the Rebbetzin Your Wrongers chimed in like a choir of banshees and in unison screamed at me, “You are wrong. The sources say such and such”. To them the definition of a Tora Scholar was how well one was able to parrot what the Rabbis said in our present generation as well as how well one was able to recite what the Mifarsheem said thousands of years ago. Their brand of learning was “spoon fed” regurgitation of information and mimicking how their Orthodox Jewish husbands learned in Kolel. They shouted at the top of their lungs their own opinion so that no one was able to hear another’s opinion. This is the poor learning state that Orthodox Jewry is in for if the Orthodox Jewess was allowed to ask questions about the Torah as well as share her own thoughts and feelings about her Judaism, she might venture too far into the unknown frontier of her religion, which might result in her challenging the unholy ways in which the Orthodox Jew treats her.
Three, Orthodox Jews had the attitude that any Orthodox Jewess, who asked a lot of questions about her own religion, lacked Emunah and Betachon. Now how can that be when the Torah is said to be Eternal? The Torah ought to be able to answer as many questions as one has to ask it. Apparently, Orthodox Jewry is insecure about its own faith and trust in God, and so it feels threatened by any one of its members who is not. It is in fact so insecure about its own religion that it has to isolate itself from the rest of the world out of a paranoia that if it doesn’t it will lose its Judaism by living in what is called a Shtettel. What it does not grasp is that there is no reason to fear becoming fry into Goyishakeit for the Jewish Shtettel is not a place one has to live in, but rather a state of mind that one can have. Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfield warned me not to return to America to continue my secular education. He was certain that if I did I would become an assimilated Jewess. When I finally did resume college in order to obtain a Parnosa in order to get a decent Shiddach so that I could get married, not only did I not fall away from my Judaism, I saw the teachings of the Torah in every secular textbook that I ever had to study. Living in the non-Jewish world enhanced my awareness of God. It did not diminish it.
Four, I was crucified for my love for learning about Judaism. Yeshiva Machon Alta prided itself in allowing its Chabbad Orthodox Jewesses to learn Chassidism. Chassidism was the ground floor level of Kabbalah. After nine months of extensive learning of Torah at the Machon, I asked Rabbi Friedman (one of the seven brothers of Rabbi Manis Friedman of Minnesota whose job it was to M’Karv the secular Jewess into the Lubavitcher movement (Chassidic branch of Jewry) a question about the Zohar. His answer was that I was a female so I was not allowed to know the answer to “that” question. Surprised that Lubavitch put a lid on my learning I asked, “If I am not allowed to know the answer to my question, then why did God put the question inside of my head to be asked?” He refused to answer that question also. Sometime later, I discovered the answer myself. The rest of the levels of the Kabbalah only the Chabbad Orthodox Jew was permitted to learn, and only if he was forty years of age, married, and a Torah Scholar. So I left the Machon and came to the woman’s seminary called Neve Yerushaliyeem to study the Torah.
After three months of learning at the woman’s seminary of Neve Yerushaliyeem I was called into the Rosh Yeshiva’s office. When I arrived, the three Rosh Yeshivot of Neve greeted me. Rabbi Refson, Rabbi Cholkowsky, and Rabbi Feldman. Rabbi Refson was the one who spoke. He flat out said to me, “You are no longer allowed to ask any more questions at Neve”. My eyebrows went up in complete surprise. “What?” I asked Why not?” In a stern voice Rabbi Refson replied, “Because your questions are disturbing the other teachers and students and disrupting the classes.” I looked at them puzzled. “But I have been learning here for three months now and no one has ever complained about me asking questions” I said. All three Rabbis stared at me while Rabbi Refson simply repeated his command as if none of them including him had heard what I had just said. After that, he told me “You are dismissed”. I got up out of my chair and left. Still completely baffled I was determined to find out what was going on so I decided to conduct my own survey. I did not tell a soul what I was doing, nor why I was doing it because I wanted my survey to be unbiased. I simply came out and asked both students and teachers, “Do my questions bother you?” To make a long story short, as far as the students were concerned, not only did my questions not disturb them, one student even told me, “If it were not for you asking your questions, I would not have the courage to ask any myself.” As far as the teachers were concerned, not only did my questions not disrupt their class, one teacher even said to me, “If you don’t ask questions in my class then you are not welcome to attend it.”
I went back to the three Rosh Yeshivot and reported to them that I had conducted my own survey and that it had revealed that no one had a problem at Neve with my asking questions. Then I asked, “So why are you forbidding me from asking questions when, just like any other student or teacher, I too have a right to ask questions?” Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Refson, Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Cholkowsky, and Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Feldman remained silent and brushed me off as if I was an insect by simply sticking to their broken record that if I desired to continue learning at Neve I was not to ask any more questions. A few days later I found myself silently crying. I felt my own tears slowly cascade down my face into the scarf that I had put over my mouth in order to keep myself from asking any more questions at the classes that I attended. I was bored to tears. I was outraged at being discriminated against for no reason. I was devastated that nobody cared. That day I left the Neve seminary for good. No one tried to stop me. But as I walked down the hallway towards the exit of the seminary suddenly it dawned upon me that a class that I regularly attended, a few days ago, had had a substitute teacher. The Rabbi who normally taught it was out sick. That substitute teacher happened to be Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Feldman. As usual I had asked my questions since as usual the Rabbi who normally taught the class answered them. But that day Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Feldman substituted for the class. Not only did he not answer any of my questions, he did now know the answer to any of my questions. Ah hah! It was Rabbi Feldman who was uncomfortable with my questions! Now I knew why for three months, I was permitted to ask questions at Neve but after that, I was forbidden to ask questions at Neve. None of the students or teachers at Neve had a problem with my asking questions. The only Jew at Neve who was uncomfortable with my asking questions was the Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Feldman. Apparently, he had complained to Rabbi Cholkowsky, and Rabbi Refson that I asked questions that he did not know the answer to and that made him feel stupid. Therefore, I was to be blamed for his feelings of inadequacy and so I ought to be punished by not being permitted to ask any more questions. Never mind that my sole intention was to learn. For according to God’s commandments Torah is to be learned for the sake of learning itself.
While I was living in the Orthodox Jewish community of Fairfax, Los Angeles, California, I became interested in attending a Torah learning center there called Ashreinu. The Rosh Yeshivot of this learning center was a Rabbi Zerret and Rebbetzin Bracha Zerret. They had just immigrated back to the United States after living in Israel for a while. I did not know the Zerrets and desired to meet them. So during the middle of the week I called them up and asked if it was all right for me to be a guest at their Shabbat table. A very strange reply came back to me. Rebbetzin Bracha Zerret said into my telephone receiver, “We are only accepting guests at our Shabbot table who are not yet religious.” “Okay” I said. Then I asked, “Rebbetzin Bracha Zerret would it be okay if I attended your new Torah learning center called Ashreinu?” Her response to my inquiry was, “Our Torah learning program is only geared towards Jewish women who know nothing about Frumkeit.” Though unusual it all sounded plausible to me. So I said, “Okay. Well thank you anyway, goodbye.” A couple of months later, another single Orthodox Jewess, like myself, who was an acquaintance of mine, approached me and asked me if I would like to go with her to Ashreinu. I politely declined explaining to her that Rebbetzin Bracha Zerrett had informed me that Ashreinu was only geared towards Jewesses who were just becoming religious. “Oh no, that’s not so” she said back to me. Then she continued, “The program is open for all to learn”. Now I was confused but apprehensively I agreed to join her certain that she was mistaken. But when we arrived at Ashreinu I saw with my own eyes that nearly every single Orthodox Jewess that I knew in the Orthodox Jewish community that I lived in was there. And like me, none of them were new to Judaism. After that, I went to see the Zerrets to find out why I was being singled out from participating in their Torah learning center called Ashreinu. Both Rabbi and Rebbetzin Bracha Zerret told me that someone in the Fairfax Los Angeles community, whom they refused to reveal to me the identity of, had spoken Loshan Hora and reported Richiluls about me that I ask too many questions and that the kinds of questions that I ask will disrupt and disturb the Ashreinu Torah learning classes. Sound familiar? Contrary to what I had done with Rosh Yeshivot Rabbi Feldman, Rabbi Cholkowsky, and Rabbi Feldman at Neve, I set out to prove them wrong. I was determined to show the Zerrets that I was not going to be a disturbance or a disruption to Ashreinu. So I made a suggestion that, if I agree not to ask any questions, will they allow me to attend Ashreinu? Rabbi Zerrett agreed. Several months later, I called Rabbi Zerrett on the telephone and asked him how I was doing. He said I was doing great. I told him that all the other Orthodox Jewesses get to ask questions at Ashreinu except for me so is it alright now if I ask questions also? To my surprise, just like that, he said “yes”. I had demonstrated to the Zerretts that I was able to curb my asking questions to those who were uncomfortable with questions. I was now certain that was the end of that. But it was not.
Several months later, I was invited over by a family I had come to know for Shabbat. After the Shabbat meal, Rebbetzin Zahava Rubanowitz, the wife and mother, got into a discussion with me about Shidducheem. She expressed to me that she desired to find me a Shiddach. After that, she presented me with a list of single Orthodox Jews and Jewesses who were looking to get married. She then told me to contact her after I decided which single Orthodox Jewish males I was interested in meeting. As I opened up the first page the entire list fell out of my hands unraveling itself onto the floor as some thirty-paged computer printout document. A bit surprised I stared at it for a moment and then began thumbing through its pages. On one of its pages I read through a “God awful” description that had been given to someone. Such a horrible paragraph had been written up about the person that I could not tear my eyes away from it. One of the things it said about the person was that the only thing she was interested in with regards to finding her soul mate was a man who was tall. Another thing it said about the person was that though she was in her late twenties she only had a minimum wage paying job. My heart was going thump, thump with trepidation. For in between its beats I was suddenly able to read between the lines. It was a description about me!!! The overall description of my personage was unconscionably bland and unscrupulously boring. A complete stranger to me had colored me gray in a list of Orthodox Jewish singles looking for marriage partners, even though I had not given anyone permission to put me into the list. Morbidly mesmerized, I read through the rest of the pages and read all of the other descriptions that were given to all of the other people. Every single, Orthodox single, besides my self, had been given a colorful description of their personhood. It was exciting and interesting!!! After I finished reading everyone else’s description I thought, “Who in the world is going to pay any attention to mine?” In that instant, I realized that someone had gone to great lengths to single me out of the single scene. And if that was not enough, guess who the authors of the list were? They were the Zerrets. I went home.
That Motzei Shabbat, instead of celebrating what a wonderful, joyous, peaceful Shabbat I had had, which was what Shabbat, according to the Torah, was intended to be, I could not bring myself to have a Melava Malka meal, because I felt so devastated. Nevertheless, I got busy putting together a resume’ about myself that would portray me as the person that I really was. As part of my resume I mentioned that I was working for the Los Angeles Unified School District as a teacher for learning handicapped children because I wanted people to know that I cared about others. I also mentioned that I was attending California State University of Los Angeles, which had one of the best teaching programs in the country, to earn both my Regular Education and Special Education Teaching Credentials because I wanted people to know that I was an ambitious person. I also mentioned my level of Orthodox Jewish religious observance and how long I had been an Orthodox Jewess because I wanted people to know that I was devoted to Judaism. I also made a list of my hobbies and interests so that people would know that I was a well-rounded person. Then, I wrote up a brief description about what I was looking for in a Shiddach. I was looking for a marriage partner who was an Orthodox Jew who was a Mench. I also put on my resume’ cover in illumination and shadow an intricate drawing of a tree for that is what my Jewish name means. I did this because I wanted people to know that I was a creative individual who had an appreciation for aesthetics. After my resume was completed, a couple of days later, I went over to the Zerret’s house.
In an assertive manner, I let them know that they had put me in their singles’ list without my permission, and that I did not appreciate the way in which they portrayed me. Then, I requested that they remove their false description of me and insert a truthful description of me. After that, I handed them my resume’ to look at. The first thing they did was demand that I tell them who had given me their singles’ list as they now wanted to file a lawsuit against that person for giving their private property to the public. But just as they had been unwilling to divulge the identity of the Orthodox Jew/Jewess who had committed the Avarah of Loshan Horah/Richilus against me, I was now unwilling to divulge the identity of the Orthodox Jew/Jewess who was only interested in doing the Mitzvah of helping me find a Shiddach. The second thing the Zerrets did was to hem and haw and then to tell me that it would not be fair to put my resume in their singles’ list for it would be partial. To this I said that it was not fair that they allowed someone, who did not even know me and whom I did not even know, to write up things about me that were totally untrue. The third thing the Zerrets did was to suggest that we resolve the dispute by removing my name from their singles’ list altogether. I told them that I did not agree to that. Then I suggested that together we all decide what to put in the singles’ list about me. The Zerrets said that they agreed to this and then told me to my utter surprise that they would put my resume in their singles’ list if I came back in three months when the single’s list was going to be updated. I agreed. When I came back three months later to have the Zerrets put my resume in their computer printed out singles’ list of the entire Orthodox Jewish community of Fairfax, Los Angeles, the Zerrets told me, “It’s too late. Our new list has already been reprinted so we decided to just leave you out of it altogether.” And that was that! The Zerrrets had succeeded in singling me out for not ever getting married. For by going back on their word by not putting my resume’ in their singles’ list they had made sure that I could not put my name back in bold highlight where it belonged. It would have been better if the Zerrets had never put me in their singles’ list in the first place. But they knew that. That is why they broke their promise to put my resume’ in their singles’ list in the second place. Now the unholy description of me that they had put into their singles’ list would remain there in indelible ink, making me invisible forever. Why? Because I believed that according to God’s commandments Torah is to be learned for the sake of learning, itself.
THE PATRIARCHAL MATRIARCHAL TORAH
Besides discovering that, as an Orthodox Jewess, I was supposed to hide my intelligence I became acquainted with different gender roles that existed in the Orthodox Jewish way of life. At first I had no problem with them. It seemed to make sense that men and women had different roles to play, as this was an organized way to run a household. That is, until I found out that these gender roles, to put it lightly, were unequal in task.
One of my first encounters with unequal gender roles was when I had been invited to a family’s home as their guest on Shabbat. They lived in a Kolel community. The entire family and I, their guest, were peacefully enjoying the Shabbat meal when suddenly and without warning the wife grew angry and then tearfully blurted out to her husband, “I can’t take this anymore! I have been working seven years now to support this family and take care of these children all by myself! It is time for you to go out and get a job!” Upon hearing this, I almost literally choked on the food that I was eating I felt so absolutely terrible now that I was taking it out of their mouths. I burst into tears myself and desired to get up and leave but I dare not embarrass them.
This was not the first time, nor the last time that I was to encounter the unequitable distribution of gender roles. Every community that I went to from Israel to California to New York it was always the same. The Orthodox married Jewess worked like six horses. She bore the children. She raised the children. She cleaned the house. She cooked the food. She did charity work for the religious Jewish community and…she held down a job. At least 80% of all Orthodox Jewesses were burdened with both the female gender tasks mentioned above and the male gender task of having to earn a Parnosa. To make matters worse, the Orthodox Jewess was being told by the Orthodox Jew that by doing both gender roles she was ensured a place in Olam Haba since her labors freed her husband and sons to learn as much Torah as possible. This was a Chilul Hashem for it was NOT what the Torah that the Jewish People received from Mt. Sinai instructed Orthodox Jewry to do.
Many Orthodox Jewesses worked outside of the home. It was a rarity if one did not. Most of the ones that I met where full time Morot of the Orthodox Jewish schools. So they not only had to deal with other peoples’ children, but their own as well. I heard many of them complain amongst themselves that they were around children so much that they forget what it was like to talk to another adult. During the years that I was an observantly religious Jewess, the Morah (female teacher), who educates the Jewish children, received only one third of the salary that the Moreh (male teacher) gets. And she had to live on that meager salary even if she became divorced and had to be the sole supporter of her family.
The Orthodox married Jewess was also expected to have lots of children. This increased her gender duties many fold. Just her cleaning and cooking tasks alone amounted to an overwhelmingly burdensome endeavor. They were compounded even more by the observance of the many Mitzvot. One of which was Kashruth. Kashruth meant that every household had to keep two sets of dishes, silverware, pots, pans, glasses, cooking utensils, etc. One set was for meat and one set was for milk. All meals were cooked in such a way to keep meat and milk foods separate. Aside from this there was the Shabbot. It came around once a week every Saturday. Her cooking and cleaning jobs increased ever the more so since she served three multi course Shabbot meals and another meal for Malava Malka after Havdala.
Then there were the Chageem. They were Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah, Chanuka, Purim, Pesach and Shavuot. They increased her cooking and cleaning load considerably. Chanukah was an evening of partying over latkes and doughnuts not to mention a dinner meal and Dreidel games. Purim was an all week preparation of Shalach Manot of delectable goodies and tasty treats to be given to one’s neighbors. Rosh Hashana the Jewish New Year required multi course Shabbat meals along with special foods to be prepared for that holiday. Shavouth and Sukkot, each by itself, culminated into seven days of feasting on multi course Shabbot meals not to mention special distinct foods that had to be prepared for those holidays.
The mother of all the Jewish holidays was Pesach. It not only consisted of seven days of feasting on multi course Shabbat meals as well as the eating of special foods such as Matza, it also required at least a month’s preparation of intensive cleaning before that holiday. Pesach demanded household cleaning way beyond the once a year Spring cleaning of getting rid of the dust balls and cobwebs in one’s attic and basement. Pesach cleaning meant for the strictly Orthodox Jewess that she had to scrub tiles with a toothbrush, bleach countertops and sinks by boiling them in hot water and steaming them with a hot iron. She had to cover the countertops, sinks, and refrigerator after they were thoroughly sterilized with tinfoil. She had to vacuum, dust, sweep, mop, and wash every nock and cranny of every room of her entire home to rid it of Chometz. Finally, she had to cook and clean two sets of dishes, silverware, pots, pans, glasses, cooking utensils etc., one for meat and one for milk only to be used on Pesach. This included new tablecloths, towels, sponges, soaps, and whatever other household items I forgot to mention that kept the Pesach holiday Chometz free (absent of leavened bread and leavened bread products).
Most of the Orthodox Jewish men that I encountered whether they were husbands, sons, or brothers, refused to lift a finger to assist their wives, daughters or sisters in cooking the Chag meals, in preparing and clearing off the Shabbat table, in cleaning for Pesach, in changing their own child’s dirty diaper, or baby sitting their own son or daughter even if the mother was pregnant. One could not help but notice how many-an-Orthodox married Jewess aged three times faster than her Orthodox Jew spouse and how fat due to laziness many-an-Orthodox married Jew was. When I asked why the Patriarchal Matriarchal Torah’s gender roles were divided so unevenly, the husband’s reply was that his wife deserved the short end of the holy staff of Moshe (Moses) because it was Chava (Eve) who sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit. He failed to mention that while the snake beguiled Chava to eat the forbidden fruit, Adam just stood there and did and said nothing. Then afterwards Adam consumed the forbidden fruit, himself.
One of the many house cleaning jobs I got to help me supplement my savings that I lived on while I lived in Israel was a job I got as a Mitapellet for an Orthodox Jewish family who lived on a Moshav near Beer Sheva. My job was to clean a very large house occupied by ten children of all ages. While I was busy about my duties the neighbor came over with her flu-ridden toddler and practically threw him into her neighbor’s baby crib. As he began to wail his head off, the mother of the household told me that she and her neighbor were going shopping and that they would be back in a couple of hours. They left without any notation as to where they were going and with no one in charge of the ten children and now the eleventh screaming, sick child. I was instructed to leave him alone. But I could not stand it, the utter lack of compassion. So I picked up the baby, put his miserable, coughing, runny noise self into my lap, stroked his overheated head, spoke softly to his crying voice over his abandonment, and gently rocked him to sleep. After a little while, I was able to put him back into his crib for he had fallen sound to sleep. Many hours later, the mother of the household and the neighbor returned. But my boss was angry with me since I had not gotten as much work done as I was supposed to because I had tended to her neighbor’s sick, crying, little, boy. Disgusted, I told her that I quit. Although I understood her understandably selfish self desperately craving some much needed “me” time, I was appalled at her irresponsible attitude towards both her own children who ran around the house unsupervised like wild chickens, and the neighbor’s child who simply wanted and needed some chicken soup to get rid of his flu.
As far as the designated Orthodox Jew’s gender roles go, they were as follows:
Conceive children, and sit and learn Torah. He was given the fun job of learning holy concepts and lofty ideas so that he could lord himself over the Jewish castle and rule over the Jewish community. After all Torah study did not have anything whatsoever to do with the mundane, monotonous, she, tasks of daily living. I can vouch for how enjoyable it is to study the Torah. I did so my self full time for three years in Israel. Both the Ba’al Teshuveem and the Ba’alet Teshuvot were being told NOT to start or finish their secular education or go to a trade school to learn an occupation. The Orthodox Jew was told the Bubba Misa that God will miraculously take care of his financial concerns once he gets married and that for every newborn child that the Orthodox Jewish male sires God will increase his cash flow. Bubba Miseh in Yiddish literally means “grandmother’s story” but is translated into English as “a nonsensical story”. Notice the gender bias here.
The unspoken message that the Orthodox Jewess was being given was that it was up to her to secure the parnosa. My realization that there was such a decisive rift between the Orthodox Jew and Orthodox Jewess gender roles, made me rephrase my earlier conclusion as to why the Orthodox Jew discouraged the Orthodox Jewess from being smart. It was not because he felt intimidated by her intellect. He sought to manipulate her into believing in that deception. Rather, he was worried that if he did not oppress her mind with ignorance she might get wise to the knowledge that he intended to dominated her heart and thereby deprive her of the understanding that the Torah, sacred holy writ of the Jewish People, was being re-interpreted so that only he not she woulda, shoulda, coulda be the Rabbi who answered questions about Halacha, or the Rav or the Rebbe or the Cohen or the Dion of the Beit Din. Never mind that throughout, the historical pages of the Torah, itself, there had been Orthodox Jewesses who were both judges and prophets. There was Devorah (Deborah the judge) and Chuldah (the prophetess) to name a few.
The Women’s Liberation Movement was nothing more and nothing less to me then one of the many social activist movements that took place during the 1960’s era. However, due to the social mores revolving around women’s issues that I was encountering within Orthodox Jewry, for the first time in my life I took an interest in women’s rights. So for my three elective requirements, at the California State University of Los Angeles, that I was attending to earn my teaching credentials, I decided to take three courses on gender differences. Never before had I been evaluated as a person on the basis of my gender until I became an Orthodox Jewess. Thusly, I was curious as to why American women back in the 1960’s united to do away with their gender role. The three elective classes that I took were very informative. In my first class I learned what the general gender role differences were between the sexes. In my second class I learned that both males and females had been assigned gender specific attributes. In my third class I learned that society bombarded both genders with various conditioning methods, one of those being commercialized advertising messages designed to reinforce stereotypical gender roles.
I very much desired to discuss what I had learned from my three elective college courses on gender differences with my sisters – other Orthodox Jewesses. But when I brought up the word “feminism” I quickly learned that women’s rights were taboo. And when I brought up the topic of women’s issues with the leaders of the Orthodox Jewish community, both Rabbis and Rebbetzins refused to discuss it with me and told me that I ought to leave the Orthodox Jewish way of life, just like that. I believe they said this to me not only because they had such a narrow minded view of what the word feminism really meant, but because, even though I had given up everything I had to become an observantly religious Orthodox Jewess, I, was neither needed or wanted by my own people since I was not filthy rich, bewitchingly beautiful, and dumber than a box of rocks. No offense to you rocks.
I had come full circle. I had learned the hard way through my own personal life experiences as an Orthodox Jewess that the odds were very much against me ever getting married within the Orthodox Jewish community. To be successful at attaining wedlock so that I could raise a religiously Jewish family, so that I would replenish the members of Orthodox Jewry who were lost in Adolph Hitler’s holocaust, as well as the other pogroms throughout Jewish history that had decimated the Jewish People, I should have to wade through the following cesspool of anti-Torah criterion: First, I had to come from a good family. In potential it meant that I came from a family that bred God loving and God fearing devotion to God in one’s children. In actuality it meant that I came from a family that was socially well connected and financially well off. Second, I had to be a woman of physicality. In potential it meant that I was able and willing to bear lots of children. In actuality it meant that I looked like a drop dead gorgeous supermodel. Third, I had to be observant. In potential it meant that if I was a returnee to Judaism I had to be sincerely religious. In actuality it meant that if I was born into the Orthodox Jewish way of life I pretended to take my Judaism seriously. Last but not least, I had to be socially acceptable. In potential it meant that I did God’s works, was humble, and possessed a moral and ethical character. In actuality it meant acting like a wanton sinner who brazenly mocks God’s ways.
God’s creature’s, which the Jewish People regard as inferior to their own creation, know that in order to ensure the survival of their species the male does not reject the opportunity to fornicate with the female based upon finances, appearances, birth circumstances, gender differences, or social orientation. Meanwhile, the Orthodox Jewish People, who consider themselves as God’s chosen holy people, superior to all else, ignore the fact that without a wife of sturdy temperament and a mother of sterling character their own children will be raised bereft of the wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and common sense necessary to ensure that the Jewish religion continues to exist.
RACHEL WHERE IS YOUR SISTER LEAH
The Torah talks about a man named Yaakov (Jacob) who worked for a man named Lavan seven years so that he could marry that man’s daughter, Rachel. But after the seven years of labor was over and the wedding was planned to join Yaakov to his beloved Rachel, Yaakov woke up the following morning to find that Leah, Rachel’s older sister, lie in his marriage bed. Furious over the deception, he confronted Lavan demanding to know why the two sisters were switched. Lavan told Yaakov that it was not proper that the younger sister be married off before the older sister. What had really happened was that Rachel had deceived Yaakov. Knowing that her sister Leah was destined to marry the wicked Esav, the brother of the righteous Yaakov, out of her love for her sister, Rachel put the marriage veil over Leah to conceal her from Yaakov’s eyes in order to spare her from such a fate. Rachel performed this compassionate act even though she knew that, by doing so, she put herself at risk of having to become the future wife of Esav. What actually happened was that Yaakov agreed to work another seven years for Lavan so that he could be betrothed to his beloved, Rachel as well. The moral of this biblical story is that the sister who saves her sister is also saved.
Although the Torah speaks at length about the sisterhood between Rachel and Leah, I found no sisterhood within any of the Orthodox Jewish communities that I ever lived in. I have my own beliefs as to why this was so. From my point of observation the Orthodox Jewish men had done such a thorough job of oppressing their Orthodox Jewish women that a code of silence had befallen them making them afraid to talk amongst themselves about how they were being taken advantage of. I never heard one of them complain about their situation nor saw any of them try to do anything about their circumstance. They dare not stand up to their fathers, husbands or sons and for good reason.
Only the Orthodox Jew is allowed to know and be well versed in and therefore have the authority to enact all of the religious rulings and customs that had come down from the Torah at Mt. Sinai. Only an Orthodox Jew is permitted to know what is written in a Ketubah and allowed to make a Get happen. Since the Orthodox Jewish male had taken charge of the Torah, whatever rights or privileges the Orthodox Jewish female had according to the Torah, she was ignorant of and therefore denied. There are countless instances regarding the betrothed Orthodox Jewess having no clue as to what her own Ketuba says. She knows nothing about the shockingly small sum of money her husband is required by the Beit Din to give to her as monetary compensation if she ever divorces him. Speaking about divorce, there are equally countless instances in which the Beit Din refuses to give an Orthodox Jewish Agunah a Get, even though the Torah requires them to, for the unholy reason that her husband refuses to give her one.
So besides having to perform all of the female gender household dirty work of taking care of a family, and aside from having to take on the male gender role of being the breadwinner of the homestead, the Orthodox Jewess has to stifle her Torah learning so that she will defer all of the important decisions of leadership within the Jewish community to the Orthodox Jew. Her father, who is leader of the community, and husband, who is head of the family, and son, who is the next generation’s Torah Scholar, are regarded as more valuable than she will ever be. She is merely the vessel that brings such light into the world.
The Orthodox Jewess deals with this state of affairs by pretending that she does not care that she has been relegated to third class status. However, her seething envy that she is never given the opportunity to just sit on her laurels to be waited upon hand and foot while she immerses herself in the inspirational holy writ of the Torah amongst her peers is not to be denied its expression. Some of the married Orthodox Jewesses re-channel their jealous impulse by sneaking behind their men’s backs as if they were naughty little children and burning the Challah in the kitchen oven by being too preoccupied with trying to capture every word of Torah that the Minyan utter in the “other” room. But most married Orthodox Jewesses collapse under the immense pressure of having to play the subordinate role to their Orthodox Jew counterparts by venting their frustration against their innocent Orthodox Jewish sisters in the form of Loshan Hora and/or Richilus.
Moreover, due to its oppressive patriarchy, Orthodox Judaism has inherited a repressive matriarchy that erects a punitive pecking order amongst all Jewish sisters which is arranged as follows:
The Ba’alat Teshuva Orthodox Jewess is lower in rank than the Frum from birth Orthodox Jewess. This is the case even though, according to the Torah, Hashem regards the Teshuva of the Ba’al/Ba’alet Teshuva, Jew or Jewess who left Judiasm only to return to Judaism, as that which stands higher than the Teshuva of a Tzadeek/Tzadeeket, Jew or Jewess who never left Judaism. The Frum from birth Jew dishonors the Torah by refusing to wed the Ba’alet Teshuva Jewess since she did not come out of the birth canal of a mother who went to the Mikveh and is hereby considered Tamei. Yet, the Frum from birth Jewess will marry a Ba’al Teshuva Jew although he did not come out of the birth canal of a mother who went to the Mikveh and is hereby considered Tamei. Such gender bias is the result of the Ba’a/B’alet Teshuva movement. The Ba’al Ba’alet Teshuva movement caused the single Orthodox Jewish females to be the bumper crop sex of the Orthodox Jewish singles’ scene. This was because, for some unknown reason, more secular Jewish women were coming back to the Jewish way of life than were secular Jewish men. Thereby, instead of adhering to the Torah regarding the status of the returnee Jew or Jewess to Judaism, Orthodox Jewry chooses to abide by the economic rule of supply and demand.
The rest of the punitive pecking order is arranged as follows:
The single Orthodox Jewess is lower in rank than the married Orthodox Jewess. The poor Orthodox Jewess is lower in rank than the rich Orthodox Jewess. The unattractive Orthodox Jewess is lower in rank than the attractive Orthodox Jewess. The socially clueless Orthodox Jewess is lower in rank than the socially clever Orthodox Jewess. The Orthodox Jewesses that were relegated to the bottom of the heap were the targets of ongoing Loshan Hora and Richilus. I occupied all of the above undesirable ranks of being a) a female and b) single and c) financially disadvantaged and d) not so pretty and e) socially awkward. So I was a target for ongoing backstabbing – Loshan Hora and Richilus by my Orthoox Jewish sisters.
This hierarchy of social strata, which had nothing whatsoever to do with the Torah’s criterion for suitable Orthodox Jewish candidates for marriage, coupled with the shortage of single Orthodox Jews on the Shidducheem market, erected a brutal competition amongst the Orthodox Jewish solo sisters for Orthodox single Jewish men. According to the Torah, Hashem is the ultimate and absolute matchmaker. However, instead of choosing to have faith and trust in God by loving their fellow sister they chose to hate their fellow sister. Thusly, it became a common practice for one sister to do her utmost to break up the other sister’s Shiddach. Hence, choosing to be divided versus united they all suffered together.
THE ONE THING AND THE 1900 YEARS OF EXILE
During one of my Shabbot day walks around my neighborhood I decided to stop by and see the Seagulls for a visit. I knocked on their door. Rebbetzin Bella Seagull opened it, welcomed me, and as usual invited me in. But a moment later, out of the clear blue sky she barked at me, “The reason why the Shadchaneem in this town will no longer set you up on anymore Shidducheem is because…” and she rattled off ten things that she claimed were offensive about my personality. Two of those things were that I was an “argumentative person” and that I was “intense”. I stared at her shocked. We had not been engaged in any conversation about Shidducheem at all for a while. I had not had a Shiddach for a long time but I did not know nor had I been told that there was a ban against me regarding being set up on Shidducheem. Now, without my asking, her to, she volunteered that when she used to live in the Orthodox Jewish community in New York both her and the other Shadcheneem there excluded an Orthodox Jewish single man from being able to go out on any Shidducheem because they did not like his personality. “He was unwilling to listen to anyone that he had personality flaws until he met us. Then, he straightened himself out. After that, we found him a marriage partner”, Rebbetzin Bella Seagull announced proudly as if she was any kind of a Mench.
According to the Torah a Jew/Jewess is forbidden to engage in Loshan Hora and Richilus, especially about another Jew/Jewess. If one acts as a talebearer one will be banned from the Jewish Community. There is an exception to this rule. According to Halacha if a Jewish individual refuses to do the Mitzvot of the Torah, such as not keeping the Shabbot or Kashruth, then one is permitted to speak Loshan Hora/Richilus about him or her if it is true to warn others to stay away from him/her. The Torah regards Loshan Hora/Richilus as a spiritually unclean state called Tzaria that appears as a series of white spots on the one who is committing the Avarah of Loshan Hora/Richilus. It will either a) appear upon the gossip monger’s house or b) appear upon the gossip monger’s clothes or c) appear upon the gossip monger’s skin depending upon how severe the Loshan Hora/Richilus is that has been spoken or written about another Jew/Jewess. The one who is inflicted with the Tzaria is removed from the Jewish camp for seven days. If he repents of his sin he is allowed to return to the Jewish community after the seven-day period is over. If he does not repent of his sin he remains separated from the Jewish camp for an additional seven days and so on and so forth unless and/or until he does Teshuva. Teshuva entails that the gossip monger a) regret that he committed the Avarah of Loshan Hora and/or Richilus and b) perform Michilla to the one whom he victimized with Loshan Hora and/or Richilus and c) never ever commit Loshan Hora and/or Richilus against that Jew or Jewess again.
None of the ten things that Rebbetzin Bella Seagull rattled off of her tongue to me about my personality were personality flaws of mine, let alone Avarot of the Torah that I was committing. As far as my so called argumentative and intense personality goes I had already eradicated those behaviors by no longer involving myself in any Torah learning and by no longer asking any questions about Judaism. My physical appearance had improved considerably thanks to my newfound fashion sense, and soon I was going to graduate university with a respectable secular profession as a fully credentialed Special Education and Regular Education Teacher. I had also cultivated a feminine demeanor according to the Orthodox Jewess’s silent social codes of conduct. So I was certain that I was well on my way to being set up by the Shadcheneem of the Fairfax Orthodox Jewish community in Los Angeles, California with a suitable Shiddach for marriage. Yet, here I was, being made to listen to Rebbetzin Bella Seagull’s untrue Loshan Hora and false Richilus about me.
That is when I suddenly had an epiphany that no matter how much I complied with Rebbetzin Bella Seagull’s, and the other matchmakers’ standards, they were determined to make me into the pariah of the Orthodox Jewish community. Apparently, all along, they had no intention of letting me join the so-called Orthodox Jewry Sisterhood, even though it was my birthright to belong to the Jewish People as I was observing God’s commandments. According to them I will never be good enough and always be lacking for they will forever find fault with me no matter how hard I work at and how much I achieve being what they said I ought to be. But now I knew why. It had nothing to do with my appearance or lack thereof, whether or not I earned a decent income, or that I had a passion for learning the Torah and I took my Judaism seriously. The truth of the matter was that, no matter how much I strived to be like them, I was never ever going to be like them since, although I was the victim of their Loshan Hora/Richilus, I did not go around and spread Loshan Hora/Richilus about them or anyone else. They knew this because they did not hear any Loshan Hora/Richilus from anybody else that I was. Unlike them, I did not speak, listen to, or target others with Loshan Hora/Richilus for the simple reason that the Torah commanded that I not do such a thing. So the bottom line was, “I refused to sin so I did not fit in.”
The way in which Orthodox Jewry was set up made it nearly impossible for a single Orthodox Jewish female to meet a single Orthodox Jewish male or vice-a-versa without having to go through the Shadchen channel. This meant that one had to meet the matchmakers for a one on one interview and go to the single events that the matchmakers prepared for groups of singles to mingle so that they might find their soul mate. According to the Torah, matchmaking was a Mitzvah to be performed as an act of Tzadaka for the overall benefit of the Jewish Klal. Therefore, in the Orthodox Jewish world a Shadchen’s duty is to do the Mitzvah of being of service to the Orthodox Jewish community by connecting the already less than 1% of the Orthodox Jewish population to their soul mates so they can get married and have Orthodox Jewish children and thereby keep the Orthodox Jewish People from becoming an endangered species that goes extinct. Instead they made matchmaking into an Avarah. Some of them did this by charging money for their matchmaking services versus offering their matchmaking services as the charity work that the Torah intended for it to be. Most of them did this by demanding that single Orthodox Jews and Jewesses alike grovel for their assistance by insisting that they conform to specifications for marriage that had nothing whatsoever to do with Torah guidelines regarding what Orthodox Jewish candidates were deemed eligible for marriage. Rebbetzin Bella Seagull, Rebbetzin Bracha Zerret and the rest of their Shadchen Ring were amongst those who made a Chilul Hashem out of the matchmaking scene.
Every Orthodox Jewish community that I had ever been in told me time and time again that the reason why only 1% of the entire Jewish population is religious today is because the other 99% of non affiliated Jewry either do not care about their Judaism or do not know what Judaism is all about. But now I was given the real picture as to why 99% of all Jews are non-religious. Just like me, they are not fitting into the rigid mold of the narrow minded, bigoted hearted anti-Torah standards that the 1% of Jews, who consider themselves God’s chosen people, have set up for the rest of the Jewish Klal to follow. Furthermore, for the most part, this 1% of Orthodox Jewry is not even following the Torah. Instead they pick and chose which of God’s Mitzvot are convenient for them to follow and pervert the real interpretation of those Mitzvot that they do follow to suit their own fancy. The rest of the Mitzvot they throw out like one throws out the baby with its bathwater. After that, they re-rationalize that the reason their own observance levels are lacking is because those who are less observant than they are too Fry and those who are more observant than they are too Frum.
One ought to come to the conclusion that after 1900 years of wandering in Golut being persecuted by anti-Simites in every country that they immigrated to, Orthodox Jewry woulda, shoulda, coulda NOT discriminate against its own people because it is anti-Torah amoral and unethical to, and since every single Jew/Jewess is necessary to replenish those who were lost in Adolph Hitler’s Holacaust. Alas, according to my own personal life experience of living amoungst the Orthodox Jewish People this was simply not the case.
The Fassmans, a family whom I had known for ten years, one day announced to me that they were going to set me up on a Shiddach. I was extremely excited. I held this family in high esteem for it seemed to me that they were sincerely religious Jews. Whenever I was a guest of theirs for Shabbat, they had a Torah learning session at their table and sung religiously Jewish songs during the meal. Their children appeared to be very well behaved and the mother always made me feel welcome in her home. The father was the Rosh Yeshiva of his own Yeshiva. Therefore, I was certain that, up until now, the only reason why they had not set me up on any Shadducheem was because they wanted to be sure to introduce me to someone who was right for me.
Before they got into the details of the Shiddach they were proposing to me, Rabbi Chiam Fassman gave me a lecture. He said to me that if I expected to successfully get married I had to stop being aggressive. Aggressive was a new label for me that I had not heard of before. The word aggressive did not make any sense to me coming out of Rabbi Chiam Fassman’s mouth since whenever I was a guest at his Shabbat table I kept to myself. I did not speak unless I was spoken to. I did not ask any questions about the Torah. I did not sing along with the religious Jewish songs. I was always polite. Some of these behaviors I had already learned as a young girl from my birth family and some of them I had learned as an Orthodox Jewess. The only outspoken thing I did was to get up and help serve the Shabbat food to the Shabbot table and help clear off the Shabbat dirty dishes from the Shabbat table. Then, Rabbi Chiam Fassman lectured me on how to conduct myself on a Shiddach. The only conversation I was to engage in was discussions about what the Orthodox Jewish man that I was dating was interested in talking about. I shook my head affirmatively and said “Thank you” for I had already accomplished these milestones to marriage years before. Upon hearing my reply to Rabbi Fassman’s rather harsh and misguided words towards me Rebbetzin Yehudit Fassman exclaimed “Good for you Chaya!” Rebbetzin Yehudit Fassman then proceeded to tell me that they were going to arrange for me to meet an eligible single Orthodox Jew who happened to be a student in Rabbi Chiam Fassman’s Yeshiva. But after that, the Fassman’s dropped the bomb on me.
They told me that I was to meet my Shiddach in the middle of the week because the very next day after our Shiddach was over my Shiddach was leaving for Israel to live, work, and study there...permanently. Apparently, as far as the Fassmans were concerned, the Shadchen Ring’s decree of “Thou shalt not get married” was not enough of a decree for me. They thought that I should also be strung along on Shidducheem. For the Shiddach that they had planned for me had no intention of going out on a serious Shiddach with me as he already had “other” immediate plans.
Another family that I knew for ten years was Yaakov and Sara Simmons. For the entire time that I knew them I was always helpful to their family. I helped clear off the Shabbat dishes from the Shabbat table, wash and dry the Shabbat dishes, romp about with their children, and play with their children to get their children to eat their food, brush their teeth, change into their pajamas, and go to bed. The Simmons had five young ones when I knew them. A couple of Shabbatot, Yaakov and Sara Simmons desired very much to go to a Simcha that was going on in the community. On the spur of the moment without them ever asking me to I offered to watch their kids and baby sat for them. I never asked for or got paid for anything that I did. I helped them because I wanted to not because I needed to.
One particular time, while I was on vacation break from work and a semester break from college, I called up Sara and asked her if I could borrow Avner, her nine-year old son for a few hours. She asked me why. I told her that I had a surprise for Avner and I thought that she might like some free time for herself. Within the hour a bewildered but excited Sara brought Avner over to my place of residence. I knew that Avner loved art and so I asked him if he would like to do an art project with me. His eyes lit up and he said in an excited voice “Yes!” I told him that we were going to draw a picture together. I asked him to help me decide how we were going to do it. First, together, we decided what we were going to draw. Then, we went to the art store for supplies. The art store was right around the corner from where I lived. So we walked there together. While at the art store we decided, together, what art supplies we had to buy and I bought them. After that, we returned to my apartment where I set up a drawing table and our art supplies. Finally, together we decided how we were going to draw our picture together. We decided that Avner would draw a scene of mountains with the sun rising up over them in the sky on one side of the canvass. On the other side of the canvass I would draw horses and their reflections running through a lake. We both worked this way, on the opposite sides of the picture, so that we would not get into each other’s way. A few times, while we were both engrossed in what we were drawing, we bumped into each other. So together, we came up with the solution to this problem by coordinating ourselves in such a manner so that Avner and I would always be drawing on the far opposite sides of each other. After we finished drawing we began to color the drawing in. Together, we decided to color one another’s drawing. Several hours later, the art project was completed. I gave the drawing to Avner. Avner was thoroughly delighted. An adult paid attention to him that day, he got an unexpected present, and he was made an equal partner in the decision making process of how a piece of art work was going to get done. But most importantly, Avner and I shared our artwork with one another. Sarah’s car horn beeped. And Avner was gone. Months, even years went by, and Avner never forget about the art project that we had constructed, together. I know, because every time I came over to the Simmons for Shabbot, Avner would talk about our art project and ask if we could do another one. I noticed that this stirred Avner’s sister, Zeeva.
So one day, when I had some more free time on my hands, I called up Sara and asked her if I could borrow Zeeva, her seven-year old daughter for a few hours. She asked me why. I told her that I had a surprise for Zeeva and I thought that she might like some free time for herself. With Zeeva’s mother’s permission, I came over to the Simmon’s house and interviewed Zeeva as if she was some kind of celebrity. Zeeva was smart as a whip and very loquacious so I brought over my tape recorder and microphone, and some objects. Amongst them was a large black umbrella. I used them to elicit free flowing conversation with Zeeva. We spent several hours together talking to one another into the tape recorder machine. Then, it was time for me to leave. As with Avner, every time I came over to the Simmons for Shabbat, Zeeva would talk about my interview of her and ask me if we could do another one.
During one of my Shabbat visits at the Simmons, Avner came over to me and told me that he wanted to tell me a secret. But I had to promise him that I would not tell anyone, not even his parents. Avner’s request disturbed me. Why didn’t he desire to talk to his parents about his secret? I felt uncomfortable with this, but I was equally uncomfortable with Avner’s clouded over face. He appeared to be very upset about something. Concerned I reluctantly told him, “Okay”. Then, he told me something that Rabbi Nachman Seagull had done to him that I will not repeat because when I make a promise I keep it. However, I will disclose that Rabbi Seagull’s action was verbally abusive and had emotionally traumatized Avner. Rabbi Nachman Seagull taught the Torah to young Orthodox Jewish boys and just so happened to be Avner’s Torah teacher. He was also the husband of Rebbetzin, Shadchen Bella Seagull. Why, am I not surprised? Sara overheard her son Avner tell me his secret and so, right in front of Avner, she asked me to tell her what it was. Part of me thought I ought to tell her being that she is the mother of Avner, but part of me felt that if I broke trust with Avner it might devastate him. So I told Sara, “Avner told me that I cannot tell anyone.” And that was that.
I thought it was strange that Avner trusted me with his secret but not his own parents until a day came that made me realize why Avner did not believe that his own mother and his own father were trustworthy people. Many Shabbatot later, I was visiting the Simmons when Yaakov came over to me and told me that a not sincerely religious Orthodox Jewess named Robin Bloom had said some nasty things about me. I hardly knew Robin Bloom. I ran into her a couple of times a year at various social functions within the Fairfax Orthodox Jewish community. We were not friends. We were not even acquaintances. On the rare occasions I did by happenstance meet her I was always nice to her. I had no reason not to be. So I do not know why she hated me. Robin Bloom tried to break up a Shiddach I was involved in by telling me Loshan Hora/Richilus about an Orthodox Jew named Yitchack David Freeman whom I was dating. She said that he was a womanizer and not a sincerely religious Orthodox Jew.
According to Halacha one is obligated to listen to what otherwise is regarded as the Avarah of Loshan Hora/Richilus if it is true and it pertains to a Shiddach.
According to Halacha (Jewish Law) in the Torah in the book called Vayikra (Leviticus) in Parsha (Portion) Kidosheem in Chapter 19 in Verse 16 it states, "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor: I am the LORD." And in Chapter 19 in Verse 17 it states, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart; thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor and not bear grudge because of him."
These two verses together communicate that (1) you shall not spread unnecessary gossip, and (2) instead of doing nothing you shall do something about violence being committed against your neighbor and (3) you shall keep your own heart free of hatred by rebuking your neighbor.
This is so that the one going out on the Shiddach can be forewarned about such things as whether or not the one they are considering as a marriage partner is indeed religious. I did not ask her for her opinion about him. She volunteered it. I was obligated to hear what she had to say since she told me that she knew him. Afterwards, I discovered that Robin Bloom had lied to me about Yitzach David Freeman. He was not a womanizer nor was he insincere about his Judaism. When I rebuked Robin Bloom for engaging in Loshan Hora/Richilus by not telling me the truth about my Shiddach, Yitzchack David Freeman, she blamed me instead of herself for committing her Avarah and sought out to punish me by circulating untrue Loshan Hora and false Richilus about me to people I knew. As fate would have it, I broke off my Shiddach with Yitchack David Freeman, but not becasue of Robin Bloom. While I was dating Yitzchack David Freeman, I observed him being verbally abusive towards me and witnessed him being physically abusive towards other peoples’ children.
Now Robin Bloom set out to poison my relationship with the Simmons by telling them untrue Loshan Hora and false Richilus about me. Avner came into the living room where we were all standing and showed me a plastic toy monster Tyrannasaures Rex that he said Robin Bloom had bought for him. Then he asked me to do another drawing with him. Before I had a chance to answer him, Yaakov insisted that I tell him what I had to say about what Robin Bloom was saying about me. Instead of telling the Simmons, that I did not want to discuss Loshan Hora/Richilus, as I did not want to offend the Simmons by letting them know that they were engaging in libel and slander, I told Yaakov, “I don’t want to discuss it”. After I said that, one of their little girls, whom if my memory does not fail me is named Yonit, whom I often played with on Shabbot, spat at me, “You’re a mean person.” I was flabbergasted! Then, instead of accepting my reply to the Simmons invasive query, Yaakov opened up his mouth to me and said, “You are no longer welcome in our home. I am not going to let you hurt or harm my family”. Sara went right along with her husband. I was stupefied! I left, speechless. Before the above incident, every single Rosh Hashana before Yom Kippur Yaakov would contact me and ask me for Mechilla by saying that if there was anything that he or his wife or his family had done to harm or hurt me in anyway, he was sorry. My response was always, “No, but thank you for asking”. But after that incident, Yaakov Simmons never called me again to say that he was sorry for committing the Avarah of not giving me the benefit of the doubt, for insulting me without provocation, and for believing in a trouble maker’s untrue Loshan Hora and false Richilus about me. Never mind that for the entire ten years that I knew the Simmons I had been nothing but a good friend to Yaakoc, Sarah, and their children.
I learned the hard way via the Hard School of Knocks – my own personal life experiences – over and over again that the one thing that keeps the Jewish People in exile for 1900 years and counting in every country they have immigrated to including their own holy land of Israel, is Sinot Chineem - their baseless hatred towards their own people, which they manifest on a relentless basis by speaking about, listening to, and believing in untrue Loshan Hora and false Richilus.
Finally, I graduated California State University of Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development, one Regular Education Professional Clear Teaching Credential and one Special Education Professional Clear Teaching Credential plus eight years of teaching experience with the Los Angeles Unified School District in working with mainstream, bilingual, emotionally disturbed, learning handicapped, autistic, and aphasic children ages Kindergarten through High School. In addition, I had earned a completely put together outer appearance and I was well versed in and actively practicing the unspoken nonsensical social mores of the Orthodox Jewess. Nonetheless, my encounters with the Orthodox Jewish Shadcheneem went like this: I knock on the door. The door opens. I explain that I am looking for a Shiddach. The first thing the Shadchen wants to know is my Jewish name. After I tell her or him my Jewish name…the door slams in my face, or I am set up with a potential life partner who is either physically un-kept, financially between jobs, emotionally disturbed, mentally unstable, or spiritually un-decisive as to whether or not he wishes to be a religiously observant Orthodox Jew. No matter what Orthodox Jewish community I go to from the West coast of California to East coast of New York if my name happens to come up for Shidducheem the Shadcheneem say, “Just pass her by”.
A MEAT MARKET
The Orthodox Jewish single scene was a merciless meat market because of the reasons I have already mentioned above and because of another reason. Unbeknown to me, when I decided to return to my Jewish roots a lot of other secular Jewish people from all over the world were doing likewise. Since I was a new member of the Orthodox Jewish community, its members rolled out the red carpet for me but not because they were genuinely warm, friendly, and interested in their own people. The Orthodox Jewish red carpet roll out was a ruse designed to assist every Yeshiva of Torah learning, every Klal of Orthodox Judaism, and every Shul of Jewish religious observance into snatching up as many Ba’al Teshuveem and Ba’al Teshuvot to its specific brand of Orthodox Judaism as possible. In other words, Ba’al Teshuveem and Ba’al Teshovut were getting recruited back into Judaism in such a way as to make certain that they only affiliated with one particular brand of Orthodox Judaism. This was done for one reason and one reason only. It was the same reason why every Jew and Jewess alike that I had ever met, told me why he/she left the Jewish Religion...m.o.n.e.y.
We newcomers to Orthodox Judaism were told by the Orthodox Jewish world that the Ba’al Teshuveem and Ba’al Teshuvot are considered Hefker, Kosher meat. Yet what actually transpired was that we were herded into a head count for a particular Yeshiva so that it could receive free funding from the Israeli government or charity donations from philanthropic secular or religious Jewish people all over the world in order to operate its religious institution. Or, we were herded into a body count for a specific Shul so that it would receive charitable contributions from its loyal members in order to support its existence. Or we were herded into a singles count of eligible marriageable bachelor or bachelorets for a certain Orthodox Jewish group in order to increase its population so that by its sheer numbers alone it might obtain the highest cash flow compared to all other Orthodox Jewish groups. Thusly, it is not because in the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth and thereby was guiding Its lost sheep back to Its fold that Orthodox Jewry was paying attention to the Ba’al Teshuveem and Ba’alet Teshuvot and Ger Tzadekeem and Gerot Tzadekot. But rather, it is because each and every new Jewish member to Jewish religious observance is a potential dollar sign to them. And so he/she is not only expected to take on the Jewish religion, but also to take on a Derech as well so that a few of the Orthodox Jewish people, namely its leaders, can benefit monetarily.
According to Halacha there are seventy faces to Torah. This means that there are numerous ways to interpret the Torah due to the fact that generations upon generations of Jewry lived in different lands thereby exposing them to non -Jewish cultures that had influenced their own. Nevertheless, the Orthodox Jewish People do not respect each other’s different points of view on the Torah. This is illustrated in their refusal to properly observe the holiday of Lag B’Omer. Log B’Omer is the 33rd day of the Sefirah (days of counting) between Pesach (the Exodus of the Jewish People from Egypt) and Shavuoth (the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai to the Jewish People). On Lag B’Omer the Jewish God sent a plague that killed thousands of Jewish Torah students of Rabbi Akiva for not respecting each other’s different points of view on the Torah. The plague did not stop taking Jewish lives until the 33rd day of the Omer. Instead of the historical lesson of Lag B’Omer being learned by Orthodox Jewry it is being repeated to this very day.
I can personally vouch for it. When I became a religiously observant Jewess, I was told by the Orthodox Jewish community that since I was a Ba’alat Teshuva it was my choice which Derech I was going to follow. I was not yet married and so did not yet have to follow the Derech of my potential husband to be. So I decided to explore some of the seventy faces of the Torah without committing to any one of them. But the Orthodox Jewish Klal ridiculed me for not taking any Derech and derided me for not discriminating against any of the other Derecheem that Orthodox Judaism had to offer. As if I did not have enough labels already, Orthodox Jewry called me a Cholent, which unofficially meant a wishy-washy nobody, for my daring to honor Log B’Omer. Then, after exploring the different Derecheem to my own satisfaction, when I decided to join the Sephardi Derech, I was criticized by Orthodox Jewry for not following the Ashkenazi Derech of my parents, who are descendants of Russian Jewry. This was the case, even though according to Halacha, since I was a Ba’alat Teshuva, I was allowed to choose my own Derech because my Jewish family lineage had severed all ties with Judaism.
Once the Ba’al Teshuva or Ba’alet Teshuva takes on a Derech he/she is expected to become part of the infighting amongst the different religious sects within the Orthodox Jewish camp. This means that the Ba’al Teshuva or Ba’alet Teshuva can look forward to the following forms of senseless anti – God hatred amongst the Chosen People of God: 1) Bigotry between the Ashkenazi and Sephardi main branches of Judaism and 2) Prejudice between the Chassidic and Misnagged offshoots of Judaism and 3) Intolerance between the different Chassideem such as Satmer and Lubavitch who are the outgrowth of the Chassidic faction of Jewry. Although, all of these Orthodox Jewish Religious groups are well within the bounds of Halacha regarding the manner in which they observe the Torah, not only do they refuse to perform the Mitzvah of Ahavat Israel, they refused to intermarry with other religious Jews/Jewesses who were not part of their Derech. So here we have infighting amongst the Orthodox Jewish people. Never mind that they already have their hands full outfighting with the Anti-Semitic Goyem of the world.
According to the Torah it is an Avarah to engage in Sinot Chineem. However, the Orthodox Jewish people involve themselves in Derech Wars anyway by re-rationalizing that they are infighting to preserve God’s Holy Name so that they can roll out their red carpet to the Ba’al Teshuveem and Ba’alet Teshuvot and Ger Tzadekeem and Gerot Tzadekot in order to build up their individual religious empires. But their Derech Wars are creating a Chilul Hashem that is dividing the Jewish Nation and thereby making it easy for its anti-Semetic neighbors to conquer it.
My observation of Orthodox Jewish Derech Wars reminded me of when, while I attended Machon Alta, I went to the Machon Alta library to find an Orthodox religious Jewish book to read one day. I spotted two books on the library’s shelf. They stood right alongside one another. They had the same black cover. They had the same binding. They were the same size. So at first, I thought they were just two copies of the same one book. Until I read them. Except for one minor detail, from the very first page to the very last page, they told the same story. The first book talked about how the Litvach Jews of the Mussar Movement of Jewry were being persecuted by the Lubavitch Jews of the Chassidic Movement of Jewry. The second book talked about how the Lubavitch Jews of the Chassidic Movement of Jewry were being persecuted by the Litvach Jews of the Mussar Movement of Jewry.
RASHA OR TZADEK
The Jewish People are so busy performing Avarot as opposed to doing Mitvot that they do not know the difference between a Rasha and a Tzadeek. So, they call a Tzadeek a Rasha and a Rasha a Tzadeek. While I was in Israel I went out on a Shiddach with a musician who lived in Zafed. The entire Jewish community praised him as being a Tzadeek. After dating him for a little while I realized that we were not compatable so I broke off our Shiddach. According to the Torah it is an Avarah for one Jew/Jewess to curse another Jew/Jewess. After I returned to the United States, he wrote me a nasty gram telling me that he was putting a curse on me that I will never get married since I refused to marry him. Then, he bragged that when a member of his family puts a curse on someone the curse comes to pass. After that, he announced that he was getting married to someone else. I told him in a letter back to him, “Don’t you want to marry someone who wants to marry you?” Shortly after that, I got married, myself. Apparently, I broke the cursing streak that runs in his family and Baruch Hashem avoided marrying a religious Jew who was like a Rasha instead of like a Tzadek.
THE JEWISH COURT HOUSE
According to Halacha it is forbidden to engage in Loshan Hora/Richilus, especially in a manner that prevents an Orthodox Jew/Jewess from getting married. This is because the Torah regards an unmarried single Orthodox Jew or Jewess as if he or she were a dead person since children are Orthodox Jewry’s legacy. Rebbetzin, Shadchun Bella Seagull, Rebbetzin, Shadchun Bracha Zerret, and the rest of the Fairfax Orthodox Jewish community’s Shadchun ring were transgressing God’s commandment of “Thou shalt not murder” by engaging in untrue Loshan Hora and false Richilus against me to prevent me from being set up on Shiddacheem in order to keep me from getting married and having children. So I contacted the Ravs to request that they set up a Beit Din on my behalf. The Ravs refused to set up a Beit Din on an explanation rooted in English Common Law not Jewish Halacha. They wrongfully claimed that they were not able to do anything about the Loshan Hora/Richilus being spread about me since the Shadcheneem were engaging in their own private actions.
GO VISIT THE TZADEK
Being that the Beit Din refused to adhere to Halacha and help me, and knowing that due to untrue Loshan Hora and false Richilus my chances of finding a marriage partner were dismal, I decided to go see the Rebbes for assistance. Every so often they came from the Holy Land of Israel to L’Chotz L’Eretz, the United States to give Brachot to single Orthodox Jews/Jewesses to get married. One of the Rebbes that I went to was called the Biala Rebbe. It was said of him that not only was he a Tzadeek but that he had Ruach Hakodesh, as well. I gave him a charity donation of $100.00, which was my Ma’aser that I took out of my monthly paycheck’s net amount of $1,000.00. He gave me a Bracha for marriage.
Afterwards, he requested something from me that no other Rebbe ever had. He asked me to be his Talmuda. It was a great honor. To be a Talmuda of a Rebbe meant that I had to do whatever the Rebbe told me to do without question since the words that came out of a Rebbe’s mouth were regarded as if Hashem had spoken them. I declined the Biala Rebbe’s offer. I told the Biala Rebbe why I did so. I had, had a very negative experience having done such a thing once before with Rosh Yeshiva, Dion, Cohen, Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld who was also a Mashpiah of the Rebbe Shlita Menachem Mendel Schneerson (Jewish leader of Chabbad). Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld had told me not to finish my secular education. Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld’s advice resulted in severely limiting my chances of getting any decent Shidducheem, as I had no Parnosa. My decline of the Biala Rebbe’s offer left the Biala Rebbe’s Gabbi in a state of shock. The Biala Rebbe’s Gabbi was acting as a translator for us from Hebrew to English and English to Hebrew. I had to go through the Biala Rebbes Gabbi to know what the Biala Rebbe was saying to me and vice versa. The next thing the Biala Rebbe’s Gabbi told me was that the Biala Rebbe said that if I did not become a Talmuda of the Biala Rebbe my life will go no where. As they say in Hebrew, “Ma Hadash?” which in English translates into, “What’s new? My life had already gone no where once before thanks to Rosh Yeshiva, Dion, Cohen, Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld who was also a Mashpiah of the Rebbe Shlita Menachem Mendel Schneerson (Jewish leader of Chabbad).
Upon my refusal to be the Biala Rebbe’s Talmuda, the Biala Rebbe told me to write him if I ever needed or wanted someone to talk to and he said that he would always write me back. So I did. I wrote letters to the Biala Rebbe about my concern at not being able to find a Shiddach and with each correspondence to him I enclosed a charity donation of $100.00, which was my Ma'aser that I took out of my monthly pay check’s net amount of $1,000.00. The Biala Rebbe answered every single one of my letters. Then one day, I received a letter from him in which he told me that I must pray to God for marriage. I had already been praying to God for marriage the entire time that I was an Orthodox Jewess – thirteen years. The day I returned to the United States I continued my prayers to God by pouring my tears out onto the Schmah prayer page of my Siddur (prayer book). I cried so much over the Schmah page that over time it was no longer able to endure the flow of my tears upon it. Thusly, the Siddur’s “Schmah Israel Adonei Elohainu Adonei Echud” (Hear Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One) prayer page became tear stained in every color of the rainbow. The Biala Rebbe was supposed to have Ruach Hakodesh. Hence, he ought to have known already that I was fervently praying to God for marriage. Exasperated, I tore out the tear drop rainbow stained Schmah prayer page of my Siddur and sent it to Biala Rebbe along with a note that said, “What do you think I have been doing?” After that, the Biala Rebbe stopped replying to my letters. When I inquired as to why, the Biala Rebbe’s Gabbi wrote me back and told me that the Biala Rebbe decided not to reply to any more of my letters. Angry that the Biala Rebbe had broken his promise to me that he would always write to me I wrote back that I would no longer send him any more Tzadaka. Shortly after that, the Biala Rebbe’s Gabbi wrote me a letter saying that the Biala Rebbe will continue replying to my letters. Believing now that all that mattered to the Biala Rebbe was my monetary donations to him I broke off all future contact with the Biala Rebbe.
A MATCHMAKER MADE IN HEAVEN
I heard about a Shadchen in New York named Rabbi Shimshon Stalk. He had acquired a reputation of having a phenomenal success rate at getting single Orthodox Jewish people married. It was also told about him, that he was not above rebuking both single Orthodox Jewish women and single Orthodox Jewish men for not being up to par as candidates for marriage. And he was especially hard on the men. If they told him that they were looking for a beautiful looking spring chicken that came from a “good” family, Rabbi Shimshon Stalk directed them to the nearest mirror and said, “Look at your self. You are a balding, fat, middle-aged man without an occupation. Why in the world would such a woman desire you?” With trepidation I decided to go see Rabbi Shimshon Stalk since he had an amazingly impressive track record as a Shadchen and because I was desperate. That summer I flew out to meet him and to live in New York City, New York for the summer. I was terrified of what he was going to think of me with my minimal amount of make-up (in favor of being comfortable I had stopped using the excessive amount that Bella Seagull had advised me to wear); my strictly modest, black, summer, drop waist dress with a small red, yellow, green, and blue flower print all over it that hung passed my knee and passed my elbow; my informal, open toed, black, two inch high heeled, back strap sandals; my simple pair of gold, onyx, post earrings; and the side tresses near the bangs of my dark brown, wavy, long hair pulled back into a white, plastic, knot styled barrette. I forced myself out of the taxi. Trembling from head to toe I knocked on Rabbi Shimshon Stalk’s door. He answered it with a strong, outgoing, “hello” personality. That made me even more frightened. However, it was too late to change my mind. He invited me into his home, and as Shadcheneem do he began to interview me. After some time went by he asked me, “How did you become religious?” Suddenly I was flooded with the memory of Rebbetzin Feldman, the Shadchen at Neve Yerushaliyim, who had set me up with a rapist because she did not like the way in which I had answered “that” question. But, determined to answer “that” question truthfully as always I said, “God made me religious”. “Well, God did an excellent job”, he said. His remark floored me. In the end, Rabbi Shimshon Stalk was unable to find me my soul mate, but I will never ever forget him for as long as I live. He gave me hope. While the entire Orthodox Jewish community of Shadcheneem were bad mouthing me, a Shadchen, who had single Orthodox Jewish people from all over the country flocking to him for a marriage partner, due to his reputation of being such a successful matchmaker, had given me words of praise for being the Orthodox Jewess that I was.
There was another named Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach who performed all over the world as a singer of religious Jewish songs and a speaker on religious Jewish topics. For several years I attended his performances whenever he visited Los Angeles, California because I loved his music and since I loved his speeches. During one of his Shabbatons I asked him if he could find me a Shiddach. His answer was to say to me, “You are the best of the best”. His remark stunned me. In the end, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach was unable to find me my soul mate, but I will never ever forget him for as long as I live. He gave me hope. While the entire Orthodox Jewish community of Shadcheneem were bad mouthing me, a Rabbi, who had single Orthodox Jewish people from all over the world flocking to him to learn what he had to teach about Judaism, as a result of his reputation of being such a successful Outreach Jew, had given me words of praise for being the Orthodox Jewess that I was.
THE MONTH OF RECKONING
I was all, alone. No one would help me. It broke my heart that such a thing could happen. I had tried my very best to be what a religious Jewess should to be. But, my own people decided to believe in untrue Loshan Hora and false Richilus about me instead of getting to know me for who I was. Still, I was not willing to give up my dream of becoming a mother of Israel and a wife of a Torah Jew for I had faith and trust in God that if I was ever going to get married it was because God, not the Jewish People, deemed it so. A couple of years later, during the Jewish month of Cheshvon (accounting), on the day of Shabbot, I was walking alone along Beverly Blvd., near La Brea Street. A decade ago the Fairfax Orthodox Jewish community was bustling with single Orthodox Jews and Jewesses alike. It had been the grand central station of single haven. Now it was just a ghost town and I was the only single Ba’alat Teshuva left that still haunted it.
As I continued my Shabbot walk a complete stranger approached me. She wished me a good Shabbot. I wished her a good Shabbot back. She came over to me and asked me if I would accompany her to the Sephardic Orthodox Jewish Shul called Torah Orah (The Light of the Jewish Bible) just down the street. I told her that I would. Her name was Mrs. Mizrachi. That day, after fifteen years of looking for a Shiddach, she introduced me to my future husband. He was a Sephardic Orthodox Jewish Cohen who was well versed in the Torah and made a great living as an engineer. His name was Michael after the archangel of God, whose name in Hebrew means, “Who is like God.” The Orthodox Jewish community was deeply entrenched in the Shadchen Ring’s malicious, vicious decree that I never get married. Apparently Mrs. Mizrachi was totally oblivious to their existence. She was a complete stranger, who did not even know me, nor I her, yet she reached out to me out of the kindness of her heart and did the Mitzvah of providing me with a husband without charging me one penny or demanding one shred of my dignity for doing so. I will never, ever forget her as long as I live. She was what all Jewish People are supposed to be, a God Loving, God Fearing Mench.
THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE
After the Orthodox Jewish community found out that I had gotten engaged, many of them were so furious that, “How dare I get married”, that they stopped wishing me, “Good Shabbos” when they passed me by on the street. The first one to do so was Rebbetzin Bracha Zerret. I guess they will have to take up their grievance with God because on Chai Adar II I had my wedding day. On the day of my Chatanah my Jewish name changed to Chaya Elana Laham. I was a Betula when I got married. I was 36 years old when I got married. Chai is the 18th day of a Jewish month. The word Chai also means Life. According to the Jewish lunar calendar, in a non leap year, the last month of the year is called Adar. During a Jewish leap year the 12th month is called Adar I and the 13th month is called Adar II. The month of Adar is the Jewish month of great joy as it celebrates the Jewish holiday called Purim. Purim symbolizes the Wheel of Fortune. The Wheel of Fortune is forever changing. Purim celebrates how the Jewish, Queen, Esther saved the entire Jewish Nation from being exterminated by the Persian Empire. (See the book of Esther). And so it was for me for God had saved me from being murdered by the Loshan Hora/Richilus of my own People.
A NEW BEGINNING
According to Halacha for the first year of marriage the Kallah and the Chatan are supposed to be treated by the entire Orthodox Jewish Klal with reverence. After we got married, my husband and I moved into a new Orthodox Jewish community to start our new life together. We moved into the Orthodox Jewish community of Long Beach, California. When I went to my first Shabbot Torah Shiur, an Orthodox married woman there named Rebbetzin Ronya Fjainland introduced me to the rest of the Orthodox married women as “The Cohen’s Wife”, instead of by my name. I thought that was strange. I did not pay any attention to that weird introduction though until the rest of the women started claiming that, according to the Torah, Cohaneem have bad tempers and declared that my husband was…an angry man. As long as we lived in the Long Beach Orthodox Jewish community, I never ever attended another Torah Shiur again. Not long after I found out that my husband was having similar problems. The men in the Shul were telling him that he was wrapping his Tefillin all wrong when he was simply following his Sephardic Derech. As long as he lived in the Long Beach Orthodox Jewish community, my husband never ever again set foot into their Shul.
My husband and I could not figure out what was going on with the Long Beach, California Orthodox Jewish community that we had just moved into until I remembered something that had happened before I had gotten married. I had, had a bridal shower. Someone invited an Orthodox Jewess to my shower that I had not. Her name was Malka Brietman. I did not invite her to my bridal shower because she was a member of the Fairfax Los Angeles Orthodox Jewish community’s Shadchen Loshan Hora/Richilus ring and she was also one of those who refused to wish me a Good Shabbot after I became engaged. Malka Brietman sat right down next to my chair as if we were old buddies, when I barely knew her, and chatted up a friendly storm with me. Towards the end of our conversation, in her honey, sweet, dripping voice she asked me, “Where are you going to live now that you are getting married?” One personality flaw that I honestly did have to my own detriment that the gossipmongers ironically never seemed to notice was my own naivety. Without a second’s hesitation I told her, “My husband and I are going to live in Long Beach”. “Long Beach of New Jersey?” she wanted to know. “No” I corrected her, “Long Beach, of California”.
And so it was, that the old Orthodox Jewish community that I had lived in of Fairfax, Los Angeles, California, who, while I was single, had tormented me with ten years of unjustified persecution, had made it their business, courtesy of Malka Brietman, to pass the torch of untrue Loshan Hora/false Richilus onward to the new community of Long Beach, California, that I and my husband were now residing in. The Orthodox Jewish community of Long Beach California, rather than do the Mitzvah of honoring the Kallah and Chatan for a year, was more than happy to continue the Avarah of Sinot Chinom towards us newcomers. They did this even though for the longest time they were looking for a Cohen to join their community. They needed a Cohen to attend their prayer service to enable them to conduct prayers on Shabbot and Yom Tov. They did this even though theirs was a small and shrinking community that desperately needed to grow larger. Within a short time we moved away.
To no avail! The Shadchen Ring of the Fairfax, Los Angeles, California Orthodox Jewish community refused to accept God’s decree that I was now a happily married Orthodox Jewess. Sinot Chinom had destroyed both Bayit HaMikdasheem. This created the black fast day called Tish B’Av (the ninth day of the month of Av). It is the worst day of mourning in the Jewish calendar in the history of the Jewish People. Sinot Chinom was spread about my husband and I from one Orthodox Jewish community to the next and so on and so forth until...every Orthodox Jewish community that we moved into for a chance to start anew had already been contaminated by untrue Loshan Hora and false Richilus.
YOUR PAIN IS NOT KOSHER
For several years I had been giving hundreds of dollars of Miser money as charity to two Rabbis’ causes. One day I called them up for help. Rabbi Samuel Stern ran a girl’s orphanage in Jerusalem, Israel. I called him to ask him for his advice regarding what I ought to do about being ostracized by the Orthodox Jewish Klal due to untrue Loshan Hora and false Richilus about my husband and myself. Before I even had the chance to tell him why I was contacting him, he started complaining to me about his own personal pains that he was undergoing with his son. I gave him my empathetic ear. After that, he shared his own personal pain with me. I gave him my sympathetic ear. Then, it was my turn to share the “tip of the ice berg” version of the pain that I was going through and had been going through for many, many years. But instead of being grateful for my kindness by reciprocating with compassion, he coldly blurted out, “Your pain is not kosher!”
The other Rabbi ran a Sh’merat Ha’Loshan campaign against Loshan Hora/Richilus in New York City, New York. I was certain that he would care about my plight. The Shmerat Ha’Loshan Rabbi after listening to one sentence of my suffering in a harsh tone of voice told me, “Your pain is not kosher!” Harsh speech is also considered Loshan Hora/Richilus. I do not know of any Halacha that says that one’s pain needs a Hechsher (kosher stamp of approval). Here was another one of life’s hard knocks lessons that I had to learn. The Jewish People are always complaining about being discriminated against by the non-Jews and yet when I, a Jew, complained about being discriminated against by other Jews, my own people tell me, “Your pain is not kosher!”
There was one more incident in which I was told, “Your pain is not kosher!” For a short while, while I was a single Orthodox Jewess, I was seeing an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi who also happened to be a psychologist named Doctor Israel Rubenstein. I was hoping that he would help me with the stresses of my life. He charged $100 an hour for a visit. His office was in Beverly Hills, California. At first he was very professional so I thought I could trust him with a black secret that I had not shared with anyone. I began to divulge my burdensome black secret to him.
I told him that when I was a little girl I lived with my family in the town of Simi Valley California on 2347 Marshall Street. Our neighbors, the Hildabrands, who lived across the street from us, were red necks who were anti-Semites. When I was nine years old, I asked Mrs. HIldabrand why she hated my family just because we were Jewish. She told me it was because the Jews killed Jesus Christ. I failed to grasp her family’s hatred of us since Jesus of Nazareth had been killed thousands of years ago before I was ever born. I also failed to grasp her family’s hatred of us because it was not the poor Jews, like my sister, mother, father, or my self who had killed Jesus of Nazareth. It was the rich and powerful Jews, the Jewish Leaders who ran the Jewish Temple, who put Jesus of Nazareth to death by having the Romans hang him on a cross because Jesus was trying to bring the Jewish religion back to the common Jewish People. Anyway, I began to tell Rabbi, Doctor Israel Rubenstein what had happened to my sister as a result of the anti-Semitic Hildabrand family. My sister was only 14 years old, 5 feet tall, and weighed 100 pounds when, one day for no reason at all, Jean Hildabrand, the Hildabrand’s son, an 18 year old, who was 6 feet tall, and twice my sister’s size, took his fist and slugged her in the face. His punch knocked her out. While she lay on the ground unconscious the entire Hildabrand family of father, mother, two daughters, and one son just stood there. When my sister finally woke up she had two black eyes, a broken nose, and all of her top and bottom front teeth were chipped. In a complete state of shock, totally disoriented, and in unimaginably, excruciating pain my sister groped around for her glasses while she bled profusely all over the Hildabrand’s garage floor screaming her head off hysterically. They continued to just stand there and stare at her. Somehow she managed to get to her feet and came running home on adrenaline, pumped legs and into our house screaming at the top of her lungs. I was only ten years old then. At first I did not even recognize that she was my sister because blood was gushing down her face, out of her nose, mouth, and eyes so hard and so fast that all I could see of her was her hair. In between my parents futile attempts to stop the blood from rushing down her face and trying to get her into the car to rush her to the hospital’s emergency room, Mrs. Hildabrand came barging into our house, without even knocking on our door, to tell my parents that it was my sister’s fault that her son had beat her up. When my sister recovered enough that she could talk again she told us what happened. My sister, whose name was Cathy Ann Morlee, had gone over to play with the Hildabrand’s daughter Julie. They had gotten into a verbal fight and that is when Jean Hildabrand physically attacked my sister. We knew he did it for no reason at all because for no reason at all from time to time for the entire eight years that we lived in that neighborhood Jean Hildabrand made it a routine ritual to come over uninvited to our house and sock my sister in the gut while she was playing in our front yard or in our garage. My parents called the police. A Polish police officer came to our house but only to declare that the assault and battery done to my sister by Jean Hildabrand was my sister’s fault because she was on the Hildabrand’s property when it happened. My parents then contacted the Orthodox Jewish communities within the vicinity in which we lived.
Every single one of them refused to help my family because we did not belong to their Shul. My parents never pursued legal action against Jean Hildabrand and his family because they thought that it would be futile to go up against the anti-Semitic Polish Police Officer in court since he had refused to write up a police report about what Jean Hildabrand had done to my sister so that we could press criminal charges against the Hildabrand family. But I never got to tell Orthodox Jew, Rabbi, Doctor Israel Rubenstein what had happened to my sister. And I never got to tell Orthodox Jew, Rabbi, Doctor Israel Rubenstein that my sister never physically recovered from her injuries because her looks were permanently ruined. Teeth chipped beyond repair, a nose that healed crookedly, and for the first time in her entire life a face that broke out in pimples and a body that became fat. And I never got to tell Orthodox Jew, Rabbi, Doctor Israel Rubenstein that Jean Hildabrand who went to the same high school as my sister – Simi High School – never passed up the opportunity to make fun of her now ugly looks while his buddies joined in with laughter. And I never got to tell Orthodox Jew, Rabbi, Doctor Israel Rubenstein that before the incident my sister was a straight A student who learned in a flash to speak foreign languages fluently. She befriended a hispanic girl named Maria in the one year it took her to learn to speak Spanish. She was so smart that she could have been the first lady President of the United States. But after the incident, all of her grades plummeted into D’s and F’s, and she never even got her High School Diploma or even a GED. Instead she dropped out of high school, ran away from home, and by the time my parents found her she was aimlessly wondering the streets of some other town where she lost her virginity to eight black men who gang raped her. I never got to tell Orthodox Jew, Rabbi, Doctor Israel Rubenstein that my sister, who was born right as rain, after Jean Hildabrand had beat her up she became mentally ill and had to be put away in a mental institution for the rest of her life. Something had snapped inside of her head from the blows that Jean Hildabrand had pummeled it with. She was diagnosed as environmentally schizophrenic with psychotic episodes that was later re-diagnosed as by-polar manic depression. I never got to tell Orthodox Jew, Rabbi, Doctor Israel Rubenstein, that my sister ran away from Camarillo – the mental institution – that she was destined to spend the rest of her life in and became a prostitute. She prostituted for a black pimp who called himself Dick for many years and in so doing she contracted Syphilis a sexually transmitted venereal disease. I never got to ask Orthodox Jew Rabbi, Doctor Israel Rubenstein, “How could God, let this happen?” or say that I thought it would have been infinitely more merciful of God if my sister could have died instead of having to live such an insufferable life. I never got to tell Orthodox Jew Rabbi, Doctor Israel Rubenstein that for no reason at all I lost the only sister that I ever had because, due to her insanity, it was impossible to have any kind of relationship with her. I never got to tell Orthodox Jew, Rabbi, Doctor Israel Rubenstein any of this because he interrupted me while I was in the middle of talking and said, “So what? I got hit in the face by a Jew hater once. It’s no big deal.”
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
A SIMPLE APOLOGY
According to Halacha the Ten Days of Penitence are considered the most favorable time to do Teshuva. The Ten Days of Penitence occur between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the Jewish Holy Day of Judgment in which an Orthodox Jew or Jewess is hopeful that God will write him or her into the Book of Life for another year. If an Orthodox Jew or Jewess has sinned against another Orthodox Jew or Jewess and he wishes to do Teshuva he or she must a) ask God to pardon him for his Avarah and b) ask the one that he or she wronged for Mehilla. Whenever the holiday of Yom Kippur came around it reminded me of one particular Orthodox single Ba’al Teshuva Jew who happened to live in the same Orthodox Jewish community that I did. His name was Gavriel Roth. Gavriel Roth and I met one another on a Shiddach. However, I decided not to continue seeing him. One summer, while I was on break from teaching, I took a temporary job at a kosher grocery store as a check out clerk. As it so happened, Gavriel Roth was the manager of the store. One day he could not find the keys to close up the store at the end of the day. Before I had a chance to tell him that I was in possession of the keys he wrongfully accused me of trying to steal them and disrespectfully wrenched them out of my hand. Right then and there I quit. Three months later I was spending the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana with a family in the neighborhood. Unexpectedly Gavriel Roth came bounding up their walkway into their backyard where we were having our Rosh Hashana meal. I was surprised to see him. He wished us all a Good Yom Tov. The family asked him if he would like to remain as their guest for the rest of the meal. He declined politely, told them he had already eaten, and then asked me if he could have a word with me, privately. I consented. After that, without my ever having asked him to, he came right out and said that he was sorry for the way in which he had mistreated me three months prior at the grocery store and asked me if I would forgive him. “Yes I forgive you.” I said. Then I added, “Thank you for your apology”. I will never ever forget Gavriel Roth as long as I live because he was the only Orthodox Jew/Jewess who ever gave me a sincere apology.
Gavriel Roth’s Yom Kippur apology reminded me of another Yom Kippur. During its Ten Days of Penitence I made a long distance call to someone who had given me wrong advice. Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld owed me an apology for having put a Mishkol in front me many Yom Kippurs ago. While I was a student of Machon Alta, I was given an opportunity to receive a free college education at the university of my choice. I had aspirations of becoming a psychologist at the time. As a trained psychotherapist I would have made a triple digit income – over $100,000 a year. So continuing my secular education was my once in a lifetime chance to overcome the impoverished life that I had been born into. In accordance with Derech Lubavitch I was obligated to ask my Mashpiah, Rabbi David Turkav what to do about continuing my college education since I was learning how to become a religious Orthodox Jewess during that time. He told me to seek counsel from Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld. Rabbi David Turkav also told me that in accordance with Derech Lubavitch, since Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld was my Rabbi, I was obligated to follow his advice. And so I put my trust and faith in him as the Torah commanded me to. Being that Yoseph Rosenfeld was an Orthodox Jew, a Rabbi, a Cohen, a Dion, and a Rosh Yeshiva of the Torah learning institution of Machon Alta as well as a Shaliach of the Rebbe Shlita Menachem Mendel Schneerson of the Lubavitcher movement of Chassidic Jewry, who was considered both a Tzadeek as well as a Gadol HaDor he was obligated to follow Derech Lubavitch and render me sound advice as was befitting to his station. In all of five minutes, Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld told me to abandon my secular education as all that was important for an Orthodox Jewess to be was an Aishet Chiyul, which he defined as a woman of virtue, a virgin of moral and ethical character.
It was not until years later that I discovered what an Aishet Chiyul really was. The words Aishet Chiyul come from a poem authored by King Solomon entitled “Aishet Chiyul”. It was written in Hebrew. According to the Hebrew language an Aishet Chiyul is a woman soldier, a woman of valor. The poem Aishet Chiyul is recited by Orthodox Jewish men every Erev Shabbot from the Siddur. (See the Jewish Bible in the section called Proverbs, Chapter 31 Verse 10). All 31 verses of the entire poem of Aishet Chiyul describe an Aishet Chiyul as being a rich woman who has servants of her own so that she can be a servant to her husband who is a man of financial affluence and social influence within his community. There is only 1 verse in the entire poem of Aishet Chiyul written by King Solomon, who himself had one thousand wives, which speaks about the woman of valor having a good character. It is verse twenty, which says, “She stretches out her hand to the poor”. But don’t take my word for it. Read the poem Aishet Chiyul yourself. Just be sure that it is written within its original Hebrew text and that you have access to a reliable Hebrew Dictionary for correct translation. Then you will know that I speak the truth. After you read the poem Aishet Chiyul, which is sung as a song during Shabbot prayer service, read the song that is written in English entitled “If I were a Rich Man” from the movie called “Fiddler on the Roof”, which depicts a poor Jew’s desire to have as his wife a wealthy Jewess. It’s an irony that Aishet Chiyul exists let alone gets sung during the Shabbot prayer service since the Torah itself states that it is a prohibition to show favoritism to the rich (Parsha Kadosheem Leviticus 19:15).
Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld had deceived me. As a result of his giving me bad advice I had entered the Shiddacheem world with no marketable skills, as a single Orthodox Jewess struggling financially just to live on poverty level line. And since I was dirt poor no one within the Orthodox Jewish community was willing to set me up on a decent Shiddach so that I could get married and fulfill my role as a Jewish wife and mother of Israel. For unlike what Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld had told me, all that mattered to Orthodox Jewry was that an Orthodox Jewish female who was searching for a decent Shiddach has monetary stature. According to the Torah, so that I would not hold a grudge against him, I was obligated to confront Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld (obligation to assert self with an erring Jew Parsha Kadosheem Leviticus 19:17) about the Michshol (do not put a stumbling block before the blind prohibition parsha Kedosheem Leviticus Parsha Kadosheem Leviticus 19:14) that he had placed before me because he had lied to me (do not defraud a fellow Jew/Jewess Parsha Kadosheem Leviticus 19:13) and in so doing wrecked havoc upon my life. According to the Torah, Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld was obligated to give me a sincere apology. So on Erev Yom Kippur after the phone rang several times I got Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld on the line told him who I was and why I was calling. But instead of him being God loving and feeling remorseful and desiring to make amends for having ruined my life; and instead of him being God fearing and feeling concerned that he ought to, so that God might decree that his life be spared by being put into the Book of Life for the coming year, Rabbi, Cohen, Dion, Rosh Yeshiva, Shaliach Yoseph Rosenfeld laughed into the receiver of my phone and hung his phone up on me. That same Erev Yom Kippur I called Rabbi David Turkav to confront him for having advised me to seek advice from Rabbi Yoseph Rosenfeld. Instead of him giving me a sincere apology, he said, “I’m not perfect.” Mulling over how Rabbi David Turkav, the Mashpiah that I was supposed to trust, messed up my life, I said, “You don’t even try.” Then he ran away from giving me a God loving, God fearing, genuine apology by enlisting his son, whom I did not know, and who did not know me, and who had no business involving himself with my conflict with Rabbi David Turkav, to get on the phone, and cuss at me by saying, and these were his exact, precise words, “You are such a bitch!” After that he hung up on me.
Morning prayers in the House of God –
the clergyman presses his butt up and down,
and says Mumbo Jumbo to his Creator
while he speaks evil gossip, makes wicked reports
and gives bad advice that ruins peoples’ lives.
Afternoon prayers in the House of God –
the clergyman presses his butt up and down,
and says Mumbo Jumbo to his Creator
while he steals money, time, and energy from others
to fund his Mafia religious institution
so that he can live on Welfare.
Evening prayers in the House of God –
the clergyman presses his butt up and down,
and says Mumbo Jumbo to his Creator
while he worships himself
by running away from the two words
By Elana Laham © 2013
CHAPTER TWENTY TWO
THE WANDERING JEW
There were so many Orthodox Jewish people who chose to make a Chilul Hashem by speaking, listening to, and acting upon Loshan Hora/Richilus, which is a prohibition of the Torah (Parsha Kedosheen Leviticus 19:16) about first my self, and second my husband, that we realized that we were never going to be accepted amongst our own People for the simple reason that we loved learning the Torah and took the Jewish religion seriously. A religiously practicing Jew must live in an Orthodox Jewish community in order to perform the 620 Mitzvot of the Torah. 613 originate from the Torah and 7 originate from Rabbinical ordinance. Orthodox Jewish schools are necessary to educate an Orthodox Jewish child; in order to keep Kashruth one is required to go to Orthodox Jewish stores to buy Kosher products; for an Orthodox Jewish male to pray properly he has to be able to attend an Orthodox Jewish synagogue so that he can join a Minyan: for married Orthodox Jewish men to be able to study Torah he must go to a Kolel. A Mikvah must be accessible so that once a month a married Orthodox Jewess can immerse her self in it so that she can keep the Halachot of family purity. And the list goes on and on. Having no other choice we left the Orthodox Jewish fold. My husband and I tried to carry on as religious Jewish people in the Goyisha Velt. However, keeping up our Orthodox Jewish observance was simply not doable. So once again we were wandering Jews in exile as we once were before we began our return to the Jewish way of life.
CHAPTER TWENTY THREE
THE JEWISH GOD
Of all the people, it was my parents who told me that the underlying reason as to why the Jewish People behave in a hypocritical manner with regard to Judaism is because the Jewish Religion is perfect but the Jewish People are not. So, although my own People had given me unofficial Koret vis-à-vis their untrue Loshan Hora and false Richilus against me, I was still hanging on to the notion that I ought to continue my religious observance since I still believed that God was a Jewish God. Even so, living in various Orthodox Jewish communities around the world as an Orthodox Jewess, being made to witness my own people, the Jewish People, behaving in a hypocritical fashion with regard to their own faith and trust in the Jewish God made me ponder the “Pandora’s Box” question. A question that even I, a fearless learner, was afraid to discover the answer to. If I managed to answer “that” question I might never ever get over the shock of it, being that I was born a Jew and so, every particle of my being was composed of nothing but Jewish genetics. Never mind that my family tree had strayed away from the observance of Judaism. Not to mention that I had lived for almost two decades as a practicing Orthodox Jewess within the Orthodox Jewish community. During that entire time, I inhaled and exhaled nothing but Judaism. The question was: How can the Jewish religion be authentic when the Orthodox Jewish People act in such a contrary manner towards it?
CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR
From the onset of my interest in my own Jewish heritage, I was fascinated by and drawn toward Kabalah. While I was studying at the Chabbad seminary of Machon Alta in Zafed, Israel, I became aware of a piece of esoteric Jewish literature known as the Zohar. The Lubavitchers explained to me that the study of the Zohar was forbidden to me. However, I was permitted to learn the basic Madraigot of Kabalah. Chabbad called it Chassidus. Being that I was a student of the school of Lubavitch, I was taught Chassidus through a book called the “Tanya”, another book called “Kuntras A’Miayeem”, and yet another book called the Sichas (discourses) from the Rebbe Shlita Menachem Mendel Schneerson of Chabbad. These books made up the main part of my daily curriculum. To my amazement, I discovered that I had an uncanny affinity with the ground floor level of Kabbalah. For some reason, unbeknown to me, it was natural for me to think in terms of archetypal symbols and universal icons. So, it was easy for me to grasp the Kabbalah’s seemingly lofty concepts. Meanwhile, the other students struggled to fathom the Kabbalah’s most fundamental ideas. I felt awkward about this. How was it that I, a Ba’alat Teshuva, whose extent of Jewish education was a grand total of three years of studying the Torah full time in two Jewish seminaries, was able to mentally grasp what Kabbalah I was allowed to delve into?
Hence, I became interested in exploring the deeper levels of the Kabbalah in the Zohar. But for the entire sixteen-year period that I was an Orthodox Jewess, I kept my distance from the forbidden levels of Kabbalah, for I had been warned by the entire Orthodox Jewish world, including Chabbad Chassidism, that the Zohar was taboo for women. The Zohar was considered the Sod shel Sod (secret of the secrets) of the Torah – the mystery of life, itself. Only an Orthodox Jewish man, who was 40 years or older, who had studied the Torah his entire life, who was married with children was allowed to open up its pages. Thusly, I was forewarned that any Orthodox Jewess who attempted to learn the Zohar was to be cursed with a barren womb, a head full of gray hair, a shortened life span, and what I considered the worst of all consequences, she would think that she was learning the Zohar when she was not. So I avoided The Zohar altogether. Never mind that I yearned to read it every, single day that I was a practicing religious Jewess for I was the type of Jewess who had to know the “why” behind Judaism not just the “what”.
During my final year of Orthodox Jewish observance my curiosity could no longer be dammed/damned. So I went out and bought books on the Zohar and a book entitled, “The Wisdom of the Zohar” and I began to read them. But the more and more I read Zohar material the less and less it made sense to me. Was I undergoing the Zohar’s curse that I thought I comprehended its secrets when ipso facto I did not? I have an avid interest in energy and how it relates to color and light. So, I was especially interested in reading about what the Zohar refers to as the Sefiratic System. The word Sefiratic comes from the root word Sefirah. The word Sefirah means, “counting, numbering” [See “The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary”, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, page 183]. As in for instance, Sefirah Ha’Omar, the counting of the Omar, which is the counting of the days between the end of the Jewish Chag of Pesach (Passover) – the Exodus of the Jewish People from Egypt, and the beginning of the Jewish Chag of Shavouth – the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai to the Jewish People. According to the Zohar there are ten Sefirot. The ten Sefirot are represented by what is called the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is a map of ten energy centers and their locations along with their corresponding colors that the Zohar believes exists within the human body.
The first energy center or Sefirah is called Keter. Keter (Hebrew spelling is caf, tav, and rash) means, “crown”. [See The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, pages 86 and 113]. Sefirah Keter correlates to the top of the human head and corresponds to the uppermost portion of the trunk of the Tree of Life. The Zohar refers to Keter as the unfathomable intellect, the focal point of origin.
The next energy center or Sefirah is called Da’at. Sefirah Da’at is a quasi Sefirah. It is not regarded as a Sefirah in and of itself. It is only counted as a Sefirah when it is part of another Sefirah. Sefirah Da’at comes from the Hebrew word Da’at. The word Da’at means, “mind” [See The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York City, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, page 39]. The word Da’at also comes from the Hebrew word Yeda (Hebrew spelling is yud, dalet, and ayin). Yeda means “knowledge”. [See The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York City, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, pages 100 and 218]. Sefirah Da’at attaches itself to the Sefirot that involve the intellect, which are Chochmah and Binah respectively.
The second energy center or Sefirah is called Chohmah, which means, “wisdom”. [The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York City, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, pages 88 and 394]. Sefirah Chocmah correlates to the right side of the human head and corresponds to the uppermost right branch of the Tree of Life. The Zohar refers to Chochmah as the intellectual attribute of wisdom.
The third energy center or Sefirah is called Binah, which means, “understanding” [The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York City, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, pages 20 and 372]. Sefirah Binah correlates to the left side of the human head and corresponds to the uppermost left branch of the Tree of Life. The Zohar refers to Binah as the intellectual attribute of understanding.
Chochmah, Binah, and Da’at form the first triad of the Tree of Life called Chabbad, which represents the intellectual faculties of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. These intellectual faculties synergistically correspond to the, uppermost right, uppermost left, and uppermost center columns of the trunk of the Tree of Life.
The fourth energy center or Sefirah is the emotive attribute of benevolence. It is called Gedulah Chesed, which means, “great kindness” [The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York City, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, pages 169 and 216]. The shoresh (root) word of Gedulah (feminine form) is Gedul (masculine form), which means “great”. Sefirah Gedulah Chesed correlates to the right arm and lungs and corresponds to the middlemost right branch of the Tree of Life.
The fifth energy center or Sefirah is the emotive attribute of power. It is called Gevurah Din, which means, “might judgment” as in “a mighty judgment” [The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York City, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, pages 28 and 38]. Gevurah refers to both might [Ibid page 28], and heroism [Ibid page 183]. Din refers to both judgment and law [Ibid page 38]. Sefirah Gevurah Din correlates to the left arm and heart and corresponds to the middlemost left branch of the Tree of Life.
The harmonious blending of the emotive attributes of Gedulah Chesed (great kindness) and the emotive attributes of Gevurah Din (mighty judgment) bring about the sixth energy center or Sefirah within the Sefiratic System. It is the emotive attribute of beauty called Tiferet Rachameem, which means, “splendor compassion” as in “a beautiful blessing” [The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York City, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, pages 291, 336 and 69. 247]. Tiferet refers to its root word “par” which means “splendor” [Ibid page 336]. Sefirah Tiferet Rachameem correlates to the middlemost portion of the trunk of the Tree of Life, which is located in the torso region. It lies at the very center of the Tree of Life.
Together these three Sefirot form the second triad of the Tree of Life, which represents the emotive attributes of kindness, strength and mercy. Their emotive attributes synergistically correspond to the middlemost portion of the trunk of the Tree of Life.
The seventh energy center or Sefirah is called Netzach, which means, “Eternity” [The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York City, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, pages 127 and 170]. Sefirah Netzach correlates to the right hip and kidney, and corresponds to the lowermost right branch of the Tree of Life.
The eighth energy center or Sefirah is called Hod, which means, “Glory, Splendor” [The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York City, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, pages 45, 164, and 336]. Sefirah Hod correlates to the left hip and kidney, and corresponds to the lowermost left branch of the Tree of Life.
The ninth energy center or Sefirah is called, Yesod, which means, “element and foundation” [The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York City, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, pages 103, 120, and 150]. Sefirah Yesod refers to the act of giving and symbolizes the male phallus, which corresponds to the lowermost portion of the trunk of the Tree of Life.
Together these three Sefirot form the third triad of the Tree of Life and synergistically correspond to the lowermost portion of the trunk of the Tree of Life.
The tenth energy center is the final Sefirah called Malchut, which means, “Kingdom” [The New Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, by Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, New York City, New York: Bantam Books, April 1975, pages 137 and 216]. Sefirah Malchut refers to the act of receiving and symbolizes the female womb, which corresponds to the lowest most portion of the trunk of the Tree of Life.
The following are interpretations of color that are given to the Sefirot by different Jewish commentaries on the Zohar. The Zohar appoints multiple colors to some of the Sefirot. As in for example, Sefirah Malchut is black, red, or blue. When divorced from all the other Sefirot Malchut turns black [(See Goldstein, David, The Wisdom of the Zohar, Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1989, pages 290, 292, 322, and 323]. When attached to all the other Sefirot Malchut turns blue [See Goldstein, David, The Wisdom Of The Zohar. Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1989, pages 290, 292, 322, and 323]. When Sefirah Malchut is dominated by judgment it contains red [See Goldstein, David, The Wisdom Of The Zohar, Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1989, page 292].
Sefirah Yesod is purple. Sefirah Netzach green. Sefirah Hod is yellow. Sefirah Tiferet/Rachameem is purple, yellow, pink, or white. Sefirah Gevurah/Din is red. Sefirah Gedulah/Chesed is white or blue. Sefirah Da’at is not color coded perhaps because it is a quasi-Sefirah. Sefirah Binah is gold. Sefirah Chochmah is white. Sefirah Keter is black.
The color interpretations of the Sefirot are found throughout the Zohar and other books that are written about the Zohar.
See Bibliography below:
Finkel, Abraham Yaakov, In My Flesh I See God. Northvale, New Jersey. Jason Aronson Incorporation, 1995.
Goldstein, David, The Wisdom Of The Zohar. Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1989.
Gottlieb, Freema, The Lamp of God. Jason Aronson Incorporation, 1989.
Kaplen, Aryeh, Rabbi, Inner Space. Brooklyn, New York, Moznaim Publication Corporation, 1990.
Kaplen, Aryeh, Rabbi, Jewish Meditation. New York City, New York, Schocken Books Incorporation, 1985.
Kaplan, Aryeh, Rabbi, Meditation and Kabbalah. York Beach, Maine, Samuel Weiser, 1982.
Kaplan, Aryeh, Rabbi, Meditation and The Bible. York Beach, Maine, Samuel Weiser, 1978.
Kaplan, Aryeh Rabbi, The Book Of Formation. York Beach, Maine, Samuel Weiser Incorporation, 1990.
Naor, Bezalel, Lights Of Prophecy. New York City, New York, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, 1990.
Mann, John and Short, Lar, Body Of Light. Boston, Massachusetts, Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1993.
Steinsaltz, Adin, The Thirteenth Petalled Rose. Basic Books Incorporation, 1980.
Sturzaker, Doreen and James, Colour And The Kabbalah. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, Thorsons Publishers Limited, 1975.
Zalman, Shneer, Rabbi, Likutei Amarim Tanya. Brooklyn, New York, Kehot Publication Society, 1981.
Everything in creation expresses itself as a frequency of vibration. Each specific frequency of vibration produces a certain wavelength of light, which manifests itself as a particular color. When light is broken up it produces a prism of color, which is arrayed in the following manner: Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red. A prism will always reproduce this same pattern of color and never deviate from it. This is due to the fact that there is a Natural Order to Light, which is governed by a Law of Physics called the Frequency of Vibration, otherwise known as F.O.V.
The rainbow spectrum follows the Natural Order of Light, which is governed by the Law of Physics called the Frequency of Vibration, otherwise known as FOV. The color red lies at one end of it, and the color purple lies at the either end of it. Light breaks up in this way because the color red has the longest wavelength of all of the colors due to its having the slowest rate of back and forth motion, and the color purple has the shortest wavelength of all of the colors due to its having the fastest rate of back and forth motion. The rest of the colors are arranged as follows: orange, yellow, green, and blue in ascending order and blue, green, yellow, and orange in descending order. A rainbow will always reproduce this same order of color and never deviate from it.
The Hindu Chakratic System also follows the Natural Order of Light, which is governed by the Law of Physics called the Frequency of Vibration, otherwise known as FOV. The Hindu Chakratic System consists of seven energy centers that are believed to exist within the human body. They are centrally located along various points of the spine and brain. They are called Chakras. Each Chakra has a different frequency of vibration and therefore manifests itself as a different color. The first Chakra is called the Coccyges Plexus. It is positioned along the Coccygeal (tail bone) Nerves of the spinal column opposite the male and female sexual organs. The second Chakra is called the Naval Plexus. It is positioned along the Sacral Nerves of the spinal column opposite the kidneys and intestinal tract. The third Chakra is called the Solar Plexus. It is positioned along the Lumber Nerves of the spinal column opposite the stomach. The fourth Chakra is called the Cardiac Plexus. It is positioned along the Thoracic Nerves of the spinal column opposite the heart. The fifth Chakra is called the Laryngeal Plexus. It is positioned along the Cervical Nerves of the spinal column opposite the throat. The sixth Chakra is called the Medulla Plexus. It is positioned along the Cranial Nerves relating to the hindbrain and midbrain. The seventh Chakra is called the Meridian Plexus. It is positioned along the Cranial Nerves relating to the forebrain. Each of the seven energy centers of the Chakratic System correspond to one of the seven rainbow colors of the rainbow spectrum. The Coccyges Plexus Chakra is red. The Navel Plexus Chakra is orange. The Solar Plexus Chakra is gold and yellow. The Cardiac Plexus Chakra is green. The Laryngeal Plexus Chakra is blue. The Medulla Plexus Chakra is violet/purple. The Meridian Plexus Chakra is white – the color of light that breaks down into the various colors of the rainbow.
The color interpretations of the Charkras are found throughout books that are written about the Chakratic System.
See Bibliography below:
Anodea, Judith, The Sevenfold Journey. Freedom, California, Crossing Press, 1993
Birren, Faber, The Symbolism of Color. Secaucus, New Jersey, Carol Publishing Group, 1988.
Chakravarti, Sree, A Healer’s Journey. New Delhi, India, Rudia Press, 1993.
Johau, Harish, Chakras. Rochester, Vermont, Destiny Books, 1987.
Jones, Alex, The Seven Mansions of Color. California, U.S.A., DeVorss Incorporation, 1993.
Kholsa, Darshan Kaur, Energy Maps. La Crescenta, California, Cyberscribe, 1991.
Mann, John, and Short, Lar, Body of Light. Boston, Massachusetts, Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1993.
Ouseley, S. G. J. The Power of the Rays. Chadwell Health, Rombord, RM6 4DH, L.N. Fowler and Company Limited, 1951.
Reuben, Amber, Color Therapy. Santa Fe, New Mexico, Aurora Press, 1983.
Rubin, Daniel, and Krippner, Stanley, The Energies of Consciousness. Gordon and Breach Science Publication, 1975.
Sanders, Pete Jr. You Are Psychic. New York City, New York, Fawcett Bookgroup, 1990.
Wallace, Amy and Henkin, Bill The Psychic Healing Book. Oakland, California, Wingbow Press, 1978.
White, Ruth, Working With Your Chakras. York Beach, Maine, Samuel Weiser Incorporation, 1993.
Being that the Law of Physics called the Frequency of Vibration, otherwise known as FOV follows the Natural Order of Light, and vice versa, I made an effort to discover if the Sefiratic System of colors also does.
I attempted to go in the ascending and descending order of the rainbow spectrum as the Chakratic System does. The following color order is what transpired: From Keter to Malchut – black (Keter), white (Chochmah), gold (Binah), white, or blue (Gedulah-Chesed), red (Gevurah-Din), purple, pink, yellow, or white (Tiferet-Rachameem), green (Netzach), yellow (Hod), purple (Yesod), blue, red, or black (Malchut). From Malchut to Keter – black, blue, or red (Malchut), purple (Yesod), yellow (Hod), green (Netzach), white, yellow, pink, or purple (Tiferet-Rachameem), red (Gevurah-Din), blue or white (Gedulah-Chesed), gold (Binah), white (Chochmah), black (Keter).
I also tried to go from lower to upper, right, center, left as the Sefiratic System does. The following color order is what transpired: From Malchut to Keter – green (Netzach), blue or white (Gedulah-Chesed), white (Chochmah) black, blue, or red (Malchut), purple (Yesod), purple, pink, yellow, or white (Tiferet-Rachameem), black (Keter), yellow (Hod), red (Gevurah-Din), gold (Binah). And from upper to lower, left, center, right as the Sefiratic System does. The following color order is what transpired: From Keter to Malchut – gold (Binah), red (Gevurah-Din), yellow (Hod), black (Keter), purple, pink, yellow, or white (Tiferet-Rachameem) purple (Yesod), black, blue, or red (Malchut), white (Chochmah), white or blue (Gedulah-Chesed), green (Netzach).
In order for the Jewish People to claim that they are the Chosen People of God, and thereby have the one and only Holy Religion, the ordering of the colors of the Sefirot of the Tree of Life Zoharic Sefiratic System must follow some sort of sensible order, just like God’s Natural Order of Things do, and just like Science – humankind’s observation of God’s Natural Order of Things – does. Yet they do not! Instead, they have no rhyme or reason and make a chaotic display of being all over place.
CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE
The Torah contains five main levels of comprehension called the Pardess, which means Garden of Delights also known as the Garden of Eden. The word Pardess is also an acronym for P – Pashat, R – Remez, D – Drash, S – Sod and S – Sod shel Sod. Pashat refers to the first level of learning the Torah, which is the simple obvious understanding of what an idea in the Torah is communicating. Remez refers to the second level of learning of the Torah, which is to hint at what an idea in the Torah is conveying. Drash refers to the third level of learning the Torah, which expresses an idea in the Torah as an allegory. Sod refers to the fourth level of learning the Torah, which delves into the hidden meaning behind an idea in the Torah. Sod shel Sod refers to the fifth level of learning the Torah, which reveals the secrets beyond the hidden meanings of an idea in the Torah. Chassidic Torah Scholars of Kabbalah taught me that the Zohar was the sacred level of the Torah. So, it bothered me to no end that the Kabbalah contained the Sod shel Sod (secret of secrets) of the Torah; yet it had some serious discrepancies in it that challenged its authenticity with regard to its interpretation and order of how energy gets manifested as light and color.
Within the beginning pages under the title, “General Introduction” of the book “The Wisdom of the Zohar” by Fischel Lachower and Isaiah Tishby, Washington DC, USA, The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1994, (English Translation 1949), with introductions by Isaiah Tishby, I was made aware of other serious discrepancies that challenged the Zohar’s very authenticity.
One major discrepancy had to do with the Zohar’s erroneous CHRONOLOGY - time. Isaiah Tishby writes, “The contradictions and the chronological inexactitudes which appear in connection with the Rabbis mentioned in the Zohar, are the most obvious indications of its psuedepigraphic character” [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, Personalities in the Zohar, page 58]. Tishby gives many examples of the chronological contradictions that occur in the Zohar. The following is one: “In the Zohar Rabbi Pinhas ben Yair is described as Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai’s father-in-law…According to the *Talmud, however, Rabbi Pinhas was Rabbi Simeon’s son-in-law” [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, Personalities in the Zohar, page 59]. An attempt was also made to give authenticity to the Zohar by changing the text of the Gemara* as in the above example of “…from hatanei (son-in-law) to hotenei (father-in-law)” [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, The Personalities in the Zohar, page 62]. “Those pro the Zohar...tried to put forth the argument that “…the statements by later Rabbis were introduced into the Zohar several generations after it was composed, just as saboraic statements were introduced into the Talmud” [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, The Personalities in the Zohar, page 62]. In other words, they were later additions. “However, to declare…that every phrase or statement that throws doubt on the antiquity of the Zohar is a later addition…and if we were…to adopt this argument…with respect to all of the doubtful passages in the Zohar, we should have to invalidate and scrap a large part, perhaps most, of the book” All of the above quoted from [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, Personalities in the Zohar, page 62].
Another major discrepancy that challenges the Zohar’s authenticity has to do with its TOPOGRAPHY - place. Tishby writes, “There are many places mentioned in the Zohar…that Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai and the other scholars in the Zohar either inhabited or visited. When we examine the references to, and descriptions of, these localities we find that the author (of the Zohar) drew his information about actual places from literary sources…and that…because of a mistake in interpretation or faulty reading he made topographical errors, and that he even invented places that never existed” [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, The Topography of the Zohar, page 63]. One example Tishby gives is “Kfar Kardu. He quotes, “Kfar Kardu, cited in the Zohar as a place of Jewish settlement…never existed at all” [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Fondations of Zohar Criticism, The Topography of the Zohar, page 63]. Another example given is a place called Kapotkia. He quotes, “Katopkia in the Zohar is a very clear example of a topographical error caused by a misunderstanding of the sources, coupled with some help from the author’s (of the Zohar) own imagination” [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, The Topography of the Zohar, page 63]. “It (Kapotkia) is mentioned frequently, but not as the Province of Cappadocia in Asia Minor but as a village in Palestine…This shows that the source of this fictitious village is to be found in a mistaken interpretation of a passage in the Jerusalem Talmud, which talks of the ‘Cappadocians in Sepphoris’, that is, natives of the Province of Cappadocia who had come to live in Sepphoris. The author of the Zohar misunderstood this, thinking that the reference was to the inhabitants of a village near Sepphoris, and so he made up stories concerning their way of life” All of the above quoted from [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, The Topography of the Zohar, page 63].
Yet another major discrepancy that challenges the Zohar’s authenticity has to do with the LANGUAGE that the Zohar uses. “The Zohar claims to have been authored by a Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai, yet the language that the Zohar is written in reveals that the Zohar actually came into existence thousands of years after Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai had died.” Tishby writes, “The greater part of the Zohar is written in Aramaic...Several scholars…regarded the Aramaic language as an important indication of the late date of the book (Zohar) and its pseudepigraphic character (false ascription of a piece of writing as biblical in origin). It is quite clear that the Zohar was written for very limited scholarly circles, and that the Aramaic garb was intended to conceal the secrets of the Torah from the ordinary people. But in the tannaitic peroid (time that the Zohar was said to be written) it was Hebrew that was the language of the scholars, while Aramaic was the common vernacular, and so a book dealing with mystical doctrines (the Zohar) could not possibly have been written at that time in Aramaic. Hence…the Zohar was written at a later date, when Aramaic was only known as the language of literary source material…,and that the author (of the Zohar), not knowing that exactly reverse situation obtained (existed) in the time of Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai, thought to give his book (the Zohar) an impression of antiquity by writing it in Aramaic.” All the above quoted from [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, The Language of the Zohar page 64]. “The language of the Zohar was not what was used by the people in Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai’s day. The Zohar was written in Aramic hoping to make its readers believe that it was written durintg the time that Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai lived when in fact it was really written in the thirteenth century. Further indications that the Zohar was not authored at the time that it claims to be lie in the artificiality of the Aramaic language that it uses.” Tishby writes, “…linguistic analysis and a comparision of the language of the Zohar with known Aramaic sources show that this Aramaic (what is used in the Zohar) is an artificial language drawn from specific literary source material, and it contains a mixture of dialectical linguistic expressions that never existed…in the living language (of Aramaic). It contains words and idioms that originated in medieval Hebrew and they can be seen through the Aramaic veneer. The poverty of the vocabulary…and the many errors in word formation and syntax, also show that we are dealing here with a late artificial language.” All the above quoted from [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, The Language of the Zohar page 64]. The Zohar was written in pseudo Aramaic, a language not properly used, to make its readers believe that it had been authored by Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai thousands of years ago when in fact it had been written at a much later date by Rabbi Moses de Leon. But even if Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai would have written the Zohar and in Aramaic, the Aramaic language of his era would not have been the same as the Aramaic language that existed during the time that Rabbi Moses de Leon was alive. This is because word usage of any given language changes over time. For instance, the English language in America during the 1960’s used the word “groovy” and during the 1990’s used the word “cool” to express that something or someone was approved of. “The language that the Zohar uses has errors in it. There are “…errors in Aramaic words and forms, and in changes in the original meanings. The language of the Zohar…has a large number of words that have no traceable source at all (nonsense words). Only rarely is it possible to determine their meaning from the context, while for the most part it is difficult even to guess what the author had in mind (his words were vague or meaningless).” [All of the above quoted from General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, The Language of the Zohar page 66]. “Much of the language of the Zohar was written in poetry but its poetic form consisted of an obscure writing style that only the real author Rabbi Moses de Leon could decipher. The results of a linguistic investigation show quite clearly that the book (the Zohar) was not the work of early scholars who wrote and spoke Aramaic…the language of the Zohar was a late imitation…The author (of the Zohar) chose Aramaic because he thought it was the language of the Rabbis, to whom he sought to attribute his book, and because it would have been more difficult for him to conceal the signs of a late date if he had written (the Zohar) in Hebrew. The intention of the author to give his book (the Zohar) an air of antiquity and of bewildering peculiarity through the usage of linguistic devices is also apparent from his invention of pure imaginary words”. [All of the above quoted from General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, The Language of the Zohar page 67].
A fourth disturbing discrepancy that challenges the authenticity of the Zohar involves its HISTORICAL references. “The religious and cultural environment in which the author (of the Zohar) lived and worked...left its mark on the book (Zohar). ” [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, Evidence of Contemporary Practice page 72]. “In the Zohar...the Song of Songs...the author (of the Zohar) tries to prove that the vocalization and the accents (of prayer) are of ancient origin. He argues that their origin goes back to Moses at Sinai...(but) It is quite clear that these words were written in full knowledge of the fact that the vocalisation and accents were of late origin...” Also, “The elucidation of the mysteries of prayer is one of the central themes of the Zohar. These mysteries involve many prayers that were undoubtedly composed or used…after the compilation of the Talmud. The established order of prayer also shows its late date…the most recent research proves without a doubt that the vocalization and accents (of Jewish prayer) are late (of a late date). The established order of prayer also shows its late date. All of the above quoted from [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, Evidence of Contemporary Practice page 73]. In general, the Zohar was a work whose concepts and ideas evolved into existence due environmental influences instead of being brought into existence by some Divine agent. The Zohar was a compilation of material brought into existence from its founders who were influenced by the social pressures of both Jewish and non-Jewish worlds rendering the Zohar a forum for popular religious beliefs and philosophies of the era. For example, brought down into the writings of the Zohar was the idea that God was both a personal and impersonal God. The Jewish intellectual camp philosophized that God is an objective impersonal ungraspable deity that lied beyond all of creation. The Jewish sentimentalist camp had been influenced by the non-Jewish faiths to cling to an emotional notion that God was a subjective personal knowable entity that cloaked itself within creation. The founders of Zoharic literature (the bulk of the Zohar had been written by Rabbi Moses de Leon during the thirteenth century) and two other works of the Zohar (who were authored by unknown Spanish kabbalists of the school of Rabbi Moses de Leon during the fourteenth century) were concerned about making peace between these two Jewish religious camps and so they integrated the two opposite perspectives of God into one unified definition of God as being a God that was completely removed from all of creation as well as a God that was an intimate overseer of all of creation.
The fifth unsettling discrepancy that challenges the authenticity of the Zohar lies within the SOURCES of the Zohar, itself. In summary, “The determination of the literary sources used in the Zohar provides much decisive evidence concerning the late date of the book. …most of the quotations (of the Zohar) do not appear in their original language or their original form, but are quite freely reworked by the author, who in many instances covered his tracks. Nevertheless…it is now possible to list hundreds of quotations that are drawn from unquestionably late material.” [All of the above quoted from General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, The Sources of the Zohar page 74]. There are too many examples to list.
The final serious discrepancy that challenges the Zohar’s authenticity has to do with lack of evidence that supports the Zohar’s ANTIQUITY. Tishby writes, “The strongest evidence (defending the Zohar’s antiquity) is the view that the influence of the Zohar can be discerned in early sources.” [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, Evidence for the Antiquity of the Zohar page 83]. “An examination of these arguments shows that the evidence is purely illusory. Some of it is based on literary misapprehensions…they (the supporters of the Zohar’s antiquity) took every mystical reference that did…originate in earlier times, as a sign of the Zohar’s influence. However, most of their evidence is based…on pure sophistry. The fact that the Zohar was written in Aramaic the defenders of Zohar antiquity attempted to use as an argument for its authenticity. Others pointed out that the quotation of scriptural verses according to a non-traditional text…demonstrates that the author of the Zohar must have been one of the early Rabbis, because otherwise he would not have dared to alter the pattern that the Rabbis had established. If a medieval kabbalist wanted to attribute his book to the Rabbis of the Talmud, he would,…write it in Aramaic in order to give it an aura of antiquity.” [All the above quoted from General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, c. Evidence for the Antiquity of the Zohar page 84]. “The remaining evidence implies…(that) the author of the Zohar…would have taken great care not to stray,…in any way from fixed, received tradition. But the very essence of pseudepigraphic writing is itself a departure from received tradition and…historical fact. As for the text of scriptural verses…it is clear that, in general, the author of the Zohar did not mind altering earlier rabbinical statements to suit his own mystical ideas…and not even fixed halakhic legal material could curb his spirits.” [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, c. Evidence for the Antiquity of the Zohar page 84]. “Other evidence…is based on the existence of ancient ideas in the Zohar. Christian scholars have maintained that the approximation of some ideas in the Zohar, particularly in connection with its treatment of God, to the principles of Christian belief, proves its early date.” [See “General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism”, b. The Foundations of Zohar Criticism, Evidence for the Antiquity of the Zohar page 85]. “This argument is based on the view that in the Middle Ages, there was no spiritual contact…between Judaism and Christianity. However, modern historical research has completely disproved this idea.” [See General Introduction, IV Zohar Criticism, c. Evidence for the Antiquity of Zohar page 86].
Redaction was another form of evidence that the defenders of the Zohar tried but failed to use as proof of the Zohar’s antiquity. Tishby writes, “The critical arguments…such as the problem of the reference to amoraim and the quotation of amoraic statements, are sufficiently weighty to disprove the popular belief that the whole Zohar in the form that we have it today was written by Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai… However, it is possible to maintain this…belief by advancing supernatural arguments…that are beyond the range of scientific enquiry.” [See “General Introduction, V. Various Solutions”, a. later Redaction page 87]. The example that Tishby gives “means that both the present and future are the same to him…and so Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai was able to say in the Zohar what Rabbi bar bar Hana was to say several centuries after him.” [See “General Introduction, V. Various Solutions”, a. later Redaction page 88]. “But even in kabbalastic circles…many…were not content and (so) tried to resolve their difficulties in a rational and factual way. The solution they adopted was that the passages in the Zohar were…transmitted orally…It was only many generations after Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai that they were arranged in book form in the order of scriptural readings…But neither Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai…nor Rabbi Abba put them in the order that we now have.” [See “General Introduction, V. Various Solutions”, a. later Redaction page 88]. “This theory…cannot stand up to critical inquiry…in order to resolve the dating problem, for example, the problem of the later rabbis that appear in the book (the Zohar). These amoraim (later rabbis) appear in the Zohar in the same environment as Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai and their statements are put in his mouth…” [See “General Introduction, V. Various Solutions”, a. later Redaction page 89]. This would be like claiming that a live conversation took place between America’s First President George Washington born in 1732 and America’s Fortieth President Ronald Reagan born in 1911. Such a conversation could never have taken place since these two individuals lived one century apart. “What is more, this theory does not offer any response…to the other critical arguments, which have been outlined in a previous chapter, and which afford a large number of obvious indications of a late date that cannot be accounted for simply by late editing.” [See “General Introduction, V. Various Solutions”, a. later Redaction page 89].
Composition over a long period of time is yet another form of evidence that the defenders of the Zohar tried but failed to use as proof of the Zohar’s antiquity. Tishby writes, “According to this theory, the different sections of the Zohar originated layer by layer in different ages, to be put together in a later period.” [See “General Introduction, V. Various Solutions”, a. later Redaction page 8]. (But) ...”there are a number of differing opinions…about the order in which the sections were composed, and also about the precise date of their final redaction.” [See General Introduction, V. Various Solutions, a. later Redaction page 89]. “The complete fallacy of this differentiation between early and late in the Zohar is shown by the detailed results of Stern’s own research. …he cut the statements of the Zohar into small pieces, in order to discover the oldest elements. But in the process…most of the sections that remained…are mere rags and tatters. …since Stern did his research, other scholars have discovered new…evidence of a late date….internal indications of a late date in the Zoharic material are weighty enough to disprove the theory that any one section of the Zoharic literature was composed before the thirteenth century.” [See General Introduction, V. Various Solutions, c. Composition in the Thirteenth Century page 91].
Tishby writes, “The view that the Zohar with all of its various sections was a thirteenth century creation was established by studies undertaken by several scholars in the last century….” [See General Introduction, V. Various Solutions, b. Composition Over a Long Period of Time page 91]. “…(Graetz) pronounced…”that the whole Zohar…was the work of Rabbi Moses de Leon. His financial worries, and the failure of his Hebrew writings were, according to Graetz, the main reasons why he wrote the Zohar. He could not acquire wealth and honor through the books that appeared under his own name and so he tried to obtain them by means of literary forgery and the dissemination of psuedepigraphic texts. Rabbi Moses de Leon and the members of his group turned to psuedepigraphy, and attributed their writings to Rabbi bar Yohai and his disciples. The Zohar was written by Rabbi Moses de Leon at the end of the thirteenth century.” [All the above quoted from General Introduction, V. Various Solutions, c. Composition in the Thirteenth Century page 92]. According to Rabbi Isaac of Acre, ‘evidence which contains the defendant’s confession, transmitted by his wife’ for the reasons for writing the Zohar were as follows; ‘If I told them my secret and that what I wrote was my own invention, they would pay no heed to my words, and would not give me a penny for them, because they would say that I had made it all up. But…when they hear that I am copying extracts for them from the Zohar that was written under the influence of the Holy Spirit by Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai, they will pay a lot of money for them, as you can see for yourself’. But according to Rabbi Gershom Scholem ‘One must suppose that this statement is distorted, or entirely invented, by enemies of Rabbi Moses de Leon. Pseudepigraphy…cannot simply be put down to fraudulent intentions. Sometimes it is the author’s attempt to subjugate his own desire for personal self glorification that prompts him to remain anonymous.” [All the above quoted from General Introduction, V. Various Solutions, c. Composition in the Thirteenth Century page 93]. Well, if all, Rabbi Moses de Leon desired to do was remain anonymous then why didn’t he state that the Zohar was authored by an anonymous person? Why instead did he attribute the Zohar’s works to the authorship of Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai? Scholem then goes on to say, “Sometimes psuedepigraphy is the expression of the author’s deep convention that the revelations that have been accorded to him are eternally true, and so must have been known also by the earlier Rabbis.” [See General Introduction, V. Various Solutions, c. Composition in the Thirteenth Century page 93] Well, if that were really the case then why didn’t Rabbi Moses de Leon attribute the Zohar to some unknown, unheard of kabbalistic Rabbi of an earlier era? Why instead did he claim that Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai was the author of the Zohar? Scholem also goes on to say, “The Zohar is not a ‘book of lies’, but a great and remarkable thirteenth century work that contains a mystical representation of the spirit of Judaism”. [See General Introduction, V. Various Solutions, c. Composition in the Thirteenth Century page 93]. Well, if that were true, then why, as Tishby points out, is the Zohar so full of errors? “Scholem’s explanation…is that the Hebrew books (of Rabbi Moses de Leon) were written as propaganda to prepare the way for the publication of his psuedopigraphic work (the Zohar).” However, “Most of the Zoharic passages in the writings of Rabbi Moses de Leon are quoted as his own original contributions, without any reference to an earlier source…” [See General Introduction, V. Various Solutions, d. Unresolved Questions page 94]. “Even during the period when he wrote his Hebrew books, Rabbi Moses de Leon was still working on parashiyot (portions) of the Zohar, which he had started earlier. [See General Introduction, V. Various Solutions, d. Unresolved Questions page 95]. Thusly, it is difficult to see how this method of composition can accord with Scholem’s theory. Hence, in conclusion Tishby states, ...“Rabbi Moses de Leon’s authorship of the Zohar has been proved”. [See General Introduction, V. Various Solutions, d. Unresolved Questions page 96]. The Zohar was authored by Rabbi Moses de Leon at the end of the 13th century along with two other works of the Zohar authored by unknown Spanish Kabbalists of the school of Rabbi Moses de Leon during the beginning of the 14th century.
As an Orthodox Jewess I had been instructed to believe that the Zohar was a GOD SENT REVELATION on the secrets of the Torah, which had been given by God to the Jewish People at Mt. Sinai about three thousand years ago. The Zohar was then said to have been lost only to be found near a cave where Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai had lived about two thousand years ago. Therefore, the reason why the Zohar and its Kabbalistic teachings did NOT make sense to me was NOT because I, an Orthodox Jewess, was not supposed to learn it. The reason why the Zohar and its Kabbalistic teachings did NOT make sense to me was because, according to the General Introduction of the book entitled, “The Wisdom of the Zohar” by Fishcel Lachower and Isaiah Tishby, its teachings were a MAN MADE PIECE OF LITERATURE. The Zohar and its Kabbalastic teachings were conjured up during the 13th Century by an Orthodox Jew named Rabbi Moses de Leon for the sole purpose of gaining prestige and prosperity for himself by attributing Jewish Mysticism’s authorship to the well known Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai who had lived about a thousand years before Moses de Leon was born.
CHAPTER TWENTY SIX
Another even more widely spread piece of Jewish literature that has been shrouded in a smokescreen of mystery is the Torah - Jewish Bible. It has put both Jews and Gentiles into a hypnotic trance of belief that one group of people in the world, above all others, are the Chosen People of God. The Jewish Bible’s works are world renown. For centuries it has influenced many cultures and shaped two of the most influential faiths of the day– Christianity and Islamism. The Jewish Bible consists of a) The Torah (the five books of Moses) and b) Neve’eem (the Books of the Prophets) and c) Ketuveem Tehillim (the Psalms) and Mishley (the Proverbs) and other writings. The Gemorrah and Mishnah, otherwise known as Torah U' Mesurah (the Oral Torah), refer to the commentaries on the Jewish Bible.
When I opened my heart to the Jewish Bible it appeared to me to be the core of all truth, the essence of all humanity, and the root of all life. But this was only so long as I was unwilling or unable to look upon it with scrutiny. When I ventured to delve into it with an open mind, what I discovered shattered my entire Jewish belief system. What I learned was that the hypocrisy of those who claim to practice Judaism’s teachings was the result of the contradictions that lay within the Jewish Bible’s own pages. Thusly, from its origin, the Jewish Bible never was, is not now, nor ever will be a holy scripture written by the Divine. Hence, unless one chooses to be a blind, deaf, and dumb believer, which is contrary to what Judaism teaches one to be, one will not be able to overlook the fact that the Jewish religion is blatantly nonsensical, rendering the Jewish Bible a, “Buy Bull” book. There is not enough time or space to write about all of the contradictions that have caused the foundation that the Jewish Bible is based upon to be pure nonsense, therefore I will expound upon a few thought provoking ones. I have taken all Biblical quotes from [The Holy Bible New International Version, Grand Rapids, Michigan, The Zondervan Corporation, 1973].
TO MURDER OR NOT TO MURDER
The Jewish people have always complained about the anti-Semite whom they claim hates them for believing in the Jewish religion. My own People told me that the Romans murdered Jesus of Nazareth by putting a wreath of thorns around his head, nailing his hands and feet to a wooden cross, and thrusting a spear into his side. Therefore, I was unable to fathom why anti-Semitism existed. Having been persecuted by anti-Semites myself, and to a greater degree than most, I was told by many-an-anti-Semite that they hate the Jewish People for having killed their god, Jesus Christ.
In order to dispel my own confusion, I did some research of my own.
The following is what I discovered:
During the era before Christ was born (B.C.) until after the Romans destroyed the second Jewish Temple 70 (A.D.) seventy years after Christ was born the Jewish religion had been corrupted by the rich and powerful upper class sect of Jewish People known as the Sadducees. Their intention was to rule over the Jewish People unjustly by keeping them ignorant of their own religion. The middle class sect of the Jewish People known as the Pharisees engaged in cultural, social, and religious conflicts with the Sadducees. However, they did not get involved one way or the other with the execution of Jesus Christ. Jesus of Nazareth was known as Joshua (Yehoshu'a in Hebrew) to the Jews. In Hebrew, Joshua means, “God is Salvation”. Jesus made it his life’s mission to bring Judaism back to the lower poor class sect of Jewish People known as the Essenes. The Sadducees regarded Jesus as a threat to their monopolisation of the Jewish religion. So, truth be told, the Romans did perform the dirty deed of killing Jesus. But it was the Jewish Sadducees who had the Romans put Jesus to death.
The Jewish leaders murdered other Jewish Prophets for prophesying against their amoral and unethical anti-God like behaviors, which took the form of social injustice committed against their own people. For instance, King Manasseh put to death the Prophet Isaiah.
So I had to ask myself, how can this be, Jews murdering Jews, as this is anti-Semitism?
The answer did not lag far behind my question. It existed in Matan Torah – the giving of the Ten Commandments to the leader of the Jews, Moses, on Mt. Sinai, by God, who then gave those commandments to the Jewish people. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20: 1-17 and Parsha Va’etkhanan, Deuteronomy 5:6-21]. The sixth Commandment was, “Thou shalt not murder”. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:13 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:17]. In Hebrew it is written “Lo Tirzach”. In English the Hebrew word Lo means “no”. The Hebrew word “Tirzach” in English literally translates into “you will murder’. The word Tirzach is spelled with the Hebrew letters of Tav, Rash, Zadek, and Chet. But the letter Tav at the beginning of the word is merely a prefix that refers to future time tense male gender of second person “you will”. The actual shoresh (root word) of the word Tirzach is Rezach or Razach, which means “murder”, which is spelled with the Hebrew letters of Rash, Zedek, and Chet. Hence, the Hebrew translation for Lo Tirzach is “Do not murder”.
The English language mis-translates the Hebrew word of Tirzach in the Jewish Bible as the word “kill”. Thusly, Lo Tirzach became “Thou shalt not kill”. However, the Jewish Bible was originally written in Hebrew and so the word Tirzach actually means “murder”. The word “murder” in the Hebrew language is Rezach or Razach spelled with the Hebrew letters of Rash, Zedek, and Chet. [See the New Bantam-Meggiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, By Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, Copyright First Edition 1975 Bantam Books, page 250]. However, the word “kill” in the Hebrew language is Hareegah spelled with the Hebrew letters of Hay, Rash, Yud, Gimmel, and final Hay, or Hameet spelled with the Hebrew letters of Hay, Mem, Yud, and Tav, or T’veechah spelled with the Hebrew letters of Tet, Vet, Yud, Chet, and final Hay or Teref spelled with the Hebrew letters of Tet, Rash, and final Fay. [See the New Bantam-Meggiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, By Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, Copyright First Edition 1975 Bantam Books, page 216]. Hence, according to the Hebrew lanaguage, the word “murder” and the word “kill”, since they do not share the same shoresh (root) mean two different things.
For instance, the word “homicide” is Hareegah, which is the exact same word as the word Hareega, which means “kill”. [See the New Bantam-Meggiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, By Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, Copyright First Edition 1975 Bantan Books, page 62]. Thusly, one definition of the Hebrew word “kill” is to commit homicide. Kill somebody.
Another example, of the meaning of the word “kill” is the word Hamatah, which is spelled Hay, Mem, Tav, and final Hay. It means “execution”. [See the New Bantam-Meggiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, By Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, Copyright First Edition 1975 Bantan Books, page 54]. Hamatah shares the same shoresh (root word) as the word Hameet, which is another word for “kill”. Thusly, another definition of the Hebrew word “kill” is to perform an execution upon someone.
Yet another example, of the meaning of the word “kill” is the word tavach which is spelled Tet, Vet, and Chet, which means “slaughter”, and the word tevach, which is spelled Tet, Vet, and Chet, which means “massacre”. [See the New Bantam-Meggiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, By Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, Copyright First Edition 1975 Bantan Books, page 95]. Both “slaughter” and “massacre” share the same shoresh (root word) as T’veechah, which is another word for “kill”. Thusly, another definition of the Hebrew word “kill” is to slaughter as in animals or to massacre as in people.
Finally, what also shares the same meaning as the word “kill” is the word teref which is spelled Tet, Rash, and final Fay, which means “prey”. [See the New Bantam-Meggiddo Hebrew & English Dictionary, By Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Levenston, Copyright First Edition 1975 Bantan Books, page 99]. It is the exact same word as teref, which means, “kill”. Thusly, another definition of the Hebrew word “kill” is to kill something for food.
According to the English translators of the Jewish Bible the Hebrew word for “murder” and the Hebrew word for “kill” are one and the same thing. But if this is true, then why according to the Hebrew language are the words “murder” and “kill” spelled differently? If the words “murder” and “kill” had the same meaning then they would share the same shoresh (root word) as the words homicide, execution, slaughter, massacre, and prey do with the word “kill”. But they do not. This is because according to the Hebrew lanaguage the word “murder” and the word “kill” have different meanings.
The word “kill” means the same as the word “prey”, which refers to a hunter killing a wild beast for food; or as the word “slaughter”, which refers to a farmer killing his domesticated cattle for food; or as the word “homicide”, which refers to killing another in order to protect oneself from being killed as in a woman defending herself against a man who is going to rape her; or as the word “execution”, which refers to putting a person to death in order to protect others from being killed as in a criminal being put to death for being a murderer; or as the word “massacre”, which refers to killing a group of people in order to protect others from being killed as in one country going to war against another country. Thusly, the word “kill” is defined as one who takes another’s life for self-preservation.
Now that we know what the word “kill” means, how do we define the word “murder”? The word “murder” is defined as that which does not mean the same thing as the word “kill”. Since the word “kill” means taking another’s life for self preservation than the word “murder” means taking another’s life just because one can. According to the English Dictionary [Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, By Copyright First Edition 1991, Random House, page 862] the word murder is defined as “the pre-meditated killing of a person”. According to the English Dictionary [Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, By Copyright First Edition 1991, Random House, page 1027] the word pre-meditated means “done with willful deliberation; planned in advance”.
Thusly, what the Jewish God was commanding Moses, the leader of the Jewish People, and the Jewish People to do in the commandment of, “Thou shalt not murder” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:13 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:17] was that it was forbidden to take the life of any one or any thing for any reason other than self preservation. Nonetheless, even though the Jewish Bible clearly states this in the book of Exodus, not long after Matan Torah, in the same book of Exodus, God commands Moses to put to death, by way of stoning, any Jew who does not “Observe the Sabbath” (one of the other Ten Commandments). [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Ki Tisa Exodus 31:14-15 and Parsha Shelach Numbers 15:32-36].
Hence, here we have a major contradiction within the Jewish Bible. On the one hand, according to the God of the Jewish People, a Jew is not allowed to murder another Jew for any reason, only kill out of self-preservation. Yet, on the other hand, according to the same Jewish God, a Jew is allowed to murder another Jew for not obeying the Jewish God. Is it any wonder then why the Jew, who complains about the non-Jew being an anti-Semite, is an anti-Semite, himself?
Now Torah Scholars will claim that God’s commandment to put to death those who break the Sabbath is an act of “killing” not an act of “murder” as it is being done out of spiritual self preservation of the Jew since allowing the Sabbath to be broken is a threat to the spiritual life of the Jew. But this is an unfounded argument, because nowhere in the Jewish Bible does it say that a Jew is to be put to death for spiritually threatening another Jew, by, for example, transgressing God’s commandment of Shmirat Ha’Loshan not to engage in Loshan Hora/Richilus. Shmirat Ha’Loshan is one of the 620 Mitzvot that the Jewish People perform. It is derived at from the original Ten Commandments. The only punishment that a Jew receives for committing the Avarah of Loshan Hora/Richilus is to be smitten with Tzaria that appears first on the Jew’s house, second on the Jew’s clothes, and third on the Jew’s skin if he continues to be a gossip monger. After that, the Metzorah (the gossip monger) is removed from the Jewish camp and must wear torn clothing and holler “unclean” wherever he goes. However, if the wayward Jew desists from gossip mongering then the Tzaria disappears and he is allowed to return as a regular member of the Jewish community. Yet, Loshan Hora/Richilus, which is the root of Sinat Chinom amongst the Jewish People, caused the destruction of both Holy Temples, which led to the 1900 year Golut, which resulted in 99% of all of Jewry becoming assimilated into non-Jewish life. If this is not spiritual death I don’t know what is. Furthermore, in spite of the Baal Teshuva movement of non-affiliated Jews returning to Judaism, Loshan Hora/Richilus strikes again by bringing spiritual death to the countless of sincere new comers to Judaism by, on a daily basis, ostracizing them out of the Orthodox Jewish community. With its unofficial letter of Koret, it permanently exiles its Jewish victims from their own people and the Jewish way of life due to the baseless hatred that Loshan Hora/Richilus so infamously breeds.
TO MURDER OR NOT TO MURDER
MOSES STRIKES THE ROCK
God’s commandment of, “Thou shalt not murder” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:13 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:17] also applies to the non-Jew. Moses murdered a non-Jew but was not even punished for doing so by God.
According to the Jewish Bible, Moses was the greatest prophet and leader of the Jewish people who ever lived. Yet, God forbid Moses from ever entering the land of Canaan, the holy land of Israel that God promised to give to the Jewish nation, because Moses transgressed one of God’s Ten Commandments of, “I am the Lord your God”[See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro Exodus 20:2 and Parsha Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5: 6]. Moses disobeyed God, by striking instead of speaking to the rock that God used to bring forth water to quench the thirst of the Jews while they were wandering through the Sinai Desert on their Exodus out of Egypt. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Khukat Numbers 20:6-13].
Yet God did not forbid Moses from entering the land of Canaan for transgressing another one of God’s Ten Commandments of “Thou shalt not murder” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:13 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:17]. During the time when the Jewish People were slaves in Egypt, Moses witnessed an Egyptian beating a Jew. Instead of Moses smitting the Egyptian in order to protect the other Jew, Moses, out of anger, struck the Egyptian to death. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:11-12].
TO MURDER OR NOT TO MURDER
GOD SMITES THE CANAANITES
God’s commandment of, “Thou shalt not murder” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:13 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:17] was also broken by God when God promised to drive out the seven nations of the Canaan from before the Jewish people and then commanded the Jewish people to commit genocide upon all of them – the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites, and Canaanites so that the Jewish People can claim the land of Canaan as their Holy land. [See Jewish Bible Parsha Shofteem Deuteronomy 20: 16-18, Parsha Mishpateem Exodus 23:23-24, Parsha Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 7:1-5, Parsha Eikev Deuteronomy 7:23-25, Parsha Mishpateem Exodus 23: 27-31, Ki Tisa Exodus 34:11, Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 7:1-5, Eikev Deuteronomy 7:20-25].
God’s justification for allowing the Jewish People to mass murder the nations of Canaan and thereby transgress God’s commandments of, “Thou shalt not murder” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:13 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:17] was that the seven Canaanite nations did not observe God’s commandments of “Thou shalt not worship any other gods before me.” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:3 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:7]. This was so, even though the Ten Commandments of God had been given solely to the Jewish People to observe, and even though throughout Jewish history the Jewish People have committed idolatry – worshipped false gods, themselves. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Mishpateem Exodus 23:24, 32-33, Parsha Ki Tisa Exodus 34:12-16, Parsha Eikev Deuteronomy 7:25-26, Parsha Re’eh Deuteronomy 12:2-4].
TO MURDER OR NOT TO MURDER
THE PRIEST OF GOD’S HOLY TEMPLE
There were a couple more instances in which God permitted It-self and the Jews to transgress God’s commandment of, “Thou shalt not murder” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:13 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:17]. God brought a plague upon the Jews that killed them for transgressing God’s commandment of, “Thou shall not commit adultery” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:14 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:18] and God’s commandment of, “Thou shalt not commit idolatry [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:3 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:7] by having intercourse with and worshipping the idols of Moabite and Midianite women. Pinchas, the Cohen, stopped God’s plague of the Jews being killed by God when he did a zealous act. He murdered the Midianite Princess, daughter of the Midianite Tribal Chief, Cozbi and Zimri, the Prince of the Jewish Tribe of Simeon by piercing a spear through both of their bodies simultaneously while they were having unholy sex and doing unholy worship in God’s Holy Temple. For doing so, God rewarded Pinchas, son of Eleazer, son of Aaron, and his descendants with a covenant of a lasting priesthood. [See the Jewish Bible Parshot Pinchas Numbers 25:1-18].
TO MURDER OR NOT TO MURDER
THE KILLING OF THE FIRST BORN
Another biblical contradiction of “Two wrongs don’t make a right” occurs with regard to the killing of the firstborn. On the one hand, God considered it a sinful act, the transgression of God’s Commandment of, “Thou shalt not murder” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:13 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:17] when the Pharaoh of Egypt decreed that every Jewish male newborn by drowned in the Nile River during the time that the Jews were slaves in Egypt. One the other hand, God considered it a righteous act, the transgression of God’s Commandment of, “Thou shalt not murder” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:13 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:17] when God decreed that the Angel of Death kill every first born male Egyptian during the time that the tenth plague befell Egypt. God did not take into consideration whether or not the firstborn male Egyptians were even responsible for taking the lives of male Jewish infants [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Bo Exodus 11: 1-8, 12:29, 13:15]. What if none of them were? That’s a lot of innocent blood that God spilt.
Hence, here we have a major contradiction within the Jewish Bible, itself. On the one hand, according to the God of the Jews, a Jew is not allowed to murder a non-Jew for any reason save self-preservation. Yet, on the other hand, according to the same Jewish God, a Jew is allowed to murder a non-Jew for not obeying the Jewish God. Is it any wonder then why the Jew, who complains about being discriminated against by the non-Jew, is a bigot, himself?
TO MURDER OR NOT TO MURDER
ALL BURNT UP
Included in God’s Commandment of, “Thou shalt not murder” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro, Exodus 20:13 and Va’etkhanan Deuteronomy 5:17] is God’s instruction to the Jew not to murder any of God’s creations and yet at the same token God tells the Jew to murder God’s creatures by making religious sacrifices out of them.
The Jews convinced the world that they were “holier than thou” because, unlike the non-Jews who worshipped their gods by sacrificing their own offspring upon a fiery pit, the Jews communed with their God by placing upon their God’s altar of Holy fire animals and plants. The idea of sacrificing non-human creatures as opposed to the human creation is talked about in the Jewish Bible in the story of the Akadah (the binding of Yitzchack). In this biblical account God tells Abraham to pay homage to God by sacrificing Abraham’s one and only son Yitzchack (Isaac), to God. But just as Abraham is about to kill Yitzchack, God tells him to stop. So Abraham slaughters a ram whose horns are caught in the nearby bushes instead. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Vayera Genesis 22:1-19].
From here we learn that Karbonot consist of slaughtering animals and uprooting plants so that they can be brought before God to be partially eaten by the Cohaneem of God’s Holy Temple and partially burnt up by fire on God’s Holy Altar. The following is a list of sacrifices that were made out of plants and animals: 1) Bekoreem (First Born) offering [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Korech Numbers 18:14-18], and 2) Minchah (Grain) offering, [See Jewish Bible Parsha Tzav Leviticus 6:14-18), and 3] Asham (Guilt) offering [See Jewish Bible Parsha Tzav Leviticus 7:1-6], and 4) Shalmah (Peace) offering [See Jewish Bible Parsha Tzav Leviticus 7:11-18], and 5) Chatah (Sin) offering [See Jewish Bible Parsha Tzav Leviticus 6:24-30].
Also as a sacrifice to God there was the Burnt offering called Olaheem to be given twice a day, once in the morning, and once in the evening as a daily burnt offering [See Jewish Bible Parsha Pinchas Numbers 28: 1-8]. In addition Musafeem was added to it during the holy days. It consisted of two lambs, a double portion of grain, a portion of fermented drink to be given once a week for the Sabbath, and the daily burnt offering [See Jewish Bible Parsha Pinchas Numbers 28: 9-10]; two bulls, one ram, seven lambs, a total of six portions of grain, a portion of fermented drink, and one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering to be given once a month for the New Moon [See Jewish Bible Parsha Pinchas Numbers 28: 11-15]; two bulls, one ram, seven lambs, a total of six portions of grain, a portion of fermented drink, and one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering to be given for Pesach [See Jewish Bible Parsha Pinchas Numbers 28: 16-25]; two bulls, one ram, seven lambs, a total of six portions of grain, a portion of fermented drink, and one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering to be given for Shavouth [See Jewish Bible Parsha Pinchas Numbers 28: 26-31]; two bulls, one ram, seven lambs, a total of six portions of grain, a portion of fermented drink, and one goat as a sin offering along with the monthly burnt offering and the daily burnt offering to be given for Rosh Hashana [See Jewish Bible Parsha Pinchas Numbers 29:1-6]; two bulls, one ram, seven lambs, a total of six portions of grain, a portion of fermented drink, and one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering to be given for Yom Kippur [See Jewish Bible Parsha Pinchas Numbers 29:1-6]; thirteen bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, six portions of grain, and one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering to be given on the first day; two bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs six portions of grain, a portion of fermented drink, and one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering to be given on the second day; eleven bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, six portions of grain, a portion of fermented drink, and one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering to be given on the third day; ten bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, six portions of grain, a portion of fermented drink, and one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering to be given on the fourth day; nine bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, six portions of grain, a portion of fermented drink, and one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering to be given on the fifth day; eight bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, six portions of grain, a portion of fermented drink, and one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering to be given on the sixth day; seven bulls, two rams, fourteen lambs, six portions of grain, a portion of fermented drink, and one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering to be given on the seventh day; one bull, one ram, seven lambs six portions of grain offering, a portion of fermented drink, one goat as a sin offering and the daily burnt offering for the eighth day to be given for Sukkoth – the Festival of Booths [See Jewish Bible Parsha Pinchas Numbers 29:12-38]. All were burnt up in God’s Holy smoke – the grains of the field, the beast of the herd [See Jewish Bible Parsha Vayera Leviticus 1:3-9], the animal of the flock [See Jewish Bible Parsha Vayera Leviticus 1:10-13], and the winged creature of the bird [See Jewish Bible Parsha Vayera Leviticus 1:14-17].
Ah hmmm, throat clearing please. During the time of the Roman Empire, when the Gladiator games became popular in the Roman Coliseum, so many animals were sacrificed to their death, in combat with the Roman Gladiator slaves, that many of them such as the North African Elephant became extinct. According to the Jewish Bible the Moshiach will erect the third Bayit HaMikdash upon the Temple Mount in the city of Jerusalem in the State of Israel. Then, once again, the Jewish People will sacrifice animals and plants to the Jewish God of Israel. Is it not enough that the historical Jewish People had in common with the Romans the unbelievably wasteful slaughter of God’s living things for their hedonistic amusement or so called religious rites?
The Korbanot that the Jewish People made not only arrogantly assumed that a human being’s life is more important than the life of a non-human thing, but it also haughtily presumed that the murdering of a non-human life can remove the sins of an individual Jew or Jewess by permitting the Jew/Jewess to be forgiven for committing his/her transgressions against God or against other Jews. Now I ask you, how does the loss of an innocent non-human life atone for a wrong doer’s wickedness, especially since the innocent creature does not even know why it is being forced to die?
Orthodox Jewish scholars will argue that a sin offering will cause the sinner to be regretful for committing his misdeed which in turn will make him correct his erring ways for he knows that an animal or plant is dying in place of him. However, when a wrong doer escapes from having to suffer the consequences of his own actions, the wrong doer also avoids having to feel any remorse for the wrong that he has done. The Jewish God agrees with me that non-human sacrifices do not make a Jew or Jewess do Teshuva. For Jewish history has proven it to be so. Jewish sacrifices are the very reason why the Jewish people no longer have a Jewish Temple. The Jewish Temple was the only place that Jewish sacrifices were permitted to be made. Our very own Jewish Prophets prophesied that God became sick and tired of consuming religious sacrifice that was given upon the altar without integrity or sincerity [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Devareem Isaiah 1:10-20]. Jewish sacrifices did not bring the Jewish individual, or the Jewish people, into a state of Tikkun. Instead, Jewish society collapsed into a state of corruption that eventually led to the downfall of the Jewish nation at the hands of their enemies who forced the Jewish People to leave their Jewish homeland, and go into Golut for 1900 years.
Hence, here we have a major contradiction within the Torah, itself. On the one hand, according to the God of the Jews, a Jew is not allowed to murder any of God’s creatures or creations for any reason save self-preservation. Yet, on the other hand, according to the same Jewish God, a Jew is allowed to murder animals and plants as sacrifices up to God. Is it any wonder then why the Jew, who complains about how heathen the offerings made to non-Jewish gods were, made barbaric sacrifices up to his own Jewish God?
WILL THE REAL KOSHER PLEASE STAND UP
KEEP THE MOTHER SEPARATE
Another one of God’s Ten Commandments that the Jewish People are obligated to keep is the Jewish dietary law of Kashruth. One Halacha regarding Kashruth boils down to, “Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk” [See Jewish Bible Parshah Mishpateem Exodus 23:19, Parsha Ki Tisa Exodus 34:26, and Parsha Re’eh Deuteronomy 14:21].
Another Halacha that has to do with Kashruth instructs one not to take the mother bird out of a bird’s nest along with its eggs or young for food [See Parsha Ki Tavo Deuteronomy 22:6-7]. The two above Halachot suggest that the goal of Kashruth is to have compassion upon the living beings that one must consume for sustenance by keeping the mother and anything that has to do with the mother separate from that which is to be eaten.
A disturbing question arises. What is so divinely profound about these above two dietary provisions? Every predator, except man, knows about its prey, that if it expects to have something to eat tomorrow, it had better spare the life of the mother that reproduces the food that it eats today.
WILL THE REAL KOSHER PLEASE STAND UP
THE PERMISSION TO SLAUGHTER
THE PROHIBITION AGAINST BLOOD
This brings us to a third Halacha regarding Kashruth. It is called Shechita. Shechita has to do with the manner in which Jewish people slaughter meat. One is obligated to use a knife to cut open the animal’s throat so that its blood will exit its body as rapidly as possible. The knife has to be so sharp that there are no nicks in it [See the Jewish Bible Re’eh Deuteronomy 12:21-25]. The Jewish People believe that God commanded them to slaughter the animal in this way to end its life most quickly in order to kill it in the most merciful way.
A disturbing question arises. Is slaughtering an animal by slitting its throat open with a flawlessly sharp knife, the most merciful way in which to kill it? I watched a bullfight in Mexico once. At the end of the bullfight I watched as the Matador (bull fighter) speared the bull to death by thrusting his sword dead center into the back of the beast’s neck. The manner in which this specific Matador was slaying this particular bull was very similar to how a Jew is supposed to slaughter an animal for food. The only difference was a) that the bull was pierced in the back of the neck instead of in the front of the neck where the animal’s throat is, and b) the Matador’s sword was not as sharp as a Jewish butcher’s knife would be. The moment after the Matador’s sword made contact with the bull’s neck, the bull’s blood gushed out of its nostrils so rapidly that within less than a minute it had completely exited the bull’s body just as it would do if it had been slaughtered according to Jewish Halacha. But the bull did not seem to care in the least bit whether or not the blade that ended its life was a) sharp or dull or b) entered the front or back of its neck. For the bull did not appear to be dying quickly or easily at all. During the brief moment that the blood poured out of the bull’s nose, the animal became dazed, then dizzy, and after that it swayed from side to side before it was finally able to collapse to the ground in painless oblivion.
Another disturbing question arises. If slaughtering an animal by slitting its throat open with a completely sharp knife is the most merciful way to kill it, then why do predators kill their prey in so many different ways? Wouldn’t God in God’s Compassionate Infinite Wisdom will it that all of God’s Divine Works consume and get consumed in the most painless way possible? Yet, upon observation of God’s natural order of things, all of God’s handiworks kill their food by using the tools of the trade that God gave them to do so. Some, like the eagle, use the claw to pierce their prey to death. Some, like the lion, use the tooth and jaw to choke it to death. Some, like the whale, use the mouth to swallow it to death. Some, like the snake, use venom to poison it to death. Some, like the ape, use a stone to clobber it to death, and so on and so forth.
Yet another disturbing question arises. Wherein is the proof that slitting an animal’s throat with a razor sharp knife is the most merciful way to kill it? If I, myself, had to make a choice as to which fashion I was going to die most painlessly by a) being suffocated, or b) being paralyzed, or c) being clobbered, or d) being pierced, or e) being stabbed in the throat with a nick free blade, quite frankly, I will choose none of the above. I’d rather die in my sleep. Being Jewish myself and having cast my vote, how do my people, the Jewish People, know what the most merciful way is to slay an animal, especially if one cannot ask the animal which method of execution it prefers? I believe that the cruelest way to kill an animal is to insist that one knows the least painful way to kill it, as it is the animal that is destined to die, not you.
Jewish Torah Scholars avoid answering the above disturbing questions regarding Shechita. Instead they interject another Halacha of Kashruth, which they claim is solely concerned with one’s physical wellbeing. It is the prohibition against eating blood [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Re’eh Deuteronomy 12:16, 23-25, Parsha Kidosheem Leviticus 19:26, and Parsha Akhora Mot Leviticus 17:10-14]. Immediately after an animal is slaughtered all of its blood is drained from its body and the animal’s meat is soaked in coarse salt to remove any residual blood in it. This is done to prevent the animal’s meat from getting contaminated with the bacteria that is in the animal’s blood so that it will be fit for consumption.
A disturbing question arises. If this is so, then why is it that the Gentiles who eat Traf meat and dine on medium rare (cooked blood in it) steaks are as robust as the Jews are? Furthermore, if this is so, then why is it that carnivorous beasts that feast upon raw (fresh blood in it) meat do not get sick from doing so? Its food for thought!
Yet another disturbing question arises. If Kashruth is a Divine Ordinance from God, then why do land animals have to undergo the Shechita process whereas sea animals such as fish do not? It is Kosher to eat a fish that was impaled with a fishhook or caught in a net while allowing the blood of the fish to remain in its body, indefinitely.
WILL THE REAL KOSHER PLEASE STAND UP
THE UNKOSHER PIG
A fourth Halacha of Kashruth has to do with the signs that indicate what is permissible versus what is forbidden for Jewish People to eat. Kosher land animals chew their cud and have cloven hooves. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mini Leviticus 11:1-8 and Parsha Re’eh Deuteronomy 14:4-8]. Kosher sea animals have both fins and scales. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mini Leviticus 11:9-19 and Parsha Re’eh Deuteronomy 14:9-10]. Kosher insects have jointed legs and wings [See the Jewish bible Parsha Sh’mini Leviticus 11:20-24 and Parsha Re’eh Deuteronomy 14:19-20]. A pig has cloven hooves, but it does not chew its cud [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mini Leviticus 11:7-8 and Parsha Re’eh Deuteronomy 14:8] and therefore is deemed Traf for a Jewish person to eat. The Vietnamese Pig has both cloven hooves and chews its cud. Yet the Torah does not know whether or not the Vietnamese Pig is kosher to eat.
A disturbing question arises. Why doesn’t the Jewish God know whether or not the pig that possesses all of the signs signifying that it is kosher is permissible to eat?
Speaking of Pigs! Kashruth contradicts itself with regard to being a Divine Law that concerns itself with mercy killing and sound health due to the fact that there are Jewish People who eat like unkosher pigs. Just because a beast has been killed according to the guidelines of Kashruth does not mean that the Jew or Jewess who consumes it has to be a glutton. To gorge one self on that which was killed for one’s sake is not a mercy killing. Such a lack of table manners to eat that which has been sacrificed out of greed – self-absorbed pleasure, instead of out of necessity – self-preservation, is also unhealthy. The majority of the Orthodox Jews and Jewesses that I encountered in the Orthodox Jewish Communities that I lived in during the sixteen year period that I was an observant Orthodox Jewess were grossly obese. It was as if they worshipped food instead of worshipping God. Perhaps this is because the Jewish calendar revolves around food. The Jewish People are commanded to eat multi-course meals. They are to eat them during Shacharit (morning), Minchah (afternoon), Ma’ariv (evening), and Malavah Malka (night) on every Shabbot, Chag – Channukkah, Purim, Pesach, Shavouth, Rosh Hashana, Sukkot; and Simchah, (celebration) – Brit Milah (circumcision), and Chatuna (wedding).
Another outright contradiction regarding Kashruth not being a body of Divine Law that concerns itself with mercy killing and sound health has to do with another type of unkosher pig. It is the kind of Jewish pig who puts a Hechsher on junk food for monetary profit. Junk food is known to make people sick. Junk food is a deficiency food. It not only offers empty calories, it is also full of toxic ingredients that poison one’s system and rob one’s body of vital nutrients. Deficiency food is an incomplete food product. This means that instead of digesting it, it digests you by stealing the nutrients that are missing from its molecular chain from your body’s vitamin and mineral stores. Junk food also saps your body of its vitality by overloading your immune system with toxic waste that may take days, weeks, even months to eliminate from your system. If it does not get purged from your body, its pollutants will get stored in your body’s tissues thereby putting your organism at risk for contracting all manner of diseases such as cancer. A Jewish person is better off eating a non-kosher pig that eats whatever leftover scraps of garbage it can get its snout on than consuming kosher junk food.
Another disturbing idiosyncrasy about Kashruth is that it does not offer any signs that tell whether or not air animals – birds – are eatable. All that is given regarding them is a list of birds that the Jewish People are not allowed to eat. The list is as follows: eagle, hawk falcon, vulture, raven, red or black kite, horned screech, little, great, white, or desert owl, gull, cormorant, osprey, stork, heron, hoopie, and bat. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha “Sh’mini Leviticus 11:13-19 and Parsha Re’eh Deuteronomy 14:12-18]. And, the biblical quote of, “You may eat any clean bird” ([See the Jewish Bible Parsha Re’eh Deuteronomy 14:11], which means any bird that is not on the unclean (unkosher) list.
While learning about Kashruth I noticed that the land animals that are considered Traf happen to be the domesticated beasts of burden that transport people and their belongings from one destination to another, such as horses and camels. Or they are the wild beasts of the wilderness that no farmer, herder, or hunter would attempt to tame or quarry, such as the savage wolf, the ferocious tiger, or the venomous snake. Or they are the animals that made people sick who ate them such as the pig. In biblical time people who ate pig meat contracted what is known as Trichinosis. Trichinosis is a round worm that lives in a human being’s intestines. It eats up the food that one is digesting. Therefore, one does not get any nourishment. In addition, this parasitic worm spreads its larvae known as Trichinella Spiralis to other parts of one’s body. They eat up one’s organs. Today we know that in order to be able to safely eat pig all one has to do is cook its meat thoroughly.
A disturbing question arises. If the Jewish God created Kashruth then why does the Kosher or non-Kosher status of the various types of species of animals that were indigenous to the territories that the Jewish People occupied during biblical times seem to be based upon whether or not they were useful as food or useful as transportation?
The Jewish Torah Scholars’ rebuttal is to refuse to give any explanation defending the Divine authenticity of Kashruth. Instead they make the cop-out excuse that Kashruth is a Choke. Well, if that is the case, then why doesn’t God know whether or not to put the Vietnamese Pig on the Kosher or the Traf (non kosher) list?
Due to all of the above contradictions regarding Kashruth, I am forced to conclude that Kashruth is nothing more and nothing less than a joke that is as ludicrous and ridiculous as the claim that those who eat Kosher fart Kosher.
A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL
Have you ever heard of the saying that, “You are making a mountain out of a mole hill?” It refers to someone making much ado about nothing. Judaism makes a big deal about how the Jewish religion is the one and only true religion and the Jewish People are the one and only chosen people of God by insisting that, contrary to what the other religions of the earth assert, which is that one disciple witnessed God, six hundred thousand Jewish People witnessed God.
According to the Jewish Bible, Moses went up to the top of Mt. Sinai, the elders and the priests came only part way up Mt. Sinai, and the Jewish people stayed at the bottom of Mt. Sinai when Moses received God’s Revelation and God’s Ten Commandments. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro Exodus 19:20-25 and Parsha Yitro Exodus 20:21 and Parsha Mishpateem Exodus 24:1-2 and Parsha Ki Tisa Exodus 34:29-32].
According to the Jewish Bible, “On the top of Mt. Sinai, Moses, alone, stayed for forty days and forty nights and received God’s Ten Commandments from two tablets of stone”. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Eikev Deuteronomy 9:9-11 and Parsha Misphateem Exodus 24:18].
The Jewish Bible explicitly states that only one Jewish individual, not six hundred thousand Jewish People, witnessed God and his name was Moshe (Moses), the prophet and leader of the Jewish People.
Jewish Bible scholars will argue that according to the Miforsheem, the rest of the Jewish People witnessed God by undergoing prophecy. The prophetic experience was described as seeing what they heard and hearing what they saw. Yet, according to the Torah none of its pages have written within them any such prophecy.
The following are the passages from the Jewish Bible that talk about the Jewish Peoples’ encounter with God:
Passage #1: “Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his (God’s) feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself.” [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Mishpateem Exodus 24:9-10].
Notice the word “something”. The Jewish Bible only describes what was under God’s feet, not what God looked like? Apparently the “something” under God’s feet was only the sky. I grew up in a small sparsely populated town called Simi Valley. It had no air pollution. Its sky was such a deep shade of blue that it looked like the color of sapphire. During biblical times the Sinai desert was also fresh and clean, so its sky, no doubt, took on a vivid hue of blue akin to the color of sapphire.
Passage #2: “The smoke billowed up from it (Mt. Sinai) like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently” [See Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro Exodus 19:18]. “To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Misphateem Exodus 24:17].
Notice the word “looked”. If the rest Jewish People witnessed God then why does the Jewish Bible only describe what the mountain of Sinai, not what God, looked liked? The mountain of Sinai is not referred to in the Jewish Bible as the “Sinai mountains,” like the chain of mountains called the “Rocky mountains” of Colorado are. Instead the mountain of Sinai is called Mount Sinai. The word mount is often used to refer to a volcano as in Mt. Helen, a volcano, in the state of Washington. Volcanoes, unlike mountain ranges, or rolling hills, have plateaus at the top of them. If you look at a postcard of Mt. Sinai you will notice that Mt. Sinai has a level top versus peaks or knolls. Apparently, during biblical times, Mt. Sinai was an inactive volcano so it “smoked” and “trembled” and was on “fire”.
Passage #3: “On the morning of the third day there was a thick cloud over the mountain...Mt. Sinai was covered in smoke because the Lord descended on it in fire” [See Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro Exodus 19:16-18].
Notice the word “smoke”. If the rest of the Jewish People witnessed God then why does the Jewish Bible only describe what the mountain of Sinai, not what God, looked liked? All it says is that God arrived upon the mountain in fire, which caused the mountain to smoke.
Mt. Sinai was not covered in smoke because God had landed upon it. Mt. Sinai was smoldering since like any other inactive volcano, it had to blow off steam, and Mt. Sinai did not just smoke on the “third day” because the Jewish People were gathered around it. Moses knew that Mt. Sinai blew off steam every now and then since he lived in the Sinai for sixty years herding (Yitro’s) his father in law’s flock of sheep in the desert below Mt. Sinai [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:3 Note: Horeb is Mt. Sinai as it is referred to as the mountain of God]. Moses had lied to the Jewish People that God had designated the third day for God’s arrival on Mt. Sinai and that God’s arrival was why the mountain was covered in smoke.
The Jewish People praise the Jewish Bible as being a perfect, divine, eternal, holy Book that dots every “i” and crosses every “t”. So it ought to be able to answer truthfully any and every question that is asked of it, right?
According to the Jewish Bible, “On the top of Mt. Sinai, Moses, alone, stayed for forty days and forty nights and received God’s Ten Commandments from two tablets of stone”. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Eikev Deuteronomy 9:9-11 and Parsha Misphateem Exodus 24:18]. The Jewish Bible then states that it was the finger of God that inscribed the Ten Commandments on the two tablets of stone. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Eikev Deuteronomy 9:9-11 and Parsha Misphateem Exodus 24:18]. Moses broke the original Ten Commandments engraved upon the two tablets of stone. So he had to go back up Mt. Sinai and chisel two more stone tablets for God to write the words of the Ten Commandments upon them. The Jewish Bible after that states that it was the finger of God that inscribed the Ten Commandments on the second set of stone tablets. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Ki Tisa Exodus 34:1 and Exodus 31:4].
This means that according to the Jewish Bible God hewed out the Ten Commandments upon both the first and the second set of stone tablets. God being God it ought not take but a microsecond to do so. So, why did Moses stay on Mt. Sinai for so long? The Jewish Bible does not tell us. Apparently Moses, not God, chiseled out the stone tablets, and Moses, not God, engraved the Ten Commandments upon them.
Jewish Bible scholars will argue that half a million Jewish People not just one individual, Moses, witnessed God’s Revelation on Mt. Sinai by claiming that the Jewish Bible is not to be taken literally. Instead, one must believe in the interpretations that the Miforsheem have given the Jewish Bible thousands of years after the Jewish Bible was already written. In other words, the Jewish Bible’s literal interpretation of what occurred thousands of years ago has been re-interpreted, thousands of years later, by the Miforsheem, who did not even witness what happened, to mean something else. The Jewish Bible - original writing got rewritten by the Miforsheem - Interpreters.
This means that the meaning of the Jewish Bible lies in some man made interpretation of it versus a God sent revelation of it. Being that is the case what is the point of reading the Jewish Bible? I have a mind and a heart of my own, thank you. So I can please and you are welcome re-interpret the Jewish Bible, all by myself.
THE EXODUS OF MOSES
What renders any religion a hoax is lack of evidence to support that a religious event actually occurred. Yet, we know from archeological dig sites that the earth reveals to us a record of historical happenings by preserving for hundreds even thousands of years such objects of antiquity as pottery and bones. There are many biblical stories within the Jewish Bible that claim to have taken place. But there are no archeological records of any kind that the artifacts of such biblical events ever existed. Instead they are M.I.A. – Missing in-Action. The following are some examples of missing Jewish artifacts: The four tablets of stone that carved out God’s Ten Commandments; the Aaron HaKodesh (Holy Ark) that contained within it the four tablets of stone; Noah’s Ark which landed on Mt. Ararat after the Mabol (flood) abated [See the Jewish Bible `Parsha No’ah Genesis 8:4]. Now, I can understand why one or two biblical artifacts do not make their public appearance in a museum. But, when every, single, one of them that was ever mentioned in the Jewish Bible such as the Ark of Noah and the Tablets of Moses cannot be put on display, now, that is absurd!
THE MIRACLE OF THE REED SEA
Yet another biblical artifact that does not make any public appearance is the miracles pertaining to the Reed (some sources refer to it as Red) Sea. According to the Jewish Bible God performed many wonders so that the Jewish People would be liberated from Egyptian slavery and be able to make their Exodus out of Egypt. One of the most famous was the splitting of the Reed Sea. The biblical account of the miracle of the splitting of the Reed Sea basically goes like this...
After God’s tenth plague befell the land of Egypt, killing all of Egypt’s first born sons [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Bo Exodus 12:29], the Pharaoh of Egypt agreed to release the Jewish People from their two hundred years of bondage [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Bo Exodus 12:31-33]. But shortly after, he changed his mind and decided to go after them. Pharaoh gathered his military men in pursuit of the Israelites [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Bo Exodus 14:5-8]. When Pharaoh and his entire army of foot soldiers and chariot horsemen finally caught up to Moses and the Jewish People, they had already traveled down to the coastline of the Reed Sea [See the Jewish Bible Parsha B’Shelach Exodus 14:9]. The Pharaoh had them trapped between his soldiers and the water. Then as the Pharaoh and his military might charged after the Jewish People to kill them all, Moses, the leader of the Jewish People, raised both of his hands skyward and vis-à-vis a miracle from God made the Reed Sea divide into two towering walls of water revealing land beneath it for the Jewish People to safely cross over to the other side [See the Jewish Bible Parsha B’Shelach Exodus 14: 21]. Not one Jew was left behind. The Jewish camp safely navigated across the narrow chasm of ground that stood beneath their feet [See the Jewish Bible Parsha B’Shelach Exodus 14: 22]. Observing what the Israelites had done, the Pharaoh and his army began to race across the land beneath the solid walls of water until Moses lowered both of his arms, thereby causing the Reed Sea to revert back to its original state of being [Parsha B’Shelach Exodus 14:26-27]. In so doing, the Pharoah and all of his military force plunged to the bottom of the ocean’s depths where they drowned to death [See the Jewish Bible Parsha B’Shelach Exodus 14:28]. According to the Jewish Bible there was a strong, easterly wind that accompanied both the departure and the reverting back of the Reed Sea’s waters [See the Jewish Bible Parsha B’Shelakh Exodus 14:21-22]. Moses took all night to get the Jewish People across the Reed Sea [See the Jewish Bible Parsha B’Shelakh Exodus 14: 21-22 and Parsha B’Shelakh Exodus 14:27].
Jewish Bible scholars put forth an argument that such divine miracles actually did happen in spite of the fact that there is a complete lack of evidence to prove that such wonders really exist. How they defend their position lies in how they define what a miracle is. Their definition of a miracle is that it is a supernatural event and therefore does not leave any evidence that it occurred. For instance, when the Reed Sea returned to its former state it left no sign of ever having been split apart. But water joins back together without a trace of it ever having been split apart anyway, naturally. Therefore, the parting of the Reed Sea by definition was a natural occurrence.
Yet another biblical artifact that does not make any public appearance is Pharaoh’s deceased soldiers, dead horses, and sunken chariots. Why is it that thousands of years later no one is able to find horse, chariot, or human remains due to the so-called miraculous event of the splitting of the Reed Sea? According to the Jewish Bible it was not until Moses transported the Jewish People across the waters of the Reed Sea that the Reed Sea retracted causing the Pharaoh and his Egyptian soldiers, who followed in pursuit after the Israelites, to drowned to death [See the Jewish Bible Parsha B’Shelakh Exodus 14: 26 and Parsha B’Shelakh Exodus 14: 28]. Nevertheless, there are no remnants of Egyptian corpses, horse carcasses, or chariot wheels lying along the bottom of the Reed Sea coastline to testify that such a miracle happened. Although, water, naturally, does return back to its original state without leaving any trace that it was ever disrupted, bones and metal do not. Such lack of evidence of the Reed Sea miracle signifies that the Pharaoh and his Egyptian army never plunged into the Reed Sea or drowned in its depths in their attempt to overtake the fleeing Jewish People.
Is it possible then, that, in order to recapture his Jewish slaves, the Egyptian King overtook them when they reached the coastline of the Reed Sea? The Jewish Bible hints at this probability when it speaks about God erecting a pillar of fire between the Egyptian army and the Jewish camp when they reached the shore of the Reed Sea. (See pillar of fire separating Hebrews and Egyptians Parsha B’Shelakh Exodus 14:19-20, 24). If so, then the Jewish People made their Exodus out of Egypt by staging their slave revolt on land. But there are no fossils of either Egyptian or Jewish bodies or horses lying along the shoreline of the Reed Sea to show that a confrontation ever took place there.
JOSEPH THE DREAMER
If the Egyptians did not drowned in the Reed Sea, and were not slain on land, then what really did happen? The only logical explanation left to ponder was that the Pharaoh never left Egypt to go after the Jewish People. According to the Jewish Bible, the way in which the Jewish People left the land of Egypt began with its narration of how the Jewish People entered the land of Egypt. The story begins with the ten sons of Jacob who desired to kill their brother Joseph because they were seething with sibling rivalry [See Jewish Bible Parsha Vayeshaav Genesis 37:18-20]. The ten brothers were envious of Joseph because he was the favorite child of their father Jacob [(See Parsha Vayeshaav Genesis 37:3-4]. The ten brothers were also jealous of Joseph because he had a gift. He was able to foretell the future with dreams that came to him during his sleep [See Jewish Bible Parsha Vayeshaav Genesis 37: 5-11)]. So, Joseph’s brothers threw Joseph into a pit to die [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Vayeshaav Genesis 37:21-24]. But they had an after thought and decided, instead, to sell Joseph into slavery [See Parsha Veyeshaav Genesis 37:25-28].
An Egyptian named Potiphar purchased Joseph and made him into an Egyptian slave. [See Jewish Bible Parsha Vayashev Genisis 39:1]. Although Joseph began as a lowly slave in Egypt, with the progression of time, Joseph’s reputation as a dream interpreter reached the King of Egypt who in one night dreamt two disturbing dreams. The first dream told of seven fat cows eating seven lean cows. The second dream told of seven lean cows devouring seven fat cows. None of the Pharaoh’s counselors knew what his dreams meant and so the Pharaoh summoned Joseph to interpret them. Joseph accurately interpreted the symbols in Pharaoh’s dreams as the foretelling of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine that would befall the land of Egypt [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Miketz Genesis 41:1-32]. But it was Joseph’s sage advice regarding what to do about Pharaoh’s dreams that won him the prestigious honor of becoming the Viceroy of Egypt [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Miketz Genesis 41:39-45]. Joseph advised the Pharaoh to save a portion of the crops that Egypt grew annually from its seven years of bounty and store them away in preparation for the coming seven years of hunger.
When the famine of Egypt arrived, it also laid waste to the regions outside of Egypt’s Dynasty. Hence, there was also famine in the land of Jacob. So the ten sons of Jacob came down into Egypt to buy food for their people. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha Miketz Genesis 42:3-26 (first trip) and Parsha Miketz Genesis 43: 1-15 (second trip)]. Joseph forgave his wayward brothers for the way in which they had treated him and fed Jacob’s family. [See Jewish Bible Parsha Vayagash Genesis 45:1-5 and Parsha V’yagash Genesis 45:8 and Parsha Vayagash Genesis 45:14]. Jacob was reunited with his long last son, Joseph, [See Jewish Bible Parsha V’yagash Genesis 46:29-30] and the people of Israel were given permission by Joseph to live in the land of Goshen, a province of Egypt, where their herds of sheep and goat grazed during the seven year famine. [See the Jewish Bible Parsha V’yechi Genesis 47:5-6 and Parsha Vayechi Genesis 47:11]. Due to Joseph’s magnanimity peace was once again restored to the house of Israel. But after the Pharaoh died, a new King of Egypt rose to power. He did not remember what Joseph had done for Egypt. [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 1:8]. Instead, he plotted and schemed on how to subjugate the Jewish People who, because of their prosperity in the land of Goshen, were undergoing a population boom. [See Hebrews Jewish Bible Parsha V’yechi Genisis 47:27 and Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 1:7].
MOSES THE SAVIOR
This is where Moses makes his entrance into the Jewish Bible. According to one passage in the Jewish Bible Moses was born a Jew ([See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:1-2]. However, Moses was raised in the house of the Pharaoh as an Egyptian Prince. The God of the Hebrews had appointed Moses to be the Moshiach of the Jewish People so that the Hebrew slaves could be liberated from their bondage in Egypt. And so, according to the new Pharaoh's decree, although Moses was to be cast into the Nile River, like the rest of the male Jewish babies to drown, he escaped the new Pharaoh’s decree because an Egyptian Princess, Pharoah’s own daughter, adopted Moses as her son [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:3-10]. She named him Moses since she drew him out of the water [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:10].
There are numerous historical accounts in which the daughters of kings were punished for being disloyal to the crown by for instance being beheaded for defying their father’s religious beliefs. Therefore it is hard to believe that the Pharaoh’s own daughter, an Egyptian Princess, would put her own life at risk to save a Hebrew slave. It is equally hard to believe that the Pharaoh, who deemed the Jewish People as his enemy, would permit his daughter to raise a Hebrew slave baby in the King of Egypt’s own house. The King of Egypt knew the physical differences between Hebrew and Egyptian ethnic groups. So, how could it be that Moses was raised in the Pharaoh’s own palace without the King of Egypt knowing it? If Moses was indeed a Hebrew, the Pharaoh’s daughter would not be able to keep Moses’s identity a secret from her father and the Pharaoh most likely would kill her for attempting to do so. Granted there are people throughout history who risked their own lives to save the Jewish People. For instance, during World War II, there were Germans who, at the risk of being killed by the Nazis, helped Jewish People escape being gassed to death in Adolph Hitler’s Concentration Camps. But there is a crucial difference between those people and the Pharaoh’s daughter. The Germans, who hid the Jews from Hitler, did not live in Hitler’s house. However, the King of Egypt’s daughter, who supposedly hid Moses’s identity from the Pharaoh, did live in her father’s house.
Jewish Bible scholars will argue that the Pharaoh’s daughter saved Moses since she desired a child of her own. But nowhere in the Jewish Bible does it state that the Pharaoh’s daughter was unable to bear children. So, why in the world would she adopt a Hebrew slave to be her son at the risk of losing her own life? Being a daughter of the royalty, if children are what she wished for, she could marry any Egyptian man within her father’s kingdom in order to have them.
It is interesting to note that according to another passage in the Jewish Bible Moses was an Egyptian. The seven daughters of Yitro tell their father “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock” [See Jewish Bible, Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:19]. Jewish Bible Scholars claim that the Midianite daughters of Yitro mistook Moses for an Egyptian since he looked like an Egyptian because of the type of clothing that he wore. First of all, the Jewish Bible does not say, “A man who looks like an Egyptian rescued us.” Second of all, the type of garments that Moses wore cannot reveal what ethnicity he belonged to. But Moses’s physical appearance and facial features can.
AN EGYPTIAN PRINCE
So then, how does one reconcile the above contradictions within the Jewish Bible regarding Moses’s true identity? Moses was not a lowly born Hebrew slave of Egypt. Neither was Moses adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter as a lowly Hebrew slave to be raised in the palace of Egypt as a royal Egyptian. Moses was an Egyptian born Prince. Okay, well if this is so, why didn’t Moses grow up to be the next King of Egypt? Why, instead, did Moses become the leader of the Jewish People? The answer to this question lies in the historical fact that many-a-dynasty follows the age-old ruling that the firstborn male of a ruler becomes the next king of the throne. It is called having an heir. Apparently, Moses was not the first born so he was not entitled to inherit the throne of Egypt.
According to the Jewish Bible there are numerous stories illustrating the firstborn’s legacy, which has to do with the bestowal of blessings and the befalling of curses upon the firstborn son. An example of the bestowal of blessing upon the first born son was the birth right that was given to the firstborn Jewish son, which consisted of him inheriting a double portion of all of the material wealth that his family owned [See Jewish Bible Parsha Ki Teze Deuteronomy 21:15-17]. An example of the befalling of curses upon the firstborn son was the tenth plague of Egypt in which God slayed every firstborn son of Egypt [See Jewish Bible Parsha Bo Exodus 12:29-30]. It was done as an act of restitution for the Pharoah having murdered the firstborn sons of the Hebrews by drowning them in the Nile River [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 1:15-16 and Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 1:22]. In another instance, the Jewish Bible illustrates how the birthright is taken away or given away to one who is not the firstborn son. Esav was the firstborn son of Isaac so he was destined to receive his father’s blessings. However, Jacob, the second son of Isaac, stole Esav’s birthright and blessings [See Jewish Bible Parsha Toldot Genesis 25:29-34 and Parsha Toldot Genesis 27:1-40]. In yet another instance, the Jewish Bible refers to the firstborn son as being, that which belongs to, and thereby has to be redeemed by the Lord [See Parsha B’Shalach Exodus 13:1-2 and Parsha B’Shalach Exodus 13:12-15, Parsha Ki Tisa Exodus 34:19-20, Parsha B’Midbar Numbers 3:40-51, Parsha B’Ha’alotkha Numbers 8:16-19, Parsha Korach Numbers 18:15-18, and Parsha Re’eh Deuteronomy 15:19-20]. Redeem means, “to deliver from sin...by means of a sacrifice offered for the sinner” [See Webster’s New World Dictionary].
Moses, who was the author of the Torah, wrote many stories illustrating the firstborn’s blessed yet cursed legacy for he, himself, was a victim of it. Moses knew that the firstborn son of the Pharoah, his brother, was to be appointed Egypt’s next ruler. Moses was not destined to be heir to the throne of Egypt. Yet being a ruler was in Moses’s blood. Moses, realizing that he was forbidden to sit upon his father’s throne, but yearning for his own sovereign power, wrote his own destiny, the Torah, by abandoning his father’s house and by making his own Exodus out of Egypt at risk of being executed by the Pharoah for treason in order to become the ruler of the Jewish People and the founder of the Jewish Nation.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
Since history repeats itself, until we learn from it, it teaches us that those who are oppressed cannot by themselves overthrow their oppressors. They have to rely on outside forces to help them gain their freedom. Outside help may come in the form of a leader who unites them into a resistance movement, or another group of people who assist them in escaping their servitude, or an unforeseen change in the socio-economic structure of the society that they are being held captive in.
According to the Jewish Bible the Semitic Hebrews were slaves in Egypt for two Centuries [See Jewish Bible Parsha Bo Exodus 12:40-41]. According to American History, the Black Africans had endured slavery in the United States for two hundred years. Both ethnic groups of people had to rely on outside forces to help liberate them from bondage. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Northern States of the United States became an industrialized nation. Thusly, it became more and more costly to feed, clothe, and shelter free slave labor than it did to mechanize the mass production of commercialized commodities. Hence, due to a shift in the economic structure of the Northern United States, the Blacks were given their freedom. In the Southern States of the United States it was a different story. America broke out in civil war in order to prevent the South from declaring a War of Independence from the North. The Southern States had grown economically very profitable through slavery by vowing to keep its free slave labor. So the Northern States assisted the Blacks in escaping their servitude in order to fulfill President Lincoln’s determination to prevent America from becoming a divided nation. The Blacks fled slavery through what became known as the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad consisted of a small group of White Americans who helped the Blacks flee from their southern white plantation owners by mapping out routes to the industrialized free northern regions. This was done by setting up clandestine lodging sites for the Black People to eat and rest in during their long trek from the South into the North. The Underground Railroad was an integral part in ensuring that the Black People gained their freedom.
Being that Moses was an outsider, non-Jew, himself, he was able to lead the Hebrews out of slavery, however, not without the collaboration of others. So Moses, an Egyptian Prince, made his own Underground Railroad and thereby became ruler over the Jewish People by becoming their prophet, leader, and savior.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
One individual that Moses recruited, who had the skills necessary to help him establish his Underground Railroad, was a Midianite Prince named Yitro. By being Moses’s philosophical advisor, Yitro made it possible for Moses to go down into legendary history as the Prophet of the Jewish People. According to the Jewish Bible Yitro acted as a religious advisor to Moses [See Jewish Bible Parsha Yitro Exodus 18:13-27]. Yitro was the Priest of Midian [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:16 and Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 3:1]. Moses came upon Yitro’s camp after he fled Egypt to avoid being executed by the Pharoah [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:15-22].
The following biblical passages from the Jewish Bible illustrate that Yitro did not live amongst his own people, the Midianites, even though he was a Midianite Priest. “Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock” [See Jewish Bible, Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:16-17]. “When the girls returned...their father asked them, ‘why have you returned so early today?” [See Jewish Bible, Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:18].
A question arises? Why was Yitro wondering why his daughters came home early from tending his sheep? A question arises? Why did Yitro’s daughters have to tend to their father’s flock all by themselves?
Yitro knew that in order for his daughters to tend to his flock they had to fight with the local male shepherds over the local well of water. If Yitro, the Priest of Median, dwelt amongst his own people, surely they would water Yitro’s sheep thereby relieving Yitro’s daughters of the burden of having to.
The following biblical passage from the Jewish Bible demonstrates that Yitro, a Midianite Priest, did not live amongst his own people, the Midianites. “Now Moses was tending the flock of Yitro, his father-in-law, priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.” Horeb is Mt. Sinai, which is refered to in biblical text as the mountain of God. [See the Jewish Bible in Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 3:1]. Yitro dwelt in the Sinai desert.
Yet another biblical passage from the Jewish Bible shows that Yitro, a Midianite Priest, did not live amongst his own people, the Midianites. “Spoils from the Midianite war were brought to the Israelite war camp on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho [See Jewish Bible Parsha Mattot Numbers 31:12]. The Midianite Nation lived near Moab. Moab was quite a distance away from Mt. Sinai in the Sinai Desert where Yitro lived.
A question arises? Why didn’t Yitro, a Midianite Priest, live amongst his own people, the Midianites?
The following biblical passage from the Jewish Bible tells us, “The Midianites were known for their idol worshipping ways as they served many gods” [See Jewish Bible Parsha Pinchas Numbers 25 and Parsha Mattot Numbers 31:16].
Apparently, Yitro, the priest of Midian, who adopted Moses as his son-in-law, was no longer interested in the Midianites’ polytheistic religion. So Yitro helped Moses created the monotheistic Jewish religion. If so, it makes sense that Moses sought council from Yitro for religious advisement on how to obtain his dream of being a ruler over a people of his own. After all, Yitro had been a priest of the Midianite people.
When Moses was eighty years old he returned to Egypt to become the Jewish redeemer. So for sixty years he lived with Yitro. Moses was eighty years old when he embarked upon his new career as the savior, prophet, and lawgiver, of the Jewish People [See parsha Vayera Exodus 7:1-7]. After Moses had grown up he saw the oppression of the Hebrews in Egypt, killed an Egyptian for beating a Hebrew, and fled Egypt [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:11-15].
After the exodus of the Jewish People from Egypt and before the Jewish People left the desert of Sinai to enter the land of Canaan they were commanded by God to decimate the Midianite nation [See Jewish Bible Parsha Mattot Numbers 31:1-18]. The reason that the Jewish Bible gives for wiping out the Midianite Nation had to do with an idol-worshipping incident at Peor [See Jewish Bible Parsha Mattot Numbers 31:16]. However, God did not order the Jewish People to wipe out the Moabite Nation for getting the Jewish People to worship the god of Baal Peor [See Jewish Bible Parsha Pinchas Numbers 25:1-2].
A disturbing question arises? Why the double standard? Why did God demand that the Jewish Nation commit genocide upon the Midianites for enticing the Jewish People to commit idolatry, however, God did not command the Jewish Nation to commit genocide upon the Moabites for seducing the Jewish People to commit idolatry?
Historically speaking, if a member of a society disagrees with its governing rulers that individual is either excommunicated and/or executed. The astronomer Copernicus, who was also the church administrator for the Roman Catholic Church in Poland, discovered that the earth revolves around the sun not the other way around as the church had proclaimed that it did. So he ordered that the publishing of his book, confirming his scientific assertion, not go into print until after his death in order to prevent the church from putting him to death. Moreover, the Roman Catholic Church of Italy demanded of Galileo, an astronomer who was a follower of Copernicus, under penalty of death and excommunication that he renounce the scientific fact that the earth does indeed rotate around the sun.
Contrary to what the Jewish Bible says, Moses ordered the Jewish Nation to destroy the Midianite Nation but not the Moabite Nation for two reaons. First, in order to reward Yitro for helping Moses establish the Jewish religion and thereby become the Prophet of the Jewish People. Second, in order to protect Yitro from being excommunicated and/or executed by the Midianites for denouncing his Midianite priesthood in favor of Judaism.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
A BLOODLESS COUP
The second individual that Moses recruited for his Underground Railroad project was Moses’s’ first born brother who was next in line to become the King of Egypt. He made it possible for Moses to go down into legendary history as the Savior of the Jewish People. According to the Jewish Bible the old Pharaoh who enslaved the Jews died and was replaced by a new Pharaoh [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:23] whom, according to the Jewish Bible, Moses encountered to utter the famous words of, “Let my people go!” [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 7:1-2 and Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 5:1] This new pharaoh was written into the Jewish Bible as the King of Egypt who suffered the fate of the ten plagues before he released the Hebrews from their servitude only to pursue them into the Reed Sea to have his military might swallowed up by its water’s depths. Notice how we have come full circle. But as I have already stated above, there is not one shred of evidence that the miracle of the Reed Sea happened. If no battle took place between the Hebrews and the Egyptians then how did the Jewish People make their Exodus out of Egypt?
Moses’s elite status of royalty as an Egyptian Prince gave him the leverage necessary to liberate the Jewish People from their bondage in Egypt without one drop of Egyptian or Jewish blood having to be spilled. He accomplished this by making an appeal to his firstborn brother who was the clout of Egypt as its new Pharaoh. According to the Hebrew Bible, the old Pharaoh of Egypt felt threatened by the Hebrews due to their rapidly growing population. So he enslaved them in order to regulate their numbers [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 1:8-10]. But the Pharaoh’s oppression of the Hebrew slaves increased their population growth [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 1:12]. In addition, the old Pharaoh made the Hebrew slaves perform labors that did not stimulate Egypt’s economic growth. Instead of being permitted to engage in a line of work that they were skilled in, such as being shepherds, farmers, fishermen, or merchants, the Hebrew slaves of Egypt were forced to perform masonry work building the store cities of Pithom and Rameses [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 1:11] and they had to make bricks without straw [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 5:7-8]. After two hundred years of having to feed, clothe, and shelter half a million Jewish slaves who were commanded to performed laborious tasks that did not enhance Egypt’s economy, the new Pharaoh realized that the Hebrews were a costly commodity that was taxing the dynasty of Egypt. And so, Moses’s offer to take the burdensome Hebrews off of the new Pharaoh’s back was granted. According to the Jewish Bible, Moses had to wait sixty-years before he was able to make the pilgrimage to Egypt in order to become the redeemer of the Jewish People [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 2:23]. This was because Moses had to wait until his Egyptian brother, the new Pharaoh, rose to power and his Egyptian father, who would slay Moses for committing treason, die.
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
THE FORGING OF A NATION
There was one other individual that Moses had to recruit for his Underground Railroad project. He had the necessary social status to appoint Moses as the Leader of the Jewish People. His name was Aaron. He made it possible for Moses to go down into legendary history as the leader of the Jewish People. Aaron influenced the Jewish clan to put their trust into Moses, an outsider. This was achieved through Moses’and Aaron’s collaboration to fabricate the story that Moses was Aaron’s long lost brother [See Jewish Bible Parsha Sh’mot Exodus 4:14 and Parsha Vayera Exodus 6:13 and Parsha Vayera Exodus 6:20 and Parsha Vayera Exodus 6:26-27]. In exchange for his cooperation Aaron and his descendants received exclusive rights to the priesthood of the Jewish religion. [See Jewish Bible Parsha Tetzavah Exodus 28:1].
The Jewish Bible is abundantly clear that any Jew other than Aaron and his descendants who attempts to be a member of the Kehuna will be put to death [See Jewish Bible Parsha Vayera Exodus 6:23, Parsha Tetzavah Exodus 28:1, Parsha Korach Numbers 18:6-7] and that only the Cohaneem (Jewish priests) are entitled to the first fruits of all the land [See Jewish Bible Parsha Korach Numbers 18:12-13 and Parsha Shofteem Deuteronomy 18:4-5], the first male off-spring of all livestock [See Jewish Bible Parsha Korach Numbers 18:14-19] as well as a designated share of the offerings and sacrifices brought to the designated place of public worship [See Jewish Bible Parsha Tzav Leviticus 6:14 -18, Parsha Tzav Leviticus 6: 24-29, Parsha Tzav Leviticus 7:9-10, Parsha Tzav Leviticus 7:1-8, Parsha Tzav Leviticus 7:28-35, Parsha Leviticus 22:10-16, Parsha Tetzaveh Exodus 29: 27-28, Parsha Shofteem Deuteronomy 18:3-5, Parsha Korach Numbers 18:8-15]. That’s a lot of wealth. With Aaron by his side, Moses was able to convince the Jews to leave their meager existence in Egypt behind by appealing to their two hundred year old slave mentality that, if they followed his leadership, they would not be a lowly rag tag group of wandering desert dwellers ever again. Rather, they would become a people of the highest order, a chosen people of God.
Moses was now well on his way to manifesting his goal of forging a nation out of a slave race. He set up a philosophical culture, a political government, and a social structure through the newfound Jewish religion. But as with so many rulers before him, Moses exchanged one form of slavery for another. Although Moses had freed the Hebrews from their physical bondage, he psychologically enslaved them by a) making the claim that the Jewish religion – its laws, customs, and rituals – were God sent versus man made and b) by defining God as a divine deity that was unknowable so that the Jewish People would believe in un-provable miracles, irrational concepts, and nonsensical ideas instead of bearing witness to the reasonable, sensible, and verifiable fact that God is the underlying force that governs a natural not a supernatural order of things.
To keep the Jewish People in a perpetual state of believing in the unbelievable, Moses established Torah U’Mesorah – the passing on of the folklore - the oral traditions of the Torah from one Jewish generation to the next and so on and so forth. According to the Jewish Bible, the first generation of Israelites, who underwent the exodus from Egypt, was made to wander in the desert of Sinai for forty years as their punishment for not having faith and trust in God [See Jewish Bible Parsha Shelach Numbers 14:21-23 and Parsha Shelach Numbers 14:28-35 and Parsha Devarim Deuteronomy 1:34-35]. But the real reason why they were made to wander through the Sinai desert for so long was so that their generation would die off to be replaced by the next generation of innocent, naïve youth who did not know the way in which the Jewish People actually made their exodus out of Egypt. This was so that their heads and hearts could be filled with bedtime stories around the campfire of how God performed miraculous wonders in order to redeem the Jewish People from their bondage in Egypt. And so to this very day, it is not the preservation of archeological digs that prove by way of tangible artifacts that the Jewish Bible is an authentic divine work of truth. What has become fossilized as the divine works of Jewish Heritage are the compilations of the writings of false legend known as the Five Books of Moses – Bereshit (Genesis), Sh’mot (Exodus), Vayikra (Leviticus), B’Midbar (Numbers), and D’vareem (Deuteronomy) – the foundation of the Torah – Jewish Bible.
CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN
THE CHOSEN PEOPLE
In conclusion the God of all gods, not the Jewish God, was teaching me through my own personal life experiences of living amongst the Orthodox Jewish People and studying the Jewish Bible about the truth. The truth was the reason why I returned to Judaism and ironically the truth was the reason why I left Judaism. The truth was that the Jewish People did not take their own religion seriously and why? It is because according to the Jewish Bible, itself, the Jewish religion is a ... fake. There I said it. I believe that deep down inside they know it, too. How else to explain why they neither love God, nor fear God? This they express through their willful malicious, vicious baseless hatred of their own People. According to the Jewish Lunar Calendar, it has been nearly three and a half thousand years and counting, yet the Jewish People are not the least bit concerned about their own afterlife. Otherwise they woulda, shoulda, coulda have gotten their act together by now and uprooted most of their ungodly conduct. Instead with each passing day, the Jewish Klal is becoming more and more fragmented. And while the State of Israel once again exists, its citizens are no longer made up strictly of those who observe the Jewish religion, as it was thousands of years ago. Rather, ninety nine percent of all of Jewry has fallen away from Judaism altogether, preferring to assimilate into the secular way of life of the Gentiles. For millennia my Jewish family tree believed that the Jewish People were the chosen people of God. What my twig of a self now knows is that God transcends all religions. Religion is not a prerequisite for knowing the Lord. Whoever yearns to have a divine relationship with God may do so as long as he or she sincerely strives to observe morals and ethics – the very foundation of life itself.
In spite of the fact that my grandparents built a Jewish Shul, during the epic era of the 1930’s Depression in the United States of America, with their own finances, the Orthodox Jewish community refused to let them enter it during the Jewish High Holy Day services because they did not believe in having to pay dues for Jewish prayer services. So they left the Jewish way of life. In spite of the fact that my parents reached out to the Orthodox Jewish community for help, because our family was not a member of their Jewish Shul, they refused to lift a finger to come to the aid of my sister who was a victim of violent anti-Semitism. So they, too, left the Jewish way of life. In spite of the fact that I had sacrificed what little I had in order to become a God loving, God fearing Ba’alat Teshuva, the Orthodox Jewish community refused to accept my existence, even though God did, which delayed my marriage to such an extent that I was too old to bear any Jewish children after I got married. So I, too, left the Jewish way of life. As a result of the Jewish Peoples’ baseless hatred towards their own People the Jewish People did to me what Adolph Hitler, the Leader of World War II Germany’s Nazi Holocaust, was never able to do. The Jewish People wiped out three generations of my Jewish lineage. Hence, it is not due to the non-Jew’s anti-Semitic discrimination against me, but rather it is due to my own Peoples’ anti-Semitic discrimination against me that the Jewish spark within my Jewish soul has forever been extinguished.
According to Halacha one is obligated to speak what otherwise is regarded as the Avarah of Loshan Hora/Richilus if it is true and it pertains to a Michshol .
According to Halacha (Jewish Law) in the Torah in the book called Vayikra (Leviticus) in Parsha (Portion) Kidosheem in Chapter 19 in Verse 16 it states, "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand idly by the blood of thy neighbor: I am the LORD." And in Chapter 19 in Verse 17 it states, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart; thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor and not bear grudge because of him."
These two verses together communicate that (1) you shall not spread unnecessary gossip, and (2) instead of doing nothing you shall do something about violence being committed against your neighbor and (3) you shall keep your own heart free of hatred by rebuking your neighbor.
So being that the Jewish People refuse to do the Mitzvot of the Torah, such as committing the Avarah of a Michshol, then one is obligated to speak Loshan Hora/Richilus about them if it is true to warn others to stay away from them. Therefore, even though it may seem so, it is not because of my own bitterness that I wrote, “Confessions of an Orthodox Jewess”. It is because I felt obligated as a human being to warn others to avoid those who will hurt them for no just cause. While I myself was taught that Judaism is one thing I was made to learn that it is hypocritically something else. Due to what I have experienced during the sixteen year period that I lived as a religiously observant Orthodox Jewess within the Orthodox Jewish community, I am forced to conclude that neither the leaders of Orthodox Jewry, nor the individual members of Orthodox Jewry are doing anything to stop the collective transgressions of the Orthodox Jewish People, the worst of them being Sinot Chineem. Because the Orthodox Jewish People without provocation have the ongoing potential to harm any uninformed individual – Jew/Jewess and non-Jew alike – who desires or wishes to be involved with Judaism, either on a personal basis or by donating their resources to religious Jewish institutions, the moral and ethical obligation to warn them that they are being deceived falls upon me. This is because they will be doing so under a wrongful belief that the Orthodox Jewish People are a Holy people: a Moral and Ethical people: a Chosen people by God.
[For more information on the workings of the Clergy Bully see the Clergy Bully web page of the BullCrap Busters website].