Sunday, January 03, 2010

Taking Toevah to its logical conclusion

(1) Murray and Irwin, both middle-aged divorced men with children, are sitting side by side in shul. Irwin leans in. He whispers, "I've been thinking about the Ex-Wife. She's gotten divorced again. I think about her all the time. How short-sighted I was. What a great mom she is. How happy we were. Murray, I want to remarry her."

Taking back your divorced wife after she's been divorced a second time is called a Toevah by the book of Deuteronomy. Murray knows it. Instead of answering Irwin, he edges away, swallowing back his revulsion. Later, he snitches to the Rabbi what Irwin said. Irwin never gets another aliyah in that shul again.

(2) Roochie is a precocious child. Top of her class in the local black hat school for girls.She's also a fine athlete. Skiing is her sport. Per the rules she always wears a knee-length skirt as she swooshes down the slopes. One day, she's fed up. The skirt slows her down. Makes her look like a freak among the others on the mountain. She goes to her favorite teacher and says, "I know its wrong, so please don't judge me, but sometimes I really wish I could wear pants."

For a woman, wearing what pertainith to a man is also a toevah. Deuteronomy 22.5. The teacher gasps, and rushes to see the principle who regrets it, of course, but feels he has no choice. Roochie is expelled.

(3) Shmuel Dovid, a sharper with a 19 year old daughter, knows all the angles and all the tricks. Possessed of  the mind of a master criminal, he's never had the courage to carry out his schemes. He lives honestly. Working out rip-off plans is only a hobby. One day, after too many shots at kiddush, he slurs to his buddy the details of an especially complicated plot. "This is as sweet as they come," he mumbles,"An easy hundred million. Wish I could do it."

Word of Shmuel Dovid's toevadik desires (Deuteronomy 25:12) quickly spread around the neighborhood. Matchmakers stop calling. Inquiries put out by the Shumel Dovid family on behalf of their daughter are rebuffed. The girl dies an old maid.


Sound farfetched? Don't kid yourself. This is precisely the sort of thing that happens all the time to OJ men who admit homosexual urges. They're ostracized at shul, tossed out of school, their shidduch-seeking relatives go radioactive. And this happens before any act of sodomy has been committed. The mere confession of a toevah desire is enough to start the shunning. If we were a fair and consistent people, people like Irwin, Roochie, and Shmuel Dovid would be in the same boat. They aren't. Why?

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