Go forth. That’s what lekh lekha means. I read this week’s torah portion at the beginning of the week and deliberately ignored it all week. A new method. I wanted to see what would stick with me through the week. This is what stuck:
1. circumcision. very specific instructions for circumcision including who should be circumcised and how.
2. war. war between kings.
3. lying. saying the wife was actually the sister in order to find favor and receive gifts.
Aside from the extensive description of circumcision and war, what stuck with me was the misogyny of some of the text. I wonder if it stuck because of the misygyny, or if I just missed the portions that were not misogynistic. Is our society so focused on suffering that that is the story we see first? Or I see first?
Last week, in a town near us, a young girl (15) was gang raped by a group of about 10 boys ages 15-21 while 20 or so people looked on and videotaped the crime. I want to see those boys, every single one of them, pay deeply for the pain they caused. They not only raped a young girl, they raped our society as a whole. They treated this young girl as if she were not human. As if she were chattel. As if she didn’t matter. For their own pleasure. How different is this from saying your wife is actually your sister and allowing the reigning ruler to bed her for cattle, land and jewels? How do we define what is rape?
I’m not sure there is any connection to the two stories that are in my head this week, other than the fact that it is my head they are in. But there they sit. Connected.
I need to read around the misogyny.