Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pretty brutal, eh?

As the Chassanim were being called up to the Torah this week by R' Gerlitzky I marveled at their well faces and wondered if any would be at 770 in the coming week for my newly-customary 6:45 Shacharis. As the Torah was being read I wondered if any of them were taking eternal lessons from the portion that has fallen to their lot, and if any of them noticed how brutal this week's Parsha was in that department. Here's a short summary thereof:
Kohen (Aliyah #1): Marry some beautiful woman on the battlefield, but first see her debased.

Have two wives, one of whom you hate.

Testify in court that your son should be die.
Whoever got Levi (Aliyah #2) got off easy- the only thing in there is a prohibition against cross-dressing, though I suppose that this week's crop of clean shaven grooms might have a hard time with that one.
Yisroel (Aliyah #3): If a man marries, hates her, and claims she wasn't all pure and virginal when the nuptials occurred.

Get into a massive fight with your in-laws.

Pay lots of money for defaming your wife.

Result in your wife being stoned (not in a good way).

No Adultery!

Seduce a betrothed girl? You both die.

Rape a betrothed girl? Only you die.

Seduce a single girl, pay a fine.
Fourth Aliyah: No promiscuous men or women.
Fifth Aliyah: Guy divorces his wife, she gets remarried, the next husband divorces her too. First husband wants her back? No go, Joe.
Sixth Aliyah (Finally, something propitious!): If a guy marries a new wife, then he doesn't have to serve in the army. Not only that, but he has to gladden her for a whole year.
Seventh Aliyah: When there are two brothers, and one of them dies without issue, then the wife of the deceased has to either marry her brother-in-law or perform a ceremony, at which point his refusal to perpetuate his brother's memory is publicized throughout Israel.

If two guys are fighting, and the wife of one of them comes in to rescue her husband, and grabs the embarrassing place of the other guy, then her palm gets cut off. No pity.
At least Maftir (Aliyah 7.5)is relatively simple. All you have to do is wipe out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heaven. Benign stuff, really.
So there you have it folks- five of this week's eight possible portions were filled with cautionary tales re: marriage. Hope those Chassanim take it to heart, along with the hangovers they're undoubtedly enjoying.


bonne said...


Chezky said...


Just like a guy said...

Sara: Yes?

Chezky: Yes.

Menashe said...

The penalty for seducing a single girl is much more severe than paying a fine. You've got to marry her and can't ever divorce her. Unless she doesn't want to (and why on earth wouldn't she?)

sarabonne said...


Anarchist Chossid said...

So, what's the bottom line?

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

Did you know that Evan (my husband, of course) got the Sota Parsha for his aliyah at his AUFRUF!?! The rabbi wasn't thinking, and I was soooo mad.

Luckily, he had a second aufruf a few weeks later in West Orange.

Just like a guy said...

Menashe: In the end, it all boils down to money.

Sara: Oh.

CA: Bottom line of what?

Chaviva: I'm sure there are some positives to be learned out from that, right? After all, isn't the Parsha about a Nazir in the same Aliyah?

e said...

This was my first week in shul in a long time, and it was nice to jump back into Judaism with hearing about the ancient Israelites' sexual mores.

Of course the rabbi's sermon had nothing to do with the parsha. Why let the Bible distract you from your real message: bittul tzum rebbe'n?

Just like a guy said...

You have a very chassidish Rabbi in your Shul.

e said...

It wasn't my shul. It's the young and cool people's shul in LA.

Just like a guy said...

The young and cool people wish to hear about nullification to the Rebbe?

e said...

Would they rather here about the Bible?

Menashe said...

The young and cool people need to hear about nullification to the Rebbe.

Just like a guy said...

e: Which is more threatening, the Bible or Hiskashrus?

Menashe: But do they want to hear it?

Menashe said...

Who cares?

Just like a guy said...


Modeh B'Miktsas said...

If they care let them speak.

Just like a guy said...

Actions speak louder than words- these people probably left the congregation where such things were spoken of once, and they can easily leave again.