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~Open Thread: Friday G-d Edition~

by WrathofG-d ( 101 Comments › )
Filed under Judaism, Open thread, Religion, World at June 12th, 2009 - 11:49 am


For personal reasons, I am going to post this very early. May this be a thread where we leave behind the anger, hate, and negativity and instead use this space to bring positivity, blessings, and G-d to our day!


Shabbat is one of the best known and least understood of all Jewish observances. People who do not observe Shabbat think of it as a day filled with stifling restrictions, or as a day of prayer like the Christian Sabbath. But to those who observe Shabbat, it is a precious gift from G-d, a day of great joy eagerly awaited throughout the week, a time when we can set aside all of our weekday concerns and devote ourselves to higher pursuits.

In Jewish literature, poetry and music, Shabbat is described as a bride or queen, as in the popular Shabbat hymn Lecha Dodi Likrat Kallah (come, my beloved, to meet the [Sabbath] bride).

The custom is to face the rear of the synagogue during the last stanza of “Lecha Dodi” to symbolize that we are actually greeting a royal guest.

Of course, the real guest we are greeting is the Presence of the Almighty, which descends upon us every Shabbat. We need only be on the correct wavelength to tune in! It is said “more than Israel has kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept Israel.”

Just like a Jew is not a complete without Shabbat, and a groom is not complete without his bride – a human is not complete without G-d. Contrary to our instinct, this is often most true when bad things are occurring, and when we fully commit to something difficult. It is at these times that we must realize that G-d is not punishing us with the struggle, but instead actually blessing us with an opportunity to grow, and become better. Like marriage, Shabbat is an opportunity to commit to something larger than ourselves, and is done by choosing to forsake that which are easy to us. In the end (if done right) we realize that only through the devotion, and challenge were we able to see and experience our full potential. I believe this to be a true lesson for almost everything. Every moment is the work, and every moment is worth it.

Although not about marriage, or Shabbat, this story illustrates this concept better than I could even attempt.


For those Jews who guard the Shabbat, may it be blessed and meaningful. For those of you who do not, or are not Jewish, have a wonderful weekend, and rest of your day.

Either way, enjoy this mostly open, and hopefully G-d blessed, and positive thread.

Adultery: Is It Really That Bad?

by WrathofG-d ( 29 Comments › )
Filed under Judaism, Open thread, Religion at February 13th, 2009 - 12:48 pm

This Saturday is not only Shabbat for the Jewish people, but it is also Valentines Day. A day when we, as a society discuss, celebrate, and emphasize love, and commitment.   Therefore, below is an article on these topics, which I considered exceptionally thought provoking.  I hope you do as well.

So, as I do every Friday, I wish you all a meaningful Shabbat, and a wonderful weekend.



Why is Adultery So Bad?

(Thank You: Aish HaTorah)

Some years ago a rabbinic colleague of mine in Chicago was giving a class on the Ten Commandments to a secular audience. Not one given to apologetics, he staunchly defended the death penalty the Bible prescribes for adultery. The rabbi argued that society as a whole, even today, would be a much better place if adultery was a capital crime.

Everyone in the class vociferously disagreed, saying that the Biblical punishment was too harsh. Except for one young man who sat there silently. This fellow had suffered through horrible teen years in large part because his father had been involved in an adulterous relationship. When he spoke up, all he said was “I see nothing wrong with the Torah’s penalty.” His words brought the rest of the class – who knew of his background – to immediate silence.

* * *

This week’s Torah portion, Yitro, tells of the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Why did God single out these ten? In analyzing the Decalogue, many commentaries note how the Ten Commandments focus primarily on relationships: between God and man, between man and man, between children and parents. Central, to any successful relationship is fidelity, loyalty. Without that, any relationship is bound to flounder.

Let’s examine some classical commentaries on the commandment prohibiting adultery.

Nachmanides (13th century Spain) describes our relationships as a “ladder of love.” He says that a person must first love himself before he can successfully love his spouse. Then, if he has formed a solid relationship with his spouse, this will help develop his relationship with the Almighty.

The converse, however, can also be true. A man who is disloyal to his spouse will most likely be disloyal to his God as well.

The Midrash Mechilta says this idea is alluded to by the placement of different commandments on the two tablets. The seventh commandment, the prohibition against adultery, appears opposite the second commandment, “Do not have other gods before me.” Suggests the Mechilta, this positioning is not accidental. It is to hint to us that one who is disloyal to one’s spouse will eventually be disloyal to God.

* * *

Another Midrash observes that the Hebrew word for adultery, “tinaf,” can be split into two words, “ten af,” which translates as “giving anger.” The Midrash explains that adultery is an action particularly abhorrent to the Almighty – which particularly invokes His anger. The hallmark of the Jewish People has historically been the stability of family life. One who commits adultery violates and ignores this hallowed tradition.

Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra (12th century), says that adultery also violates the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Adultery is a grievous sin against one’s neighbor – treating the neighbor in a way that one would not want oneself to be treated.

Maimonides explains adultery in powerful, eternal terms. He says that the entire purpose of creation is to establish “Shalom Bayit” – harmony between husband and wife. The adulterer destroys that harmony and, in the process, undermines the very purpose of creation.


The Joys Of Sharia!

by WrathofG-d ( 16 Comments › )
Filed under Islamists, Religion, Sharia (Islamic Law) at February 9th, 2009 - 5:59 pm

Saudi Arabia:  47 Year Old Man Marries 8 Year Old Girl Against Her Mother’s Will


Just in case your Western sensibilities caused you to foolishly “know” that this must have been a fluke, a miscarriage of justice in Saudi Arabia, or an obvious sin against “the perfect Religion of Peace”, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia’s highest authority, gave his religious opinion.


Top Saudi cleric: OK for young girls to wed

— The debate over the controversial practice of child marriage in Saudi Arabia was pushed back into the spotlight this week, with the kingdom’s top cleric saying that it’s OK for girls as young as 10 to wed.

“It is incorrect to say that it’s not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger,” Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, the kingdom’s grand mufti, said in remarks quoted Wednesday in the regional Al-Hayat newspaper. “A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she’s too young are wrong and they are being unfair to her.”

The judge, Sheikh Habib Abdallah al-Habib, rejected a petition from the girl’s mother, whose lawyer said the marriage was arranged by her father to settle a debt with “a close friend.” The judge required the girl’s husband to sign a pledge that he would not have sex with her until she reaches puberty.

Al-Sheikh was asked during a Monday lecture about parents forcing their underage daughters to marry.

“We hear a lot in the media about the marriage of underage girls,” he said, according to the newspaper. “We should know that Shariah law has not brought injustice to women.”

Christoph Wilcke, a Saudi Arabia researcher for Human Rights Watch, recently told CNN that his organization has heard many other cases of child marriages.”