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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.


Getting Wild On Valentine’s Day?

by WrathofG-d ( 5 Comments › )
Filed under Open thread at February 11th, 2009 - 2:52 pm

A zoo in Michigan has come up with a unique way to spend Valentine’s Day for all you lovers out there.  For a fee of $50 you can come to the zoo with your significant other and watch animals have sex.  Unfortunately however, because of the overwhelming interest, the tickets have already sold out.



Zoorotica program at Binder Park Zoo, Michigan

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Chocolate and flowers are nice, but this Valentine’s Day why not take your honey for a walk on the wild side?

“We’re going to talk about animal reproduction, the different animals here at Binder Park Zoo and their little quirks, different things that get them going to help them reproduce,” said Jenny Parnett of Binder Park Zoo.

It’s a Valentine’s Day date that’s sure to ruffle some feathers.

Binder Park Zoo says love birds are flocking to sign up for the Zoorotica program. From frolicking frogs to the love-lives of leopards, this will give you an intimate look at animal mating rituals.

The R-rated show lets you go where no zoo guests have gone before.

Tickets are sold out, but there is a waiting list. Just call the zoo office to add your name.


The following is from the Binder Zoo’s own advertisement for this event.

Experienced and unabashed staff will lead you on a tour exploring the sexual lives of animals. Biting, clawing, scratching and mid-air acrobatics, animals have a way of reproducing that can be beautiful and brutal at the same time! The love tour will end with hors d’oeuvres and a special DVD presentation. Each couple will receive a small gift to commemorate their experience! This is an adults only event and participants must be 21 years or older.

Looking for more? The Holiday Inn of Battle Creek is offering participants of the “ZOOROTICA” tour a special discounted overnight stay for $129. Other packages are available that include overnight room, late check out at 2:00pm, champagne or sparkling grape juice, rose petals on the bed, chocolate dipped strawberries, and dinner for 2 in the Cereal City Grill with a special Valentine’s menu.


Phelps Takes The Hit For Taking A Hit.

by WrathofG-d ( 19 Comments › )
Filed under Open thread at February 6th, 2009 - 3:51 pm

Michael Phelphs Gets CanniBUSTED!

Phelps Rips A Tube

Earlier this week, 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps sparked up controversy when a photo showing him smoking from a bong with some buds last November at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.  Today, it is reported that because of his seedy behavior, he will jointly be suspended from competition for three months by USA Swimming, have financial support from that body cut off for the same period, and will be losing his endorsement from the Kellogg Co.   His entire wacky career hasn’t gone up in smoke however as Visa, Inc., Speedo, luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega and sports beverage PureSport’s maker Human Performance Labs, have chosen to stand by their ace.  In the end however, I would guess that he is just glad that he didn’t end up in the joint for twenty years.


Ok, so this news isn’t really that new, or important.  But, I wanted to give us all something less serious to talk about this Friday evening!  But, for me that means that it is almost Shabbat (our beloved bride), thus I must be going!

But you can consider this your Friday evening Soap Box (Open Thread).