Saturday, February 18, 2012

Le havdil beyin kodesh ve hol


Le havdil beyin kodesh ve hol

‘To separate between the holy and the mundane or every day’.

At the end of Shabbat, we say these words to separate the holiness of the Shabbat and the mundane weekdays in Havdala - in Hebrew the holy lashon the word Havdala means to divide or to separate. To make something special one sets it apart from that which would taint or detract from its holiness or specialness. Shabbat – our holy day of rest is different from the other days of the week in that our focus is on spirituality, connecting with Hashem and refinement of character in many ways. We reflect and study holy texts and pray as a congregation and a family.

While saying Havdala tonight, I had this flash of inspirational thought. I often do have these amazing insights into life and issues while studying Torah or texts and even while praying. It is kind of hard when you have these marvellous insights on Shabbat and can’t write them down for future reference.

When we are giving so much attention to the gay lobby groups about their push for ‘same sex marriage rites’ to be acknowledged as legal marriages, we are ignoring some really obvious facts. First marriage is when two people enter an institution of holiness and they consecrate each to the other and this can only happen if one of the pair happens to be one sex and the other the other sex. Adam was created first and Eve or Hava was made from the substance of his rib, from his essence to stand opposite him, to be his help mate.  She is the other half of his soul, both apart from him, yet of him, the same way when we have a week of seven days and one is set apart as holy – a day of rest. People are married for a reason and usually with G-D ‘s help to be married for the term of their time on this earth. Yes it happens that sometimes there are divorces but in a stable society, they are few because children of the generations after are bought up wisely and to listen to the counsel of their parents in choosing a partner in life or if the parent is not well versed in matching, someone like a shadhan or matchmaker is found to do it for the parents.

Choosing a life partner is too important a task to be left up to the children to manage on their own.  Marriage – real marriage is not about love.  It is about commitment to a lifelong contractual arrangement between a man and a woman and their families ultimately. The love and affection is developed over time and through the commitment of the two people. It has a spiritual dimension to it that most people in Western societies ignore or are unaware of this dimension. Most marriages in Western countries are based on purely physical attraction - lust based or the idea that one can marry into a family for material comfort and wealth. In the latter case, some find themselves unhappy but the rewards of staying are greater than going and many opt to stay.

A union between two men or two women cannot equal or be viewed in the light of that of a man and a woman for the obvious reasons as regards procreation, but also in the terms of light and darkness, maturity and personal growth of the individuals concerned. Yes we can respect their rights to enjoying a happy and fulfilled relationship even though we do not necessarily agree with the nature of their union, our society is supportive of their right to have that union recognised and that should be enough. Frankly they are often like the child who wants to go to court to fight to have the driving age brought down to 12 years . Most states determine that eighteen is the age of maturity as regards driving a car. At eighteen years of age, the majority of people do have some maturity of judgement that enables them to drive safely, one would hope, but at times such is not the case. They have to develop it over time and with experience.

A good man of letters and a Rabbi is maligned again and again on the internet by a person who is a self styled crusader for ‘Gay Rights’ and frankly I just want to say ‘Oh for GOODNESS SAKE grow up!’ His immature sniping and whining resonates again and again. If we were to judge all gay people by this person, then I believe there would be a lot more prejudice against gay people because of the way this person behaves. He attacks people, slanders people and misrepresents their life situation and publishes it all over the internet. It is truly attention seeking behaviour of a rather unsavoury nature.

Now this Rabbi, along with many others, is being blamed for young gay people suiciding and quite frankly it is not about their weaknesses as there are weak heterosexuals as well, but it is about the personal flaws and personality of some that may have led to their journey into this dim world. Gay people are often gay because their is some weakness or link in their psyches, not because of ill treatment or worst. It remains to be seen whether parliament will continue to waste their time on this.  Maybe there are supposed 'gay' youth who do suicide because of people like this crusader for gay rights Mikeybear. Just imagine a young vulnerable person having a bit of a gender identity crisis and maybe because of personality clashes in their family they are suffering a bit of depression and anxiety.
Along comes Mikeybear. 'Oh, dear, the problem is that you are gay and misunderstood'. The kid may not be gay but just experiencing a normal adolescent stage in development on the way to forming a healthy heterosexual identity. So now this child feels pressured into having a 'gay' experience by the more experienced homosexual person who is indulging in quite predatory sexual behaviour.
Now imagine after having such an experience, this young person may feel deep down that something is not right. They may want to extricate themselves from the experience and the person who has led them down this path of sexual experimentation into deviant behaviour, but they become caught up in the gay culture and social milieu and they feel pressure to be 'gay' and they feel not right about being homosexual.
I have seen such a thing happen. Many many years ago in the 1980's when I returned from Israel I saw a friend who had just such pressure put on her by the gay community and I tried to help her. I remember when she decided to leave a relationship with another gay woman and live by herself. She had subtle, but constant harrassment and pressure. She told me that she felt she was not really gay but it was a stage she had to go through. I could only be supportive as a heterosexual friend. I was glad that at some stage she entered a relationship with a man, who unfortunately was not Jewish, but that was better than being in a series of relationships with gay women mostly not Jewish who were all very dysfunctional and actually quite strange. Later I met her last lesbian partner in a video store who informed me that she too was not gay, but now experiencing 'straight' life and I wondered just what was it that led these women into this dysfunctional and strange lifestyle.
I think for some people this would lead to their suicides rather than pressure from the outside of the normal heterosexual community. These people may feel immense shame and anguish and feel that they cannot have a normal sexual relationship with a spouse because  for them, intimacy is associated with disgust and shame. It is recorded that often boys at British boarding schools do experiment and later go on to lead normal heterosexual lives with their wives and often a mistress or two. Many people in the normal mainstream society are very understanding and sensitive to the emotional needs of homosexual people for love and acceptance. Truly gay people that is.

We have to separate between the holy and sacred elements of living and those that are not so kosher. In doing so, we must be honest. We cannot allow deviant behaviour to be called normal or become accepted as normal, because honestly it is not. We can always be sensitive to and accepting of gay people as human beings and be supportive of their social rights, but we must not allow them as a vocal and aggressive minority hi jack society and social values. That is why any push for same sex marriages to be legalised and on par with the institution of marriage between a man and a woman must fail.

No comments: