Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thoughts for 5767 - Lust!

If any Rabbi anywhere in the World is going to quote from a blog in his or her sermon during the High Holy Days… it sure as heck won’t be this one.

Today’s topic: Lust.

On Yom Kippur we symbolically pound our chest for each of a series of transgressions committed during the prior year. In past years, I have joked that I double up for the transgressions involving “lust”, yet now that I have been married for 2 years I wonder if it is ok to lust since no matter how hot any woman might be.. there is no way she could be as terrific as my wife! I am lucky in many ways, and one of those reasons is that Trophy Wife doesn’t care if I point out a good looking woman walking down the street.

For some reason a well meaning very orthodox relative hooked me up with a subscription to an ultra-orthodox newspaper. I have mentioned here in the past that I get a kick out of reading some of the letters to the editor on the editorial page. Hopefully the readers have enough savvy to see past some of their “news reporting” policies. A 9/11 insert had a “news” article about how the Left Undermined National Security Pre-9/11 that was written by David Horowitz - the same buffoon who hit all the talk shows this summer defending that disgraceful jackass Ann Coulter for her uncalled for attacks on the 9/11 widows from NJ. Their “news” is also heavily edited…a reprinted wire service article about a politician being treated for breast cancer edited out any reference to the word “breast”.

One other thing about this paper - they never ever show a picture of a female. I have seen on the Orthodox blogs that a book publisher had to alter a book cover in an ad because a Jewish book had a picture of a young girl on its cover!! I wonder what happens when they have an Amber Alert involving a female! These policies are due to strict rules concerning modesty.. .. also referred to as “tznius”. The ultras have strict rules about how women “present” themselves in public, ostensibly so Moshe Yankel doesn’t have to double down on the lust sins like I do. There is a strict dress code involving long sleeves and long skirts, and a married woman’s hair must be totally covered since a man should not see it. In addition, the voice of a woman also tends to be arousing.. (Do single guys still save answering machine messages from hot chics who return phone calls?) Therefore they do not listen to a woman sing… AND some go out of their way to avoid hearing a woman speak in public. This is actually written in the book of Berachot and I got this info from a website promoting nudism in Israel!.

Which makes me wonder about a thought provoking concept - Hasidic Nudists… and amazingly I am not the first blogger to bring up this concept. That’s right folks.. There is an Israeli based “naturists” aka nudist website that has a lengthy article presenting Talmudic arguments why nudism is permissible. (The guy who wrote it has since died). The nudists are entitled to their opinion, but I don’t know enough to debate this.. Keep in mind where the concept of clothing originated… and how the multibillion dollar fashion industry was born. When Adam was caught eating forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.. God wanted to have a chat with him. He called out to Adam but there was no response.. Then he tried a 2nd time and when God asked him where he was the 1st time.. Adam said he couldn’t come out to see him because he was naked and embarrassed… Is this why we wear clothes? Because of a lame-o excuse? What would have happened if he said the dog ate his homework… Would we starve dogs? Nonetheless, Adam later scolded the snake telling him “Listen Tough Guy, years from now you and your buddies on a plane will be the biggest overhyped summer movie flop of all time."

But here is why I think the concept is not so far out of Left Field.

Years ago when I was in college, I went on a beach trip with some buddies to Sandy Hook. One of the guys went for a walk with me and as we advanced from one beach to the next, a guy walks by with his shmeckle hanging out. It didn’t even register right away.. But a minute later I saw a tuchus and I started to wonder what the heck was going on. Well unbeknownst to me at the time, there was a nude beach! We decided to walk through it to get to the next beach and then we walked through it again on our way back to our original beach, And yes we kept our clothes on.

Here is what I found interesting.. Whereas guys drool over babes in bikinis on regular beaches.. there wasn’t really any of that going on at the nude beach. I also used to work with someone who went to nude beaches (Thank God I didn’t see him there that day!) and we discussed the atmosphere at these beaches.. I agreed with him… It seemed to be a very normal healthy environment… and people who look at the nude body there do not sexualize it. It is a very odd concept in a society where we drool over naked women and porn is so popular, but if you saw how those people interacted, once they were over the initial discomfort of their first trip there.. they all seemed very normal and it was quite a healthy approach. Incidentally I am sure the multi billion porn industry is against nude beaches because if nudity were to be more mainstream in society…. then their portfolio of publications, movies, and websites would seem less “forbidden”

I can’t imagine Nudist Chusids, but what is the deal with sexualizing women to such an extent? Is the goal to make any display of skin erotic? Incidentally many women have said they are not visually stimulated by naked men in magazines… to them the eroticism comes from the intimacy and closeness. Like the bikini beach… guys lust by using their imagination about what they cannot see. So what is the big deal if a woman wears a short skirt or a sleeveless shirt? Is glimpsing any part of a woman’s “forbidden” elbow or kneecap or hair going to really cause that much lust to stir in the heart? Or maybe just maybe does exposure to it on a regular basis make it very common and no big deal? Think about how many guys check out women’s breasts on a topless beach. There are so many of them there they all kind of get lost in the shuffle. That is why Scores has lap dances.. because after awhile the whole topless scene gets kind of dull.

Modesty rules are different if you are in the presence of members of your gender.. But what happens if there is a gasp homosexual in the midst? And as we know from “Trembling Before G-d” there are Jewish homosexuals although I don’t believe for a New Jersey minute that Golan Cipel is one of them. I think Governor McSleazy’s book should be filed in the fiction section and I wish he would just go away already. He didn’t resign because he is gay.. He resigned because of all the other shenanigans that were going on in Trenton and the gayness was just a decoy to divert attention from his other problems. I mean c’mon he was making comments about Golan “Heights of Passion” while his poor unknowing wife lay in a hospital bed preparing to give birth after a difficult pregnancy? I happen to know Cipel’s lawyer…and although I have not seen him in the 2 years since this story broke, there is no way he would look into TV Cameras and make false accusations that McSleazy was sexually harassing his client!

Here is a goal I set for the New Year.. Every time a beautiful non - tznius woman walks down the street and I point it out to my wife.. I will also make it very clear that no matter how hot that woman may be… even if she looks like Liz Cho… I would rather be with my wife!. Because these hot babes’ beauty is only skin deep… but all wives beauty transcends that.. Our wives put up with our crap, create a beautiful home for us.. cook for us…laugh at our bad jokes, and love us despite our shortcomings.. Who would want to spend time with some hot chic walking down the street in a miniskirt who might just be a psycho or a chain smoker, or who knows what? C’mon guys… let’s make 5767 the year that we let our wives know how much we appreciate them…

Now we will have to ask the Rabbi if lusting for your own wife is a chest beater. If so, we may have to fast an extra day this Yom Kippur!

Happy New Year!


Pumpeinu Malkeinu said...

no matter how hot any woman might be.. there is no way she could be as terrific as my wife!

Funny, I once heard the line, "no matter how hot any woman might be, somewhere, some guy is sick of putting up with her crap." But anyway Nate, have you ever lusted ON the day of Yom Kippur itself? (remind me not to tell you about new years' 5752, I'm still beating my chest extra hard for that transgression...) l'shana tova one and all!

alberich said...

If I were a Rabbi, I'd quote this blog entry in a High Holiday sermon (which might explain why I'm not a Rabbi? ;) ).

Actually, in think in Judaism, I should think it's ok to lust after your wife, but maybe not so much in other religions.

Nate said...

Hmm.. Pumpeenoo... 1991.. I wonder what the heck was going on that fateful year. I can honestly say I have never lusted on the day of Yom Kippur itself; I think I am too concerned with getting through the day, and sex is the last thing on my mind on that one day of the year.. Who has the energy?

As for alberich.. I can't imagine a religion that doesn't allow you to lust for your wife. Even Judaism which has rules against touching your wife during her "impure" period, doesn't forbid the lusting.. it just doesn't allow acting on the aforementioned lust.