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Sat Dec 31, 2011, 10:16 AM

Yossi Sarid: Orthodox Judaism treats women like filthy little things

A word of clarification for those unfamiliar: In Judaism, the Torah are the first five books of the bible- Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy and is about 2,400-2,600 years old. The Talmud is a separate entity, a recording of discussions pertaining to Jewish law, and ethics by the most influential rabbis in Jewish history. It is the official "interpretation guide" for the Torah. Functionally, it is very similar to Islamic Shiria Law but unlike Sharia Law (which has regional interpretations), the Talmud contains contradictory opinion. AFAIK, there is no Christian analog to either the Talmud or Sharia Law, something we should all be thankful for.

The Talmud is between 1,500-1,700 years old and for the most part, the misogyny the author is attacking is from there, not the Torah.

Published today in Haaretz, Israel's oldest newspaper:
If you would like to know the source from which your brothers derive their brazen behavior, go over to the study hall and open a page of Talmud. It's true that the Torah has 70 faces, but the trend of these faces is clear: The source of the pollution is in halakha (Jewish law ) itself. What is happening in Beit Shemesh and its satellites is not "contrary to halakha," it is mandated by halakha. And the rest will be told to the grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters.


A man must say three blessings every day during morning prayers: He thanks God "that He didn't make me a gentile, that He didn't make me a woman, that He didn't make me an ignoramus." And it's not proper to speak to a woman too much, since "all her conversation is nothing but words of adultery," and whoever talks to her too much "causes evil to himself and will end up inheriting hell." And let's not even talk about the fate of someone "who looks even at a woman's little finger."

The extremists who spit at women, who call themselves Sikarikim, learned their lesson 101 times and learned it well: A husband would do well not to let his wife go outside, into the street, and should restrict her outings "to once or twice a month, as necessary, since a woman has no beauty except by sitting in the corner of her house."


And there are many similar halakhot, only a few of which we have collected here. Nor have we cited everything in the name of the ones who said them, for lack of space. The readers are invited to find the references on Shabbat - and to browse around - on their own; this is a good opportunity for study. We will direct your attention to Tractate Shabbat, which does a good job of summing up halakha's attitude toward women: "a sack full of excrement" with a bleeding hole.

Most other forms of Judaism disregard these hateful proclamations and focus on those parts of the Talmud which are more moderate. Or, put another way, when you read about American or Israeli Jews who force women to the back of a but or spit on or attack women they feel are dressed "immodestly" or a million other insane things, you can almost bet they follow an orthodox rabbi who draws on these hateful tracts instead of more moderate ones.

Which is also a nice reminder that the weakest link in Christianity, Islam, Judaism or any religion, are its priests.


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