26 November 2008

When It's No Longer Platonic

A thought-provoking post by JS on DovBear has prompted a long discussion about platonic relationships and their connection to Judaism. "Modern" Jews see no problem with male-female friendships. I accept that all of us are born with a yetzer ha-ra and it is up to us to learn how to control ourselves. The part I found most interesting in these recent posts (the point had been made by Tikun Olam) was that the Bais Yaakov girls (who hid it from their schools that they even attended these camps) were often the primary culprits of the activities in the bushes.

The charedim seem to have an awful lot to say about how "moderns" conduct their lives contrary to halakhah while "moderns" make a thing about charedim need to get "with it". I view charedim as taking strigencies and dressing it up as a part of the law. The "rules" were created when understandings were different. For example, it was relatively rare for men and women to interact on an intellectual level during the time of the Talmud. We live in a different world today!

With that being said, it's funny (in a sad way) when the ones pointing the fingers are doing the "crime". CBS2 ran a report today about inappropriate sexual relations occuring between married chassidic Jews. Many of them are escaping unhappy marriages, meeting up with random people on the Internet, and hooking up for sex. This is not occurring in that "orgy palace" of the UWS but in places like Williamsburgh. Generally, I respect chassidic Jews for their ability to keep their noses out of other people's business and conduct their own lives. VosIzNeias meanwhile is not sure how to handle a response to this report.

To be honest, it is a shame that the non-Jewish media exposed this "dirty" bit of information about religious Jews blatantly violating a mitzvah d'oraita (against marital relations with someone else's wife). On the other hand, perhaps this will allow people to focus within their communities and open up the gates of communication in marriage.

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