Sunday, 16 November 2014
Thursday, 13 November 2014
keep your feet to yourself,
don't let her spit at your face,
and most importantly,
don't find her beautiful.
(discussed is if the brother can only sleep with his brother's widow, a previously forbidden sexual partner, if he is only doing it for the mitzah of yibbum marriage. not because he is attracted to her. earlier in the page describes the ceremony of halitza. he moves his right foot towards her, she removes and throws his shoe, and she spits towards him. it also discusses the brother's claim to her property, if his hand is stronger than her's to her property)
- but does not bring any of his possessions that will be argued out amongst his offspring, the crumbs he leaves behind.
(the practice of having a wife-for-a-day for some well-known Rabbis won't result in children inadvertently marrying their siblings, unlike ordinary men, as their name will be known to their children. this practice is referred to as having bread in one's basket is satisfying, even if they don't actually sleep together, just knowing that there is a legitimate sexual partner is enough to curb the rabbinic lust... the page finishes off though saying that one shouldn't marry a woman with an inner intention of divorcing her. how that fits with wife-for-a-day is not discussed...)
the one who was on her way out,
or the one who could have been on her way in?
(choosing who to do halitza with, when dead brother has two wives. the one who was in the process of divorce, or the one could have had a sexual relationship with?)
but the man who cannot have children must still marry the widow, if only to divorce her...
(there is no obligation for yibbum with barren women. but men who cannot father children are still obligated...)
as long as the different blades can be easily identified then they can be used by the same scalpel.
(Beith Hillel and Beit Shammai disagree about a woman who has done halitza if she can marry a priest. they would inform each other of the status of who the other would not permit. but this is describes as making a cut, which is forbidden to have such different halachic practices. the "do not cut" is about not cutting oneself as a sign of mourning)
and girls become women when they become fertile. pregnancy as a sign of adulthood...
(do not do yibbum marriage with a barren woman. also discussed is the problematic cases of sexual activity with a minor - if she can get pregnant, then that is sign enough of puberty... )
and she shouldn't claim the unborn as a bridegroom.
(doing halitza, the ceremony that severs the yibbum bond and sets the widow free to marry outside of the family, is equivalent to divorce in that she cannot marry a priest. do halitza with a rival wife who couldn't marry a priest anyway is better. it is like throwing out water from one's well, when other men want to drink...)
is really, who is the rapist...?
(the mishah lists 15 women who cannot be married to the surviving brother. but there is a 16th, a woman who is the product of rape and her connect to the rapist's family....)
once one forbidden woman is permitted, are all women now allowed?
(following on from the previous page, something forbidden is permitted when obligated. there are limits to this. There is an obligation to honour one's parents, but that does not over-ride the rules of forbidden work on shabbat. Comparing to yibbum marriage, permitting a forbidden relationship does not mean all forbidden sexual partners are now allowed)
(the prohibition of wearing wool and linen together is cancelled or superseded by the obligation to wear tzitzit. the prohibition of sex with your brother's wife is cancelled or superseded by the obligation to honour his memory)
and the women who are alive but lose their individual identities.
(the tractate of yevamot deals with the obligation of Leverite marriage. that is if a married man dies childless, his widow has to marry his brother, or close relative, to "build his house." this is the only marriage bond that is an obligation from the Torah. If a man has more than one wife, then the status of the widow affects the rival wives in terms if there are any reason why one of them are not allowed to marry the surviving brothers.... it gets complicated, and frustrating. because the simple truth is that the women are just property, living vessels to preserve the dead man's honour. It makes tough reading, and even harder drawing. these drawings are sparse simple pencil drawings. Seder Nashim, the section dealing about women - but as objects - it is going to be tough going...)
goodbye mesechet hagigah
from beginning with the ascent to the temple, and ending with the sinners being protected from the flames of hell, the place below. the temple, God's house, will be replaced by hospitality in the home. and if the thin layer of gold on top of the temple's altar is enough to protect the wood, then the slim total of our inner good deeds will be enough to shield sinners like us from punishment.
goodbye mesechet hagigah. and goodbye seder moed.
way back in early october I hosted a siyyum, and we raised a glass of vodka with slivers of fine gold, and ate pomegranate like the number of good deeds we hope we have accrued, and the number of pages we have slogged over.
from starting out in mesechet brachot with the intention of learning every day with eyes fully open, to today, while on an art residency in watery Venice, finally getting round to uploading all these drawings onto my website. I can honestly say that it has been a bit of a ride. and although I am not sure yet what this project is really about, my eyes are still open...