Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gur Hasids and Sexual Separation

Friday, February 3, 2012

Questions for rabbis

I started a Word doc to keep track of the rest of my rabbi questions:

Reading Lamm's "The Jewish Way in Love & Marriage"..I came up with the following:

1.) "The dowry is distinct from property or possessions that the bride owns and continues to own privately throughout marriage...The bride's private property, called nikhsei melog, is given outright to the bride, the husband enjoying only the "fruit" (usufruct) during marriage. It is not part of the dowry and is not included in the ketubah."

So..the dowry doesn't include everything I have or have bought before the wedding? This 'private property' (which = what, exactly?) is given to me, which the husband enjoys throughout the marriage.

2.) What does 100 pieces of Silver = today? What about 200 pieces of Silver? Why not just a solid bar of Gold? Or a set amount of money? What happens if a Hungarian marries an Italian? Do they pay in one or both currencies? Or US dollars?

3.) ("This ketubah de'irkhesa is required, even today, for everyone who has misplaced or lost the original ketubah.")

Can you have 2 Ketubas? Like, have one framed at home, and then a duplicate in a safety deposit box, just in case the one at home gets destroyed?

4.) How complicated IS a Ketubah for converts? "The ketubah is a very complicated document, especially for widows, converts, and divorcees." Why? How so?

4A.) Perhaps because they get paid a different amount of money than never-married virgins?

4B.) Converts are considered to be non-virgins, because it is assumed by the Gemara that they had sexual intercourse during their time as non-Jews. And the law is stuck like that. That is why converts cannot marry kohanim.

Why does Halacha assume that all converts have had sex?

"trust the alleged parentage of a convert" - If I said my mother's Jewish I wouldn 't be converting. Why would something like that be lied about?

A friend's response to that:

The Talmud indeed says that if a person admits to something we would not have known otherwise, then we trust them, because they could have just lied. For example, the Talmud says, if a woman tells us that she WAS married BUT got divorced, then we trust her that her divorce is kosher, without proof, because she could have just lied and told us she has never been married. The Talmud's logic is, if you trust the person on one count, you must trust them completely, and if you do not trust them, then you must completely not trust them. So I wonder, why cannot we say that here? I.e., either we trust you when you tell us your mother is not Jewish, and so we should also trust you when you say you're virgin, or else, if we do not trust you about your virginity, then we should not trust you when you tell us about your mother.

either you lie about everything, or you tell the truth about everything. We either trust you or we don't. Either we trust you about both your mother and your virginity, or we distrust you about
both. We cannot pick and choose. Either you are telling the truth both when you say your mother is a gentile and that you are a virgin, or else you are lying about both. So I'm not sure why we do NOT say that, about converts, vis a vis virginity and marrying kohanim.

Today, You can’t even determine who is and is not a virgin.

Why does it matter if the woman is one or not? I can see why it mattered in ancient times, but today, there seems to be no reason.

5.) What about secular wedding ceremony traditions (father-daughter dance) - can they be incorporated somehow into a Jewish wedding? It's my dad, after all. And MUST my wedding dress be white? What's if it's slightly not?

6.) What is the difference between ha-adam and ha-adama (aside from one being a bracha)?

If my birthday is within the 3 weeks, how can I celebrate?

Before, says the rabbi. But after talking about it with a friend, I think I'll have a few friends over after the 3 weeks; maybe order Italian for it, or maybe just go to the restaurant, despite it being across town! :-)

Which brings me to questions about the 3 weeks:

-not allowed to shave.

I work in an office, wear stockings every day, and can't NOT shave. I'm not going to wear opaque black stockings for pretty much the entirety of July, I'm sorry. And as I don't wear trousers, not shaving is not negotiable.

and one about the 9 Days:

-refrain from wearing newly laundered garments, or laundering any clothes.

I can do all my laundry before the 9 days start, so I'll have clothes for work before and after.



Kohanim and Converts

This week, I found out why Kohanim can't marry Converts. It's because everyone assumes that converts must have slept around before converting, and as a result, are off limits to Kohanim.

I find this ridiculous! I can see why it mattered in ancient times, but today... no. Emailing about this with a friend, he said it's "awfully forward and brazen of me to say" that I haven't had sex. Wouldn't it be *more* so to say I have?

I mentioned this whole thing to the Mora d'Asra this week, one I'm comfortable around, and he said that that's another thing to let a Shadchan know (whenever I get to that point, that is). Just because someone is a BT, or a Convert, doesn't meant they've had the same experiences. As he put it, 'a party boy who found G-d after throwing up who knows how much liquor,' probably isn't going to be a match for a bookworm who hung out in the library.

He actually knows a guy like me, and whenever I'm done with this process, depending on the guy's age, academic background, and level of attraction, I'd be interested.