Thursday, September 25, 2008

Now they tell me . . .

Apparently there is a prayer now that gay Jews recite over anonymous one-night stands. The relevant piece of Talmud used to justify this has just been discovered (by me) and I include it here.

Ta Shma: On experiencing unexpected intimacy one makes the beracha "who created passion and wove it throughout creation" as it says [in Genesis] "In the dark, in a strange place, our father Jacob encountered a stranger with whom he grappled all night".

But is not this [verse] talking about an angel or a messenger of god - not interested in gay sex? Yes, but it was a male angel, and male angels are always interested in gay sex. Is this verse not talking about wrestling and not grappling? Yes, but grappling is the same as wrestling, and wrestling is the same as "doing it".

[The bracha] is made by everyone, according to the house of Hillel. The house of Shammai claims it is only for homosexual sex. Both agree that one makes the beracha if both people are Jewish, and Beit Shamai is more stringent claiming that one makes it if he or she is the only Jew in the hook-up. Hillel however agrees that if the sex is so anonymous that you don't know if the other person is Jewish then there is a safek and you don't make the beracha as it is a safek over a d'rabanan. However, if you picked up the other person in a synagogue, in New York, in a bank, or a bookstore, there is a chazakah that he or she is Jewish and even the house of Hillel holds that one makes the beracha. What kind of bookstore does the saying refer to? A New age-bookstore, but not in a bookstore chain.

But did we not learn that Rabbi Dorf says "A one-night stand is officially an act of prostitution in the Jewish tradition"? Yes, but there is no conflict, because in the case of prostitution, if it is good, you would pay for it again, in the case of a one-night stand with someone you met in a bar, you do not want to repeat the experience with the same person because situations like this devolve in to same-sex marriages.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

lol, awesome!

As an aside, Mr. Shosha was a wrestler in high school. Which makes me married to a gay man. Cool beans.

-Shosh

Anonymous said...

Come to think of it, I wrestled a bit in High School too.
--KC

30 said...

I think its a very nice bracha. I just hate how they distorted the meaning of the verse.

On the other hand, taking psukim out of context is an old Talmudic tradition.

Dahlia said...

do you mean "on experiencing UNexpected intimacy"? That is of course, the best kind...

Karl said...

Whoops, yes. Fixed that.

Tha ShitA- said...

Late to the game, but for the record, the l'maiseh is as follows:

Of course, as the angel is neither male nor female, we hold a bracha l'chatchila for hermaphrodites and b'dieved for trannies. The mehadrin seek out androgynes. If there is safek because there was no reacharound yet a bracha was said, the Jew must go out and immediately find one of the above and engage in "yichud" with the kavanah that both instances were part of a single act and have mind the first partner while with the second such that both are yotzei, making the mevareich b'dieved a "shliach (sheirutim) tziubur(i).

For bringing forth this hitherto unknown text, however, I'm mesamech you as the Blogospherer Rebbe if this was a lost excerpt of Shulchan Aruch ha-Rav and if this is a baraita, a JTS graduate.