Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Does G-d cause sexual abuse & transgression?

I am looking for examples where G-d causes someone to be sexually abused or to be involved in sexual transgressions. The following are some examples.

1) Esther
2) R' Meir sister in law was Divinely punished to be a prostitute
3) Dovid was forced in relation with Batsheva to encourage baaeli teshuva
4) Yehuda and Tamar
5) Dina and Shechem
6) Lot & his daughters necessary for Moshiach
7) Yael & Sisra

19 comments :

  1. Of course G-d causes sexual abuse and transgression, because G-d is the cause of everything in this world.

    But G-d does not approve of sexual abuse and transgression.

    However, you might ask if there are not kinds of sexual abuse that G-d even approves of:

    - selling a daughter under Bat Mitzwah age for marriage
    - marrying a prisoner of war whose relatives have just been exterminated
    -marrying a girl under or just over bath mitzwah age, having sexual intercourse with her
    -using caananite slaves for breeding purposes (as far as I understood, their consent was not required, but correct me if I'm wrong)

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  2. Does it say anywhere that Hashem "forced" Esther, Lot's Daughter's, Yael, Dovid, or Shechem? I am not familiar with R' Meir's sister-in-law (mareh makom?), and I recall there is a midrash that says that Yehuda was "forced" by a malach, but I don't see why you assume that all these cases were "caused" by G-d. I was under the impression that they all used free will.

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  3. Um, this goes against the idea of free will. All these people, supposedly, had free will to choose to be part of these relationships, or they were forced by a man, not G-D. How does this constitute G-D forcing them?

    Esther chose, Yael chose, Lot's daughters chose, Tamar chose, Dovid chose, and I am unfamiliar with R meir's sister in law.

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  4. A couple of other possibilities:

    1) Yaakov marrying two sisters, Rachel and Leah.

    2) G-d telling Hosea to marry (and stay married to) Gomer.

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  5. The only one on this list that I am aware of who was compelled in some way to have relations Yehuda.

    Regarding Rebbe Meir's sister in law, I beleive that she was forced to work in a Roman Brothel. I do believe that the situation was forced and women are poter.

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  6. Esther did not chose anything, she was forced. Same goes for Dinah and Tamar.

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  7. Esther Sent a shaid to do it anyway untill she had to save the Jews.

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  8. Zimri and Cozbi according to the Ishbitzer in Mei Hashiloach

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  9. The Romans seized R. Meir's sister in law against her will.

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  10. At least some of these cases were a metzius where the person had no bechira.

    As far as eved Kenaani, the Rambam holds they are part enosh part behayma just like venus flytrap is part plant and part sheretz.

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  11. Esther did not chose anything, she was forced. Same goes for Dinah and Tamar.

    Tamar, the daugther-in-law of Yehuda choose to play a prostitute for Yehuda.

    Tamar, Daughter of David was raped by her stepbrother Amnon.

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  12. R' Meir' sister in law - as stated in Avoda Zara (18a):
    Why then was R Chanina ben Tradion punished by death? — Because he was pronouncing the Name in public. His wife was punished by being slain, because she did not prevent him [from doing it]. From this it was deduced: Any one who has the power to prevent [one from doing wrong] and does not prevent, is punished for him.4 His daughter was consigned to a brothel, for R. Johanan related that once that daughter of his was walking in front of some great men of Rome who remarked, ‘How beautiful are the steps of this maiden!’ Whereupon she took particular care of her step. Which confirms the following words of R. Simeon b. Lakish: What is the meaning of the verse, The iniquity of my heel compasseth me about?5 — Sins which one treads under heel6 in this world compass him about on the Day of Judgment.)

    As the three of them went out [from the tribunal] they declared their submission to [the Divine] righteous judgment. He quoted, The Rock, His work is perfect; for all his ways are justice.7 His wife continued: A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He;8 and the daughter quoted: Great in counsel and mighty in work, whose eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doing.9 Said Raba: How great were these righteous ones, in that the three Scriptural passages, expressing submission to Divine justice, readily occurred to them just at the appropriate time for the declaration of such submission.

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  13. E-Man said...

    Um, this goes against the idea of free will. All these people, supposedly, had free will to choose to be part of these relationships, or they were forced by a man, not G-D. How does this constitute G-D forcing them?

    Esther chose, Yael chose, Lot's daughters chose, Tamar chose, Dovid chose, and I am unfamiliar with R meir's sister in law.
    ==============
    all were placed in situations which seemed to require them to be involved in prohibited sexual activity - which was part of the Divine plan.
    In fact when Esther indicate she didnt want to participate - Mordechai reprimanded her indicating that this prohibited act was necessary for the Divine Plan

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  14. Anonymous said...

    Esther Sent a shaid to do it anyway untill she had to save the Jews.
    ========
    This is the explanation given by Kabbala - it is clearly not the view of the gemora
    Sanhedrin(74b):It is obvious that Jews are required [for this publicity], for it is written. But I will be hallowed among the children of Israel.2 R. Jeremiah propounded: What of nine Jews and one Gentile? — Come and hear: For R. Jannai, the brother of R. Hiyya b. Abba learned: An analogy is drawn from the use of tok [‘among’] in two passages. Here is written, But I will be hallowed among [be-tok] the children of Israel; and elsewhere, separate yourselves from among [mi-tok] this congregation:3 just as there the reference is to ten, all Jews, so here too — ten, all Jews.4 But did not Esther transgress publicly?5 — Abaye answered; Esther was merely natural soil.6 Raba said: When they [sc. the persecutors] demand it for their personal pleasure. it is different.7 For otherwise, how dare we yield to them’ [sc. the Parsees or fire worshippers] our braziers [or fire bellows] and coal shovels?8 But their personal pleasure is different;9 so here too [in Esther's case].10 This [answer] concurs with Raba's view expressed elsewhere. For Raba said: If a Gentile said to a Jew. ‘Cut grass on the Sabbath for the cattle, and if not I will slay thee’, he must rather be killed than cut it; ‘Cut it and throw it into the river, he should rather be slain than cut it. Why so? — Because his intention is to force him to violate his religion.

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  15. Rabbi-

    Wasn't Esther *forced* by Achashveirosh to have relations with him? And the whole idea of when Esther approached him was this was the one time she did it on her own. So, this was not G-D forcing her, but Achashveirosh, no?

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  16. E-Man said...

    Rabbi-

    Wasn't Esther *forced* by Achashveirosh to have relations with him? And the whole idea of when Esther approached him was this was the one time she did it on her own. So, this was not G-D forcing her, but Achashveirosh, no?
    ====================
    How did Esther become married to Achasveiros

    10. Esther had not declared her people nor her country; for Mordecai had charged her that she should not tell.
    - in other word if she had said she was a Jew she would have been excused. If she mentioned she wasn't a virgin (according to the view that she was married to Mordechai she would have been excused. She was not especially beautiful (green) but G-d made her attactive to Achashveirosh.

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  17. I would love to know how Rav Shternbuch would explain this. Please ask him if you can as it seems like an important observation with importand hashkafic ramifications.

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  18. Recipients and PublicityJuly 11, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    You forgot to mention the main starting example: Chava and the Nachash! The "mother of all sins" in more ways than one! It was none other than Hashem who sent the Nachash to test Chava and Adam. The whole dialogue proves it. Hashem gives them a command and then out of nowhere the Serpent appears to test them and they fail and Hashem accuses them of failing, and punishes them and all humanity to make up for their failings.

    The first chapters of Genesis tell of how the the Nachash (the first primal serpent) persuaded, seduced and convinced Chava to eat from the Tree of Good and Evil.

    The Oral Torah in many places elucidates that in fact the Serpent "raped" Eve, or at least put into her a "vile spirit" that in fact impregnated her, so it was what we could term "forced entry", "sexual entrapment", "seduction", "adultery", and more such things.

    Then Cain, the first murderer is supposedly from the union of Chava and the Nachash, the first "mamzer" who perpetrated the first murder.

    In turn too, there are esoteric Oral teachings that Adam was seduced by the female demon Lilith with whom he somehow connected sexually creating all sorts of life forms. When men have wet nocturnal emissions in dreams or during sleep, supposedly a sign of a visit from Lilith and from that demons are created.

    So you need to start from the primal events by the primary characters recorded in the primary sources.

    The mission and the destiny of Klal Yisroel, starting from Avos and Imahos and then from Matan Torah, is to perfect the failings of Chava and Adam and restore sexual union between spouses to the level of Adam and Chava before they sinned and fell victim to the lies and manipulations of the evil Serpent.

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  19. "10. Esther had not declared her people nor her country; for Mordecai had charged her that she should not tell.
    - in other word if she had said she was a Jew she would have been excused. If she mentioned she wasn't a virgin (according to the view that she was married to Mordechai she would have been excused."

    In that case, it sounds like you're conflating Mordecai with God. Did Mordecai cause her to be taken by what he instructed her, or did God?

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