Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Leviticus Chapter 15

Sex! A little bit. But it's buried under piles and piles of disgusting verses on 'bodily discharges.'

If it's chronic, anything you touch is unclean. Anyone who touches you or anything you've touched, including your saddle, is unclean for the rest of the day, and has to take a bath. No spitting! If you spit on someone, that person is unclean and has to wash and do laundry. If you touch a pot, it has to be broken or washed.

When you're better, you have to wait seven days, then sacrifice two turtledoves. Tom was pointing out last night that there must have been a huge market in back of the temple, entirely staffed by members of Moses and Aaron's family and friends, selling all these sacrificial animals at an inflated price.

If any man's seed of copulation go out of him (v. 16), which, please not, does not mean every time you have sex, so according to this verse, masturbation is also okay, he then has to wash and do laundry, and is unclean that day.

Women are also unclean after sex. And during their periods. And any other time they bleed. They have to leave for seven days and anything they sit on or lie on is unclean. Now, according to the book 'The Year of Living Biblically', which I read last year, there are still Orthodox Jews who follow these practices and have separate rooms for their wives. The author dealt with the problem by getting his own folding stool and taking it everywhere, which came in handy when his wife got pissed off and sat on all the chairs in the house. Jerry of course has no insight as to why Christians, even those who believe in inerrancy, don't have to do this.

Men who have sex with menstruating women are unclean for seven days. At the end of her period, she has to sacrifice two turtledoves or two pigeons. So every single month, for what, 30-odd years, she's got to sacrifice some birds. Taking time out for pregnancy (which requires a sacrifice at the end, don't forget), that still adds up to hundreds of birds. And how is Aaron supposed to eat all of this? Now I see why people don't question this book.

Anyway, women on their periods can't enter the temple. I'm thinking some of them saw that week as a nice, restful vacation, but then I remember that they probably had to take the kids with them for that entire week as well, and decide the men just wanted them away while they were grumpy, and spent the time partying it up with their friends.

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