Crushed Testicles or a Severed Organ
Long before the Federal Government in December 2001 and in response to the 9-11 incidents, issued its first ever No Fly List, the RBSO, in the year 2488 issued His first ever May Not enter List and it’s found in this week’s parsha. We shall explore that topic below. And so we begin our tenth review of parshas Ki Say-Tzei, the 49th parsha in the heylige Toirah. When this parsha comes around, you know that Rosh Hashono and Yom Kippur are mamish just around the corner. Time to consider some form of tshuva (repentance) for your behavior this past year, if you chap. And while readers always look forward to a few words on the laws pertaining to the Jewish soldier who in this parsha is given explicit permission to chap a hot shiksa on the battlefield, a topic we covered in the past –be she married or not- (see archives www.oisvorfer.com), this year, we will be focusing on a topic you might find hard pressed to believe is covered in the heylige Toirah: it really is. Speaking of hard- pressed, if you chap, the words of the Toirah are rather crystal clear while discussing this sensitive but mistama also very painful topic. That being said, is this the right time of year to begin a review with a headline that reads Crushed Testicles or a Severed Organ? Are we not in Choidesh Elul when we hear the sounds of the shoifer (shofar) daily, sounds that are meant to stir our souls and set us on the path to repentance? Indeed we are: ober, if the RBSO allowed our sages to so set the Toirah reading calendar and align this parsha with the days and few weeks before the high holy days, mistama He’s OK with us reading its contents. And to those who might ask “what the hec is wrong with you,” meaning me, and to those who will proclaim that I have gone mad, I might say azoy: the topic of crushed testicles appears in our parsha, it’s our job to learn the parsha weekly and it’s the Oisvorfer’s tafkid (charge) to write a review. Fartig!
Let’s then taka begin by reading them. Says the heylige Toirah (Devorim 23:2), azoy:
2. A man with injured testicles or whose member is cut, may not enter the assembly of the Lord.
|בלֹֽא־יָבֹ֧א פְצֽוּעַ־דַּכָּ֛א וּכְר֥וּת שָׁפְכָ֖ה בִּקְהַ֥ל יְהֹוָֽה:|
The Toirah said what? And why is Moishe, now days from passing, discussing crushed testicles or a severed organ? What‘s pshat? Shouldn’t he be home saying goodbye to his family and friends? What are crushed testicles doing in our parsha? In any parsha? And why taka did Moishe instruct the Yiddin that it’s the RBSO’s will that those with crushed testicles or severed organs not be allowed to enter the Congregation of the RBSO? What’s pshat? Why can’t these people enter the congregation? Can they mamish not join a shul? Even for money? Not even the RBSO’s shul? Any shul? How about a shtibel? What happens to a person whose testicles were in-tact when he joined the shul but has since lost them? Does he lose his membership just because his member is now hanging in the balance? How did his testicles become crushed? What the hec is going on here? And a few more questions before we go balls to the wall and try to chap –not literally avada- what the RBSO had in mind when instructing Moishe to deliver these words.
As an aside, our parsha contains a full 74 mitzvis and though we refer to Sefer Devorim (Deuteronomy) as Mishneh Toirah (a review of the heylige Toirah), this review book contains close to, or –according to some mitzvah counters- over 200 new commandments. So happens that one of them refers to crushed balls and or a severed organ. Does that bother you? Get over it! And two more questions: do both testicles need to be crushed before being expelled? Can he enter the congregation with but one? Can he get an aliya? Daven for the omud?
Nu, as you can only imagine, this topic and many others in this week’s parsha, including instructions of what to do with a woman who grabbed and squeezed very hard on someone’s testicles -yes, that too can be found this week- is certainly discussed by our sages in the heylige Gemora and elsewhere; let’s find out what a few had to say about this sensitive topic.
Says the Sefer Hachinuch on mitzvah #559, azoy. As an aside, believe it or not, dealing with an individual with crushed testicles or a severed penis is taka a mitzvah, a negative one, but a mitzvah nonetheless. Two reasons for this prohibition are mentioned, meaning two reasons given why a man with crushed testicles or a severed organ may not enter the congregation of the RBSO. Yes it’s true! This topic is mamish discussed at length, no pun intended. The first cited is that as a result of his condition –nebech- such a person’s wife may be unfaithful to him. You think!? Nu, let’s recall that a woman too has needs; at times, though not very often, such needs –after shopping- may also include sex with her husband. In fact, the heylige Toirah does instruct that a man must pleasure his wife. The heylige Gemora further illuminates the minimum requirements for such pleasure, or in certain instances, work. This topic is called Oinah and is seemingly an integral part of the Jewish marriage contact. In any event, if her husband cannot perform, he is deflated, if you chap, there is a possibility, or even likelihood, that she will seek to have her needs met elsewhere. Ober, she’s still married; oy vey! And were she to have sex with a substitute, and were she to become pregnant as a result, any child or children born from that encounter would be rendered mamzeirim, mamish, real bastards. Because the RBSO foresaw such a possibility – He does avada foresee all- He forbade such a man from entering the congregation. Mamish crushing! Nu, just about now, you must be scratching your heads and wondering what the hec does entering a shul to chap a mincha or any other prayer service have to do with his wife chapping from the mail, or any other man? And the answer is this: when the RBSO told Moishe to bar entry to the crushed man, the instructions were not to be taken literally. Avada he could go to shul and also get an aliya though a real aliya might be challenging, if you chap. There is mistama a sheylo (question) if such a person can lead services; certainly at least one or more fully intact members – depending on the shul- might object. Seemingly what the RBSO wanted Moishe to convey was this: a man with crushed testicles or a severed penis may not enter His house –meaning he may not marry a regular Jewish woman. Why not? Lest she stray when left without her needs being met and produce little mamzeirim. Ober why mention His congregation when the RBSO really meant His house? Nu, from other verses using similar language –meaning other instances where the word congregation is written but is meant to convey the RBSO’s house, so to speak, our rabbis deduced that here too, it means that the man with crushed testicles may not enter His house.
Another reason offered goes like this: the Yiddin are commanded to increase the number of servants of the RBSO on earth. In plain English: it is our job and mitzvah to propagate and have children. Says the heylige Gemora (Pisochim 67B, azoy: the Jewish nation was dispersed in exile only so that they would be joined by righteous converts. How this Gemora is related to the topic above I do not know;seemingly when one has crushed testicles not everything sounds logical. Says the Mahrsho on the heylige Gemora (appropriately named Beitza 5): there is proof that it is man’s mission to propagate and have children. Mamish? The proof comes from the heylige Toirah which tells us that immediately after the Yiddin received the heylige Toirah up on Har Sinai, the people were told “return to your tents” meaning of course that when they got back to their tents, they were to resume marital relations (which had been forbidden for three days leading up to our wedding to the RBSO), and to get busy with propagation. Avada you are all familiar with the mitzvah of being fruitful and mistama you also know that there are specific times –as mentioned above- when its mamish obligatory for a man to pleasure his wife. Sadly, the Oisvorfer has not found a specified schedule for minimal satisfaction of the husband’s needs. Perhaps the RBSO knew that men would find their own ways, if you chap. The bottom line: a man with crushed testicles, or a severed penis, is unlikely to father children and hence cannot enter into the RBSO’s congregation.
Ober what happens to a man with one crushed and one working testicle? May he enter? Can he stand in the back and go without being noticed? Says Rabaynu Bichaya quoting the heylige Gemora (Yivomis75), azoy: even if only one of his testicles has been crushed, he still may not enter the congregation. He must take his ball and go elsewhere. Ober, what does it mean not to enter into the congregation of the RBSO? Says the Ibn Ezra: seemingly this restriction does not refer to his religion but to the fact that such a person may not consider himself entitled to marry a natural born Jewish woman. Why not? Given that his physical condition prevents him from fulfilling the primary function of marriage, the begetting of children, such a union is deemed futile. Says the Novee (Prophet) Isaiah 45:18: G-d did not create earth in order for her to remain void: rather He created it to be populated, and the type of injuries mentioned here preclude the husband as he will be unable to fulfill this mitzvah.
Ober may such a person ever get married? And to whom? He may marry a convert or a freed slave. Ober, aren’t converts and freed slaves allowed to enter? The Oisvorfer has not seen a clear answer to this question. Says the heylige Gemora (Yivomis 70), azoy: had the heylige Toirah wanted to forbid marriage for the people whose virility is impaired, it would have written he must not marry a woman. Had such terminology been used I may have concluded that any sexual intercourse which is not potentially capable of resulting in the woman becoming pregnant, is forbidden. Seemingly he may still engage in sex though it is difficult to imagine how one with the severed organ might do so, ober since the Toirah forbade only “entrance into the congregation,” it is clear that sexual intercourse is permitted even if its purpose is not to perpetuate the species. The bottom line: from the bar, the rabbis concluded that stam azoy sexual intercourse, even not meant for procreation, is permitted. Givaldig!
Is there any good news for this man or men with crushed testicles and or severed penises? Yes! The good news, if one could call it that, is this: they are not alone! Perek 23 (chapter) of this week’s parsha delineates several categories of people who are also forbidden from “entering the congregation of the RBSO.” They include the descendants of certain nations, who are cursed for the part they played in hindering the Yiddin during the Exodus, such as the Ammonites and the Moabites. Ammonites and Moabites are forbidden from converting to Judaism, and their descendants can never marry Yiddin. Ober didn’t Rus, our favorite (or second favorite female lead character after queen Esther), she a Moabite shiksa, marry a nice fellow, a Jewish guy by the name of Boaz? She did? What to do? Was this kosher? Did it not violate the RBSO’s command?
Not to worry: the heylige Gemora (Yevomois 76b) records a conversation –one that mistama never took place- between Shaoul Hamelech (King Saul), Dovid’s rival, and his adviser Doieg Hoadoimi (the Edomite), in which Doieg tells Shaul not to worry about the upstart Dovid: “Before you inquire as to whether or not he is fit for kingship, inquire as to whether or not he is even fit to enter the congregation.” If Dovid is part Moabite, let’s not forget his grandmother Rus, then how can he ever enter the congregation of the RBSO, much less lead it? The heylige Gemora so mamish gishmak, tells us of another discussion, this one between Doieg and Avner, Shaul’s chief general, in which they, after disusing and parsing Sefer Devorim and the prohibition on Moabite conversion, conclude that the final halocho with regard to Moabite’s who may and may not enter the congregation of the RBSO, is azoy: the ruling barring Moabite conversions is applicable to men only. Shoin: Rus was kosher as was her grandson Dovid. Why so? Because as Avner explains: the reason for the Toirah’s biblical prohibition on marrying Ammonites is mamish found in the words of the heylige Toirah: “Because they did not meet you with bread and water on the way, when you came forth out of Mitzrayim (Egypt).” Zicher it’s the case that such an obligation was incumbent on the Ammonite and Moabite men ober not the women. Why not the women? Aren’t they in charge of hospitality? Not in the case of the traveling Yiddin. Why not? Because women are expected to stay at home (make babies to propagate the world). Their job was not to chase after and approach strangers with gifts. Such approach could have led to the birth of mamzeririm, if you chap. It is only the men of these nations who committed the wrong, so it is only the men who cannot convert to Judaism. The bottom line: Dovid’s lineage was free from taint, at least until he became ensnared in the Batsheva incident, ober that for another day. As an aside, just last week, the heylige Toirah instructed our Jewish Kings not to have too many wives. Ober what does the Novee tell us about Shlomo Hamelech (King Solomon)? Let’s find out. Says the Novee Milochim (1 Kings 11: 1-13), azoy:
|1. King Solomon loved many foreign women and the daughter of Pharaoh; Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites.||אוְהַמֶּ֣לֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹ֗ה אָהַ֞ב נָשִׁ֧ים נָכְרִיּ֛וֹת רַבּ֖וֹת וְאֶת־בַּת־פַּרְעֹ֑ה מוֹאֲבִיּ֚וֹת עַמֳּנִיּוֹת֙ אֲדֹ֣מִיֹּ֔ת צֵדְנִיֹּ֖ת חִתִּיֹּֽת:|
|2. Of the nations about which the Lord had said to the Children of Israel, “You shall not go (mingle) among them and they shall not come among you, for certainly they will sway your heart after their deities.” To these did Solomon cleave to love [them].||במִן־הַגּוֹיִ֗ם אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָֽמַר־יְהֹוָה֩ אֶל־בְּנֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל לֹֽא־תָבֹ֣אוּ בָהֶ֗ם וְהֵם֙ לֹא־יָבֹ֣אוּ בָכֶ֔ם אָכֵן֙ יַטּ֣וּ אֶת־לְבַבְכֶ֔ם אַחֲרֵ֖י אֱלֹהֵיהֶ֑ם בָּהֶ֛ם דָּבַ֥ק שְׁלֹמֹ֖ה לְאַהֲבָֽה:|
|3. And he had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned away his heart.||גוַיְהִי־ל֣וֹ נָשִׁ֗ים שָׂרוֹת֙ שְׁבַ֣ע מֵא֔וֹת וּפִֽלַגְשִׁ֖ים שְׁל֣שׁ מֵא֑וֹת וַיַטּ֥וּ נָשָׁ֖יו אֶת־לִבּֽוֹ:|
|4. And it was at the time of Solomon’s old age, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not whole with the Lord, His G-d, like the heart of David his father.||דוַיְהִ֗י לְעֵת֙ זִקְנַ֣ת שְׁלֹמֹ֔ה נָשָׁיו֙ הִטּ֣וּ אֶת־לְבָב֔וֹ אַחֲרֵ֖י אֱלֹהִ֣ים אֲחֵרִ֑ים וְלֹא־הָיָ֨ה לְבָב֚וֹ שָׁלֵם֙ עִם־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֔יו כִּלְבַ֖ב דָּוִ֥יד אָבִֽיו:|
|5. And Solomon went after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.||הוַיֵּ֣לֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹ֔ה אַחֲרֵ֣י עַשְׁתֹּ֔רֶת אֱלֹהֵ֖י צִדֹנִ֑ים וְאַחֲרֵ֣י מִלְכֹּ֔ם שִׁקֻּ֖ץ עַמֹּנִֽים:|
|6. And Solomon did what was displeasing to the Lord, and he was not completely devoted to the Lord as was David his father.||ווַיַּ֧עַשׂ שְׁלֹמֹ֛ה הָרַ֖ע בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה וְלֹ֥א מִלֵּ֛א אַחֲרֵ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה כְּדָוִ֥ד אָבִֽיו:|
|7. Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab on the mountain that is before Jerusalem and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.||זאָז֩ יִבְנֶ֨ה שְׁלֹמֹ֜ה בָּמָ֗ה לִכְמוֹשׁ֙ שִׁקֻּ֣ץ מוֹאָ֔ב בָּהָ֕ר אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־פְּנֵ֣י יְרוּשָׁלָ֑םִ וּלְמֹ֕לֶךְ שִׁקֻּ֖ץ בְּנֵ֥י עַמּֽוֹן:|
|8. And so he did for all of his alien wives who offered incense and slaughtered sacrifices to their deities.||חוְכֵ֣ן עָשָֹ֔ה לְכָל־נָשָׁ֖יו הַנָּכְרִיּ֑וֹת מַקְטִיר֥וֹת וּֽמְזַבְּח֖וֹת לֵאלֹהֵיהֶֽן:|
|9. And the Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had digressed from the Lord, G-d of Israel, Who had appeared to him twice.||טוַיִּתְאַנַּ֥ף יְהֹוָ֖ה בִּשְׁלֹמֹ֑ה כִּֽי־נָטָ֣ה לְבָב֗וֹ מֵעִ֚ם יְהֹוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הַנִּרְאָ֥ה אֵלָ֖יו פַּעֲמָֽיִם:|
|10. And had commanded him pertaining this matter, not to follow other gods; however, he did not keep what the Lord had commanded.||יוְצִוָּ֚ה אֵלָיו֙ עַל־הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֔ה לְבִ֨לְתִּי־לֶ֔כֶת אַחֲרֵ֖י אֱלֹהִ֣ים אֲחֵרִ֑ים וְלֹ֣א שָׁמַ֔ר אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּ֖ה יְהֹוָֽה:|
|11. And the Lord said to Solomon, “For as this has been with you, and you have not observed My covenant and My statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and I shall give it to your servant.||יאוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה לִשְׁלֹמֹ֗ה יַעַן אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָֽיְתָה־זֹּ֣את עִמָּ֔ךְ וְלֹ֚א שָׁמַ֙רְתָּ֙ בְּרִיתִ֣י וְחֻקֹּתַ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתִי עָלֶ֑יךָ קָרֹ֨עַ אֶקְרַ֚ע אֶת־הַמַּמְלָכָה֙ מֵֽעָלֶ֔יךָ וּנְתַתִּ֖יהָ לְעַבְדֶּֽךָ:|
|12. However, in your days I will not do this, for the sake of David your father; from the hands of your son I shall tear it.||יבאַךְ־בְּיָמֶ֙יךָ֙ לֹ֣א אֶעֱשֶֹ֔נָּה לְמַ֖עַן דָּוִ֣ד אָבִ֑יךָ מִיַּ֥ד בִּנְךָ֖ אֶקְרָעֶֽנָּה:|
|13. But I shall not tear the entire kingdom away from you; one tribe I shall grant to your son for the sake of David My servant, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen.||יגרַ֚ק אֶת־כָּל־הַמַּמְלָכָה֙ לֹ֣א אֶקְרָ֔ע שֵׁ֥בֶט אֶחָ֖ד אֶתֵּ֣ן לִבְנֶ֑ךָ לְמַ֙עַן֙ דָּוִ֣ד עַבְדִּ֔י וּלְמַ֥עַן יְרוּשָׁלַ֖םִ אֲשֶׁ֥ר בָּחָֽרְתִּי:|
The bottom line: it’s avada good to be the king!
Ober what has all this to do with the poor guy with crushed testicles? Nu, it so happens that in our parsha, the posik (verse) prohibiting them from entering the RBSO’s congregation, is followed by the exclusion of men of Ammonite and Moabite descent. In other words: they are grouped together on the do not enter list.
Ober, what exactly, the rabbis ask in Yevomis 75a, constitutes maiming? “Who is deemed a man with crushed testicles?” The answer is comprehensive: anyone who has suffered any wound to the testicles, even just one of them, or anyone whose testicles have been punctured or “decayed,” or are “deficient” for any reason. The bottom line: such deficiency has to be the result of an injury, either intentionally self-inflicted, or, through a few other means. A man who is born with one testicle is “a eunuch by natural causes, and he is fit. Our rabbis concluded azoy: these restrictions were put forth for those who became injured by self-mutilation or other means.
Shoin: this topic requires many more pages and the patience of the Oisvorfer’s followers to read them. Such patience is hard to find. We conclude with this. For the rabbis of the heylige Gemora, a man is someone who possesses an intact penis and a pair of testicles that operate. Avada there are exceptions and many who were born with deformities may in fact enter the congregation of the RBSO. Every shul has a few with fully intact schmucks.
A gittin Shabbis-
The Heylige Oisvorfer Ruv