The Birds & the Bees and Brett Kavanaugh
We begin this week with two comments on last week’s amazing review of Bereishis. Jeff Rosenberg of Lawrence, N.Y. wrote:
This week’s dvar Torah is the best one you ever gave from the time that I started reading them. That entire portion regarding Twilight and the amount of things that G-d created during Twilight while all the human beings never get their act together and are still preparing for Shabbos during Twilight points to the fact that it was the intention of G-d all along to create us imperfectly
And the section regarding have the aggrieved party run off with all the index cards except for his own was hysterical, not to mention your reference to that Infamous episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm
Super excellent. Shabbat Shalom!
More on Jeff’s comment found below, keep on reading.
And chaver Jay Kestenbaum, also of Lawrence, N.Y (and Jerusalem, Israel), wrote azoy:
Even though its #9, I truly enjoyed this week.
I really did not know all the things the RBSO created just before Shabbos.
Based on all of that, don’t really know why everything else took a whole week.
I really can’t believe the story about the index cards.. that’s incredible and a real chutzpa to mess up the shul’s operation..
I guess the secretive acts was in honor of the nochosh!!
Keep em coming!
This past Sunday, I asked a number of people about “the birds and the bees”. Who coined the expression? How and when did it become a euphemism for discussions about sex? And while kimat every person knew to connect the expression to something sexual, not one knew where this euphemism began, nor how it was at all connected to matters of a sexual nature.
According to Wikipedia, The Birds and The Bees is an English-language idiomatic expression and euphemism that refers to courtship and sexual intercourse. The “Birds and the Bees talk” (sometimes known simply as “The Talk”) is generally the event in most children’s lives in which the parents explain what sexual relationships are. According to tradition, the birds and the bees is a metaphorical story sometimes told to children in an attempt to explain the mechanics and good consequences of sexual intercourse through reference to easily observed natural events. For instance, bees carry and deposit pollen into flowers, a visible and easy-to-explain parallel to male fertilization. Another example, birds lay eggs, a similarly visible and easy-to-explain parallel to female ovulation.
Ober what does this euphemism, dating back decades, if not generations, have to do with this week’s parsha of Noiach (Noah) wherein we read of the Mabul (Great Flood) which destroyed humanity and the earth? And why is the Oisvorfer beginning (and maybe also ending, we shall see) with a discussion of such matters? How are the birds & the bees, or at least the birds, related to our parsha? Nu, it’s good you asked, and let’s begin our 9th review of the most amazing parsha of Noiach, one featured in books, movies, historical searches for Noah’s Ark, the National Geographic, and elsewhere, by learning a few pisukim (verses) which will shed some light on the role played by at least one bird on the Ark.
Says the heylige Toirah (Bereishis: 8:6-7), azoy:
|6. And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made.||ווַיְהִ֕י מִקֵּ֖ץ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים י֑וֹם וַיִּפְתַּ֣ח נֹ֔חַ אֶת־חַלּ֥וֹן הַתֵּבָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָֽׂה:|
7. And he sent forth the raven, and it went out, back and forth until the waters dried up off the earth.
|זוַיְשַׁלַּ֖ח אֶת־הָֽעֹרֵ֑ב וַיֵּצֵ֤א יָצוֹא֙ וָשׁ֔וֹב עַד־יְב֥שֶׁת הַמַּ֖יִם מֵעַ֥ל הָאָֽרֶץ:|
Let’s review: He, Noiach sent out the raven, and it kept going and returning -circling the Teyvo- until the waters dried from upon the earth. Says the heylige Gemora (Sanhedrin 108b), paraphrasing Rashi, azoy: Noiach sent the raven out of the Teyvo to determine whether the earth was dry -thus allowing him and his family, along with the animals, to disembark. Ober the raven -though it left the Ark- refused to leave the vicinity of the ark, and simply flew to and fro in the area. Why wouldn’t the raven leave? Did Noiach actually send the raven on a mission? Or, was it expelled from the Teyvo for bad behavior?
Nu, to chap just what went down between Noiach and the raven, we need to dig deeper into the Gemora which is then followed up by one of the most amazing and enlightening Ohr Hachaim commentaries the Oisvorfer has ever come across. Halt kup (pay attention), you will surely not be disappointed. Just last week chaver Jeff Rosenberg sent in a comment -see above- suggesting that the Oisvorfer’s parshas Bereishis review (last week’s posting) was the best he had ever read since he became a follower. The Oisvorfer, while avada flattered, begs to differ: he believes that what you are about to read -the discussion between Noiach and the raven- and how the Gemora, the Ohr Hachaim, and others, provide color on the discussion, will mamish blow you away. Let’s go veyter.
Says the heylige Gemora: when Noiach ordered the raven out on its mission to check out conditions, to see if the earth was sufficiently dry, it refused to leave the Teyvo (Ark). Why? Said the raven: evidently your Master hates me and you Noiach, hate me as well. Did birds back then have the ability to speak? That too is a debate. Either it spoke, or this is what Noiach thought the bird might be saying without speaking. He so inferred. Which was it? Ver veyst? Were we there? No! Veyter.
Said the raven: Your Master zicher hates me for He instructed you to take (into the Teyvo) seven of each species of clean animals but only two of the unclean, and this surely indicates that He hates unclean animals. As an aside, the raven, while not an animal, was also considered to be unclean and only two were allowed on board. And you too hate me for you are ordering me out of the Teyvo on a dangerous reconnaissance mission knowing that there are but two of us: me and Mrs. Raven. How do we know that Noiach was talking to Mr. and not Mrs. Raven? We’re about to find out as the plot thickens. Mr. Raven continued: if the Master of heat, or the Master of cold strikes me, and should I die as a result, one species will forever be missing as I will not be around to mate with Mrs. Raven. Moreover, I have more proof that you, Noiach hate me. Perhaps you are sending me out on this mission because you need (want) my wife (Mrs. Raven) as your own mate, and therefore you are sending me to my death. Another medrish will tell us that ravens are very intelligent. You hear this raboyseyee? Mr. Raven was accusing Noiach, whom the RBSO referred to by the appellation of “ish tzadik” (a righteous person), of having desires on Mrs. Raven!? Shreklich and OMG! Could this be emes? Was Noiach interested in learning about the birds & the bees, or at least the birds, through Mrs. Raven? Yikes! As an aside, Noiach is the only Toirah personality known by that appellation. And how did Noiach react to the raven’s accusations? Was Noiach now the second person in two weeks of Toirah readings to have been involved in a sexual assault? Let’s recall that just last week, the nochosh (serpent) made a serious move on Chava (Eve). For that assault, his legs were chopped off, seemingly all of them, if you chap. Nu, it’s a good thing Noiach was not up for a seat on the United States Supreme Court! Is one guilty merely because an accusation is leveled. Did Noiach take all this lying down, if you chap? Oy vey!
Said Noiach as quoted verbatim in the heylige Gemora: “Wicked one! If even with my wife who is ordinarily permitted to me (sexually), but is now prohibited because the RBSO ordered that all aboard refrain from sexual activity (more on that below), and I have abided by His prohibition, avada and avada (certainly), with a mate that is otherwise always forbidden to me -Mrs. Raven- I have no designs or desires to cohabit with her in any way shape or form.” Noiach then opened the Ark’s window and expelled the raven.
Says the Ben Yehoyada azoy: from Noiach’s retort to the sex allegation, it appeared that Noiach had good reason to expel the raven from the Teyvo. He did? What was it? Seemingly Noiach knew the raven was guilty of his own sex crime. Perhaps he witnessed that Mr. Raven had been rocking the boat -so to speak- and had sexual relations with Mrs. Raven even though, as stated above, the RBSO forbade relations of any sort while the Mabul was underway. In other words, Noiach’s retort to Mr. Raven went like this: you are accusing me of having desires on your wife? I have clean hands! It is you who has been behaving poorly. It is you who impregnated your mate. The propagation of your species is not in doubt. Noiach came back with fighting words! He defended his honor. Ring familiar? You hear all this raboyseyee? Had you known the heylige Gemora was so interesting, explicit and detailed, and often discusses topics always on your mind, as well as other topics relevant in our times, mamish, would you have fallen asleep or thrown spitballs at the rebbe while he was trying to teach a class?
Says the Ohr Hachaim: it’s all true! Noiach did not send the raven out to do reconnaissance. He didn’t? And he knows this how? From the very words in the posik which tells us only that Noiach sent the raven out. The heylige Toirah is silent as to the reason. Did the Toirah think we would figure this out on our own? Moreover, since the heylige Toirah does tell us (when Noiach later sent out the dove) as to its specific mission, it’s mashma (understood) that the raven’s mission was not the same. The raven had no mission; he was simply expelled. Instead, he sent the Yona (Dove) on that very mission. In fact, when the dove returned because it could not find dry land, Noiach sent it out a second time. All this while the expelled raven was circling the Teyvo. It was expelled either because it refused to take on what it perceived as a dangerous mission. Or, for bad behavior: engaging in forbidden sexual activity. And now listen to this. It was efsher guilty of the very crime it accused Noiach of perpetrating. Well, blow me down!
Says the Ohr Hachaim: why would the raven suspect that Noiach had designs and desires for Mrs. Raven? Nu, let’s not forget that one of the primary reasons for the Mabul was because immoral sexuality was rampant in the generation of the Mabul. Humans were shtupping animals, animals too were cross breeding; it was one big orgy. And it seemingly lasted 120 years and longer. Yikes! And the raven may have thought azoy: having believed that Noiach had witnessed him engaging with Mrs. Raven, if you chap, efsher Noiach’s instincts and desires were aroused. In other words: Noiach saw the raven engaged with his wife, Mrs. Raven. OMG: say it’s not so. Let’s not forget that our sages have always claimed that watching something (or someone), arouses one’s greed and lust to posses the very object one has just observed. The bottom line: peeking, looking and zicher voyeurism, can lead to forbidden actions. Avada many of you remember how you abused, if you chap, those magazines you purchased from your local Pakistani convenience store: oy vey! And that is why our sages have been so careful to forbid looking at certain parts of the human body. Sheets anyone? Raboyseyee, what you read just above, is mamish from no lesser a Toirah giant than the Ohr Hachaim, a giant Torah scholar and more.
The bottom line: avada the Ohr Hachaim was, and is correct. Watching another person or persons engage, can avada arouse desires. Avada now you chap why our rabbis have forbidden television, the movies and the internet. Of course that hasn’t stopped too many from watching TV, cable, going to the movies, and elsewhere, if you chap. And to yet other places to relieve such desires, if you chap. Shoin! That’s how the RBSO programmed man. Let’s not forget that man shares -as we discussed last week- the zodiac with the animal kingdom: they were both born on day six of creation. Any more? The Ohr Hachaim has one more bombshell and here it is.
Another reason Noiach expelled the raven after having called him wicked, was because Noiach applied a givaldige and kimat always 100% emes principal known in Gemora parlance as “kol hapoisale, bimummoi poisale.” And that means what? “When someone accuses another of moral shortcomings, he typically accuses the outsider of the very moral defect that he himself is guilty of. Same holds true -at least in certain cases- when women make accusations. Isn’t that the absolute truth!? And this concept can be found where? Where else but in the heylige Gemora (Kidushin 70), where else? Isn’t everything we need to know about life found there? Shoin! In other words: Noiach told the raven azoy: you could not have suspected me of having desires on Mrs. Raven unless you yourself are guilty of such behavior. Was the raven indeed guilty?
Shoin: had Brett Kavanaugh studied a shtikel Gemora instead of drinking beer with his chaverim (school buddies) while in high school, or even college, he could have learned this shtikel and efsher figured out that his accuser efsher had some dirty laundry of her own to hide. Did she? Gishmak! Let’s go veyter, the raven’s story continues.
What happened next? Was the raven punished or rewarded for its behavior? That depends on which medrish talks to you; of course they don’t all say the same thing. One tells us that the raven kept circling the Teyvo wanting get back in, ober Noiach refused him entry. Another tells us farkert: the RBSO instructed Noiach to let the raven back, the raven needed to be saved. Why? Because generations later, it would have a mission and would indeed perform a good deed, maybe a life saving one. When? In the times of Eliyohu (Elijah). What happened then? Nu, let’s learn a few pisukim of the Novee (Prophets) and specifically let’s read from Malochim (Kings I- 17: 2-7). Says the Novee:
|2. And the word of the Lord came to him saying.||בוַיְהִ֥י דְבַר־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֵלָ֥יו לֵאמֹֽר:|
|3. “Go from here and you shall turn eastward and hide in the brook of Cherith, which is before the Jordan.||גלֵ֣ךְ מִזֶּ֔ה וּפָנִ֥יתָ לְּךָ֖ קֵ֑דְמָה וְנִסְתַּרְתָּ֙ בְּנַ֣חַל כְּרִ֔ית אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַיַּרְדֵּֽן:|
|4. And it shall be from the brook you shall drink and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.||דוְהָיָ֖ה מֵהַנַּ֣חַל תִּשְׁתֶּ֑ה וְאֶת־הָעֹרְבִ֣ים צִוִּ֔יתִי לְכַלְכֶּלְךָ֖ שָֽׁם:|
|5. He went and did as the word of the Lord, and he went and resided in the Brook of Cherith which is before the Jordan.||הוַיֵּ֥לֶךְ וַיַּ֖עַשׂ כִּדְבַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֑ה וַיֵּ֗לֶךְ וַיֵּ֙שֶׁב֙ בְּנַ֣חַל כְּרִ֔ית אֲשֶׁ֖ר עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַיַּרְדֵּֽן:|
|6. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and from the brook did he drink.||ווְהָעֹרְבִ֗ים מְבִיאִ֨ים ל֜וֹ לֶ֚חֶם וּבָשָׂר֙ בַּבֹּ֔קֶר וְלֶ֥חֶם וּבָשָֹ֖ר בָּעָ֑רֶב וּמִן־הַנַּ֖חַל יִשְׁתֶּֽה:|
|7. And it came to pass after a time that the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land.||זוַיְהִ֛י מִקֵּ֥ץ יָמִ֖ים וַיִּיבַ֣שׁ הַנָּ֑חַל כִּ֛י לֹֽא־הָיָ֥ה גֶ֖שֶׁם בָּאָֽרֶץ:|
What exactly took place? The RBSO sent Eliyohu into hiding knowing that king Achav wanted him dead. Eliyohu took shelter in a cave. Ober what to eat? Let’s re-read posik (verse) six just above. Shoin, the RBSO instructed the raven -He made it instinctive for the raven- to gather meat and bread and deliver it to Eliyohu twice a day. Of course the raven knew where to find only kosher meat and bread. Of course! Would the RBSO allow the raven to bring Eliyohu non-kosher meat? Case Closed? Avada not and whether Eliyohu had and ate kosher meat is of course also debated, ober that for another day. The bottom line: seemingly the raven wasn’t all that bad despite having accused Noiach of having desires on Mrs. Raven and despite the fact that he -according to the heylige Gemora (Sanhedrin), and myriad medroshim, had sex in the Teyvo. Some say that the raven’s tikun (as part of his penitence), was to later to feed Eliyohu. Ober how was the raven punished for prohibited sex while in the Teyvo? Was he? Let’s find out. Daily in our davening (prayers), we recite five different hallilukas, all from Tihilim (Psalms). From 147:9, we recite these words:
|9. He gives the animal its food, to the young ravens which call out.||טנוֹתֵ֣ן לִבְהֵמָ֣ה לַחְמָ֑הּ לִבְנֵ֥י עֹ֜רֵ֗ב אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִקְרָֽאוּ:|
And in plain English? The RBSO prepares food for the children of the raven who cry out because they lack food. Ober, why are they malnourished and crying? Says the Mitzudas Dovid so gishmak azoy: When the raven, which is black, lays its eggs, they come out white. The raven looks at the white egg and suspects Mrs. Raven of having mated another bird. He denies paternity. Where the hec is Maury Povich when really needed? Accordingly, he believes the kids are not his and will not feed them. Ober, the RBSO of course has rachmonis on these chicks and provides food for them. How? He places mosquitoes into their feces which they then eat for their nourishment. In another version the Oisvorfer read, it says only that the RBSO arranges for mosquitoes to fly into the mouths of the raven’s offspring thereby providing nourishment.
The heylige Gemora Sanhedrin tells us that three had prohibited sex on the Teyvo: the raven, the dog, and Chom (Ham), one of Noiach’s three boys. Each was punished for life. How? For today, we will focus on the raven only. Says the heylige Gemora: the raven was punished through spitting. Vus mynt dus (what does that mean)? Rashi, who avada knew what the Gemora meant, tells us azoy: the raven seemingly uses its beak during intercourse. It shoots or spits seed from its mouth, or uses its mouth to touch its mate’s sexual organ and or is forced to touch its mate’s sexual organ with it. Well, blow me down! Is that so giferlich (terrible)? No further comment.
A gittin Shabbis!
The Heylige Oisvorfer Ruv