Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Feeling frisky? Feeling shomer? There's an app for that

So, at first I was wondering what to touch on from this week's parsha. So many topics I could pick from. So many buttons I could press. Let's see: being gay, intermarriage, conversion to Judaism, Yom Kippur, drunkenness, monetary honesty, being holy, sexual no-nos, sexual abuse, niddah, grudges and forgiveness. Just goes on.

Then I saw this article online.* Quick summary: A bill has been passed in Tennessee**  allowing parents to sue teachers for “promoting or condoning ‘gateway sexual activity’ by students.” Detractors are arguing that this "gateway activity" could lead to things as dangerous as holding hands, hugging and cuddling.
Who knows? Mixed dancing?!

The writer of the article on The Frisky website is mocking the bill, for leading to such dangerous activities as this, and scoffing at the possibility that holding hands and such might lead to anything more.

Just in time for the parsha on shomer negiah. This is where I pick up my asbestos gloves.

I've been both shomer and non-shomer in relationships. Current status: shomer & will stay that way until marriage. My journey may be the subject of another post. I do have two stories to share with you.

This is reminding me very much of a date I went on with a rather cute guy last year.  He had a rough time in yeshiva growing up because he was the sort to ask questions and became a bit of a troublemaker after one of the rabbis behaved somewhat inappropriately with him. Now, no longer frum. (Can we call him RC? Rather Cute? Good)
RC: Why do you keep shomer?  I was told that the reason you shouldn't keep shomer was demons. Yeah, demons. Can you believe that?
Me: When I didn't keep shomer, I found that the people I met wore the masks of demons.
This pretty much sums up my attitude in a nutshell.

Today, was another adventure in I-am-shomer-land. One girl at my college is hashkafically farther to the right than myself. How much farther?
Orthodox vs. Modern Orthodox. (Given the guys she tried to set me up with, I'm tempted to name her "Orthoditz." But that would be cruel)
After she tried to set me up*** I said: That's really nice of you, but you need to check if the boy keeps shomer negiah or not.
Her: Really?
Me:  Um, yeah.
Her: *HUG*
Me: uh, thanks.
Her: *HUG*
Me: ...(I start patting her gently on the back)
Her: *HUG*
Me: I'm glad you appreciate it?
Her: *HUG*
Me: .... (more patting gently on the back) (This is getting awkward)
Her: *HUG* (clearly I'm the only one who feels awkward)
Me: I like you too? Not that way? (really awkward?)
Her: *HUG* (Just me then)
Me: Oooook then. (more patting) (starting to feel slightly terrified)
Her: *HUG*
Helpless to resist this tactile force of nature, I keep standing there like I've been turned to stone. After five minutes she steps back, grasps my arms and says warmly, "I am soooo proud of you!"
I feel soooo Neve. Right now.
And I didn't even go to Neve.
No offense to Neve. They do wonderful things. Still, can't help but feel slightly frightened of people who try to mikarev me.

If you want to find reasons to be shomer negiah, they're there. I'll be happy to share some that are more than: there is an argument over whether or not this is a mitzvah d'orayta and do you really want to mess with that?****
If you want to find reasons not to be shomer negiah, they exist as well. I do not believe in them, will not endorse them, and so won't share them. However, there are reasons. 

I am not here to tell you what to do. I am here to say what I'm thinking, and what my thoughts are about the choices I see being made. But your choices are your own to make. They always will be.

This is my thought on the parsha. I think that this is why Acharei Moth and Kedoshim are joined together.
Whatever you decide, however you choose, please remember:
Be holy,  because, in the end, you answer to Gd.

* Here are links to the relevant articles

Tenissee? Tennis see? See Tennis? Tennis the Menace?

My shidduch adventures might almost be worth publishing. Be patient!
If I don't get distracted I may put up stories soon.

If you really want my reasoning, I can write another post. I'm just not sure that what I have to add to the argument hasn't been said already.


  1. Add a "Follow" to your blog, so that it comes thru our Blogger feeds.



  2. Frumgeek: thanks!

    WM: Thanks for the tip.

  3. As a man who works with lots of women I can tell you that sometimes the only barrier to indiscretion between two workers that can lead to disasterous consequences is the "no touch" rule. It's hard to slip off to the backroom closet for a menage a doux if you haven't even shared that first hug. It maintains an appropriate and respectful distance. When even a professional handshake is an issue anything more is far less likely to occur.


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