Thursday, May 04, 2006

Kedoshim (Torah)

“You Shall be Holy, for I the Lord am Holy”

There is a certain innate contradiction or paradox in the commandment, with which this week’s portion begins, to be holy because God is holy. The Divine attribute of holiness implies His removal from the world, His transcendence, His being “Holy Other”—in short, that aspect of God which is ultimately above and beyond human comprehension.

It seems to me that some of the midrashim on this verse may be understood in light of this tension. On the one hand, there are those who read this verse as a call to imitate God’s holiness, and to withdraw, whether to a greater or lesser extent, from things of this world. “Just as I am holy, so shall you be holy.” “’You shall be holy’—You shall be separated” (Torat Kohanim). Carried to its logical conclusion, this approach can serve as the basis for the other-worldly, asceticism strain in Judaism (or, for that matter, in all religious thought and practice), to the idea of holiness as removal from this world. Down this road lie the impulse to abstain from such worldly pleasures as meat, wine, rich food, or whatever; habitual fasting; celibacy; monasticism; withdrawing to the wilderness, wearing coarse garments, oaths of silence, etc. Rashi’s gloss on this midrash interprets it in a more moderate vein: “Removed from sexual misbehavior and impurity.” Ramban rightly notes that, as those things are in any event already forbidden, this verse must be intended to prefer to something additional to that stated. He thus reads it as: “Sanctify yourself in that which is permitted to you”—that is, a moderate measure of abstemiousness: don’t be a glutton even on strictly kosher food, or be immersed in erotic pleasure even with your own wife.

This association of religiosity with being above “worldly things” is one that one often encounters among simple, ordinary people, in a mistaken way. An amusing incident brought this point home to me recently. One day, shortly before Passover, I went to my local grocery store to buy a loaf of bread. I pointed out to the owner—a young man fond of perusing the works of Rabbi Nahman of Braslav between customers—that there was no price sticker on the bread, a violation both of law as well as of decent, honest business practice and courtesy towards ones customers. “Oh, it’s only bread.” “Yes, but there are half a dozen kinds of bread, each with different prices,” I replied, annoyed, knowing that he was notorious for not marking prices. “And the chocolates over there don’t have any prices on them either.” “Oh, we’ve been busy cleaning for Pesah.” Then he gave a sigh, “Oy, soon the Redeemer will come, and we’re wasting our time with mundane things!” I laughed despite myself at this combination of hutzpah, pious hypocrisy, and cleverness. But on reflection, it is clear that this is precisely what the Torah did NOT mean when it said “you shall be holy.”

A second line of exegesis reads this same verse as implying that “My holiness is above your holiness” (Leviticus Rabbah 24.9) That is, since it is clear that Gods’ holiness is transcendent, unreachable, human holiness must refer to something totally different. The opening verse is then read as a general, overall heading for all that follows; indeed, a straightforward reading of this chapter, as “human holiness writ large,” provides a definition of holiness as decent, ethical behavior. As the Kotzker Rebbe once said in comment on another, analogous verse, “you shall be holy people to me” (Ex 22:31): you shall have mentshlikhe heiligkeit, a human kind of holiness. As I read them, Ibn Ezra and Sforno on this verse, each of whom state in their own way that holiness is attained by following all the mitzvot in this chapter—not only those involving abstemiousness, but primarily by those through which a person imitates God’s moral attributes—are on a similar wave length.

The body of this chapter, then, is a kind of code of holiness writ large. The central bloc of laws of inter-personal behavior and attitudes (vv. 11-18) spells out a code of fellowship: “do not steal… do not lie” and variations. Cheating, deceiving, swearing falsely, favoring one side over another in a court of law, misleading others, oppressing and exploiting others, standing by passively in the face of violence done to another, tale-bearing—all these ultimately come down to seeing ones fellow-man as an opponent or even an obstacle to ones own success in the “game of life.” The Torah teaches here, across the board, regard for him as a fellow person, with the same right to enjoy and benefit from life as oneself, and not as an object to be manipulated or worse when he gets in your way. In this light, it is quite appropriate that “love your neighbor as yourself” (v. 18) comes specifically at the end of this group of laws: as a maxim or underlying principle, that explains the more specific rules that precede it.

Throughout this chapter (and in other adjacent chapters in Leviticus; e.g., Chs. 18; 22, 23), one finds the oft-repeated leit motif: “Ani Hashem Eloheikhem”—“I am the Lord your God.” The use of this phrase seems to be linked to the concept of conscience; that is, it is used to reinforce those deeds which a person may do in private, which he can “get away with” in terms of social sanctions, and from which he refrains only because of his own conviction that it is wrong, his knowledge or belief that there is a God who hears and sees even his most secret actions and even thoughts. (This same principle is used to explain the underlying principle governing the choice of those acts singled out for the ceremony of curses and blessings at Mount Gerizim and Ebal, in Deut 27:11-26.)

“I Will Set My Face Against That Man”

In the second half of this portion, Leviticus 20, the issue of sexuality and forbidden sexual unions returns, this time in terms of the punishment due to those who violate these laws (and including the rather enigmatic punishment known as karet). A lengthy discussion of this chapter would take us too far afield from the other, timely issues on our agenda. But perhaps I can leave the interested reader with two provocative questions, for reflection and/or Shabbat reading, in exegetes, midrashim, etc. First, what are the differences between the details of the prohibited categories here and in Chapter 18, and what are the reasons for them? Second, what is meant by karet—“being cut off from ones people”? This phrase appears here repeatedly (and in scattered places elsewhere in the Torah, for a gamut of serious transgressions), and is considered in the halakhic tradition as a sanction but one step below the death punishment. Is it a social sanction, or one meted out by God? And what exactly does it mean, anyway? Verses 2-6 here provide the closest thing in the Torah to a definition of karet—but even that is far too sketchy. And is there a difference between God “setting his face against you” (which sounds like the inverse of the Priestly Blessing in Num 5:22-27) and “cutting you off” (karet)?

Between these two chapters, in the latter part of the “Holiness” chapter, which is more concerned with the eschewing of pagan practices, there is one verse about sexual matters—“do not profane your daughter to play the whore, lest the land whore and be filled with lewdness (zimah)” (v. 29)—which seems to be a generalized prohibition against promiscuity, even not in the rubric of arayot. It is interesting that this verse is addressed to the fathers, a strikingly patriarchal note (and note 21:9, in which the priest’s daughter who plays the whore also profanes her father).

The concluding section of Chapter 20 (vv. 22-26, esp. 25-26) seems to be a winding up of both the section of Kedoshim and the entire section on impurity that began with Ch . 11. “You shall distinguish between pure and impure animals and birds (hearkening back to Ch. 11!)… and you shall be holy… and I shall separate you from the nations to be mine.” It seems as though the separation between pure and impure, between holy and unholy, and God’s drawing a distinction between Israel and the other nations, exists along one continuum. Perhaps one can divide Leviticus into three main sections: the section on sacrifices and the Sanctuary/Temple, culminating in the initiation of priests and the joyous-tragic day of its dedication (Chs. 1-10); second, laws of the purity and holiness of all Israel, in Chs. 11-20 inclusive (including not only Chs. 11-15, which obviously center around the theme of purity, but also the purgation of the Sanctuary from impurity and cleansing of Israel from sin, in Ch. 16; the avoidance of various impurities of pagan worship and of blood, in Ch. 17; holiness/purity in sexual matters, Chs. 18 & 20; and the holiness cycle, in Ch. 19). Third: several longish miscellaneous sections (laws addressed to the persona of the priests, Chs. 21-22; the holidays and “appointed times,” Ch. 23; the sabbatical and jubilee cycles and related social laws, Ch. 25; and the concluding admonition, Ch. 26).

“One Who Lies with a Man as one does with a Woman…”

It is impossible to discuss these chapters without relating to the explosive and highly charged issue of homosexuality (which appears in Lev 18:22 and 20:13). One of the less expected and more curious developments of the past 25 years or so has been the “emergence from the closet” of a militant, highly articulate homosexual community, insistent upon the validity of its life style, that has vigorously campaigned for its acceptance as a fully legitimate, alternative “sexual orientation”—and the corresponding change in attitude among educated professionals in most Western countries. This issue evokes intense and even violent emotional reactions, in which those who maintain a more traditional attitude, or dare to suggest that there may be some degree of abnormality or even “perversion” of the sexual instinct in homosexual activity are accused of being reactionaries, hate-mongers, and worse. Witness, for example, the recent polemic on the Internet ( between two Orthodox Jewish figures, Laura Schlesinger and Rabbi Shmuely Boteach.

At the risk of being the proverbial fool rushing in where angels fear to tread, I will offer a few comments. It seems to me that there are three separate issues: a) Is homosexuality in fact “ingrained” or “inborn,” or is it volitional? b) What is a proper, compassionate, and at the same time Jewishly and halakhically authentic response to the individual practice of homosexuality? c) How should one respond to the present cultural climate vis-à-vis this issue?

1. Is homosexuality “ingrained”? One of the widely circulated truisms of the past decade is that homosexuality has in fact been shown by science to be innate or inborn in certain individuals. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to study this issue in depth, even to the extent that this is possible for a layman. However, as I understand it, the basis for the claims of the “innate” school is a handful of experiments revealing a correlation between the size and development of a certain area of the hypothalamus and sexual orientation. But these findings are by no means conclusive and, more important, it is not clear how they are to be interpreted. A possible alternative explanation is that, through some mechanism that we do not yet understand, sexual orientation and/or activities may affect the development of a given sector of the brain, and not vice versa (an experiment involving mice indicated that certain parts of the brain developed in dramatically different ways among mice who engaged in intensive sexual activity and those isolated from the opposite sex). Again, both of these may be caused by some third factor. In any event, it is far from being proven that homosexuality is in fact an inborn, unalterable genetic trait.

Part of the difficulty is that scientific findings, which in professional journals are reported in tentative fashion and with reservations, as befits the scientific method, often filter down to the broader public in a selective and tendentious manner. In this case, one gets the distinct impression that certain interests, highly skilled in public relations and with a very definite ideological axe to grind, have succeeded in “selling” the notion to the educated elite of Western society that homosexuality is innate and unalterable, and thus deserving of full recognition as a legitimate, equal “option” and even as a protected civil right.

Moreover, in this case medical science itself has officially fostered the new norms. During the late ‘80’s or early ‘90’s the diagnostic manual of the American Psychological Association reclassified homosexuality as not being a psychological illness. What is not generally known is that these definitions are largely based on a functional definition of normalcy—i.e., that which is functional or malfunctional within a given society—and not on any “objective” definition of mental health. In other words, the APA decision simply means that the new social climate that has been created regarding this issue in fact makes it possible for homosexuals to function more comfortably and even openly in broader society, so that it is in fact no longer “dysfunctional” in that sense.

2. The Individual Aspect. But whether or not homosexuality is “inborn” or “innate”—and it seems that the wisest course would be to “bracket” this issue—it is nevertheless clear that, subjectively, to the individual gay person, it is a given fact of his existence. In many cases, it may even be experienced as a compulsive activity, over which the individual feels he has little or no willful control, and that the prospects of change or “cure” are so small as to be virtually nil. This issue, too, is most controversial, and highly colored by ideological prejudices on both sides.

Given all that, ordinary human compassion and decency would dictate that the homosexual be accepted as a person, with human love and kindness. Within the boundaries of the clear-cut Torah prohibition, we must seek a humane, non-reactionary approach to individual homosexuals. To paraphrase Beruriah’s philosophy, based on a novel interpretation of Psalm 104:35 —“let sin disappear from the earth, not the sinners”— we might say that one ought to “love the homosexual but hate homosexuality.” An awareness of the intensely personal, emotionally charged nature of sexuality dictates that in this, perhaps more than any other area of life, a great measure of understanding and compassion is called for. I would invoke here Maimonides’ words at the end of Laws of Forbidden Intercourse (which I quoted in Aharei Mot), to indicate the universal nature of sexual temptation, thought and sin—and hence the need for great empathy and compassion toward others in this area. One somehow needs to invoke a non-judgmental tone without suspending halakhic values altogether.

In this context, I would advocate an halakhic approach applying the categories of shogeg—unintentional or inadvertent actions—or even of oness—acts performed under duress—to homosexual practices. Tosafot to Sanhedrin 9b, s.v. lirtzono presents the argument that a known adulterer may nevertheless be permitted to give testimony in a court of law (despite being considered a rasha, an “evildoer”), because “His Yetzer (Impulse) forced him so much that it is considered as tantamount to an act committed involuntarily.” That is, the sexual urge may at times be so overpowering, so overwhelming, as to constitute an “irresistible impulse” that cancels the volitional element and deprives the person, at least momentarily or regarding this matter, of sound moral judgment. It has been suggested that a similar, or even stronger, argument may be made regarding the homosexual impulse.

3. Social-Cultural Aspect. What is truly disturbing about this mood is its public, cultural aspect. How ought we, as religious Jews, to react to the growing legitimation of homosexuality in Western society today?

Susan Sontag, in her “Notes on ‘Camp’” written some thirty years ago, comments on the link between homosexuality and “camp” culture. After defining “camp” as a sensibility “whose essence is… its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration,” she draws an interesting analogy to the Jews, who sought an ideological home in liberal and reformist causes and the open society. There is, by contrast, a certain historical link between homosexuality and the arts, with its celebration of a bohemian, anti-bourgeois, unconventional mode of life. She goes on to note that:

Every sensibility is self-serving to the group that promotes it… The Jews pinned their hopes for integrating into modern society on promoting the moral sense. Homosexuals have pinned their integration onto society on promoting the aesthetic sense. Camp is a solvent of morality. It neutralizes moral indignation, sponsors playfulness… its metaphor of life as theater is peculiarly suited as a justification and projection of a certain aspect of the situation of homosexuals. (The camp insistence on not being “serious,” on playing, also connects with the homosexual’s desire to remain youthful)…

Of course, not all homosexuals are bohemians or artists; we’ve been told ad nauseum that “they” are basically like everyone else. Over the past twenty years, there has in fact emerged a whole community of middle class gays. I was told that in Minneapolis, for example, the fact that a certain neighborhood is known as largely gay raises property values, because they are known to be house-proud, even fastidious home owners. Nevertheless, the nuances and sensibilities noted by Sontag lie at the root of the collective, cultural phenomenon of homosexuality. There is a particular cultural ambience to the gay liberation movement that cannot so easily be denied: the archetypal homosexual hero is very much anti-bourgeois and, almost by definition, anti-family. What does this say about the meaning of its acceptance in today’s society? Is it merely a sign of broad, liberal toleration of difference, or perhaps something more sinister— a sign of decadence, of a society which has ceased to believe in itself and in the kind of mundane heterosexuality and healthy families needed to create the next generation, and in which instead the individual and the satisfaction of his/her needs is the ultimate value?

The newly-hallowed axiom that “sexual preference is a legitimate democratic freedom” is one of the more bizarre ideas to have come along in the Western world in a long time—and is of course anathema to healthy, clear-thinking halakhic thought. The nearly compulsory use of the new, “politically correct” terminology in certain circles: “gays” instead of “homosexuals”; the coining of the terms “homophobia” and “alternative sexual preference”; the definition of “gays” as a minority group with certain collective rights—all these muddle and obscure thinking on this issue.

The current “PC” line on homosexuality has other pernicious effects. For example: one of the social implications is a snowball effect, in which homosexuality becomes a more accepted option. Thus, a sensitive young man who finds himself unable to connect sexually with girls during his mid- or late-teenage years, while he believes that his peers are doing so (and this, in an already over-sexualized culture) may think of himself abnormal, and turn to homosexuality, rather than to allow himself to mature at his own pace. While this cultural factor may be a mitigating factor for the individual: surely, we can only feel compassion for the individual who finds himself growing up in such environment; we are justified in feeling anger with the stupidity of the culture.

On this cultural and societal level, the response of religious Jews must be one of total rejection, on two counts: 1) the clear-cut issur on homosexuality; 2) the value of family—as an institution which in modern society is beleaguered from many directions. While the Jewish philosophy (unlike some Roman Catholic positions) does not see sexuality exclusively for procreation, it certainly sees it as basically being sanctified within the framework of the family, of a potentially fruitful union, etc. There is even the Kabbalistic idea of the sexual act as corresponding to the union of complementary opposites in the cosmic sphere, and of marital sex on Shabbat as carrying mystical overtones.

Again, precisely what this rejection on the cultural level may mean in practical terms is more difficult to define. I certainly would not advocate simple rejection of homosexuals, joining forces with “gay bashing” Christian fundamentalists who see AIDS as divine punishment for perversion, etc. Our training in sensitivity and compassion for the other make this solution unacceptable. Nor would I support discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, and other individual rights. But certainly we must reject communal manifestations: i.e., separate homosexual congregations, definition as a valid minority group, homosexual wedding ceremonies, etc.

A Short Essay on Sexuality

We live in strange times. In many contexts in contemporary American English, “sexiness” is used as one of the highest superlatives, used to praise and sell anything from cars to vodka to musical groups to new ideas in academia. In a peculiar way, this zeitgeist reminds me of the description proffered by Albert Camus in an essay in The Myth of Sisyphus about the culture of the Algerian city of Oran. In Oran, he says, youth was everything; the young men strutted about like bronzed gods, strong, handsome, confident, flirting with girls, in a world in which physical attractiveness and sexiness were the be-all and end-all. By their 30s, once people married and had children, they saw themselves as old, colorless and lifeless—and accepted this as the way of the world. But this was a simple, Mediterranean culture, of mostly poor people; one not particular sophisticated or intellectually developed, without the pride of having created great literature or art or music or philosophy found in Europe, lacking in a deep sense of history—in a sense, a culture much closer to a state of nature. The irony is that US culture sees itself as a kind of culminating point of Western civilization: the leader of the free world, the only superpower, the pinnacle of technological and scientific development. And yet, looking at American television, one wonders. Certainly, middle-aged and even older Americans are not placed on the shelf like the Oranians of whom Camus writes, but there is a sense in which they too participate in the worship of youth and, well, “sexiness.” One is reminded of de Tocqueville’s remark about America “going from barbarism to decadence without passing through the stage of civilization.”

After that prelude, perhaps the best place to begin an essay on sexuality is with a bit of etymology. The word “sex” is derived from the Latin sexus, probably derived in turn from secare, “to cut or divide,” related to such words as “second” or “section.” That is, its very essence relates to twoness, the duality of the sexes. The reference to cutting or dividing reminds one of the ancient legend, found also in the Talmud and Midrash, that the first human being was a kind of androgynous being with two faces, who was severed in half by God to make man and woman. The same theme of twoness is suggested by the Latin-derived words for intercourse, “coitus” (or “coition”) and “copulate,” which contain the prefix “co-,” found in a variety of words having to do with interaction involving two or more people or components, such as “cooperation,” “coalition,” etc.

Why belabor the obvious? Let us ask the question: Why did God chose sexuality as the means of propagating the human (and other) races? What do we learn from this? Sexual reproduction brings about a certain randomizing effect, leading to constant change and renewal in the genetic makeup of individuals. In a sense, the mysteries and vagaries of sexual attraction put the lie to Einstein’s famous quip that “God does not play dice with the universe.” In fact, sex is a kind of shaking of the Divine dice, whose results are only read in the faces of the next generation. (Although, of course, Hazal tell us that Divine Providence is in fact behind the seemingly random meetings and matings between the sexes—and that this constitutes one of God’s more difficult and frustrating jobs.)

At this point, I cannot resist interjecting an anecdote. It is told that George Bernard Shaw, one of the sharpest wits of his generation but not a particular handsome man, once met Mae West, the quintessential busty “dumb blond” of her day, leading sex symbol of the silent screen. She told Shaw that, if the two of them were to marry, they would have the most perfect children imaginable, between his brains and her looks. Shaw replied: “but with my luck, they might inherit your brains and my looks!”

Underlying the biological need for two partners is a profound ethical message: that no individual is the “perfect specimen” of humanity. Even the most intelligent, beautiful, strong and physically healthy person is not the end goal of humanity. His offspring will be different from him, and from one another. And he needs another person to create new life: Coitus is, so to speak, the ultimate act of cooperation (all the ugly possibilities notwithstanding).

One might see in this a profound ethical-religious idea: that God alone is the embodiment of perfection. His pure unity, according to Maimonides, implies that His existence alone is non-contingent; sex is one of many reminders that the individual human being is not sufficient unto him- or herself. Our need for the other in sexuality, whether on the level of sheer desire or on that of needing the other to produce progeny, emphasizes the gap between man and God. In these days when cloning has become a scientific reality, and there is even an entire sect dedicated to the idea that cloning of ourselves is the ultimate goal of humanity (intended by the creatures from outer space who created us, according to their bizarre reading of the Bible), these points deserve reiteration.

A second essential point about human sexuality: people often use the phrase “animal sexuality” to refer to a kind of uncivilized, voracious, promiscuous, raw sexuality. But in point of fact, the difference between animals and humans runs in the exact opposite direction. Human beings are the only mammalian species who do not have an oestrus: that is, whose females do not “go into heat.” Among all other mammals, the females become sexually receptive for a brief, delimited period, when they and all males in the area are preoccupied with nothing but sex; the rest of the time, they go about their business without the slightest urge for copulation. Only among human beings is sexual intercourse a constantly available option. My brother, a biologist, informs me that socio-biologists offer various explanations for this: that, as human beings require a long period of maturation, the stronger sexual bonding created between man and woman helps to assure that the man will stay around to help raise his progeny (which, as we sadly know in our generation, is far from foolproof!). Be that as it may, I would like to offer a religious conjecture about this phenomenon: that it serves the moral purpose of creating an arena for constant ethical trial. Because the sexual urge is so omnipresent, it presents a great test. This is what Ezra’s cohorts complained about in the above-quoted midrash, when they said that they would prefer having “neither it, nor its reward.” We have thus seen that sexual impulses have presented a problem to humankind since earliest times. I would like to offer a thumbnail sketch of the different options proposed for coping with this dilemma throughout history, to help illuminate our present cultural situation, and so as to understand the approach of Judaism and to place it within a certain context.

i) Mating based on raw sexual attraction and power, in which the most attractive females go to the dominant males. This is the cave-man sex of the cartoons, essentially similar to what exists in animal species. This is one possible reading of Genesis 6:1-2, where the “sons of gods,” who were more powerful than anyone else, grabbed whatever women they liked;

ii) Rejection of sexuality: in reaction to the unbearable corporeality of sex, that contradicts a certain kind of spiritual awareness and wish on the part of men and women to see themselves in purely spiritual terms, early Christianity proposed celibacy as the ideal solution to the person who wished to live a truly religious person. In Far Eastern religions, the celibacy of Buddhist monks and itinerant Hindu holy men reflected a similar view, but often only after having raised a family;

iii) Romantic love—sex as justified by and expressive of love. This is the code reflected in much popular culture, films and TV. Again, since sex as a purely animal act is too awful to contemplate, degrading to the human self-image, it must reflect some deeper, emotional reality. The problem is: what has this to do with stable marriage? If love justifies and motivates marriage, falling in love with a fascinating stranger can just as easily be a way out from a dull and boring marriage. Witness the widespread theme of adultery in much literature that explores romantic love, and its tragic results for such heroines as Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. Or even earlier: the medieval literature of courtly love celebrates the knight’s love for another man’s wife. Or Goethe’s Young Werther, romantic hero of an entire generation, for whom suicide was the only way out for his frustrated love of his best friend’s wife. Again, romantic love provides the perfect rationale for teenage sex: If you’re really in love, why wait?

iv) The “sexual revolution” of the mid-twentieth century (really, the early ‘60s, and the invention of the contraceptive pill). This roughly coincided with the coming of age, at least sexually, of the children of the baby boom. Suddenly, pre-marital sex became acceptable among respectable, middle-class people. But two things happened: sexual activity became accepted among younger and younger age groups; and, as it became a common norm, sex was more and more divorced from any emotional connection, not to say commitment or relationship beyond the “one-night stand.” Ideologically, there was a complete demystification of sexuality. Sex was seen as a simple physical pleasure; the problem of coping with the temptation of forbidden fruit was eliminated, by the simple expedient of defining all sexual acts undertaken with mutual consent as permitted. The ethic was expressed in courtship being reduced to people ”coming on to each another” and “If it feels good, do it.” In a sense, this school came full circle to the primitive, “caveman” sexuality of (i), of pure, direct physical attraction.

v) The Jewish view is neither romantic, nor cynical-animalistic, nor ascetic. Halakhah recognizes and respects the tremendous power of sexuality, like “fire in flax.” Its solution is to introduce the Almighty into the equation. Marriage is undertaken as a mitzvah, governed by halakhah. This doesn’t mean that love or attraction don’t enter picture, but that it is undertaken with an awareness that there is a God, and that His Presence as, so to speak, a partner in conception (see Niddah 35a), changes matters completely. What may have started as a purely physical, “hormonal” attraction is thus sanctified, and thus may well merit to become “an eternal building.”


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