Date: August 10, 2019 10:49PM
> The real innovation of Judaism, I think, was to
> make intelligence a thing before it was a thing.
> Smart guys don’t naturally reproduce without
> some kind of coercion.
NUMBER ONE: For sure, intelligence (or its proxy: "learning") is 25% of the four traditional considerations for matchmaking--but it goes in both directions. From the perspective of the potential groom's family, intelligence in a potential bride for their son/grandson is equally important--not only for purposes of procreation (Jews figured out early that smart parents usually have smart/smarter offspring), but also because (traditionally) women were central to whatever the family business was. A husband wanted the most intelligent wife he could get (because much of his future business success was going to depend on her), just as a wife wanted the most intelligent husband she could get.
I don't know why you think that "smart guys don't naturally reproduce without some kind of coercion," because Jewish guys (including those at the top end of the intelligence scale) tend, more often than not, to be fairly sexual AND sensual. Not every Jewish man, of course, but a high percentage compared to (as an example) the aggregate of Mr. Cleaver types (from TV's "Leave it to Beaver").
> “Forget about that hot Palestinian boy across
> the fence. Honey, stop drooling. Stay with me.
> Here’s smart Shem. We need you to take one for
> the team.”
This happens--but the prospective bride always has the right to refuse, so it doesn't ALWAYS happen. Mostly, a bride is looking for a pleasing combination of all of the traditional four elements.
> That coercion consisted of a cosmology that
> encouraged women to value smartness and guide
> their offspring into brainy occupations. Over
> time, this selected for intelligence. Culturally
> speaking, this was a huge win especially as the
> 20th century rolled around.
True on all points.
NUMBER TWO: "Yichus" [yih-hoos]: family background. Where it exists, good yichus is a positive when the search for a marriage partner is on--and again, this goes in the other direction also. If the bride is in the same family as a noted scholar (etc.), her comparatively "better" yichus will likely count in some meaningful way.
NUMBER THREE: Being a mensch. This includes tikkun olam ("repairing the world," "charity," "doing good works"), and being a hardworking, helpful, cooperative, caring, honest person to everyone in that person's community and beyond. Being a mensch counts for a LOT when it comes to choosing a marriage partner.
NUMBER FOUR: Money. Money means that all the kids will get good educations (starting at pre-school level), and will have the foundation for their own, adult, successes in business and in careers. For Jews, money also means that, if a family's life is in danger from expulsions, pogroms, etc., that the family (and probably the neighbors, and other members of the community too) can escape to a safer place. In a whole lot of situations Jews have faced throughout history, money can mean the difference between surviving or not. It also means that joint community efforts can be assured: a new synagogue building if necessary, a hospital, being able to gift smart but impoverished students in the community with what they need to obtain educations commensurate with their abilities, etc.
> Unfortunately, Joseph Smith knew a good con when
> he saw one. Where’s Judaism properly applied
> could get nerds laid, the same mythology could be
> twisted to get him laid.
You need to realize: Nerds are ATTRACTIVE in Jewish culture, for the reasons cited above. Nerds are SO attractive in Jewish culture that PROSPECTIVE fathers-in-law will often pay for their educations, in anticipation that a good chance will exist for them to become sons-in-law. Their daughters almost certainly have the same set of values.
This is a fun topic, Babylon--brings back a lot of memories of when I was going through school.
Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2019 04:43PM by Tevai.