Date: October 20, 2021 07:29PM
Lot's Wife Wrote:
> This is an interesting post.
> In Jesus the Christ, Talmage mentions that rabbis
> have always been married and uses that as evidence
> that Jesus must have enjoyed that status as well.
I had totally forgotten this, LW, but you are absolutely correct. I remember when I was growing up (1950s), there were general audience (means: "everyone": all Americans including Jews), dramas (film and TV), books, and magazine articles which made either pivotal plot points, or passing reference, to the accepted "fact" that "all rabbis must be married in order to be [congregational] rabbis." Some of these productions were overtly dramatic, and some were general audience comedic, often centering around "getting Moishe married" so HE (there were no female rabbis in the 1950s) could qualify to become a rabbi.
[There were no female rabbis in the 1950s, but females who had the knowledge and skills to become rabbis often chose to become rabbi's wives, since it was the nearest they could get to the rabbinate. Throughout much of Jewish history, countless Jewish women chose this path because they could not, themselves, become rabbis.]
> He goes on, of course, to say that Jesus had
> multiple wives...
This is actually a possibility. When Israel became a state, many new male immigrants arrived (mainly from Muslim lands) with more than a single wife, and more-than-one wife was a real problem for a time. As I recall, a decision was made by the Israeli government that a man could enter with as many wives and children as he had at that moment, but no additional wives would be allowed once that man became an Israeli citizen. To my knowledge (which may not be correct) this policy is still in effect today, because new immigrants to Israel are still arriving in Israel with multiple legal wives.
> As for the special status of the wife of a rabbi,
> you are right to date that to the Middle Ages.
> The Kabbalah has a lot to say about the "bisexual"
> nature of God, the female as well as the male
> manifestation. It follows that an unmarried rabbi
> is in some senses incomplete, unable fully to
> understand and represent divinity. Viewed that
> way Mormonism is closer to Medieval Judaism (and
> the derivative forms of occult Christianity) than
> to Catholicism and other celibate sects.
My knowledge of Kabbalah is not sufficient to respond to this.
I do know that, for basically all of American history, "the rabbi's wife" was often an extremely important part of the Jewish community. When communities were "rabbi shopping," the rebbetzin ("rabbi's wife") was often a central deciding factor for those who were doing the rabbi selecting, since the rebbetzin so often became pivotal in community affairs. (Often, according to tradition, she also lobbied her husband on behalf of individual members of the community if she thought it was the right thing to do.)
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2021 07:37PM by Tevai.