My newly found friend in Hadera is on the mark when he describes friendship. And if Tzvika Gendelman is still the mayor of Hadera I would ask him to give Mark a position of Director of Human Relations in the iriya.
I have not yet returned to the real world. Mark’s comments on one of my articles (this is the 428th) put me in a trance, a pleasant trance, from which I have no desire to be awakened.
I met Yitzhak Mizrachi on a street in Beersheba in 1951. He invited me to have a cup of coffee with him. That cup created a lifelong friendship between him and me and our respective families.
It is the little things, the small things which most people neglect to notice, that create bigger things. And for me there is nothing bigger nor better than true and lasting friendships.
Maybe one day Mark and I will meet and I’ll be delighted to buy him a cup of coffee, and, of course. I’m not forgetting a slice of cake. What is coffee without a delicious slice of cake to be washed away in a moment of delicious and lascivious pleasure?
Today in a kosher café I picked up a copy of a 50-page pamphlet published by an Orthodox organization. I was intrigued by the words on the colorful front cover “This pamphlet is for men only.” What secrets could it contain that needed to be revealed to “men only”? As I glanced at the table of contents I saw chapter after chapter dealing with the “sin” of masturbation and the “sickness” of pornography, page after page in an attempt to save the souls of those men who practice the ”forbidden” but natural lusts. It instructs men not to sleep on their stomachs or backs, only on their side, in order to prevent “committing a sin”.
I was amused by the Orthodox concern for those practices and I wondered where there was a concern for the many Orthodox rabbis, yeshiva teachers, and laymen who find pleasure in sexual relationships with young boys or girls, young men and women, practicing sodomy, oral and anal sex and mutual masturbation.
How convenient it is for our Orthodox brethren to keep silent on un-orthodox practices of their fellow Orthodox-im.
The yeshiva world today is not what it was intended to be. The Baal Shem Tov and his followers, the members of Chabad who follow the faith and practices of the late rebbe Menachem Schneerson, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, all taught the importance of loving one’s fellow-man. Those Torah giants emphasized love, kindness, understanding, sharing as God’s wishes. They withheld criticism of any Jew who deviated from Torah, who did not keep Shabbat or observe the kosher dietary laws. They loved every Jew because he was a Jew created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.
How can one be created in God’s image if we do not know what His image is? It is His breath, that which He breathed into Adam’s nostrils and made him “Adam kadmon”… the first man. The breath of God is man’s soul, the only part of his body that no doctor can discover upon examination. The stethoscope reveals the heart beat but it cannot hear the soul.
There are tragically or rather, sadly, so many lost souls, dead souls, walking the earth in search of something which is so close and yet so far away. It is the friendship, deep and meaningful, in which one friend accepts his friend without judgement…. But only with love and respect.
My new friend Mark in Hadera has a pure and loving soul. Mark is on the mark concerning real friendship.
Would that the Orthodox writers of such pamphlets which they entitle “The Battle of Our Generation”—the battle against man’s sexual pleasures, would open their eyes to the natural world, not only to the spiritual world. I hesitate to tell the Orthodox writers that it is a losing battle.
It has been ever since Onan, son of Judah and grandson of our patriarch Jacob, died. (Genesis 38). And of course, we must not forget the rape of drunken Noah by his own grandson .
Has anyone ever considered our Bible to be pornographic?