Parasha Naso (Numbers 4:21–7:89) 5-28-17

1 year ago

May 28, 2017. My 51st birthday! This week’s Torah portion deals with the Sotah (woman suspected of adultery). A civilization must police women’s sexuality more strictly than men’s because most men will never turn down sex from attractive woman. Men’s sexuality is generally fixed while women’s sexuality is more fluid. Women are the sex gatekeepers. We need to know who the father is or civilization collapses. I suspect many marriages would be helped by a Sotah-like ritual so men could cease suspecting their wives of adultery. In Jewish law, adultery only occurs when a married woman has sex outside of wedlock. A faithless wife is a much more serious problem than a faithless husband just as a promiscuous single woman is more of a problem than a promiscuous single man. “The unfaithful wife is a recurring prophetic image for Israel’s infidelity to God.” (Milgrom)

* Num. 5:13: “Although capital punishment may not be imposed on the basis of the testimony of a single witness (Num. 35:30), this verse implies that the case of an adulteress is an exception.” (Milgrom)

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