Jesus and the Talmud - Women.
September 28, 2006
Santa Cruz, California
Received by FAB.
I am here, Jesus.
I come tonight to write again on my relationship to the Jewish Talmud. Today I wish to discuss women.
Every sincere Jew is proud of the fact that the Jewish heritage honors women in a way that was unprecedented in the ancient world. Indeed, in that distant time, Judaism stood alone in this regard. In other ancient cultures, women were seen as no better than cattle, items for ownership. But in Judaism, women were seen as holy, and marriage was considered an equal partnership. In fact, the marriage relationship was seen as an equivalent to one’s relationship with God. That’s how highly women were honored.
As I grew to adulthood, I absorbed eagerly this lofty and elevated way of seeing. Of course, the Divine Love, with Its resulting closeness to God, would not allow any lesser attitude. But it was a great gift to me that my culture actively encouraged seeing women as worthy of respect and love.
It was because marriage was seen as holy that adultery was perceived as such a serious sin.
This lofty attitude pervades what became the Talmud. There is a whole section, or order, of the Talmud devoted to women. It is called Nashim.
You are learning the true value of this great book. Previously, you saw it as “a straitjacket.” You now realize its original intention was exactly the opposite. It sought to make relevant the Torah to contemporary realities.
And so, far from abolishing the Law, I cherished it, and absorbed everything I could that brought me closer to God. At that time, there was so much to value, despite the general impression of chaos and rebellion that has prevailed.
Since marriage was sacred, much thought was given by the Talmudic rabbis to issues concerning the relationship between husband and wife, and marriage in general. For example, the ketubah, or marriage contract, protects women in many ways. It stipulates that if a husband leaves his wife, he has to provide for her anyway. The ketubah is thus squarely for the protection of women.
As I studied and absorbed this beautifully enlightened heritage, I grasped the concept that women generally possess certain qualities that are generally more developed in them than in men. I understood that my own nature, which was always spiritual, was deeply akin to that of women, and I actively encouraged women to join my movement, despite the impression created in the New Testament that I limited myself to twelve disciples. No, such was not the case. In fact, in one sense I related better to women than to men, because I felt they understood my nature more easily.
I know I haven’t been too specific in this message in referring to the Talmud, but the point I have been trying to make is that its values pervaded the culture and enabled me to feel supported, despite the impression created in the Bible. No, there were many forces on my side, and my life could have taken a different course had sanity prevailed instead of hysteria.
As the world evolves toward a closer and more accurate perception of my life, people will be more and more able to lift up the Talmud as one of the major influences in my life that strengthened and fostered my message of Divine Love.