In this week’s Torah portion we find our international man of mystery, the pre-Hugh hefner playboy himself, Jacob on the lookout for a wife. He has returned to the homeland of his mother to find a suitable partner, but you know what they say; Every mother hopes her daughter will find a man better than she did and is convinced her son will never find a wife as good as his father did. Let’s see how this one goes for Jacob.
It’s a famous story in Torah teachings of Jacobs labour to win the heart and affection of Rachel only to be duped by his uncle Laban and forced to marry her older sister, Leah. All will be ok guys, this is the Torah there are always happy endings. Jacob works another 7 years and gains the right to marry his dream girl, Rachel. Seems legit, yeh? Depends how you look at it because Jacob now finds himself with 2 wives? Problem? Who knows, let’s delve a bit deeper into the idea.
I was reading some psukim in the portion and I came across one where Rachel bargains sex with Jacob over vegetables with her sister. Terms were agreed upon and Jacobs response was very apathetic like this had become a routine situation, did he really care who he was with on which night? Sometimes when the girls were not up for it or they desperately wanted to provide Jacob with as many offspring as possible they would send their maids in to do the job. How did Jacob get it so good? Is it that good?
This parsha made me think about the debate of monogamy vs polygamy in society, can it work? Should it work and does it go against many moral codes we humans hold so dearly.
There is something comforting and calming about the notion that there is one person out there for everyone and we will all live happy little love filled lives. However there is also something exciting and pleasurable about the notion that sex and affection can be a legitimate form of expressing all kinds of emotions to our fellow humans, not just love. Imagine if sex with friends was simply a way of letting each other experience one another in their most vulnerable and naked self, a chance to share a lovely human experience with people that inspire and motivate you. How many times have any of you heard the words, “no we’re just friends, it could complicate things” why?
Why has sex become such a taboo in our modern societies? Is it even a taboo anymore? The amount of sexualisation of pop-stars and celebrities combined with the applauded promiscuity of teenagers and young adults, can lead observers to believe that the era of sexual prude ship is over. However it all stops once someone puts a ring on it or commits to a long term, exclusive relationship. Now I’m not saying polygamy is a form of what we would call today as cheating, nor is it exclusively a pure sexual and pleasurable act. It could be a way of life and interaction with mankind, people need to mutually enter into a polygamist relationship and have the desire to explore all avenues of human connection, emotional as well. Being able to open your heart and soul up to more than that special someone can be very rare in men and woman today.
Maybe there is a fair argument to be made for the need one human has for another as an exclusive connection but I am not convinced.
Are the actions of the youth of today mixed with the messages of the ever growing manipulative media sending us into a future of prolonged sexual promiscuity as a manifestation of a change in social values….? who knows. Maybe Jacob had it right or maybe we just never saw all the behind the scene headaches 4 lovers gave him.
I think Lady Gaga said it best when she said, “Let’s have some fun this beat is sick, I wanna take a ride on your disco stick.” I think my soul just died 🙁