Monday, November 14, 2005

Toby Katz is at it again

Thanks to Dov Bear, we are able to again feature the works of LForD special guest commentator, Ms. Toby Katz, today talking about tortured "feminist" collecge professors with an agenda:

Ms Katz is answering the alleged questions of a college student:

"We are studying “texts of terror” which outlines women who were mistreated in the Torah.

4 females we came across were Hagar, Tamar, Levite’s Concubine, and Jepthah’s daughter. I would like to know—if Judaism is one of the most “accepting” and “pro female/equality” religion why there are stories about women being brutally raped, or thrown to be ‘known’ as is said in the Torah as sacrifices by fathers, and spouses?"

Ms. Katz then goes on the answer the question regarding Hagar by regurgitating Rashi's spin; that Hagar deserved what she got, and Sarah was blameless. (Totally ignoring, as one of the commentors points out that the Ramban, another traditional Torah commentator, criticizes Sarah's behavior quite severely and suggests that becuase of the way Sarah treated the Egyptian Hagar, Sarah's descendants were destined to become slaves in Egypt.)

However, not only did Ms. Katz fail to discuss the other 3 women mentioned by the alleged letter writer, she failed to even mention a 5th female mentioned in the Tanakh and ignored by the alleged "lady college professor."

I am, of course, referring to Bilaam's Ass.

Hmm, on second thought, perhaps some feminist college prof isn't going to use such terminology to refer to a female human, but the "ass," I'm referring to is of the equine variety, that is, an ass of a donkey sort. Now our rabbi taught us that the mesorah teaches us that the reason why Bilaam owned a female donkey was because, well, Bilaam was a bit of a pervert, and used the donkey in a manner that cannot be described on a family blog. I regret to say that our rabbi didn't give us chapter and verse of the source of that little gem. Those sorts of rabbinical comments are part of the reason why I still attend services, despite my growing apikorsus.

But Ms. Katz, could, indeed answer a question about that incident quite well, as it involves the usual traditional Jewish demonization of goyish religious leaders (unless they're right-wing King James Bible-thimping Calvinist Christians). (Frankly, I think the whole Bilaam story is bogus -- Why doesn't God just let Bilaam curse Israel until he's blue in the face, and then when nothing happens to Israel, this is proof that goyish religion is false?)

However, a little later in the comments sections, methinks Ms. Katz's real agenda is somewhere besides explaining traditional Jewish interpretations of the Torah text:

Anyone who majored in English or history before circa 1980 has no idea—literally, no idea—how bad things have become, how tendentious and politicized the teaching of the liberal arts has become in the typical American university.

Goodness me, Ms. Katz has an axe to grind! Surprise, surprise. It's those evil feminazi liberal arts secular humanist college professors, especially the "lady" professors who are distorting the Bible. Frankly, I don't buy it. I don't doubt that there are a few off-the-wall feminists and post-modernists out there, but I don't think that the off-the-wall stuff is typical. I have a kid in college, she shows me her lessons. Believe me, the stuff in her literature classes is no different than the BS I had to endure in my pre-1980 University experience, and history is taught in a "scientific manner," which means that traditional Jewish midrash, having no basis in reality, is not generally covered.

In fact, I wonder if Ms. Katz is actually answering a real letter from a real student, or whether the whole exercise was a straw-man, in a manner similar to the source of the letters in the Penthouse Forum. (Alert! Link has adult content.)

In other words, she's not defending the honor of the Torah, she's using it to beat on feminist "lady college professors."


Anonymous uncle moishy said...

Levite's concubine? Never heard of her. Where can I look up her story? (unless of course you want to retell it in your inimical style for me)

12:00 AM  
Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

Unfortnately, I don't know that story either. I'm afraid you'll have to ask Ms. Katz about this.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

It's in Shoftim, I think, but I apparently have no Nach in the house right now...never gonna be done unpacking.

Basically, a Levi goes somewhere with his concubine, who is raped and murdered (without too much intervention from the Levi), which leads to a complicated revenge story. We never find out the woman's name, she's not the point. Ugly, ugly tale, often taught without much background to horrified young college women who didn't realize stuff like that was in the Bible.

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