Legalizing Gay Marriage: Progress or Regress?

What, me worry?5/13/2012 7:01:07 pm PDT

Rambam is my favorite of the scholars, but I don’t agree with his thoughts on marriage, particularly women. He felt strongly that a woman should be completely submissive to her husband, fear him, intuit his desires, follow his commands and a husband could beat her lightly. Um… yea… He regarded woman, children and fools to have the same intellectual capacity.

What seems as pretty messed up (it is) should also be seen in context of his time. Women were largely unskilled and rarely worked outside the home in the ancient world. They raised children, kept a home and tended to their husband’s needs. This was the norm for 1000s of years. Judaism actually was pretty forward thinking and Maimonides agreed that a woman could get a divorce if she was unhappy. If she was widowed, she and her children could take over her deceased husband’s business if she was able. A practice that was not allowed in other ancient societies.

He also accepted “levirate marriage” - a widow marrying her brother-in-law to keep continuity of the family and give a woman and her orphaned children a place to go. Otherwise they would starve and lose their land/inheritance.

That’s polygamy and also existed for a very long time. So for you to say there was no polygamy is simply wrong.

Did you actually read any of the Rambam, or are you just internet mining quotes? I’m wondering…

As with polygamy, lesbianism is also not mentioned AT ALL in the Torah, but the Rambam prohibits it.

In short, if we go by the way the Rambam believes relations should be, then you would also agree that women should be treated as property, who only live to satisfy her husband, take care of his home and own little for herself. And would be obligated to marry your brother in case of your death.

And if she needs a good stick across the backside, well that’s just fine too.


Now certainly you may believe that, but it’s gonna be a hard sell out here in the real world of working women. Even in Israel. We have evolved. The world has evolved. We continue to evolve.

I feel strongly I can love and honor Maimonides’ words and skip over this part. At least, that’s what I do.

Gays are still entitled to the same legal protections and laws as the rest of society.

And I’d love to hear Bob’s comments on the subject.