Sunday, July 18, 2010

An Explanation of "Modesty" - An Orthodox Jewish Perspective

Visit Kresel's Corner for this enlightening, short and too-the-point article.

See also: What is the wardrobe

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Faith in Him


1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust.
3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters.
4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will.

As I write for this blog, it becomes more and more apparent that the role of women is to embody, cling to and revive qualities that in modern society are not lauded or supported.

As I read this definition of faith, I feel how it can be applied in a relationship and make all the difference between one that lasts and one that crashes.

The man in our life needs our faith in him. When all ‘logical proof or material evidence’ seems to scream that he’s making mistakes or that things are going in the wrong direction or that his wild schemes will lead to no good end, we have the sacred duty to continue to believe in our spouse.

What happens when we lose or choose not to employ “confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness” of our significant other -- well, what’s left? Where do we go from there?

Without faith in our spouse, we are left with a few options and as they play out, they don’t paint a pretty picture.

We can nag. Criticize. Point out all the faults and missteps. Manipulate. Try to get him to see it our way. All typical of the worst stereotypes of passive-aggressive behavior women utilize to move things in the direction they think is correct. Any of these imply we don’t trust him. Don’t believe in him. Don’t value his judgement, his choices, his leadership.

Most of us reading this come from Western society in which we venerate a system called ‘democracy’ in which all members of a society have an equal say in the decisions affecting the group. If we try to apply this system in a family relationship, it will bring about its destruction. I won’t try to extrapolate on a global level, since this is not the focus of this blog, but you can draw your own conclusions. To criticize democracy as a viable system in any context (except the military) is the highest level of blasphemy, but I’ve always been unabashedly sacrilegious. I believe in questioning everything, holding all belief systems to the highest standard of scientific analysis with a basic objective -- to identify if it works or if it does not. Again, working from my extensive personal trial and error and the observations of family, friends and the society around me, our current system of mating and creating families is inherently flawed, and I believe one of the root causes has to do with a lack of faith in the man as unquestioned leader and head of the household.

We are not supposed to question. We are not supposed to doubt. We are not supposed to offer our analysis unless specifically asked. We are to have faith. Unquestioned, unshakeable, blind faith.

Like we do in G-d.

As I write this, I am overwhelmed with how huge a task this is. How unpopular this belief is, even in Judeo-Christian society where the Torah and the Bible both identify men as the dominant leaders of families. Like we do in G-d.

Falls like a ton of bricks.

Yet this is the task we are charged with. To sit on our hands and to glue our lips shut with SuperGlue if necessary. And not be muttering and cursing under our breath. Because whether or not we voice our doubt it can be felt. So we are talking Herculean efforts to short-circuit any thought patterns that even resemble doubt before they take root, before their energy is manifested, before our spouse can get a whiff and feel the wind go straight out of his sails.

As alternatives to faith, after the whining and the manipulation afore mentioned, everything goes downhill from there.

When faith is lost, I and many women I know have grabbed the reins and taken over. We go out, get a job, become the heads of our household, calling the shots, demanding our rights, and demeaning our significant others. They become less. We prove that we are better providers than they. We prove we can do what they can’t. Which ultimately proves that they are worthless. Theat we don’t need them at all.

Next stop, everybody out.

: Separation, Divorce, Custody, Remarriage.

Start process over from the beginning, but with ex spouses and half, whole and step siblings. DC al CODA for you music fans out there.

Seen from this perspective maybe it would be easier to learn to be soldiers. Learn to follow. Learn to say “yes, sir” and keep our mouths shut, not speaking unless spoken to.

It may sound archaic, but once again referring to the example of the army -- a soldier would never question the decisions of his troop leader.

So, put yourself in boot camp.

Try faith. Try believing in that which may AT THE MOMENT have no material evidence. Try putting a sock in it. Try LOYALTY and ALLEGIANCE and all those things you promised at the altar.

The alternative is really not one.

The seed of faith you plant in your spouse will bear the sweetest fruit. This comparison also works well in this case -- you plant a seed and you KNOW if you water it, give it sun, tend to it -- it will GROW. This actually doesn’t require MUCH FAITH AT ALL!!!!

A man who perceives your unquestioned loyalty will ultimately lay the world at your feet. All you have to do is believe.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hard to Be Humble

from Wikipedia:
Humility (adjectival form: humble) is the quality of being modest, reverential, even politely submissive, and never being arrogant, contemptuous, rude or even self-abasing. Humility, in various interpretations, is widely seen as a virtue in many religious and philosophical traditions, being connected with notions of transcendent unity with the universe or the divine, and of egolessness; by contrast, some schools of thought are sharply critical of humility.

I can hardly read this definition without my stomach churning, my eyes rolling and feeling that squeamish conviction in the center of my chest as the voice inside me says, “you, honey, are sorely lacking in this department.”

So maybe it’s best to humbly step aside and insert here some commentaries I found in my research on the web about the topic.

from the following webpage:

Wives' Submission to Husbands
1 Peter 3:1-6 - Repeatedly God says wives are to be submissive to their husbands. In the midst of this teaching, he requires women to be adorned with a "meek (gentle - NKJV) and quiet" spirit. Note this instruction is in the middle of the discussion of obedience to husbands. Why?

Why do many modern women deny the concept that man is head of the family? Why are so many women unhappy and rebellious toward the idea of following the will of their husbands?

There are several reasons, including the fact many husbands selfishly misuse their authority and fail to treat their wives with honor and respect (v7). But some wives have trouble obeying when their husbands do not accept their wives' view, even when husbands are respectful. And Peter said wives should obey husbands even when husbands are not obeying God's word (v1).

Why do women struggle with this? Because it is so "humiliating" to have to do what a man says. Woman has her own ideas about what she wants to do. "My ideas are just as good as his." "I've got my pride, you know." Many women are encouraged by modern humanistic psychologists to be "self-assertive" and "stand up for themselves." God says what is needed is a "meek and quiet spirit."

There are other forms of ordained authority we must submit to: children to parents, employees to employers, etc. None of us is free to do just whatever we want. All of us need to learn meekness and humility.

Note we are to submit first to God; we do not obey man when he tells us to disobey God (Acts 5:29). But we still are not doing what we want. We do what God demands first, then what those in authority demand. We do what we want only when allowed to by God and by proper human authorities.

The solution to our stubborn, rebellious attitude toward authority is meekness and humility.

and here's some more about meeknees and humility

Let’s consider together the Crowning Quality of a Meek and Quiet Spirit as an adornment of the godly Christian woman. We need to learn what God expects from us regarding proper godly character, attitude and behavior and how to apply these in our daily lives as professing women of God. We also need to learn what God expects from the Christian men in our lives – our husbands/future husbands, our brothers, our fathers, our sons, our sons-in-law, our church leaders – so that we can encourage and support them and even hold them accountable to fulfill their proper godly roles as professing Christian men.

Some Crowning Qualities
By both precept and example, the Scriptures give us many crowning qualities of godly Christian womanhood. Many of these qualities apply to all Christians, not just women; but the woman who crowns herself with them is indeed adorning herself as a true woman of God. Examples of such women whom we can emulate are Sarah, Ruth, Esther, Deborah, Mary the mother of Jesus, etc.

Here’s a semi-exhaustive list of those crowning qualities:

• A devout spirit (devoted to God, obedient to His Word, seeks His face in everything, faithful, puts God first, joyfully submits to His will, etc.)
• Wise
• Virtuous
• Hospitable
• Kind
• Always ready to serve
• Always ready to labor
• Self-sacrificing
• Humble
• Liberal, generous
• Submissive
• Meek and quiet in spirit
• Modest
• Chaste
• Sober
• Industrious
• Diligent
• Strong and courageous
• Trustworthy

The crowning quality of godly Christian womanhood that we will focus on for this series of bible studies is a meek and quiet spirit as it relates to 1) modesty, 2) submission to husbands (future husbands), and 3) the husband’s duty in marriage.

I remember seeing this video almost a year ago:

I was so struck by it; because the woman's attitude was so attractive. She seemed so peaceful and so at one with herself and her significant other. She wasn’t hogging the stage or trying to be the center of attention. She was there to accompany, support and complement what her spouse was doing.

I couldn’t have identified her attitude back then as ‘humility’ or ‘meekness’.

Not in my vocabulary.

Not a quality that was much lauded in my home, since my mom dumped my dad, always knew better than him, always put him down, never supported him, was vocal about the fact that his ideas were crazy and that he was a good-for-nothing that couldn’t support his family.

THAT was my model of male-female relationships.

Now I know that that model is a guarantee for failure.

Now I know that the humility has to come first. When we meekly step out of the way, they (the guys) will blow up larger than life to more than fulfill the task they are blessed with -- providing for and protecting their families.

I have a long way to go before I can ever pretend to personify this trait. And out in the world, you can’t even talk about it. Most of the women I’ve ever associated with in the past, even the women in my own family, would laugh in my face or assume that I had gone mad.

That’s how backwards things are today.

I say, “Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.”

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Women and Prayer

I believe one of the strongest roles of women is intercessor. As mentioned in the previous post, by the nature of our gender we have a direct line to the Divine Spirit. We are by nature closer to ‘it’ and can get in touch and keep in touch more easily than our counterparts.

So, we need to pray. Our prayers are powerful. Our prayers can heal, console, comfort -- ourselves and others. Our prayers can lift up our spouses when they feel beaten. Our prayers can guide our children and keep them on the right path. Our prayers can protect our loved ones and keep them from harm. Our prayers can powerfully call upon a legion of angels to guard our door.

Our work is hard, arduous, and never ceases. Sometimes it is mundane. We are often criticized in today’s society because by today’s standards we have settled. We have sacrificed our own growth and development in favor of the advancement of our spouse and children.

We know different.

We know that the role we play cannot be filled by another; not by a schoolteacher, a stepparent, a grandparent, a lover, a cook, a housecleaner, a nanny.

G-d gave us the toughest of all jobs; one that requires wearing an infinite amount of hats; one that demands us to give and give and then give some more. And every obstacle we overcome brings us closer to Him, annihilating our egos, breaking down our pride and all that separates us from Divinity and from our fellow man. By the nature of our role, we are given a daily opportunity to elevate ourselves to a higher spiritual plane -- to incarnate love and model forgiveness and acceptance, sacrifice and service.

Prayer gets us there. Prayer gets us through, bridging one day to the next, tears to joy, fears to courage, longing to fulfillment.

We can pray prayers that have already been written. We can pray prayers that we make up as we go along or prayers that are nothing but praise and adoration and gratefulness for life itself. We can pray in song -- songs written and songs that are sung from our soul. We can pray in dance -- and this one doesn’t get practiced often enough. We can pray in absolute silence by virtue of listening to the sound of His Spirit in us and around us. And we can pray in the tongues of Angels in languages only they understand.

Pray as you open your eyes in the morning. Pray with faith that is unshakeable. I admit to a recent prayer that was a challenge to the Divine Being -- I was angry and I was fed up -- and I let him have it. Jacob fought with G-d and maybe it is the divine right of Jews to be the only ones who can argue with G-d. I did so, and miraculously things moved.

Pray as you wash dishes, do the laundry, sweep the floor, or any other repetitive task.

Pray as you rock your baby to sleep.

Pray even as you make love to your husband, as G-d is there with you.

Pray into an existence a new world, a renewed world, a sustainable world, a world of love and peace.

Together it is possible. One woman, one relationship, one family at a time.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Jewish Perspective

Read about it here:

Some excerpts...

Women are closer to G-d's ideal, created with more 'binah'(intuition, understanding, intelligence).

G-d is neither male nor female.

Women and men are separated in the synagogue, because men can't pray if they are looking at a cute tuchus.

Women have held positions of respect in Judaism since biblical times. Miriam is considered one of the liberators of the Children of Israel, along with her brothers Moses and Aaron. One of the Judges (Deborah) was a woman. Seven of the 55 prophets of the Bible were women (they are included in the list of biblical prophets).

Many rabbis over the centuries have been known to consult their wives on matters of Jewish law relating to the woman's role, such as laws of kashrut and women's cycles. The wife of a rabbi is referred to as a rebbetzin, practically a title of her own, which should give some idea of her significance in Jewish life.

Women are discouraged from pursuing higher education or religious pursuits, but this seems to be primarily because women who engage in such pursuits might neglect their primary duties as wives and mothers.

Marital sex is regarded as the woman's right, and not the man's.

There is no question that in traditional Judaism, the primary role of a woman is as wife and mother, keeper of the household. However, Judaism has great respect for the importance of that role and the spiritual influence that the woman has over her family.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Anger bounces

Are we responsible for the happiness of our spouse?

Have you ever had a day when everything you did rubbed your spouse the wrong way; you left something in the driveway after spending a day organizing the garage, you overcooked his favorite steak, his favorite shirt is clean, but not ironed, etc, etc.

A day in which you really are making a special effort to please, and it all turns out wrong. You feel snubbed, unappreciated, hurt, and then pouty, angry, introverted, indignant, judgmental, then furious, livid, outraged and then on the verge of divorce -- all in about the first 20 minutes he gets home from work.

I have something to say that might sound absolutely insane.

Your spouse takes his anger out on you because he loves you.

That’s right.

You are his safe harbor. You love him no matter what. All that he can’t express out in the world he comes home to dump on you. It is not personal. (In fact, when people aim their negativity at us, it NEVER is -- wrap your brain around THAT.)

Because we are the closest to his heart, the dearest, the most precious, we are chosen to take the brunt of the pain he is feeling over his encounters out in the world.

Whoa. I know, I sound like a saint. But understanding this dynamic is so key to the health of any relationship.

if we absorb this insight, and apply it, our marital relationship will hum along with the most beautiful harmony.


Because that anger must be expended, and if we as women are strong enough to hold on to our truth -- that we KNOW we are loved, cared for, cherished and adored -- and that the junk spewing out of the man’s mouth who you’ve shared a home and a bed and a thousand meals with for whatever length of time is NOT BEING DIRECTED AT YOU PERSONALLY, forgiveness will be possible. Even beyond forgiveness; you will SKIP forgiveness entirely and move on to the moment at hand which may be a tender moment, a joking comment (AS IF HE HAD NO IDEA HOW HE HURT ME - can you hear yourself?), an embrace, a smile or a hot lovemaking session.

Except, none of this will occur if you are still back there in the hurt and anger and resentment of what transpired 20 minutes or 2 hours or a day or even a year or ten before.

Yes, we can hold onto it that long. It can poison us, and poison our marriage.

“I remember the time he....” and we confess to our girlfriends our almost-memorized litany of offenses. And every time we recount it, we feel the pain all over again. We open the wound, dig around in there and keep it live and putrefying.


We hurt ourselves. We HURT ourselves.

Let’s review:

1.) Our husbands anger is not directed at us, is not about us, it is not personal, and it is actually a sign of trust and comfort level. (Unless we have done something that is clearly an offense; but in this case, I am referring to what could be considered unfounded criticism, volatility, and general explosiveness.)

2.) We can choose to absorb the anger and take it personally or deflect it, reframe it, let it bounce -- planting ourselves firmly in our truth -- that our spouse loves us and this moment is passing and can be let go just like a breeze through the trees.

3.) If we hold on to it, we run the risk of missing out on all the good, loving, scrumptious moments that are in the waiting. We won’t be in the mood, we will reject any advances, and hang on to the justified nature of our anger and ultimately, return the anger magnified, causing the cycle to repeat itself and real pain to be inflicted.

4.) If we nurse our hurt, keeping an accounting, giving energy to the resentment with our thoughts, by retelling the stories of injustice, by mulling over the events “and then he said, and then I said...”, etc etc... we will set our relationship on a doomed path, be the enzyme that in the end breaks up our family and even end up with irreversible physical illness.

Our thoughts are powerful. Each one creates a new universe. I read a story once in a book called “Love Is Letting Go of Fear” by Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D. . He recounted a tale of a waitress in a restaurant, who came the table with a curled lip, an impatient attitude and proceeded to systematically ruin their dinner by providing a substandard service. He left a miserable tip, almost an insult and exited the restaurant with slight indigestion.

What he didn’t know is that the young girl had recently lost her husband, she was rearing young twins alone, far from her family and her boss had just threatened her with reducing her hours since business was slow, and she was 5 days late on her rent.

In the end we have no idea what our husband may be holding back; he may not want to share the difficulties that he’s faced during the day. Maybe home needs to be a safe haven, where he can expel his angry, frustrated energy and where you let it bounce.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Bien comido, bien cogido"

Okay ladies, this is one you never learned in your high school Spanish class.

It is a phrase oft repeated in Spanish that has a universe of wisdom held within it:

"Bien comido, bien cogido"

“Well fed, well f***ed.”

Now, excuse my french, but I’m just repeating what I’ve heard. And with much trial and error have determined to be for the most part true.

Men are simple creatures. Visceral. Not much subtlety.

Like penises -- it’s all out there, no double meaning in their speech; no passive-aggressive behavior, no insinuations. They are easy to read. They are either hungry or horny.

If we paid acute attention to these sage words, 90% of all marital problems would be solved.

Women, however, are mutable, syrupy, an ocean of emotion, endlessly wanting and needing, seeking, longing and sometimes, whining, needling and nagging.

We don’t ask for what we want straight out. We hope and assume that our minds will be read. That if our man really loved us, he would be able to figure us out.

But if we take care of him, and choose that ephemeral moment of absolute contentment and bliss to express our deepest desires -- just after an orgasm or an orgasmic meal -- we will wont for nothing.

Too simple? I think not.

Put it to the test, let me know how it works out. At least for today, personally, my theory has been proven correct.

Monday, July 5, 2010

From the Mennonites...

Read this statement from the Mennonites...

I like it and agree with most of it.

I believe men and women are not meant to compete, but rather to fulfill and complement each other.

I don't think women are meant to teach men; rather women should teach other women and their children. (believe me, the guys aren't listening anyway...) silence is golden, and i have learned that if I keep my mouth shut 90% of the time, I will have done the right thing.

about the head covering... and the hair and clothes styles... that's still up for discussion...

examples of what is considered modest dress in a variety of social groups

i think long hair on women is a glorious and beautiful sign of femininity, but it's also sexy and manly on men. And Samson was not to cut his hair... hmmmmm.... also the Rastafarians look great with the long dreadlocks...

In Judaism, both men and women cover their heads in the synagogue and and only men wear a yarmulke all the time. These beliefs seem more cultural to me than spiritual.

The Muslim women cover themselves from head to toe.

I think a woman should be an absolute SLUT in the bedroom with her husband and go to town with the Victoria's Secret catalog; it is the best investment.

In public, though, a woman exposes herself to unwanted advances, looks and leers if she 'puts it all out there'. I think it's possible to be modest and sexy yet not provocative.

Any comments??

Friday, July 2, 2010

Laura M. Brotherson says:
If Twilight-obsessed women would direct even half of their intimate and erotic energies towards their husbands and the real-life fantasy available to them, their marriage relationship would be greatly strengthened and become infinitely more satisfying."
I just sat down after a long busy day to unwind with the laptop. I turned it on and found this open in the browser:
It made me chuckle but the fact that my dear husband had read, and then decided to click on this headline amongst all of them in our in-box strikes me as significant. Food for thought... please share what you think.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Five reasons I must do as my husband tells me...

1.) When two people try to row a boat, each in their own direction, it goes in circles or goes nowhere or sinks.

2.) Because humility and submission build strength of character and kill the ego, which is the goal of Buddhist practice as I understand it.

3.) Because faith without question in the male as head of the household injects him with the energy he needs to accomplish what is necessary. A man who is constantly questioned, made to explain himself or challenged will become frustrated, will doubt himself, will feel unsupported, and will inevitably falter.

4.) Because if I allow him to call the shots and firmly hold the reins, he also holds the responsibility and the accountability, which is infinitely more comfortable for me as wife. (here’s an aside; I had a running joke with at least three different spouses -- yes, I’ve been working on an honorary Elizabeth Taylor award -- whenever I would doubt him and almost inevitably find out he was right, I would repeat like a mantra, ‘I will never doubt you again’. And we would laugh. But now I realize, I would say it, but I would never mean it, because I was unwilling to let them --- the men --- lead. I was trained that men are untrustworthy, that they are incapable, that they will fail you, that it is better to be strong and independent and send them straight to hell if they don’t comply or behave -- thus the running string of unsuccessful relationships).

5.) It is divine order, the way things were meant to be. It’s not that woman can’t lead or call the shots, that we’re not strong enough or we’re too stupid NOOOOO! It’s that by design we were meant to be protected and cared for and when we are, when we truly feel shielded, that we have a man who would kill the bastard who touched a hair on our head, we can relax. We can lay down our weapons and our shield. We can live serenely and dedicate ourselves to loving and nurturing our spouse and our families. We are no longer in a fight or flight, adrenalin-pumped state. We can grow our hair and nails long. Create beautiful, comfortable homes. Focus on our children. Really be with them and listen to them and just hold them; not shove 5 minutes of quality time in at the end of a long day of battling it out at the office.

Talk about a topic that would be unpopular with the feminists. I repeat, I would never have dreamed in a gajillion years that I would write these words.

They come from repeated trial and error and from a scientific mind, an objective, analytical mind that had to admit after life beat the shit out of her in relationships, that something was out of balance.

By the way, I did try women.

But the answer to me balancing my overly masculine energy was not to pair up with a woman. The answer was to find a man who was man enough to be my man.



I searched on 'obedience' in Google, and this cartoon about women trying to teach their husbands to obey was all I could come up with. May be a clue about the nature of relationships in today's world, and how obedience is a term that can only be applied to dogs and dominated husbands.