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Quite a while back, I wrote about Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who, for some reason, has become the spiritual leader of about 10% of the Israeli population. A lot of orthodox jews listen to him, and live their lives by his laws (at least by his interpretation of the Jewish laws). The thing is, that every week he has a sermon. And almost every week he has some new interpretation of Judaism, a new law, a stab at some politician or at Arabs or at Secular Jews, or just some other ridiculous remark that makes the headlines. As I already wrote a node about him, (actually two, also The Rabbi has spoken!), I didn't want to write more. But I think that it's simply unfair to deprive Everything2 of his wisdom, so from time to time, I will bring a sermon that he made.

This particular sermon deals with t'u be'av, (15th of Av - a Jewish month). T'u be'av is the holiday of love (like Valentine's day, Jews don't celebrate Valentine's day). In the old days, women used to wear white, and go dancing. "And men who saw them and liked them, asked for their adâress and went to their fathers". (I assume that last part is true. The Rabbi said it, so I'll keep it in a quote). Whether the going to the fathers is true or not, men would look for their brides this way.

In any case, the Rabbi said that Match-makers (in Hebrew 'Shadchan'), is initials for "Lie speaks, gives money". So he basically ripped the hell out of match-makers. (Now would be a good time to mention that a lot of these religious folks use match-makers to find a wife.)

But the good part of the sermon comes now: "He who marries a woman with a nose like a watermelon will have a son like a cucumber." I don't know where the hell he got those analogies from. But he spoke about marrying beautiful women. He said "A woman has to be beautiful in order to bring beautiful children to the world", and it is important to find a beautiful wife.

Who ever heard of a Rabbi preaching beauty? You would think that a religious person would preach inner beauty or something of the sort. But no, he preached against ugly women. "If the woman is ugly, what will the children be? Also monstrous." (I translated "ta'armachim" (An aramaic word, I think)* into 'monstrous' for lack of a better translation). So now we have orthodox Jews judging women by their looks because the Rabbi said so.


*Anacreon updates: ta'armachim is like yotsmechim. Ah. But he doesn't know what yotsmechim is, so we're not getting anywhere, are we? Also, he thinks it's Yiddish, because of how it's spelled, but the Rabbi is not Ashknazi, so why he would use words in Yiddish (if it is Yiddish) is a mystery.

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