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Judaismo y Mujer, Women in Judaism

A Different View of Eve’s Curse?

I’ve had a lot of people who are professionals in the industry say to me that when you alienate women, they never come back,”

Eve’s sin has been pointed to as cause of fall of man, original sin, and justification for gender inequality, oppression, discrimination against women, sexism. Learn about  curse on Eve on Genesis 3:4-5 and learn  Yeshua’s position about it.

“And to the woman [God] said, ‘I will make most severe your pains in childbearing; in pain shall you bear children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.’ ”

The curse of Eve and after that on all women fell on  to suffer in childbirth and be subjugated to men. This ‘curse’  has been interpreted in various ways, and at times has been used to justify alineation, gender inequality, sexism, including discrimination against and severe abuse of women and given birth to power struggles, battle of sexes in male/female relationships.  Should all her female descendants forever be engulfed to their male counterparts because of it?

 The Original Sin

The Bible’s story tells that Eve first partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, which God had forbidden, and then Eve coerced Adam to eat the fruit as well. Since these are the facts, is Eve responsible for God’s subsequent casting out of mankind from the Garden of Eden — from the primordial paradise — and for the mark of original sin, also known as ancestral sin, on all humankind?

The answer to this question requires a close examination and understanding of what actually happened in the Garden of Eden.

Understanding what exactly happened when Adam and Eve took that bite of fruit from the forbidden tree of knowledge is instrumental in understanding Eve’s curse. Prior to eating from the tree, Adam and Eve were concerned about caring for the garden, the animals, and one another. The moment they took that bite of knowledge, that moment of “self-awareness,” the object of their concern immediately shifted. They neglected the garden and caring for each other and immediately the language went from “we” to “I.”

Rereading the  Story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden: In the beginning, God created heaven and earth as well as the first man, Adam. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, where he lived a perfect and blissful existence, devoid of self-consciousness, guilt, shame, and suffering.

There was only one rule in the garden, which God explained to Adam (Genesis 2:15): “Of every tree of the garden you are free to eat; but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die.”

At this point, God had not yet created a companion for Adam, the first woman, Eve, so accordingly, only Adam received the lesson about the tree of knowledge prohibition firsthand.

The text of Genesis next describes how God created Eve and then how the serpent wooed Eve into eating from the tree of knowledge, telling her she wouldn’t die from eating the forbidden fruit: “ ‘You are not going to die, but God knows that as soon as you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings who know good and bad.” (Genesis 3:4-5)

The snake promises Eve she will gain knowledge about the nature of creation and understand it as God does. The temptation proves too much for Eve and she succumbs Now did you notice that the Scriptures clearly states that Adam was next to her… so who convinced Adam to do the same?  Genesis 3:6 Reads clearly- “She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

When God confronts Adam and Eve about their transgressions, Adam takes a defensive stance, blaming Eve for his decision to eat from the tree of knowledge. Adam states,” ‘The woman You put at my side — she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ (Genesis 3:12)…. but Genesis 3:6 Reads – “She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

Eve, on the other hand, simply presents the facts as they are: “ ‘The serpent duped me, and I ate’ ” (Genesis 3:13).

God punishes, or curses, both Adam and Eve, yet Adam’s punishment is much more severe than Eve’s. For Eve’s sin, women are to endure painful childbirth and be  subjugated to their husbands.   For Adam’s transgression, God commands that life will be a great struggle: “Cursed be the ground because of you; by toil shall you eat of it…Thorns and thistles shall it sprout for you” (Genesis 3:17-18). God also introduces mortality into human experience as part of Adam’s punishment: “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:19).

The moment they realized God wasn’t going to be happy, the blame game began. Adam blamed Eve, despite the fact that the bible clearly states that Adam was with Eve as a silent bystander as she engaged in the debate with the serpent, never uttering a word of protest or argument, and Eve in turn blamed the serpent. None, however, escaped God’s judgment.

Note that in  this case  except for the mortality curse they were a couple meaning they were  ‘married‘. So single women or men would not belong in this?

 Ramifications and Intepretations  of the original’s Sin ( on Eve):

1. Organized religions provide different interpretations of on  Eve’s sin side

A) Traditional-based or  Rabinnical Judaism:

Tova Bernbaum, in her article “The Curse of Eve,” observed, “Interestingly, [the] portrayal of Eve as an icon of feminine deceit is featured more in Christian liturgy than in Jewish works, which may be linked to Judaism’s divergent interpretation of the Original Sin.”

Thus religious views of Eve are also dependent on readings of the Bible as the literal or metaphorical truth. The “Curse on Eve” article on BibleTools.org adheres to a literal interpretation of the curse, explaining that the curse “in the main, [means] women will lose the battle of the sexes. History bears this out.”

Spiritual traditions that mythologically interpret the Adam and Eve story do not blame Eve for the fall of humanity, instead viewing the fall and original sin as symbols of the human condition instead of literal historical facts.

B) Catholic Church

Mathew Fox, a former Catholic priest who is now an Episcopal priest, discusses at length the political motivations for the traditional Christian emphasis on original sin in his book Original Blessing. “I believe that an exaggerated doctrine of original sin, one that is employed as a starting point for spirituality, plays kindly into the hands of empire-builders, slavemasters, and patriarchal society in general.”

 Historically the Catholic church’s position on this matter “followed” the Biblical texts such as Genesis 3:16 to interpreted
in a twisted way.

It seems that a disturbing number of men, bolstered by Christian catholic attitudes, still assume that they have the right to subjugate, abuse and beat their wives. It is notable that the Church continued to discriminate against women for years after such discrimination was abandoned outside the Church.

In line with these statements women were until recent times not permitted to speak in church, and they are still expected to cover their heads in church. Under Christian Emperors and bishops the rights that women had enjoyed under the Roman Empire were gradually pared away. As early as the fourth century it was decreed by a synod that women should neither send nor receive letters in their own name (Synod of Elvira, Canon 81). They were also confined to minor Orders and forbidden to sing in church.

C)  Protestant Church

Protestant Churches were no better than the Catholic Church. It was Martin Luther himself who coined the phrase “A woman’s place is in the home” and in strongly protestant areas of Germany it is still commonplace to hear that women should concern themselves only with Kinder, Kirche, Küche (Children, the Church and Cooking). Luther also insisted on a man’s traditional Christian right to beat his wife. He also held firmly to the traditional line on a woman’s duty to bear children, even if killed her “If they become tired or even die, it does not matter. Let them die in childbirth – that is why they are there” .

Under canon law a woman’s husband was both her sovereign and her guardian. In practical terms this meant that she could not legally own property or make contracts. Her property came under her husband’s control upon marriage. She could not sue at common law without his consent, which meant that in particular she could not sue him for any wrong done to her. If she deliberately killed him she was guilty not merely of murder but, because of the feudal relationship, treason .

At the time of writing it is still common in Christian countries for a married woman to be denied credit, and to require her husband’s consent for surgical operations. After all 1 Corinthians 7:4 states that “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband…”. (The bible goes on to state the converse – that a wife has power over her husband’s body – but cannon lawyers either missed this part or else deduced that it bore a completely different interpretation. As Gratian put it “The woman has no power, but in everything is subject to the control of her husband”.) In the words of the marriage service a married couple were one flesh and the canon lawyers held them to be a single person: erunt animae duae in carne una.

Christian liturgy (Catholic/Protestant)

The understanding by Christian liturgy(Protestant Churches) and Christian liturgy ( Catholic/Protestant) has been used to argue that since the fall, the woman has been put in a place of “subjugation” under her husband. A husband rules his wife and that’s the natural “order” of things. However, is subordination what God had in mind here? Or rather, was God simply stating the natural outcome of what two people whose object of concern was now turned inward would be?

D) Yeshua’s Position

Did you notice how Yeshua (Jesus) treated women through all his life and mostly ministry?   The most striking thing about the role of women in the life and teaching of Yeshua is the simple fact that they are there. Although the gospel texts contain no special sayings repudiating the view of the day about women, their uniform testimony to the presence of women among the followers of Yeshua and to his serious teaching of them constitutes a break with “tradition” which has been described as being ‘without precedent in  contemporary Judaism.

Yeshua treated women with dignity and respect and he elevated them in a world where they were often mistreated. Yeshua did not perceive women “primarily in terms of their sex, age or marital status; he seems to have considered them in terms of their relation (or lack of one) to God.

Yeshua’ honor and respect was…extended to all women—an attitude largely unexpected and unknown in his culture and time. Yeshua, unlike the men of his generation and culture, taught that women were equal to men in the sight of God. Women could receive God’s forgiveness and grace. Women, as well as men, could be among Messiah’s personal followers. Women could be full participants in the kingdom of God…. These were revolutionary ideas. Many of his contemporaries, including his disciples, were shocked.

Elizabeth (Luke 1:6). Mary (John 2:1-11).;  Anna (Luke 2:38); Mary and Martha:

Certain branches of  Jewish religion  and specifically rabbis in Temple Times ( and today Rabbinical/Talmudic Judaism)  said that women should not be taught the Torah, so Mary was shirking a typically female role in order to do something that was normally restricted to males. But Jesus did not “put her in her place.” Rather, he said that she had chosen the right place at the time. “Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (v. 42). Spiritual growth is more important than domestic duties.

Yeshua was saying we should get our priorities straight. Women were called to be disciples of  Yeshua, just as men were, and women were expected to fulfill their spiritual responsibilities, just as men were.”

Samaritan woman at the well:

The conversation with the woman at the well is the longest recorded discussion Yeshua had with anyone—and she, a Gentile woma!. “Further, the lesson Yeshua gave her about living water was just as profound as the lesson he gave Nicodemus—and the woman had a better response. Unlike Nicodemus, she was willing to be associated with Yeshua. She told her neighbors about Yehsua, and many of them believed in Yeshua “because of the woman’s testimony” (John 4:28-29, 39).

This implies something positive about the reputation of the woman in the community: “It is unlikely that the men of a town would believe a prostitute’s word about the Messiah or anybody, and go openly with her to see him. Perhaps this woman has not been given due credit for her true social position in Samaria. The narrative seems to indicate that she was a knowledgeable, informed woman. Her discourse with Christ reveals an intelligent familiarity with the foremost theological issues of the day.

 A daughter of Abraham (Luke 13:10-13). Yeshua publicly showed his concern and high regard for this woman, someone whom others had probably seen for years as she struggled in her affliction to come to the synagogue to worship God.

Joanna and Susanna
Luke tells us that several women who had been healed helped support Yeshua “out of their own means” (Luke 8:3). These included “Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others.”] Although they were probably involved in meal preparation, Luke indicates that their most significant role was to pay the bills.

Women were free to follow him and to take part in his ministry to the world.  “They are the only supporters mentioned. Also, they did not merely write a check to cover the expenses but accompanied Yeshua and the Twelve as they traveled from place to place…. Yeshua welcomed women among his traveling coterie, allowing them to make the same radical commitment in following him that the Twelve did…. That married women would be traveling with Jesus’ group is striking indeed.””Yeshua expected men and women to mix freely. The solution to lust was not to segregate women, but for men to control themselves.

Matt. 27:55-56 also mentions that “many women…had followed Yeshua from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons” (Mark 15:41 reports that her name was Salome). Luke 23:27 reports that many women from Jerusalem followed him after his arrest, and he turned to them and taught them, saying that even worse times would come for Jerusalem.

A woman with bleeding (Mark 5:22-29);  Mary Magdalene:
She is almost always mentioned first in a list of the female disciples of Yeshua. She may have been one of the leaders of that group of women who followed Yeshua from the outset of his ministry in Galilee to his death and afterward. The risen Jesus appeared to her first. It’s ironic that in a time when women could not be legal witnesses, Jesus Christ chose women as the first witnesses of his resurrection.

Luke tells us that Mary of Magdala had seven demons cast out of her (Luke 8:2), but Mary should be better known as the first to see the empty tomb, the first to carry the good news to the disciples.

Even though the testimony of women was not received by traditional courts…Yeshua appeared to women first, showing again their significance and value as human beings.

Why were the women chosen as witnesses of the resurrection? Was God bestowing a special honor on these women? Was God trying to indicate larger roles for women in His aunthentic and biblical community of believers? I believe both were intended. All four Gospel writers shows him bestow a great honor on the women who lovingly and with servant hearts came early to the tomb to anoint Yeshua’ body, thus paying their last respects…. These women led the way in proclaiming the gospel…. The duty and high privilege of witnessing for Messiah is still open to every believer, without doubt.

Before Adam and Eve sinned, they lived in a perfect environment and may have lived there forever, being fruitful and multiplying to their heart’s content. Instead, the Bible teaches that they chose to allow sin to destroy their family and all the families that would be born thereafter.

Although God gave the first man a job early in his history, his work was not intended to define his worth, as it often does in some cultures. Instead, the Bible teaches that every person is valuable because God created him or her in His image. According to Bible’s Scriptures, God saw descendants of Adam and Eve, born with an irresistible urge to sin and doomed to die separated from Him, worthy of sending His Son to redeem them.

The Bible indicates that God then sent His Spirit to live in those who choose to believe, in order to love the world back to God.

Eve’s curse Today.

Many organized religious traditions are attempting to distance themselves from the notion of the curse of Eve. They are doing this in two primary ways – by reading Genesis mythologically as evidence of psychological truth but not literal reality and/or by affirming that it is time to move beyond the outdated idea of women as dangerous seductresses.

Nevertheless, overcoming ingrained negative societal notions about women is proving difficult. Tova Bernbaum remarked, “It’s been almost 6,000 years since Adam and Eve defied G-d…yet their story still has an uncanny influence on gender politics. The image of woman as evil temptress persists to this day, and not just in the religious sphere…[Eve’s] story still remains lodged in society’s subconscious.”

The bottom line about the ‘Eve’s curse”.
 

A Woman Shall “Desire” Her Husband

Traditionally, the word “desire” has been interpreted as a woman wanting her husband romantically in some fashion, while the husband has now been placed in a position to rule over her. However, there are a few problems with this interpretation.

First, do men not also desire their wives? In fact, who is it that usually has to feign the headache on more than one occasion? Is “desiring” one another in fact a bad thing? Much less a “curse”? This doesn’t make much sense when one thinks about it, given that the pre-fall order by God was that men and women go forth and multiply. Desire for one’s spouse should have been seen as a good thing!

Second, the word “desire” (tashuqah in Hebrew) appears only one other time in the book of Genesis—in the story of Cain and Abel. There, sin is described as “desiring” to overtake Cain[2] like a beast ready to devour, and his response to this “desire” should be to “rule” over it, take control, don’t let it do what it wants, what it DESIRES to do. Given the phrasing is almost identical between Genesis 3 and Genesis 4, and that these are the only places the Hebrew word tashuqah appears in all of Genesis (and most of the bible, for that matter, as Song of Solomon 7:14 is the only other use), it seems likely there is a connection between the two.

Thus, rather than a “sexual” desire for her husband, Eve’s “desire,” is to rule and control her husband. Adam’s response to this, naturally, is to act like a tyrant to keep her subdued, to keep her from doing that which she “desires” to do… “and he shall rule over you.” It is not necessarily a prescriptive curse, but a descriptive statement about the battle of the sexes that has now started. Given that what happened at the fall was the turning in on oneself, the sudden “I” factor becoming far more important to both Adam and Eve rather than the “we” factor and tending to one another and tending to the garden, this makes sense. The fall turned us in on ourselves, and our desire is now to each be able to control everything around us – including other people, especially those we are closest to. We have now, as both God and the serpent noted, ceased to see ourselves as a creature of God but rather as autonomous beings separate from God.

The two struggle for control, and as a result, neither lives for the best interest of the other – the very nature of sin itself. Ephesians 5:21 does begin to talk about how this can be remedied, however. To be “subject to one another out of reverence for Messiah.” Only when both people are working for the good of the other can a relationship once again thrive and be closer to what was originally intended by God.

Anyone  can also view this “desire”, as a “prompting to sin”, which is what we see in Gen 4.     It is also important for folks to recognize that this oracle from God was not a positive experience. It was not prescriptive, in the sense that this is what we should do. Rather, it was descriptive, stating that this is how life will now be lived. These were consequences for sin. From paradise – to paradise LOST.

To be “submissive” in a marital relationship

Ephesians text with vs. 22 in chapter 5. Back up one verse to verse 21 and it says, “be submissive TO ONE ANOTHER out of reverence for Messiah.” There is mutuality in the submissiveness. The next three verses explain how a woman is to serve her husband, while the next NINE lines tell the husband how he is to treat his wife – and it is not so that he might be a tyrant who rules over his wife, but rather says things like you should love your wife as you love your own body and no one hates their own body, etc. I would encourage you all to read article regarding what it means to be “submissive” in a marital relationship. Messiah submitted because he knew the will and desire of the Father was good – but unfortunately, not every will and desire of every husband is always good. Additionally, the relationship between God and Messiah was that while Messiah submitted to the will of the Father, the Father handed everything that was His over to the Son.

Submission and equality perfectly coexisting together. Submission does not mean that the woman is less than the man in worth and equality before God. It is a role, not a measurement of worth.

Submission is not a curse for a woman anymore than it is for Messiah himself. Messiah was and still is in perfect submission to God the Father, all the while being fully divine. If woman partake in the likeness of Messiah through a role of submission, if this brings God glory, then I say, it is good, and as a wife, I with full confidence in my womanhood, and in no way acting as a doormat, freely submit to my God and my husband. I don’t lay aside my gifts of teaching and leadership, but I choose to exercise them as God intended in a way that pleases him and also blessed my husband. And life is good!  Other than,  that I would never ‘summit’ to such  husband as he will be only taking advantage of me and being a tyrant. Would he be ‘happy forever” and living the commandments or Torah  like that if he would be ” the wife”? I don’t think s. It’s good to be and feel and someonelse’s shoe. For instance I don’t think men in Muslims countries or ultra ortodox Jewish movements  want to change or trade places with women……yeah they know they’ve been taking malicious advantage and being more than selfish. They would not want to trade places, not way jose!

Yeshua said “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. Matthew 12:30.  Mutuality in the submissiveness, that is Yeshua’s position . According to His teaching and behaviour  when you alienate women, they never come back.

 

Notes:

1. These news is just another evidence of  abused of power and authority  by certain men and goverments through out history…. from my part I can’t wait this law to be a reality in Canada, the West or the Middle East itself.

2. Actually the burkha was created by men to enslave women and “to protect the man’s property” …are we women property? I don’t think so!! Ban the burkha!!

About Anni Orekh

Anni Orekh (which translated from Hebrew means: I m an editor (Publisher) it is the online pen-name of author and Managing Director of MD Enterprises.

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