This Week’s Torah Portion

I discuss the parsha with Rabbi Rabbs Monday at 7pm PST on my live cam.

Watch the whole show via Youtube.

Please remember to bathe, to put on clean clothes, and to abstain from marital relations for at least 48 hours before coming into our chat room because the rabbi and I have some pretty heavy commandments to lay upon you.

I put together these challenges for Rabbi Rabbs:

Parashat Vayeshev (Genesis 37-40):

* Jacob loves Joseph and Benjamin, not because they are children of his old age, but because they are Rachel’s kid. He dresses up Joe in women’s clothing to remind himself of Rachel. Joseph is getting a substitute love.

* Jewish claim to be God’s chosen people is similar to Joseph’s dream of all the sheaves bowing down to his sheave. Why does it cause hate? If I told you my family was chosen by God, how would you react?

* Joseph was bringing bad tales of his brothers to his father. Not wise. (Gen. 37:2)

* How would you react if your sibling told you about such dreams of superiority? I’ve found that you never want to give others the feeling that you look down at them. They don’t like it. And it is usually best to confess your faults so others don’t have to remind you of them.

Holy rabbi, would you care to share any of your dreams?

* Gen. 37:13 Why are the brothers pasturing at Shechem? Didn’t they wipe out the Shechemites? Would it not be dangerous for them there?

* Gen. 37:35. Jacob says he wants to go down to Sheol. What and where is Sheol?

* Why does the Torah include the unsavory Judah – Tamar story? Why must our holy Torah contain so much sex? It doesn’t seem very spiritual.

* The Torah does not condemn Tamar for being a hooker and it does not condemn Judah for hiring her.

AS: “Of his own free will, Judah would never have united with her, so an angel forced him into the path of a “harlot” to begin the creation of the Davidic dynasty.”

* When Onan spills his seed (Gen. 38:9), does this mean coitus interruptus or unnatural intercourse?

* How on earth did the Talmudic rabbis say that the sin of Onan was masturbation and thereby prohibit masturbation because of this story? To read this story and to say it is the sin of masturbation is to read the text wrong in a desire to prohibit something you don’t like.

* The Talmudic rabbis have a completely different attitude towards sex and masturbation than the Torah. The Talmudic rabbis prohibit any non-marital sex, including masturbation. The Torah does not prohibit pre-marital sex. All prostitutes in the Torah are portrayed positively. The Torah is not hung up with sex. The Talmudic rabbis and the New Testament appear hung up about sex by contrast to the Torah.

* Why no condemnation in the text of the sexual behavior of Judah and Tamar?

* Can you believe that our holy ancestor Judah had sex with Tamar without even asking her for her name? (Gen. 38:20) How shocking is that? How meaningful can sex be when you don’t even know the name of the person you’re porking? How could Jacob do this cosmically significant act and not know who it was with? How could such meaningless sex be truly fulfilling and pleasurable? He must’ve slept with her and never looked at her face. So where was he looking?

* Do you think more men would come to shul if there were cult prostitutes you could use before kiddish? Did Judaism miss the boat on cultic prostitution?

* Why did Judah want Tamar burned to death? (Gen. 38:25) Is this primitive Old Testament morality? He had just slept with a hooker and now he wanted to burn to death a prostitute.

* Why do religious Jews name their daughters after Tamar when she was a whore? Why does the Messiah come from a ho?

* Gen. 38:23 Judah, a little too late, afraid of becoming a laughing stock. Why have virtually all societies frowned on prostitutes? It’s like Judah was afraid of being put on Facebook for being a john. Do you prefer the term “john” or “hobbyist“?

* There’s so much deception in Genesis. It reminds me of all the white collar crime today. Smart people deceive. Dumb people are more likely to use force.

* Potiphar’s wife is a slave to her lust for her hubby’s slave. How much more happy the person who can control his desires!

* Was Potiphar’s wife hot? Because if she wasn’t, then it was no big deal for Joseph to turn her down. Maybe Joseph wasn’t into MILFs? Maybe a barely legal girl would’ve been more trouble for him? Which type is more trouble for you, holy rabbi? Youth is a fatal attraction for me.

* Did Potiphar’s wife get special access to Joseph while he was held as a prisoner in Potiphar’s prison?

* Sexual promiscuity is a basic feature of all slave societies. The slave can’t say no.

* Potiphar’s wife does not respond to his cogent arguments but tries to wear him down. The erect ***** has no conscience.

* When Potiphar’s wife asks him to lie beside her, was that an innocent request? I’ve had women ask me that and sometimes it was very innocent. This Japanese woman I met on a music video shoot. Did they really just want to lie beside me or did they truly want to feel full? Sometimes women don’t say what they mean. They may say, “Let’s lie down together like brother and sister” but they really mean, “Turn me inside out.”

* Perhaps the wife would’ve been more successful with Joseph if she had warmed him up a little bit with questions about God and righteousness and the patriarchs before she flat out asked him for sex. She could’ve said she wanted to follow his God, could he take some time out of his busy schedule to instruct her privately in Torah including the laws of family purity and all that jazz. A lot of rabbis have fallen for similar patter. Even I have proven weak on one or two occasions, luckily God and the police intervened before I could commit a sin.

* Women such as Potiphar’s wife seem to have a particular skill at making false accusations of rape. Please discuss.

* How does the Pharoah talk about God when Pharoah is supposedly divine?

* How much of your life have you spent in spiritual bliss? Are you not satisfied with your reward in the World to Come? Do you expect also to live at ease in this world?

* I wish I could live like the patriarchs and have maid servants and concubines.

* Rabbi Rabbs writes: “I’m just happy to hear Congressman West be so supportive, and if he cites Christianity to protect my fellow Jews who insist on living in that Atheistic country established by Bolsheviks — in many ways the eye sore of the Middle East with its wanton desecration of G-d’s Laws right on top of the Holy Land…”

Perhaps the rabbi could name a land where there is more goodness per square mile than Israel? How would he measure this?

* The pope permits condom use in some instances. Is this good for the Jews? I really like this pope. He’s a fighter.

* On Dec. 3, the Los Angeles Temptation host the Dallas Desire in the Lingerie Football League. Dallas is 0-2. They just can’t get their passing game going. Their quarterback is just 7-30 for 84 yards on the year. LA is 1-0. Who can forget their thrilling 36-32 victory over the Seattle Mist?

As our viewers know, nobody is a bigger supporter of women’s sports than me.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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