Talmud and "6 Genders"

Discussion in 'Exegetical Forum' started by Caleb Hickerson, Mar 23, 2019.

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  1. Caleb Hickerson

    Caleb Hickerson Puritan Board Freshman

    Hello everyone,

    I'm finishing up my Masters in Social Work and naturally my classes, professors, and cohort are all vocal in support of the sexual revolution (LGBT+ issues). Today, I was faced with the argument that religious (i.e. Christian) non-support of transgenderism is inconsistent because the Talmud features different titles for 6 different genders. I'm not familiar with the Hebrew, so I was unaware of these titles and am still unfamiliar with their context.

    I've only briefly searched google regarding the terms, but so far it seems that the argument conflates "gender" with "sex" given that the 6 titles in the Talmud refer to physical/biological differences (at least as I understand the issue).

    Aside from this conflation, I'm intrigued in where these titles appear in the Talmud, scriptural context(s), and how they've been understood historically. Does anyone have any information on the issue of gender (or genders) in the Talmud? I'm sure this is could be a huge undertaking but any quick notes, references, or resources are welcome. Thank you for your time!
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    They are probably right, but consider:

    1) The Talmud is an evil collection of books. If the Talmud teaches "six genders," that's by no means the worst thing it says.

    2) The Talmud is hardly uniform on any topic. It's a collection of rabbinic sayings (almost always devoid of exegesis) on collections of topics over many centuries.
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  3. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    This is an old joke, but worth retelling.

    A Jew is talking to his Rabbi. Rabbi,” the man said, “Explain the Talmud to me.”
    “Very well,” he said. “First, I will ask you a question. If two men climb up a chimney and one comes out dirty, and one comes out clean, which one washes himself?”

    “The dirty one,” answers the man.

    “No. They look at each other and the dirty man thinks he is clean and the clean man thinks he is dirty, therefore, the clean man washes himself." Now, another question:
    If two men climb up a chimney and one comes out dirty, and one comes out clean, which one washes himself?”

    The man smiles and says, “You just told me, Rabbi. The man who is clean washes himself because he thinks he is dirty.”

    “No,” says the Rabbi. “If they each look at themselves, the clean man knows he doesn’t have to wash himself, so the dirty man washes himself.” “Now, one more question.
    If two men climb up a chimney and one comes out dirty, and one comes out clean, which one washes himself?”

    “I don’t know, Rabbi. Depending on your point of view, it could be either one.”

    Again the Rabbi says, “No. If two men climb up a chimney, how could one man remain clean? They both are dirty, and they both wash themselves.”

    The confused man said, “Rabbi, you asked me the same question three times and you gave me three different answers. Is this some kind of a joke?”

    “This is not a joke, my son. This is the Talmud.”
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  4. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    Oi vey.

    Even if the Talmud says this (and I'd like to see where),

    1) the Talmud has no consensus within itself,
    2) the Talmud cannot represent a consensus even among religious Jews, and
    3) whatever the Talmud says has no bearing whatsoever on religions that afford it no place of authority.

    But, considering from whom this whole argument comes (namely, radical left-wing ideologues), it's a safe bet that they're misunderstanding or deliberately twisting something.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  5. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    I've just searched online for "six genders in the Talmud" and found one small PDF document by an apparently liberal rabbi, Elliot Kukla. He names four genders in addition to [the bigoted binary] male and female, but unfortunately gives no actual citations.

    Zachar: [male]

    Nekevah: [female]

    Androgynos: A person who has both “male” and “female” sexual characteristics. 149 references in Mishna and Talmud (1st-8th Centuries CE); 350 in classical midrash and Jewish law codes (2nd -16th Centuries CE)

    Tumtum: A person whose sexual characteristics are indeterminate or obscured. 181 references in Mishna and Talmud; 335 in classical midrash and Jewish law codes.

    Ay’lonit: A person who is identified as “female” at birth but develops “male” characteristics at puberty and is infertile. 80 references in Mishna and Talmud; 40 in classical midrash and Jewish law codes.

    Saris: A person who is identified as “male” at birth but develops “female” characteristics as puberty and/or is lacking a penis. A saris can be “naturally” a saris (saris hamah), or become one through human intervention (saris adam). 156 references in mishna and Talmud; 379 in classical midrash and Jewish law codes.

    Looking at those definitions, it seems to me somewhat apparent that what is being described is not some modern notion of gender fluidity, but conditions which people have at birth or which develop later during puberty. The word "androgynous" is hardly unique to these Jewish texts, and seems here to refer to a person with both male and female sexual organs ("sexual characteristics"). (The word tumtum here is not at all clearly defined. I'd have to see it in context to know what it means.)

    The last one, saris, is just a chap without all the parts. The "human intervention" is, at a guess, another chap with a pair of scissors.

    When these LGBTQWXYZ types start grasping around for support they always end up looking quite ridiculous. There is, frankly, nothing like modern transgenderism in the pages of history.

    If they are using the above six terms to say that Judaism has been "non-binary", they are failing badly. There is a difference - rather an obvious one, I should think - between, on the one hand, describing physical or anatomical characteristics and, on the other, imagining new "genders" unrelated to any such characteristics.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
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  6. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    I was researching Richard Sibbes before reading his works. I found an LGBTQABCDEFG "Theology" website that claimed Sibbes was a "qu**r Puritan Theologian for the LGBTQ community." In my disgust, I rashly posted the link here. Thankfully, it was quickly removed by the mods.

    Anyhow, they made many audacious assumptions in regards to Sibbes. It was sickening, honestly.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Some of the Kabbalists might use passages from the Talmud to talk about "transcending" genders and they would probably be consistent with LGBT issues. Remember, the Talmud does not love Christianity and if you see in it immoral stuff, don't be surprised.
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  8. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    I remember seeing the same article; it would almost be funny were it not so slanderous. Then again, it strikes me as odd that the LGBTQIA#? brigade now want to appropriate the so-called Puritans as their own. Is there anything that they cannot leave alone?
  9. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    We're gonna build a wall around the alphabet and Lesbians are gonna pay for it! :tumbleweed:
  10. hammondjones

    hammondjones Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hey, that's LGBTQWXYZ+ and LGBTQABCDEFG+ to you!
  11. Grumman Tomcat

    Grumman Tomcat Puritan Board Freshman

    Ugh. The LGBTQ are trying to appropriate everything it seems. That being said the Talmud isn't a very nice book. I don't know how true it is--but it is said that there are some very rude things in it about our Lord and Savior. I have also heard it called the 'Tall Mud'.
  12. alexandermsmith

    alexandermsmith Puritan Board Sophomore

    Read "Jesus in the Talmud" by Peter Schafer if you want to know what the Jews think about Christ.
  13. Caleb Hickerson

    Caleb Hickerson Puritan Board Freshman

    I forget where I first heard it, but I did offer to my class that ‘for every 5 rabbi’s, you’ll get 6 opinions.’ No one seemed to care for that!
  14. Caleb Hickerson

    Caleb Hickerson Puritan Board Freshman

    Aside from sacred scripture, that is probably the best thing I have ever read on the internet.
  15. Caleb Hickerson

    Caleb Hickerson Puritan Board Freshman

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. It’s ironic that when you point to say Romans 1 as evidence against homosexual activity, liberals will fall all over themselves to argue there’s more context and nuance, but if there is anything in *any* ancient text or culture on the LGBT spectrum, by golly it’s gospel in their judgment.
  16. Caleb Hickerson

    Caleb Hickerson Puritan Board Freshman

    Oh I’m not worried about myself agreeing with the Talmud. I didn’t see why they thought that would bear on the Christian mind anyhow. I suppose I was more concerned if said terms used in the Talmud also appeared in the OT.
  17. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    How does the saying go, ‘hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue?’

    The ancient world was loaded with a panoply of sexual ‘expression’ including the wickedness of God’s people when they were in rebellion. A typical, insert whatever depravity, could steal a Delorian and go fit in some place at anytime in history. The ungodly deliberately choose to legitimize their sins with Scripture because the delineation was then and is now, so clear.
  18. Grumman Tomcat

    Grumman Tomcat Puritan Board Freshman

    Warping things including ancient text to try and fit their pet sins in what sinners do to trying and evade being held accountable. It is human nature to try and justify sin and find excuses for it. It is the same kind of thing as a child telling another lie to cover the first lie, until their a web of lies woven. The whole LGBT movement is built around a web of lies.
  19. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Actually, transgenderism would be one of the tamer of the Talmud's sins.

    the goyim are grouped together with those categories of criminals and transgressors who cannot act as a witness in a court (Shulhan Arukh: Hoshen Mishpat 34).

    “Thank you G-d for not making me a gentile, a woman or a slave.”
    —BT Menahoth 43b-44a.

    Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was a prostitute.
    —BT Sanhedrin 106b. BT Sanhedrin 67a. Shabbath 104b.

    All gentile women without exception are: “Niddah, Shifchah, Goyyahand Zonah” (menstrual filth, slaves, heathens and prostitutes).
    —BT Sanhedrin 81b - 82a.

    BT Kiddushin 66c: “The best of the gentiles: kill him; the best of snakes: smash its skull; the best of women: is filled with witchcraft.” The uncensored version of this text appears in Tractate Soferim (New York, M. Higer, 1937), 15:7, p. 282.

    “The voice of a woman is nakedness; a handbreadth of a woman is nakedness” (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Berachot 24a)

    The New Testament books of the Christians are to be burned whenever possible.
    —BT Shabbath 116a.

    On Passover Eve they hanged Jesus of Nazareth. And the herald went out before him for 40 days and proclaimed, Jesus of Nazareth is going to be stoned because he practiced sorcery, incited and led Israel astray. Whoever knows of an argument that may be proposed in his favor should come and present that argument on his behalf. But the judges did not find an argument in his favor, so they hanged him on Passover Eve...Did Jesus of Nazareth deserve that a search be made for an argument in his favor? Surely he incited others to idol worship.” — BT Sanhedrin 43a; Steinsaltz v. 17, 158-159.

    Whosoever disobeys the rabbis deserves death and will be boiled in hot excrement in hell.
    —BT Erubin 21b.

    “...Jesus shares his place in the Netherworld (hell) with Titus and Balaam, the notorious arch enemies of the Jewish people. Whereas Titus is punished for the destruction of the Temple by being burned to ashes, reassembled, and burned over and over again, and whereas Balaam is castigated by sitting in hot semen, Jesus’ fate consists of sitting forever in boiling excrement.”
    —Peter Schäfer, Jesus in the Talmud (Princeton University Press), p. 13. BT Gittin 57a.
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  20. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    I gather that the Talmud does not make for the most uplifting reading.
  21. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    That's not even 1/10 of some of the worst. I used to have all this on file somewhere.
  22. Eoghan

    Eoghan Puritan Board Senior

    The Talmud is a huge collection of books generally grouped under Mishna and Gemara. It is not a single book.

    I am intrigued that in 1 Corinthians 6:9 Paul seems to acknowledge both pederasts and catamites - but only to condemn both practices! It should be noticed that it is the practice which is condemed not the temptation.
    malakos G3120 - catamite
    arsenokoites G733 pederast
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