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Old 07-23-2002, 11:53 PM   #51
Chocolateuke
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Gee, I say go for it dude! train train train! I mean some people really dont have a choice in religiouse matters. and when they do keep their belifs held high they are really are trying to stay faith full which is good!

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:03 AM   #52
Kat.C
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If a woman had posted a similar question I wonder what the responses would have been like?

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:14 AM   #53
Erik
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Kevin, ya nailed just about every point I planned to make. Nicely done.
Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
Snipped!

Last edited by Erik : 07-24-2002 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:46 AM   #54
kironin
 
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Re: Jewish issue

Quote:
Ari Fuchs (memyselfandi) wrote:
As an Orthodox Jewish male I'm not permitted to purposefully touch a woman (not before marriage that is. And no, this is not a sexist issue). After watching a class at a local dojo, I discovered that while some ...

I'm wondering if I should really go through with this. I'm kind of embarrassed to have to exclude anyone from practicing a technique with me, but I think I'll be able to handle it. What I'm really worried about is offending someone else...

Has anyone else witnessed (or experienced) this problem? How was it handled in your Dojo?
Have you discussed this issue of touching in aikido practice with your Rabbi ?

Why are you looking in to aikido ?

self-defense ?

balance, movement, fitness ?

you should check out Tai'Chi Chuan where the bulk of practice won't require you to touch anyone so the whole issue of offending someone is less likely to come up.

if you pursue aikido, you had better realize that up front that the generally accepted practices in aikido are in direct opposition to the cultural rules of many conservative religions.

like it or not, others do see it as a sexist issue.

You are only presented with this pang of conscience because

women are not excluded from aikido practice.

Craig
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Old 07-24-2002, 01:15 AM   #55
Diablo
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Ari Fuchs, if I met you in person, I would like to shake your hand. To meet someone who stands by the religious beliefs is something rare these days. Hold your head up high, and you should feel good about yourself. Your parents should feel proud because you are putting your religious convictions before peer pressure. I am appalled by the general consensous on this issue. Especially by the women.

I don't know how many Christian or Catholic women read this forum, but I know it is taboo if you are not a virgin when you get married. I have also known women, or girls at the time, who lost their virginity because of peer pressure from their so-called friends. God? God who? Their teen-age lust was greater than any religious inhibitions they may have carried. What does this have to do with the topic? This poor man is standing by his convictions and he is being torn down because of it while the rest of this society has put religion on the backburner.

To me, his religion is a little extreme, but from a Christian website, http://www.rustyparts.com/sexethics/premarital.php I found this: "Statistics say 63% of youth, aged 14 to 21, are sexually active, and thus why not join the crowd?"

I have had friend who were extreme Christians, they believed there is no "gray", only black and white, I disagreed with some of their viewpoints, but I never nocked them down because of it.

Some of you said they didn't know why bowing to the kamiza had to do with anything, well, I don't know anything about judaism, but in Christianity there is a part about not having false idols. I have been in other Aikido forums where this act is not looked at as having respect for O'Sensei, but rather an act of giving O'Sensei the status of God.

Ari, talk to your rabbii, see what he has to say about this, and bowing to kamiza. If touching other women while training is wrong, find a dojo that will respect this. If you cannot, find something else besides Aikido that can improve your well being.

For everybody else who believes that sexuality has nothing to do with Aikido, needs to look at a post by Joff (Ivar Jasnon) titled: "Should women wear brassiere under their gi." It had 47 replies, and a huge 2660 views. NO TOPIC in the general forum in the last 100 days has had as many views.

It's all about connection.

Diablo
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Old 07-24-2002, 01:48 AM   #56
Dangus
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Why not a compromise? You're not technically touching women if you are wearing gloves are you?

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares plow for those who keep their's" -Ben Franklin
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Old 07-24-2002, 02:45 AM   #57
DavidM
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I don't find anything wrong with him wanting to follow his beliefs...much respect for the man anyway.

But as far as the bowing to people, to sensei, and to kamiza....My grandmother took Judo back in the day and she is VERY religious (Christain)...she said she didn't bow as to think of anyone/thing as a god, but bow for respect, when you bow to a partner, it's a thank you...
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Old 07-24-2002, 03:31 AM   #58
Jim ashby
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Religion

As a born-again atheist and an observer of human nature it's really nice to see the unifying effects of religion as evidenced on this thread.

BTW no sex before marriage? As far as I've read in the Bible,Adam and Eve were not married.

Just a thought.

Have fun

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 07-24-2002, 04:07 AM   #59
BrokenKnees
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Ari, what if you wanted to be a doctor?

Just a rhetorical question, really. But what would you do if you wanted to take up medicine and heal people, and your religion prohibited touching women? How would you accomplish said healing?

Not to knock your religion, but surely there are exceptions? I mean even Jesus healed on the Sabbath day :-) Then again, they nailed him to the cross...

Anyway.

My humble take on this: Why look at Uke's and Nage's as sexes (i.e. men or women)? Instead, take them as the MA expects you to take them, as opponents or partners in furthering your knowledge and practice. When I square up against an Uke or Nage, I have totally no care at all what race, religion or sex that person is. What matters is that he's coming at me (or vice versa) and I've got to do something.

I dunno, but I'm willing to bet that you can ask 10 rabbis this question and get probably 10 different answers. I mean how does the Israeli army handle their training?

Good luck.
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Old 07-24-2002, 04:36 AM   #60
Bronson
 
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Hello Ari,

Here are a couple of links to some of our organizations member dojo in Israel. They both have contact info on them and I'm sure they would be happy to answer questions as to how they deal with this in their dojo if and/or when it comes up.

http://yoav.8m.com/

http://www.geocities.com/seidokan_aikido/Page_1x.html

I would also like to echo the "ask your rabbi" advice. If I remember correctly, In the book Moving Zen by C.W. Nicol he writes about a situation slightly similar to yours. One of his karate sensei was asked to come to a country (I can't remember which one right now) and teach. The only problem was that they couldn't bow because of their religious practices. The sensei said that if they couldn't bow he couldn't teach them karate as it was part of the art. They talked to their religious leaders and explained the situation. They were given special permission and the sensei was invited back to teach.

Good luck,

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 07-24-2002, 04:49 AM   #61
jk
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Re: Religion

Quote:
James Ashby (Jim ashby) wrote:
...it's really nice to see the unifying effects of religion as evidenced on this thread.
If you think that's bad, you should see the view from here...

Regards,
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Old 07-24-2002, 07:07 AM   #62
Rev_Sully
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Jewish Issue

Quote:
Kathryn Cole (Kat.C) wrote:
I know this post is meant for Mr.Fuchs but I have to ask a couple of things and comment too.

Where is the correllation between a Kamiza and women? And how is it disrespectful to not work with women because of the rules of one's religion? I mean the man is saying that he wishes to obey a rule that says that he cannot go around touching women and you think that is disrespectful?!! I've run into men who do the opposite, respectful certainly isn't the term that comes to mind describing that behaviour!



I think it would be silly for Mr.Fuchs to not bow to the Kamiza just because he cannot train with women, if his religion forbids it fine, but otherwise the two issues are not related. If respect enters into this at all it is the respect that Mr.Fuchs is showing to God.
Dear Kat,

Onegai Shimasu.

The same religious prohibitions that restrict Ari from practicing with women also might restrict him from bowing to Kamiza. And not in the misinterpreted way of equating O-Sensei to God. I specifically mentioned 2 possible violations of the Mosaic Covenant aka the 10 Commandments.

The first being the worship of Graven Images. This is better known to Christians as the "False Idols" rule but the translation is better served when one understands that the rule applies to ANY graven depiction of God not False Idols.

The second possible violation of the Mosaic Covenant could be the prohibition of having gods before YHWH. The Kamiza is a shrine to the Kami, not O-Sensei. But traditionally the portrait of the Sensei is above the Kamiza. Bowing to O-Sensei also means bowing to Kamiza. We do it when we enter dojo, step on & step off the mat and when we exit dojo.

The only correlation between Bowing to Kamiza and Training with Women respects the topic of the thread "Jewish Issue". Under this auspice the two are not mutually exclusive since both can be considered violations of Judaic Law.

I believe the consensus is that Ari check on both. I feel that Ari does understand what I mean concerning bowing to Kamiza.

If Ari has religious concerns about training with women then the same concerns do apply to bowing to Kamiza. I also do remain adament about that it is only possible and await judgement of Rabbi in this matter.

Thank you.

Last edited by Rev_Sully : 07-24-2002 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 07-24-2002, 07:53 AM   #63
aiki_what
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Why make it so tough a decision....Devoted belief in Religion forces one to make choices. Make your choice and move on...that is waht responsible adults do..don't whine and try and have it both ways.
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Old 07-24-2002, 08:00 AM   #64
Kat.C
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Re: Religion

Quote:
James Ashby (Jim ashby) wrote:
BTW no sex before marriage? As far as I've read in the Bible,Adam and Eve were not married.

Just a thought.

Have fun
Back in those days if you had sex with someone you were then considered to be married. Quite a bit different from wedding ceremonies now.

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-24-2002, 08:11 AM   #65
IrimiTom
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Quote:
"if you don't believe in it.... don't do it" is a heck of a lot easier said than done.
I'm sorry but for a mature adult with true deep rooted beliefs or convictions (as it sounds Mr. Fuchs is) it shouldn't.

Ari: I don't know much about Orthodox Jewish beliefs or dogmas, but do you have a problem just with premarital sex or with THINKING about it? If it is the latter then I believe you have to make a choice or find an understanding sensei or an all male dojo as a last resort. If it's the former then just view your uke/nage as a partner in martial practice, regardless of sex.

Aikido can bring a lot of good things into your life if you keep an open mind. I'm a Catholic and since I study Aikido I've been introduced to a few Buddhist ideas and I don't feel I betrayed my religion or anything like that, in fact, as silly as it may sound to some, I feel the spiritual side of aikido practice has helped me with my faith and other aspects of my Christian life.

As for the wrestling, you said that your father did Judo... well, I did too once and I think there is considerably more grappling and wrestling (that includes ground work) in Judo (and Jujutsu) than in Aikido.

Good luck and keep and open mind
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Old 07-24-2002, 08:24 AM   #66
IrimiTom
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Quote:
Shoot me for this - but it is the same reason I really don't want blind people in the dojo. It disrupts the intensity that I prefer to train to. Again it come down to flow.
I'm not going to shoot you for that, Peter but I don't agree with it. I mean yes some are going to say that Mr. Fuchs doesn't really have a choice because he is already bound to his previous beliefs, etc. But in reality he does more than a person who lost the ability to see. One chooses to accept dogmas and the set of beliefs in a religion. A blind person did not choose to be blind and therefore I believe an instructor and all students should make an effort to accomodate. Again you have to decide how rich you want your aikido to be, I mean you did say "the intensity that I PREFER to train to". Frankly I find that training with someone who cannot train with women would reduce the intensity in general. Training with someone who is trying to overcome a challenge such as blindness has to be VERY intense. Sorry for going off topic a bit, maybe I should have posted in the thread about blind aikidoka.
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Old 07-24-2002, 08:31 AM   #67
Kat.C
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Re: Jewish Issue

Quote:
Eric O&#039Sullivan (Rev_Sully) wrote:
Dear Kat,

Onegai Shimasu.

The same religious prohibitions that restrict Ari from practicing with women also might restrict him from bowing to Kamiza. And not in the misinterpreted way of equating O-Sensei to God. I specifically mentioned 2 possible violations of the Mosaic Covenant aka the 10 Commandments.

The first being the worship of Graven Images. This is better known to Christians as the "False Idols" rule but the translation is better served when one understands that the rule applies to ANY graven depiction of God not False Idols.

The second possible violation of the Mosaic Covenant could be the prohibition of having gods before YHWH. The Kamiza is a shrine to the Kami, not O-Sensei. But traditionally the portrait of the Sensei is above the Kamiza. Bowing to O-Sensei also means bowing to Kamiza. We do it when we enter dojo, step on & step off the mat and when we exit dojo.

The only correlation between Bowing to Kamiza and Training with Women respects the topic of the thread "Jewish Issue". Under this auspice the two are not mutually exclusive since both can be considered violations of Judaic Law.

I believe the consensus is that Ari check on both. I feel that Ari does understand what I mean concerning bowing to Kamiza.

If Ari has religious concerns about training with women then the same concerns do apply to bowing to Kamiza. I also do remain adament about that it is only possible and await judgement of Rabbi in this matter.

Thank you.
But we are not worshipping the Kamiza,or Osensei or our partners,when we bow ,we are bowing out of respect and appreciation. Or at least I am. So the bowing does not break those laws or offend God.This is just my view point as a christian,others may feel differently and I don't know about Mr.Fuchs religion, perhaps he is forbidden to bow down at all whether in worship or not. But as he didn't see it as an issue, I was just surprised that you were telling him it had to be one.

Heck, why give the man even more problems?


Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-24-2002, 09:06 AM   #68
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Jewish issue

Quote:
Ari Fuchs (memyselfandi) wrote:
As an Orthodox Jewish male I'm not permitted to purposefully touch a woman ... SNIPPAGE
Hi Ari,

A couple-three thoughts on the topic:

First, a question: I may be (probably am) mistaken, but doesn't strict adherence to orthodoxy also require you not to touch the Gentile at all, regardless of gender? Or is that just a Hasidic (sp?) thing?

Second, regardless, I agree with the folks who have advised you to talk to your Rabbi ... if you want to do aikido, you'll have to find a position of spiritual comfort in order to train well and learn. Your spiritual leader can help you find that point of balance.

Last, I'm with Chuck Clark in that folks in _my_ dojo either train with everyone on the mat (my philosophy has always been that you pretty much leave gender/race/preference/whatever issues at the edge of the mat with your street-clothes) or you don't train. That's just the way I run things. I'm the same way about performing reishiki. Do as we do or don't, it's your choice, but if you don't, then don't expect to train with my folks.

That's not to say that there aren't places wherein your needs can be accomodated, just not mine.

I know there have been instances of women-only classes, and I figure if a dojo wants to fold you into the membership, they'll, at best, make allowances or at worst, help you find a place that will.

Good luck and good training!

Chuck

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Old 07-24-2002, 09:24 AM   #69
Choku Tsuki
 
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Re: Re: Jewish issue

Quote:
Chuck Gordon (LOEP) wrote:
[snip...] I'm with Chuck Clark in that folks in _my_ dojo either train with everyone on the mat (my philosophy has always been that you pretty much leave gender/race/preference/whatever issues at the edge of the mat with your street-clothes) or you don't train. That's just the way I run things. I'm the same way about performing reishiki. Do as we do or don't, it's your choice, but if you don't, then don't expect to train with my folks.

Good luck and good training!

Chuck
Word [the bold stuff is my emphasis].

--Chuck
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Old 07-24-2002, 09:36 AM   #70
memyselfandi
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Let me just sum up for all those who post without reading:

1. Neither male nor female Orthodox Jews are allowed to touch any member of the opposite sex (that they are not married to) "sexually"...I'm sorry that this last bit was not stressed in previous posts (mostly because I didn't totally understand the issue myself). Now I understand that many of you would claim that the relationship with a partner in Aikido should be asexual. But I just don't believe that this is the case (not always anyway). And think about it from the perspective of an obviously sexually deprived teen (myself)? Do you really think that sex would (or could) in no way enter my mind?

2. Be assured that I will be speaking with a Rabbi on both the above matter and about the bowing.

3. I have no intention of giving up my religion (or religious beliefs) for this or any other reason. If you cannot understand that then I am truly sorry.

------------------------------------------
Quote:
First, a question: I may be (probably am) mistaken, but doesn't strict adherence to orthodoxy also require you not to touch the Gentile at all, regardless of gender? Or is that just a Hasidic (sp?) thing?
I am sorry that you have come to believe this, but it is completely false (for the Hasidic as well). It's only a gender issue.

PS - Jim ashby - Adam and Eve weren't Jewish. Besides, what you should really be worrying about is how their children procreated
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Old 07-24-2002, 09:42 AM   #71
Chuck.Gordon
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Quote:
Ari Fuchs (memyselfandi) wrote:
Let me just sum up for all those who post without reading:

(About touching Gentiles) I am sorry that you have come to believe this, but it is completely false (for the Hasidic as well). It's only a gender issue.
Hi Ari,

Believe? Nope. No firm personal information on it. Have I heard that info from folks who have had dealings with the Orthodox and Hasidic communities? Yep. From more than one source, as well. Your info is more data for the hopper.

Just asking. No need to be so defensive. I don't think anyone's asking you to give up your religion. Certainly not me.

However, if you want to study traditional budo, you _may_ have to find some points of compromise or seek another path (the Tai Chi suggestion might be a good avenue to explore) for your martial leanings.

Good luck! Keep us posted on what you do find and how things work out for you.

Chuck

(Who mostly lurks and does often post after only reading a few entries ...)

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Old 07-24-2002, 09:49 AM   #72
Rev_Sully
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Re: Re: Jewish Issue

Quote:
Kathryn Cole (Kat.C) wrote:
But we are not worshipping the Kamiza,or Osensei or our partners,when we bow ,we are bowing out of respect and appreciation. Or at least I am. So the bowing does not break those laws or offend God.This is just my view point as a christian,others may feel differently and I don't know about Mr.Fuchs religion, perhaps he is forbidden to bow down at all whether in worship or not. But as he didn't see it as an issue, I was just surprised that you were telling him it had to be one.

Heck, why give the man even more problems?

Dear Kat,

I am very happy you brought this up. It is my opinion that if Ari chooses not to practice with women due to his religiousity then the same applies for bowing to the front of the dojo in the respectful manner. It is not to give him more problems but instead to be mindful that he should be consistant with his beliefs and practicing Aikido.

I feel it would be odd if he declined to practice with a woman but bowed to Kamiza. That it would not be consistant with the Judaic Law that he supports. Ari already mention his conversation with his rabbinically trained father and that bowing to an uke/nage doesn't seem like a problem but bowing to the Kamiza might.

If he does one thing, he should be consistant.

Cheers!

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 07-24-2002, 09:59 AM   #73
cguzik
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Discrimination

Rachel was right when she said it's discrimination.

My question is: what's so wrong with that?

There is a common conception that all discrimination is bad. To get caught up in that idea, though, is just as bad. This is the lesson taught by the story about the zen monks and the woman quoted earlier in the thread.

This is good. That is bad. This is discrimination itself! Discrimination is bad? There has to be more to the story.

Now I am not advocating situational ethics. But there is a point at which one must accept discrimination in the interest of harmony.

If I do not hire a candidate for a job, who is technically qualified but has a personality that would be disruptive within the department, am I discriminating? Yes!

If I do not accept a student who would disrupt the harmony of the school, is that discrimination? Yes!

If I refuse to train with someone who will disrupt my sense of religious faith, is that discrimination? Yes!

What's my point? If I think I am offended because of discrimination alone, then I probably have a little more digging to do to figure out what I am really offended by. And I also have to ask myself if I might be discriminating a bit as well.

Respectfully,

Chris
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Old 07-24-2002, 10:06 AM   #74
memyselfandi
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Yeah, this "not touching Gentiles" came up in in a Pluralism and Diversity class I took last semester as well...This was of course accompanied by questions about "the sheet with the hole in it" and why Jews must have it between them during sex . They both came from the same source, rumors. Most of what the people saw as not touching gentiles was actually men or women avoiding touching members of the opposite sex. (Such as when giving or accepting change over a counter.) Are any of your sources Jewish?

PS - the "sheet with the hole in it" is really a "prayer shawl". People saw them hanging over cloth lines in Jewish neighborhoods and just assumed (because of the hole in it) that it was for sex...though the hole is big enough for someone's head (the one at the top of the body ) to fit through so I never quite understood how anyone could actually believe those stories...

And as one woman in the class mentioned: "If those rumors were really true, everyone would be converting to Judaism"
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Old 07-24-2002, 10:14 AM   #75
Dangus
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Quote:
Just a rhetorical question, really. But what would you do if you wanted to take up medicine and heal people, and your religion prohibited touching women? How would you accomplish said healing?

Not to knock your religion, but surely there are exceptions? I mean even Jesus healed on the Sabbath day :-) Then again, they nailed him to the cross...
In most, if not all sects of Judaism, doctors are exempted, and exemption is also made for saving a woman's life even if you are not a doctor. If you find a woman trapped in a burning building, you may, and in fact are required to touch her in order to save her life under Judaic law. It really is not about disliking or hating women, people here need to get that through their heads in a hurry. I do understand why a sensei would choose to not allow him to study there, but it should not be under false interpretations of what his religion is asking of him. Personally I think it's a very silly rule that's been badly interpretted out of obscure text, but that's my opinion alone. I would not allow him to study at my dojo if he would not work with women, assuming I had a dojo.... I do think though, if his rabbi has half a brain, he'll find that martial arts practice really isn't sexual and thus doesn't really fall within the intent of this religious law.

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares plow for those who keep their's" -Ben Franklin
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