Friday, October 12, 2007

Ezekiel 16 - Gender Reversal and Cosmic Chaos

evanstonjew has been popping up on random blogs dropping his cryptic tangential comments. I thought I would indulge him...

He wants to talk about Ezekiel 16, so I will provide a forum here. I'll start with this link to Tamar Kamionkowski's book. I can't afford to pay the $90 for a used copy on Amazon, but if EJ wants to drop one off at my house, I promise to read it and have a discussion about it.


Blogger evanstonjew said...

Thank you for the citation. On the surface Kamionkowski idea that "the abomination of "wife Jerusalem" is that she is attempting to pass for a male, thereby crossing gender boundaries and upsetting the world order" does not appear promising to me. Jerusalem as a cross dresser...a Yentl...I don't think so. She ain't getting my $95 bucks.

All references aside, Ezekiel 16 is worth reading. It is one of the most emotionally powerful chapters in all of tanach

October 13, 2007 10:24 PM  
Blogger evanstonjew said...

As you undoubtedly are aware I just didn't pop up with a speech about Ezekiel 16, but was responding to R. Guttman's reference, and his feeling at ease with metaphor of Jerusalem as a zonah. The issue is intimately tied to the parsha of sotah and why sexist imagery is used in the Torah. 10/9

As you can see from your reference this topic is discussed at length in feminist academic circles. It has yet to reach our neck of the woods.

October 13, 2007 10:38 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...


Part of my frustration with your comments is that I feel like I'm talking to Linda Richman here - "The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire. Discuss!"

Most of us blogosphere denizens are not experts in things like feminist interpretations of Ezekiel, nor can most of us discuss the nuances of modern French philosophy. If you are seeking a conversation at that level of erudition, your best bet is probably another forum.

However, many of us would love to understand these things at a more summarized level and then perhaps we would be driven to learn more about it. This is why I feel like if you have something that you're interested in discussing in terms of these topics, I believe that rather then leaving short comments on other people's blogs, spending some time introducing your ideas in a more structured and coherent fashion, perhaps through the revival of your blog, would be much more effective as a method of starting a dialog about the topics you mention in your drive-by comments.

Back to the Kamionkowski's book, though, I am curious why you dismissed it so summarily?

October 14, 2007 6:57 PM  
Blogger evanstonjew said...

I am sorry you are not happy with my comments. You seem to be one of many these past few weeks. A few things....I am not being cryptic.I am clear as I can be, and I believe I am a fairly good baal mazbeh.It is true sometimes I presuppose knowledge of something. In the context we are talking about David Guttman, who as you know writes a most serious and erudite blog and is a talmid chacham can be expected to know or look up a reference in tanach.In almost everything I wrote except maybe the intricacies of Lacan there are people who have read the books. My references to material in Jewish studies is far less esoteric than the material found on the Seforim blog or S's blog On the Main Line or even much of Gil Student's material.

I appreciate your advice and I know they are meant in a constructive way. My purpose in writing these comments this past 2 months is to test market my ideas....see how they would be received. So far the response has been almost uniformly negative; many/some understood, they just didn't like what I said.

I fully understand the limitations involved in writing a comment;I am long winded as is. OTOH I recognize the bogger is not posting to give me a vehicle to conduct a teaching seminar. So the compromise has been what I did. In time this will stop, either because I restart my blog or because I tire of the hostility. But it will stop.

Some of my ideas I just want to put up on the internet. Maybe someday, one person will read it and get some benefit. An example of this is my recent remarks to chaim b. on Rabbi Guttman's blog. I don't have the energy to prove my claim, but by putting it out maybe someday one guy will take it up and run with it. Better than sitting on my computer.

I feel the community of readers is steadily declining, many of those who remain are here to vent, the blogs are becoming more sectarian, each little group huddling around their favorite blog. My intuition is that the Jewish blogosphere is on the way down at least for a while.

October 14, 2007 10:21 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Well, good luck to you whatever you decide. I don't feel like you responded to the point I am trying to make, and I don't know whether it is my fault in not communicating it clearly, or your fault in not understanding what I am saying.

OnTheMainline works for me because even though the topics are often obscure, there is enough content and background/references that I can follow along with the post, and later do more research to get the details.

I can't speak for others, but I was very excited when I first saw you comment, because I got the sense that you had some knowledge and ideas that were different from those that were bandied about in the blogspaces where I hung out, and I was pretty disillusioned by the old ideas. However, I could never get anything more that a few passing references from your comments. I know XGH invited you to do a guest post - that would have been great.

Anyway, please take these as suggestions - far be it from me to dictate how other people should use the blogosphere. BTW, I don't see that the blogs have become any more sectarian than they used to. I've been on the Internet since 1988. Back then we had a saying "Death of Internet predicted. Film at 11". I think there is still some life in these blogs yet.

October 15, 2007 7:03 AM  

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