Most progressive thinking Jews would agree that the opening verses of this week’s Torah portion are, at best, troubling. We are taught than when a woman gives birth she is immediately ritually unclean, and then isolated for 33 days (if the child is a boy) or 66 days (if a girl).
Further, when the mother is permitted to return to normal life, she is required to bring a “sin” offering to the Temple. What could possibly be the “sin” connected to child-birth? The commentators agree- she may have gotten overly emotional during the trauma of birth and made a rash vow never to have sex with her husband again-hence, the sin offering to atone.
We moderns scoff at the primitive notions of our ancestors. How dare they suggest that women become too emotional, and thereby need to be “punished”? Obviously, our tradition is dated, irrelevant, and offensive.
Yesterday, Gov. Christie released his internal investigation of the GW Bridge matter, which he claims fully exonerates him of any wrongdoing. Indeed, most of the blame is placed on the lone woman, Bridget Kelly. Further, it is insinuated that it was because Ms. Kelly was in an uncertain “emotional state of mind” due to a breakup with a boyfriend that somehow provoked her to act on behalf of her boss. It was her “emotions” and state of mind that caused her to “sin”. Mazal Tov to Gov Christie and his Attorney Randy Mastro (whom my tax dollars paid) for actually making a connection between the Torah portion and “Bridge-gate”.