Wednesday, 3 February 2010
talking to women will send you to hell
The full text of this mishna is "Yose ben Yochanan of Jerusalem used to say: Let your house be open wide, let the poor join the members of your household, and do not converse much with women. This was said about one's wife, all the more so does it apply to another man's wife. Hence the sages say: a man who talks too much with women brings trouble upon himself, neglects the study of Torah, and in the end will inherit Gehinnom (hell)." (Pirkei Avot 1:5)
what starts as a positive directive to care for the vulnerable members of society ends in a concern for too much social interaction with one's wife. And other men's property, sorry, other men's wives.
it is often translated (by squirmy apologetics) as "do not gossip with women" as that would be degrading to them. except the hebrew is 'si'cha' which is a conversation.
whispering women - sexually alluring, or gossiping. either one is an activity that distracts those poor men.
amongst the lacework there are 'branks' - english 16th century punishment devices used for women who were accused of gossiping, and other misdemeanors that bring shame on their menfolk.