Conversations About Conversion

(in response to jessielikewhoa’s comment on my previous post and yes, it really happened)

Sam: Dad, I want you to know I’m studying for conversion.

Sam’s dad: So you’ll be officially Jewish?

Sam: Yes.

Sam’s dad: Does that mean you won’t wear blended fibers?

Sam: Dad, I don’t think they were talking about cotton and polyester.

Sam’s dad: Well, that’s OK, then.

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6 Responses

  1. really? i mean, i kno they didn’t have polyester when the Torah was written, but i don’t see how wearing a poly-cotton blend is any better than a cotton-hemp or whatever people wore back then blend. well, i actually dont see how blended fabrics could ever be a problem, but i really love the bit of spandex they put in jeans now, so i have a bias. can anyone tell me why blended fabrics were wrong? does anyone currently alive actually kno?

  2. Sounds like that Simpsons episode where Bart created zombies:

    Bart: Dad, I did something really terrible?
    Homer: Did you wreck the car?
    Bart: No…
    Homer: Did you raise the dead?
    Bart: Yes.
    Homer: But the car’s ok?
    Bart: Yes.
    Homer: Well ok then.

  3. really? i mean, i kno they didn’t have polyester when the Torah was written, but i don’t see how wearing a poly-cotton blend is any better than a cotton-hemp or whatever people wore back then blend. well, i actually dont see how blended fabrics could ever be a problem, but i really love the bit of spandex they put in jeans now, so i have a bias. can anyone tell me why blended fabrics were wrong? does anyone currently alive actually kno?

    Category confusion. Everything needs to be in its proper place. Almost all the laws/commandments (depending on how you translate) fit neatly into the paradigm of categories whether it is what you can eat, to what you can wear, to what you can do with your animals, to what sexual practices are permissible.

    So for example “an animal that swims in the water and has fins and scales” is permited. Lobster and clams, however, prove a variable because they crawl/live on the bottom of the sea. In the case of lobsters, they can even walk out of the ocean. They are a variable that doesn’t fit the category, and therefore, forbidden.

    In the case of mixing clothing, well, you’re mixing different types of fabric. You’re blurring the boundaries between categories.

    (see: the work of anthropologist Mary Douglas)

  4. dear eric, you are now my favorite person alive for making sense of things that seemed to be senseless.

    also, my opposition to shellfish and other non-fish sea creatures, even before i was a vegetarian, involved the fact that when alive they all resemble insects. so shellfish, underwater bugs. i dont eat praying mantises (manti?) either. im sure nobody cared to kno that, or think about it, but its one of those things i feel obligated to share.

  5. I think Eric is right about category confusion, but my understanding is that the prohibition only applied to priestly garments and specifically to the mingling of wool and silk in those garments. Or some fibers that are commonly translated now as wool and silk. I think it was aimed in part at keeping the category of “priest” separate – still category confusion, but applied to specific categories of people with the tribe.

  6. If we’re referring to Lev. 19:19, then I don’t think it applies only to the priestly class, as it appears in the same verse as the prohibition against cross-breeding, and I’m not certain that applies only to the priesthood.

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