You might remember that my list of goals included reading the Bible in 90 days. I’m doing this with a fabulous group of men and women on Twitter and through the facilitation of the website Mom’s Toolbox. We’re into numbers now and I remember now why I always lose traction at this point in my reading of the Bible. I’ve tried Bible in a year plans before, but as soon as we hit Leviticus and Numbers, I get this feeling that I’m reading a book that’s not meant for me. I’m always disconcerted by the lesser value placed on women.
I’m always left wondering how do I explain to my children that women are equal when the book we use to help us teach them right from wrong clearly identifies women as inferior to men. We have less monetary value. If our husbands become jealous, the wife has to undergo a test to see if she has made him jealous. If she turns up innocent, there is no penalty to the husband for the accusation.
When they’re counting the numbers of people in each tribe and defining duties of the tribes; women are never mentioned.
And do not get me started on the unclean state for women during their monthly periods and post birth. And really, don’t get me started on the fact that if you give birth to a boy, you are ritually unclean for HALF THE TIME than if you give birth to a girl. What does that tell our boys and men about the value of women.
I’m struggling to find the lessons here that are for me. The lessons that I can teach to my son. The lessons I can teach to my daughter. I’m seriously struggling. I know we’re headed toward Esther and Ruth — my two favorite books of the Bible, but getting there is a lesson in sorrow. Sorrow for the patriarchal culture that created this religious text and encouraged the thinking that women are some how “less than” men.
I keep telling myself there’s something for me to learn here, but I get lost in the sadness and the sorrow that this part of the Bible really doesn’t apply to me that I can’t find the lessons I should learn.
Anyone have ideas or suggestions?