Sometimes, when I look back at my life as an observant Jew, I realize that some of the battles I fought then I still fight today. Here is an excerpt from something I wrote in those days. It is directed at religious Jews, but the message is just as relevant to non-Jewish society and the challenges just as real:
The Torah was given to us, in part, to free us from the burdens of idolatry (which usually demands unnatural and cruel practices in worship, such as human sacrifices, celibacy, cross-bearing, fire-walking, blood-letting, hours-long monotonous chanting etc. – see Guide to the Perplexed 3:30), and to bring us closer to our creator pleasantly – not through torture or demands which conflict with nature.
“Rather the Torah wants us to be natural, walking in the path of moderation.” Rambam in Eight Chapters (introduction to Abhoth, chapter 4)
God created us to be in harmony with nature and, in this way, to grow nearer to Him. Contemplating the commandments of the Torah, one will notice that none of them demand abstinence from any pleasure of this world – only temporary prohibitions of food and cohabitation, and that in order to keep our base instincts in balance so that we do not become like animals.
… with certain exceptions, a man may marry whoever he wishes, and however many he wishes to marry… all this only with the consent of the second party. Human nature has not changed – but European “Judaism” has become exceedingly puritanical, perhaps under the influence of Christianity. This situation leads to many hardships and crisis in which the victims – mainly adolescents – are blamed, while the real fault lay with insensitive leaders and evil traditions.
What I was tiptoeing around was the fact that humans start feeling sexual desire a lot earlier than is officially recognized. In the religious Jewish world, it used to be that people would marry about the same time they needed a sexual outlet. But now marriage happens a lot later. The onset of sexuality has not changed in order to adapt to this. The result is several years when the only sexual outlet is masturbation – and Judaism frowns upon this as a sin. The Kabbalists take it a step further and consider it tantamount to a mortal sin. This is an absurd situation.
But is the modern gentile world any better? Let us examine what Western governments/societies do:
1) Force all children to attend public schools (unless their parents can afford a private one).
2) Ensure that boys and girls are together most of the time.
3) Bombard those same children, through television, billboards and movies, with almost non-stop sexually provocative content.
4) Tell them to abstain from sex or at least use condoms.
5) Wonder why they don’t listen.
This is an absurd situation. What children need is an intact culture that teaches them right from wrong. They need their parents, their mentors and their peers to all be part of that same culture. They need a society, and media, that reinforces that culture so that they can pass it on to their own children when the time is right.
It cannot be normal for people to marry in their mid-teens unless this practice is supported by societal institutions and family. In a “multicultural” society, marriage must wait because we cannot assume the same level of commonality that we can expect in a mono-cultural society. By definition, a “multicultural” society has no fixed set of mores, morals or rules – except that which is imposed by law (and even that becomes dicey after a while).
There have been societies in the past where different cultures and religions occupied roughly the same territory. But each group had its own schools, neighborhoods, places of worship etc. They were thus neighbors but also separate. This is how the Jews survived as a people. It is not societies such as these that I am speaking about here.
In the Western world today, even where whites are still a clear majority, various other cultures leave their mark. Whether through television, friends or the internet, almost all of us are exposed to a variety of cultures. I was exposed to Malagasy culture for a while – yet my own culture is no more “Malagasy” now than it was before. This is because my exposure was one of educating myself about other people, not of replacing part of my own culture with a foreign one. Children can learn about cannibals all day long from television and there is no harm in this – until millions of cannibals are brought to Smalltown, USA and some of them, sitting in the school cafeteria with Johnnie American, say “here. Try some of this!” When foreign peoples are brought to our own nations, and our children are forced to learn, play and eat with them, then we have passed from “education” into something much more sinister. What we have here is dilution of the home culture and its replacement with a myriad of other cultures. As the boundaries between “us” and “them” become fuzzy, we end up with a lot of uncertainty. Is it acceptable to have loud parties at 3:00 A.M.? That depends; it is perfectly acceptable to many Mexicans, but not to white Americans. Is it alright to mutilate your daughter? That depends; it is considered a duty among many Africans and Muslims, but a terrible crime for others. When those Africans object to our laws and say, “why do you persecute us for our culture? Do you consider your own culture superior?” How does the multiculturalist answer that? In the end, the culture of whoever has the most babies will prevail.
But back to marriage. I contend that the more uncertainty there is, the more marriage must wait. Finding “the right guy” or “the right gal” becomes more difficult as the variety of cultural norms expands. The more hay there is in the stack, the more difficult it will be to find the needle. There will always be individual differences between people, even people of the same culture. But two Orthodox Jews are unlikely to disagree on whether to allow their 10 year old girl to get her navel pierced. The answer will be “no”.
There is nothing natural about “multiculturalism”. It leads to confusion. For its youngest victims, this confusion includes either sexual frustration or irresponsible sex and it probably leads to mental health issues as well.