Final Blessings of Insemination

Double Mitzvah Jewrotica Parsha

Written by Sender Rozesz. Sender Rozesz is a practicing attorney with a background in Jewish pluralistic education for adults. Sender Rozesz is Jewrotica’s resident Double Mitzvah columnist. The views reflected in his writing represent his own personal views, and are not intended to reflect the views of any organizations, institutes or associations with whom he may be affiliated.

This week’s Torah portion, V’Zot Habrachah, will actually be read – not on Shabbat, when we usually read the next parshah in the sequence, but rather – on Tuesday, during the holiday of Simchat Torah. It is the final parshah of the Torah.

It is, in many ways, a very moving portion. For a year, we have lived with the Torah, from its beginning to its end. We have been awed and perplexed by its account of G-d’s creation of the world. We were introduced to the first man and woman; and then we lived with and followed their descendants, our patriarchs and matriarchs, as they charted their course of destiny. We mourned Joseph’s kidnapping and the fall of his brothers, and we celebrated their reunion, and their subsequent resettling in Egypt. There, we watched a family become a nation, and came to know the man who would liberate them from the shackles of slavery and oppression. We marveled at G-d’s miraculous wonders, and joined the new Israelite nation in their new-found freedom as they journeyed through the desert. We cringed at their errors and perfidies, and trembled at the consequences of G-d’s wrath; we wept at their downfalls, and cheered their successes. We struggled with our understanding of G-d’s commandments, as we attempted to reconcile them with our own experiences and perspectives. We observed a new generation of Israelites come to terms with their Divine mission, and present themselves on the border of the Land of Canaan, ready to finally enter the Promised Land.

And now, in V’Zot Habrachah, we are forced to say our final farewell to Moses, our leader of 40 years, who has guided us through the initial stages of a tumultuous relationship with G-d, and who will be entrusting our care in the capable hands of his successor, Joshua. Before Moses departs, he concludes and encapsulates his relationship with his people with a few final words. His final words are a blessing; a collective blessing for the entirety of the Jewish nation, and a specific blessing that embraces the unique character of each of the twelve tribes.

This, in and of itself, is a profound lesson. It is a message hinted at in the adage, “never go to sleep angry,” teaching us that, as we conclude a day, a year, an era, or a stage in our relationship, wrap it up gently with a blessing, with positivity, with optimism for whatever comes next. Whatever the frustrations, angsts and issues that have come before, frame them in the context of a blessing, and a path forward. Use past mistakes as a springboard and an inspiration to achieve greater heights, and let your final words be words of love.

And in choosing those final words, show that you’ve been listening. Demonstrate that you appreciate the other person’s unique challenges and struggles, that you have noticed their particular strengths and talents; that you truly see the other person. Then your words will fall upon fertile soil and will almost certainly bear fruit.

Of course, speaking of fertility we could never wrap up another year of Jewrotica’s Double Blessing without Moses’s final blessing relating to sex. But of course it does.

As Moses blesses the tribe of Gad, he says: “וּלְגָד אָמַר בָּרוּךְ מַרְחִיב גָּד”. Translated literally, this means: “And of Gad he said: ‘Blessed is He Who grants expanse to Gad.'”

Kabbalah, however, says that word “גָד” (Gad), with only the additional of the letter Yud, “י”, becomes גיד (Gid), meaning the penis. Translated thusly, the verse might be read: “Blessed is He Who grants expanse to the penis” – i.e., Who grants fertility and expanse to the Jewish people’s insemination of the world.

Of course, the Yud (“י”), being the first letter of G-d’s ineffable name, adds a high concentration of holiness and spirituality to semen, ensuring that everything that a Jew touches in this world will not only be changed by virtue of that interaction, but will be impregnated with deep and enduring meaning. The verse itself hints at G-d adding the Yud to the word Gad, and providing this infusion of spiritual purpose. The letters of the word “מַרְחִיב,” meaning “who grants expanse,” can be rearranged as follows: “מחבר י,” read “Mechaber Yud,” meaning, “Who joins the Yud.”

Nor does the Torah give all of the credit to the penis. After all, without a fertile receptacle for the male seed, there is little more than Onanism, and there can be no insemination. However, the sacred feminine, the Shekhina which rests in the world, is eager to receive the potent seed that the Jewish people carry. This, too, is alluded to in the letters of the word “מַרְחִיב,” which can yet be rearranged to form the words “י ברחמ,” read “Yud B’rechem,” meaning Yud in the womb. This refers to the ultimate transmission of the seed (the Yud) from the penis (the Gid) into the womb (the Rechem).

Thus, among Moses’s final blessings to the Jewish people includes a reminder that our sexual intimacy actually reflects the profound relationship and role that we have with G-d and with the world that He placed in our care; and that our efforts to penetrate the superficial mask of the world around us, and to impregnate it with Divine purpose, be blessed with orgasmic success.

And that wraps up the Torah for this year, and all the Double Blessings that it brings. See you In the Beginning! Shabbat Shalom and Chag Same’ach!