It's telling how we devote February 14th to romance, and not to the platonic love for friends, family, or group with a similar belief or conviction. The main focus of this singular day appears to be on the male as gift-giver. Why is that? Of course, there are economic advantages, as cliches of love are on full display. Protocol requires sending Valentine's Day cards, chocolates, red hearts or roses, and dinner dates are made for the special occasion. This seminal day demands a full-on demonstration of unconditional love. It keeps the romantic myth alive in our society and highlights why we long to find and hold onto "The One".
In Genesis 1: 27, God initially created one being, an androgynous being. Midrash, or Rabbinic exegesis explains a male/female were fused together back-to-back to create Adam, which means "human". This Hebrew word is generally translated as "man". God desired for face to gaze upon face and so this human was separated into two. Biblically speaking, to be considered a human necessarily requires both maleness and femaleness in each of us. Metaphorically, our sex is just a "garment" of a predominant gender. The severance into two beings allows reproduction to occur and Eve gives birth to three male infants.
Our primal hermaphroditic nature is recognized in the Torah and other classic Kabbalistic texts, as well by Karl Jung, the Swiss psychoanalyst, in his notion of the opposing sexual archetypes the "anima" or"animus" in our unconscious. And medical science's discovery that the gender-stimulating hormones testosterone and estrogen are produced in all of us to varying degrees also confirms our dual gender character traits.
Let's briefly consider what constitutes a good vs. evil relationship. It is actually a sophisticated subject, which is why we often get dating and marriage wrong. With 14-years of experience as a federal criminal appeals attorney, I’ve come across a few “seducers”. These hard-core guys employ sweet, pillow talk to get girlfriends to be "mules” and smuggle drugs onto planes and across State borders. I’ve handled cases were being in love ended by serving 10-years in prison due to mandatory minimum sentences. It is both a sham and a shame. Many folks are impressionable and there are plenty of master manipulators to take advantage of them. This is what constitutes an evil romance.
Eventually, the human, Adam was molded out of the earth and brought alive through the breath of God, while a mate was cloned from a rib and then re-formed. It was only then Adam was identified in Hebrew as ish or man, and his mate was referred to as ishah or woman. The feminine seems to imply a man with a womb. Anyway, unlike Eve and her guy, we have parents but must search for our “Soul Mate”, and recreate a divine union. Through a civil marriage our legal family is born and property can get passed through it.
Allegedly, finding the "The One" means they will now have our backs no matter what! This kind of romance is good. Even a flawed or bad affair is okay if we learn from our mistakes, and forgive others, even ourselves. Most importantly, is that we recognize con artists and know not to get intimately involved with them.
I am reminded of the tarot card, The Lovers. Usually depicted with a naked man and woman, plus a couple whose clothes and coloring are opposite to each other, while a monkish, angelic-like figure hovers above. Generally, this card means love, harmony, and choice in relationships. In a traditional deck, which is numbered from 0-21, it is VI or 6 in the suit of Trumps. However, I prefer the tarot's association to the Hebrew alphabet that goes from 1-22. The Lovers aligns with the 7th letter, Zayin, her numerical value is also 7 and she sounds like “zebra”. Her symbolic meaning is a sword. She is also the name of the male sex organ, since Zayin means "penis” in Hebrew. Images of this letter and the tarot card, The Lovers are posted on the website’s Street Smarts page. There is also a helpful excerpt about the animus and anima archetypes.
I want you to contemplate these three words for a moment: lovers, sword, penis. What comes to mind? Now think of the sacred in this context. Many cultures have religious circumcision ceremonies for males, although how it is performed may vary. An obvious interpretation of the three words is the male as protector. Now reconsider them without attaching a sense of holiness to any word. The image in your mind's eye may be emblematic of a man exerting power over a woman, of disharmony, and hate.
Rape, forced prostitution, and sexual abuse can be weapons of war, although strictly forbidden under the Geneva Conventions. These are international laws of binding treaties and protocols for humanitarian treatment in times of armed conflicts, either domestic or involving multiple nations. A recent example of violations of these longstanding agreements is when men of Gaza Strip's Hamas sexual assaulted and massacred more than a thousand innocent Israelis on October 7th. No amount of love for a cause, love for a god, or love for a leader can justify this barbaric conduct. It is evil and should never be defended, excused, or rationalized as purposeful and good.