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loy·al
ˈloi(ə)l/
adjective
  1. giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person or institution.
    “he remained loyal to the government”
    synonyms: faithful, true, devoted
loy·al·ty
ˈloiəltē/
noun
  1. the quality of being loyal to someone or something.
    “her loyalty to her husband of 34 years”

…and in all I said in my last post, I left out an important ingredient: Loyalty.
It doesn’t  matter what you look like, what you believe, how smart you are, how productive you are, etc — if you don’t have loyalty it doesn’t mean anything.
Now — me, as an individual, I expect people to have loyalty to me — friends, family, teammates — I EXPECT that. And I’m extremely disappointed when I don’t find it. If I let you in to Me and My Mentally-kept Inner Circle, and you are not loyal — you’re kicked out. I may eventually let you back in. But it takes some time.
If you hurt one of my CLOSE friends, I’m gonna be ANGRY at you and I’m going to protect my friend from you and defend her from your attacks.
As a family unit, we’re big on loyalty. We love the loyal, and are loyal in return. There’s that meme that’s going around that’s deciphering jealousy from territorial — we’re territorial with our loyalty.We don’t care WHAT’s going on between us and you — if someone goes after you or does something to you, we’re gonna defend against it.
I don’t play that about “My People”. My besties and I may be arguing (we’re not lol — but for example), but come after them lol I’ma be on you.
So yes. If you want to come this way, please bring your loyalty and please expect us to be loyal to you and protective of you, no matter WHAT is going on.
…just wanted to say that…

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arranged marriage

Wikipedia definition: Arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are selected by a third party rather than by each other. It was common worldwide until the 18th century.
In a society where divorces and affairs are common strains in life —
— where people are left to choose their own spouses for themselves, for “love” and “romance” —
— where people fail to do their due diligence, and investigate the person, their family, their pasts, their childhood, etc —
— sometimes we look at other societies where arranged marriages are common, and we wonder — would it be better if we did it that way?

I think arranged marriages should have their place among us.
Now — allow me to post a disclaimer — I don’t believe in forcing anything upon anyone. So no, I don’t believe in forcing people to marry. But I do believe that parents (and elders, and older family members and friends) should be able to look at an individual and assess who would be a good match for that person.

I remember, years ago, watching a documentary on arranged marriages around the world. One couple, in particular, was from a lower caste system in India. They’d been chosen for one another in childhood — maybe about age 7 or 8, and had mostly been kept from knowing or even seeing one another, until the time came for them to be married.
They were able to see each other on the day of their wedding. In the excitement, the documentary asked the young groom how he was feeling about his bride-to-be. He said, in essence “I don’t know her, but I love her. I love her, because she will be my wife. So I love her already.” He had a big smile on his face and hope in his eyes. And from that moment on, I concluded that for many of us, arranged marriage should be allowed.

Some of us don’t like our parents (and some of us, our parents don’t like us). We don’t like their ways and so we don’t want them choosing our mates. And that’s fine. I fully believe a person should be able to decline a marriage offer if they see fit — and no harm should come of it for anyone.

But for me, I mostly trust my parents, and when I was late teens-early twenties, I fully trusted them because for the most part, I was following their path, and I rarely disagreed with anything they were.

My mother had a man chosen for me — a young, black, mainstream Christian pastor. A rising star in the firmament. My mother was always good at knowing what men were best for me, even when I was dating. If she didn’t like a guy, I would drop him quickly.
She was always right about them, it would turn out. 

Had I not met my husband one day, living thousands of miles away from home, I would have given in and married the man she’d chosen. I would not have been unhappy. But it would not be the life I have now.
I’d be a super-Christian, a model first-wife, a corporate powerhouse, with children who were more than likely excelling at some school somewhere. I’d have a PERM, lol, I’d have some luxury vehicle (A Lexus, Benz, BMW), a tailored church-suit/business-suit wardrobe, heeled shoes that were not too high or too low. My nails would be done every two weeks.
I’d probably be a pastor, myself.

But I met my husband.
And I liked him.
And my parents liked him, too.
So that possible, “okay” reality went out the window, because I happened to stumble upon my husband on my own. Which, in my opinion, was pure Yahweh — pure kismet, pure The Universe doing what IT wants with you, whether or not that was your intent.
And when I compare the two realities, I like this one better. Of course.
My mind is freer and personally I feel “larger” and “more grand” than I would be, had I not chosen to respond to that young man that day in the snow.
To me, today — that other, “okay” life — is REALLY a life of pretentiousness…

I plan to do a level of arranged marriage with our children — I want them to meet people that are similar to them — have similar lifestyles and backgrounds, hopefully from happily married households where the children see both husband and wife/wives, father and mother/mothers and how they relate to each other. I want them to meet young people from families that don’t eat pork, or don’t eat meat.
I plan to mold them into good mates, and to guide them on how to choose a good mate (because, as I said, the final choice will be up to them).

 

wife
/wīf/
noun
noun: wife; plural noun: wives
  1. a married woman considered in relation to her spouse.

In Hebrew, the word “isha/ishah” means both woman and wife, interchangeably.

con·cu·bine
/ˈkäNGkyəˌbīn/

noun

historical
noun: concubine; plural noun: concubines
  1. (in polygamous societies) a woman who lives with a man but has lower status than his wife or wives.

Pilegesh (Hebrew: פילגש‎) is a Hebrew term for a concubine with similar social and legal standing to a recognized wife, often for the purpose of producing offspring.

Zonah(Hebrew:זונה) is a Hebrew term for a prostitute. (there is a female AND male pronunciation — FYI)

Often, Hebrew Israelite women and men are in a battle over concubinage. Men are quick to say that a woman’s virginity is a factor as to whether or not she is a wife or a concubine. The women are made to feel shame for any past they may have; it seems that there is no area for repentance and teshuvah in this topic.
Many who are Hebrew Israelites now were not always awake to who they were. They were born and raised Christian or something else. They lived their lives however they saw fit , and then found out they were Hebrew. Then they turned away from their old ways, striving for righteousness.
But often, a woman is told that, if she is not a virgin when she marries, then she is not a wife — she is a concubine.
When you ask what a concubine is, you may receive a variety of answers — a concubine is a slave-wife, a concubine is a woman who is not a virgin, a concubine is a wife without covenant, a concubine is a girlfriend, a concubine is a woman who has children from another relationship, a concubine is a woman that’s not good enough to be a wife but you still want to bed her.
Whatever the case may be, there is scriptural evidence implying some of these. Others are simply personal opinions of the masses often accepted as fact.

Concubine as a slave-wife: Often in scripture we see a slave girl being taken and lain with, and children are made from that woman. A slave has no choice to consent to or decline to do what is their master’s wish — if a man had a slave girl, and he wanted to lay with her, he could and she would become his concubine. If a woman had a slave girl and she wanted her husband to lay with her, he could and she would become his concubine.
Female slaves were given over to any man to whom her master wished to gift her.
Slavery is not legally done today, so this idea is archaic among us, at best.
(A female slave can become a concubine, but being a concubine does NOT mean you are suddenly a slave! We are all to be dutiful servants of our husbands if we observe the Torah or the Quran, but you are NOT a slave. Even queens were servants to their kings.)
Concubine as a non-virgin: You will hear that a woman who is a non-virgin is only able to receive concubine status with her husband, and not full-wife status (thereby conversely saying that virgins get full-wife status). You will hear many reasons why — some will say if a woman had sex with a man and lost her virginity, then she is THAT man’s wife. The reasoning behind this is because to many Israelites, sex equals marriage. They will pull out verses to support this claim. But they are neglecting other verses on the matter — while sex is needed to complete the marriage “ceremony”, you also need an agreement between parties that this is what you will be to each other, and you need witnesses to the agreement. When a man took an unmarried/unbetrothed Daughter of Israel in a field, he had to pay her father the bride price and basically complete the ceremony. If not, he was seen as having defiled her and messed with her status in society. Sex is not ALL you need to do to be considered a wife.
So think about people’s younger sexual conquests — no, sisters, you are not married to those men if there was no agreement with them that that is what you were doing. No, brethren, you are NOT married to those women if there was no agreement with them that that is what you were doing. (and you know that was not the agreement you had with those people — outside of the righteous Hebraic construct, many things occur and sexual promiscuity is had by both genders.)
Let me point out some non-virginal women in scripture that, when married, were described as wives and not concubines (because scripture is very explicit in titles — what’s there is there and what isn’t there can only be speculated on) —
Ruth (Book of Ruth — widowed; she becomes a wife of Boaz in the end)
Abigail (1 Samuel 25 — widowed; becomes a wife of King David)
Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11)
Bathsheba is a particularly interesting case — while being married to Uriah, Bathsheba committed adultery with King David, which is a sinful act, and became pregnant. Then David had Uriah killed so that he could have Bathsheba as his wife. Never was Bathsheba referred to as his concubine. …and scripture was very clear as to who was concubine and who was not.

Concubine as a wife without covenant:The Babylonian Talmud (the Talmud being a Jewish book that doesn’t hold any one rule for or against anything, and is largely a book of debate and opinion) states that a concubine is a wife without covenant: (from Wikipedia:)”the difference between a pilegesh and a full wife was that the latter received a marriage contract (Hebrew:ketubah) and her marriage (nissu’in) was preceded by a formal betrothal (“kiddushin”), which was not the case with the former. According to R. Judah, however, the pilegesh should also receive a marriage contract, but without including a clause specifying a divorce settlement. (this final line I can agree with — I believe people should understand the nature of their relationship and that things should be clear and concise to the point that it could be written out and both parties would be in agreement on what’s written on that paper)

Concubine as a woman who has children from another relationship: This belief has no foundation in scripture. I can’t find evidence anywhere — a woman who was a widow and had children could be made a full-wife to a man if he wished it.
Kohanim have restrictions on who they can and can’t marry, but not every man is a priest. If you are a Kohan/Cohen, you should be fully aware on your marital restrictions according to Torah, and you should abide by them. A Kohan cannot marry a zonah or a divorced woman (Lev. 21:7) and a kohan gadol (A HIGH priest) cannot marry a widow, a divorced woman, a zonah, a non-Hebrew or converted woman, OR a non-virgin (Lev. 21:13-15). Notice there’s a difference between a priest and a HIGH priest — not every priest is a high priest (the rules in this chapter for the high priest begins at verse 10).

As I mentioned earlier, scripture is very clear on what women were concubines or not. It did not hinge on whether or not that woman was a virgin, it hinges on what that woman’s agreement was with that man. The Most High never frowned on a woman being a wife OR a concubine. And in Hebraic society, being a concubine was NOT seen as a bad thing — she was a wife, she respected and submitted to her man as her husband and her head.
What a woman must do is make sure she understands the relationship she has with her man. I am big on things being clear and concise — I don’t like to be confused as to what we are to each other. I think a woman should request clarity and transparency, and if she agrees with the terms of that relationship, those two are able to do whatever it is they chose per that agreement according to Torah. (of course there are prohibited marriages, but the only one that hinges on a woman’s virginity is that to a Kohan gadol)

KNOW YOUR TORAH IF YOU’RE GOING TO LIVE BY IT, AND YOU WON’T EVER BE DECEIVED.

Eclectic Alaskan

Here’s a Bible passage you can use with the next Christianist who tells you that marriage was ordained by God to be one man, one woman from the beginning of time (bolding mine):

Genesis 32:21

That night, however, Jacob arose, took his two wives, with the two maidservants and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.24After he got them and brought them across the wadi and brought over what belonged to him,25Jacob was left there alone. Then a man* wrestled with him until the break of dawn.26When the man saw that he could not prevail over him, he struck Jacob’s hip at its socket, so that Jacob’s socket was dislocated as he wrestled with him.d27The man then said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you…

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A Message to My Sistas
by Assata Shakur

At this time I’d like to say a few words especially to my sisters: SISTERS. BLACK PEOPLE WILL NEVER BE FREE UNLESS BLACK WOMEN PARTICIPATE IN EVERY ASPECT OF OUR STRUGGLE, ON EVERY LEVEL OF OUR STRUGGLE. I think that Black women, more than anybody on the face of the earth, recognize the urgency of our situation. Because it is We who come face to face daily with the institutions of our oppression. And because it is We who have borne the major responsibility of raising our children. And it is We who have to deal with the welfare systems that do not care about the welfare of our children. And it is We who have to deal with the school systems that do not educate our children. It is We who have to deal with the racist teachers who teach our children to hate themselves. It is We who have seen the terrible effects of racism on our children. I JUST WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT OUT TO EXPRESS MY LOVE TO ALL OF YOU WHO RISK YOUR LIVES DAILY STRUGGLING OUT HERE ON THE FRONT LINES. We who have watched our young grow too old, too soon. We who have watched our children come home angry and frustrated and seen them grow more bitter, more disillusioned with the passing of each day. And We who have seen the sick, trapped look on the faces of our children when they come to fully realize what it means to be Black in Amerikkka. And we know what deprivation is. How many times have We run out of bus fare, rent money, food money and how many times have our children gone to school in hand-me-down clothes, with holes in their shoes. We know what a hell-hole Amerikkka is. We’re afraid to let our children go out and play. We’re afraid to walk the streets at night. We sisters, We have seen our young, the babies that We brought into this world with such great hopes for, We have seen their bodies bloated and aching from drugs, scarred and deformed by bullet holes. We know what oppression is. We have been abused in every way imaginable. We have been abused economically, politically. We have been abused physically, and We have been abused sexually. And sisters, We have a long and glorious history of struggle on this land/planet. Afrikan women were strong and courageous warriors long before We came to this country in chains. And here in Amerikkka, our sisters have been on the front lines. Sister Harriet Tubman led the underground railroad. And sisters like Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hammer, Sandra Pratt and our Queen Mother Moore have carried it on. Sisters, We have been the backbone of our communities, and We have got to be the backbone of our nation. We have got to build strong family units, based on love and struggle. We don’t have no time to play around.

A REVOLUTIONARY WOMAN CAN’T HAVE NO REACTIONARY MAN.

If he’s not about liberation, if he’s not about struggle, if he ain’t about building a strong Black nation then he ain’t about nothing. We know how to struggle. We know how to struggle and finagle to survive. We know what it means, sisters, to struggle tooth and nail. We know what it means to struggle with love. We know what unity is. We know what sisterhood is. We have always been kind to each other, brought each other hot soup and biscuits. We have always helped each other through the hard times. Sisters, We must celebrate Afrikan womanhood. We don’t want to be like Miss Ann. She can keep her false eyelashes and her false, despoiled image of womanhood. She can keep her mink stole and her French provincial furniture. We will define for ourselves what womanhood is. And We will create our own style and our own ways of dress. We can’t have no white man in France telling Afrikan women what to look like. We will create our own New Afrikan way of living. We will create our own way of being and living our own New Afrikan culture, taking the best of the old and mixing it with the new.

SISTERS WE HAVE GOT TO TAKE CONTROL OF OUR LIVES AND OUR FUTURE WHEREVER WE ARE. AND WE HAVE GOT TO ORGANIZE OURSELVES INTO A STRONG BODY OF AFRIKAN WOMEN.

assata

Good morning.
No one is perfect. Nothing in life is perfect. There’s always going to be something going on.
There’s not even such a thing as “perfect for you”…unless you’re one of those that sees the perfection in imperfection. I’d call that being an optimist, I suppose. A dreamer. Let’s try to be a realist.
Stop running. Stop going from this one, to that one, to that one over there, seeking perfection. You will not find it.
Look inside yourself for what’s missing. Happiness and peace is inside you. Inside you is the only place to find it. You won’t find it anywhere else or in any one else. Until you find it inside you, you will never truly be happy, you will never fully have peace.
Peace and happiness is within because The Most High is within.
Go within. You will not find Him outside of your own self.

*sigh*

 

This is a lesson written by the Elder Mōréh Qănăă, in a polygyny group on Facebook. I felt it was post-worthy and preservative-worthy. So I copied and pasted it and I give him major accolades and praise The Most High for the knowledge this man has imparted! Hope you enjoy it as I enjoyed it.

Shalom (a greeting of Peace). My name is Qanaa Bén Yehuwdah. I am an Elder, and a “Moreh” (Teacher) within the African Hebrew Community in the American diaspora. I joined this group to help contribute to the dialog on “Polygyny” from a Biblical perspective. Yet before on may intelligently discuss “polygyny” thy must first understand the origins of “Monogamy” and who gave it to us, and why they enforce it by law!

From a Scriptural standpoint, there is no difference between “Monogamy” and “Polygyny”. However, there is a profound difference between European/Western Marriage, and African and middle-eastern Marriage. Namely, that the European/Western paradigm of “matrimony” is by definition, and institution negotiated to support and perpetuate what I like to call “matronage”.

Let’s first look at a few of these words:

PATER: (pronounced pay-tur), a noun defined as father . ORIGIN Latin, and later Germanic (English).

PATRIARCH: noun, characteristic of a system of society or government controlled by men.

PATRON: noun, a person who gives financial or other support to a person, organization, cause, or activity : ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French, from Latin patronus ‘protector of clients, defender,’ from pater, patr- ‘father.

It is clear by these European definitions, that men traditionally held authority in their homes as fathers and patrons, and in their Governments as Patriarchs.

Now, look at these European definitions:

MATER (pronounced may-tur) a noun defined as mother . ORIGIN Latin, and later Germanic (English).

MATRIARCH: adjective, a woman who is the head of a family or tribe. • an older woman who is powerful within a family or organization : a domineering matriarch.

MATRON: noun, a married woman, esp. a dignified and sober middle-aged one, in charge of domestic arrangements.

Okay, now let’s look at “inheritance” within the same European paradigm:

MATRILINEAL: adjective, kinship to the mother or the female line. ORIGIN late Middle English : via Old French from Latin matrimonium, based on mater, matr- ‘mother.’

PATRILINEAL: No such word exists!

PATRIMONY, adjective, property inherited from one’s father or male ancestor. ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French patrimoine, from Latin patrimonium, from pater, patr- ‘father.’

MATRIMONY: noun, the state or ceremony of being married; marriage : a couple joined in matrimony | the sacrament of holy matrimony. ORIGIN late Middle English : via Old French from Latin matrimonium, based on mater, matr- ‘mother.’

In aggregate, it should be clear that the European family paradigm is one of men and women inheriting from the fathers, men paying dowry for brides, and marrying into HER family’s possessions through matrimony. It is the family line of the woman, that controls marriage, and wealth, not the man’s. He controls the woman, and by extension, HER matrilineal inheritance.

The Roman Emperor, Diocletian and co-Emperor Maximilian passed strict anti-polygamy laws in 285 AD that mandated monogamy as the only form of legal marital relationship, as had traditionally been the case in classical Greece and Rome.[citation needed] In 393, the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I issued an imperial edict to extend the ban on polygamy to Hebrew communities.

Christian European insistence on monogamy and its enforcement arose as a consequence of 16th Century Islamic incursions into Central Europe and the advent of European colonialism within the Americas, Africa and Asia, which exposed European Christians to cultures that practiced polygamy. As a consequence, nominal Christian male bigamists were subjected to unprecedented harsh punishments, such as execution, galley servitude, exile, and prolonged imprisonment.

Protestantism dropped the Catholic imperative of Matrilineal control of property, which was instituted by Rome to guarantee Papal control of land-based taxation, but in British Colonies (occupying other countries by force) land ownership was strictly Patriarchal, yet marriage remained Matrimonial.

This is what governs American Marriage til this very day! Monogamous Marriage is the legally enforced European restriction on how many sons a man may legally produce, thus insuring that no “Clan” may rise to the stature of “nation” over many generations, within the borders of any European, or American Country. This is also why divorce, and abortion are legal in the United States.

Now, the European Paradigm of Monogamous Matrimony is failing all but the most financially sound marriages, and many of those are divorces just waiting to happen, as the pressure to “satisfy” and entrain one’s spouse becomes the only marital benefit that most couples can afford!

Contrary to “hypothetical” belief. Multi-Wife marriages produce more prosperity, greater emotional security for both mother and children, and more unanimity of internal family values, that monogamous give-me-what-I-want marriages. In fact, nearly all Monogamous marriages in the United States are based on pure harlotry! That is to say, trying to cultivate a sexual attraction, into a committed relationship based on the fulfillment of “expectations”. What s “crap-shoot” that is, and there is no mediator to keep anyone objective! Done with all of that madness…

How many parents of daughters raised to expect monogamy, have been able to deliver a bride that has had less than 5 men run through her before marriage? How can girls be allowed to have sex with multiple partners, be taught to restrain themselves to a single husband, without expecting him to justify why she should not leave him and move on to the next man, every day of his life?

Conversely, the man who marries more than one woman does not “move on” he builds up, and they build up with him unless THEY decide to leave.

I’ve broached this subject before, repeatedly.
I just wanted to point out some things —

1. Adam and Eve being a monogamous relationship is NOT indicating The Most High’s favor TOWARD monogamous relationships. It is only an example of a man and woman being together. THAT IS ALL. That is reflected in all marital relationships in the Bible. There are NO same-sex marriages in the Bible. There are NO inter-species marriages in the Bible. You know why? Because these acts are FORBIDDEN/PROHIBITED by the Bible.
2. Arguments and negative situations in a polygynous relationship in the Bible is NOT indicative of The Most High being against polygyny! Monogamous relationships currently have a divorce rate of AROUND 50% in the United States, at least. NO marital relationship is going to be perfect! Whether it’s polygyny or monogamy, it’s the PEOPLE that will make or break it, not the relationship dynamic itself!
3. Verses concerning adultery and divorce have NOTHING TO DO with polygyny (UNLESS someone polygynous has committed adultery or gotten a divorce!) Adultery is the act of a man having sex with a married woman (NOT married to HIM). Divorce is the act of putting a wife away, or chosing NOT to be married to her anymore…
4. Men in the Bible taking foreign wives and being punished for it is NOT indicative of The Most High being against polygyny! The Most High SPECIFICALLY STATED that Hebrew men were NOT to take foreign women, and HE CALLED IT — he said they’d be led to worship other gods and HE WAS RIGHT AND IT HAPPENED EVERY TIME. That would have happened if the man and woman were MONOGAMOUS or POLYGYNOUS — the relationship dynamic had no bearing on their punishment!
5. Just because YOU feel it’s wrong DOESNT MEAN THAT ITS WRONG! People feel slavery was wrong — but slaves and slave masters were all in the Bible. Slavery is an economic system and NOT ONLY did it build the very country we live in (America… *ahem*), but IT IS STILL GOING ON TODAY.
Your FEELINGS have ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING on The Word of The Most High! Have you EVER analyzed why you feel the way you do about it? COULD IT BE BECAUSE YOU LIVE IN A COUNTRY BASED ON ROMAN PRINCIPLES — WHERE POLYGYNY IS WRONG, BUT SERIAL MONOGAMY AND AFFAIRS(and homosexual sex) WAS THE NAME OF THE DAY?? So because SOCIETY thinks it’s WRONG and it was BRED INTO YOU that it’s wrong, don’t you think that might have SOMETHING to do with why you feel that way?
Face it — the Bible doesn’t AGREE with you. In FACT, The Most High gave rules FOR polygyny.

When you are against polygyny I understand how hard it can be to change that. Our society feeds us monogamy as the ideal form of marriage — but it ALSO feeds us ALOT of other stuff that is completely backward and ridiculous.
The Bible NEVER speaks against polygyny, but it’s obvious that it happened then, and it happened now, and NEVER does The Most High pit himself against any of the men that practiced it for that reason.

STOP ADDING TO THE WORD OF THE MOST HIGH!

Deuteronomy 4:2 HNV

You shall not add

to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish from it, that you may keep the mitzvot of the YHWH your Elohim, which I command you.

Deuteronomy 12:32 HNV
Whatever thing I command you, that shall you observe to do:

you shall not add thereto,

nor diminish from it.

Revelations 22:18 HNV
I testify to every man who hears the words of the prophecy of this book,

if anyone adds to them, may YHWH add to him the plagues which are written in this book.

It’s feast season again for the Hebrews and other Torah Observers of the world.
And it’s raining today. And when it rains in the fall, and it is chilly and muddy, all I can think of is Sukkot.
Man. There were a lot of things wrong with the assembly we built up back in the day. A lot of things, which is why so many of us left and now the assembly is pretty much defunct.
But one thing I can say about us is that, when we would observe the feasts, we would REALLY observe those feasts!
At first we would buy lamb chops. Then the next year we made sure it was from a kosher store. Then the next year (because the butchers in the kosher store would give it to those they knew were Jews first and then tell the rest of us they had none. It’s understandable to protect and assist your own FIRST, but that doesn’t mean I have to continue to shop there…) we felt we were better off if we bought a lamb and slaughtered it ourselves.
My husband and Marcus and Gene and Paul would get together and bless the lamb, and my husband would perform the ritual slaughter. He had a super-sharp knife that they’d blessed, and he would cut the throat almost to the back, and then allow the blood to drain out from the lamb’s body.
My children would play with “Sheepie” for the week or so before he was to be slaughtered; sometimes it was a “petting zoo” atmosphere, as friends (we’re all “city folk”, or “hood folk”, and are simply not used to seeing a farm animal in someone’s backyard just chilling like that, lol) would bring their children to see the lamb and pet it.
After a couple of years of doing that, Cedric started joining us, and even when he moved to NYC, he would make an effort to come down for Passover.
As for Sukkot, at first it was a backyard thing, then when we finally split up (at that point we were split in two, for the most part – WE left, and then Marcus left, and Cedric came with us because he was OUR friend), we finally started doing it out in the openness of wooded land over near Joe Pool Lake.
Every year we have sukkot, it rains on us, whether we are in someone’s backyard or near the lake.
It rains and some people’s tents get flooded.
It rains and your feet or wet in your shoes all the time.
It rains and the hem of your skirt is consistently moist and muddy.
So you’re cold all the time, even tho you’ve got on long-johns and a hoodie.

We could hear coyotes and owls hooting in the night… my mother in law came with us once and she and my daughter shared a tent while my then-toddler son and even younger then-baby son shared the tent with my husband and I.
One night it rained sooo badly that when I got up to use the restroom (aheheh, a bucket that in the morning you need to take it out and pour it deep in the woods and then go clean it out), the floor of our tent was like walking on a waterbed mattress!! All waves and such.
I remember one year, the single women’s tent was so flooded all their blankets and pillows had to be hung over fences all the next day, and they had to take their clothes to be washed.
But FORGET all the discomfort – it’s STILL a wonderfully blessed time.
It’s as if the discomfort is GOOD for you.

We are definitely city/hood people. But there was no complaining among us. We TRIED, we tried our bests to observe the feasts! Everynight there was a lesson, every night there was food cooked by some set of women or some family or some group of men. Every day people were cleaning, or off showering somewhere – some of us that had jobs would gone on and go to work if they were unable to spend the entire feast at the campsites. We would bible study ALL DAY LONG, we would discuss bible all day, all night.
There were courtings, night time flirting (by cell phone – one young sister in the single sisters’ tent, texting back and forth with a young brother in the single brothers’ tent). There were slightly quiet, night time games of volley ball where people were REALLY competitive, oh my, my my lol. There were even GHOST stories – because scriptures don’t say they don’t exist, they say don’t TALK to them. So A LOT of people have those unexplained stories and you know the campsite is the best place to do that…
One year we got together with a bunch of other groups and had sukkot, and we met some really nice/interesting people, who “knew how to make fire” lol (oh my goodness so many city folk are gonna be SCREWED when the SHTF!) and they made this bonfire and my husband and them (he’s from an island, he can do stuff many city/hood guys can’t lol) would go into the woods, cut some wood and then bring it back and toss it on the bonfire and we just sat around having discussions and such.

Now, it’s just us, our little family…and it used to be Marcus with us, but now he’s married (HE WHO FINDS A WIFE FINDETH A GOOD THING!). And we’re trying to move out of town… and others have completely just fallen away, haven’t even done a Shabbat in a couple of years…
it makes me sad. And when I see signs of the feasts, American-style, Texas-style, lol, Dallas-style…I get all nostalgic, like now. When I see that big moon in the sky, I get all wistful and memories pop up. I’m not afraid of a little rain anymore; I go where I want in the rain. I don’t even need an umbrella anymore lol.
I miss it.
It seems the poison that seeped up (really it was there from the get-go but when things are allowed to fester…you know…they decay and the healthy parts must break away) is out and away for the most part.
It would be NICE to be able to all come BACK, RETURN, TESHUVAH/TESHUBAH and do it AGAIN, like the old days.
We’d gotten really good at it.
We learned A LOT about the world, and the Word of The Most High. Every year it was a test on how we would survive, should something horrible happen to our society at some point.
People learned to make fire. People learned that a little rain ain’t TOO bad, when you know how to keep warm. People learned how to slaughter and gut an animal, if need be. People learned how to get along with others that they would otherwise NOT be living with.
I miss it. And no matter what anyone can say, I refuse to allow the poison disrupt the GOOD memories I have of us, and what we were…

Alright I’m done. YHWH bless, have a good feasttime!

(Some of these will have biblical references and some will not)

I will begin with the earliest classification.

na’arah – (plural ne’arot): Girl or young woman
baht – (plural bahtot): daughter
betulah – (plural betulot): married/unmarried virgin
almah – (plural alamot): virgin, unmarried, sexually ripening (“pubescent”) woman
isha – (plural nasheem): wife; literally, woman
pilegesh – (plural pilgasheem): concubine (Song of Songs 6:8)
emah – (plural emote): mother
malkah – (plural melakhot): queen (Song of Songs 6:8)
gevirah – noble woman/queen mother
agunah – a woman whose husband’s whereabouts are unknown (an abandoned woman) (Romans 7:2)

noefet – adulteress (na’aph is the act of committing adultery)
zonah – non-virginal harlot/prostitute (Dt. 23: 18-19)
gerushah – divorcee (literally exile/stranger…)

I found these interesting.
The classification betulah and almah as often used interchangably in scripture.
But a zonah cannot be an almah. (duh?) The two cannot be used interchangably.