Spitting is gross!I’m a little ashamed of this story, brought to you care of Haaretz. Apparently, Jerusalem’s Christian’s have been putting up with the ancient disgusting practice of projecting phlegm at a reasonable speed towards someone you wish to denigrate. Apparently, it’s mostly overly zealous Yeshiva bochers who are responsible and, I guess not surprisingly, “there are an increased number at certain times of year, such as during the Purim holiday.”

What happens as a result? Well, on Sunday an incident developed when a yeshiva student spat on an Armenian bishop during a procession. A 17th century cross was broken as a result. Two boys were banned from the old city for 75 days. Why does it happen? According to Shmuel Evyatar (advisor to the Mayor on Christian affairs and himself a victim of spitting) “I’m sure the phenomenon would end as soon as rabbis and well-known educators denounce it. In practice, rabbis of yeshivas ignore or even encourage it.” To make things worse, Evyatar says “A group of yeshiva students spat at us and their teacher just stood by and watched.” Do the Christians generally feel safe? Apparently, on Purim, when spitting is at an annual high, Daniel Rossing reports “I know Christians who lock themselves indoors during the entire Purim holiday.” (Daniel is the former adviser to the Religious Affairs Ministry on Christian affairs and director of a Jerusalem center for Christian-Jewish dialogue.)

Final Question: are the victims over-reacting? Well, one Archbishop Nourhan Manougian had the following to say:

When there is an attack against Jews anywhere in the world, the Israeli government is incensed, so why when our religion and pride are hurt, don’t they take harsher measures?

Ok, well, maybe he is over-reacting. I guess deep down its merely rude rather than really harmful and certainly not comparable to the type of attacks Jews suffer around the world. In fact, I’d be pretty damned surprised if Jews don’t get spat on around the world but I haven’t hear the Israeli government get incensed about any of these incidents.

Anyhow, to try to justify posting this ridiculous story on Jewlicious, I present a few talmudic passages on spitting. Hopefully the boys at the yeshiva who have an urge to spit will get to these passages eventually…

First: R. Bibi says in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish that spitting at the temple mount is a pretty bad thing:

If one spits… on the Temple mount, it is as if he spat into the pupil of His eye, since it says: And Mine eyes and My heart shall be there perpetually

The reasoning is basically that wearing shoes in the temple is bad, so imagine how bad spitting is since:

…seeing that regarding a shoe, the wearing of which does not show contempt, the Torah has said, Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, must not the rule all the more apply to spitting, which does show contempt?

That beauty came from Berakoth 62b. But there is more…

Apparently, searching for spit is a fairly good way to detect intercourse. Yebamoth 24b states:

If spittle is found on the upper part of the curtained bed, since the thing is ugly, she must, said Rabbi, go.

Where must she go, you ask? Well, she must go from the man who had intercourse with her. What does spittle have to do with it? Well, according to footnotes from the Soncino Talmud,

Only the woman lying face upwards could have spat on that spot. Intercourse may. therefore, be suspected.

Weird. Why are women spitting on the upper part of curtained bed when in missionary position? Oh forget it…Anyways, take home point: spitting? Rude. Doing it to clergy of other religions? Even ruder! Watching your yeshiva students do it and saying nothing? About as rude as can be. So please, next time you have stuff in your mouth you could project at others, swallow, don’t spit.

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15 Comments

  • Thank you for the midrash, rabbi. Can you tell me, do you have a search enabled Talmud that allowed you to look up spitting?

    Anyway, my wife was walking down the street one day. The neighborhood was French Hill in Jerusalem and my wife was wearing a short sleeved shirt and long jeans. Some young black-hatted Jew walked by her and spat on her shirt. I mean, he horked, got a good amount of green, kosher phlegm in there and spat upon my wife.

    Then again, around the same time, there were some yeshiva bochers who were ambushing female employees of the Government of the City of Jerusalem in their work parking lot and beating them if they considered them to be improperly dressed. So I guess my wife was lucky.

  • No, I have no such talmud. And I wouldn’t call reporting some stuff a midrash, but we can quibble about semantics. As for your getting lucky, well, I suppose it’s the kind of ‘luck’ people have when they get in car crashes and don’t die. It’s true that something happened such that it was less bad than it could have been; but in that sense, we are lucky all the time I guess.

  • Exactly! Of course my wife got a gob of green phlegm spat at her – but she was lucky the idiot didn’t push her on to the road.

  • Aw c’mon. Most of those Haredi Yeshivah boys are little underfed wussies. I’m sure your wife coulda knocked his block off. Where did you live in French Hill that such a thing happenned? I lived in French Hill too and there was nary a haredi to be seen. The only problems we ever had was like on saturdays when Nicole or Ronite wanted to walk downtown and went through Meah Shearim. These were Parisian hotties so the word tznius was not quite in their vocabulary. They went through meah shearim once and got yelled at but that’s it. They did that only once and I explained about how they ought to be respectful given that it is a haredi neighbourhood. The women were a tad indignant at first but they decided to take a longer route in the interests of keeping the peace – shalom bayit. Sigh… the good ol’ days.

  • Anyway, I think the guy was a stray who wandered over from Meah Shearim. The thing is, I’m not a violent person but this memory from years and years ago makes me want to go back in time and strangle the ******.

  • I started this
    It’s all for me
    What’s yours is mine and mine is mine
    That’s plain to see
    So give it up
    I’ve got to have
    I SWALLOW, I SWALLOW, I SWALLOW, I SWALLOW
    Be aggressive
    B-e aggresive
    B-e-a-g-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e-
    What someone else
    Would leave behind
    And spit it out, let’s go to waste
    I claim as mine
    You’re my flovor of the week
    I SWALLOW, I SWALLOW, I SWALLOW, I SWALLOW
    Tall and reckless
    Ugly seed
    Reach down my throat
    You filthy bird
    That’s all I need
    This empty pit
    I’ve got to feed
    To prove I’m fit
    A healthy man
    I’ve got to be
    Malnutrition, my submission
    You’re the master
    And I take it on my knees
    Ejaculation
    Tribulation
    I SWALLOW, I SWALLOW, I SWALLOW, I SWALLOW
    Be aggressive
    B-e aggresive
    B-e-a-g-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e-
    Go, Fight, Go, Fight, Go, Fight, Go, Fight, Win!

  • I hearby ordain Kenny The Man for his, well, being really really cool and quoting one of Faith No More’s cheekier song. Keep up the good work. All y’all should check his site at http://kennysilverman.blogspot.com for news that you are likely to find interesting.

  • Uh… you guys are like… weird. I nominate you both for the like, Weirdness Retardo award. As for Kenny’s blog, despite his weirdness and all he is fairly astute and sometimes funny and indignant and stuff. His was one of the first blogs I linked to on the side links section. Well worth regular visits!

    Oh and muffti? I am like, so sorry about your pubes. Is that the pubic apology you wanted?

  • so i am not the only person on american soil listening to faith no more after mid 90s. fheww

  • Wow. Baruch Habah Asaf. No, Faith No More is not such an uncommon thing to listen to. Kenny and GrandMuffti are weirdos but not because they listen to Faith No More.

  • I listen to faith no more all the time, like daily. I don’t even know what this post is about but for all of you who love faith no more you should check out some of Mike Patton’s other bands like Tomahawk, Fantomas, Mr. Bungle and Lovage. Now that i’ve spead some love its back to the books for me…

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