Psalm 126 (Shir haMaalot) says it in the Grace After Meals: “Those that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Perhaps that was the kernel for this Israeli study of drops?

Seven Israeli researchers at Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute of Science and Holon’s Edith Wolfson Medical Center published their study on the effect of the emotional tears of Israeli women on Israeli men. The paper, “Human Tears Contain a Chemosignal,” was published in the journal “Science” this week.

They hypothesized that human tears may contain a chemosignal, or odor, which effects other humans. They found that merely sniffing negative-emotion–related tears obtained from Israel women reduced men’s levels of testosterone and self-rated sexual arousal. They also showed that functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed that sniffing women’s tears (instead of regular saline, cleansing tears) selectively reduced activity in brain-substrates of sexual arousal in Israeli men.

What does this mean? That Israeli couples should not see a bourekhas or tear jerking film on dates where they plan on post-film sensual activities? Perhaps. Or maybe it means that emotional tears have the effect of reducing the base instincts of males.

Noam Sobel, one of the study’s authors, said “This experiment opened gazillions of questions. It opened way more questions than it answered.” (Gazillions…. that is a scientific term, I think). Asked which films were shown to the Israeli women to make them shed tears by the milliliter, Sobel said, “the death scene from The Champ.” Other films shown included scenes from “Life is Beautiful,” “When a Man Loves a Woman” and the Israeli movie, “Broken Wings.”

Next steps? Other researches might study the effect of Israeli tears on oxytocin, a social bonding hormone, instead of testosterone. Or Israeli men might be shown scenes from “Operation Thunderbolt” and other films by Golan Globus, and see how it effects their desires to vote for Likud.

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