Rabbi B has been helping guide my interest in learning more about Judaism. One of the challenges that I have is figuring out the nomenclature. The difficulty I have is that even when the documents are translated into English, they often contain Hebrew terms that are Anglicized into phonetic English.
That wouldn't be a problem if there were only a handful of specific terms with specialized meanings. I could make a list and memorize them. That wouldn't be any different than studying any other subject.
In Judaism there are hundreds of specific religious and cultural words that I don't have the slightest clue what they mean. Figuring them out isn't always a quick and easy task. I've bought a Hebrew dictionary. I'm considering another one to go with it. Frequently I go to the Net and Google things I don't understand.
of study leads me down numerous rabbit trials. Recently I came across the word "Ketuba". I had plenty of opportunity to chase rabbits with "Ketuba". As I was chasing those rabbits I came across something interesting.
In case you didn't follow the link, a Ketuba is the formal solmization of Jewish wedding vows. While marriage can properly be described as an "action" the Ketuba is akin to the contract. My explanation doesn't do justice to the nuances that you would discover if you studied the term fully, but I think you get the general idea. "Ketuba" equals the formal or legitimate basis for marriage.
Here is where the rabbit trail gets interesting. According to Talmud Chullin 92a&b (for those of you wanting to look it up) One of the reasons that God destroyed the world in the Flood of Noah was that men were writing Ketuba for men.
That's right, according to rabbinic tradition, gay marriage was one of the reasons for the destruction of the world.
The Babylonian Talmud was compiled from the oral law (as well as private written notes) sometime between 200 and 500 AD. Parts of the Jerusalem Talmud are known to have been written earlier and incorporated. In any event, that's when they wrote it down in the form we have today. The teaching behind it had been passed on for centuries before that. All of which proves that it's a lot older than the current gay marriage debate going on in the United States.