Sifrei Maharal, Hiddushei Aggadot, 4:113
1 א
ספרי מהר“ל, חדושי אגדות, ד:קיג
כי אין לך דבר מתועב ומגונה כמו משכב זכר, שהכתוב קורא אותו תואבה ואין דבר משוקץ ממי שאוכל בשר המת, שהאדם אוכל את עצמו, והוא דומה למשכב זכר שמתחבר לזכר כמותו.
There is nothing more hateful or disgusting than male intercourse, which the Scripture calls abomination. There is nothing more abominable than someone who eats the flesh of the human dead, because, in a sense, he eats himself, which is similar to male intercourse because such a man connects to a male like himself.
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague, known as the Maharal, has suggested a curious association between cannibalism and male homosexual intercourse. What do you make of the claim that both are instances of a self consumption?

2. The moral theorist, Jeffrey Stout, suggests a different connection. He claims that despite the fact that no harm occurs in either case, the two are related because both behaviors blur important social boundaries. Cannibalism blurs the boundary between human and beast and homosexual relations blur the boundary between the genders. Stout suggests that while the boundary between animal and beast is still a morally salient one, he doubts that the boundary between masculinity and femininity continues to be. In response to Stout and the Maharal, What do you think?

3. Do you find the idea of "moral abomination" as Stout employs it a compelling one to consider?

4. Is the boundary between the genders a meaningful one to you? Is it a morally salient boundary in your view? Do you agree with Stout that while it was once thought to be, it no longer is?

5. What is society's responsibility when people don't fit the binary gender divide either physiologically or psychologically?

4 ד
Time Period: Modern (Spinoza through post-WWII)