The ultra-Orthodox Gur Hasidic dynasty, known for imposing restrictions on its community (including banning married yeshiva students from participating in foreplay), has added another strange restriction to its list of what they cannot do, possibly the weirdest, and most unprecedented yet: Eating soy and all soy-based products.
The rabbi of the Gur Hasidic sect fears that the hormones in soy will cause his students to become more feminine (both physically and emotionally), and, according to a report in BaOlam Shel Haredim, that the rabbis and older students will become sexually aroused around them.
Heeb Magazine reports that the rabbi has also declared that eating soy-based products will lead to "gay sexual activity," ordering the students to "stay away from any food containing soy because even eating a soy-based product just once a week can cause unwanted arousal."
Obviously, as we all know, extreme quantities of soy do raise estrogen levels, and in very rare cases, can cause men to grow breasts. Mind you, the amount of soy needed in order for this to happen far surpasses the average amount of soy found in, say, an order of deep fried tofu, even if you ate the entire dish itself.
Also, even if one ate that much soy, it's kind of preposterous to assume it would have any effect on your sexual orientation.
The head rabbi also worries that soy will cause female students to sexually mature faster than intended.
No scientific evidence is available to support the Gur rabbi's decision to make such a claim; in fact, many studies suggest tofu is one of the healthiest proteins around, particularly for vegetarians.
It's also certainly one of the least expensive.
Just this past August, Gur Rabbi Abraham Benjamin Silberberg enforced another ban, restricting men from giving handshakes to one another.
Why, you might ask? Unfortunately, because Silberberg claims such innocuous handshaking activity can also turn men gay.
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life