Of Biblical Proportions

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It was a fantasy born when Debra Brodsky was still attending Sunday Hebrew school. Like most kids, she found Hebrew school boring and confining. She went for two hours in the morning, learning the Hebrew language, Jewish history and bible study: Jonah and the whale, the exodus of the ancient Hebrews from Egypt, Adam and Eve, Abraham obeying God to sacrifice Isaac, his only son.

Neither of these stories from Genesis aroused much interest. But there was one that did, found in Genesis 19:32-35. It’s the story of Lot’s daughters getting their father drunk and then having sex with him. They did this because they feared there would be no men left to produce offspring with them after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah:

“Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.”

They were living with Lot in a cave when this happened, and when Lot awoke, he had no idea what his daughters had done. Both of them got pregnant and gave birth to sons, ancestors of the Moabites and the Ammonites. Lot’s daughters had committed incest, something the bible teaches is a great sin. Even so, it gave Debra ideas. What if she did the same thing, got her father drunk and then, somehow, had sex with him?

Why would she want to do such an outrageous thing? No one explanation is fully adequate, though knowing the family’s circumstances helps. First off, Debra’s mom had died less than a year before, leaving Max Brodsky a widow. Before Meriam Brodsky got the sepsis that killed her, she and Max had talked about having another child. Debra, being an only child, had looked forward to having a sister or brother. But even after the traditional year of mourning, Max told her that no other woman could take the place of his beloved Meriam. Friends and extended family urged him to at least give another woman a chance. Reluctantly, he went to a few Parents Without Partners and Jewish singles events, met some women, and even dated a few. Yet that only reinforced his belief that Meriam was irreplaceable, at least for marriage material.

Debra, meanwhile, kept her biblical fantasy on her radar, though she didn’t give it serious thought until she turned nineteen and entered her second year of college. This was during the Reagan administration. She had grown into an attractive young woman, the “spitting image” of her deceased mom, people said, including Max. When she entered a room or simply walked by, guys, as well as gals, took notice. A “brown-eyed beauty,” people called her, with long brown hair and statuesque in form, a form inherited from her mom and dad who stood a shade over six-foot-two. Her fantasy aside, she didn’t lack for would-be suitors during her sophomore year. While she wasn’t what you’d call “attached,” it was rare to find her sitting home on a Saturday night.

In short, her life at nineteen would be considered “normal” in every way. No one would have guessed that she harbored thoughts of doing what Lot’s daughters had done. She had kept these thoughts bottled up, telling no one. That is, until one day in her dorm, when she and Karen McCreery, her roommate, got into a discussion of the bible. She and Karen, a devout Christian, had discussed religion before. Karen, being somewhat fundamentalist, took the bible literally, whereas Debra believed, with few exceptions, it was pure allegory, including the Lot story. Debra asked, “So you believe the story of Lot and his daughters actually happened, that these were real people?”

Karen nodded. “I do, same as I believe in Lot’s wife turning into a pillar of salt and Jesus’ resurrection.”

Debra remembered enough of the book of Leviticus to know that God considered incest a sin. “So why didn’t God punish these women?”

“I guess because he believed that they had sex with their dad for a good cause,” Karen said. “They didn’t do it for pleasure. They did it because they didn’t want to remain childless, and they thought that their father was the only man left to give them children.”

Debra had already told Karen about her mom’s death, but had said no more until that day in their dorm room. “You know, my mom and dad had been planning to give me a brother or sister before she got sick. Her death devastated me on that level alone, because I had been looking forward to having a sibling. I still hoped for one, thinking that dad would remarry. But he never found anyone else that could measure up to my mom. He’s now in his late forties, so I’ve kind of given up on that. Well, almost.”

“Almost? It sounds like you still have at least a glimmer of hope. Men don’t have that biological clock to worry about.”

“Right, they don’t,” Debra said, while debating if she should say more. Then: “But I was thinking…” She pursed her lips in hesitation. “Well, I hope you don’t think I’m perverted or anything, but suppose I did the same thing that Lot’s daughters did for similar reasons? Do you think that would be sinful in God’s eyes?” Debra didn’t believe ataşehir escort in an afterlife in the same fervent way that Karen did, partly because Judaism, being more of a here and now religion, didn’t emphasize it. Still, she didn’t totally dismiss the idea that there could be a judgement day when we pass on.

Karen drew a bemused smile and shook her head. “Wait. Are you asking will God think it sinful if you seduced your dad just so you can have a brother or sister?”

“Um, something like that. Look, it wouldn’t be just for me because, like I said, he always wanted another child.”

“Ohmygod, Deb, are you kidding me?! Not to speak for God, but yeah, I would think he’d call that sinful. Incest is called taboo for a reason. I mean, I guess God had his own ideas of why he let certain things pass way back when but wouldn’t tolerate those things today. Tell me that what you’re saying is a passing thought and not something you’d actually try.”

Debra laughed it off. “Absolutely. As you said, just a passing thought.”

Of course, she said that to pacify her shocked roommate. In fact, it was more serious than Karen knew, nor was the idea of having a brother or sister the only reason. Ever since that day in Hebrew school, when she first heard the story of Lot and his daughters, the notion of getting intimate with her dad held a special fascination for her. Other kids with attractive parents could objectively acknowledge that without fantasizing about having sex with them. Not Debra. Her imagination ran wild. If the story of Lot were true, she’d bet that his daughters wanted more than just children out of it. Maybe they gave him wine because they knew that Lot would have been horrified, would have never consented to such a thing. She imagined that her dad might be too. Or, maybe not. For all she knew, he harbored similar feelings. He’d been telling her how pretty she was ever since she entered her teens. ‘You’re getting to look more like your mother every day,’ he’d say. ‘She was quite a beauty.’ And there was the incident a year ago during a weekend when she was home from college that she’d never forget. She could still see Max frozen in his tracks in the hallway, standing by her open bedroom door, watching her change clothes. Wearing just panties and no bra, she looked up and smiled. Then, to her surprise, he smiled back before he moved away. A year later, and they still hadn’t talked about it.

Karen’s words echoed: ‘not something you’d actually try.’ Well, maybe she would, though getting him drunk isn’t what she had in mind. Alcohol might help to loosen him up, but she wanted him to want it just as much as she. Putting him in some sort of somnolent state in order for the thing to happen didn’t appeal to her. Besides that, by definition, it would be a form of rape. She got dizzy thinking how outrageous—and yes, perverted—these thoughts were. If her “plan” went through, if she became pregnant, assuming Max went along with it, she’d be more than just a sister to the baby. She’d be his mom as well and Max would be his dad and grand-dad. She also knew that children born from close relatives had a much higher incidence of birth defects. That alone told her in no uncertain terms that what she envisioned years ago with her dad was a terribly bad idea. The bible made no mention of birth defects among the offspring of Lot and his daughters. Either God looked the other way per Karen’s suggestion, or the story was more allegory.

So maybe she should drop this fantasy of hers, however tempting on some level it might be. She was curious, though, about her dad’s view of the Lot story. She was sure he knew about it. Max was always more devout than most Jews, attending synagogue on some weekends as well as the High Holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. He had even helped her with her Hebrew School homework.

In fact, it was after he came from services one Saturday morning when she was home that she began the discussion she had wanted to have with him.

“This is a pleasant surprise,” he said, when he came into the kitchen to find a turkey salad sandwich waiting for him. Being a warm fall day, he wore a light tan, conservative, single-breasted suit.

“Well, I know you get hungry after services,” she said, “so I thought I’d make myself useful.” Barefoot with her hair up, she stood at the island counter making her own sandwich wearing tight, peach-colored shorts and a low-cut white blouse sans bra. She then poured two glasses of iced tea and placed them on the square glass table, while he slipped off his striped blue and green tie and suit jacket, then hung both over the back of his chair. “So, how were services?” she asked upon sitting down.

He released the top button of his shirt, then said, “Rabbi Katzen gives the best sermons. I like the way he uses philosophy as a way to interpret biblical stories. Today, for example, he asked the age-old question, are human beings inherently good or evil. God brought avcılar escort about the flood in order to cleanse humanity of its wickedness. But then, after Noah and his brood left the ark, God realized that man was evil from an early age and he vowed never again to curse the earth.”

Debra pondered this while sipping her drink and watching Max bite into his sandwich. Her dad looked so handsome when he got dressed for services, she thought, not least because he still had all his hair, still dark brown, with a widow’s peak in front. She sensed the time was right to steer their conversation in the direction she wanted it to go. “Did Rabbi Katzen ever do a sermon on the Geneses story about Lot impregnating his daughters after the destruction of Sodom and Gomora?”

He shook his head while chewing a bite of dill pickle that Debra had included in their meal, along with a side of chips. “No, not that I remember.” He looked at her curiously. “You know that story?”

“We learned it in Hebrew school. I was always curious as to why God let the daughters get away with it when the bible teaches that incest is a sin.” She then told him about Karen McCreery’s thoughts on the matter.

Nodding, he said, “Your friend Karen might be right. Motherhood is a powerful thing as Lot’s daughters proved by getting their father inebriated just so they could have offspring. Is that your take on it too?”

“Partly. I mean, the girls thought that their dad Lot was the only man left in the world. They did it because they wanted children and maybe also to insure the survival of the human species. Of course, there might also be another reason.” She raised her hand to the back of her head and grinned flirtatiously.

He looked up. “Yeah? What’s that?”

“Well, use your imagination, dad. He’s the only man left, at least from what they can see. Women get horny too, you know.”

Bashfully, he grinned, obviously less than comfortable. “Not what you were taught in Hebrew school, I hope. Look, I doubt the author or authors who wrote the story had that in mind.” He took another bite of his sandwich.

“Maybe, maybe not. We’ll never know.” They ate in silence for a few moments before she pushed further. “You know, dad, I still feel kind of cheated that I never got a brother or sister. It wasn’t any one’s fault that mom died, just a sudden, freak illness, I know. But I always hoped that you would remarry so I’d have at least a half-sibling.”

She stopped smiling when Max put down his sandwich and looked at her with a slight squint, as if he was confused. “Deb, I’m aware of how you feel about being an only child, your feelings of being cheated and all that. As you know, I also feel cheated. We were a great team, your mom and me. She was the love of my life. And, as you know, we wanted another child. Then she got sick, and so far, I haven’t found anyone else I’d want to spend the rest of my life with. But I’m curious as to why you’re bringing all this up now. Was this planned or was it something that just popped into your head to discuss?”

“Not planned, just something I’ve been thinking about lately.”

He nodded. “Along with the story of Lot?”

She sensed that he still hadn’t connected the dots. “Yes, that too.” She paused to gather her thoughts, to think about a tactful way to approach what she wanted to say. He was about to resume eating when she spoke up. “Dad, do you remember last year when I was home from college and you caught me half-naked in my room?”

His mouth was open and still, as if he had suddenly developed lockjaw. Still holding the sandwich, he said, “Yes, I remember. One of our more embarrassing moments.”

“Embarrassing? Honestly, dad, embarrassed isn’t what I felt. More like flattered, kind of the way I feel when other guys look at me.”

He swallowed hard. “Is that right.” Although technically a question, his words sounded more like a statement, given that his voice slid down a few octaves.

She watched him finally take his bite of sandwich. “Yes, that’s right. And not to be presumptuous, but you didn’t look all that embarrassed either.”

He washed down his food with a gulp of iced tea, ran a hand over his widow’s peak and took a deep breath. “Okay, then, how would you interpret the way I looked?” He had his hands wrapped around his tall glass, turning it nervously while he looked her in the eye.

“Like you enjoyed watching me, like so many guys do. I mean, you stood there and smiled, rather lustily, if I recall.” She saw his eyes drop to her chest. “No, I’m not wearing a bra.”

He looked away and shook his head. Then: “Deb, not to be presumptuous either, but somehow I get the feeling that this conversation has something to do with your latent interest in the story of Lot. Am I right?” He raised his eyebrows.

‘Now he’s connecting the dots,’ she thought. She bit into one of her chips, then took a sip of iced tea. “Um, well, kind of.” Giggle.

“Huh avrupa yakası escort huh. Thought so.”

She rattled the ice in her glass. “After mom died, I had this outrageous idea of having sex with you and getting pregnant with the sister or brother I always wanted and the second child that you always wanted.”

“You realize that you wouldn’t just be a sister, but a mom as well.”

“I was so naïve, I didn’t think of that at first. Plus, as you know, the baby would probably have serious birth defects.”

“You talk as if you’d seriously consider such a thing if there were no risks for birth defects.” He caught that mischievous, little girl, caught in the cookie jar smile of hers. “You would, wouldn’t you?’

“Well, I don’t know, maybe. If I had a willing partner. A girl can’t tango alone.”

He rubbed the back of his neck and shook his head. “Oy vey, I can just imagine what the good rabbi would say about all this.”

“He’d probably say you have one sick, perverted daughter.” She noticed him giving her boobs another quick perusal before averting his eyes. “It’s okay, dad, I don’t mind you looking.”

Again, he looked and again he quickly looked away. “Sorry.”

“No apology necessary. But I was hoping…” She paused to gather her thoughts. “You know the expression look but don’t touch. Well, that doesn’t apply here. If you know what I mean.” She gripped the top edge of her blouse and tugged it down a couple inches.

He looked down at the half-eaten sandwich on his plate. Then, facing her once again, he said, “Any self-respecting, normal dad—and I use normal in quotes—would get up and run out of the room. Either that or suggest that you seek immediate psychiatric help.”

She tucked a hand under her blouse and began to massage her boobs. “But so far, you haven’t done either of those things.”

Momentarily speechless, he watched her continue, his mouth half-open, mesmerized by this erotic, masturbatory display by his offspring. “No, which makes me question my own mental health.”

She reached up and pulled her brown leather barrette out of her hair, then shook the hair out of her eyes. “Looks like you lost your appetite. At least for turkey salad and chips.”

He continued to watch while his hand drifted toward his crotch. “This is what you thought about in Hebrew school?”

“Not exactly. But I will say that what’s happening here and now has been years in the making. Ever since I learned about the Lot story.”

“Lot’s daughters never did what you’re now doing.”

In a breathy, seductive tone, she said, “Maybe they did, and the biblical censors left it out. Now don’t move.” She got up and pulled the table a few inches away from him.

“What are you doing?”

“Just this.” Moments later, she was standing in front of him. “Now don’t run out of the room just yet,” she said, and then climbed onto his lap. Her long legs hung over his; her bare feet touched the floor. She lifted her blouse. “Touch me,” she whispered.

After a moment’s hesitation, he cupped his hands over her breasts, then twisted his fingers around her hardening nipples. “Jesus, I can’t believe I’m doing this. They’re beautiful, just like your mom’s. Same shape and size.”

“Right you are. We could wear each other’s C-cup braziers.”

“You smell like her too. All jasmine and roses.” Leaning in closer, he began to use his tongue.

She leaned back and closed her eyes. “Oh, that feels so good. Keep going.” She began to grind her loins into his. “I feel something down there.”

“I suspect you do. It’ been growing ever since you began touching yourself.”

She kissed him on the mouth, then wrapped her arms around him. “You know, dad, there are times in life when we reach the point of no return, and I get the feeling that this is one of those times. At least I’m hoping.”

Had he reached that point? Not really, because he knew he had the power to cease this sinful thing going on, this thing that would get him kicked out of the synagogue of which he was a member in good standing. Good standing—he almost laughed. Good standing hypocrite was more like it. At least he felt like one, doing what the bible expressly forbade. At least Lot had an excuse; by definition he was raped. A vengeful God would turn both he and Debra into a pillar of salt, just like he did Lot’s wife. If he really believed that, he’d throw his beautiful, sexy daughter off his lap and spend extra time in synagogue repenting. But he believed that God would spare them. And besides, he could do his repentance on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. He knew that God could be merciful as well as vengeful, so perhaps the Lord could forgive him the lust that was driving him on, that prompted him to tuck his face between Debra Brodsky’s firm, luscious boobs, then to lick her smooth, translucent skin and inhale what he called the sweet aroma of jasmine and roses. “I want you as much as you want me,” he said. “But we need to diverge from the Lot story. The risks aren’t worth trying to create another family member.”

She brushed his concerns away with a wave of her hand. “Agreed. Besides, I’m on birth control. Also, it doesn’t appear that I need to get you drunk like his daughters did. Now, let’s go someplace where we’ll be more comfortable.”

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