Do I really need to issue a disclaimer before getting to the point of this Thought Tool? Well, maybe, so here goes: I love women. Particularly these seven: my wife and six daughters, all of them accomplished, smart, and ambitious. I think women are amazing whether they are wives and mothers or whether they are plumbers or politicians. In a way one never saw in the Soviet Union, attractive, well-dressed women on the downtown streets of major western cities add a healthy sense of well-being.. I love women and consider them full and vital partners for any civilized society. Yes, partners—with men.
Okay, so can I now tell you a timeless truth without arousing fiendish feminists into a frenzy of fanaticism? Here goes: Skyscrapers, highways, oil-refineries, sewage treatment plants, power stations, bridges and other necessities of civilized life exist because men build them. I don’t mean that men designed and found financing for them, although that is also mostly true. I mean men blast boulders out of the way, pour foundations on freezing cold mornings, weld steel structures in scorching heat, climb hundreds of feet up in the air on flimsy scaffolding swaying in the wind, dive deep under the surface of the sea to seal wells, build and test engines and turbines producing ear-splitting noise, and so many other crucial activities that attract very few women. Understandably.
To quote one remarkable woman, Professor Camille Paglia, “If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.”
To quote another, author Ayn Rand has her successful industrialist Hank Reardon in Atlas Shrugged saying, “Dagny, whatever else we are, it’s we who move the world and it’s we who will pull it through.”
I think it also fair to say that most women are moved by men who move the world.
In most English translations of the Tanach, the Hebrew Scriptures, the words man and men appear about two thousand times. However, in the Hebrew text, there are four or more different words for man.
GeVeR is the Hebrew word used for man in the context of men, (rather than mankind which would include women) who move the world.
… go now you mighty men, and serve the Lord…
…a mighty man should not wear a woman’s clothing.
Since vowels are interchangeable and because the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Bet, can be pronounced both as a ‘V’ and as a ‘B’ one common variation of the word is GeeBoR, meaning a mighty man.
…Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man.
Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; the weak man should say, ‘I am a mighty man.’
And it was when Moses raised his hand, Israel conquered (GaVaR) and when he lowered his hand, Amalek conquered (GaVaR).
When a GeVeR exerts his will upon the world and creates change in accordance with his will, he overcomes resistance and conquers (GaVaR) the obstacle and in so doing becomes a GeeBoR.
That doesn’t mean every man must make, mend, or operate machinery. Moving the world is also accomplished by building a business, teaching truth to a new generation or making music, as well as guiding, supporting, defending and leading a happy and harmonious family. When men play those roles, they are described with different Hebrew words. However, today, the masculinity of men is under serious attack.
With almost no guidance, little girls often still grow into feminine young ladies. However the same cannot be said of boys. Without guidance they can easily grow utterly devoid of the good traits of masculinity. To turn a boy into a masculine man is a job that only another masculine man can accomplish.
Ancient Jewish wisdom extracts many jewels of understanding from the two versions of the saga of Creation (Genesis 1 and 2). One thing we learn from the differing texts is how men, women and the world best interact. In Madam, I’m Adam: Decoding the Marriage Secrets of Eden, we discuss two other Hebrew words for man, and the amazing message that leaps from the page when Adam transitions from one to the other. I invite you to explore this 2 audio CD set and study guide.