(Gen. 24: 2 & 9)
The answer to this question is just as straight forward as it is unbelievable to most modern people.
Gen. 24: 2: ‘And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:’
The Hebrew word for thigh is ‘yarek’. It occurs here for the first time in the Tanakh. According to the Gesenius Lexicon the word is connected to a feeling of softness. It also can mean ‘side’. In Ex. 32: 27 Moses said, ‘Put every man his sword by his side.’
After Gen. 24, the next time the word occurs is when ‘the man (ish)’ wrestled with Jacob. in Gen. 32: 25 and ‘… he [the man] touched the hollow of his thigh …’ This is traditionally seen as the hip (see chapter ‘The Chathan and the Kallah’ in Greetings from Paradise). However in Gen. 46: 26 it says, ‘All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins (yarek) …’ The phrase is repeated in Ex. 1: 5. So here the yarek are the testicles. Particularly, since the hand is meant to go under them, under the soft part. If it was another body part to which Abraham referred in Gen. 24: 2, he probably would have said ‘on’, like, ‘Put thy hand upon my thigh,’ not under my thigh.
This is an oath by the LORD, by Yahveh or more likely Yahu (see The Name of God)!
Gen. 24: 3: ‘And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth ….’
Is this a holy deed? Is it bringing on the presence of God? According to Rabbi Schneerson (see Greetings from Paradise chapter on Ecstasy or Rabbi Schneerson, ‘Toward a Meaningful Life,’ p. 68) it is the only way to bring us face to face with God. In this act man has lost control over his body. The loss of control over the body during an epileptic fit was seen as a god taking control of the human body, since the human obviously had lost it. Therefore epileptics were seen as holy people in the ancient world. By the same token, sex was seen as holy and was performed in temples in honour of a love goddess, eg.: Ishtar or Aphrodite Pornae. Sex was only to be interfered with to establish the father of an heir.
The Quran says (2: 223): ‘Your women are a field for you, so go into your field when you like, and send forth (the text does not say ‘good deeds’, but many translations fill this in) for yourselves, and be careful of [your duty to] Allah, and know that you [will] meet Him, and give good news to the believers.’ The word ‘will’, as the other words in brackets also, have been inserted here by the translators. With this word this seems to point to the judgement on the last day, however, without the word, as Muhammad actually is reported to have said it, it could mean that you meet God in the sex act, as Rabbi Schneerson believed. Also the ending of the Quran quote is remarkable, ‘…give good news to the believers.’ Does this mean brag about your sexuality with your mates, the other believers? Why not? Sexuality is not evil and sharing stories of nice experiences with your friends only enhances the quality of these experiences. The negative view on bragging about your sexual experiences only comes from the perception in today’s society, that sex is humiliating to women. If sex is not seen that way, why would you not share these nice experiences with your friends?
Did people touch each other’s testicles to achieve the feeling of nearness to God so that they felt their oaths to be duties to God? Would a man feel obliged to fulfill an oath which he had sworn in this state or which he had sworn in the presence of a person in this state, a state which he had caused by touching the man tenderly around his testicles?
In Gen. 47: 29 to 31 Jacob asked his son Joseph to swear to him not to bury him in Egypt, but to bury him with his fathers in the cave of Machpelah. To this end Jacob asked the same as Abraham, ‘“…put, I pray thee, thy hand under my yarek.”’ If this was the thigh, as King James has translated, it should say, ‘… upon my thigh,’ not under. He continued, ‘“and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt. But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace.” And Joseph said, “I will do as thou hast said.” And he (Jacob) said, “Swear unto me.” And Joseph sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed’s head.’
Why did he do that? Was this a voluntary conscious act or was this the involuntary result of being touched ‘under his yarek’. Did Jacob lose control over his body due to this touch? Did these people use sexual arousal by touching for the worship of God and to swear in the name of God? Which name? Yahveh or Yahu?