Did You Get a Virgin?
‘A Tanna taught: There are three kinds of virgin, the human virgin, virgin soil and the sycamore virgin. The “human virgin” is one that never had any sexual intercourse, the practical issue being her eligibility to marry a High Priest or else her claim to a kethubah of two hundred zuz; the “virgin soil” is one that had never been cultivated, the practical issue being its designation as “a rough valley” or else its legal status as regards purchase and sale; the “virgin sycamore” is one that has never been cut, the practical issue being its legal status as regards purchase and sale or else the permissibility to cut it in the Sabbatical Year, as we have learnt: A virgin sycamore may not be cut in the Sabbatical Year because such cutting is regarded as cultivation’. Now if this were correct why did he not mention this one also? — R. Nahman b. Isaac replied: He only mentioned such as has no special name but one which bears a special name he does not mention. R. Shesheth son of R. Idi replied: He only mentioned those, the loss of whose virginity is dependent on an act but one the loss of whose virginity is not dependent on an act he does not mention.
Our Rabbis taught: What is meant by virgin soil? One which turns up clods and whose earth is not loose. If a potsherd is found in it, it may be known that it had once been cultivated; if flint, it is undoubtedly virgin soil.
– Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Niddah 8b
Why did I copy this?
A virgin plot of land is one that has never been cultivated. Let’s read the signs of virgin land again:
“What is meant by virgin soil? One which turns up clods and whose earth is not loose. If a potsherd is found in it, it may be known that it had once been cultivated; if flint, it is undoubtedly virgin soil.”
In other words, if your Life is turning up a lot of clods and flint stones; if you have to do a lot of land breaking; if the conditions for planting your seeds in reality are not already prepared; it means that you have been given a virgin plot of land.
People who are born into a society in which the conditions of the most important aspects of self-actualization already exist, who are adding an innovative expression to conditions which already exist but are not really breaking new ground, inherited a plot of land (meaning a ground of reality) that has already been pioneered. And that’s OK. They have the advantage of succeeding without being too controversial or too different or having to be too bombastic or too original. That too is a gift.
But if the world has not presented you with the conditions of your maximal self-actualization, if you have to create that which did not exist before – you were given a virgin tract of reality. It will be hard. It will be unpracticed. But you will be able to break it in as you want it to perform and be.
Treat it as such.