A lesson in kosher sex: Media mogul Oprah Winfrey recently met with two Jewish families in order to learn more about the lifestyle and culture of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn. The show aims to shed light on some of the more private aspects of Hasidic Jews' way of life and will feature religious women from Brooklyn discussing life, marriage and motherhood. Shterna Ginsberg, 38, one of the women featured in the show, cynically addressed the infamous "hole In the sheet" myth, saying "that was how the more lenient Jews had sex, while the stricter Jews had sex through fax and email. Tovi, 40, explained to Winfrey the concept behind the halachic law stating men and women cannot touch each other during the two weeks surrounding a women's period. She said that the bond between the couple becomes more significant, because for two weeks they can only communicate through spiritual means rather than physical. In an interview Oprah later gave to the Chabad website , the talk show queen said to Rabbi Motti Seligson: "This religion is so family-oriented. The core of the belief system is about bringing families together. Winfrey told the rabbi that she was always intimidated by Hasidic Jews "with their long beards and big hats," adding that she never had a chance to speak with a Hassid, thinking it was not allowed. I felt welcomed. I felt a sense of warmth.
Does Judaism allow extramarital sex?
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For more observant Jews, foregoing foreskin is just one of many rules and customs that govern how and when a couple can canoodle. And while the Torah Part I of the Bible for all you goyem does make certain prescriptions for how and when you get to know each other biblically, certain cultural customs vary between -- and often within -- sects. No matter where they may or may not stand on Christ, fans of the the Old Testament and New join ranks with just about every religious sect by disapproving of premarital sex. Orthodoxy, like Christians, Muslims, and other Judaic sects, dictates abstinence before the covenant of marriage Many of the practices around sex relate back to the principle of modesty, which is big in Orthodoxy. But how and to what you degree you cover up is largely cultural and not so much a matter of scripture. Hair is the perfect example. On the flip side, many Modern Orthodox women let their Jewish locks flow in all their glory. There was an Orthodox man who needed some assistance in passport control, and he asked for help. This might sound really weird and kind of sexist to some, as it did to my boyfriend.
In Jewish law , sex is not considered shameful, sinful or obscene. Sex is not thought of as a necessary evil for the sole purpose of procreation. Although sexual desire comes from the yetzer ra the evil impulse , it is no more evil than hunger or thirst, which also come from the yetzer ra. Like hunger, thirst or other basic instincts, sexual desire must be controlled and channeled, satisfied at the proper time, place and manner. But when sexual desire is satisfied between a husband and wife at the proper time, out of mutual love and desire, sex is a mitzvah. Sex is permissible only within the context of a marriage. In Judaism, sex is not merely a way of experiencing physical pleasure.
In one of her early sessions with the patient, Bat Sheva Marcus, an Orthodox Jewish sex counselor, drew up a list. The patient, who was in her 20s, wore the uniform of her rigidly devout sect: a dark suit with a shapeless skirt reaching well below the knee, dark stockings, a plain blouse buttoned up to the neck and both a wig and a crocheted hat covering her head. There was pain, and, more problematic for Marcus, there was no desire. But the deeper aversion was more complex. Talking with the woman at a round table in a room decorated with still lifes of pears and berries, Marcus wrote a list of ways that the patient and her husband could make sex, for her, more appealing. The suggestions ranged from the seemingly modest to the more direct, from reading romance novels to kissing with the lights on to wearing a lacy nightgown to his touching her clitoris to the use of a vibrator. The woman would take the list home to her husband, and he would take it to their rabbi, who would rule, one by one, on whether these interventions were allowed. Their circumscribed upbringings, in sections of Brooklyn or in Monsey, N.