Heavenly Sex

Overview


In this lighthearted, lively tour of sexuality within Jewish religion and culture, Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer and Jonathan Mark team up to reveal how, contrary to popular wisdom, the Jewish tradition is much more progressive in many regards than one might think. Applying Dr. Ruth's unique brand of "couples therapy" to such Biblical relationships as those of Abraham and Sarah, and Joseph and Potiphar's wife, the authors enlist Biblical lore to cover such topics as surrogacy, incest, and arranged marriages. They offer...
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Overview


In this lighthearted, lively tour of sexuality within Jewish religion and culture, Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer and Jonathan Mark team up to reveal how, contrary to popular wisdom, the Jewish tradition is much more progressive in many regards than one might think. Applying Dr. Ruth's unique brand of "couples therapy" to such Biblical relationships as those of Abraham and Sarah, and Joseph and Potiphar's wife, the authors enlist Biblical lore to cover such topics as surrogacy, incest, and arranged marriages. They offer a clearer understanding of the intertwining relationships among sexuality, spirituality, and sexual roles through a look at the latter books of the Bible--the Song of Songs, Ruth, Proverbs, Psalms, and some of the bawdier tales of the Prophets. One chapter provides a provocative metaphorical perspective on the Sabbath as a weekly revival, highlighting not only its spiritual but its marital and sexual aspects as well.
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Editorial Reviews

Forward
The argument -- that Judaism, as opposed to Christianity, celebrates sex as a divinely sanctioned act -- is presented in a relentlessly upbeat tone...Through this book, Dr. Ruth offers a sexual "light unto the nations."
Jewish Book World
Contrary to popular wisdom, the Jewish tradition is much more progressive in many regards than one may think. Dr. Ruth applies her "couples therapy" approach to such Biblical relationships as those of Abraham and Sarah, and Joseph and Potiphar's wife. The authors enlist Biblical lore to cover topics as surrogacy, incest, and arranged marriages, among others. The book focuses on Orthodox Judaism's answers to such questions as How often should couples have sex? Can traditional Jewish notions of sex and sexuality be reconciled with contemporary lifestyles?
Library Journal
Arousing. Sexy. Seductive. You're talking about Judaism? Yup, or so says world-renowned sex educator Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Though many might find the statement above hard to believe, Westheimer contends that the religion celebrates human sexuality. Even the holiest of men are required to marry and, as Dr. Ruth so skillfully reminds us, "Celibacy is not a virtue. Orgasms are." The authors interpret various stories and help readers understand the significance of each. The book concludes with a handy biblical glossary and an annotated listing of legal codifications in Jewish law. Mark is associate editor of Jewish Week. Rotenberg's offering, which reads partly like a scholarly lecture and partly like a doctoral thesis, covers many of the subjects discussed in Heavenly Sex), only in greater depth. This shouldn't come as a surprise because Rotenberg has spent many years researching the impact of religion on the psychology of everyday life. The Dr. Ruth book is an enjoyable read that is essential for all libraries or certainly those serving a Jewish readership. Rotenberg should be considered only if a more scholarly work is required on the subject.-Marty Dean Evensvold, Magnolia Branch Lib., Tex.
Booknews
The well-known "Dr. Ruth" and Jonathan Mark (associate editor, Jewish Week) offer an engaging, accessible tour of sexuality within Jewish religion and culture. They look at the Bible and its galaxies of commentaries and at customs surrounding marriage and sexuality to describe a tradition that both honors and esteems the pleasures of sex. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826409041
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 5/1/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author


Dr. Ruth Westheimer is the internationally renowned author of many books, including the paperback edition of Heavenly Sex: Sexuality in the Jewish Tradition (Continuum, date TK), which Library Journal observed "will be helpful and welcome to Jews and non-Jews alike." She is always on the go, making TV and radio appearances, as well as lecturing on college campuses. Dr. Ruth lives in New York City.
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