The Yetzer: A Kabbalistic Perspective on Eroticism and Human Sexuality

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568218984
  • Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/1997
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Creation and Procreation 1
The Sex-Celibacy Pendulum 7
Emanation and Contraction as Paradigms of Creation 14
Contraction and Emanation as Reading and Writing 21
2 The "Yetzer" as Creative Neurosis 25
Sublimation and Dispensation of Sexuality 29
"To Be in ... the Closet" 34
The "Yetzer-Yetzira" Continuum 38
The Yetzer and Romantic Imagination 49
3 Ecstasy and Spiritual Sexuality 53
What Constitutes an Ecstatic Experience? 54
Greco-Protestant Controlling Sexuality 57
Manic Disorder versus Creative Ecstasy 62
Kabbalistic Sexuality as Spiritual Energy 65
The Psychotic-Erotic Energy of Mr. E. 67
"Devekut" as "Spiritual Orgasm" 70
4 Romantic Flirting versus Sexual Harassment 79
"Alien Thoughts" and "Transference" 80
Seduction and Rape 84
The "Peer Consent" Trap 85
Kierkegaard's Seduction Style 86
Harassing the "Flirter" 89
"Aggressiveness" Is the Reincarnation of Emanation 97
5 The "Mystic Closet" of Romantic Flirting and Prophetic Imagination 101
Romantic Flirting and the "Mystic Closet" 102
Ecstatic Prophecy and Imagination 105
The Romantic Component in the "Song of Songs" 111
The "Yetzer-Yetzira" Genre and the "Musar" Movement 121
6 The Patriarchic Pendulum and the Balancing "Jewish Mother" 127
The Creative Pendulum: Augustine, Kierkegaard, and Kafka 128
"Phallocratic Aggressertiveness" and Masochism 134
The Theory of "Vaginal Envy" 139
The "Jewish Mother" and "Creative Neurosis" 143
7 The "Yetzer" in the Socio-psychological Therapy Room 157
Clinical Training 165
Contraction and Impotency 166
Patriarchism as Imperialistic Missionarism 167
Bibliography 171
Index 179
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