The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism

The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism

by Danya Ruttenberg
Pub. Date:
New York University Press
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The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism

In this unique collection of essays, some of today’s smartest Jewish thinkers explore a broad range of fundamental questions in an effort to balance ancient tradition and modern sexuality.

In the last few decades a number of factors—post-modernism, feminism, queer liberation, and more—have brought discussion of sexuality to the fore, and with it a whole new set of questions that challenge time-honored traditions and ways of thinking. For Jews of all backgrounds, this has often led to an unhappy standoff between tradition and sexual empowerment.

Yet as The Passionate Torah illustrates, it is of critical importance to see beyond this apparent conflict if Jews are to embrace both their religious beliefs and their sexuality. With incisive essays from contemporary rabbis, scholars, thinkers, and writers, this collection not only surveys the challenges that sexuality poses to Jewish belief, but also offers fresh new perspectives and insights on the changing place of sexuality within Jewish theology—and Jewish lives. Covering topics such as monogamy, inter-faith relationships, reproductive technology, homosexuality, and a host of other hot-button issues, these writings consider how contemporary Jews can engage themselves, their loved ones, and their tradition in a way that’s both sexy and sanctified.

Seeking to deepen the Jewish conversation about sexuality, The Passionate Torah brings together brilliant thinkers in an attempt to bridge the gap between the sacred and the sexual.

Contributors: Rebecca Alpert, Wendy Love Anderson, Judith R. Baskin, Aryeh Cohen, Elliot Dorff, Esther Fuchs, Bonna Haberman, Elliot Kukla, Gail Labovitz, Malka Landau, Sarra Lev, Laura Levitt, Sara Meirowitz, Jay Michaelson, Haviva Ner-David, Danya Ruttenberg, Naomi Seidman, and Arthur Waskow.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814776049
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 06/01/2009
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Danya Ruttenberg
1 Sotah
Sarra Lev
2 Prostitution
Judith R. Baskin
3 Divorcing Ba’al
Bonna Devora Haberman
4 Th e Sage and the Other Woman
Aryeh Cohen
5 Intermarriage, Gender, and Nation in the Hebrew Bible
Esther Fuchs
6 Good Sex
Melanie Malka Landau
7 The Erotics of Sexual Segregation
Naomi Seidman
8 Reclaiming Nidah and Mikveh through Ideological and Practical Reinterpretation
Haviva Ner-David
9 The Goy of Sex
Wendy Love Anderson
10 A Jewish Perspective on Birth Control and Procreation
Elliot N. Dorff
11 Not Like a Virgin
Sara N. S. Meirowitz
12 Reconsidering Solitary Sex from a Jewish Perspective
Rebecca T. Alpert
We-Th ou
13 “Created by the Hand of Heaven”
Elliot Rose Kukla
14 Toward a New Tzniut
Danya Ruttenberg
15 On the Religious Signifi cance of Homosexuality; or, Queering God, Torah, and Israel
Jay Michaelson
16 H. eruta’s Ruse: What We Mean When We Talk about Desire
Gail Labovitz
17 Love the One You’re With
Laura Levitt
18 Eden for Grown-Ups
Arthur O. Waskow
List of Contributors
Index of Sources
Subject Index

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