By Michael Gold

Does Judaism supply applicable instructions to the intimacy of the bed room? utilizing the Torah, the knowledge of the rabbis of the Talmud, the Midrash, and exploring the tremendous reservoir of rabbinic assets on sexuality, Rabbi Gold demonstrates how these classical assets range from Christianity and glossy secular ethics.

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When he was with her, she blew forth breath and said: As this blown breath will not return to its place, so will Eleazar b. Dordia never be received in repent­ ance. He thereupon went, sat between two hills and mountains and exclaimed: O hills and mountains, plead for mercy for me. They replied, how shall we pray for you? We stand in need of it our­ selves . . So he exclaimed: Heaven and earth, plead for mercy for me. They too replied: How shall we pray for you? We stand in need of it ourselves .

At the other is sex between two people in love, perhaps about to be married. As we shall see in chapter 4, Judaism, while not permissive, does not clearly condemn such sexual relations as it does incest and adultery. Nonmarital consensual sex nevertheless falls short of the Jew­ ish ideal of holiness. The Torah expects more of the Jewish people than simply ethical behavior; Judaism is not merely ethical mono­ theism. Judaism’s demands go beyond being good to being holy, a theme reiterated numerous times in the Torah: The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy.

Both Judaism and Christianity endorse the no­ 60 This Library PDF version is for the use on an institutional computer only. com << Chapter >> DOES GOD BELONG IN THE BEDROOM Home | TOC | Index tion that human beings are created in God’s image, and anything that hurts or diminishes the dignity of a human being is an affront to God. Traditional Jewish sources do not supply a specific list like the Gordons’. Tradition uses the broad term gilui arayot, literally, “un­ covering nakedness,” to refer to unethical sex.

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