Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Marriage and sex in the Talmud

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: How Often Should Married Jewish Couples Have Sex? And other matters of conjugal bliss in this week’s Talmud study, including a woman’s right to sexual fulfillment.
How should a good Jew treat a waiter? At what age does an infant recognize its mother? How often should a married couple have sex? These are just a few of the practical and ethical questions that the rabbis addressed in chapter 5 of Tractate Ketubot, which Daf Yomi readers finished over the last two weeks. The subject of Ketubot is literally the marriage contract, and the first chapters were dedicated to various issues that arise when that contract is voided or dissolved—whether that means infidelity prior to marriage, or rape, or incest, or a financial dispute between bride and groom. But once the rabbis leave the obstacles to marriage behind and begin talking about marriage itself—what the parties owe each other, not just in terms of money but in affection and respect—the picture becomes a much happier one. In particular, the rabbis show that women do not only have obligations in marriage; they have rights as well.

Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.