Wednesday, June 17, 2015

More on vows and sex in the Talmud

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Sex: Sin, Obligation, or Pursuit of Pleasure? Discussing vows, Talmudic rabbis detour into the temptations of Jewish love-making—where almost anything goes.
Last week, the Jewish blogosphere was full of stories about Natan Alexander, a young Israeli rabbi who has started a business selling sex toys to Israel’s ultra-Orthodox. Most of the articles about Alexander made this a man-bites-dog story—the Orthodox! having sex like regular people! But as Daf Yomi readers have learned over the last several years, the ethics of sexual pleasure has always been an important question in Judaism. And in last week’s reading, in Tractate Nedarim, the rabbis offered one of their most comprehensive and enlightening discussions of the subject, which ended up with a ringing endorsement of Rabbi Alexander’s view that when it comes to married sex, almost anything goes.

The column is mostly about vows, but it comes back to sex toward the end. Consent figures in the discussion as well.

Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.