Jew Curious: The Torah of Sex
1 א

(כח) וַיְבָ֣רֶךְ אֹתָם֮ אֱלֹקִים֒ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר לָהֶ֜ם אֱלֹקִ֗ים פְּר֥וּ וּרְב֛וּ וּמִלְא֥וּ אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ וְכִבְשֻׁ֑הָ וּרְד֞וּ בִּדְגַ֤ת הַיָּם֙ וּבְע֣וֹף הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וּבְכָל־חַיָּ֖ה הָֽרֹמֶ֥שֶׂת עַל־הָאָֽרֶץ׃

(28) And God blessed them; and God said unto them: ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.’

2 ב

(כג) וַיֹּאמֶר֮ הָֽאָדָם֒ זֹ֣את הַפַּ֗עַם עֶ֚צֶם מֵֽעֲצָמַ֔י וּבָשָׂ֖ר מִבְּשָׂרִ֑י לְזֹאת֙ יִקָּרֵ֣א אִשָּׁ֔ה כִּ֥י מֵאִ֖ישׁ לֻֽקֳחָה־זֹּֽאת׃ (כד) עַל־כֵּן֙ יַֽעֲזָב־אִ֔ישׁ אֶת־אָבִ֖יו וְאֶת־אִמּ֑וֹ וְדָבַ֣ק בְּאִשְׁתּ֔וֹ וְהָי֖וּ לְבָשָׂ֥ר אֶחָֽד׃

(23) And the man said: ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ (24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.

3 ג

(טז) אֶֽל־הָאִשָּׁ֣ה אָמַ֗ר הַרְבָּ֤ה אַרְבֶּה֙ עִצְּבוֹנֵ֣ךְ וְהֵֽרֹנֵ֔ךְ בְּעֶ֖צֶב תֵּֽלְדִ֣י בָנִ֑ים וְאֶל־אִישֵׁךְ֙ תְּשׁ֣וּקָתֵ֔ךְ וְה֖וּא יִמְשָׁל־בָּֽךְ׃ (ס)

(16) Unto the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your pain and your travail; in pain you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.’

4 ד

(י) וְחִכֵּ֕ךְ כְּיֵ֥ין הַטּ֛וֹב הוֹלֵ֥ךְ לְדוֹדִ֖י לְמֵישָׁרִ֑ים דּוֹבֵ֖ב שִׂפְתֵ֥י יְשֵׁנִֽים׃ (יא) אֲנִ֣י לְדוֹדִ֔י וְעָלַ֖י תְּשׁוּקָתֽוֹ׃ (ס) (יב) לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה נָלִ֖ינָה בַּכְּפָרִֽים׃

(10) And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine, That glideth down smoothly for my beloved, moving gently the lips of those that are asleep.’ (11) I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. (12) Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.

5 ה
(י) וְאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִנְאַף֙ אֶת־אֵ֣שֶׁת אִ֔ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִנְאַ֖ף אֶת־אֵ֣שֶׁת רֵעֵ֑הוּ מֽוֹת־יוּמַ֥ת הַנֹּאֵ֖ף וְהַנֹּאָֽפֶת׃

If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

6 ו

Homosexuality in Judaism

7 ז
(כ) וְאֶל־אֵ֙שֶׁת֙ עֲמִֽיתְךָ֔ לֹא־תִתֵּ֥ן שְׁכָבְתְּךָ֖ לְזָ֑רַע לְטָמְאָה־בָֽהּ׃ (כא) וּמִֽזַּרְעֲךָ֥ לֹא־תִתֵּ֖ן לְהַעֲבִ֣יר לַמֹּ֑לֶךְ וְלֹ֧א תְחַלֵּ֛ל אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם אֱלֹקֶ֖יךָ אֲנִ֥י יקוק (כב) וְאֶ֨ת־זָכָ֔ר לֹ֥א תִשְׁכַּ֖ב מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י אִשָּׁ֑ה תּוֹעֵבָ֖ה הִֽוא׃ (כג) וּבְכָל־בְּהֵמָ֛ה לֹא־תִתֵּ֥ן שְׁכָבְתְּךָ֖ לְטָמְאָה־בָ֑הּ וְאִשָּׁ֗ה לֹֽא־תַעֲמֹ֞ד לִפְנֵ֧י בְהֵמָ֛ה לְרִבְעָ֖הּ תֶּ֥בֶל הֽוּא׃

(20) And thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her. (21) And thou shalt not give any of thy seed to set them apart to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. (22) Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination. (23) And thou shalt not lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith; neither shall any woman stand before a beast, to lie down thereto; it is perversion.

8 ח
ברא הא דאמרן אבא דא"ר הונא נשים המסוללות זו בזו פסולות לכהונה ואפילו לרבי אלעזר דאמר פנוי הבא על הפנויה שלא לשם אישות עשאה זונה ה"מ איש אבל אשה פריצותא בעלמא:

Rav Huna said: Women who are sexually active with each other are not allowed to marry a Kohen.
But, Rav Elazar said: Only a man having sexual relations with a woman forbids her from a Kohen. A woman who has sexual contact with another woman is only immodest .

9 ט

"Homosexuality is no different from any other anti-social or anti-halakhic act, where it is legitimate to distinguish between the objective act itself, including its social and moral consequences, and the mentality and inner development of the person who perpetuates the act . . . To use halakhic terminology, the objective crime remains a ma'aseh avayrah (a forbidden act) whereas the person who transgresses is considered innocent on the grounds of ["oh-ness"] (force beyond one's control)." - Rabbi Norman Lamm, "Judaism and the Modern attitude toward Homosexuality," Encyclopedia Judaica Yearbook, 1974.

10 י

"Whereas justice and human dignity are cherished Jewish values, and whereas, the institutions of Reform Judaism have a long history of support for civil and equal rights for gays and lesbians, and whereas, North American organizations of the Reform Movement have passed resolutions in support of civil marriage for gays and lesbians, therefore we do hereby resolve, that the relationship of a Jewish, same-gendered couple is worthy of affirmation through appropriate Jewish ritual . . ." - Ad Hoc Committee on Human Sexuality, CCAR, 1998.

11 יא

"I, for one, cannot believe that the G-d who created us all produced a certain percentage of is to have sexual drives that cannot be legally expressed under any circumstances. That is simply mind-boggling -- and, frankly, un-Jewish . . . Furthermore, it seems to me that to ask gays and lesbians to remain celibate all their lives is not halakhically required. If gays and lesbians are right in asserting that they have no choice in being homosexual . . . then they are as forced to be gay as straights are forced to be straight . . . " - Rabbi Elliot Dorff, Matters of Life and Death, p. 145.

12 יב
(א) וַיְהִ֗י כְּכַלֹּתוֹ֙ לְדַבֵּ֣ר אֶל־שָׁא֔וּל וְנֶ֙פֶשׁ֙ יְה֣וֹנָתָ֔ן נִקְשְׁרָ֖ה בְּנֶ֣פֶשׁ דָּוִ֑ד ויאהבו [וַיֶּאֱהָבֵ֥הוּ] יְהוֹנָתָ֖ן כְּנַפְשֽׁוֹ׃ (ב) וַיִּקָּחֵ֥הוּ שָׁא֖וּל בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא וְלֹ֣א נְתָנ֔וֹ לָשׁ֖וּב בֵּ֥ית אָבִֽיו׃ (ג) וַיִּכְרֹ֧ת יְהוֹנָתָ֛ן וְדָוִ֖ד בְּרִ֑ית בְּאַהֲבָת֥וֹ אֹת֖וֹ כְּנַפְשֽׁוֹ׃ (ד) וַיִּתְפַּשֵּׁ֣ט יְהוֹנָתָ֗ן אֶֽת־הַמְּעִיל֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָלָ֔יו וַֽיִּתְּנֵ֖הוּ לְדָוִ֑ד וּמַדָּ֕יו וְעַד־חַרְבּ֥וֹ וְעַד־קַשְׁתּ֖וֹ וְעַד־חֲגֹרֽוֹ׃
(1) And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. (2) And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. (3) Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. (4) And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his apparel, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.
Weddings in Judaism
13 יג

מתני׳ האשה נקנית בשלוש דרכים וקונה את עצמה בשתי דרכים נקנית בכסף בשטר ובביאה בכסף בית שמאי אומרים בדינר ובשווה דינר ובית הלל אומרים בפרוטה ובשווה פרוטה וכמה היא פרוטה אחד משמונה באיסר האיטלקי וקונה את עצמה בגט ובמיתת הבעל היבמה נקנית בביאה וקונה את עצמה בחליצה ובמיתת היבם

A wife is acquired in three ways and acquires herself in two ways. [She is] acquired through money, a document and sex. Through money: Beit Shammai say [this means] a dinar or the equivalent of a dinar. And Beit Hillel say a pruta or an equivalent of a pruta. How much is a pruta? One eight of an Italian issar. She acquires herself through a bill of divorce or if her husband dies.

14 יד

(א) אֵין הָאִשָּׁה נֶחֱשֶׁבֶת אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ אֶלָּא עַל יְדֵי קִדּוּשִׁין שֶׁנִּתְקַדְּשָׁה כָּרָאוּי, אֲבָל אִם בָּא עָלֶיהָ דֶּרֶךְ זְנוּת, שֶׁלֹּא לְשֵׁם קִדּוּשִׁין, אֵינוֹ כְּלוּם. וַאֲפִלּוּ בָּא עָלֶיהָ לְשֵׁם אִשּׁוּת בֵּינוֹ לְבֵינָהּ, אֵינָהּ נֶחֱשֶׁבֶת כְּאִשְׁתּוֹ, וַאֲפִלּוּ אִם יִחֲדָהּ לוֹ, אֶלָּא אַדְּרַבָּא כּוֹפִין אוֹתוֹ לְהוֹצִיאָהּ מִבֵּיתוֹ. הַגָּה: דִּבְוַדַּאי בּוֹשָׁה הִיא מִלִּטְבֹּל, וּבָא עָלֶיהָ בְּנִדָּתָהּ (טוּר). אֲבָל אִם מְיַחֵד אֵלָיו אִשָּׁה וְטוֹבֶלֶת אֵלָיו, יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁמֻּתָּר וְהִיא ''פִּילֶגֶשׁ'' הָאֲמוּרָה בַּתּוֹרָה (הָרַאֲבַ''ד וּקְצָת מְפָרְשִׁים). וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁאָסוּר, וְלוֹקִין עַל זֶה מִשּׁוּם ''לֹא תִהְיֶה קְדֵשָׁיקוק' (דְּבָרִים כג, יח) (הָרַמְבַּ''ם וְהָרֹא''שׁ וְהַטּוּר).

(1) A woman is not considered to be married except by way of betrothal in which the betrothal was done appropriately. However, if he were to lie with her by way of harlotry, without the name of betrothal, it is nothing [towards her status as being a married woman]. Even if he lies with her with the intent of marriage, mutually agreed between him and her, she is not considered as his wife and even if she dedicated herself only for him, rather the opposite is true and he must be forced (by the court) to send her away from his home.

For certainly she would be considered an embarrassment for immersion in a mikveh and he will lie with her in ritual impurity (niddah); however, if she dedicates herself exclusively for him as his wife and she immerses for him, there are those who would say that this is allowed and she would be a "Pilegesh" as described in the Torah. There are those who say that this is forbidden and they should both get whiplashes from the Torah as they have transgressed the precept "don't be a harlot."

15 טו

Art Green - a Contemporary approach to Jewish sexuality

[There is] for the Jew an ideal of sexuality. While we know well that most human sexuality hardly approaches this exalted pictures, it does provide us with a point of view. It indicates strongly that we Jews should stand opposed to the current moves toward the "the demystificication" of sexuality, which seeks to define coupling as purely biological function. We are made most fully human by the fact that this act, shared by us with the animal kingdom, can be raised in our consciousness to the rung of the raza de-yihuda - the sublime mystery of union, Sexuality at its fullest is brimming with religious kavanah [intention]: this is a teaching we would be fools to ignore. If we cannot fulfill the ideal, we can begin to approach it.

16 טז


17 יז
אמר רבי יוחנן בן דהבאי ארבעה דברים סחו לי מלאכי השרת חיגרין מפני מה הויין מפני שהופכים את שולחנם אילמים מפני מה הויין מפני שמנשקים על אותו מקום חרשים מפני מה הויין מפני שמספרים בשעת תשמיש סומין מפני מה הויין מפני שמסתכלים באותו מקום

Rabbi Yochanan Ben Dehavai said: The ministering angels told me four things:

1) why are there lame people? Because they "overturn their tables" (described by commentators as either anal sex or vaginal penetration from behind)

2) Why are there mute people? Because they kiss "that place"

3) Why are there people who are both mute and deaf? Because they converse at the time of sex.

4) Why are there blind people? Because they gaze at "that place"

{The "they" is referring to the father, with the consequences being the varying handicaps described}

18 יח

רבי יוחנן זו דברי יוחנן בן דהבאי אבל אמרו חכמים אין הלכה כיוחנן בן דהבאי אלא כל מה שאדם רוצה לעשות באשתו עושה משל לבשר הבא מבית הטבח רצה לאוכלו במלח אוכלו צלי אוכלו מבושל אוכלו שלוק אוכלו. וכן דג הבא מבית הצייד אמר אמימר.

Is it really true that conversing is forbidden during sex?

Rabbi Yochanan said: These are the words (seen above) of Yochanan Ben Dahavai. But the sages say: The law does not follow Yochanan Ben Dahavai. Rather, whatever a man wants to do with his wife, he may do. An analogy may be drawn to meat that comes from the butcher's store: if one wants to eat it with salt, he may do so. If one wants to eat it roasted, he may do so. If one wants to eat it cooked, he may do so. if one wants to eat it stewed, he may do so. Or maybe its like a fish (that you can prepare however you want)

19 יט
אמר רבי יצחק אמר רבי אמי אשה מזרעת תחילה יולדת זכר איש מזריע תחילה יולדת נקבה שנאמר (ויקרא יג, כט) אשה כי תזריע וילדה זכר

Rabbi Isaac said in the name of Rabbi Ammi: If the woman emits her semen first [oragasms] she bears a male child; if the man emits his semen first she bears a female child; for it is said, If a woman emits semen and bear a man-child

20 כ

Niddah (Menstration) Law

21 כא

(יט) וְאִשָּׁה כִּי תִהְיֶה זָבָה דָּם יִהְיֶה זֹבָהּ בִּבְשָׂרָהּ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תִּהְיֶה בְנִדָּתָהּ וְכָל הַנֹּגֵעַ בָּהּ יִטְמָא עַד הָעָרֶב.

(19) And if a woman has a blood flow, flowing from her flesh, she should be in her niddah state for seven days; and whoever touches her will be ritually impure until the evening.

Babylonian Talmud (3rd-5th centuries)
22 כב

אמר ר' זירא בנות ישראל החמירו על עצמן שאפילו רואות טפת דם כחרדל יושבות עליה שבעה נקיים

...R' Zeira said: The daughters of Israel took a stringency upon themselves that if they saw even a drop of blood the size of a mustard seed, they would wait 7 clean days.