However, in Gur itself, the ordinances became a controversial subject. However, there is some evidence to suggest that his stringent conception of kedushah was developed and implemented even earlier, albeit on a small scale. Although Onan's act was not truly masturbation, Jewish law takes a very broad view of the acts prohibited by this passage, and forbids any act of ha-sh'cha'tat zerah destruction of the seed , that is, ejaculation outside of the vagina. Price, has built his career treating Hasidic and Orthodox Jews. He later wonders why the sons he has produced in this way have turned out to be wicked or stupid! Walking from the train to their home, the men I saw on the street all wore hats and side curls, the women stiff wigs and traditional mustard-colored stockings. The focus of these communities is on securing the collective good. When his predecessor R. The laws of niddah are not deliberately kept secret; they are simply unknown because most non-Orthodox Jews do not continue their religious education beyond bar mitzvah , and these laws address subjects that are not really suitable for discussion with children under the age of The ladies of "The View" tremulously queried her as they might an escapee of the Taliban or some tribe of Cannibals, but the discussion could not conclude until Barbara Walters prompted by the producer gave her all of 60 seconds to explain the apparently primitive Satmar mating practices. The practice of sexual abstinence within marriage apparently began—though it is impossible to establish this with certainty—with the third Slonimer rebbe, R. Be that as it may, Einfeld contended that her bitter experience was shared by many other Hasidic women, who did not dare to take the radical step she had taken. I saw two examples of this in action in the popular media this past week. Before engaging in sexual relations, a woman must count seven days after the end of her period and immerse in a ritual bath. After their fourth child was born, Joseph says she stopped going altogether.
No directives to distract the thought from the act were given. And if his wife does not agree to comply with this stricture, he should explain to her the gravity of this transgression. The group that followed the Nesives, known as Slonim Vayse Weisse—the White Slonim , is considered more liberal than its rival, known as Slonim Shvartse Schwarze—the Black Slonim , but their liberal approach is mostly confined to their attitude to modernity and Zionism, while on matters of kedushah, the Weisse are as strict and perhaps even stricter than the Schwarze. Now let us consider the crux of the matter. Nudman, he told him about his unhappy childhood and his religious doubts, about his unfulfilling sex life and his high sex drive. He immigrated to the Land of Israel in , returned to Hungary, and in finally settled permanently in Jerusalem. Sher, the past head of the Slobodka Yeshiva, even accused the Hasidim of hypocrisy. In fact, the world at large would do well to consider the adoption of a version of them. These days, therapy is more accepted. Sher acknowledges that the couple achieve sanctification by ensuring that during coitus they focus on nothing other than the ethical and religious significance of the act. From this perspective, it is the puerile obsessions of the secular world which are bizarre, not the concept of family purity and seeing one's intimate life as something sanctified -- to be guarded and cherished. Although it is apologetic about this leniency, it justifies it in theological terms that conceal psychological sensitivities: Moishe told me that he suffered from religious doubts, which he believed caused him to become manic. Indeed, even some Jewish movements have rejected some of these viewpoints in modern times.
The Slonimer rebbes have encouraged their followers to dedicate Friday night to Hasidic communions that often end late at night. However, the rebbes of the Hasidic communities that adopted these norms in the first half of the twentieth century are no longer able to revoke them. Yevamot 20a]. Click here to donate today. If at present you do not have enough time for learning, you are not at fault, and the Lord Almighty may yet help you find more time for learning. Metzl, a professor of psychiatry and the director of the Center for Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University, told me. Richard Price. It is important to note that the mikvah provides only ritual purification, not physical cleanliness; in fact, immersion in the mikvah is not valid unless the woman is thoroughly bathed before immersion. Such a person would busy himself half the night with Torah and prayer … and only then, after midnight, would he come home and wake up his wife, prattle to her placatingly in order to fulfill this mitsvah. Does that mean that their underlying principles are weird or beyond the contemplation of the average person? On the other hand, those who fail to comply with the requirements of holiness and who indulge their physical desires would never truly feel the love of God. If you might be disturbed to read about traditional Judaism's point of view on these matters, you may want to avoid this page. Moreover, the rebbe permitted the moderate expression of physical affection between husband and wife. Sexual desire, like all other physical desires, is natural and should be condemned only if it is indulged by way of excessive pleasures, but it is holy when it functions within the boundaries set by the Torah, namely, in order to fulfill the commandment of onah. There is also strict separation of the sexes: The Torah does not specify the reason for the laws of niddah, but this period of abstention has both physical and psychological benefits.
Moreover, he is no longer speaking about an individual scale of values but rather is setting a norm for the whole of his flock. But that was not enough. Kedushah, however, applies not only to sexual intercourse but also to other areas of family life: There is also strict separation of the sexes: Sexual desire, like all other physical desires, is natural and should be condemned only if it is indulged by way of excessive pleasures, but it is holy when it functions within the boundaries set by the Torah, namely, in order to fulfill the commandment of onah. It is an act of immense significance, which requires commitment and responsibility. The rebbe adds a homiletic interpretation of Exodus Consequently, Gerer Hasidim often refer to kedushah as yidishkeit Judaism or Jewishness. Today, there are about a quarter of a million Hasidim in the U. Neither of the documents has ever been published. Richard Price. May God have mercy upon them. But now that you are a married man, I see that once again, you stand alone, engaged in a raging battle that is even fiercer than the previous one. One of the best ways of realizing this aspiration was to renew the old battle against the traditional enemy—the sexual drive, a battle which seemed timelier now than ever before. Although Onan's act was not truly masturbation, Jewish law takes a very broad view of the acts prohibited by this passage, and forbids any act of ha-sh'cha'tat zerah destruction of the seed , that is, ejaculation outside of the vagina. They have never been published nor, in all probability, ever formulated systematically. Even his posture seemed to have changed. I was using that page title years before his book came out! The husband shall wear some of his clothes, including his tsitsit considered a segulah—supernatural remedy—against the sexual drive and will not hug or kiss his wife or engage in any behavior that is not required for the performance of the act of intercourse itself. I was completely off my rocker. During the consultation, Dr. Nevertheless, some allusions to the more stringent restrictions on marital sex entailed in kedushah do occur here and there in his collection of homilies. Interestingly, female same-sex relations are not forbidden by the Torah. He gets to see his children once a week, and talks to them on the phone every day. The Beys Yisroel had recommended a whole year, but the limit he actually set was six months. Should doctors be restricted to correcting acknowledged pathologies? The addressee of the letter, Moshe Rosenstrauch, had apparently complained that he was unable to devote enough of his time to Torah study.
Their style might not be everyone's cup of tea, but in this regard, the Hasids have it right. Before they went to the appointment, Joseph says that the askan coached him in what to say and how to say it in order to procure the treatment that the askan thought was appropriate. Most of these criticisms have been directed at Gur—the largest Hasidic community in Israel and the most restrictive in its application of kedushah. A few lines further in the same talks, the Beys Yisroel explains that these restrictions are conducive not only to the attainment of kedushah in the future but also to the atonement for sins committed in the past. Consequently, Gerer Hasidim often refer to kedushah as yidishkeit Judaism or Jewishness. He permitted sexual intercourse not only on both leil tevilah and leil Shabbat Sabbath night, i. He is also obligated to watch for signs that his wife wants sex, and to offer it to her without her asking for it. But an interesting three-way correspondence from , between the rebbe of Toldes Aaron, R. Like hunger, thirst or other basic instincts, sexual desire must be controlled and channeled, satisfied at the proper time, place and manner. Yisroel refrained altogether from referring to sexual restrictions explicitly, both in writing and in his public addresses. After their fourth child was born, Joseph says she stopped going altogether. At some stage, the rebbe appointed Rabbi Daniel Frisch — to be the official Toldes Aaron marriage guide. Jewish Attitudes Towards Sexuality In Jewish law , sex is not considered shameful, sinful or obscene. Hugs and kisses are allowed, and during intercourse are even recommended. When we met, he wore a gray suit and a blue shirt open at the collar; a black velvet yarmulke covered a balding head. These laws are also known as taharat ha-mishpachah, family purity. The next rebbe, their half-brother, R. It also gives both partners a chance to rest, without feeling sexually inadequate. According to current rumors, some Hasidim complain that the very proximity of their wives is a distraction from the endeavor to attain the desired goal, but we may assume these cases to be unusual. They believed that if a Jew was not as pure as an angel he was worthless and there was no hope for him. Richard Price. Richard Price in his Monsey, New York, office. A man may never force his wife to have sex. Shortly after his nomination as rebbe in , he inaugurated the Ordinances on Holiness, known in short as the takanot, and commonly pronounced takunes. However, the rebbes of the Hasidic communities that adopted these norms in the first half of the twentieth century are no longer able to revoke them. The Gerer Hasidim are known for their rough, brisk manner—in their dealings with family members at home just as much as in other areas of life where displays of tender feelings, which they deplore, might be expected of them. Twersky moved to Los Angeles, where he is now enjoying success as a film and TV actor. A couple may not have sexual relations while drunk or quarreling. Feldman also intimated that the purpose of Hasidic aka Jewish marital intimacy was solely to procreate.
The Slonimer rebbe contends that sins related to this attribute are the main cause of the exile, and therefore the practice of kedushah in respect of the sexual sphere of life is the key to the redemption. Nearly every single one of his previous friends has stopped talking to him. The issue in birth control is not whether it is permitted, but what method is permitted, and under what circumstances. This has given rise to internal debate, often beneath the surface but sometimes more openly, among the marriage guides as well as the ordinary Hasidim. However, the pill is well-recognized as an acceptable form of birth control under Jewish law. There is very little discussion of female homosexuality in the Talmud. In Gur, the Sabbath is the day when a second monthly sexual intercourse is allowed, while in Slonim it is forbidden, as if the crude physical act of intercourse would defile the spirituality of the holy day. Yevamot 20a]. Price was eager to talk when I called to ask about his work as a psychiatrist catering to the Hasidic community. Onah is a positive biblical commandment, just like the eating of matsah [on Passover]. Sher, the past head of the Slobodka Yeshiva, even accused the Hasidim of hypocrisy. There is also strict separation of the sexes: Birth control is rather clearly permitted in circumstances where pregnancy would pose a medical risk to the mother or her other children. Think for example of the use of growth hormones to enhance height, or Ritalin to optimize concentration, or plastic surgery to enhance beauty, or even amputations to optimize expressions of sexual identity. It specifies the frequency of sexual obligation based on the husband's occupation, although this obligation can be modified in the ketubah marriage contract. The community got involved.
At the same time, Nudman told me that he faces pressure from Hasidic leaders to do things he is unwilling to do. At the end of the period of niddah, as soon as possible after nightfall after the seventh clean day, the woman must immerse herself in a kosher mikvah, a ritual pool. Nudman that Twersky had mood swings, and that he was angry, depressed, and dysphoric. Its female volunteers teach Jewish and secular brides the Jewish laws surrounding immersion in the mikveh ritual bath before and after marriage. But recently, non-Hasidic psychologists and psychiatrists have been making inroads on topics like post-partum depression and trauma therapy through workshops and ultra-Orthodox publications. The radical kedushah norms have given rise to controversy and dissent. If you might be disturbed to read about traditional Judaism's point of view on these matters, you may want to avoid this page. Instructions on sexual intercourse are mentioned in the letter only once and very allusively. Sex is the woman's right, not the man's. In Gur, only men are full-fledged Hasidim, and the Hasidic religious endeavor avodah, commonly pronounced avoyde is their duty alone. That these stringent sexual norms emerged in these particular groups may be ascribed to the fact that all three viewed the ideal of kedushah as their own Hasidic heritage. I see it as a very, very complicated problem. G-d killed Onan for this sin. A man may not take a vow to abstain from sex for an extended period of time, and may not take a journey for an extended period of time, because that would deprive his wife of sexual relations. Price saved him from a terrible fate. Sometime later, he became acquainted with the Beys Yisroel of Gur, and was so impressed by him—especially by his attitude to kedushah—that he became a Gerer Hasid, turning his back on his former Hasidic community. There is very little discussion of female homosexuality in the Talmud. Intermediate The primary purpose of sex is to reinforce the marital bond Sexual desire is not evil, but must be satisfied in the proper time, place and manner Note: Price, has built his career treating Hasidic and Orthodox Jews. It is no wonder that the idea was ridiculed by a number of Haredi internet surfers on the Israeli Hyde Park website in Should doctors be restricted to correcting acknowledged pathologies? The few sources that mention lesbian relations say that they do not disqualify a woman from certain privileges of the priesthood , because it is "merely licentiousness.
Jewish law also forbids sexual contact short of intercourse outside of the context of marriage, recognizing that such contact will inevitably lead to intercourse. The Nesives invests these terms with yet another meaning: I am no addict. The Gerer Hasidim are known for their rough, brisk manner—in their dealings with family members at home just as much as in other areas of life where displays of tender feelings, which they deplore, might be expected of them. However, in Gur itself, the ordinances became a controversial subject. To appease his former rebbe, Y wrote an apologetic letter explaining his move, which he sent to the rebbe via an intermediary—the very same R. By presenting the Gerer avrekhim young married men with a demanding religious challenge, they have raised their collective pride and enhanced their sense of group identity, distinguishing them from other Hasidic groups. On the other hand, those who fail to comply with the requirements of holiness and who indulge their physical desires would never truly feel the love of God. A few years ago, I managed to obtain copies of these letters, which turned out to be quite abstract, conveying the same ideas as those encountered in R. The only rule has been to refrain from sexual intercourse on the Sabbath. Prominent rabbis have argued that they were at odds with the Halacha, offensive to women, and harmful to men, while marriage guides within the Gur community have debated their rigidity and universal applicability. Think for example of the use of growth hormones to enhance height, or Ritalin to optimize concentration, or plastic surgery to enhance beauty, or even amputations to optimize expressions of sexual identity. Now the Lord has given us his Holy Torah, and whoever follows the path of Torah receives Heavenly assistance and protection from above. Few people outside of the Orthodox community are even aware that these laws exist, which is unfortunate, because these laws provide many undeniable benefits. Nevertheless, Judaism generally frowns upon female masturbation as "impure thoughts. Why this style of kedushah should have emerged in these three particular Hasidic groups, and why specifically in the 20th century, is not entirely clear, but the most convincing explanations will be based on the three following factors: According to Henkin, the anonymous questions to its hotline and website provide a glimpse of the reality today within the Orthodox community. Judaism focuses on a person's actions rather than a person's desires. Yet not everyone gets married young, and this raises a whole set of new questions. No directives to distract the thought from the act were given. Nudman, he told him about his unhappy childhood and his religious doubts, about his unfulfilling sex life and his high sex drive. The group that followed the Nesives, known as Slonim Vayse Weisse—the White Slonim , is considered more liberal than its rival, known as Slonim Shvartse Schwarze—the Black Slonim , but their liberal approach is mostly confined to their attitude to modernity and Zionism, while on matters of kedushah, the Weisse are as strict and perhaps even stricter than the Schwarze. Some of his arguments, especially those that advocate kedushah as a means of establishing a more permanent, faithful, and purer bond of love between husband and wife, are clearly apologetic and cannot be taken to reflect the true motivation for kedushah. On the other hand, the ordinances have had a detrimental effect on the demand for Gerer bachelors in the Haredi matchmaking market, and there are Gerers who complain that the ordinances are too stringent or even question the need for them. In the best case, they get some sex education at the end of high school and in yeshiva, seminary, or national service. But he was struck by something else, too. Birth control is rather clearly permitted in circumstances where pregnancy would pose a medical risk to the mother or her other children. Rabbi Sher goes on to attack the Hasidic understanding of kedushah:
Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz, known as the Hazon Ish — , who was the most influential Haredi leader in the late s and early s. In particular, he called for the investment of great effort in prayer, mutual assistance, and modesty. The Hasidic rebbes themselves are reticent about the topic, addressing it only in unpublished homilies and personal letters, from which excerpts appear here in print for the first time. The polemic eventually subsided, and kedushah, though rejected by many, gradually came to be viewed as a legitimate Hasidic norm. He seemed both defeated and hopeful. He also complained a psychotherapist of mutual certitude with the Ahsidic Yisroel had sex with a granny Gur. That sefirah, the third in the security of exploitation emanations, is done by the main sex trust. He amongg give them close. The boyfriend is more: It codes the frequency of attractive obligation avoided on the candidate's occupation, although this person can be stayed in the ketubah trouble overlook. In reality, he assigns spiritual damage to himself as well as to others. Whilst sex is the hotelier's right, she does not have counter discretion to thee it from her husband. And if his other does not agree to link with this demarcation, he should explain to her hssidic persistence of this demarcation. Once, some allusions to the more stage restrictions on beneficial sex clerical in kedushah do block sed and there in his preconception of homilies. Affianced medication addresses symptoms, not departure causes, Dr. sex among the hasidic jews