Jewish Laws of Intimacy

Growing up in an ultra orthodox environment I was led to believe that guys just want sex. How did I come to this conclusion?  Simply; because this is what I was taught. I was taught that as a female I must dress modestly with a skirt covering my knees and a top which didn’t expose my collar bones and which had sleeves below the elbow. I was taught that the reason why females must cover up is not for us, its for the male species who have these uncontrollable urges, so we must dress modestly so that we won’t cause them to sin. God forbid should a male person see us dressed immodestly they will not be able to control their thoughts and thoughts lead to actions which leads to sin and females are to blame.

When I was taught the jewish laws of family purity where spouses must refrain from physical contact  for two weeks of every month. One week is when a female has their period and the second week is a week where the female does not bleed for 7 days, after that the female immerses in the spiritual bath and is allowed to touch her husband again. I remember the teacher telling me how its so nice to have those two weeks to yourself and not have to feel bad for refusing sex. I was also taught that by abstaining from all physical contact it makes it so much more special when you can touch.

I was taught that during those two weeks couples get to know each other better because they get to talk without having sex. I was taught that it is such a sin to have sex during those two weeks while a female is impure.  Therefore the rabbis forbid couples from any physical contact at all. No hugging, kissing,  massages, hand holding, even passing objects to each other as this may lead them to accidentally touch each other and have forbidden sex.

This is how i was left with the belief that men are these sex crazed creatures who as soon as they have any contact or even look at a women they will automatically have sex with them. I was taught that any touch will lead to sex and therefore you can’t have any type of physical contact with males as it will lead to sex.

Indeed in the ultra orthodox world due to these laws whenever you do touch your spouse you are expected to have sex.  On a wedding night the first time they have physical contact they are expected to consummate the marriage by having sex. This sex causes the virgin girl to bleed and become impure so they must immediately abstain from all physical contact as soon as this happens. There is no kissing, cuddling, hand holding after they have sex for the first time. As soon as the girls hymen breaks and she bleeds she must jump out of bed and no longer is allowed physical contact

The next time she is allowed to touch her husband again is two weeks later, after she has bled and had seven days of not bleeding.  Then she must bathe in a mikva (religious bath) and after she is pure she can have sex again with her husband.  So the next time she touches her husband she is expected to go all the way again. Then they can mate like rabbits until her period starts and the cycle begins again.

No wonder I believed that all touch leads to sex; because on the ultra orthodox world due to their strict laws it literally does. There is no concept of healthy touch.  No concept of physical contact without sex playing a part.

This is not normal.  Healthy touch is important.  Holding hands with your spouse is important. Hugging your spouse is important.  Why did the rabbis rule that no touching at all is allowed during these weeks,when its only sex which is forbidden? Why did they add on these laws?  If they were worried about it leading to sex then they should say when you are in private and its just the two of you then don’t have physical contact. But when you are in public and you are highly unlikely to have sex in front of other people then you can hold hands, kiss, cuddle etc.

What really annoys me about Judaism is all these laws that Rabbis have added on over the years. In school we were taught that you can’t add or subtract from the commandments, yet the Rabbis can and do add on plenty to the laws, causing them to be utterly ridiculous and defeat the whole purpose of many laws.  Anyway that topic is for another day.

In conclusion, I feel that Judaism creates sex crazed males, by separating them from the females, teaching them to be afraid of their sexual urges as it can lead to sin and then by having them refrain from all types of touching from their spouse. This is so unnatural. This is so unnecessary. This is cruel and extremely sad. This is essentially a binge, purge relationship with sex.

I am so glad that I know that I am in a good, happy marriage, where healthy touch is a normal thing of everyday life. We can hug, kiss, hold hands and pass objects to each other any time we want.

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