Inviting Single Religious Women to the Sexuality Conversation Episode 56

The discourse on marital intimacy and sexuality in Judaism has become a normative topic of conversation. Rabbanit Shayna Goldberg, an educator and spiritual advisor at Migdal Oz, a Midrasha of higher learning for young women in Gush Etzion, believes that conversations about desire, sex and sexuality are relevant for unmarried women as well, and not just as part of premarital education after they have become engaged. In this episode, we discuss the importance of normalizing and addressing issues of sexuality for single women.

Loving Again After Loss: Dating and Remarriage After Widowhood Episode 55

Losing one’s spouse is one of life’s most difficult and painful experiences. The process of grieving includes feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and isolation. While grieving the loss of a spouse, one also mourns the loss of identity as a member of an intimate partnership and acceptance of a new identity as a widow/er. Well-intentioned friends and family members may urge those who have lost a spouse to “move on,” while others may pass judgment when they begin to date or find a new partner. We are grateful to Marc Tobin and Jodi Wachspress, both of whom lost their partners to cancer, for sharing their experiences in finding new relationships and providing inspiration to those who have lost their spouses to love again.

The Sex Strike Controversy: An Intimate Judaism Live Conversation

The infamous “Sex Strike” was recently spearheaded by influencer Adina Miles, AKA “Flatbush Girl,” in order to apply communal pressure to men and their rabbis to free Malky Berkowitz, who has been refused a get for four years. This initiative has created a great deal of outrage in Jewish Orthodox communities, and the “responsa” on social media platforms has been passionate and robust. Some have expressed concern that withholding sex, even for one night, is liable to destroy more marriages. Others see the outrage as the problem, and point out the lack of such fury over get refusal. Join Rabbi Scott Kahn and Talli Rosenbaum as they discuss the desperate need for immediate solutions to prevent and free agunot, as well as the drawbacks of this form of protest.

The Failure of Sexual Health Organizations to Condemn Sexual Violence (crossover episode with Orthodox Conundrum)

After October 7th, Jews around the world have felt besieged by some erstwhile allies, as some have been silent in the face of rampant antisemitism, and others have openly supported Hamas and its genocidal goals. While there have been many who openly support Jews and Israel, the war in Gaza has also provided a moment of reckoning as we discovered some unhappy surprises about people we thought were our friends.

A good example is the reaction to October 7th by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, or AASECT. As an organization dedicated to healthy sexuality, and one which has expressed opinions on hot button issues unrelated to its core mission, AASECT certainly should have issued a statement condemning the sexual violence against Israelis on October 7th. That, however, didn’t happen for a long time – and even when it did, the statement felt like a giant hedge.

As a result, Talli Rosenbaum and some colleagues resigned from AASECT. In this crossover episode with the Orthodox Conundrum, Rabbi Scott Kahn interviewed Talli, psychotherapist Dr. Shoshana Bulow, and sexual educator Dr. Logan Levkoff about some of the ways that the AASECT debacle is, unfortunately, representative of trends that are emerging in the United States. They also discussed the trauma of October 7th and the war both in and out of Israel, as well as the binary thinking that has led to the demonization of Jews, the prevalence of antisemitism, agendas that are embedded in the system to the Jewish people’s detriment, the fight against anti-Israel activity across the diaspora, and more.

Sex Positive Premarital Kallah Instruction Episode 54

In many Orthodox communities, premarital sex education taught by Kallah teachers is limited to ensuring wedding night “success” and encouraging strict observance of Nidah laws in order to “guarantee” sexual satisfaction.

Join Rabbi Scott Kahn and Talli Rosenbaum as they interview two Kallah instructors, Dr. Hadassah Fromson and Dr. Yosefa Wruble, who discuss how they integrate discussions about sexual pleasure and satisfaction together with promoting commitment to traditional observance. Sharing their research and anecdotal experiences, they demonstrate that religion and sex positivity are not contradictory, but are in fact complementary.

Navigating Sexual Desire Discrepancies with a Focus on the Emotional Relationship, with Dr. Laurie Watson Episode 53

In last month’s episode, we discussed many of the physical, psychological and social factors that can contribute to sexual desire discrepancy in couples. This month, we are taking a deep dive in to the role of emotional intimacy, attachment styles and relational dynamics on desire. Joining us is expert Dr. Laurie Watson, sex therapist, author, and co-host of the popular Foreplay Radio podcast.

Why Doesn’t My Wife Want to Have Sex With Me? Episode 52

When there are desire discrepancies between couples, women are often identified as the partner with less sexual desire. Yet the experience of desire may be different for men and women, and the expectation that desire should be equally matched can create feelings of frustration and rejection. The right question may not be “Why doesn’t she want?” but rather, “What does she want and how does she want it?” In this episode we discuss the fluidity of female desire, how biological and hormonal factors play a role, the differences between spontaneous and responsive desire, and the difference between cognitive motivation and biological drive.

Love in War: Strengthening Security and Connection Amidst Trauma and Threat Episode 51

As Jews in Israel and worldwide absorb the realities of the horrors of threat, murder and violation, it seems surreal to think or talk about intimacy. Often, one partner seeks closeness and attachment, while the other may need distance. We are in our survival brains and that makes us more reactive. Join Rabbi Scott Kahn and Talli Rosenbaum for a discussion on intimacy, sex and peace in the home during war. Spoiler- it’s all normal.

Should We Sympathize with Sexual Offenders? (Special Episode)

A podcast hosted by an Orthodox comedian recently featured a controversial interview with a child sex offender. In response, Rabbi Scott Kahn and Talli Rosenbaum created a panel to discuss whether there are potential benefits to learning more about people who struggle with attraction to minors and do not offend, as well as those who do. (This episode contains explicit material regarding sexual abuse that some readers may find disturbing.)

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Ancient Love in Modern Times: Celebrating Love on Tu B’Av (BONUS EPISODE)

The 15th of Av , also known as Tu B’Av, is a minor Jewish festival which in modern day Israel is celebrated as a holiday of romantic love, not unlike Valentine’s Day. In this mini bonus episode, Rabbi Scott Kahn and Talli Rosenbaum discuss the Mishnaic origins of this day, and compare ancient and modern day beliefs about love.

To purchase I Am For My Beloved: A Guide To Enhanced Intimacy For Married Couples by Talli Rosenbaum and David Ribner, go to http://www.urimpublications.com/i-am-for-my-beloved-a-guide-to-enhanced-intimacy-for-married-couples.html. For the Hebrew version, go to http://www.urimpublications.com/ani-ledodi-hebrew-edition.html.

Books will be discounted to $12.50 each with the promo code BELOVEDPROMO through August 7, 2023, so order your copy today!

Show your support for Intimate Judaism by becoming a patron on Patreon! Go to https://www.patreon.com/intimatejudaism to learn more.

Masechet Taanit 26b (Mishnah 4:8):

אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל, לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמישה עשר באב וכיום הכיפורים, שבהן בנות ירושלים יוצאות בכלי לבן שאולין, שלא לבייש את מי שאין לו.
כל הכלים טעונין טבילה.
ובנות ירושלים יוצאות וחולות בכרמים.
ומה היו אומרות? בחור, שא נא עיניך וראה, מה אתה בורר לך.
אל תתן עיניך בנוי, תן עיניך במשפחה.
שקר החן והבל היופי, אשה יראת יי היא תתהלל

Masechet Baba Batra 121a-b:

בשלמא יום הכפורים יום סליחה ומחילה יום שנתנו בו לוחות אחרונות אלא חמשה עשר באב מאי היא אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל יום שהותרו שבטים לבא זה בזה מאי דרוש זה הדבר דבר זה לא יהא נוהג אלא בדור זה רבה בר בר חנה אמר רבי יוחנן יום שהותר שבט בנימן לבא בקהל דכתיב ואיש ישראל נשבע במצפה לאמר איש ממנו לא יתן בתו לבנימן לאשה מאי דרוש ממנו ולא מבנינו רב דימי בר יוסף אמר רב נחמן יום שכלו בו מתי מדבר דאמר מר עד שלא כלו מתי מדבר לא היה דיבור עם משה שנאמר ויהי כאשר תמו כל אנשי המלחמה למות מקרב העם וסמיך ליה וידבר ה’ אלי לאמר אלי היה הדיבור עולא אמר יום שביטל בו הושע בן אלה פרדסאות שהושיב ירבעם על הדרכים שלא יעלו ישראל לרגל רב מתנה אמר יום שנתנו הרוגי ביתר לקבורה דאמר רב מתנה אותו היום שנתנו הרוגי ביתר לקבורה אתקנו ביבנה הטוב והמטיב הטוב שלא הסריחו והמטיב שנתנו לקבורה רבה ורב יוסף דאמרי תרוייהו יום שפוסקין בו מלכרות עצים למערכה תניא רבי אליעזר הגדול אומר כיון שהגיע חמשה עשר באב תשש כחה של חמה ולא היו כורתין עצים למערכה.

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