Homosexuals, Asexuals and More: Responding to Listener Questions Episode 11

Talli Rosenbaum and Rabbi Scott Kahn address your questions in this special Q&A episode of Intimate Judaism. Among the issues they deal with are homosexuality and Orthodoxy, Halacha’s attitude toward sterilization via tubal ligation or vasectomy, whether we should encourage our children to talk to kids of the opposite gender, and more.

Questions: 

1)Is it allowed to have a woman’s tubes tied or a man to have a vasectomy so that women don’t need to endanger their health with hormones for birth control, or to avoid becoming a nida? I cannot even think about being a nida for the next 30 years every month or so, and when I’m done with having kids I don’t mind making that permanent.”

Vayikra 22:24:

ומעוך וכתות ונתוק וכרות לא תקריבו לה’ ובארצכם לא תעשו.

Devarim 23:2:

לא יבא פצוע דכה וכרות שפכה בקהל ה’.

Masechet Shabbat 110b:

והתניא: מניין לסירוס באדם שהוא אסור? תלמוד לומר “ובארצכם לא תעשו” – בכם לא תעשו, דברי רבי חנינא…

Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Isurei Biah 16:10-11:

אסור להפסיד איברי הזרע בין באדם בין בבהמה חיה ועוף אחד טמאים ואחד טהורים בין בארץ בין בחוצה לארץ. אף על פי שנאמר ובארצכם לא תעשו מפי השמועה למדו שדבר זה נוהג בכל מקום. וענין הכתוב כלומר לא יעשה זאת בישראל בין בגופן בין בגוף אחרים. וכל המסרס לוקה מן התורה בכל מקום. ואפילו מסרס אחר המסרס לוקה… והמסרס את הנקבה בין באדם בין בשאר מינים פטור.

Maggid Mishneh on Hilchot Isurei Biah 16:11:

…ופירש רבינו חיובא הוא דליכא אבל איסורא איכא מדלא תני מותר לסרס הנקבות ולזה כתב רבינו פטור.

 

2) “I was hoping you could talk a little about asexuality. Are there any religiously-required acts that need to take place, especially in an otherwise sexless marriage? Would all the rules of Niddah apply when there’s no chance of sex occuring? As a sex therapist, do you run into asexual people or relationships where one person is asexual? What do you say to them? What kind of compromises are healthy and which aren’t?”

3) We have had close family friends who are gay men. I find it hard to accept that there is a prohibition against gay men living a happy life and finding companionship. I know that it’s often said that that this is an option and a choice, but our friends said they knew they were gay since they were young. I feel like every Jewish person should find a home in Orthodoxy, but how could these gay men find a place in Orthodox Judaism?”

4) I am a father, and my daughter is in 9th grade. We are a pretty frum daati leumi family, and she confided in me that a boy started speaking to her over WhatsApp. From one perspective, our background makes me want to say no boys, and to instruct my daughter not to speak to him. But from a different perspective, this is likely normal for kids that age. What should I do? (P.S. – I was definitely talking to girls when I was that age.)”

5) “ I sometimes feel that the rules of niddah are very Talibanish, especially the idea of women having to do bedikot daily for the shiva nekiim. Isn’t that way too invasive and over the top?”

 

 

 

 

Thank you for joining us!

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