Archive for 'Jewish sexual ethics'

Thou Shalt Not Covet: Can a Feeling be Legislated?

Continuing the theme of desire that we introduced in the last posting, Judaic commentaries have often wondered about the famous proscription of the Decalogue: “You shall not covet” (Exod. 20:17). What exactly is Moses speaking about? This question has led many great rabbinic scholars to conclude that the Torah is not legislating a mere feeling; it is actually more concerned about action. Like many fleeting thoughts that come to our conscious mind in the course of a day, coveting is ...

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A Buddhist Version of the Edenic Fall?

While there are several versions of the Fall narrative in ancient Semitic literature, it is not widely known that a mythic memory of a primordial Fall is also recorded in the Oriental world and this phenomenon is especially interesting when examined from the perspective of Jung’s theory of the archetype; i.e., the common and universal patterns of thought that spontaneously appear in the stories and myths gathered from all around the world.

Although the Buddhist tradition does not speak of a ...

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Is it time to revise “The Seven Deadly Sins” for the 21st century?

This afternoon, I concluded my winter lecture series on “The Seven Deadly Sins–A Comparative Study” at St. Ambrose University. This posting is a brief summary of some of the salient points we discussed during our last session.

The Vatican posted the following list of modern sins that characterize our era’s for evil.

(1) genetic modification, (2) human experimentation (3) polluting the environment (4) social injustice (5) causing poverty (6) financial gluttony (7) taking drugs.

A Brief Analysis of ...

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From Haroses to Neurosis — A Freudian View on the new Haredi “Personal Mechitza”

Who says religious people aren’t funny? Where is Jay Leno when you need him?

From the rabbinic savants who introduced separate sidewalks, segregated buses, and separate shopping hours for men and women in Israel, their rabbis are now encouraging Haredi airline passengers to hang a new type of mechitza – a halachic barrier to separate the sexes – around the top of their airplane seats, to shield their eyes from immodest clad female neighbors and in-flight movies. [1] From what I ...

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Modern Orthodoxy at the Crossroads . . .

Gender roles continue to challenge the Orthodox world of Haredi Judaism in Israel–and elsewhere in the world today even now as women continue to be arrested for wearing a tallit at the Western Wall.

A  Primer on the History of Torah Reading

The idea of women’s aliyot (being called to say a blessing over the Torah) continues to pit the world of the past with the world of the present. I guess we could call it , “The Halachic War of the ...

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