The shule was full. It was packed with bodies intent on repentance, focused on their sins against Gd and their fellow men and women, inspired by a race towards atonement.
Well, at least, Reeva hoped they were. There was a chance that many of the people on either side of the mechitzah were equally focused on making it through the service – of getting to the end of another Yom Kippur without fainting or snapping or feeling too wretched.
Perhaps there were some, like Reeva, who were held in place, locked in their seats, by the people around them and by the urge to feel their way past the doubt and confusion and self-criticism that plagued them.
It was the second Al Chet of Mussaf, the second confession of sins in the additional service during the day of Yom Kippur. Hours had passed already, with the clock on the wall edging forward to the arrival of the long-awaited break from prayer rich with personal and communal intensity and buoyed by the ethereal quality of a body that has not eaten nor drunk for a day.
Continue reading “The Sins She Committed Before You”
I know, you thought this day might never come – but it has! I’m thrilled to announce that Her Neighbor’s Pleasure is now live and available for FREE download on a number of online retail platforms. Here are some of the places you can find it:
Barnes and Noble
Amazon.com (the US site) is offering the book for free but annoyingly, Amazon stores in other countries are still selling the story at a price (it’s not much, but it’s not FREE!). For anyone outside of the US who wants a Kindle version of the file just log in to the members’ section of this site and you will find the files ready for download. For anyone else, please, please go to the retail sites I have listed above to get your copy – and tell all your friends!! The more downloads the book gets the more visible it becomes to new readers.
Anyway, it’s all very exciting and as always please consider leaving a review if you can – each one makes a difference.
Happy reading – I really hope you enjoy the story of Esther and Sholem. I know I did – but then, they’re like my new best friends now 🙂
It seems not everyone is preoccupied with Passover right now. Last weekend I was informed of a posting on the New York Craigslist’s personals section in which a frum couple are seeking an 18 year old woman to join them in some form of erotic play.
This information would be interesting enough in itself – you may not be aware that there is a sub-culture of religious Jews who seek other religious Jews via Craigslist personals (and probably through other means) for different forms of casual sexual encounters who discreetly flag themselves to each other by using the term ‘frum’ in their listings – but this news was even more interesting because the
person who posted the ad had used my email banner graphic (the pink one above) as one of their images!
I still don’t quite know what to make of this development, but let’s be clear about this: SHOSHA PEARL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS POSTING!!!!
It is fascinating to think that this is real people doing something that Shosha may one day write about. And while posting on Craiglist for a menage a trois may not be in line with what most of our rabbis would suggest for maintaining shalom bayit, there are no real halachic transgressions going on. I am sure there are many people who would believe that this is not appropriate behaviour for a ‘good Jew’, but if we are talking tachlis on an halachic level, there’s nothing technically wrong with it.
It’s up to you to decide whether you think such a thing is OK or whether it should stay with the confines of fantasy.
Either way, let me take this opportunity to wish you a chag kasher v’semeach.
Let’s talk about frum sex…
If you follow me on Twitter you might remember just how excited I got about a new podcast called ‘The Joy of Text‘. The monthly podcast features New York-based sexual health therapist Dr Bat Sheva Marcus – who entered my universe in the past month (via the New York Times) and now she is constantly flashing on my radar – and Rabbi Dov Linzer who is Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshivat Chovevei in Riverdale, New York. The podcast, moderated by Ramie Smith, is sponsored by the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) and Dr Marcus, Rabbi Linzer and Ms Smith seem to be coming from a progressive Orthodox perspective – not a lot of chumras going on here!
The point of all this is that I am a quite simply delighted that the dialogue about sex in the Orthodox Jewish community appears to be opening up. I’ll admit that most of the conversation is happening in the more liberal edges of the religious world (Modern Orthodox/Religious Zionist), but at least it’s happening. I am optimistic about a ripple effect. Who knows? Maybe one day these conversations will eventually reach to the furthest, blackest corners of the community.
So, here are the first two episodes of the ‘Joy of Text‘ if you would like to listen for yourself. The first I found full of interesting and useful information. The conversation was lengthy and in-depth and covered a good amount of material. I listened while preparing for a large Shabbat meal and by the end of the program I found myself hoping my husband would be home soon (!). (Unfortunately, as of writing this, the first episode does not seem to be enabled to be embedded, so here is the link again for you to listen.)
The second podcast was interesting but disappointingly short – although the discussion on condom use in pre-marital sex surprised me. I hope their usual practice will be to have longer programs. Perhaps we can all help by sending in questions for them to consider and discuss. I’ve started drawing up my list already…
Coincidently, you can also WATCH a Huffington Post Live interview from this week with Dr Marcus, Rabbi Linzer and Dr David Ribner (Chairman of the Sex Therapy Training Program at Bar-Ilan University and co-author of ‘The Newlywed Guide to Physical Intimacy‘) for a segment entitled: ‘Deep Dive: Ooohhh G-d! Orthodox Jewish Sex‘:
It seems you don’t have to be Jewish to want to talk about frum sex.
If you are visiting my website and reading this post then it’s probably no secret to you that there’s lots to talk (and think) about in the realm of kosher sex.
I can’t wait for the conversation to evolve…