Jewish Sexual Ethics

Danya Ruttenberg

in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199736065
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Jewish Sexual Ethics

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This chapter discusses a few major concepts in Jewish sexual ethics. These include extramarital sex and marriage, consent and pleasure in contrast to the duty of both partners to satisfy each other sexually, the traditional requirement that a couple refrain from sexual relations during the woman's menstrual period, masturbation, procreation, same-sex relationships, and gender identity and sexuality. These issues are considered from the author's unique vantage point as both a Conservative rabbi and a feminist. As a Conservative rabbi, she is committed to the Jewish tradition and aware that it both has changed in the past and must be adjusted to respond to new scientific findings about sexual orientation and sexual practices, and new social conditions and moral sensitivities. As a feminist, the author probes that tradition for its biases against women, homosexuals, and transgender people.

Keywords: Jewish ethics; sexual ethics; feminists; feminism; extramarital sex; marriage; sexuality; gender identity

Article.  8630 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Religious Studies

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