JOFA Hosts a Fireside Chat Blogcast with Rabbi Dov Linzer on Matters of Sex and Halakhah
Last week, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance hosted an online “blogcast” where online users could submit questions regarding sex and they would be answered. Moderated by MaHaRaT Ramie Smith, the discussion took place over the course of three days and Rabbi Dov Linzer, Rosh HaYeshivah of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, answered the questions from a perspective of halakhah.
The questions that were answered were:
- What is the origin of our current expectation of extra-marital shmirat negiah (abstaining from touch)? Is this truly a halakhic obligation?
- Are there halakhic concerns about a woman masturbating during the sheva neki’im (7 clean days before she goes to the mikveh)?
- If a couple has sex the night of their wedding do they need to separate immediately following intercourse? It feels like a punishment for couples who actually wait, not even being able to enjoy the full night together and then separating for at least 12 days.
- Is a condom ever permitted according to halakha?
- I am a single bi-sexual woman living in NYC. What are the halakhic parameters of lesbian sex? What is muttar and what is assur? What is the letter of the law and what is the spirit of the law? I’ve never been sexually active with another woman, though I would very much like to do so.
- Why is it forbidden for an unmarried woman to immerse in a mikveh?
- Is there any hope for a gay man to live a meaningful sexual and romantic life with another man within halakha?
- I was sexually abused as a child by my father. Working with a therapist, I am working through the process of consciously remembering and trying to heal the trauma. I have a supportive, understanding husband who understands when I don’t want to or am not able to have sex, but I love him and don’t want to always say no to him even when that would be my preference. Is it ok to take Valium before sex so I can tolerate it as a gift to my husband?
You can check out the answers there.