Jewish, Jewish, Everywhere, & not a drop to drink
Sunday, December 14, 2003
Communication with the opposite sex when you are religious

Ok. This idea is really confusing. Is it true that the religious people can't communicate with the opposite sex in any way, shape, or form until they are ready to settle down and marry? I'm totally lost here.



Here is a question for you: What do you mean by "can't COMMUNICATE" ?

And which type of "religious people" are you talking about?

Modern Orthodox Jews are very lenient and accepting of co-education and open social relationships between singles.

Or, are you reffering to the Black-hatter, Yeshivish, Haredi, or Hasidik Jews? They have stronger social rules to prevent males and female from getting together, before and even after marriage, under almost all circumstances unless absolutely necessary, and NOT for SOCIALIZING reasons.

Do you mean talking to a member of the opposite sex when going shopping or in an office?

The answer is that sure, a very religious person who is not yet married can ask and discuss anything they they may require from another person of the opposite sex in an official capacity, that does NOT become flirting or "just making conversation".
If the nurse requires to touch the religious patient then it is allowed for mediacl reasons like giving and injection as it is not related to an "immoral" or sexual act.
Do you mean, striking up converstaions with other religious singles on your block just for the "heck of it"? Then again, in most very religious it would be frowned upon to see unmarried males and females just "hanging around and socializing".
Do you mean when they date?

Then, COMMUNICATION becomes a must , as these couples date and talk to each other to find out what type of person the date is like and if there is potential for a relationship (not physical) that can lead to marriage.
Now obviously, this communication relates to the person you are engaged to be married to or are still dating, and this means that the rules of not talking to other STRANGERS or even people you may know of the other sex still falls under the rules "limiting" conversational and social inter-actions because it is not considered "Modest", in Hebrew 'Tznius", to have random unnecessary contacts with members of the other sex as it may lead to potentially compromising perhaps even misleading "romantic" involvements that goes against religious/Torah values.
When the couple is engaged, they are free to spend as much time as they can spare to COMMUNICATE by speech or writing. They continue dating and talking to each other in person or over the phone, I guess with IM and Email too, as they get to know each other even more and deepen their understanding and love (NOT in a physical way) for each other.

Then when they get married they are finally ready to take their relationship to the next level and have full sexual and physical contacts as goverened by the laws of "Jewish family Purity".

At which point, in classical Judaism, sex is only permitted between are husband and his wife. (Or a wife and her husband)...


Kosher Sex

Jewish Attitudes Towards Sexuality

In Jewish law, sex is not considered shameful, sinful or obscene. Sex is not a necessary evil for the sole purpose of procreation. Although sexual desire comes from the yetzer ra (the evil impulse), it is no more evil than hunger or thirst, which also come from the yetzer ra. Like hunger, thirst or other basic instincts, sexual desire must be controlled and channeled, satisfied at the proper time, place and manner. But when sexual desire is satisfied between a husband and wife at the proper time, out of mutual love and desire, sex is a mitzvah.
Sex is permissible only within the context of a marriage. In Judaism, sex is not merely a way of experiencing physical pleasure. It is an act of immense significance, which requires commitment and responsibility. The requirement of marriage before sex ensures that sense commitment and responsibility. Jewish law also forbids sexual contact short of intercourse outside of the context of marriage, recognizing that such contact will inevitably lead to intercourse.

The primary purpose of sex is to reinforce the loving marital bond between husband and wife. The first and foremost purpose of marriage is companionship, and sexual relations play an important role. Procreation is also a reason for sex, but it is not the only reason. Sex between husband and wife is permitted (even recommended) at times when conception is impossible, such as when the woman is pregnant, after menopause, or when the woman is using a permissible form of contraception.

In the Torah, the word used for sex between husband and wife comes from the root Yod-Dalet-Ayin, meaning "to know," which vividly illustrates that proper Jewish sexuality involves both the heart and mind, not merely the body.

Nevertheless, Judaism does not ignore the physical component of sexuality. The need for physical compatibility between husband and wife is recognized in Jewish law. A Jewish couple must meet at least once before the marriage, and if either prospective spouse finds the other physically repulsive, the marriage is forbidden.

Sex should only be experienced in a time of joy. Sex for selfish personal satisfaction, without regard for the partner's pleasure, is wrong and evil. A man may never force his wife to have sex. A couple may not have sexual relations while drunk or quarreling. Sex may never be used as a weapon against a spouse, either by depriving the spouse of sex or by compelling it. It is a serious offense to use sex (or lack thereof) to punish or manipulate a spouse.

Sex is the woman's right, not the man's. A man has a duty to give his wife sex regularly and to ensure that sex is pleasurable for her. He is also obligated to watch for signs that his wife wants sex, and to offer it to her without her asking for it. The woman's right to sexual intercourse is referred to as onah, and it is one of a wife's three basic rights (the others are food and clothing), which a husband may not reduce. The Talmud specifies both the quantity and quality of sex that a man must give his wife. It specifies the frequency of sexual obligation based on the husband's occupation, although this obligation can be modified in the ketubah (marriage contract). A man may not take a vow to abstain from sex for an extended period of time, and may not take a journey for an extended period of time, because that would deprive his wife of sexual relations. In addition, a husband's consistent refusal to engage in sexual relations is grounds for compelling a man to divorce his wife, even if the couple has already fulfilled the halakhic obligation to procreate.

Although sex is the woman's right, she does not have absolute discretion to withhold it from her husband. A woman may not withhold sex from her husband as a form of punishment, and if she does, the husband may divorce her without paying the substantial divorce settlement provided for in the ketubah.

Although some sources take a more narrow view, the general view of halakhah is that any sexual act that does not involve sh'chatat zerah (destruction of seed, that is, ejaculation outside the vagina) is permissible. As one passage in the Talmud states, "a man may do whatever he pleases with his wife." (Nedarim 20b) In fact, there are passages in the Talmud that encourage foreplay to arouse the woman. (Nedarim 20a).

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