Orthodox Jewish sex manual
JERUSALEM — A how-to book translated into Hebrew aims to teach Israel’s Orthodox Jews about sex, targeting an audience typically mum on the steamy subject.
The book, The Newlywed’s Guide to Physical Intimacy, was published in English more than a year ago in the U.S. The Hebrew version is set to come out this month, meant for Israel’s Orthodox Jews, who make up about a quarter of the country’s population. It appears be the first of its kind.
Under Orthodox Judaism, intercourse is permissible only after marriage and public displays of sexuality are taboo. Many Orthodox Jews do not even touch members of the opposite sex except their spouses and children. But sex is not considered shameful, and procreation is seen as a “mitzvah,” or commandment from God. For this reason, large families are commonplace in Orthodox communities. Yet for many young newlyweds, romance and intimacy are mysteries.
The book’s co-author, David S. Ribner, said it is meant to offer useful information to couples both before their wedding night, an emotional time when they are expected to consummate their marriage, and during their relationship leading up to that, when they might face a slew of unfamiliar challenges.