Eros and the Jews by David Biale
From Biblical Israel to Contemporary America

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Synopsis

Contradictory stereotypes about Jewish sexuality abound. In a journey through the sexual culture of the Jews from Abraham to Portnoy, the author demonstrates that Jewish tradition from the Bible and Talmud to modern America is a story of persistent conflict between asceticism and gratification.
 

About David Biale

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David Biale is the Emmanuel Ringelblum Professor of Jewish History at the University of California, Davis. He lives in Berkeley, California.
 
Published September 30, 1992 by Basic Books. 3362 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Self Help. Non-fiction

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Elsewhere, though, his central argument sees Eros in Judaism as ``the struggle between contradictory attractions...the story of a profoundly ambivalent culture.'' Biale consistently misses the subtleties of the Oriental, Jewish paradox of erotic spirituality with his Occidental, secular Bible-cri...

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Publishers Weekly

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Critiquing a body of texts that runs a wide gamut from the Bible to Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint , this fine, authoritative history of Jewish sexuality may well become a standard reference.

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Publishers Weekly

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The Hasidism of the 18th-century was a widespread movement of sexual asceticism, the 19th-century proponents of the Jewish Enlightenment tried to neutralize sexuality within a bourgeois family framework, and early 20th-century Zionists spouted a theory of erotic liberation but sublimated sexual d...

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