The Passionate Torah by Danya Ruttenberg
Sex and Judaism

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In this unique collection of essays, some of today's smartest Jewish thinkers explore a broad range of fundamental questions in an effort to balance ancient tradition and modern sexuality.

In the last few decades a number of factors—post-modernism, feminism, queer liberation, and more—have brought discussion of sexuality to the fore, and with it a whole new set of questions that challenge time-honored traditions and ways of thinking. For Jews of all backgrounds, this has often led to an unhappy standoff between tradition and sexual empowerment.

Yet as The Passionate Torah illustrates, it is of critical importance to see beyond this apparent conflict if Jews are to embrace both their religious beliefs and their sexuality. With incisive essays from contemporary rabbis, scholars, thinkers, and writers, this collection not only surveys the challenges that sexuality poses to Jewish belief, but also offers fresh new perspectives and insights on the changing place of sexuality within Jewish theology—and Jewish lives. Covering topics such as monogamy, inter-faith relationships, reproductive technology, homosexuality, and a host of other hot-button issues, these writings consider how contemporary Jews can engage themselves, their loved ones, and their tradition in a way that's both sexy and sanctified.

Seeking to deepen the Jewish conversation about sexuality, The Passionate Torah brings together brilliant thinkers in an attempt to bridge the gap between the sacred and the sexual.

Contributors: Rebecca Alpert, Wendy Love Anderson, Judith R. Baskin, Aryeh Cohen, Elliot Dorff, Esther Fuchs, Bonna Haberman, Elliot Kukla, Gail Labovitz, Malka Landau, Sarra Lev, Laura Levitt, Sara Meirowitz, Jay Michaelson, Haviva Ner-David, Danya Ruttenberg, Naomi Seidman, and Arthur Waskow.


About Danya Ruttenberg

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Danya Ruttenberg is a rabbi and author of "Surprised By God" and editor of the anthology "Yentl's Revenge". She serves as contributing editor to both "Lilith" and "Women in Judaism". She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Published June 1, 2009 by NYU Press. 320 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Passionate Torah

Project MUSE

Both Ruttenberg's own article, on the potential for understandings of modesty that alter its meaning from an ethic of sexual danger to an ethic of sexual care, and Naomi Seidman's piece about the homoerotics of same-sex communities, will at the very least provoke intense comment among feminists.

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