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A Modern Jewish Review of Female Chauvanist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture - jonahrank
A Modern Jewish Review of Female Chauvanist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture
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jonahrank From: jonahrank Date: July 9th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Berukhah tihyi! Thanks for reading!

Although I have difficulty finding sources that state explicitly whether premarital sex is altogether banned in Judaism, it seems that a huge reason behind this is that sex was seen as an act which in Biblical Israelite religious practice would generally either bind a marriage or be an abusive misconduct.

Though I have great respect for the Rabbinic tradition, I try to find as much Biblical precedent in the Judaism I live today. For this reason alone, it is sufficient for me to doubt the permissibility of premarital sex. It seems to me that in a religion where sex is automatically of marital status, sex would have to be reserved for the relationships that are not merely serious, but also understood to be as lasting and sanctified as a marriage may be.

Although I have not done much study of this, a friend of mine did some extensive research on Rabbinic beliefs on pre-marital sex and found a certain degree of leniency which I do not necessarily see, even though I think his conclusion is somewhat similar to mine. I would be happy to send that to you privately though as this friend does not want the work published.

Regarding Tzeni'ut, I am personally inclined to say that modest pants work. I know plenty of observant Orthodox women who wear pants that I believe to be appropriately modest, but I have never heard an Orthodox authority permit women's wearing of pants. I have also never heard a Halakhic argument by a non-Orthodox authority permitting women's wearing of pants. Regrettably, I have done insufficient reading on this particular subject. If you know of any sources you could tell me about, that would be excellent. In case there aren't sources, I'm sure that the argument for women's wearing of pants is very easy to make.

I would be happy to cross-post this. How do I do so? Thanks so much again!
From: lady_eclectic Date: July 9th, 2009 10:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm very much a Rabbinic Jew, with all the kulot and chumrot that entails and I tend to be lenient when it comes to sexuality, which is partly cultural. (Even though I am a properly married woman myself ;)).

As for pants... I think most of the 'halachic' basis for it is anecdotal and more of the 'go and see what the community does' variety. You're right: no serious Orthodox posek has paskened along these lines that I know of and no serious Conservative posek(et) has done so either because it's considered a non-issue in a very 'trouser'-wearing social reality. This issue should definately be researched halachically. I wear modest pants but I also wear short sleeves: which I've seen in the Modern Orthodox community: just not in the context of shul perhaps.

Just out of curiosity: do you consider yourself Orthodox or kinda Halachic/Post-denominational? I wonder what hatam_soferet has to say about this post.

Just crosspost it by joining the community, create a post and copy/paste the whole thing. Might wanna put it behind an LJ cut though since it's rather long.

Good luck!
jonahrank From: jonahrank Date: July 9th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm... I actually tried crossposting this at the Modest Dress community, and it was deemed rather off-topic by a moderator, but I didn't try an LJ cut; that probably would have helped.

Getting back to your questions/answers:

I'd be curious to know your support for premarital sex in a Jewish context. Is it mostly the silence on the subject? I can understand that, on its own, as going either way (permissive or prohibitive).

I think you're right too on the pants issue.

As far as labels go, Conservative or Open Orthodox might be the best labels for me. Conservative is probably far more accurate though for the meantime. I know that all of my values have fitted in somewhere in the history of Conservative Judaism, but I am also interested in Open Orthodoxy because it's so young and still growing. I am curious to see what further developments we may see in Open Orthodoxy in terms of Egalitarianism, electricity on Shabbat, eating in non-Kosher restaurants, and such.

There's the idea that Conservative clergy and Conservative lay people really are not on the same page theologically or Halakhically, and I wonder to what extent this will be a truth in Open Orthodoxy as it evolves. (Crudely: will Conservative Rabbis preach to Reform Jews and Open Orthodox Rabbis to Orthodox Jews?)

As I get closer to applying to Rabbinical Schools, I continue to wonder if there's a community out there of more Jews who think the way that I do, and, if not, should and how could I aim to build one?
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