Wednesday, November 02, 2005

You've Had Quite Enough Already

It is axiomatic to those who have benefited from a good orthodox Jewish education that Jewish law is absolutely perfect. It is not like any other system of laws. Secular law is man made and merely reflect knowledge and values at the time the given law was enacted. Torah law on the other hand is divinely inspired and reflects eternal values. Values that never change.

Over the last few years I have moved on a little and I see that after all, 'Halocho' (Jewish Law) is not all that perfect; many a time it is downright crazy. In this post I shall write about a Halocho were the more I think about it the less I can understand how anybody with even a little bit of humanity could have ever come up with such an insensitive ordinance.

OK so here goes.

Jewish Law forbids any sort of sexual relationship outside marriage. In fact Jewish law forbids any sort of relationship with the opposite sex outside marriage. In fact Jewish Law forbids a teenage boy to even think about a girl outside marriage lest something terrible happened. A good frum (religious) teenager may do nothing that might in any possible way excite his natural urges. I could go into even more detail but it's too embarrassing.

So let us imagine a young frum boy aged twenty and a half. His name is Yoinoson. Yoinoson Schreiber. He is about to get married. Throughout his teenage years Yoinoson has been really good. He has tried really hard not to look at girls. He has tried even harder to banish any 'evil thoughts' from his mind. Whenever Yoinoson, God forbid, thinks about a girl or a 'bad thought' crosses his mind he quickly diverts his attention to something else. But today is Yoinosons big day; Yoinoson is getting married. The chuppah has just been and hey presto Yoinoson is legally a wedded man. Together Yoinoson and his bride walk to the yichud room and there once the doors have been closed Yoinoson gives his new wife a kiss on the cheek. The first time he has ever kissed a girl. The first time he has ever so much as touched a girl in a loving way. So far so good. The wedding dinner takes place and a good time is had by all. The newly weds are now on their way to their flat for the night. Really romantic. Now in case you have forgotten allow me to remind you once again, this is the very first time that, Yoinoson, this good frum boy has had any relationship with any girl. Well as I say the happy Yoinoson and his wife go home and do what they do (hint,hint), and believe it or not, Jewish law again forbids the couple to even touch each other for another two weeks (and due to one thing or another is normally more.) So to sum up, they have kissed, done a little more than kissing (hint,hint) and Yoinoson is now forbidden by Jewish Law to even touch his wife for several weeks.

Now doesn't this reflect the beauty and sensitivity of Halocho? Answers on a postcard please.

12 Comments:

Blogger Shlomo said...

Well put.

They tell you as a bochur to restrain yourself. Then after the chasunah, you are again, immediately after your first taste of sexual pleasure, to restrian yourself again. Then, throughout your marriage, re: nidus, you will again be forced to restrain yourself.

I think it is a sadistic plan of torture.

7:10 PM  
Blogger WackyBPGal said...

Yonason, while your words at surface seem like the absolute truth, there is another element of sexuality that you are missing.

You are corrupted by today's world and have become desensitized to sex.

The harchakos immediately after marriage teach a couple how to have a relationship that is deeper and more meaningful than sex. It allows them to relate on a level that is balanced, unpressured, and intimate in its own way. It also builds anticipation for the next time.

If you were allowed to have sex again, then you would spend your days being nervous about the evenings and unable to get to know your new bride.

8:59 PM  
Blogger yoinoson schreiber said...

wackybpgal,

Thanks for your comment.

Thinking about it. Something to do over shabbos!

YS

6:14 AM  
Blogger Michalle said...

Maybe that rule is not there for the bochurim.

10:16 AM  
Blogger YS said...

Michalle, Well said. One of the things said to me way back when on the subject of dating: "Things are always much easier to work out with a hug and a kiss. Issur negia forces you to work verbaly." Very true and probably the best case I have heard in all the years since in favor of this set of halachot.
The question still is: "Enough is enough!" But I can understand a stance on either side.

3:13 PM  
Blogger yoinoson schreiber said...

ys,

Thanks for the comment.

What on earth is wrong with sorting things out with a hug and a kiss. We are talking about people who are actually 'married' to each other.

3:43 PM  
Blogger rebelmo said...

I agree with your comment.

The other thing that bugs me is how people like wackybpgal, cite Nidah laws as being the secret to a happy marriage. Does it help, in some ways yes, does it hinder, in some ways yes.

Has the torah explicity said the reasoning behind the laws was to build a relationship? Or is it just a technical tuumah thing?

There are millions of people in happy marriages without Nidah laws. Likewise there are many people in happy marriages that observe Nidah laws. And as we know the frum world also has its share of divorces.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Ben Sorer Moreh said...

I used to hear that "refraining from sex for two weeks helps a couple deepen their relationship in 'other' ways", then I learned about the "harhakot", the "distancing" rules (e.g., no sitting together on the same cushion, no handing objects to each other, definitely no bedmaking!) and kind of doubted that apologia. Now I hear that the "harhakot" help a couple deepen their relationship in other ways. Don't tell the "leaders" or whatever a couple does when they're not "harhak-ing" will be banned next.

On the flip side, imagine you're a 19 year old girl. You too have had your heart set on this day. You get home. He fumbles, he misses, he dribbles. (Alternatively, you've been told that this is something that women do not enjoy and you don't 'cuz the first time ain't always fun.) You want him do do it again when? ;)

6:50 PM  
Blogger Fascinated said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

>Maybe that rule is not there for the bochurim.

Absolutely. The halakhah that requires that the young couple can't lie in the same bed or hug after penetration is definitely intended for the young lady's benefit.

Yes, I am being sarcastic.

Look, most people make do it. It doesn't scar most people for life. We live.

But it sure as heck isn't a great idea, and if the halakhah didn't require it we'd never dream of it.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Mississippi Fred MacDowell said...

Shlomo,

"Anyone whose been through it" does not have a monolithic view of it. I bet some people who've been through it would disagree with your blanket assertion.

That said, even if this is "TMI", I've been through it and if a husband and wife are sufficiently motivated, mature and creative it need not be traumatic for anyone at all.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Ben Sorer Moreh said...

if a husband and wife are sufficiently motivated, mature and creative it need not be traumatic for anyone at all

These are big "ifs". How motivated, mature and creative is your typical young couple be, when they've hardly, met have certainly not been encouraged to discuss this and have a whole new set of rules to absorb?

And if I can somehow dispense with gravity, I can flap my arms and fly through the air.

6:15 PM  

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