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Halachic Positions: What Judaism Really Says about Passion in the Marital Bed (Sexuality and Jewish Law: In Search of a Balanced Approach in Torah) 3rd Edition
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.41 pounds
- Paperback : 484 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0692563237
- ISBN-13 : 978-0692563236
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.09 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Jonathan Shapiro; 3rd edition (November 25, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I believe the impact of this book is that it presented, in plain-english, that the delicate topic of marital intimacy within the halachic framework requires serious treatment, and as such, the need to balance the modern imperative for "holiness" as the minimal obligation from every jew, whereas true-holiness is rather a sought-after ideal, and is not always black or white, it's much more complex.
I found the book not so an easy read, however, the meticulous big-deal to do with the sources is a pre-requisite to, over-time, attain the status of a "classic" (for marking the moment where, this branch of "allowed views based on the talmud, etc". This book, complicated as it is, paves the way for other books to present the topic in an easier to read way, standing on the shoulders of this masterpiece.
(I believe the author also wants this) I encourage the reader to go to the sources wherever he feels he needs it, because some "conclusions" (or summaries) of the book go against/past-the-line what today is (sadly) considered "minimum required halachic behavior", and, the views he is ignoring also have ways to read the sources in compelling ways. And sometimes, the author understanding is a little over-fitting into the text he wants to bring as proof.
In his unneeded defense: The author has the more authoritative sources (from the talmud) pointing to his way of reading it. And being such a sensitive and important topic, it's better to err more to the side of "harmony within the couple" (aka "Shalom Ba-it") than on the "mandatory holiness for all" approach.
The more so, when the author also has to deal with forged texts (such as in Maimonides Mishne Tora) which makes the others look right while his position seems the contrary. So sometimes "over-fitting" ideas, might be in the name of fairness. (The author never tries to impose his reading on any source).
To bring an example: He brings "Rabbi Ovadia Yosef" (in the endnotes) and uses one of his many ways of presenting evidence for a different case at hand, as proof of his point. However, upon closer examination, it's just over-fitting the intention of the text to include what was not the intention of Rabbi Ovadia, clearly. (I wasn't truly involved with the many sources, that's why I cannot recall more examples).
In closing, if this topic of your interest, you must have the next generation basis for centrist-orthodoxy guidance.