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Perhaps they themselves are troubled by these questions but choose not to voice their doubts in public.
However, a guidebook on Orthodox sexual behavior warrants raising these questions even while acknowledging that completely satisfactory answers are simply not available.
More generally, this small volume stands as a significant document illustrating the tenuous place Modern Orthodoxy occupies on the Jewish communal map.
To invoke a metaphor, Modern Orthodox leaders frequently approach the edge of the water but fail to wade into it.
The authors are well-versed in the secular literature on the subject and integrate it well with Jewish teachings.
The book originated as a project of Yeshiva Universitys Center for the Jewish Future, a think-tank and community services division designed to bring the teachings of Judaism into dialogue with the real world and the broader society.
Beyond basic information the thoughtful we were wondering sections explain in depth commonly asked questions about marital sex enabling the reader to understand that sexual relations are central to marital bliss but that disappointment with them is common as well. Rather they confront candidly difficult and sensitive questions about halachically-sanctioned sex.
A guide to quality resources at the conclusion of this short volume exposes the reader to the professional literature generally on the subject that supplement the Judaic perspective the book expresses. The illustrations in the back, rare in a book emanating from Orthodox auspices, provide excellent teaching tools.
In this context Judaism is a very this-worldly faith that celebrates the sexual act of both genders rather than serve strictly as a vehicle for procreation.
The authors comprehend the significance and beauty of sexuality and articulate it quite well.
They are informed by secular sources of knowledge and culture.
Personal observations and the little scientific literature that exists suggests that in this area individuals are reaching their own conclusions and determining their own particular resolutions to conflicts between halachic dictates and the needs of a particular relationship.
Many years ago, a rosh yeshiva commented to me that the issue is not a problem because 95% of the boys in my shiur observe the laws of negiah. Whether he was correct or merely naïve I cannot say.
For example, should Modern Orthodox education strive to reduce the intensity of the rhetoric and concern with negiah violations, or do young people need to be encouraged to observe the regulations in practice?