NEWS ITEM: “The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism” — that’s the title of an anthology just published by New York University Press. It explores what the Torah has to say about sex.
Provoking praise and some unease:
A book about the birds and bees.
What makes its publication news?
It solely concentrates on Jews.
This makes the project more complex
Than other works that deal with sex.
This daring new anthology
Treats sex without apology.
It’s frank and candid, to be sure.
And doesn’t shrink from the “impure”.
It even limns, in manner free,
(The context is a Talmud tract
That deals with vamps, to be exact.
Another matter of surmise:
Do circumcisions penalize?).
All gender issues are explored.
The reader surely won’t be bored
To learn there is a subtle line
That links Eros to the divine.
The mikveh’s role is analyzed
And its importance emphasized.
Those using it leave, heaven-bent,
Awash with feelings of content.
One writer could have given much
To add that special Jewish touch:
If Monica a chapter wrote,
It would insure a juicy quote.
These themes perhaps will seem uncouth,
But not to fans of Dr. Ruth.
From modesty the book departs
And gives new thrust to private parts.