The sheer number of names, rebbes, dynasties and towns may overwhelm readers of ‘A Hidden Light.’ To author Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, each one is an intimate friend.
Jewish attitudes about sex and sexuality span a wide spectrum. For liberal Jews, sex and religion may seem unrelated; for those who follow the family-purity laws, the relationship between sex and Jewish tradition may seem set in stone. But neither of these stances takes the whole picture into account. Judaism, as Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg writes in the introduction to “Passionate Torah,” is both an earthy religion of the body and a distressingly patriarchal institution. “Jewish sexuality,” she writes, “is nothing if not complex.”