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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Sex & Niddah

History of Past Sexual Abuse in Married Observant Women

by Michelle Friedman, MD Posted on July 5, 2016

Most studies investigating religiosity and sexual abuse have examined whether religiosity ameliorates the negative consequences of sexual trauma (1–4), rather than whether religiosity affects the occurrence of sexual trauma. There are currently no statistics regarding the lifetime prevalence of sexual abuse within religious communities.…

Observant Married Jewish Women and Sexual Life: An Empirical Study

by Michelle Friedman, MD Posted on July 5, 2016

Taharat haMishpahah, literally, “family purity,” refers to the series of Jewish laws and customs governing sexual behavior between husbands and wives. The laws of taharat haMishpahah need to be understood in the larger context of observant Jewish life, which seeks to elevate everyday behavior in light of a divine plan.…

Formalism and Reality in Hilkhot Niddah

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on February 5, 2010

One of the lesser well-known laws of niddah requires that husband and wife separate from sex on the day (or night) that the wife is expecting to get her period. This day is called the veset, and this requirement is learned from the verse “And you shall separate the Children of Israel from their impurity” (Lev.…

Symmetry in Marital Sex

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 11, 2009

The mitzvah of onah, the mitzvah of marital sex, raises the issue of the symmetry or asymmetry of the halakhically-defined sexual relationship. The Gemara discusses at length the husband’s obligation to have sex with his wife (at regular intervals or when she indicates that she is interested) based on the Biblical obligation of onah.…

Two Approaches to Marital Sex

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on December 4, 2009

The mitzvah onah, the mitzvah of marital sex, is defined in the mishna in Ketuvot as fixed, regular times that a husband must have sex with his wife. However, another definition emerges from other Talmudic passages – that the husband must have sex with his wife when he sees that she desires it, and this is referred to as lisameyach et ishto bi’dvar mitzvah, to give pleasure to his wife with this mitzvah act.…

Hilkoht Niddah: Welcoming Mikvehs

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on November 20, 2009

The source of tvilah, immersion, is complex. Interestingly, the Torah never states explicitly that a niddah, zavah, or a woman who has given birth has to immerse in order to become tahor, ritually pure, although it is assumed throughout the Talmud that this requirement exists and that it is Biblical.…

Hilkhot Niddah: Bedikot of Shiva Nikkiyim

by Rabbi Dov Linzer Posted on November 13, 2009

In hilkhot Niddah, the topic of bedikat shiva nikkiyim – the internal checking that a woman does during the seven days after cessation of bleeding – raises important questions. In general, it is a question how relevant the Brisker approach to learning – an approach which posits a chakira, two competing conceptual definitions of a law, and then makes all debates dependent on this question – is relevant to the world of halakha.…