New Possibilities in Jewish Sexuality

Judaism may need new categories of sexual relationships in order to adjust to the reality of sex outside marriage.

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Times of marriage, which may also be partly defined by the couple through the ketubah [Jewish marriage contract], but which are expected to be more long‑lasting, to be essential for child‑rearing (though used also by couples who do not expect to have children), and to be dissolved only by joint agreement of the couple and by serious participation of the Jewish community as well as the civil order in arranging the terms of separation.

This fifth approach, it seems to me, takes the complexity of our present situation and the resources of Jewish tradition most fully into account. But it would take more than a piece of paper announcing pilegesh for this approach to begin functioning.

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Rabbi Arthur O. Waskow

Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow directs the Shalom Center and is the author of numerous books, including Godwrestling, Godwrestling--Round 2, Seasons of Our Joy, The Bush is Burning, and These Holy Sparks.