Join Noam Zion for a mini-course on the Jewish debate on marital intimacy based on his new book, Sanctified Sex. It draws on two thousand years of rabbinic debates addressing competing aspirations for loving intimacy, passionate sexual union, and sanctity in marriage.
Feb 20: How the American sexual revolution of the '60s challenged rabbis to rethink their attitudes to sex and reexamine ancient Jewish traditions.
Feb 27: Two new competing contemporary views of Jewish marriage: The patriarchal Hasidic marriage that lies behind movies like UnOrthodox versus the egalitarian and erotic partnership-marriage of Rabbi Rachel Adler and Liberal Judaism.
Mar 6: The Revolution in the Halakhic "Art of Loving." A surprising trend in marital education in anti-Hasidic UltraOrthodoxy which partially overlaps with contemporary Western couple therapy: mandating couple communication, enhancing the sustainability of passionate love, and renewing
Note: This study of rabbinic law is about the quality of committed love relationships, but does not address important issues of equality in marriage and divorce or LGBTQ concerns for gender justice that have been studied and addressed more effectively.
Noam is now emeritus at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem where he has been a senior research fellow and educator since 1978. He earned a graduate degree in general philosophy at Columbia University and the Hebrew University, while studying Bible and Rabbinics at JTSA and the Hartman Beit Midrash. His popular publications have promoted Homemade Judaism - empowering families to create their own pluralistic Judaism during home holidays and include A Different Night: The Family Participation Haggadah and A Day Apart: Shabbat at Home. Outstanding moments in his personal biography include: growing up as a rabbi’s kid in his father’s synagogue, B'nai Abraham in Minneapolis. His wife Marcelle gave him her last name “Zion” (in place of Sachs), 5 children and 12 grandchildren.