Marriage, sex, and family in Judaism: each is a topic warranting major treatment; each can be approached from a variety of angles. This collection of essays explores Jewish marriage from legal, historical and social perspectives. Biblical models, the influence of gender, the rabbinic tradition, and contemporary issues are all reflected in this well-organized volume.
A broad historical overview is followed by essays on the images of women in the Bible and the legal nature of marriage. Monogamy, the views of Maimonides on sex and marriage, and a survey of pre-nuptial agreements are covered in the next section. The third section, dealing with contemporary challenges, includes an essay on reproductive technology and one on lesbianism.
The authors come from a variety of academic, rabbinic and legal fields. There is no real new ground broken here, but the issues are covered in a serious, straightforward, fluid manner. Source citation is abundant but not ponderous and the style of the presentations masks the scholarship therein. Marriage, sex, and family are topics that deal with the most intimate and serious aspects of human behavior. The studies contained in this book demonstrate the attention paid to the nuances of human relationships in the biblical and rabbinic tradition, as well as the implications of contemporary mores for Jewish life.
Wallace Greene, Ph.D., has held several university appointments, and currently writes and lectures on Jewish and historical subjects.