Mar­riage, Sex, and Fam­i­ly in Judaism

Michael Broyde, Editor
  • Review
By – June 25, 2012
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.

Discussion Questions