Post­ed by Nao­mi Firestone-Teeter

Just read about an inter­est­ing new title com­ing out in June from Danya Rut­ten­berg (Sur­prised By God): The Pas­sion­ate Torah: Sex and Judaism. Rut­ten­berg explores this juicy top­ic with a col­lec­tion of essays from…

Rebec­ca Alpert, Wendy Love Ander­son, Judith R. Baskin, Aryeh Cohen, Elliot Dorff, Esther Fuchs, Bon­na Haber­man, Elliot Kuk­la, Gail Labovitz, Mal­ka Lan­dau, Sar­ra Lev, Lau­ra Levitt, Sara Meirowitz, Jay Michael­son, Havi­va Ner-David, Danya Rut­ten­berg, Nao­mi Sei­d­man, and Arthur Waskow


Some details from the publisher:

In this unique col­lec­tion of essays, some of today’s smartest Jew­ish thinkers explore a broad range of fun­da­men­tal ques­tions in an effort to bal­ance ancient tra­di­tion and mod­ern sexuality.

In the last few decades a num­ber of fac­tors — post-mod­ernism, fem­i­nism, queer lib­er­a­tion, and more — have brought dis­cus­sion of sex­u­al­i­ty to the fore, and with it a whole new set of ques­tions that chal­lenge time-hon­ored tra­di­tions and ways of think­ing. For Jews of all back­grounds, this has often led to an unhap­py stand­off between tra­di­tion and sex­u­al empowerment.

Yet as The Pas­sion­ate Torah illus­trates, it is of crit­i­cal impor­tance to see beyond this appar­ent con­flict if Jews are to embrace both their reli­gious beliefs and their sex­u­al­i­ty. With inci­sive essays from con­tem­po­rary rab­bis, schol­ars, thinkers, and writ­ers, this col­lec­tion not only sur­veys the chal­lenges that sex­u­al­i­ty pos­es to Jew­ish belief, but also offers fresh new per­spec­tives and insights on the chang­ing place of sex­u­al­i­ty with­in Jew­ish the­ol­o­gy — and Jew­ish lives. Cov­er­ing top­ics such as monogamy, inter-faith rela­tion­ships, repro­duc­tive tech­nol­o­gy, homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, and a host of oth­er hot-but­ton issues, these writ­ings con­sid­er how con­tem­po­rary Jews can engage them­selves, their loved ones, and their tra­di­tion in a way that’s both sexy and sanctified.

Seek­ing to deep­en the Jew­ish con­ver­sa­tion about sex­u­al­i­ty, The Pas­sion­ate Torah brings togeth­er bril­liant thinkers in an attempt to bridge the gap between the sacred and the sexual.

And, if the book isn’t enough for you, Rut­ten­berg is teach­ing a class this sum­mer at NYU called I and Thou: On Jew­ish Sex”…for more infor­ma­tion about the class, and sign­ing up, please click here.

Orig­i­nal­ly from Lan­cast­er, Penn­syl­va­nia, Nao­mi is the CEO of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil. She grad­u­at­ed from Emory Uni­ver­si­ty with degrees in Eng­lish and Art His­to­ry and, in addi­tion, stud­ied at Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege Lon­don. Pri­or to her role as exec­u­tive direc­tor, Nao­mi served as the found­ing edi­tor of the JBC web­site and blog and man­ag­ing edi­tor of Jew­ish Book World. In addi­tion, she has over­seen JBC’s dig­i­tal ini­tia­tives, and also devel­oped the JBC’s Vis­it­ing Scribe series and Unpack­ing the Book: Jew­ish Writ­ers in Conversation.