Ultra-Orthodox Jews have sex through a hole in the sheet—right? Actually, that’s one of many misconceptions outsiders have about sexual relations within the Haredi community. That said, it is true that the high value strictly religious Jews place on modesty can prevent essential information about sex and sexuality from reaching people who need it: soon-to-be newlyweds; those who are sexually inexperienced, yet questioning their sexuality; couples who are struggling with sexual dysfunction or incompatibility. That’s where David Ribner comes in. Ribner is an Orthodox sex therapist in Jerusalem and co-author, with Jennie Rosenfeld, of The Newlywed’s Guide to Physical Intimacy, the first sexually explicit manual written for strictly religious Jews. On today’s Vox Tablet, guest host Daniel Estrin talks with Ribner about the questions and concerns his clients bring to him, and about what he, and Jewish thought, can offer them. Please be advised that this conversation (not surprisingly) includes sexually explicit language.
This conversation is the first in a new series we’re calling Hidden Jerusalem. Over the course of the next few months, with Estrin as our guide, we will peel back the layers that cloak this monumental, mythical city, looking at familiar sites and neighborhoods from new angles, and striking up conversations about topics that are usually hushed.