JDA Roundup: This Week in Dating and Relationships
Greetings sports fans. Here’s your vital roundup of dating- and relationship-related stories, and yes, even a little humor thrown in at the end.
The Husband, His Wife, and His Other Wife (Her Sister): If you think there’s tough competition in the dating world, at least you’re not married to the same guy your sister is. Brad Greenberg, formerly of the Jewish Journal and the award-winning God Blog, now writes at GetReligion.org about such a situation. And no, he’s not the husband in question. But his shock comes not from the prospect of a polygamous relationship featuring two sisters, but at the job the Telegraph reporter did in reporting the story:
While the Telegraph delivered a surprising story here, the reporter for this un-bylined article does a poor job of including the religious context needed for this story. In fact, we’re never even told in this story that the Mormon Church has banned polygamy, only that it is banned in the United States and, apparently, that “Fundamentalist Mormon families” favor polygamy.
She Brought Lewinsky Back (Yeah!): Over at Jewcy, Shula Reinharz gets the credit for bringing everyone’s favorite former White House intern back (a full week before former President Clinton flew over to N. Korea to get two American journalists freed), as the symbol for Jewish women who may have been raised in an overly sexually aggressive manner. In “Sex and the Suburbs,” Prof. Reinharz says that when the Clinton-Lewinsky story broke, she had been focusing on the wrong story.
Everyone was rightly talking about Bill. What he did wrong – and wrong he surely did. But what about Monica? Had she been doing this kind of thing back in Beverly Hills or was this an entirely new extracurricular activity for her? Can we generalize to Jewish girls in Weston or Westfield or Westwood from what Monica was doing in the West Wing?
The piece continues to consider whether today’s young people consider sex to mean only in the non-Clintonian definition, in the process noting that the practice of oral sex “is so rampant that the Reform Jewish movement has taken it on as a national policy concern.”
I checked that piece of information out on Google, and sure enough there is an article to that effect dated November 19, 2005. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, addressed 4,200 people in Houston for its biennial convention and explicitly talked about oral sex and hooking up. Bravo, Rabbi Yoffie. For him the issue was that girls are “defining their worth by how they please boys.” The degradation of girls flies in the face of the Reform Movement’s dedication to the equality of women, he said.
Can’t Touch This: And now, from oral sex, we go to the concept of shomer negiah, meaning the abstention from all premarital physical contact with the opposite sex. If you’re shomer negiah and have been looking for a loophole, we’ve got one for you. (Hat tip to Miriam Shaviv at the JC.com.)
And lastly, since this is “J”Daters Anonymous, I would be remiss if I didn’t bring out the J factor by mentioning the imminent arrival of Tu B’Av, the Jewish holiday of love (often called the “Jewish Valentine’s Day”). So look for a post about that auspicious day soon.