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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Kosher Sex

Today I met with my Rabbi. It is our second meeting–the first was on Christmas Eve, the day I first went to temple and said out loud, “I want to convert to judaism.”

I’ve spent the last two months reading, thinking, and living as jewish as I can. So few things have caused me a moment’s pause or caused me any conflict. Keeping kosher has been easy–in a sense it is just a PhD in Weight Watchers. With a few exceptions–namely chicken pot pie and oops–that gryo sauce has dairy in it.

Going to temple, learning hebrew, reading the torah. Easy.

But grappling with extremely personal values that never had roots before. Mainly, sex. In the past, my decisions about sex have been based on feelings. Nothing more, nothing less. It feels right, it doesn’t feel right. Mostly it didn’t feel right and I said, “no.” an awful lot.

Now I find myself with a value system that I’m trying to integrate with my feelings and my personal history. So I talked to my Rabbi about sex today–cause that is what I have questions about. He was surprised, at least I think he was. Probably more conversion candidates come in and say things about not getting along with their in-laws, parents not being supportive, how do we write an egalitarian ketubah.

Me? I come in and say, “The hebrew is coming along just fine, but can I have sex?”

The answer is I can. “This isn’t a victorian religion. It isn’t about before or after marraige. It is about you being a ‘thou’ and not an ‘it.’ That’s what most sex is–object/subject. But if it is subject/subject, then it is okay.”

Cool, thanks.

Then I wowed him with my hebrew and he gave me an assignment. I have to write an essay about what judaism means to me and why I want it in my life. This will be my final exam at the end of the year, but this is my pre-test.

Now it is hebrew time.

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