« Satmar Rabbi Wearing Police Badge Is Not A Cop | Main | Parents Protest Barrier Between Secular And Haredi Kindergartens »

March 06, 2011

Trouble In Bed? Soon You'll Be Able To Ask Your Rabbi For Help

Kippa Seruga The first course of its kind teaches rabbis how to provide consultation to religious couples on bedroom problems.

 

Rabbi, let's talk about it
First course of its kind teaches rabbis how to provide consultation to religious couples on bedroom problems
Akiva Novick • Ynet

Intermarriage [sic] relations [the translator means, “marital relations”], and the problems they involve, have always been considered a major taboo in the national-religious and ultra-Orthodox sectors.

But a change is finally happening: A new course launched recently trains 30 "marriage counselors" – the modest equivalent of secular sexologists – who will combine halachic aspects in their discreet counseling.

The course is being held at the Puah Institute, which for the past 20 years has been specializing in giving consultation, direction and help to couples suffering from gynecological problems and infertility.

"I think this is a niche which is missing among the religious and haredi public. Up to now we used to provide initial counseling ion sex issues and send them to a therapist who usually wasn't religious," explains the institute's head, Rabbi Menachem Burstein.

"In such a situation, after talking to the therapist, the couple was forced to return to the rabbi to ask what they could and could not do."

The course, called "Advice on sanctity in marital life", is being held in cooperation with Bar-Ilan University and will train marital counselors and rabbis. It grants its students a "sexual counselor" certificate.

The current course is only for men, but women can register for the next class.

The course deals with a variety of issues, starting with "the physiological side of sexuality", through "enriching marital relations", up to "special problems concerning the religious public."

Another issue which is being studied, due to the growing awareness among the religious public in recent years, is "sexual harassment and abuse."

'Need for extra training'

One of the students in the first class is Rabbi Udi Ratt, an institute staff member. "There is a great need among the public in this field. Only this week we answered the 7,000th question asked on the institute's website, and most questions were about this issue.

"Not every rabbi can provide answers on this matter, and there is need for extra training. There's no doubt that this is a mitzvah."

Due to the high sensitivity, the course's preparation suffered from initial difficulties. Rabbi Burstein worked for years to get the approval of the leading haredi rabbis, until even the strictest of them were convinced that there was a need for "kosher" consultants.

The course even maps the haredi streams according to the level of strictness between the sexes. "There are different approaches event within the Hasidic factions. There are things which are permitted according to Halacha, but in different communities they are forbidden," explains Rabbi Burstein.

Apart from the positive response, the initiative is causing quite a stir in the sector. In the recent "Women" supplement of the Makor Rishon newspaper, a young woman said: "It's unclear to me why I did not get any training on matrimony relations before the wedding. Apart from a connection with my brothers and cousins, I had no meetings with members of the opposite sex. There was a lot of ignorance on the matter."

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

despite the snarky title of this article, it is a GOOD thing that people within the religious community will be able to get help within the parameters that they feel comfortable dealing with.

And PLEASE don't start with the "so the rabbis can molest kids" shit.

chusid shoite- this wont make a difference fo those who molest

The course, called "Advice on sanctity in marital life"... will train marital counselors and rabbis. It grants its students a "sexual counselor" certificate.

Oh, yes - this has success written all over it.

There are things which are permitted according to Halacha, but in different communities they are forbidden

This is pretty much all one needs to know about Haredism.

All this sort of thing does is to validate their lifestyle - "There's nothing wrong with the way you conduct your lives or indoctrinate your children; we're just going to teach you how to make it more enjoyable."

Legitimate marriage counselors in the real world need years of training.

"...and send them to a therapist who usually wasn't religious..."

So how about letting people go to college and get a degree in psychology, so they can become a legitimate psychologist to serve the religious community?

Oh yeah, going to college means taking Biology 101. You might also see teachers in sleeveless blouses.

Yay! Now there are three options for frum people who need this type of help.


Kosher Sex (Shmuley Boteach)
Kommandanten (Gerrer Hasidim)
Advice on Sanctity in Marital Life (Puah Institute)

Well, this really "ices" the romance cake for me.

Bring me my breeding pants!I have a biological imperative to uphold.

I read "Kosher Sex", and frankly got grossed out. These men should get tips from feminist erotic writers like Erica Jong and Anais Nin (just a suggestion).

First rule: Shower more than once a week.

I know of several cases where the rabbis have knowingly married off homosexual men and have not told the future wives thinking that they would be cured of their condition through marriage. Needless to say, the result was ruined lives. I expect these counselors will give more of the same advise.

>I know of several cases where the rabbis have knowingly married off homosexual men and have not told the future wives thinking that they would be cured of their condition through marriage. Needless to say, the result was ruined lives.
-----------------------------------
This is a really excellent point David.
The way to handle this is to ask the Rabbi,
"Would you do this to your own daughter". Then watch what he says! Now, if there was any evidence at all that this methods works we could have a conversation about it, and have Rabbis and therapists attend a conference to compare research studies. But this is the real issue: a know it all kind of attitude leading to advice dispensed without any concern for evidence. that is the heart of the matter. One should not make fun of a Rabbi because a mistake is make; rather lets examine *why* the mistakes were made.
Maybe then some progress can be made.

> I expect these counselors will give more of the same advise.

It would be interesting to actually know what their training will be concerning these situations.

>get a degree in psychology, so they can become a legitimate psychologist to serve the religious community?

Very good idea; and it can be done w/o sleevless blouses: students ought to have some say about a comfortable environment (and there are schools that can accommodate that)

Now, I've seen mistakes of a major sort made by PhD therapists and counselors too. But here I would like to know if their training (and clinical internships?) are adequate. Also, professional therapists are sensitive to the cultural needs of their client. Sometimes the hareidi patient might be more comfortable with a neutral non-Jewish health care professional.

Finally, I would be very disappointed in a Torah hashkafah that could not handle Bio 101..... or Calc 102 ....or Celestial Mechanics 103 ... etc. I hope you get my drift.

Half an hour reading Susie Bright or Nina Hartely would do more for these couple than weeks petitioning the rabbis for advice.

Sex between a loving heterosexual married couple is not rocket science. There has to be some precursors to make the chemistry work. Here is the timeline of a happy marriage...(This applies to both partners)

(1) Alive and Kicking
(2) Out and About
(3) First Sight
(4) First Words
(5) Physical Attraction
(6) Flirting
(7) Trust Building
(8) Courtship
(9) Boundary Testing
(10) Proposal
(11) Engagement
(12) Marriage
(13) Conception

The key to a happy step twelve stage are the first eight stages. Many marriages are rushed affairs because people get married because their parents force them to or they feel they have no other option. Mania in the realm of love is not healthy.

BTW, passion is not mania.

What problems? Just bring 'em a yeshiva boy and they can have a happy threesome in the mikvah!

First rule: Shower more than once a week

Whether you need to or not.

BTW, it doesn't matter if the first meeting was a set up via a shidduch or things were spontanaeously sparked after a "chance" encounter. The main thing is that there must be a "zing" between the man and woman. Love of another can change the universe.

This is so naive. I have so many friends that rushed into marriage after a few months at yeshiva only to get the "spark", with the guy next door who is married with 7 kids. Seen it more times than I can recall. one of my friends actually did run off with him--they are both secular now.

>I have so many friends that rushed

male or female friends?

so many = how many?

Thanks for this excellent article it was very informative

YM Uh that would be a women's yeshiva. They ran off with men or didn't but wish they had. They married young got trapped the kids came and than they got stuck in a marriage to a stranger. They fell for the guy next door...Though I do know one former Neve woman who left her husband of ten years took the 5 kids and moved in with her female lover to Tel Aviv...They became modern hippie Chasidic tradition/lesbian couple..whatever works.

RF: sad news. not sure what your point is, but sad news. But I hope it all works out for them.

B"H

RF--Maybe there is a reason the guy with 7 kids gets the spark going! (Maybe he should be in charge of the marriage therapy!)

:)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

----------------------

FailedMessiah.com is a reader supported website.

Thank you for your generous support!

----------------------

----------------------

----------------------

Please Scroll Down Toward The Bottom Of This Page For More Search Options, For A List Of Recent Posts, And For Comments Rules

----------------------

Recent Posts

----------------------

Tip Jar

Gelt Is Good!

Tip Jar

FailedMessiah.com is a reader supported website. Please click the Donate button now to contribute.

Thank you for your generous support!

Tip Jar

Gelt Is Good!

Tip Jar

-------------------------

Comment Rules

  • 1. No anonymous comments.

    2. Use only one name or alias and stick with that.

    3. Do not use anyone else's name or alias.

    4. Do not sockpuppet.

    5. Try to argue using facts and logic.

    6. Do not lie.

    7. No name-calling, please.

    8. Do not post entire articles or long article excerpts.

    ***Violation of these rules may lead to the violator's comments being edited or his future comments being banned.***

Older Posts Complete Archives

Search FailedMessiah

----------------------

FailedMessiah.com is a reader supported website.

Thank you for your generous support!

----------------------

----------------------

----------------------

FailedMessiah.com in the Media

RSS Feed

Blog Widget by LinkWithin