Frum Frillies: The State of Haredi Sex

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Look, it’s only fair. We discussed the plight of Palestinian panties in both Gaza and Syria and so now that YNet has seen fit to talk about what Haredi women are wearing in the bedroom, well, we have to report that as well.

The ultra-Orthodox woman is renowned for her modesty. According to the Halacha, a woman is forbidden from exposing her body in public and wearing short or tight clothing… But what goes on at home, behind closed doors, at a place where they are seen only by their significant other? … The Israeli textile company EvaShow holds the answer… According to the women’s intimate apparel company, 20% of its customer base comes from ultra-orthodox women’s clothing shops… “In recent years an interesting change has occurred among ultra-orthodox women,” said company founder, Eva Ohana. “In the past they used to only buy long and modest sleeping gowns. Today some of them buy the kind of sexy and sensual lingerie secular women purchase, such as baby-dolls, shiny, sheer and colorful nighties decorated with lace, and thongs.”

I don’t think you can be lackadaisical about the bedroom when you’re averaging seven babies per household and Jews aren’t Catholics. Sex isn’t sinful and Jews are commanded to have sex so is this development really surprising? What the article doesn’t answer is why is this a new thing? Jewish rules of physical modesty do not apply in the privacy of one’s bedroom after all. I think I know why and the reason can be summed up in one word: Internet. Haredi husbands can’t help but be influenced by the pervasiveness of Internet porn and imagery. As such, frum women have new standards that they feel they have to live up to. This might also go a long way toward explaining the sudden pervasiveness of laser hair removal studios in and around Haredi neighborhoods in Jerusalem. No one knew from frilly baby dolls and Brazilians in the shtetl, but now, thanks to Al Gore, even the most shtark Hassid has desires his grandfather knew nothing about.

Is this a good thing? Frum women didn’t know from Anorexia and Bulimia till recently either, so who knows? I can only echo the question posed by Failed Messiah: “Can a new ban be far away?” The only thing I do know is that if it involves Jews and sex, I’ll keep you updated on it. Because I care, I really, really do. Think of the children…

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38 Comments

  1. Shlomo

    6/29/2011 at 9:34 am

    B”H

    It’s not true that the laws of modesty do not apply in the bedroom! Chas v’shalom! My Chabad Rabbi taught me (from the siddur of Rav Yaacov Emden and other sources) that a man must think of Torah and Hashem when he
    is making love. The room needs to be dark without lights, sex is done only at night, and strictly in the missionary position. This is to insure you have holy babies. Further, a very short prayer and a hand washing ritual is done
    before and after sex. The woman shouldn’t linger in the husband’s bed I think as well if I recall.(I’m divorced) There is a book called “Family Purity” which details some of these laws. I was very depressed by these halachos and guidelines and felt it made lovemaking non-spontaneous.

  2. froylein

    6/29/2011 at 12:40 pm

    Jews aren’t Catholics. Sex isn’t sinful and Jews are commanded to have sex

    Sex isn’t sinful for Catholics under the same conditions it is not sinful for Jews. Even less so as sex for Catholics is permitted even when it isn’t for Jewish women. Hostility towards sexuality is a Puritan thing.

    • ck

      6/29/2011 at 2:51 pm

      But aren’t all Catholics born in sin? Isn’t that why Nuns and Priests remain celibate? Well, that and to emulate Jesus?

      • froylein

        7/3/2011 at 2:46 am

        My dear, all humans are born in sin. That’s basic, authentic Jewish theology. But “sin” doesn’t equal “sex” (I think it’s somewhat reflecting on the Puritan influence you’ve been subjected to on the other side of the Big Pond that you and Middle would read it as such).

        The reason for celibacy is that there is a belief, which can for instance be found in the writings by Paulus, that those that cannot “receive” sexuality can serve the community in a different way if they “receive” that kind of religious calling. The reason why nuns and monks ideally remain celibate is because they don’t feel any inclination to get sexually active – a concept again that has been around for a while as Jewish prophets were understood not to feel any inclination towards sexuality. Priests again is a different issue; as you might know, 20% of Catholic priests are legally and officially married.

        Whether Jesus was celibate or not we do not know and there are different schools of belief, both resonating with Jewish theology. One is that as a rabbi, as which he was adressed, or any Jew for that matter of sufficient age, he was married with kids and that went without saying. The other one is that he was considered a possible prophet in his days, therefore remained celibate, and that went without saying, too, as it was common knowledge among Jews back then that prophets were to remain celibate.

        • themiddle

          7/3/2011 at 9:15 am

          all humans are born in sin. That’s basic, authentic Jewish theology.

          You need to back up this statement. I believe it is false.

          • froylein

            7/3/2011 at 1:19 pm

            It’s false if you go by Wikipedia entries. :)

            For other takes, start at Gen 3:14. It’s called an “explanatory legend” in theology. The writings of Paul reflect / resonates of the Jewish take of his time as do the writings in the apocryphal books Ezra / Esdras of Jewish authorship to name two examples.

          • themiddle

            7/4/2011 at 11:11 am

            Sorry Froylein, but that’s Christian theology and not Jewish at all. That verse is interpreted by Christians to imply that we are all born with original sin, but it is not the interpretation of Jews. The writings of Paul do not reflect the Jewish take of his time but rather one small part of the much larger Jewish community of ancient Judea and Israel. He invented a whole bunch of stuff that was a new approach to what had been accepted Jewish practices. Paul, some scholars believe, rejects the requirement to follow Torah and its laws (as well as oral laws). He rejects circumcision. In other words, he’s a radical and his views are not related to what Jews believed. As for apocryphal books, nobody knows whose views they represent. They didn’t make it into the canon which tells us something…

        • Rabbi Yonah

          7/10/2011 at 9:25 am

          Jews are not born in sin, sorry. That is totally Christian theology. Jews are born pure, holy, and full of blessing.

          • Yuri B

            2/6/2012 at 12:06 am

            Awesome

        • Rabbi Yonah

          7/10/2011 at 9:25 am

          And for that matter – ALL People are born pure, and free from sin.

          • Gavriela Rivka

            11/13/2012 at 12:30 pm

            Amein.

            I was raised Catholic but converted to Judaism. Judaism teaches that sex is salvation, that it’s a mitzvah, that it actually brings Hashem to our world as the Shekhina. Catholicism teaches the complete opposite.

            Methinks Froylein is a J4J troll. Oh oh…

    • themiddle

      6/29/2011 at 4:38 pm

      I thought Augustine took the concept of Original Sin and turned it into one that effectively turns sexuality and the instinct for sexuality into the meat of the concept. And there’s no question that his precepts dominate Catholic theology.

      • froylein

        7/3/2011 at 2:30 am

        That’s a rather peculiar take on Augustine. Original Sin is a bodily, so-to-speak, concept because of its hereditary quality that, minus the nomenclature, had been around long before Augustine; it can be found in Jewish writing of Biblical times as well as in Biblical reading and among the writings of eleven of the “Church Fathers” pre-Augustine. “Original Sin” doesn’t mean that sex is dirty per se and an evil necessity. The “Original Sin”, which left all humans with some degree of suffering and imperfection and mortality, was that man tried to be like god – a recurring concept in Biblical scripture. And there is no dominance of sinful sexuality in Catholic theology as it has got a positive outlook on sexuality within certain concepts that are laxer than religious Jewish concepts. The sinfulness of sexuality (even physical displays of affection!) is Puritan (think Cromwell, the Ulster Plantation Act, the lack of curtains on Dutch windows, Puritan-influenced sexual ethics in the USA).

  3. Rabbi Dr Ed Goldstein

    6/29/2011 at 4:21 pm

    The Orthodox woman lives up to the example of the woman in Talmud whose hair was never seen by the beams of her house. I forget her name, but my Rav on Shabbat likes to mention her a couple of times a year. Those panties are just a chillul hashem. I think they were created for the article. Sorry, but I don’t think you’re on the right track at all. Unless your tongue is in your cheek. And sinfulness has nothing to do with celibacy, either. Procreation is a mitzvah.

    • Gordon

      9/6/2012 at 4:04 pm

      I totally agree with you. I was shocked to see the blasphemous image of panties with the Sacred on them. Do we forget that there is one room that has no mezuzah? Sex IS sacred, but underwear with the Holy? Very irreverent!

      • ck

        9/6/2012 at 10:02 pm

        Sorry Gordon, but “Hashem” simply means “The Name” and we use that designation in order to refrain from using G*d’s name in vain. If the “Hashem” nomenclature was holy, once those panties got worn out, we’d have to bury them, no?

  4. themiddle

    6/29/2011 at 4:34 pm

    Rabbi Goldstein, please forgive me, but the commandment is pru u’rvu and those panties are invitation to do just that.

    If those panties were created for this article (and of course they were!), then they should be packaged and sold in significant quantities because they are simply the funniest thing I’ve seen in a very long time. In fact, this could be a great victory for Jewlicious. Since certain community charities are avoiding Jewlicious because they falsely believe it is a stealth kiruv organization, imagine the irony of Jewlicious suddenly earning gobs of money to run its extremely effective non-kiruv programming with the proceeds of selling sexy panties with Jewish themes, especially with God’s pseudonym’s pseudonym printed on them.

    • themicah

      6/29/2011 at 6:34 pm

      I believe mobius tried and failed at hawking “not tznius” thongs on Cafepress back in the day. There was some seriously funny stuff on in that store.

      • themiddle

        6/29/2011 at 8:31 pm

        Liste, I’m afraid I might provoke some outburst for which the angry party will later express regret but I will put this out there anyway that I’m fairly sure it was ck who was the initiator of thongs with Jewish themes in Cafepress. But whatever – the more thongs the merrier.

    • josh

      6/29/2011 at 8:05 pm

      D’oh,
      pru u’rvu does not mean to simply make zillions of babies.

      Pru u’rvu is a commandment to make children and bring them up with torah. Not doing that is just a waste of time and money.

      • themiddle

        6/29/2011 at 8:41 pm

        Now you’re adding commentary. The commandment is pru u’rvu. Period. It doesn’t say pru u’rvu be’darchai ha’torah. And let’s face it, thongs that say “I heart ha’Shem” on them don’t preclude one from raising one’s children with Torah.

        • josh

          7/3/2011 at 4:42 pm

          Xians go by the written bible only. Jews adhere to the oral law as well.

          • froylein

            7/4/2011 at 1:21 am

            Scripture, teachings, and tradition matter to Orthodox & Catholic Christians as well with scripture trumping teachings and tradition. “Sola scriptura” was postulated by Luther.

  5. I love Hashem

    6/30/2011 at 1:36 am

    Great article- thanks for posting. The picture made it look like the rabbis email was hacked, but that’s ok.
    Oy gevalt- people are learning some pretty strict “laws” about this dark after midnight business. Don’t we have enough restrictions?
    I’ll just keep my husband away from that rabbi- with all do respect, there are enough laws pertaining to what we do before midnight.

    • Gordon

      9/6/2012 at 5:16 pm

      My Rabbi (of blessed memory) used to tell us that the reason for all the extra rules in the Oral Torah were called “the fence around Torah (the written Torah.) But the problem with having the fence around Torah is 1) it prevents people from accessing Torah, and 2) the barrier at the base of Mount Sinai was to keep “am Israel” from getting too close to HaShem, not Torah. That’s why He gave Moses Torah so that we would know Him. All the other stuff that rabbis nit-pick about just becomes a burden and obscures what really matters: the V’ahavta, loving G-D and others; and the words of the prophet Micah: “…do justice, love mercy, and walk in humility before Adonai.” Adding baggage to all that just drives people away from G-D, and obscures His love for us.

  6. I love Hashem

    6/30/2011 at 1:41 am

    Ummm… That gal who never showed her hair was kimchis- right rabbi?
    I loooove all the Kiruv zealots trying to make us cover every strand of our hair.
    G-d bless rabbi shiurin in jerusalem (shappels) for teaching that the same passage tells that other women did not do as kimchis but still merited righteous children.

  7. Tom Morrissey

    7/5/2011 at 2:27 pm

    Good job, froylein, re original sin, sex and Catholicism, and those bloody Puritans. As for the panties, these too have scriptural, Middle Eastern roots. They don’t call it camel toe for nothing.

    • themiddle

      7/5/2011 at 4:35 pm

      :lol:

      Is that also Pauline philosophy?

      • Tom Morrissey

        7/7/2011 at 3:53 pm

        Probably not, as Paul generally opposed sex when it involved heterosexuals.

  8. ralph snyderman

    10/31/2011 at 2:16 pm

    Jews aren’t born with sin, it’s given to them by their Mothers

  9. rachel molly

    1/17/2012 at 8:43 pm

    Where can we pick up a pair of undergarments such as displayed on your model? Do I sniff a new item on your merchandise page?!?!?

  10. Singapore Toys For Sex

    3/4/2012 at 3:27 pm

    Come on guys, we live in the 21st century. Be gone with all these old habits about sex…

  11. Jane Stewart

    6/22/2012 at 7:47 am

    Sex is sin if it applies to lust, which is the sin of the flesh and the devil’s tempting the human mind, moral, ethically spiritual nature of humanity. If sex is conducted through pure love and two spirits are together within the Spirit of Creation, or Holy Spirit, then there is no sin and the sex is sanctified. The aforementioned rarely occurs in humans who are flesh beings by nature and therefore open to great temptation of the flesh motivated by the devil.

    Jesus walked on water, He did this to show people that God wants us all to inwardly elevate our minds/souls into God’s presence and become spiritual beings and connected to God. This was Jesus’s main a-priori, in teaching humans to re-connect to God as spiritual beings while living in a world created by satan who created the flesh.

    Was Jesus an Alien? You’d better freaking know it, Mary procreated Him through Her sublime love of God and this love of God incarnated Jesus in Mary’s womb.

    Now, fat chance that humanity will ever collectively elevate to the realm of being pure spiritual beings, that being said, it is my firm belief that Mary was most likely an energy form that accepted a human life and was born as a human being but was most likely a life-form or energy form hailing from Tau Ceti.

    Think the above is nonsense? Guess what, it’s not. THINK! You’ll find answers once you begin to think in cosmic terms and finally re-connect to the God that satan ripped humanity from in the beginning.

    As Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” Much to ponder upon.

  12. MUSA KHAN YOUSAFZAI

    12/3/2012 at 1:15 pm

    all the slaves non realistcs GOD LESS cospirators hatters and fascist. freedom loving always realistic truman believe in justic love and peace with out ant discrimination………………………………………………………………………………..may GOD BLESS WHO BLIEVE IN FREEDOM DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS……

  13. Yisrael Medad

    12/18/2012 at 1:44 am

    Update: wild dancing is now the trend.

    haaretz.com/ne...

  14. Sima

    1/31/2013 at 8:04 am

    Well I got news for you. Despite all the puritan comments here about Jeiwsh sexual habits, me and my ultra orthodox – haredi – friends, all within out first six years of marriage, have a great sex life. Things get discretely discussed and believe me all of us have enjoyed positions other than the missionary position and whilst there is a preference to do the act in the dark, I don’t know anyone who has not fallen on that one. And so far as nightwear is concerned, before I was married I always wore long nightgowns with my knickers on, or pajamas. Now, when I am not during or after my period – i.e. niddah – I only wear short nighties or shorts. My husband likes to be able to handle the goods and I enjoy it as well. Anyone who thinks young twenty and thirty year old married Jewish haredi women and their husbands don’t like a spicy sex life and have it as well, is living in a bubble.

    • ck

      1/31/2013 at 12:39 pm

      That’s great to hear. Thanks for sharing that with us Sima.!

  15. Sam

    3/3/2013 at 5:00 pm

    After reading all this mishegas I thank god I’m gay.

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