When I first arrived in Boulder, they told me that if I wanted people to come to classes, they either had to be about sex or kaballah, or preferably both. I happen to believe that people are at least slightly more interested in other aspects of Jewish life than that, but I hear the point: sex and kaballah speak of deep experience, transcendence, reaching beyond the self. Lighting Shabbat candles can be that good, too, but we’ll leave that for another time.
Everyone knows that our tradition views sex and sexuality as vital. Far from ascetic, Judaism understands that sex* is a religious experience. It is a way to be close to and understand G-d. It is a mitzvah. But how, and how much, and with whom, do we talk about sex? That is the question. What do we do with a book that describes, in vivid detail, the sexual journey of a young woman who is trying to have orgasm? Does it open up a dialogue that has long been closed – about women and their sexuality, about the big ‘O’, about trying to get what you want sexually? Or does it cross a line and go too far? Could it have been written differently and had the same effect, galvanizing candid discussions across the country? And is there some reason why it should have been?
These are just some of the questions Rabbis Josh Rose and Gavriel Goldfeder will be discussing with Mara Altman, author of the very popular book Thanks for Coming: One Young Woman’s Quest for an Orgasm. This quest became a journey for her on many levels. And it even took her to Jerusalem, to the Western Wall. You’ll have to read the book to find out more about that. But she will be reading from and discussing her book on Sunday January 10th at 3:00 at the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street, Boulder. Free, but for 18 and older only.
Soul Food Boulder: Bringing radical Jewish culture to Boulder to stimulate dialogue for those in search of authentic Jewish identity. Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder is Orthodox and has far better moves than Rabbi Josh Rose, who is Reform, but still knows how to get down when it counts.