Jewish Journal

Dating, Sex and a Rabbi?

by Mihal Levy

December 21, 2009 | 2:00 pm

A rabbi who is an expert on dating and sex?  Is it just me or is that an oxymoron?

A particular rabbi, not to mention any names, has made a killing off of his ‘expertise’ about how to romance a woman, why men cheat and what it is like to be a superstar (of course piggy backing on anyone and everyone in the news and then selling their ‘secret tapes’).  Besides his own description of himself, who made him the expert?  I really want to know.

Was it that the Orthodox community shunned his ideas of sexuality and ‘dating’ that he had to move on to the secular community?

Merriam-Webster defines ‘expert’ as having, involving, displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.  And what experience does an Orthodox rabbi have dating anyway?

In the Orthodox world, dating involves a few dates of shomer-nagiya (non-touching) with good conversation and a connection, before an engagement is announced followed by a shotgun wedding.  In those few dates, there is usually (unless Love-and-Dating-Expert Rabbi is an exception to this rule) questioning about the future, familial goals and getting to know each other, not in the way secular people do. 

I am not saying that this way does not work for some poeple, but it does not make a rabbi the expert on secular dating.  So, I decided to write a letter to this said Rabbi and you know who you are.

Dear Love-and-Dating-Expert Rabbi,

I have read your books, believe it or not.  I also have heard of you in the news way more than I care to.  I guess the saying “no publicity is bad publicity” thoroughly applies to you.

If a major star dies, you are there with secret tapes.  If a sports figure cheats on his wife, you are there with your expert advice.  Now, it is my turn to advise you.  So, please sit back and listen, or read or have this read to you by your assistants/ghost writers (however you choose to do these things).

Please include a disclaimer in all your expertise from now on that states, “This is only my opinion, the opinion of a rabbi that adheres to strict kosher laws in the kitchen and the bedroom.  My opinion limits me to my experience alone, who has not experienced the secular world through secular eyes.”

With this disclaimer, I may even purchase further books with your name on it.

I do not consider myself an expert in the dating field just because I have dated, therefore do not think that it is fair for you to assume the role due to your differing circumstances.

So, do us all a favor and stop playing expert in a field you know nothing of.  I am sure your wife would say that you are a romantic guy if we ever asked, but the truth is…we are not asking, even though you care to keep sharing with us how things should be.  The world is not black and white, but gray. 

And you probably did not know this, but-  you don’t have all the answers.  Watching a baseball game doesn’t make one a baseball player, but a spectator
...so maybe you should rethink your title…I’m just saying.


Jew Mama

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Mihal Levy used to collect degrees as a hobby.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees, she worked as a psychotherapist and research scientist before continuing her hobby of...

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