Judaism: beliefs about love and sex
Love is often used to describe a close attachment to another person. Sex means sexual intercourse between two people. Most religions have views on love and sex. Couples in a sexual relationship should be married.
Judaism has very strict views on love and sex. These are based on passages from the Tenakh, the Jewish Bible.
Judaism believes that sexual intercourse is a very important part of human relationships but only as part of marriage. It is not natural for people to choose to be celibate [Celibacy: Being unmarried; taking a vow of chastity means promising not to get married or to engage in sexual intercourse. ] because marriage and the family are such an important part of Jewish teaching. Many Jews hope to have large families as Abraham was promised:
Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them…. So shall your offspring be.
Judaism teaches that the purpose for sex is not just to have children: it is also for married people to demonstrate their love for each other.
Marriage sanctifies the relationship between men and women:
The mating of animals is a temporary and purely physical act. Through the sanctification of marriage, a husband and wife become the closest of relatives.
Once people are married, sex is controlled by the laws of niddah (sexual purity). Women cannot have sex during their monthly menstrual period. After this is over she has a ritual bath (called a mikveh) then she can sleep with her husband again.
Do not come near a woman during her period of uncleanness.
Many Jews say that doing this every month helps to keep the marriage alive:
A wife returning from the mikveh is as fresh to her husband as on their wedding day.
These rules are observed by many Orthodox Jews but more Progressive Jews now think them to be out of date.