Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Esther Perel: The secret to desire in a long-term relationship

FOR MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY.see also Dr. John Gottman
This talk addresses one of the major reasons for divorce today - including the Charedi community. The husband or wife feels that they do not have a satisfying relationship and are sure that they can get it with someone else. What they need is not a new spouse but rather to understand the dynamic of relationships.



63 comments :

  1. But you noted that she also says that infidelity is acceptable, on the side of the wife?

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    1. Where did I note that?

      I am not claiming that she is a frum therapist - but the basic idea she is describing is true for the chareidi world also

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    2. Infidelity on the side of the wife halachicly requires divorce. If the husband did something the marriage can be saved and continue.

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  2. @DaasTorah - Can you please clarify this question?

    Esther Perel's video seems to be focusing on what factors allow for intense sexual relationships. But why do so many women seem to complain that lack of emotional connection with their husbands is the major problem in their marriage relationships?

    According to Esther Perel, what factor is most important in sustaining a marriage, a satisfying sexual connection, or a satisfying emotional connection?

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    1. Don't see a contradiction or that emotion and sexual are separate factors

      The dialectic between having and desiring generates the emotion and the sexual satisfcation.

      My point was that going into a marriage with a laundry list of things that must had or else - is useless without an understanding that the relationship needs to be kept dynamic and that requires knowledge of how to do it.

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    2. I didnt play it all, but she says something interesting, that we want everything from a partner and if we dont get it it causes problems. may not have been the case a few hundred years ago, but even halacha prescribes certain duties between Husband and wife - which is very advanced thinking.
      My question - has the nature of marriage changed, or were these issues always existing but perhaps less noticed?

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    3. @DaasTorah - If "emotion and sexual are NOT separate factors" and if "desiring generates the emotion and the sexual satisfaction" -

      Does this mean that when women complain that their husbands are not emotionally available, the root problem is that these women are not feeling real desire for their husbands?

      If women would feel real desire for their husbands, does this then result in emotional and sexual satisfaction within the relationship?

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    4. Shalom bayis is dependent on sexual /emotional satisfaction

      Igros Moshe (E.H. 1:102): Question: Prior to the wedding is it appropriate prior to read medical books regarding the topic of sexual relations in order to know how to provide pleasure for the woman - in order that there be domestic tranquility (shalom bayis). Answer: On the last few days prior to the wedding, the chasan is normally preoccupied with thoughts of sexuality as we know that the first night after the wedding that this preoccupation is considered preoccupation with a mitzva and he is exempt from saying Shema as is explicitly stated in the gemora.... However prior to this period of just before the wedding, it is not appropriate since there is the concern that reading this material would arouse sexual fantasies (hirhur) and causes zera l’vatala. The only exception would be for a person who is certain that this would not happen. However who today can be so sure of himself.

      Shabbos (152a): Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi asked Rabbi Shimon ben Chlafta, Why are we permitted to receive you on Yom Tov in the way that my ancestors received yours? He answered, The rocks have grown tall, the near has become far, two have become three and the peacemaker of the home has ceased.
      Rashi (Shabbos 152a): And the peacemaker of the home – the organ of sexual intercourse

      רש"י (שבת קמ:): נקיט מרגניתא בחדא ידיה וכורא בחדא ידיה - כשבעליך ממשמש ביך להתאוות ליך לתשמיש, ואוחז הדדים בידו אחת והאחרת עד אותו מקום: מרגניתא אחוין ליה - הדדין המציאו לו, שתתרבה תאותו, ומקום תשמיש אל תמציאי לו מהר, כדי שיתרבה תאותו וחיבתו ויצטער, הדר אחוי ליה:

      In addition love/desire prevent a person from seeing the faults and deficits in his spouse

      Rav Yaakov Emden (Avos 6:2): The verse (Mishlei 11:22) a beautiful woman who misbehaves is like a gold ring in the nose of a pig. The explanation of this verse is that Shlomo saw with his wisdom the lust that men had for women. Their love blinded them from seeing the disgusting aspects of women. This is stated in Shabbos (152a): A woman is like a pitcher of filth and her mouth is full of blood and yet everyone runs after her. If you would reveal to them her blemishes they would not pay attention. Thus Shlomo used a parable that was obvious and known to all and applied it to a woman. Thus it means that even though a ring is something very valuable – the pig itself is not beautiful. It is clearly disgusting to everyone and therefore even with the beauty of the ring – the pig itself is not innately attractive. This is the point of comparison to a woman. Thus when she behaves inappropriate - the external reasons for the attractiveness of women are removed – and she herself is compared to a pig. A person should not be seduced by the form and beauty of a person since it is superficial. Thus a person who is perceived of as beautiful – the beauty is only to serve G d. If he doesn’t act in this manner, he destroys the godly image. Thus we see about the wicked Haman (Esther 7), And the face of Haman was covered. That is because he angered G d. The consequence for one who has caused anger and is reprimanded is to be degraded, embarrassed and to have his face concealed.

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  3. Staying Anonymous for Obvious ReasonsJanuary 28, 2014 at 1:18 PM

    You write: "Don't see a contradiction or that emotion and sexual are separate factors"
    Well I'm sorry to disabuse you, but although my wife is totally not interested in an emotional relationship with her husband (me), she is extremely interested in maintaining a sexual relationship with him.
    Our Shalom Bayis has nothing to do with sexual satisfaction.

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    1. Would you agree that sexual relations generate or are associated with emotions?

      I would reword your assertion a bit to be "although my wife is totally not interested in an emotional relationship with her husband (me) - as he is capable or interested in providing, she does appeciate a sexual relationship with him. If he could learn to more about how to relate to her emotions - she would be very interested - especially if the emotions could enhance and be enhanced by the sexual"

      You should notice how you worded this "with her husband (me)." this is an indication of emotional hurt and distance from her to protect yourself emotionally. I can assure you that your inability to connect emotionally with your wife does bother her unless she has found an alternative..

      I would suggest finding a decent therapist to fix this aspect of your relationship.

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    2. @Daas Torah, Staying Anonymous' comment is fascinating.

      Are any of the following plausible in your opinion?

      1. Some men or women primarily require a sexual connection. Emotional connection is secondary. These persons experience sufficient emotional connection through their sexual connection. If their partner requires healthy emotional connection, their partner is liable to be frustrated.

      2. Some men or women primarily require an emotional connection. Sexual connection is secondary or not even desirable. These persons experience emotional connection from non-sexual activity like cuddling. If their partner requires regular sexual connection, their partner is liable to be frustrated.

      A successful relationship therefore requires somewhat balanced emotional and sexual needs in the partners.

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    3. I think they are all plausible

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  4. Esther is brilliant. Israeli, traditional, not necessarily religious.
    I've studied under her, and met her personally.
    The following article does a better job of explaining her points:
    http://www.estherperel.com/changing-the-view-on-infidelity/
    One has to put aside, just to understand her point, the halakhic issur of female infidelity.
    Another important issue is that in our days, with books etc. Men HAVE to learn how to be good lovers. Women who are not satisfied no longer think: "That's how it is." They know that there is something passionate out there, and that their husband isn't invested. Gotta stay in Shape! Work on stamina and technique.
    Plus, here's another side point. Semen makes a woman actually happy. Hormonally:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-smerconish/semengate-stuns-scientifi_b_853164.html
    (one article)

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  5. You constantly post on your website psakim and divrei Torah from HaGaon HaRav Elyashiv zt"l, which your brother heard and learned, and you also post something like this?! Make up your mind about what kind of website you have. You can't have both together. You should remove this post and apologize. Writing "for mature audiences only" does not exonerate you.

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    1. Surprising you obviously missed something in your yeshiva education. As I noted the lack of basic information is destroying frum marriages.

      Maybe you once learned Berachos (62a):

       . It has been taught: R. Akiba said: Once I went in after R. Joshua to a privy, and I learnt from him three things. I learnt that one does not sit east and west but north and south; I learnt that one evacuates not standing but sitting; and I learnt that it is proper to wipe with the left hand and not with the right. Said Ben Azzai to him: Did you dare to take such liberties with your master? He replied: It was a matter of Torah, and I required to learn. It has been taught: Ben ‘Azzai said: Once I went in after R. Akiba to a privy, and I learnt from him three things. I learnt that one does not evacuate east and west but north and south. I also learnt that one evacuates sitting and not standing. I also learnt it is proper to wipe with the left hand and not with the right. Said R. Judah to him: Did you dare to take such liberties with your master? — He replied: It was a matter of Torah, and I required to learn. R. Kahana once went in and hid under Rab's bed. He heard him chatting [with his wife] and joking and doing what he required. He said to him: One would think that Abba's mouth had never sipped the dish before! He said to him: Kahana, are you here? Go out, because it is rude.1 He replied: It is a matter of Torah, and I require to learn.


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    2. DT - you're avoiding the point! You were essentially asked if you think HaRav Elyashiv would approve of presenting such a video on such a blog. Not if YOU can justify watching it for YOUR Torah interests.

      Really - this is playing with fire. Why don't you ask one of your many "major poskim" to weigh in on this.

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    3. yy no one is forcing you to watch it. I already explained why I posted it and if that is not satisfactory I would suggest you find something else to do with your internet time.

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    4. I suppose that is the kind of talk get-refusers do not like to hear, since it confronts them with their own responsibility in the break-down of their marriage.

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    5. @Daas Torah - "the lack of basic information is destroying frum marriages" - You're 100% right here, the frum community has a serious divorce/singles crisis and desperately needs relationship advice and information.

      Please ignore the detractors and keep the information flowing.

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    6. DT - it always rattles me the way you turn things personal when someone challenges the integrity behind your posts. What is so difficult in simply answering whether you believe that major poskim would agree with you making such videos so readily available to such a wide public?

      Your earlier answer was all about justifying rabbonim reading such material in order to become more familiar with facts relative to cases with which they are dealing. It's another thing entirely to splash those facts around in a public format.

      To suggest I stop reading your blog is a sorry retort. I gain alot from much of the discussions here, but at the same time I see numerous excesses. Is that so hard for you to consider as legit?

      My main concern in this issue is not me but others.

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    7. yy you have a hard time accepting that this blog is not a democracy or a coalition of people with equal rights - and that sometimes I disagree with your viewpoint or values or that of others.

      This blog is an extension of me and what I put on the blog and how I respond to comments reflects on me - not anyone of the mostly annonymous commentators. As Truman says, "The buck stops here"

      There is a time for reasoned discourse but there is also time for other types of responses. Which one is appropriate is my decision according to what I think is the best way to convey a message.

      You seem to think that if you keep repeating a criticism that I have answered many times already or simply reject the validity of that I will come to my senses. There are times when I disagree with certain views and don't think they should be given a platform here and don't think it is appropriate or helpful to justify what I have done. There are times when I take a collaberative approach or even fade into the background so someone can present a particular view. But there are other times when I need to be more blunt.

      As John Kennedy said - "It is my footbal and therefore you will play by my rules if you want to play."

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    8. gottit. "Daat Torah" for you means might makes right; whoever has the football dictates.

      I concede that I have been working with the presumption (which I believe I have found a strong support for among numerous other commentators) that you have been blessed with orchestrating such a public format for discussion about major conflicts within the Torah world NOT to pamper your own curiosities or worse, but for providing opportunity for -- to use your phrase: "a coalition of HALACHICLY COMMITTED JEWS with equal rights" -- to elucidate those issues.

      Again - my simple question was a repeat of that of "Surprising": WHY DON'T YOU ASK A MAJOR POSSEK TO WEIGH IN ON THIS?

      I will not ask it again. It's now between you and your conscience.

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    9. Challenging someone's integrity (religious or otherwise) IS personal.

      Delete
  6. Esther is brilliant. Israeli, traditional, not necessarily religious.
    I've studied under her, and met her personally.
    The following article does a better job of explaining her points:
    http://www.estherperel.com/changing-the-view-on-infidelity/
    One has to put aside, just to understand her point, the halakhic issur of female infidelity.
    Another important issue is that in our days, with books etc. Men HAVE to learn how to be good lovers. Women who are not satisfied no longer think: "That's how it is." They know that there is something passionate out there, and that their husband isn't invested. Gotta stay in Shape! Work on stamina and technique.
    Plus, here's another side point. Semen makes a woman actually happy. Hormonally:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-smerconish/semengate-stuns-scientifi_b_853164.html
    (one article)
    And, a hint: one of the sexiest things a husband can say is:
    "Honey, go upstairs and take a bath. I'll do the dishes and be up in a bit."

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  7. What does this post have to do with "Daas Torah"?

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  8. what r u thinking?January 28, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    It seems that you want all the youth to read this article. Thats what usually happens when one starts with : " FOR MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY.". No one reads it except the kids.

    Duh.

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    1. @Duh How old are you? Assuming you are an elderly person of at least 30 years old do you ever speak to people younger than you about anything of signficance? You think there is anything mentioned in that video that an 8 year old doesn't know about?

      About 25 years ago I mentioned to the Novominsker Rebbe that Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky had said that sex education should start at the age of 16. His reply that it was too late "there are 8 year olds who know more than I do."

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    2. @Duh
      I don't understand you? If your kids have unsupervised access to the internet, this post isn't your biggest problem. If they don't, then you have the choice not to give them access to this.

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    3. Duh duh - i missed the point when she takes her clothes off, where in the video is it?

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    4. duh... duh... duh...January 28, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      duh ... duh... duh...

      How about if they have supervised access, and this blog is white listed, based on the presumption that the content is "kosher" - only to have them find this despicable video???

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    5. duh... duh... duh...January 28, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      Did the Novominsker Rebbe & Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky mean to say that videos like THIS despicable one should be used to educate children?

      Nobody in their right mind would think so!!!????

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    6. @duh et al - this blog is not for children but for adults who are looking for information not readily available in the frum community. As I cited above Rav Moshe recommended in the Igros Moshe reading secular marriage manuals to understand sexuality. I assume you will now be burning your Igros Moshe c.v. - because he obviously isn't frum enough for you.

      Rav Moshe asked a certain famous marriage therapist to explain his course material dealing with sexuality as he was taking his degree because Rav Moshe said he was not an expert and needed to get more information.

      Likewise Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky wrote in his haskoma to Travis's sefer on marriage that he was not knowledgable about these issues but thought it was important that the sefer was important for the frum community. The book was burned by kanoim.

      Finally, Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky told my brother that explicit discussions of marriage were necessary in the frum community - in English - in order to develop better marriages.

      In short @duh et al - you don't know what you are babbling about. If you don't like the material don't read it.

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    7. RDE: I'm sorry, but these are the matters on sexuality for which Rav Moshe requested elucidation. Your comparison to the Gemara in Berachos is also ridiculous. This is not shimush from a holy Amora. I am sorry that I wasted twenty minutes of my life on the "genius" which was meant for goyim with empty lives and not Jews. The Gemara already says that the secret to desire in long-term relationships is the keeping of hilchos Nidda, which, by the way, needs to be strengthened in many Jewish communities. Of course there are some people who never got a good chosson shmuess, but, in my not-so-humble opinion, this is not the address for that. I guess you need a Ph.D. in psychology to be impressed by this drivel.

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    8. Correction: in the first line of my comment, it should have read: these are "not" the matters.

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  9. Nat, I'm curious to know, what matters of sexuality do you think Rav Moshe WAS asking about?

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    1. More related to the technical aspects, without going into detail.

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    2. I have no idea what you mean. Can you please specify? Technical aspects?
      Also please explain how it's in contrast to the type of subject matter raised in this video and in this post by DaasTorah.

      Based on your reply, it seems like you don't want to "go into detail" - Am I interpreting that correctly? But you have lambasted DaasTorah pretty sharply here and it would be helpful if you could actually articulate your stance so that readers can decide what is so wrong in your view about what DaasTorah has posted and determine whether they agree. Otherwise you are attacking solely based on innuendo.

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    3. I answered you. He decided not to post it.

      Delete
  10. I'm not convinced with the arguments that this discussion belongs on a public blog, but as it's here anyway - and I believe what's here CONTRADICTS Torah Hashkafa - I'll attempt to hopefully add a bit to the discussion.

    I don't see ANYTHING in Rav Moshe's teshuva ENCOURAGING one and saying that he SHOULD learn matters of sexuality. He PERMITS it, where הוצאת זרע לבטלה isn't a חשש.

    No, I'm not saying that we should not try to give pleasure to our spouses. I AM saying that the PRIORITIES in this post are very "out of whack".

    Firstly, I was very surprised that this discussion didn't include SHULCHAN ARUCH או"ח ס' ר"מ, אהע"ז ס' כ"ה and the אגרת הקודש לרמב"ן, especially פרק ב', פרק ה.

    A healthy Torah based approach to life is very different than our society's over-sexualization of everything.

    In Chazal's truthful outlook to life, sexual pleasure is of much less importance for well being, since OTHER SOURCES OF WELL-BEING ARE READILY AVAILABLE.

    Chazal see sexual pleasure as sort of a "gateway drug" - the more we strive for it, the more we need it, to the determent of more lasting and less troublesome pleasures (such as "engagement, meaning, spiritual accomplishment & spiritual relationship).

    Still, Sexual pleasure DOES have it's place:

    1) Ideally - as the purest, most elevated form of service to Hashem - namely, in using the מידת הדביקות inherent in זיווג, for the purpose of bringing down a neshama that will bring down the purest of נשמות. this, from the aforementioned רמב"ן (who disagrees with the Rambam, see ibid).

    2) As am opportunity to GIVE pleasure, as one who doesn't NEED the pleasure himself, but is fully invested in giving to his wife - this MAY include topics discussed here, but NOT in isolation, and NEVER as the sole priority. The fact that the post fails to mention that sexual pleasure should not be the primary source of well-being is in my opinion, troubling.

    3) To ward off the יצר הרע and avoid the urge of seeking prohibited pleasures. Seeking sexual pleasure from a spouse, when one feels that he is in such a state of mind, is considered a MITZVOH, but of a lesser מדריגה than the others.

    See ספר המספיק לרב אברהם בן הרמבם that this also includes being cognitively prepared to withstand nisyonis, by preempting impure thoughts through אשה נאה - although he was NOT preoccupied with such thoughts, but rather "just in case". That this is why אבא חלקי' asked his wife to approach him מקושטת when he came home from a day of work - not withstanding his tremendous צדקות.

    As far as the source of DESIRE for novelty - the ארחות צדיקים explains that it is the Neshama seeking fulfillment - and never finding it in worldly matters.

    Indeed, the בעל שם טוב says ואיש אשר יקח את אחותו חסד הוא - that the urge for illegitimate sexual relationships is at its very core the most lofty מידת החסד which is meant to be used in service of cleaving to Hashem.

    i'm sure that many will say that this isn't Halacha and therefore irrelevant. what i would say to them is a) First see the טור או"ח ס' ר"מ, אהע"ז ס' כ"ה -TUR AND S"A, b) it's at least as good as what a "traditional" therapist has to say. Yes, some of what she says is true, but it's נובלות חכמה - only bits and pieces. Why not go to the real sources????!!!



    1) an opportunity for the husband to GIVE pleasure to his wfe (emphasis on "give"), 2) A neccessity for procreation & also לשפר את הולד

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    1. What you are saying is relevant in the higher worlds of mussar and chassidus.

      However the plague of divorces involves couples who are clearly not on that level and who don't find their marriages satisfying. This video clearly deals with one of the major reasons why.

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  11. @Poloni - "sexual pleasure is of much less importance" - It seems like you're "musarizing" the subject here to an excessive degree.

    The video and posting here do not seem to be emphasizing desire and sexual satisfaction solely for reasons of pleasure. DT cited Igros Moshe and Rashi to show that desire and sexual satisfaction are major factors in preserving shalom bayis and preserving marriage. Of course there are other major factors such as emotional and spiritual connection.

    But when we are suffering a plague of divorces, the issues of desire and sexual satisfaction should not be swept under the rug in pursuit of an artificial piety.

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  12. DT wrote: "What you are saying is relevant in the higher worlds of mussar and chassidus".

    And EmesLeYaacov wrote: "It seems like you're "musarizing" the subject here to an excessive degree"

    1) Actually it is simply Shulchan Aruch. See או"ח ס' ר"מ, אהע"ז ס' כ"ה. Just because we find it hard to believe that S"A talks about such things doesn't change the fact that it does.

    2) I'm convinced that what the S"A says is actually meant to INCREASE marital satisfaction.

    Why? It's pretty simple. "Needy" people are "takers", while satisfied people find it much easier to be "givers". Someone who has developed a full repertoire of sources of happiness / well-being and doesn't NEED sexual relationships as a main source, can focus on making a spouse happier.

    The truth remains that although וְאִם הוּא מְכַוֵּן לִגְדֹּר עַצְמוֹ בָּהּ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִתְאַוֶּה לַעֲבֵרָה, כִּי רוֹאֶה יִצְרוֹ גּוֹבֵר וּמִתְאַוֶּה אֶל הַדָּבָר הַהוּא. הגה: גַּם בָּזֶה יֵשׁ קִבּוּל שָׂכָר

    still....אַךְ (טוּר) יוֹתֵר טוֹב הָיָה לוֹ לִדְחוֹת אֶת יִצְרוֹ וְלִכְבֹּשׁ אוֹתוֹ, כִּי אֵבֶר קָטָן יֵשׁ בָּאָדָם: מַרְעִיבוֹ, שָׂבֵעַ; מַשְׂבִּיעוֹ, רָעֵב.

    And yes - that's taken from Shulchan Aruch!!!!

    This is extremely touchy stuff - being too frum backfires, as the ספר המספיק so clearly states regarding excessive פרישות:
    ואם אין מזגו מתאים לכך ויצרו פוחז עליו הריהו עלול לבוא לידי זנות שבלב על ידי כך שמחשבותיו סובבות מרבית עתותיו, .....אף שאפשר שמעשה כזה ישרה עליו מבוכה ומרה שחורה או באחד הימים יתגבר עליו יצרו הרע ויביאנו לידי זנות בגלוי.

    What's wrong here is the missing dimension. Sexual exploration needs to come with clear forethought about the other dimensions. This post is missing that!

    "The video and posting here do not seem to be emphasizing desire and sexual satisfaction solely for reasons of pleasure" - but it isn't emphasizing the proper approach to sexual pleasure, either. That's bad enough.

    "artificial piety". No, not artificial, please see the S"A, AND the Tur....

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    1. You are correct these posts don't present the full picture - but neither does the Shulchan Aruch.In our generation Shulchan Aruch and Tur are not sufficient. Aside from the fact that there is a major dispute as to the validity of sexual pleasure and what type. I assume you are familiar with the sefer Mishkan Yisroel which was written because the Shulchan Aruch does not provide adequate explanation?

      A simple example, a homosexual who marries a woman for the sake of the mitzva of marriage and having children - is generally an unsatisfacotry sexual partner - even though he is only have relations because of the mitzva and not for personal pleasure.

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    2. What needs to be done is to cast our net DEEPER, and not WIDER. We need more efforts to understand the implicit belief system on what Shulchan Aruch is based, and not to try to synthesize apparently opposing macro theories of the purpose and the meaning of life.

      The example of homosexuality only strengthens my point - If one assumes that the main of source of well-being is sexual & that such tendencies cannot be modified, then perhaps the person with homosexual tendencies is to be considered as a "discriminated minority".

      However, if one sees the tapestry of sources of well-being as being very rich & varied, the need for sexual fulfillment is diminished, and the client can live a very fulfilling life.

      Societal norms frame the definition of happiness and thereby lead what is considered as normative desires.

      It is no secret that emotional health is not easy to come by, & this is all the more so when one seeks a high level of emotional well-being without sexual relationship. What we're talking about is changing the balance, by changing the priorities.

      We need to start from the leg of first developing viable alternative sources. Torah provides such alternatives, but each takes much effort.

      Only after viable alternative exist can we emphasize the ephemeral characteristic of sexual relationship, as Chazal state in Shabbos 152
      חמת מלא צואה ופיה מלא דם והכל רצין אחריה

      I'm not familiar with the sefer Mishkan Yisroel. Is that from the fellow in Monsey? Anything available online?

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    3. I don't understand what your point is. I am also surprised you have not heard of Mishnka Yisroel. It was a project encourage by the Litvishe gedolim such as Rav Eliashiv, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav Scheinberg etc etc - because of the ignorance and lack of sensitivity regarding sexual matters in the yeshiva world.

      Also I don't see how Shabbos 152 is a proof of the ephemeral nature of sexual relationship. It is an indication of the complexity of sexuality.

      You are hoping to develop a Torah based sexuality, but the gedolim are doing no such thing and are saying to go the secular therapists to deal with the issues.

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    4. "I don't understand what your point is". I think i've done a reasonable point spelling out my point already.

      "I am also surprised you have not heard of Mishnka Yisroel.". I'm sorry. Could you either post details, or a link to where I can find them? Are you sure that project contradicts what I'm saying?

      "Also I don't see how Shabbos 152 is a proof of the ephemeral nature of sexual relationship". Why - Isn't it a bit counter-intuitive that rational people risk life & limb chasing a חמת מלא צואה?

      "the gedolim are doing no such thing". The true Gedolim already "own" the well-being I'm talking about, and they constantly exhort their adherents to focus on the eternal happiness of a Torah life.

      "gedolim are ... saying to go the secular therapists". Well, I've spoken to quite a few. Many have told me that they only do so out a lack of alternatives & the fear of being labeled as callous to human suffering. More than one has implied that to a large extant they're driven by fear.



      Delete
    5. @DT - "You are hoping to develop a Torah based sexuality, but the gedolim are doing no such thing"

      It seems that Ploni is not correctly delineating between Torah and science/medicine/therapy.

      Are you (DT) essentially saying -

      "Torah law deals with when is sexuality permitted, and what sexual acts are allowed. When sexuality is permitted by Torah, achievement of sexual satisfaction and marital harmony is then a scientific/medical/therapy issue, not a Torah issue, and Jews are then required to consult doctors, therapists, experts, etc."?

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    6. @Ploni - "please see the S"A" -

      I reviewed אהע"ז ס' כ"ה
      again. Its mainly a warning against excessive or degraded sexuality. Its not so relevant to the discussion of how sexual satisfaction can preserve marriages.

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    7. Close but not exactly. If a couple is happy or satisfied with their marriage than that is fine. If it is not working than experts need to be called in. The expert might be a secular marriage manual lkie John Grey.

      An expert is not someone who who has studied the material but rather someone who has had success dealing with these issues. Often a rabbi does not have an understanding of the dynamics of the issue or he can't provide guidance from that which he knows needs to be done.

      Also note Plonis latest response ""gedolim are ... saying to go the secular therapists". Well, I've spoken to quite a few. Many have told me that they only do so out a lack of alternatives & the fear of being labeled as callous to human suffering. More than one has implied that to a large extant they're driven by fear." Many of these people really think that they can give the necessary advice because they are gedolim or because they are married. Those are not the necessary credentials.

      In many case - any advice will work or anybodies suggestions will be helpful. But it is not hard for improper adivce to make a bad marriage into a disaster.

      I spoke with a major talmid chachom/posek who didn't understand that when a husband told him that he was gay and had no sexual interest in his wife and that was what his wife was complaining about - he thought it was ridiculous because "everyone knows that men are interested in women"

      Other talmidei chachom will tell the wife that she has to be more submissive and tolerant. One therapist told me that a woman married several months came to her office literally dripping blood from her husband's repeated violent sexual activities. She said she had complained to her kallah teacher who told her that she would get used to it. She complained to her parents and they told her to be nicer to him and he would be nice to her. The rav was no more understanding about what the animal of a husband was doing to her. Finally the therapist told her to tell him to stop it our else.

      This therapist told me other stories of how naive wives and ignorant advisors tell the wife to put up not only with beatings and psychological abuse but also the most depraved sexual activity.

      This is what is going on under the "supervision and guidance of Torah authorities."

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  13. can someone please explain what are her main points in the video.thanks

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  14. Emes:

    I appreciate your taking the time to learn או"ח ס' ר"מ.

    I'll try to make my point clearer.

    You write: "Torah law deals with when is sexuality permitted, and what sexual acts are allowed. When sexuality is permitted by Torah, achievement of sexual satisfaction and marital harmony is then a scientific/medical/therapy issue".

    I don't think that's totally correct. Torah also IMPLIES what should be the INTENT of the sexual act.

    The Tur (which is the basis for the S"A) clearly states a hierarchy of FOUR intentions, שלש מהם עיקר קיבול השכר והרביעית קרובה לקיבול השכר

    The first three ALL entail SELFLESS love - where the male's sole guiding purpose is to GIVE, and not RECEIVE pleasure.I say "guiding", because as it is well known, the sexual act is physiologically impossible without actually receiving pleasure. So the S"A is talking about original intent.

    I was making the LOGICAL DEDUCTION that someone doing the act precisely following the guidance of S"A would NATURALLY be a better lover.

    My reasoning is based on the simple observation that people that are more NEEDY have a hard time thinking about the needs of other people.

    Based on that, I was extrapolating that the male MUST have other sources of well-being readily available, because otherwise the lack of alternative sources of well-being, coupled with the intensity of the sexual act, would make it next to impossible for someone to fulfill the S"A's guidance.

    Therefore, my conclusion is that the S"A CAN teach us about "achievement of sexual satisfaction", and by extension, also about marital harmony.

    Sorry I wasn't clear enough.

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  15. DT:

    Excuse me, but I don't think your list of grievances had ANYTHING to do with my post.

    Did you see me mention that I want Rabbonim to do marriage counseling? I have my own horror stories that I can share with you about that.

    The rabbonim I quoted weren't vying to take away counseling business - they were simply stating that that they're very unhappy with HOW counseling is done, in that it often doesn't adhere to Torah hashkafa.

    In the past you have admitted as much.

    All I want is that THERAPISTS clean up their act.

    I think your negative experiences

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    Replies
    1. Have no disagreement with your last comment

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  16. I'll add something that has nothing to do specifically with this discussion, but I think is still extremely important. It's a testament to what I believe are DT's sincere intentions, that I'm quite convinced that he won't censure my comment - but I do hope he'll address it.

    Here it is: I'm breathlessly awaiting the day that people can engage in civil debate without resorting to logical fallacies like "straw-man" arguments.

    Description of Straw Man (from http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/straw-man.html).

    The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of "reasoning" has the following pattern:

    Person A has position X.
    Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
    Person B attacks position Y.
    Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.

    This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself. One might as well expect an attack on a poor drawing of a person to hurt the person.

    It can be annoyingly effective because in response you may be lured into clarifying what your position is not instead of talking about what your position is, and studies have shown that when you repeat a lie, even if you are repeating it to refute it, the repetition can reinforce the misinformation in the minds of some people (1).

    last addition from: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/what-is-a-straw-man-argument#sthash.pH0GT7Wg.dpuf

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  17. Ploni said: "(the Rabbonim said that) they're very unhappy with HOW counseling is done, in that it often doesn't adhere to Torah hashkafa"

    This is indeed at the core of the growing plague of divorce-now-or-bust ideologies. I urge DT once again to take a look at Rabbi Slatkin's article on how improperly trained therapists (and all the moreso Rabbonim) can ruin marriages.

    If we really want to counter ORA, Yad L'Eesha all that growing klippa against kedushas Yisroel, we must begin cultivating well versed and trained FRUM couples' therapists

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  18. Sם - WHEN can we get finally roll up our sleeves and get to work, at least to do what you've proposed in the past; to clarify which practices used in clinical therapy may CONTRADICT Torah?

    I think that there's been enough talk - are you ready for action?

    Possible groundwork would include: a) A group (Five or more?) of other therapists that would be open to such a project, Also b) Several intelligent laymen that can add a practical view & possibly help with funding needs, also c) Some real תלמידי חכמים that would offer focused & unbiased Torah perspective on specific questions.

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    Replies
    1. What you are doing is providing an organization to give a hecher on therapy and therapist. I think most frum therapists will resist feeling that they can decide these issues on their own. On the other hand, a therapist who doesn't have a kosher therapy can sometimes accomplish more because he is more skilled than a mediorcre therapist using kosher therapy.

      An example of a problem is Travis's book on marriage which Rav Menashe Klein severely criticized as against Torah and yet it received a haskoma and encouragement from Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky!

      Bottom line, how to do it in a way that it will be useful and that it has an actual impact on how people do therapy?

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    2. DT wrote; "I think most frum therapists will resist feeling that they can decide these issues on their own".

      Agreed - but the target audience I'm thinking of would perhaps be those sincere therapists that have no idea that some of the things they say might directly contradict Torah and they otherwise do appreciate a Torah lifestyle.

      I'm hoping that this target population will be open to: A) SPECIFIC CRITIQUES, that are B) WELL REASONED. We should have clear guidelines, stating that the groups goal is to engage in C) FULLY TRANSPARENT DIALOGUE - and not poster sized sensationalist proclamations. It should be clear that D) personal attacks won't be tolerated, & all discussions must be respectful and must avoid sweeping generalizations.

      In other words we're NOT tolerating an attitude of "all psychologists are kofrim" - which I have heard more than once from certain Rabbonim. ( I think they really used it mostly as an excuse not to get involved, sort of proving to themselves that any effort in this direction is futile, anyway).

      DT: "a therapist who doesn't have a kosher therapy can sometimes accomplish more because he is more skilled than a mediorcre therapist using kosher therapy"

      How about a skilled therapist using kosher therapy? Again, I'm not so pessimistic about therapists - I sincerely believe that many would never knowingly peddle kefira, just as they wouldn't sell unkosher meat.

      It could also be good for business. I don't have to tell you that many Chareidim stay away from therapists for this very reason.

      DT: "Travis's book on marriage which ... received a haskoma ..from Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky"

      So? You already know that Gedolim aren't infallible. I think it was the בעל שיורי כנסת הגדולה who at one point was blinded to think that שבתי צבי ימ"ש was Moshiach... Besides, I think that if we deal with well-sourced details and open it up to dialogue, a lot of this never would happen. I think it's the "blanket statements" that are made without forethought that brings most of the problems (and once made, it's very uncomfortable to have to admit making a mistake). Remember - we're looking for CLEAR DETAILS,

      DT: "how to do it in a way that it will be useful ".

      Perhaps: a) Prepare list of several details for discussion. (Not a lot to start, say 4-5 issues), which may possible entail problem areas, but not necessarily so. It can also entail discussion of what aspects of specific approaches might have more basis than others (this would NOT make the other ones "treif", just possibly inform "first-line" treatments of choice.

      In summation; Does this make sense to you: A) SPECIFIC CRITIQUES, B) WELL REASONED. C) FULLY TRANSPARENT DIALOGUE, D) RESPECTFUL DISCUSSION?

      What would YOU add / remove from this list?

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  19. DT. You keep on quoting travis. travis got himself into major troubles and he sat a handful of years in the BIGHOUSE because he couldnt keep his hands to himself. And his wife left him and his house was leveled to the ground.

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  20. Wouldnt sell kosher meat? Really now? Who are u kidding? You actually think that that finkel story was an isolated one? And what does meat kosher or not have to do with going to a marriage counselor or therapist?

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  21. JJ:

    I'm saying that many therapists - not all, just many - wouldn't knowingly sell unkosher meat. Yet, they "sell" therapy that's based on principals that are in direct contradiction to Torah Halocho &/or Hashkofa, as often noted on this blog.

    ReplyDelete

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