Re: Foss on celibacy- a reply

Ruby Rohrlich (rohrlich@GWIS2.CIRC.GWU.EDU)
Sat, 6 Jan 1996 21:30:34 -0500

Is it also a mitzva to have sexual relations with the husband on Friday
night? Or are all religious communications directed solely to the male?
May I ask, are you an official orthodox member? Ruby Rohrlich

On Thu, 21 Dec 1995, Joe Zias wrote:

> >
> > Your Dec. 15th posting on celibacy and the economic consequences thereof
> > for the early Christian Church was fascinating as I often wondered where
> > the church got the idea, which is definatly- a non-Jewish construct.
> > Still today its a Jewish "mitzva" (good deed) to have sexual relations
> > with the wife on Friday night and the Rabbinical establishment here in
> > Israel determines
> > the date on when you can get married to the bride to be, on the basis of
> > her menstrual period!!! That is to say, when the woman is most
> > fertile, that is the day on which she is to be married. (Reverse rhythm :-)
> > Naturally, most secular couples lie about the date to suit their needs
> > and not those of the religious establishment.
> >
> > With that said, I beg to differ with your short comment about the
> > Essene community and their attitude towards celibacy. This idea,
> > which today is regarded as untenable, is based on Pliny the Elder in
> > which he said that "the tribe of the Essenes has no woman and has
> > renounced all sexual desire" (Natural History 5, 73). Subsequent
> > research in the cemetery of Qumran shows that 30% of the individuals
> > interred there are women and children. Sectarian texts, such as the
> > Zadokite documents and the "Rules of the community" clearly show that
> > women in Qumran were actively involved in the communal affairs. For a
> > concise treatment of this subject see "Reclaiming the Dead Sea
> > Scrolls" by L. Schiffman JPS 1994.
> >
> > Anyway, we all should remember that 'absolute truth" lasts but 20
> > years. Oscar Wilde (I think)
> >
> > Joe Zias, Curator of Anthropology/Archaeology
> > Israel Antiquities Authority
> >
> >