Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Jewish Law for Gay couples

Gay relationships are about love, not sex. But, to get the sex obsession out of the way, let me just state that there is no need for Jewish Law to order ways how same-sex couples should do sex. Just like the Rabbis were very hesitant to prescribe any sexual behavior for Straights. It’s up to them.

OK, one thing more about sex then. A lesbian couple could incorporate some celebration (and anticipation period) of the menstrual cycle, not to ignore it or make it insignificant. Once a month, a gay couple could do something similar to celebrate renewal. It could coincide with a visit to the mikvah (river, sea), or the hairdresser. Just, abstinence seems unfitting.

But, who should light Shabbat candles? Who makes Kiddush? Over whose family’s Kiddush cup? Who cuts the bread? Whose pronunciation tradition to follow? Whose to pass on to the children? Who blesses the kids (first)?

For heterosexual couples, Jewish Law makes life easy. Men do this, women do that, his tradition’s followed. There’s an un-determinedness (freedom) for same-sex couples, though, that requires thought. There’s no need for general, new rules. Let’s look at the issues such couples could consider.

Does one of the two feel more like a ‘natural’ leader? Is one a greater expert in relationships? And, do you both need to acknowledge that? Or would you rather build the self-confidence in the shyer introverted one?

Is the tradition of one more rarely passed on? In which community do they want to live? How to create unity throughout their nuclear family?

Does one have greater social privilege? This may show itself in a tendency in both spouses to prioritize the needs of one of them. (Like: One to talk first always and almost all the time.) This could be from ethnic, beauty, age, gender/femininity, economic (class) differences. You might want to support the leadership of the socially ‘weaker’ party. The other will profit too, from not ‘having’ to lead and acting more humbly. Both will flourish.

Maybe both partners need support for being visible leaders. Then they could take turns. Not: one does this and the other does that. That’s making no one a leader. No, rather: one for one month, the other for the next.

Would you want to use the talents of each for what they are good at, as in an emergency? Or would you choose to have each do the things they are bad at, stimulating growth? This should include permission to be clumsy at it, and making mistakes. What goals could each set for themselves? To get less angry (Cry instead!), more patient (Cry!), more humble (Cry!), etc.

Most importantly, the couple should think together about how to do it. And, after some time, evaluate how it’s going, and if adjustments/changes are called for. Thinking about this should be taken as an opportunity to celebrate and to celebrate each other, not as a dreadful chore.

Watch out that criticisms (if at all) will be fewer than 10% of the praises.

Both partners should try to have sex and all of life in order to make the other happy. Mutual giving is Paradise. Mutual hoarding is Hell. Don’t stay with someone who’s not generous to you and also won’t be.

The best part of all of the above is that I’m not a rabbi, and no one needs to listen to me. I’m just trying to be helpful.

Shabbat shalom and happy T”u be’Av (Jewish Valentine’s Day)!

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 1400 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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