The publication of Dr. Yocheved Debow’s groundbreaking book, Talking About Intimacy and Sexuality: A Guide for Orthodox Jewish Parents, is a cause for celebration in the Jewish community. Published by OU Press | Jewish Educational Publications, the publishing arm of the Orthodox Union, and KTAV Publishing House, this book will be worth its weight in gold to parents and educators, whose job is about to become much easier.
The topic of sexuality is complex and bewildering, and the responsible parent wishing to address the topic properly must marshal an enormous amount of Torah knowledge, accurate scientific information, profound psychological insight, familiarity with the unprecedented challenges and dangers confronting our children in this social media-driven generation, and sensitivity and compassion. Dr. Debow, who holds advanced degrees in education and child psychology and teaches at Midreshet Moriah seminary in Israel, has presented the Jewish community with a book that contains all of that, and much more.
The sexual attitudes and values of contemporary Western civilization are often contrary to Jewish values, and Talking About Intimacy and Sexuality will equip parents to discharge this primary parental duty in a constructive and Torah-true manner. Dr. Debow defines the Jewish sexual ethic, teaches tzniut (modesty), and provides a roadmap to attaining kedushah (sanctity) in this delicate, holy aspect of life. Her instructions and recommendations are never abstract and theoretical, but are invariably practical and down to earth. The book also contains an important foreword by Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President, Emeritus of the OU, which highlights the significance of Dr. Debow’s book for the contemporary Jewish community. Although the book is written from an Orthodox perspective, its message is essential for all parents regardless of denominational affiliation.
A comprehensive and candid treatment of the subject, Talking About Intimacy and Sexuality also includes important discussions about eating disorders, the Internet, and sexual harassment and abuse. It is an invaluable resource for every Jewish parent.
Talking About Intimacy follows in the footsteps of other high-quality OU Press publications such as The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath by Senator Joseph Lieberman; and Return: Daily Inspiration for the Days of Awe by Dr. Erica Brown, that equip the sincere, sophisticated Torah-true Jew living in the modern world with the spiritual, intellectual, and emotional tools to engage contemporary life and infuse it with Jewish sanctity.
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