“The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism”– Teaching How and Why


Ruttenberg. Danya (editor). “The Passionate Torah: Sex and Judaism”, NYU Press, 2009.

Teaching Why and How

Amos Lassen

Sexuality is a modern issue especially in relationship to the Jewish religion. We are now openly discussing issues that were never spoken about publicly before. With that discussion come new questions that challenge the traditions of the religion and the time has come to stop the standoff between sexuality and tradition. This is what brings about a need for Danya Ruttenberg’s “The Passionate Torah”.


The book is a collection of essays that surveys and takes to task the Jewish religion and sexuality and the issues that sexuality poses to belief. The sexuality of today challenges Jewish theology and the lives of the members of the Jewish religion. Some of the topics covered here include homosexuality, monogamy, inter-faith marriage, birth control and reproduction and its technology. We see how the modern Jew can be both sexual and holy. The essays are by modern thinkers that include Jay Michaelson, Rebecca Alpert, Arthur Waskow, the editor herself and others. Found myself constantly surprised at what I found here and I had a good deal of fun reading. Here is a book for a modern Jew in a modern age. There is a great deal of new information and the reading experience was pure pleasure and thought provoking.


Amos Lassen
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