Is­raeli rabbi ped­dling ‘kosher’ plea­sure

The China Post - - LIFE - BY MICHAEL BLUM

Their in­spi­ra­tion may be ex­otic — the Eif­fel Tower, the Statue of Lib­erty, Rome’s Colos­seum — but Rabbi Natan Alexander’s vi­bra­tors have a dis­tinctly do­mes­tic goal: giv­ing Or­tho­dox Jewish cou­ples grat­i­fi­ca­tion with­out the guilt.

Alexander, 34, was born in Syd­ney and now lives in a Jewish set­tle­ment in the Is­raeli-oc­cu­pied West Bank.

Af­ter study­ing reli­gion and be­com­ing a rabbi in Is­rael, he turned his hand to on­line sex coun­sel­ing in a mission to spice up the love lives of the faith­ful.

“Giv­ing plea­sure to one’s wife is a re­li­gious obli­ga­tion,” he told AFP. “Re­li­gious cou­ples should be helped to bet­ter live their sex­u­al­ity.”

He founded the Bet­ter2gether web­site where ob­ser­vant cou­ples can pe­ruse and pur­chase all sorts of sex aids, safe in the knowl­edge the prod­ucts are kosher.

“Jewish law per­mits the use of th­ese ob­jects that can best help ful­fill the com­mand­ment to give plea­sure to one’s wife,” Alexander said.

“Bet­ter2gether is here to help cou­ples en­hance and strengthen re­la­tion­ships both emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally,” the web­site pro­claims. “Our ap­proach pro­vides mod­esty, sen­si­tiv­ity, and con­fi­den­tial­ity.”

Its on­line cat­a­logue has an ar­chi­tec­tural fla­vor, of­fer­ing vi­bra­tors mod­eled on land­marks in­clud­ing Lon­don’s Gherkin sky­scraper, the fronds of Palm Is­land in Dubai and the spires and domes of Saint Basil’s Cathe­dral in Moscow’s Red Square.

Alexander is not the first cleric to pub­licly ad­dress sex and eroti­cism in mar­riage among Ju­daism’s deeply con­ser­va­tive com­mu­nity.

Amer­i­can Or­tho­dox rabbi Shmuley Boteach had a block- buster suc­cess with his 1999 book “Kosher Sex” and his 2009 fol­lowup “The Kosher Su­tra” was also a best­seller.

“I think in our cul­ture we sup­press and deny a woman’s true erotic na­ture,” he said in a video pro­mot­ing his 2014 work, “Kosher Lust.”

“Women to­day are loved but they’re not lusted af­ter. They’re ap­pre­ci­ated but not de­sired,” said Boteach, 49, whose web­site says that he has nine chil­dren and two grand­chil­dren. “They’re com­pli­mented but their hus­bands aren’t rip­ping their clothes off.”

‘Proud to be a pi­o­neer’

Alexander’s West Bank busi­ness has proved suc­cess­ful, count­ing sat­is­fied cus­tomers in Is­rael but also as far afield as the United States, Bri­tain, Australia and South Africa.

In spite of sales of ap­prox­i­mately five items a day and more than 20,000 views of the web­site a month, he in­sists his on­line sex ven­ture isn’t all about profit.

“I want to of­fer th­ese ser­vices to al­low re­li­gious cou­ples ac­cess to plea­sure with­out break­ing re­li­gious laws,” he ex­plained.

While the prod­ucts are the same as those of­fered by sex shops ev­ery­where, they are sup­plied in packages with­out the kind of racy il­lus­tra­tions that of­fend Or­tho­dox sen­si­tiv­i­ties.

The site of­fers on­line coun­sel­ing by what it says are pro­fes­sional sex ther­a­pists, cou­ples coun­selors and gyne­col­o­gists on is­sues which many cou­ples find hard to raise with their rab­bis.

Ques­tions on pre­ma­ture ejac­u­la­tion, pe­nis size, or­gasms and sex­ual po­si­tions are an­swered us­ing lan­guage “re­spect­ing the rules of re­li­gious life,” Alexander said.

“Ju­daism gives an im­por­tant place to sex­ual plea­sure but it is still too of­ten a taboo sub­ject,” he added. “I am proud to be a pi­o­neer in this field.”

AP

In this May 20 photo, Godzilla video game pro­ducer Shun­suke Fu­jita talks about the new Godzilla game for the PlaySta­tion 4 in Tokyo.

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