Posted by: Susan Gaddis | July 9, 2009

Sabbath Sex

LoveSabbath Sex—that means having intimate relations with your spouse on the Sabbath. Sabbath is God’s gift to us and sex is God’s most outrageous gift to married couples. It is fitting that Sabbath and sex go together.

In Jewish tradition, preparing a young man for the joys and responsibilities of pleasuring his future wife sexually was a responsibility of a Rabbi. The Rabbis also gave specific sexual advice to married couples on how they could enjoy their marital union. I don’t know if the sexual aspect of premarital or marital counseling is discussed at such depth by modern day pastors.

Since Tom and I will be teaching a four week class on Sexual Intimacy starting next Tuesday, I thought I should do a little reading up on the subject. I have several rows of books on sex and intimacy in my office and quite a few years of pastoral counseling. Thirty seven years of marriage and six children add to my interest in the subject. Plus, my husband is cute.

Tom and I are not Jewish. Our Sabbath roots began at Creation before there was ever a Jewish nation. However, I wanted to take a look on an interesting topic from a Jewish perspective. So here are two books on sexuality from the Jewish culture I want to recommend:

  • In his book, Kosher Sex, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach explains that sex is meant to be the fire that creates union, closeness and intimacy in life.

“Judaism has argued from its inception that sex is the holiest experience and undertaking known to man.”

  • In their book, Heavenly Sex, Sexuality in the Jewish Tradition, Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer and Jonathan Mark explore sexuality within Jewish religion and culture.

“In the Jewish marriage ceremony, sexual satisfaction is part of the contract. Under the wedding canopy, a groom promises his bride that he will provide her with comfortable standards of food, shelter, and sexual gratification. The holiest men are required to marry.”

Although these are not Christian books, I found them  interesting and appreciated the emphasis on God creating sex for enjoyment and bonding, not just procreation. If you want a good Sabbath read, pick one up from your local library. Or maybe read it before Sabbath….

If this post offends you, please be careful of reading your Bible. It is full of sex stuff.

“No chupa, no shtupa–no wedding, no bedding.” –Yiddish proverb



  1. This is great! I’m so glad you are teaching “The Sex Class” again; Anthony and I took it the summer before our wedding and it definitely rounded out our premarital counseling (our counsellor just handed us a book to read about sex that was pretty dry). Only a God who loves us so much could give us a gift so amazing. We are recommending your class to our friends! =)

  2. It that what it was called, “Sabbath Sex.” Once upon a time we practiced that religiously until it was discovered dad and mom were NOT NAPPING!

    My husband is cute too!

  3. It is good to be open and instructive. I think with our over-sexed culture, there is much dissatisfaction in relationships because of a combination of ignorance and false expectation. What men especially don’t realize is that their women, rather than retreating from them and going into avoidance mode, would be ready and amorous if they new their man was going to not only get his, but make sure his lover got hers. Intimacy and sexual fulfillment is a God-thing, not a Hollywood thing!

  4. Well said, Lilly.

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