Orit Arfa, Carrie Bradshaw & Sex and the City

If I were a rabbi, I would get a good sermon out of the destructiveness of this movie and TV show.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Sex and the City (even though watching it is a sin).

Yeah, I’m a sinner.

But I also have a small amount of moral sense, and no matter how much I enjoy watching this stuff, it never occurs to me to want to emulate it. That’s pathological.

It certainly hasn’t seemed to have done Orit (and her fellow sex columnists) any good.

Dennis Prager is right. Female sexual restraint is not so much propagandized by our society as innate. It is female promiscuity that is propagandized by much of our media (and this is overwhelmingly destructive, no matter how much I may have enjoyed it).

Most women have to be brainwashed to believe that screwing around is a happy and healthy thing.

When people write publicly about their sex lives, it rarely does them much good (certainly not in any traditional culture, not in Orthodox Judaism).

Orit writes about a 50-year old mother going to the movie with her 18-year old daughter.

How sick is that?

Why would you go to a sex-drenched movie with your kids?

That’s taking openness too far.

Orit writes in this week’s Jewish Journal:

But no matter the topic, Carrie Bradshaw gave me permission to divulge my romantic life for the entire Jewish world, garnering both fans and foes. Sometimes I wonder: Would I have written half the stuff I did if not for her example? Would I have made the men I dated fodder for my columns without their knowing it? Would I have shared the pain of my first time? I don’t know.

My openness has not exactly procured me a "Sex in the City" lifestyle, either. I’m still single, still pretty poor and still don’t have a clique of girlfriends. I took on the sexual honesty, but got no fantasy to show for it.

The film is even more fanciful than the TV show. Despite their added years, the women have never looked so posh, perfect — and plastic. Sure, there are difficult moments of betrayal and break-ups, but how bad can those be when you’re wearing Prada and Dolce and Gabbana? Renting apartments in Manhattan on a whim? Jetting to Cancun to ease the pain?

I also faced another challenge in applying "Sex and the City"-style dilemmas to my own life: The community for which I write.

The Jewish world is often covert when it comes to female desire. Jewish women aren’t supposed to open up with their rabbis about our pent-up desire for a one-night stand. We can’t openly eye another congregant in shul and comment "that guy is hot!" without getting a lecture about middot (good deeds) before looks. I know I speak for some girlfriends when I admit that I have suffered a lot of confusion about the not-so-good deed — in part because extramarital sex is associated with much taboo in Jewish communities across the board.

And maybe that’s why watching "Sex in the City" has always offered such pleasure, and why I have taken Carrie Bradshaw’s example of honestly sharing the nitty-gritty, sexually charged challenges of single life with more than just my girlfriends.

So while I may not have enjoyed such a glamorous life of sex in the city, if I have fostered a bit more openness to the needs and challenges of the Jewish woman attracted to secular life, then maybe I have done my share of tikkun olam, even if I won’t be wearing Manolos when I [blah blah blah]…

You often hear this bosh from women that their lives are harder than men’s. Orit writes: "The Jewish world is often covert when it comes to female desire." What does she mean? Judaism frowns on all sexual expression outside of marriage. It frowns on this for men and for women. No man can walk around Orthodox Jewish life expressing his desires to screw around. No sane man is going to want to open up to his rabbi about one-night stands (and white collar crimes and other sins). You can’t walk around shul ogling the opposite sex and commenting appreciatively on their physical assets. Extra-marital sex is not taboo in Orthodox Jewish life as much as it is a sin. God says no. For a Torah Jew, that’s enough. We don’t celebrate people violating God’s demands.

If Orit wants to be part of a civilization that glorifies promiscuity, she should join the black rapper lifestyle. Enduring civilizations don’t think that stuff is cool.

Three thousand years ago, there were prostitues in temples and the men would line up to bang them. The Torah said that was an abomination. What does Orit say?

She also writes about going to see this movie on Friday night.

We’re expected to celebrate this? Yay, Orit chooses Sex and the City over the Sabbath, let’s give her an aliyah to the Torah Shabbos morning. Let’s not be taboo and covert about these things. Let’s celebrate behaviors that destroy the Jewish people.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been noted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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