No Contact Rules - It’s Just Too Hard
Being shomer negiah isn't an isolated test. In the secular world, male-female relationships are going down the tubes, and if we want ours to. It cuts to the heart of our relationships with each other and how our culture influences those relationships. We live in a "test drive the merchandise" culture. The practice of shomer negiah forces you to rely on the deeper. While the words “shomer negiah” literally mean “observant of touch,” the term refers . (lo ta'aseh) proscribes activities that customarily lead to sexual relations.
Sex & Love
I have watched my fellow Jews navigate the delicate field of negiah observance throughout my life, but my interest in this institution and Jewish sexuality in general really started in college. As a senior in high school, we girls were pulled aside for a week of classes about the laws of nidah while the boys had study hall. I entered Brandeis University a prototypical clueless, sheltered Jewish girl. I applied to join an organization that provided counseling and educational programming about sexual health and sexuality.
family members - Is negiah okay if the relationship would be forbidden? - Mi Yodeya
I was accepted and received a hour crash course each fall on every aspect of sexuality, from birth control options to sex toys. The field quickly became my passion.
I taught educational programs to campus groups and first-year halls and held one-on-one counseling sessions in the office. I began holding workshops specifically geared toward Orthodox girls and answering their questions. These conversations and my workshops led me to realize that Orthodox girls wanted a venue where they could discuss negiah and how it impacts relationships, intimacy, and sexuality.
Like me, they did not grow up with an outlet to discuss these topics in a safe, non-judgmental setting and clearly it was something they wanted to discuss. Shomer negiah poses challenges for both women and men.
I enjoyed reading the recent article on aish. I grew up in South Africa in a religious home and I'm currently learning in a pre-military Yeshiva in Israel. I love sports, physics, chemistry, computer science, economics, movies, and Xbox — in short, I'm a normal guy. And I am also shomer negiah — I don't touch girls, and girls don't touch me.
Yet I'm still normal. Allow me to explain. The next day at school sure was interesting; many of the boys had decided that they were bli short for the Hebrew phrase "bli yadayim" — without hands — another term for shomer negiah. I thought they were absolutely crazy but I admit my interest was piqued. I learned a bit more about the topic, exploring the meaning of physical contact, marriage, and relationships.
Shomer Negiah turned out not to just be random Jewish laws that were designed to keep me from having a good time; it was a wise system for ensuring the sanctity of relationships and knowing how to have a good time without infringing upon that sanctity. It went against the allure of temporary and reinforced the eternal. There is someone out there who I am made for and who is made for me.
- Why I Don't Touch Girls
- Rebbitzen Gila Manolson
We are destined for each other. Everything else in the meantime was just playing around.
It felt trivial compared to the more purposeful, committed relationship I yearn to have in the future. Yossi [second left] with friends So I decided at that ripe old age of 12 that I was going to give it a try and that I would start slowly.
They laughed but respected my decision. Slowly but surely I upped my observance of being shomer negiah and by the day of my Bar Mitzvah I was totally bli.
He has not touched any woman, not even his girlfriends, since he was 19, after a life-changing year in Israel. They are just three of the small but determined group of Modern Orthodox Generation-Xers there who are shomer negiah, who observe the laws of touching, which prohibit single people not just from sex, but from any physical displays of affection for non-related members of the opposite gender.
The law is ancient, but increasingly difficult to follow as young religious professionals stay single longer.
You're Not Crazy: The Most-Thought Yet Least-Asked Question: Are You Shomer Negiah?
Educated and integrated in the modern world, these singles know exactly what they are missing. But without a support system, such as parents or matchmakers, to help them get married, they often remain single, celibate, and without physical intimacy well into their late 20s and 30s, paying for their religious devotion with sexual tension.
One need not be shomer negiah to be celibate, or celibate to have sexual morals. Most grew up shomer negiah, or turned to it during a spiritual awakening in their teens. All assumed they would marry in their early 20s, and now feel the weight of time. A year-old who has never [been intimate] is afraid he or she they never will.
No Contact Rules - It’s Just Too Hard
They want to know how it feels. The level of control expected is greater than ever because society functions so differently. The shuls had dances.
That was the need of the time — giving people a chance to meet, marry each other and stay within [Orthodoxy]. One theory is that the longer one remains single, the more difficult it becomes to trade a familiar lifestyle for the unknown of marriage.