The Joy of Text is a monthly podcast about Judaism, sexuality, and the intersection of the two. Co-hosted by Rabbi Dov Linzer and Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus and moderated by Ramie Smith, this podcast features in-depth conversations by rabbinic and medical experts about subjects that you’ll almost never hear discussed anywhere else, even online. Each episode also includes answers to questions from listeners like you (see the link below to submit your own question).
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Season 3 Premiere The Can We Really Do THAT? Episode
Which sexual acts are permitted in a marriage? The answers might surprise you! Find out why co-host Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus calls this one of “the most important episodes” of the podcast. Plus we interview the creator of the hit YouTube series SOON BY YOU, Leah Gottfried, about the challenges of dating as an Orthodox Jew, and we introduce a new take on the Final Word.
Follow all the sources from this episode. Click here for Part 1 of Rabbi Linzer’s source sheet: From Husband and Wife.
Season 2 Bonus Episode The Thinking About Mikveh Before Marriage Episode
Recorded Live at Harvard Hillel! Should an unmarried woman who is in an intimate relationship use the mikveh before marriage? What are the relevant and often competing halakhic, personal, and communal issues that must be considered? Includes Q&A with Harvard students on this theme and related topics, and heartfelt reflections by our hosts on why this podcast is the most important project they’ve undertaken.
Further study: Click here for the sources discussed in this episode!
Season 2 Episode 10 The Sex Ed Episode – High School Edition
After our listener question about cuddling on the wedding night, our guest, Ora Weinbach, talks about her experiencing teaching sexuality at Abraham Joshua Heschel High School. We ask: What does a sex ed curriculum look like? What it’s like to teach sex-ed to a co-ed class? What’s a parent’s role in all this? And finally, what does sex ed have to do with a bad batch of chocolate chip cookies?
Season 2 Episode 9 Mini Text Episode – Power and Consent
In this mini text episode we read a passage from Genesis 6 that sheds light on issues of consensuality in sexual relationships.
Season 2 Episode 8 The Wedding Night Episode
In this episode, recorded LIVE at the JOFA Conference 2017, we ask: Must a bride and groom have intercourse on their wedding night or should they allow themselves a few days of sexual touch first? And does a woman always enter niddah after first intercourse? Finally, Dr. Naomi Marmon Grummet, Director of the Eden Center in Jerusalem, discusses the innovative work the Eden Center is doing with mikvaot in Israel.
Season 2 Episode 7 The Tznius Episode
In this episode, a mother writes in about her daughter’s school dress code. We discuss ways to define modesty beyond collar bones and covered knees and how to cultivate positive body image for children growing up in religious environments. Later in the episode we are joined by Dr. Koby Frances, licensed clinical psychologist whose private practice specializes in dealing with sexual-religious conflicts.
Season 2 Episode 6 Mini Text Episode – The First Act
In this episode Rabbi Linzer shares a Talmudic text about a husband and wife’s first sexual encounter and the way it impacts their relationship – all the way up to the laws governing aveilut.
Season 2 Episode 5 The Hook Up Culture Episode
For this live episode we travel to Princeton University to discuss hook up culture on college campuses. We talk to students about millennial dating practices, how being an observant Jew interacts with the social pressure to have casual hook ups, and why hook ups are sometimes more appealing than relationships to college students.
Season 2 Episode 4 Mini Text Episode – Ahava
In this mini-text episode Rabbi Linzer, Dr. Marcus, and Rabba Smith discuss Rav Eliyahu Dessler’s definition of ahava, love, and what it means to give and take in a sexual relationship.
Season 2 Episode 3 The Childbirth Episode
In this episode of The Joy of Text we will discuss the laws of touch during a natural birth, and we will be joined by Gila Block, founder of Yesh Tikvah, to discuss infertility issues in Orthodox communities. We will ask: Can a husband touch his wife while she is in labor? Do the laws of niddah apply if touch between husband and wife is serving a medical purpose? How do halakhic authorities assess which kinds of touch are intimate and sexual and which are not? How can communities provide support for couples who struggle with infertility? Listen to this episode to find out!