R A Lichtenstein / We need to consider what has popularly become known as "the slippery slope"--the concern that acceptance of certain innovations, even if they are halakhically tenable, may invite pressures for further progressive change, resulting, incrementally, in the erosion of traditional sensibility or even outright halakhic violation. This issue has been raised most vigorously with respect to various initiatives concerning the role of women. Within the Torah world and the rabbinic establishment, response to these has been widely divergent. Some have contended that what the Shulhan Arukh does not proscribe could be regarded with favor. Others have rejected this premise as a general approach; and they have further resisted any innovation, particularly if fuelled by feminist ideology, on the grounds that it might lead to further demands or trigger a domino effect. And, there is, of course, a spectrum of intermediate responses. Here again, we need to maintain a dual watch. The concern about the slippery slope is, in principle, both legitimate and genuine. It is firmly rooted in Hazal, who anchored many gezerot upon it, as graphically illustrated in the Rambam's explanation as to the basis of the prohibition against fowl cooked with milk...

The Slippery Slope

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R. Aharon Lichtenstein, Varieties of Jewish Experience, pp. 251-252:

[W]e need to consider what has popularly become known as “the slippery slope”–the concern that acceptance of certain innovations, even if they are halakhically tenable, may invite pressures for further progressive change, resulting, incrementally, in the erosion of traditional sensibility or even outright halakhic violation. This issue has been raised most vigorously with respect to various initiatives concerning the role of women. Within the Torah world and the rabbinic establishment, response to these has been widely divergent. Some have contended that what the Shulhan Arukh does not proscribe could be regarded with favor. Others have rejected this premise as a general approach; and they have further resisted any innovation, particularly if fuelled by feminist ideology, on the grounds that it might lead to further demands or trigger a domino effect. And, there is, of course, a spectrum of intermediate responses. Here again, we need to maintain a dual watch. The concern about the slippery slope is, in principle, both legitimate and genuine. It is firmly rooted in Hazal, who anchored many gezerot upon it, as graphically illustrated in the Rambam’s explanation as to the basis of the prohibition against fowl cooked with milk [Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot Mamrim 2:9]…

In this case, one encounters outright de-oraita violation early in the chain. The principle is in force, however, even when that is not the case. Yet, in applying the principle, two factors need to be weighed. We shall have to evaluate, first, the likely course of events. How truly slippery is the slope? What innovation is likely, and how likely, to generate which kind of pressures? Second, we shall need to examine at what cost–whether in the form of possible alienation of certain constituencies or in the impairment or dilution of the quality of spiritual life–the presumed security of an ultra-conservative stance is being attained. This last factor will itself require dual consideration, as we strive both to perceive the prospects of various alternative scenarios on the ground and to determine how much weight to assign this particular concern.

As for myself, I presume that, with respect to both the women’s issues, specifically, and the fear of the slippery slope, generally, I find myself somewhere in the middle–enthusiastically supportive of some changes, resistant to others, and ambivalent about many; but I take it that this is not the venue for dealing with the details of various agendas.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student serves on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. He also serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

73 comments

  1. Hold the presses! (for those dinosaurs who know what that means)you mean life is nuanced?????? It often fascinates me how inwardly focused we can sometimes be, that something so obvious to the outside observer needs to be restated.
    KT

  2. On a more serious note http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope summarizes the form of argument.

    “The fallacious sense of “slippery slope” is often used synonymously with continuum fallacy, in that it ignores the possibility of middle ground and assumes a discrete transition from category A to category B. Modern usage avoids the fallacy by acknowledging the possibility of this middle ground.”

  3. IH: I find that people on the political left and right accept the “slipper slope argument” in different contexts, whether restrictions on gun ownership or abortions or otherwise.

  4. Hey Reb Gil, I totally agree with you: the greater picture needs to be contemplated, even if one can sneak by the letter of the law. This is where quite a bit of damage to klall yisrael comes from!

    Yasher Koach!

    Ian

  5. Gil — I find that people on the political left and right accept conspiracy theories too, in different contexts. So what?

  6. Slippery slopes are not an absolute argument. They’re just something to think about.

  7. After years of hearing gay rights activists say that they’re not fighting for marriage (and supporters gradually going along with them as they change), I think the validity of slippery slopes is pretty well established.

  8. Nachum — I know that issue is near and dear to you; but, you would have to show causality to prove that point.

  9. There is also a difference between tolerance of homosexuality and becoming homosexual.

  10. Perhaps a counter-example more in line with this blog: tolerance of Chabad Messichist theology has not harmed Orthodoxy (yet). Is this acceptance a slippery slope, even if most poskim do not view it as outright heresy?

  11. “Particularly if fueled by feminist ideology”.

    While I agree with the tenor of the article, this phrase is unfortunate. Ideology certainly influences peoples belief but it is wrong to assert that an idea is wrong simply because it is influenced by a particular worldview.

    It may well be that ideas that are identified with a particular ideology are not exclusive to that ideology at all. In an extreme example, the Chinese form of Communism is very much concerned with “proper morals” particularly with displays of nude images and sexual acts. This particular belief conforms well with Orthodox Jewish belief. Can we then say that the belief in proper morals is fueled by communism? No, we cannot any more than we can say that the idea is fueled by Orthodox Judaism. What I object to particularly is the incessant need to pigeonhole people or ideas in order to come up with a quick and shorthand way to dispatch them.

  12. I.e. is tolerance for the belief for the second coming of RMMS, a slippery slope to tolerance for a central tenet of all forms of Christianity: the belief in the second coming of Jesus?

  13. rather than all shout out that lisppery slopes are “valid” or “fallacious” in general, it seems to me that it is generally more useful to focus on a particular alleged slope than on slopes in general. there are various mechanisms by which A may actually make B more likely, which generally depend very much on the facts of a particular situation. cf http://www2.law.ucla.edu/volokh/slipperyshorter.pdf

  14. for example, in IH’s case, while it may be true that logically chabad messianism could make acceptance of christianity easier, there are a host of other reasons why that is unlikely to occur. ?Not so in every case, though.

  15. Agreed, Emma. There needs to be reasoned and specific analysis for a given issue before slippery slope has any meaning.

    Another such point that came up recently (in R. Kadish’s post) is “not give in to the winds of change like the heterodox”.

  16. The slippery slope argument is a red herring in this case. That argument always involves conjecture at what might happen next and then next after that, usually with some measure of conspiracy-theorist thinking.

    Here the script has been written out and acted out for the past thirty to forty years. The actors, Conservative, Orthodox and “post-Orthodox” etc. have not played it close to the vest. They have made their goals plain to the world. We can put the slippery slope discussion rules away for another day. Here the game is clear: The full incorporation of the Western gender-egalitarian Ethic into the Halachic system.

  17. “particularly when feuled by feminist ideology”
    This scenario has already been played out in the Conservative movement which in fifty years went from mixed seating to women getting aliyot to female rabbis (rabbahs?) R’ Avi Weis’s Conservodox position on womens issues is definitely on the slide of the slippery slope. Who is to say that he won’t take much of American MO with him?
    IH- Who says Lubavitcher messianism is tolerated? I was in a shul when some chabadnikim started to sing “Yechi hamelech” and more than half the tzibbur got up and left. There are poskim who say that Meshichistim shouldn’t be counted in a minyan. Another time I saw a Chabadnik being forcibly removed from a shul when he started proclaiming that MMS is mashiach ben David. A fistfight almost broke out. Among many there is zero tolerance for the kefira of Lubovitcher messianism.

  18. “particularly when feuled by feminist ideology”
    This scenario has already been played out in the Conservative movement which in fifty years went from mixed seating to women getting aliyot to female rabbis (rabbahs?) R’ Avi Weis’s Conservodox position on womens issues is definitely on the slide of the slippery slope. Who is to say that he won’t take much of American MO with him?
    IH- Who says Lubavitcher messianism is tolerated? I was in a shul when some chabadnikim started to sing “Yechi hamelech” and more than half the tzibbur got up and left. There are poskim who say that Meshichistim shouldn’t be counted in a minyan. Another time I saw a Chabadnik being forcibly removed from a shul when he started proclaiming that MMS is mashiach ben David. A fistfight almost broke out. Among many there is zero tolerance for the kefira of Lubovitcher messianism.

  19. Of course the left argues by slippery slope. “There will be another Far Left to eject” comes to mind…

  20. Perhaps a counter-example more in line with this blog: tolerance of Chabad Messichist theology has not harmed Orthodoxy (yet). Is this acceptance a slippery slope, even if most poskim do not view it as outright heresy?

    IH: What, exactly, in your opinion, can possibly be wrong with meshichism?

  21. David Tzohar — my understanding (as well as personal discussions) is that meshichism is the norm for Chabad in Israel (and, therefore, to much of the RoW outside of North America). I am sure you can provide examples to the contrary, but do you have reason to believe that is representative of the norm?

    Moshe — the issue is not right or wrong, foolish belief or heresy. I am merely using it as an example of the selective and glib use of “slippery slope” amongst many in Orthodoxy.

    Let’s be clear, there are many theological differences between Judaism and Christianity, but the seconod coming of a dead Jew as Mashiach is no longer one of them. Is that any less of a slippery slope than what David calls “R’ Avi Weis’s Conservodox position on womens issues”. Each reader needs to decide for him or her self.

  22. … the seconod coming of a named & specific dead Jew as Mashiach …

  23. The problem it seems to me is that the “slippery slope” or as it used to be called the “it leads to mixed dancing” argument is regularly invoked to stop any and all change in a leftward direction. This is part of the reason that some wont take such arguments seriously. Furthermore, other than from RAL I have never heard any major rabbi apply such an argument to rightward shifts.

    I say, to deal with the dangers of slippery slopes, learn how to ski!

  24. Sheldon Chanales

    In 1995, RAL spoke informally with the founding group of the Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls in Teaneck about the nascent school’s limudei kodesh curriculum. At that meeting, RAL decalred that teaching Talmud to the young women of our (MO Teaneck) community was not only permissible but mandatory, for a variety of cogent reasons that he has articulated in other addresses. When the slippery slope argument was posed to him, he replied that, if everything were otherwise “hunky-dory” and someone were to suggest an innovation to traditional practice, then it would be appropriate to be concerned with the possible unforeseen consequences of the innovation. However, if there is a problem or crisis that needs to be addressed in the present, then the issue should be addressed head-on without concern for future developments. RAL explicitly declared that the need to open up all areas of sophisticated Torah study to women was a necessary response to what might otherwise become a crisis of religious faith or practice for the otherswise educated women of our community, and that the course of action that was subsequently taken at Ma’ayanot (full and unapologetic textual exposure to all aspects of Torah study) should be carried out without fear of unintended consequences.

  25. “you would have to show causality to prove that point.”

    Why would I? The slippery slope claim claims that, if A is accepted, B will follow. This has happened, true to the claims made then, and denied by the homosexual activists. So at least we know they’re liars, and at best that the argument has weight.

  26. Thank you, Mr. Chanales. That is very interesting additional information onR. Lichtenstein’s view.

  27. Nachum — do you really believe that a small group of (extreme) Gay activists changed the views of kids? The evidence all points to an age bias in the public opinion of gay marriage.

    Isn’t it more likely that tolerance of homosexual lifestyles is more likely an example of the more general trend to tolerance in American society? (e.g. biracial marriages).

  28. IH, so I take it you accept the legitimacy of the belief that the Rebbe is and will be Moshiach?

  29. Moshe — no more or less than it seems I have to accept the legitimacy of the belief that Jesus is and will be Moshiach now that the theological threshold (taboo) has been broken.

  30. So, is that a slippery slope?

  31. An interesting point about “slippery slope” arguments. They are very often correct. However, the society that has accepted the ‘end’ of the ‘slippery slope’ often is either ambivalent, or happy with the results of the ‘decline’. A big case in point is in the realm of marriage where people once decried the idea of ‘marriage for love’ because of it’s slippery slope. I can’t find the quote now, but I once heard it on the radio. It was argued that if you allow marriage for love, then this will result in unlearned people becoming the owners of land, and it will cause people to marry for fickle reasons thus creating unneeded divorces. Further it would distract young people from productive activity because their heads would be filled with ideas of romance and happiness. It would pollute the notion of Lord and Lady and might undermine the Royal class.

    The slippery slope was correct, and even though people back then would have been unhappy with these results, they did not believe that all of this could come about just because Marriages were done out of love and not money or politics. They argued saying that one does not lead to the other, but history has shown that it has. But who wants to undo it?

  32. “Nachum — do you really believe that a small group of (extreme) Gay activists changed the views of kids? The evidence all points to an age bias in the public opinion of gay marriage.

    Isn’t it more likely that tolerance of homosexual lifestyles is more likely an example of the more general trend to tolerance in American society? (e.g. biracial marriages).”

    No, it’s a result of TV shows showing Gay people to be normal and funny. Much as “All in the Family” did.

  33. Avi — You mean the same TV shows that caused this:

    “A USA TODAY/Gallup poll released in September found that 86% of Americans approve of black-white marriages, compared with 48% in 1991. Among ages 18-37, 97% approved.”

    http://yourlife.usatoday.com/sex-relationships/marriage/story/2011-11-07/Interracial-marriage-More-accepted-still-growing/51115322/1

  34. “Gay people to be normal and funny.”

    And gays aren’t normal and funny? And weird and not funny, too? Just like straight people.

  35. IMO, when one discusses political, cultural and intellectual trends,as well as developments and trends in Halacha, Hashkafa and Minhagim, the slippery slope isn always a valid argument. For example , if you want to see what the so-called sexual revolution has wrought, try the annexed link-I thought that I was reading an article about animal husbandry, of the two legged variety and species-http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/magazine/teaching-good-sex.html?ref=magazine

  36. IMO , RAL’s argument as quoted by R Gil, and as set forth by my YU classmate, Sheldon Chanales would constitute strong arguments if there was proof that any innovation under discussion would lead to a stronger committment to Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim, as opposed to merely being a response to a demands and agendas for change that have their roots and origins in the secular world.

  37. Steve — so what was the slippery slope that has led to the sexual depravity in the Charedi velt that we read about all too often?

  38. IH, how many TV shows showed interracial couples in the 1960’s- or even today? Contrariwise, you display a typical leftist lack of cognizance of history in thinking that a change in thousands of years of human historical thinking in the course of less than a decade is somehow “natural.”

  39. IH and Joseph Kaplan,
    You seem to be attacking me for stating facts. Please don’t jump to conclusions just because facts are being made.

    “Avi — You mean the same TV shows that caused this:”
    Yes.

    “And gays aren’t normal and funny? And weird and not funny, too? Just like straight people.”
    100% true.

    However, the public opinion would not be that way if it were not for the conscious efforts of activists to make sure that TV shows displayed those realities.

    It would be ignorant to think that there is some generational awakening that is divorced from the activities of activists within the TV and Movie industries. Why else would so many people be so angry with Fox news or Rush Limbaugh? People are highly affected by a common culture that is given to them and assumed to be shared with ‘the whole nation’ or world.

    I hear that PBS will be having series on this topic: http://kottke.org/11/10/america-in-primetime

    What affect will the show Dexter have on American society in 20 years? It’s hard to tell.

  40. “Steve — so what was the slippery slope that has led to the sexual depravity in the Charedi velt that we read about all too often?”

    The internet and open reporting. Odds are, these things have always gone on, but only now is it being reported widely. What’s the old Joke about the Yeshivah rabbi who catches his students at the strip club?

    Also, let’s not pretend that Charedi society has no clue about what goes on in the popular culture around them.

  41. Avi — so you also believe the media that controls these TV shows are the Zionist Jews?

  42. See e.g. http://jewishfaces.com/media.html. They also claim to be reporting facts.

  43. Is there a slippery slope to conspiracy theory?

  44. IH, stop being an idiot.

    People who want Gay people to be accepted into society will happily tell you the important roll that TV and Movies play making it a reality.

    http://writing.colostate.edu/gallery/talkingback/issue1/brandsma.htm

    Key statement: ” The writers of this show have decided to portray Jack in an extreme light which could almost be offensive to any gay viewer who may be watching. By reinforcing the stereotypes that our society has created for gays, the show has taken away a considerable amount of its credibility, much less the purpose for why it is on the air. ”

    The concluding statement is: “Without such balance, viewers would be more uncomfortable with the change. It is sad that our society needs such poor representations and depictions in order for us to find a common ground in accepting gays. Hopefully our society will someday overcome this, and I believe that Will and Grace is a first step in that direction.”

    Perhaps you need to read this article as well.
    http://legendsrevealed.com/entertainment/2011/06/17/movie-legends-revealed-37/

  45. Avi — it is hard to compete with such compelling evidence, but perhaps you ought to consider that the simple explanation may be that popular entertainment more often reflects its customers than leads its customers.

  46. For a full picture , try reading this. http://www.afterelton.com/archive/elton/TV/2006/5/willandgrace.html

    There is no doubt that in any sane person’s mind that what is put on Television and watched by millions, greatly shapes the society.
    http://www.salon.com/2011/01/12/all_in_the_family/

  47. “Avi — it is hard to compete with such compelling evidence, but perhaps you ought to consider that the simple explanation may be that popular entertainment more often reflects its customers than leads its customers.”

    IH, and where exactly are TV and Movie executives getting this amazing data which tells them exactly what the customer wants them to do? What amazing machines they must have to know exactly what people are thinking, so much so that the people are only willing to admit to the pollsters what they truly want, AFTER the shows and movies have become popular!

    Will and Grace was successful not because of it’s strong Gay character, but because of the week stereotypical gay characters that people could laugh at. They created a show that fed the national appetite of disdain towards gay people, while at the same time, forcing the viewer to once in a while remember that their favorite, strong leading male role was actually gay too. This created a generation of people who saw gay people as normal people, instead of abnormal people with queer interests.

    Because you really think so much changed in American culture between 1997 when Ellen was canceled and 1998 when Will and Grace became a top hit?

    Simpsons uses this same technique to make social commentary, as did All in the Family, as has every other successful show, movie, or book that has changed public opinion.

  48. Avi — All In the Family ended production in 1979. People still talk about how important it was because it was so radically different. Read the last paragraph of the Salon article again.

    What I don’t understand with your position is that if the TV shows are responsible, then why aren’t the people who air them responsible? And if they are mostly Jewish, then why not just admit that too?

    But, perhaps there isn’t a slippery slope for most people who believe as you do? And one can believe the TV shows are responsible, but not the religion/ethnicity of those who put them on the air?

  49. By the way, there are statisticslly more gay people in the US than Jews. I don’t remember Jews complaining about sympathetic portrayals of Jews on TV.

  50. I, for one, was shocked to learn that some are normal and funny. And they don’t have horns!!!

  51. ” R’ Avi Weis’s Conservodox position on womens issues is definitely on the slide of the slippery slope.”

    His name is Rabbi Avi Weiss.

    But in any case, he has been the rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale since early 1973. For a slippery slope, things haven’t slid very fast!

  52. Yes, because history began in 1973. (See, for example, Larkin on this.) What I said about leftists above? QED.

  53. “By the way, there are statisticslly more gay people in the US than Jews. I don’t remember Jews complaining about sympathetic portrayals of Jews on TV.”

    Who is complaining?!? I’m certainly not! TV and Movies are a very effective way to change public opinion. It’s just a fact of life. And the slippery slope arguments regarding them are 100% proven to be fairly accurate. People were shocked by “I love Lucy”, not because of what it did, but because of what it opened up and made obvious for the future. Now compared to “Friends”, “I Love Lucy” seems completely innocent and innocuous. (But it wasn’t at the time, which is the point of slippery slope arguments)

    “All In the Family ended production in 1979. People still talk about how important it was because it was so radically different.”

    It was radically different, because it was more than just random entertainment. It was able to create a ‘national dialogue’ without creating a national dialogue.

    “What I don’t understand with your position is that if the TV shows are responsible, then why aren’t the people who air them responsible? And if they are mostly Jewish, then why not just admit that too?”

    What does that mean? Hundreds if not a thousand people are involved with creating TV shows and airing them. Are most of them Jewish? I have no idea. Seems like a random stereotype to me. What are the actual percentages? I think Jews are over represented in TV and Films, but they are certainly not more than 50%! And what does it mean to be ‘responsible’? Is it illegal? No, it’s free speech.

  54. Nachum — I was thinking about Larkin’s 1973 verse as well in the context of Steve’s comment yesterday 🙂

  55. avi – “What affect will the show Dexter have on American society in 20 years? It’s hard to tell.”
    yes, i would expect an increase sensitivity to the plight of serial killers. maybe even more of them since it such an attractive and accepted choice of life style.

  56. 1963, IH. 1973 is when R’ Weiss became Rabbi. 🙂

  57. IH-incidents of sexual depravity in the Charedi world WADR cannot be compared with the consequences of what is considered “normal” as a result of the sexual revolution among teens.

  58. Steve — But, of course that wasn’t my point. I was discussing the goals and outcomes of proper Sex Education which was the purpose of the article.

    [And thanks, Nachum, for the typo correction].

  59. Sacks on Jobs – why wouldn’t he just apologize for having fingered Jobs specifically? The apology is diminished by the way he phrased it.

  60. “yes, i would expect an increase sensitivity to the plight of serial killers. maybe even more of them since it such an attractive and accepted choice of life style.”

    Unlikely, but a removal of the death penalty, and a desire to send people to psychologists instead of prisons might increase. Also, possible is a feeling of vigilantism, thinking that too often the police and criminal system needs to be corrected by good people taking the law into their own hands.

  61. IH wrote:

    “Steve — But, of course that wasn’t my point. I was discussing the goals and outcomes of proper Sex Education which was the purpose of the article”

    That premise would be correct if one defined the same as proper for a course in two legged animal husbandry, as opposed to how a Torah observant young man and woman are supposed to act before and after their marriage.

  62. Steve — yours was a vulgar turn of phrase the first time; and just stupid this time around. For shame.

  63. Then again, perhaps this is a worrying slippery slope for some:

    Regarding the statistic that Vernacchio alluded to earlier — that 70 percent of women do not orgasm through vaginal penetration alone — one boy exclaimed when we talked, “That shocked me, a lot.” The other boys also told me they’d been in the dark about the mysteries of female sexual satisfaction. “I think I sort of knew where the clitoris was, but I didn’t know it was, like, under something,” one said. Another declared, “It’s almost like a wake-up call.” He paused. “To not just please yourself.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/magazine/teaching-good-sex.html?ref=magazine&pagewanted=all

  64. That’s covered in most Chattan & Kallah classes, right?

  65. IH-I stand by my view of that NYT Magazine article. It treated what we view as a mitzvah as a mere act between animals, albeit of the two legged kind, with no moral implications whatsoever.

  66. IH-the approach depicted in the NYT article will never help anyone who takes seriously Vchulam Poschim Es Piehem BeKedusha Uvtarah Bshirah UvZimrah Umvarachim Umshabchim Umprarim UMaaritzim Umakdishim Ummamlichim.

  67. Steve — you’re correct that it is not judgemental in your black and white view of the world, but for example:

    Two boys who told me they’d been masturbating to Internet porn since middle school said they found themselves disoriented at the real-life encounters they had with girls, but Vernacchio helped them grasp the disjuncture. Pornography “gives boys the impression that the girl is there to do any position you want, or to please you, or to, you know, role-play to your liking,” one of them said. “But yesterday, when Mr. V. said there is no romanticism or intimacy in porn, porn is strictly sexual — I’d never thought about that.”

    contains a moral message that many frum kids should be taught, given what has come out about the Charedi velt in recent years.

    Perhaps the slippery slope is in NOT providing proper Sex Ed (in an appropriate manner, of course) as R. Lookstein has been doing at Ramaz per this earlier NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/12/nyregion/12religion.html

  68. the close parenthesis should have been at the end of the link, for the avoidance of doubt.

  69. Finally, Steve, you’re not naive enough to believe there isn’t premarital sex in the frum world. Of course, we tend only to hear about the non-consensual kind; but, there is consensual sex as well.

  70. IH-I am well aware of your last point, and the subject of the article that you linked to-the question remains whether the same is an optimal mode of behavior when viewed with Halachic norms.I think that there is a wide spectrum of means of instruction that can be utilized both via texts ( many of which I have posted previously) and frank discussion, as to the role of sex within marriage, as opposed to either conducting a safe sex class or giving mussar in a harshly negative vein. IMO, the optimal goal should be raising a generation who are proud of, as opposed to being embarrassed of the concept of Kedoshim Tihiyu.

  71. IH wrote in part:

    “we tend only to hear about the non-consensual kind”

    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan-there you go again, engaging in stereotypical comment and urban mythology about yCharedim as a whole. If you engaged in such comments about any other ethnic group, IMO, you would be viewed as prejudiced and a bigot.

  72. Steve — you’re being ridiculous as often ends up when you make vulgar comments. Shabbat Shalom.

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