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Sixth & I

Judaism, It

with Naftali Rothenberg

Jan 21, 2010 • 7:30 pm ET
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Most people are familiar with two possible approaches to love: the puritanical, which they ascribe to religion, Scripture, and “spirituality”; and the permissive, generally considered materialistic and anti-spiritual, even in the eyes of its own exponents. In other words, whether one adopts a puritanical or permissive approach or lifestyle, one subscribes to a worldview based on the dichotomy between “spirit” and “matter,” merely aligning oneself with one or the other side of the equation.

The harmonious approach on the other hand – shown here to be the prevailing view on love in the canonical sources – rejects both Puritanism and permissiveness. Love exists within the harmony of spirit and matter, mind, and body.

Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg, an orthodox rabbi, will use traditional Jewish sources to highlight this relationship between men and women – on the cognitive-intellectual, spiritual-emotional, and physical planes. Accordingly, the repudiation of any of these three elements is seen to undermine and even abolish the love bond. Love’s survival depends upon the constant effort to maintain harmony between mind, spirit, and body.