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Kiruv 1

Written by Shayna Abramson. To read Shayna’s essay on the the practice of shomer negiah within the Orthodox Jewish community, check out her article in the Jewrotica Reflections section.

PG-13Shmuley had been training for this assignment for months. Every morning, he had listened to shiurim by the rebbe on his way to the school where the eighth-grade boys he taught Bible to had jerk-off contests in the bathroom. Every night, he had read from the Ten Commandments before going to sleep.

Only when he felt Esther’s palm at the nape of his neck would he close his book and turn off the light. The rabbis had decreed that a man should not see his woman naked – who knew what flaws he might find? Better to feel for each other’s flesh in the dark, like humans trying to find the Light of God in this world of darkness. That’s what it was all about anyway, divesting our world of its physical shell that blinded. He told this to Esther sometimes, while he was peeling potatoes and she was seasoning the chicken, but she just shook her head.

Once, she asked, “If you’re supposed to be getting rid of the physical, why do you like sex?” He hadn’t really had an answer, but he had trouble keeping it up for two weeks after that. By then, Esther had her period and they couldn’t touch each other anyway, so it was time for a little visit to sites like and similar.

Of course, the main part had not been listening to the lectures, but rather getting permission from the rabbi.

“You are going there to enlighten these people?”

Shmuley nodded.

“And they’re all yids, the entire nudist colony?”

“I think they’re just seeking a connection.”

The rabbi stroked his beard. His chin was unfortunately shaped a bit like a penis, so to Shmuley it looked as if he were masturbating, and he kept on thinking about how anything would be better than to go back to those kids. Just yesterday, he had caught Jacob looking at porn on his iPad during class. He didn’t send him to the principal’s office though. What would happen to a kid like that, if he got expelled? He’d go off the derech for sure.

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Shayna is a native Manhattanite whose interests include Torah, human rights, and poetry. An avid procrastinator, Shayna spends most of her time on Facebook, or watching any game involving the Brazilian soccer team. Brasil para Mundial 2014!