Posted in Life, Rabbinical School

Sensuality & Torah Learning

The other day in class we someone spoke about sensuality and teaching Torah. That one of the women (and actually many agreed) with the idea that teaching Torah puts them in a place of sexuality, and they find that men interact with them in a way that they do not want. The woman talking was asking for advice on ways to make the barrier clear, that they are there to teach and lead. She asked someone before, and was told to make sure that she reminds the person in the conversation what her role is, talk about Torah, and talk about the institution…that way making a barrier between her and the man at hand.

I found this conversation fascinating, as it is not something I ever experienced. I never really find that people interact with me in a sexual/sensual way. I find that people interact with me on an intellectual way- but with that I had no advice to give her, as I don’t even know what I do to create that interaction.

Someone brought up the idea that one’s sexual energy can be channelled into Torah learning energy. This made me wonder if somehow I brought my sexual energy into my Torah learning, and so made it as if I don’t have/have little sexual energy that is given off. That somehow, I give off a vibe of teaching/learning and not one of please ask me out/hit on me.

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about my internal divide between my brain and my body. I realize that there is very little that I do with my body- not just exercise wise, but also I don’t touch/am touched that often. At times that I am, it actually is kind of intense, and something I learn to be comfortable with- but also something that I am very not used to. My brain on the other hand, is something that I use all the time. I sit and learn. I talk about what I am learning. I listen to others, and then use my brain to figure out the puzzle to help.

While talking to the guy I am dating about this, he told me that there is “purity” about me, and that touching is something that is an intimate act. That I don’t exude a sexual vibe, but that is not a bad thing- he likes it.

I hope that my Torah learning hasn’t taken away all of my sexuality/sensuality. I hope that I am able to find a way to balance the two, while still being able to present myself in a way, and not be afraid of unwanted advances. I hope that I am able to find the connection between my brain and my body. Maybe it wasn’t that other people only saw me as a brain, but rather I saw myself as a brain and that is how others saw me (chicken and the egg).

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Author:

I am prone to overthinking and not to sharing. I decided to start writing and see what happens. So here are some stories and life situations (sometimes words of Torah) of a 30 something single woman, who happens to be a rabbi (received ordination in 2017- so there are posts of what that experience was like), will be working as a chaplain (and worked for years with older adults), is regularly asked what city she is located in (started the blog while living in Israel, found herself working in Australia, and will be in New York for at least a year), and is just trying to figure out her place in the world.

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