So as a rabbinical student I get asked a lot of questions. One of my teachers laughed at me once, because all the questions I would go to him with were REALLY complicated. I get asked a lot of questions about sex and intimacy. People open up to me. I think partially it is because I am young, and partially because I am not judging people.
I have no problem listening to people’s most intimate details. I hear about sex with their partners. I hear about periods and discharge. I have even checked bedika cloths before.
But here, my ex gets in touch with me to ask me about going about how to have sex with his current girlfriend. He goes into semi-detail of some things he has done (either with her or others). He is turning to me, not as his ex, but as his rabbi.
Part of me is totally ok with it. Thankfully this is all via Facebook chat and in person. I need to be ok answering questions, no matter who they are from. I could be in a shul, and the longer I am there the more I will know about the congregants. I am able to cut out my emotional tie to him, and think in the realm of halacha. Listening both to his emotional needs as well as his spiritual.
And then at the same time I am hurt. I don’t need to know what he is doing with someone else, instead of me. I think actually the bit that hurts the most, is that she is in NY currently. The whole reason we broke up (or so he said) was because it was going to be long distance, and he did not want that. And here he is, planning on how he can have sex with her next week, and asking me how to do it.
Part of me wants to tell him I can’t have this conversation, and in some ways I did. When he asked about someone teaching his girlfriend the laws of nida, I very easily could have said I would, but instead I gave him a link to an organization that would be helpful and a link that explained the basics. But at the same time, I know that throughout my time as a rabbi, I will come across people who I might not feel so comfortable talking to about things, but I might be the only person that they can ask. And so then it is my job to either give them an answer and work through the issue with them, and/or give them contacts for others who can.