Friday, March 09, 2007
Nudity in Judaism
In Judaism and in Jewish communities, men and women use ritual baths called mikvahs for a variety of reasons, mostly religious in the present day. Immersion in a mikvah requires that water covers the entire body (including the entire head). To make sure that water literally touches every part of the body, all clothing, jewelry and even bandages must be removed. In contemporary mikvahs for women, there is always an experienced attendant, commonly called the "mikvah lady", to watch the immersion and ensure that the women have been entirely covered in water.
At the same time, religious Jews are very protective about their naked body. Under the laws of tznius (modesty), both men and women cannot reveal the body parts considered to have sexual connotation (including upper arms, collarbones, legs, and -- for married women and all men -- hair, which is covered completely or partially). It is postulated in the Shulchan Aruch (the Code of Law) that one must uncover as little body as possible when in the toilet room and even when changing before sleep (trousers are often taken off and exchanged for the pijamas under the covers). By Jewish law, no clothes or jewelry at all can be present during sex; at the same time, it must be done completely under covers, and in complete darkness. This ensures maximum acuteness of the sensation experienced during sex and also decreases the risk of self-awareness and shame about one's body.
See also: Social nudity, Nudity in religion, Social nudity and Christianity, History of nudity, Israeli Naturist Society, Israel's first Naturism Portal, Israel Naturist Home Page, Religious Tolerance: Nudity as mentioned in the Bible. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nudity in Judaism". This entry is a fragment of a larger work. Link may die if entry is finally removed or merged.