Sleep Jewish

Sunday night I had the great privilege to be in Irvine, at the amazing and new JCC. The Musical Mystery Tour began. OC Hillel has created a beit-cafe program in their student lounge for an evening of music and conversation with me, really, can you believe it? All told, this is going to be a marvelous venue for music and ideas, for thought provoking questions and discussion. The essence of our discussion was “What is the Jewish View on Relationships,” but of course it went far beyond this. We discussed brit milah, pre-marital sex, masturbation, the animal soul and the G-dly soul, the quest for love, and the agony of defeat.

But the main issue that we realized was: What do sexually active college students do to bring their lives and behavior closer in line with the Torah ideal, when they, nor their partners are ready for such a leap of faith and change of habit? How can we go from sleeping together now, and then say, well maybe we should put this off till marriage?

There are no easy simple answers and each person has his/her own journey. Even without the Jewish element, college is a time of establishing relationships, and

patterns that might be with us for the rest of our adult lives. How one acts in college can affect their entire lives. And I am not even speaking about the drastic things that can happen – STD’s, unplanned pregnancy, rape — but “normalâ€? behavior as well.

The crucial message to college students is: Sleep Jewish. So many students tell me that they are dating non-Jews.

So while I cannot offer a simply answer to the student who is sleeping with his girlfriend, at least lets make sure that she is Jewish. The rest we can work on later.