Get latest articles and videos with Jewish
inspiration and insights
The connection between envy and the holiest day of the year.
How to access the transformational power of Yom Kippur.
Don’t miss your opportunity for greatness.
What draws tens of thousands of Jews, night after night, to the midnight Selichot service?
What better way to go into Yom Kippur than joining the world in keeping one complete Shabbat together.
From a Soviet labor camp to an ISIS prison, inspiring stories of people who clung to observing Yom Kippur, despite the odds.
Can we balance our drive for success with our drive for meaning and virtue?
In a business fed by 24/7 connectivity, Cory Richman is available 24/6.
A paradigm shift for Yom Kippur.
A mountain of a man, here was a Jew totally ignorant about Judaism willing to risk his life for being Jewish.
Five ways to let go this Yom Kippur.
The biggest activity we do on Yom Kippur is not repenting; it is apologizing.
Just because I did it imperfectly today is not a reason to give up the fight.
Does corporal punishment transform kids into better people?
Five-year-old Lily shows us how to get through life's challenges.
On setting up previous dates, moving to small town for a great job but few dates, and taking a break from dating.
Breaking someone’s heart for the right reason.
Telling the difference between a minor problem and a major character flaw.
Why is 13 the age for a Bar Mitzvah?
How to attain true self-esteem.
As spiritual beings, we are responsible for actualizing the potential holiness that God imbues in each moment.
Practical and relevant insights on the weekly parsha.
Advanced-level midrashic and Kabbalistic illuminations on the weekly parsha.
Lessons, stories and discussion questions for parents and kids.
Try your best, and God takes you all the way.
All you need to know. Share it with friends and family!
Rachelle Fraenkel's inspiring message to the Jewish people.
Kids, come learn about the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
The maze is like Yom Kippur. It prepares you for what lies ahead.
Archeologists just found a 3000 year old woman in the Negev. And her name is Sylvia.
Shimon Peres is looking for work. You hiring?
Fun, inspiring Rosh Hashanah music video to enjoy and share.
An uplifting Rosh Hashanah tale.
Make this Jewish new year extraordinary.
November 12, 2011
April 19, 2012 2:15 PM
This video was really on point!
January 29, 2012 5:29 PM
Wow Lori! That is a great video, very true and inspiring. I appreciate your work so much! Please make more! [especially ones about dating etc. I want to learn more about this subject, and what is considered "wrong" according to jewish law]
November 23, 2011 9:11 PM
I definitely agree with Lori's statement about how pre-marital sex clouds ones judgement about the other person. When your first dating someone , you see them in a complete clear light and work/think about the important things that a marriage should have. Having sex with your mate before you get married will only cloud your judgement and not let you think clearly of the person. the physical connection that you guys are sharing can make you stay attached to your mate for the WRONG reasons; it's a fact that when a woman sleeps with a man she becomes attached to him; whether it be physical or emotional... and this attachment is not for the right reasons. obviously if you are dating this person you are attracted to him, so you don't need to sleep with him to prove this point. instead, strengthen your relationship by communicating and working on what you need to work on before you tie the knot. and think about it; by not having sex, you have something to look forward to.
November 20, 2011 8:23 PM
im not sure I agree
I regret not sleeping with my wife while we were dating only because were not compatible what so ever when it comes to sex.
its a pretty dull life now
May 13, 2012 6:47 AM
well, I'm quit sure that is not the reason why you are living a dull life, even though you think it is. Look deeper, find some meaning and purpose in your life and I'll promise you a change:)
May 17, 2013 3:52 AM
It might be good to consider whether it's compatibility that's the real issue, or rather something else, like perhaps willingness to give to the other. If spouses view sex as an opportunity to give themselves selflessly to each other, then they will be not just willing, but eager to find out how they might give more fully and more compatibly, taking into account the other person first. If they view it as an opportunity to get something from each other then each is likely to disregard the other in favor of their own desires and preferences. It is not the technique that makes sex so wonderful in marriage, but rather the attitude of love and giving. So what seems to be a problem of sexual compatibility might in reality be a problem of selfishness vs. authentic giving in the relationship.
November 20, 2011 5:12 AM
re: If only some-one had told me
I am Non-Jewish and I am now a B"Nei Noach but back 38 years ago I had relations outside of marriage with my now husband. When dating after several weeks he asked me to sleep with him and I did but it is something I regretted. I was afraid that if I said No he wouldn't go out with me anymore. I should have taken that rout because I can testify to the fact that it does cloud your judgement and you cannot see clearly. We are still married but it is not a good marriage. We do not communicate well and emotionally he is not there for me and never has been. It has not been a good marriage on many levels. I certainly would not recommend any girl sleeping with a guy before marriage - Jewish or non-Jewish. It costs too much and women are worth so much more than cheap thrills. I learnt the hard way and boy, what a lesson.
November 21, 2011 2:52 PM
SO PRE-MARITAL SEX RUINED YOUR MARRIAGE?
How do you know that having pre-marital sex ruined your marriage? It could one of a number of things - I do not think that you can lay the blame on having pre-marital sex. MANY people have had pre-marital sex and are very happily married. I am not saying that pre-marital sex is right or wrong - what I am saying is that that was not the only reason for your unhappy marriage. Marriage is far more complicated than that. Maybe you are just looking for an excuse??
November 21, 2011 8:57 PM
thats not what was written
correct me if im wrong, but i read helen's comment differently: that having premarital sex is what pushed the relationship to BECOME a marriage, because of a deep, physical relationship as opposed to a deep, emotional/caring relationship. it seems that her relationship with her boyfriend advanced too quickly, and she wasnt logical when making a decision.
November 20, 2011 1:54 AM
I've come from a religious life to a secular life.. I have some "problems".. this is definitely a way forward to having some more stable relationships :)
November 18, 2011 12:14 AM
Sexual incompatibility is just as real a possibility (and a threat to a good relationship) in a marriage as any other type of incompatibility. I can see this being a very real issue, especially for women in young couples--who then simply resign themselves to a lifetime of dissatisfaction.....or who simply are never educated to know better, to know what could be possible for them (as a permitted pleasure) in the sexual experience.
I think it is much better to have a partner with some degree of experience in these matters: a husband or wife who has some level of *skill* and understanding that the idea in sex is to give pleasure to the other person you are with--not simply to get to the end as quickly as possible (so to speak). When at least one person in the marriage has some level more advanced sexual thinking, then both partners tend to benefit more, I think.
November 18, 2011 12:06 AM
Today's morals may be different
but Torah law is the same as always. Does anybody think about the laws of Nida? What about the punishment of Koreis?Some Jews think if they are not religious they can do whatever they want. Wrong! Wrong! Jewish law pertains to all Jews regardless of how religious they consider themselves.
Hilchos Nida are extremely strict. And no, you don't get away with it in the long run.
November 17, 2011 3:56 AM
Being shomer negiah before marriage does protect the woman, but I had done this at a later time in life, and I had learned that it doesn't work from my experience. I feel it is okay to have premarital relations before marriage with the intent to marry.
November 17, 2011 11:26 AM
Halacha is not about feelings
It is G-d who created our physical, emotional and spiritual potential and needs. Following halacha (i.e.Jewish law) is living our lives in accordance with G-d's commandments which are in sync with our true needs as designed by our Creator. If we skew things and "feel" differently, that does not change Jewish law. Jewish law unequivocally forbids premarital relations. Go argue with G-d about what is okay and what is not.
November 17, 2011 3:27 AM
We dont do it because our conscius not allow it, but we too want to...
lori, thank you for your words!!, always wonderfull and significative. it is not only your words , its the way you say them.
I need to speek in spanish, but I hope someone may traduce to you.
Que padre que tengas el valor de hablar de este tema. Yo creo que si no estuvieramos concientes de que para Hashem no es adecuado tener relaciones premaritales, mucha gente lo haría, ¿acaso algun día no te paso por tu mente llegar a hacerlo? , si, pero te detuvo tu Irat shamaim y tus valores tan solidos.
Es totalmente cierto lo que dijiste de la " claridad".
Te felicito....muy bena reflexión.
November 16, 2011 10:43 PM
Shared with my scouts via FACEBOOK.
November 16, 2011 8:51 PM
Lori: I'm from Mexico and recently inscribed to Aish's page so my son recomend me to see your blog (he see it with translation to spanish) and I liked it so much that what I did as I didn't had the time to see all your previous blogs is to download them and covert them to MP3 so now I can hear them in the car and I really enjoy them. Thanks for all the advise.
November 16, 2011 7:03 PM
I am a divorced dati leumi woman who will not sleep with any man until I am married to him. Kedusha- holiness- is the cornerstone of the Jewish people. We are commanded to be holy. Sleeping with a man you are not married to is not holy behavior, by far. We are not animals who indulge our desires simply to satisfy them. Marriage is the holy institution that elevates the sexual union. I like Lori you used the world "sacred" because that is exactly what this is about. A Jewish woman is expected to behave with dignity and holiness. Passing yourself around to men you are not married to is not a dignified way for a Jewish woman to behave. And before some women tell me they would only sleep with a man they thought they had a future with- how many times have we met a man we thought "for sure" we'd have a future with- only to be bitterly disappointed once we got to know him better. Jewish women can- and should- behave better than this.
November 16, 2011 5:10 PM
Intimacy - whats sacred?
I couldn't agree with you more. I've been married before and the men out there are no different to the teenage boys or young men in their early twenties. On the most part, most men want it all, sex included, with no commitment. I met this amazing guy. Thank G-d he's frum but he doesn't know if he can commit to a relationship. I'm not asking him to jump into bed with me. As you said, that is something sacred and should/must wait until you are married. All I want is a commitment and then we can take it from there. Brochas. I need brochas!
November 16, 2011 5:08 PM
Lori is The Best. I love her approach.
Lori is so calming, so sensible, and so real - she brings CLARITY (the word she emphasizes in this video) to this vexing real-life dating conundrum - sleep-with-him-or-lose-him. Lori, keep on talking; we need your messages in this crazy age.
November 16, 2011 2:59 PM
This is excellent. I hope parents, youth leaders and teachers will use this!
November 16, 2011 6:15 AM
Thanks, you make it sound so easy
It is never easy to discuss this issue with your children, when everyone in the world seems to think nothing about having sex with anyone and everyone they have a date with. Lori, you make it so clear and easy in a short discussion, how wrong this is. Let us try and convince our young teens - and especially the young boys to respect themselves and their companions and keep intimacy and playing between the sheets until they are married.
November 16, 2011 5:25 AM
Lori thank you! I just passed this on to my daughter to night to share with a group of her friends that meet weekly great material for them. As for the young men i will show this to them and have no reservation about using because though your example is as a young woman the same is true if you used a young man as an example. Truth is Truth ! for the older generations welll... I will be 60 in 8 weeks. . I have been single for 5 years and am not dating a wonderful woman There will be no sexual contact between us because we do not want that to keep us from seeing us as we really are. if after we have explored our selves and find we can marry with out reservation or compromise of our values then we will marry and enjoy each other sexually. Any thing less is selfish use of each other,is it not? Adultery is adultery ,age has nothing to do withmoraly acceptibale
November 16, 2011 1:37 PM
Age and maturity does matter...
I disagree with your last sentence. It is only adultery if one or both individuals are married. If both people are single for whatever reason and are mature (I'm over 60) and marriage may not be realistic...why not enjoy each other? Sure there can be the religious rule violation debate..but life is too short and maybe some rules can be broken to enjoy life...just my opinion.
November 16, 2011 1:46 AM
What are Pre-Nups?
The main reason to wait for marriage is to protect the woman from men who would be happy to use them for sex but not be family men. However, lots of people get married and do NOT share money with one another. That is what pre-nups are all about, especially in 2nd marriages. Furthermore, we have all engaged baby sitters whom we trust to watch our children for a few hours, but that doesn't mean that we'd share financial information with them. What? They have access to your kids but you wouldn't trust them with your money?? Similarly, some women don't feel used or hurt if they have sex with the man, even if he dumps them. It's lost the stigma, so they don't feel stigmatized. Too bad. Intimacy has lost its intimate nature!
November 15, 2011 11:21 PM
Relevant to our times!
Fabulous video Lori! In this time of fast access to all things, poor role models on tv "kardashians, jerseylicious,sex and the city" this is relevant to all singles regardless of age. Toda Rabbah!
November 15, 2011 10:07 PM
It is a shame mothers and daughters did not have such advice throughout the past 50 years when intimacy became so commonplace. Now that pre-teens are intimate, even without knowing the potential outcomes, you message and method of delivery is most timely. Thank you.
November 15, 2011 8:33 PM
Why is this message addressed to young women only?
Is it because young men are not supposed not to understand self-control in intimacy matters? Or is it because this message doesn't apply to them?
November 15, 2011 8:33 PM
virginity is a gift for you husband (the man you love) and intimate relations is for married people only!
November 15, 2011 7:35 PM
Brave and timely
Thank you for showing such courage. The message is timely. I suppose we feel that since we are part of this culture we need to participate in its values. Why not? What harm can it do if we take precautions?
Back in the 50's and 60's, we were the envy of the West as far as divorce statistics. It was almost unheard of. Now, we are right there, with the rest of them. We are better, but still close. Our Orthodox population is saving us. But, we have been down this road before. Have we not lived within the walls of these great cultures? Have we not been warned so many times not to be part of them? And what was the consequence each and every time, without fail? There is a saying that I learned from a great rabbi. He said, "Just remember that reason sells itself to the highest bidder." In this case, it is one's lust. The choice is there.
November 15, 2011 7:02 PM
Intimacy & respect
I think your what is sacred is well thought out but it seems to be directed to Mothers & Daughters and should also be addresse to Fathers & Sons.
In addition there is also the matter of self respect and respect for the partner. In todays world I think we have lost that ingredient as indicated by the films we watch. the way we dress, the books we read, the way we advertise are all directed to excite the prurient instincts of our young people.
Its no longer shameful to have children out of wedlock and when you look at the statistics in this country, Divorce takes place in almost 50% of marriages.
I'm not a saint and I really should not criticize without a positive solution but as an Octogenarian, my thinking is we have lost respect for ourselves and each other and getting it back, although at this point difficult, should be our goal.
November 15, 2011 6:35 PM
Hi Lori -- Your advice to wait until you're married may well work for teenagers who envision getting married when they're in their late teens or their early twenties. But for those who see themselves as marrying in their thirties, or for those who already are in their late twenties or their thirties, it's not too realistic. For them, simply emphasizing "first, clarity" before beginning intimate relations enough of a message without suggesting "first,clarity; next, marriage" prior to sex, which is probably asking to much.
November 15, 2011 9:44 PM
Asking too much from whom?
Eliyahu, I saw your comment, and, I just had to reply. You say that asking people who don't envision themselves getting married until their thirties to refrain from intimate relations with a partner is asking too much. My question to you is, of whom is it asking too much? The Torah places a premium on a woman's chastity on her wedding night, and, most Jewish men will balk at marrying a woman who isn't a virgin until her wedding night. So who are Jewish men supposed to have relations with outside of marriage, assuming that Jewish women are observing the Torah, and, waiting for marriage? Is it that Jewish men want to emulate the goyim, and, sleep with a woman promising to marry her, but, never getting around to it? Or, is it that they want to sleep with nochriyot before finding a nice Jewish girl to settle down with? Heaven forbid the self-same Jewish girl have the foresight to ask her intended to be tested for STDs before marriage assuming that he respects her enough to be honest about his exploits. Jewish women, were they to engage in similar behavior, would be vilified, and, humiliated throughout their community for their entire lives, and, no Jewish man would marry them. Am I to believe then that Jewish men are not expected to have an ounce of foresight, or, impulse control, while, we, Jewish women are expected to be paragons of virtue capable of quelling every human impulse? That's absolutely ridiculous, and, absolutely not in accordance with Torah. Bottom line is, if Jewish women are expected to resist the temptation to be intimate before marriage, then the same restraint, and, impulse control should be expected of Jewish men. So, no, Eliyahu, it is most definitely not too much to ask.
November 16, 2011 1:31 PM
I couldn't agree with you more. And here is something else that might help when it comes to self-restraint: other modern-day cultures have taken two approaches to trying to fool G-d about their intentions and actions by either sleeping around, or by taking multiple wives. Better is the man who takes the one good wife G-d has arranged for him to love and be faithful to, and if so blessed, to share children with, than those men who act like tomcats or run modern-day harems. I have been 'self-restraining' for many years and I sure don't like it; but I know it matters to G-d and will matter some day to the man I marry.
November 15, 2011 6:23 PM
Please make a video targeting men
Dear Lori, I love your vids! They always have a take-away message. You are finally hitting some very sensitive notes that our generation is very familiar with. Please continue to speak about these topics. Can you also target the male audience? I am sure you deal with women a lot more than with men, but many men listen to you too and would love to hear the Torah's view through your understanding. Your delivery is phenomenal. Thank you for your small doses of chizuk. They add up.
November 15, 2011 5:00 PM
Post on YouTube
I am very impressed with the candor and integrity of this clip and will circulate it among my circle of friends who are parents of teens (both observant and non-observant). I recommend that you post it on YouTube and every other accessible social media venue for wide exposure. Forward as well to PEJE and Torah Umesorah for their Teacher Information. We cannot assume and/or take for granted that any young dating-age man/woman has control of their clarity.
November 15, 2011 4:44 PM
Lori - I've never heard these points put so clearly. Clarity is indeed the goal. Brilliant!
November 15, 2011 4:12 PM
I understand about the clarity thing , but if you are attracted to the guy already and have romantic thoughts, doesn't it kill the clarity anyway??? You have acoffe together and the clarity is gone......
November 15, 2011 2:26 PM
Godd Advise ..maybe not for all.
Lori, I think you have addressed this subject well and the advise is fine for young first timers. I am a fellow( Jewish but not frum) whose wife of many years past away. I have been going out wife a nice Jewish woman previously married. At this time for a number of reasons marriage isn't practical but since we are both consenting and mature adults, waiting isn't part of the reality.
November 15, 2011 2:07 PM
Sexual relations are indeed "sacred"
This clever video talk provides a wonderful mini-story to bring to life what the philosophers mean when they say sex has become "commoditised", and what a travesty that is. But, for the message to be effective, the person it's aimed at would need to be a Bank Account holder, and I would think a sizeable proportion of the target audience does not.
November 15, 2011 12:53 PM
More Lori Please!
Dear Lori, can you make one for our teenage sons, now? They too are at so much risk - not just in their pocketbooks, but in their hearts and future children. A great video!
November 15, 2011 3:37 AM
The relationship between the two is precious. It shouldn't just be about bodily pleasure, but about connecting on a deeper level. You find that out by spending time talking to each other and seeing if you are compatible, have similar values and interests and are good for each other. Intamacy is special and should be kept for a special time
November 15, 2011 3:36 AM
I think your advice is pertinent to young men as well. Anything less is ridiculous.
November 14, 2011 11:18 PM
What I told my daughters
I told my girls that the best way to find out if a guy is serious is to _not_ sleep with them. If they stick around, they're serious. If not, they're not the one you want anyway. I also told them that the major factor in my divorce was that their mother and I slept together before we got to know one another. Truth be told, I told my sons the same thing, gender-adjusted of course. Fortunately both their mother and I have happy, fulfilling and loving second marriages so they had good models, if not the ideal situation of their parents' having a good relationship together.
November 14, 2011 11:13 PM
Not a chance
I think that in a society 120 years ago your ideas were right, the torah has all the wisdom , but just as much as we adapted our lives to the advances of technology, i believe the same should apply to people exploring our sexuality, just with the aid of good sexual education at home.
Your work is incredible, but we agree to disagree on this one.
November 15, 2011 12:42 PM
Exploring our sexuality?
With all due respect Alejandro, sleeping together is as old as the Torah, and much more advanced than any "technology". We even have "after you have done it"
contraception. You make "exploring our sexuality" sound archaological. I hope you understand that usually it is the female that ends up the artifact. I must side with Lori on this one.
November 17, 2011 11:22 PM
Alejandro -- "exploring our sexuality" has to be one of the most Orwellian phrases I could think of when it comes to sex. If the Torah was written 120 years ago and was written by people, then it'd be a nice self-help book. But it is the word of HaShem, our Creator (yep, yours too!) and we should heed G-d's advice. Even you say that "the torah has all the wisdom". So why are you questioning what you claim to be infallible? Maybe because its an inconvenience. Lori is 100% correct on this one.
November 14, 2011 10:40 AM
Sex before marriage is not what our creator wants. Why ? Because it was designed as a pleasure for following HIS plan of marriage and creation. One lacks respect for G-d, and the other "partner" by doing so. One seeks the pleasure for the pleasures sake. How many divorces, broken families, could be avoided if this was not done ?
November 14, 2011 1:29 AM
What about after you're engaged? You already had the clarity to come to the realization you want to spend the rest of your life with them... so then what is wrong with sleeping with your fiance?
November 14, 2011 4:37 PM
Because there is no commitment
Where there is no commitment, the woman is taking a huge chance with the most precious thing she has; her very self. Once the woman has enough self respect to wait until marriage, she has everything to gain. She can never be torn apart like girls and women are today.
November 14, 2011 1:13 AM
Premature Sexual relationships
I agree completely. My children are now 42, 39, and 36 (the two eldest are married with three children each (my daughter went to Israel with you this past summer) and my youngest is engaged) but when they were in college I gave all of them the same talk--you may think you are an adult and can handle adult relationships but sex is a complex act and is not worthwhile when it is casual and not committed. I told them that I am guiding them now; when they have graduated from college they can better plan out their future and think out these complex relationships. Don't have sex; too many complex emotions are awakened that are too difficult to deal with when you are trying to decide what your future will entail and what kind of a person you want to spend your life with. Of course I was speaking from my own perspective as I was married right after I graduated from college and could never dream of the lack of seriousness that now pervails. While I do not believe in Shomer Negiah, the current "third date" behavior is destructive for the individual and for society.
November 14, 2011 4:39 PM
why not agree with shomer negiah?
it protects a girl and teaches the guy how precious, special, incredible and magical this girl is.
November 13, 2011 11:49 PM
a different courtship
My daughter has just become engaged to a great guy whom she feels very close to.
Their courtship was conducted in a relationship that does not allow touching-both agreed on that.
She would relate how their "dates "were so special filled with many hours of dialogue concerning their characters and their aspirations for a full Jewish life together based on values they had seen in their homes and had learnt from school.When she would be separated from him for a short while she would hug herself and say how much she misses him.When they are together they look very "lovey dovey" and stlll have the "strength" to hold back the touch.
Yes initially it seemed almost not natural that they would not even hold hands but as the months went by one could really sense the quality they shared in their unique relationship.
I envy them on that special evening of their lives when they can share that intimacy on such a high and meaningful level that others throw away for the sake of fun.
November 13, 2011 8:59 PM
Definitely need one for Men
Lori, this was a great video and one of your best. I agree with it 100%. However, as a young man BT, I urge you to make another video devoted to men and their need to wait for sex until marriage. It takes two to tango, so to speak. As other commentators have said, focusing only on women is unfair to them and ignores male desires. Women absolutely need to follow your advice but men do too (which I know you wouldn't disagree, but it wasn't addressed in this video).
November 14, 2011 12:10 PM
the women are the key
If the girls so "no" the boys don't have much choice.
November 14, 2011 4:41 PM
it's not ignoring male desires
It's teaching men that this is a woman worth waiting for!
November 13, 2011 6:33 PM
Lori--The fathers need to speak with their sons just as much as the mothers need to speak with their daughters. I have a 20 year old son and my husband and I have told him we are against premarital relations. To exclude the young men from this otherwise important and fine essay is to put too much unnecessary pressure on our young women.
Display my name?
Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.