5.0 out of 5 stars This book renewed my faith in marriage
I want to get a copy of this for all my married friends and family! I'm not Jewish, nor particularly religious, but this is the most pratical marriage guide i've ever seen. Yes, you have to take many (most?) of his comments with the wink with which Rabbi Boteach writes them, but underneath are some of the greatest hidden truths about love and marriage. If you take his...
Published on Nov 18 2002 by tetrap01
2.0 out of 5 stars A prescription for masochism and mayhem
The core premise of this book is that marriages based on love and respect are doomed to failure because these overrated virtues only lead to boredom. Trusting your spouse inevitably means you take him or her for granted. Instead, to keep your marriage alive, you should promote within it "tension" and "raging emotion," in specific, gut-wrenching fear and jealousy leading...
Published on Oct 1 2002 by Kate McMurry
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book renewed my faith in marriage,
This review is from: Kosher Adultery: Seduce and Sin with Your Spouse (Hardcover)I want to get a copy of this for all my married friends and family! I'm not Jewish, nor particularly religious, but this is the most pratical marriage guide i've ever seen. Yes, you have to take many (most?) of his comments with the wink with which Rabbi Boteach writes them, but underneath are some of the greatest hidden truths about love and marriage. If you take his statements literally (e.g., "Trust destroys most marriages"), you can find much to disagree with, but if you listen to what he's saying underneath (e.g., "Reclaim the passion and mystery of your mate"), you will find it very inspiring. Rabbi Boteach makes the point: if marriage is about trust and comfort and caring and being friends, why not just stay with our parents or siblings. Of course it's about all those things, but the point is, it's also about experiencing the miracles of passion and lust and lovemaking with abandon. As he points out, more marriages are killed by the slow rot of boredom and complacency than by affairs. The good Rabbi has a fantastic sense of humor. He often comes across machho and traditional in his outlook, but his lightness of being (the twinkle in his eye) comes through loud and clear if you read with an open mind. I enthusiastically recommend this to anyone of any faith who is married or contemplating marriage. In fact, I think it should be required reading for any one who wants to entertain a long-term relationship!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Marriage-Saving Stuff,
This review is from: Kosher Adultery: Seduce and Sin with Your Spouse (Hardcover)The basic premise of "Kosher Adultery" is the discussion of just what makes adultery so prevalent and exciting. It then gives suggestions for ways to create those aspects in our marriages.
This book accompanied my husband and I on a weekend away, and the concepts within it changed the way we saw intimacy and our relationship with one another. While I am not Jewish and didn't agree with all of the Rabbi's assertions, I agree with the reviewer who said the fundimental truths the book conveyed were what were so key. Rabbi Boteach's words were like soothing balm in so many ways.
As a society we pay lip service to marriage. We say it's our number one relationship, yet we are unwilling to trade the pace of our lives for investing in each other. We put everything first: jobs, children etc. We give our mates the leftovers. Is it any wonder marriages are suffering from staleness and boredom? Is it any wonder that people feel neglected and dispassionate? Is it any wonder half the people at the altar who promise to love, honour and cherish are in divorce court a few years later?
This book was a gift to us as a couple. If you want mere companionship, get a roomate or a dog. Marriage and lust for your spouse must be deliberately re-claimed and purposefully nourished. And Rabbi Boteach's book is an amazing foundation for discussion.
Best book I have read on marriage-preservation, hands down.
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Spin on the Ten Commandments,
This review is from: Kosher Adultery: Seduce and Sin with Your Spouse (Hardcover)This is a gem of a book.
Like David Schnarch's "Passionate Marriage," this book should be required reading before anyone "ties the knot of Holy Vows."
What this book is *not* is an invitation to open marriage, or adultery per se:
"Adultery serves a double wrong; first, because it betrays a marriage and causes terrible pain to one's spouse; and second, because it robs a marriage of the input it needs to survive and prosper. On a more individual level, adultery erodes, if not utterly destroys, the faith and trust that one partner has in the other. Worse, it causes an almost incurable feeling of inadequacy that the partner who has been cheated on cannot shake.... What is particularly unjust about this... is that it is the *victim* who feels responsible."
What Rabbi Boteach advocates is harnessing the inevitable, blind, biological tendency to adultery to supercharge and strengthen traditional, monogamous marriage:
*Husbands could never afford to become complacent because they were married to voracious sexual seductresses that constantly need to be re-seduced.
*Wives became the living embodiment of a man's sexual fantasies -- a woman with an insatiable appetite who would do anything for sex.
If this were to occur, would men still need to turn to manufactured porn entertainment when the real thing is in their bedrooms? Would it not lead us to be constantly attracted to our partners?"
Boteach conveys an immense amount of originality in his discussion of what makes marriage work and, conversely, what wrecks it. And what Boteach calls upon as his primary source is the Decalogue, particularly the Tenth Commandment: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's."
This Commandment, Boteach maintains, implies a husband *is* to LUST after his *own* wife. Similarly, Boteach argues that sex is a most holy gift given by a Benign Creator to enlighten and elevate humanity, and refutes the Darwinian message that men and women are mere mechanical automata -- inevitably behaving like animals -- rather than created in the image of God. The business of being truly human, the Rabbi argues, is to transcend our natures: in this case, to be passionately monogamous for a lifetime.
For Rabbi Boteach, sexuality -- fiery, passionate sexuality -- is the very core of every successful marriage. Just as it is not "compatibility" a spouse seeks in a fling, so it is not "compatibility" that holds a lively and life-affirming marriage together: what holds marriage together *primarily* is steamy, passionate eroticism.
A wonderfully written, and immensely pleasurable read.
5.0 out of 5 stars It's saving my marriage!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Kosher Adultery: Seduce and Sin with Your Spouse (Hardcover)I've been married just over 7 years, and things have been getting... stale. Nothing ACTIVELY wrong, but nothing terribly right either.
I happened across this book, and it's changing everything. I do not think his premise (as stated in another review) is that trust kills marriages... I read it more as 'if all you have is trust and steadiness, you don't have a true marriage, you're basically friends'.
At first glance, some of his ideas did make me bristle a bit... but when I CONSIDERED why they made me bristle, I realized that it was because I knew deep down that these things would improve my marriage but I'd chosen to let them go. ("Ancient underwear? No big deal - nobody sees them but hubby." ??? Who's more important than hubby??)
Read the book with an open mind, try its ideas, and see your marriage grow and deepen!
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental ground breaker!,
This review is from: Kosher Adultery: Seduce and Sin with Your Spouse (Hardcover)Throughout history, human culture has proven expert at concocting and
binding abstract, artificial "morals" which both fail miserably to meet true
spiritual intent and fly in the face of human nature. Although Boteach has
his own personal slant on certain points, as any individual or couple will, the
important thing is that Boteach's book represents a ground breaking concept,
badly needed and long over due. It's a realistic, fundamental glimpse at
wisdom that likely could have prevented wars over time, were we all capable of
grasping it, starting with the battle over Helen at Troy. His thoughts put one
in mind also of that someone who pointed out the hypocrisies of the Pharisees
("... burdens to heavy to bare, etc."). The concepts introduced in the book can
constitute a monumental investment in realistically and naturally maintaining
passion in thinking people's relationships, as supplemented by additional,
objective research in sexuality and relationships. I know I'll send copies and
recommend this book over and over again. This topic could also use even more
focus and follow up.
2.0 out of 5 stars A prescription for masochism and mayhem,
This review is from: Kosher Adultery: Seduce and Sin with Your Spouse (Hardcover)The core premise of this book is that marriages based on love and respect are doomed to failure because these overrated virtues only lead to boredom. Trusting your spouse inevitably means you take him or her for granted. Instead, to keep your marriage alive, you should promote within it "tension" and "raging emotion," in specific, gut-wrenching fear and jealousy leading to a constant state of insecurity.
Rabbi Boteach has created a catchy premise that is bound to sell a lot of books by giving a new and intensely titillating spin on marital sex education: a supposed man of God preaching lust and jealousy as a means of accomplishing marital bliss. He spends a great deal of time making his case, propping up his argument with case histories of marital sex encounters the rabbi orchestrated, all of which read like pornography, minus only the gutter slang.
Two big questions came up for me as I read this book (I admit to a background in marriage counseling, so I'm more critical of books like this than the average reader): (1) Does the rabbi's advice make people happier? (2) Do lust and jealousy equate to love, as the rabbi claims?
The answer to the first question comes within the comments prefacing his XXX-rated case histories, one of the most notable on page 39. In it, a client states that, after using the rabbi's techniques, the passion he feels for his wife surpasses anything he's ever felt for her before, but... (and this is a *huge* "but"), "the pain [is] unrelenting."
Regarding the second question, while lust, fear and jealousy certainly aren't boring (boredom being the greatest curse a marriage could endure, according to the rabbi), to claim that these intensely destructive emotions equate to "love," is so ludicrous as to be downright scary, since the rabbi's book is likely to be read as gospel by thousands of desperate couples. I'm not sure what dictionary the rabbi is using, but the definition of "love" in virtually every edition of a standard, English dictionary routinely includes such words such as "tenderness," "benevolence," "warmth," "devotion," and "unselfish loyalty." None of these concepts figure into the rabbi's view of "love," whatsoever. In fact, the rabbi's interpretation reminds me far more of clinical "obsession," a state colorfully described in Tony Morrison's book, Jazz. She describes the feelings of a murderer for his victim as "one of those deepdown, spooky loves that made him so sad and happy he shot her just to keep the feeling going."
I believe the dynamic the rabbi is promoting in marriage sounds very like that kind of desperate, near-psychotic attachment, because it could potentially lead to violence, up to, and including, murder. If a person in a mentally unstable state (whether temporary or of long standing) were to take the rabbi's advice, and found himself hip deep in the realms of fear and pain this book vehemently promotes as "love," he might potentially be triggered to rage so strong, it could lead to violence, with tragic results.
I am willing to rate this book 4 stars for readability, but due to 1 star for content, I average the score to only 2 stars overall.
5.0 out of 5 stars You may not share nor change views, but this is a great book,
This review is from: Kosher Adultery: Seduce and Sin with Your Spouse (Hardcover)This is yet one more best-selling book, by Rabbi Shmuel Boteach. He has written on topics as varied as the interpretation of dreams, the Talmud, and Judaism altogether - all presented to a widely non-Jewish audience of readers. But his main area of interest are relationships, namely love and sex, between the two of which he of course makes a distinction. Before you think this book may not be for you, one thing has to be overwhelmingly stressed: Rabbi Boteach has his views and sticks firmly to them. Yet, the book will not try to "convert" you to those views (in fact, they are views which I do not wholly share myself). You are quite likely not to share any of the author's views on love and sex, and not change your position at all after reading the book. Yet, this is a book that will make you think. It will uncover many aspects of love, sex, marital life and relationships, which you may have never thought about. It will be extremely enriching reading, for soul and mind, and perhaps - not kidding - also for your more intimate parts. Needless to say, it is written with superb literary maestry, with a rich prose but yet extremely fluid to read. The author's words come out of the book, in the same way that they come out of his debates (he was, indeed, the winner of the prestigious Times "Preacher of the Year Award" !). A number of topics are covered, questions asked and possible answers put forward. It will be thought-provoking (but not giving any head-ache). It will be light reading touching on very deep issues. By all means, this is a book all of humanity should read.
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Kosher Adultery: Seduce and Sin with Your Spouse by Boteach (Hardcover - Sep 1 2002)
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