Determinants of the intimate lives of Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) Jewish couples

David S. Ribner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


For many traditional populations, ostensibly little touched by twentieth-century sexual variations, intimate relations remain deeply anchored in sacred beliefs, which define, optimally, every aspect of couple interaction. For marital and sex therapists, it is axiomatic that denying the validity or opposing the mandates of these expectations will undermine any attempt at creating therapeutic trust. This paper examines six pervasive influences on the sexual behaviour of Haredi Jewish couples-holiness, time, modesty, initial sexual contacts, communication and sexual isolation-and the inherent clinical challenges resulting from their adherence to traditional rules defining and influencing intimate behaviour. The word haredi means God fearing and refers to those within the Orthodox Jewish community whose lives are governed by scrupulous observance of Jewish law. A case example is presented which illustrates some of these influences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
JournalSexual and Relationship Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2003


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