Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Observance of Family Purity Amongst Single and Married Jews

[Long story short: Two academics are using my blog to invite you to take an anonymous survey about how closely you follow the nidah rules.]

A guest post
by Mark A. Guterman, & Orit Avishai

Data from related studies indicate that Jewish tradition, teachings, and practices produce a unique set of anxieties on the one hand, and that sexual practices diverge, sometimes greatly, from official teachings. However, to date, few empirical have investigated sexual practices among orthodox Jews. This study aims to begin to shed light on this domain.

Specifically, this study proposes to examine Jewish sexuality by focusing on adherence to Jewish practices of menstrual defilement and purification (known as niddah, a set of rules that regulates sexual conduct) by married and single Jews worldwide.

Through online surveys, this research considers the meanings of niddah in the lives of Jewish men and women, and the cultural, social, and political significance of niddah in contemporary Jewish societies. Though systems of menstrual defilement and purification have been studied in other contexts, presently little is known about the level of adherence to Jewish menstrual laws. The primary investigator's work has examined adherence among a specific sect of Judaism, while the collaborator's previous study generated local qualitative data about adherence among orthodox Jews in Israel; this follow up study is aimed at providing a broader context for these findings.

and of course, the link:

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