Sexual Ethics Research Paper

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‘Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him.’ (Deuteronomy 30:19-20) Explain how the ethical teachings of Judaism support adherents to ‘choose life’ in respect to sexual ethics

Sexual ethics is a divinely inspired moral Law prescribed by God that allows adherents to choose life so that they “may live, loving the Lord God, obeying him, and holding fast to him” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). The mitzvah to "choose life” is grounded in the belief that adherents have the free will to make moral choices based on the soul’s desires. Rabbi Eliezer Davidovits discusses that in order to correctly “choose life”, adherents must engage with life, not take refuge from it. “Stay faithful to Judaism, live Jewish lives, build Jewish homes and continue the Jewish story to your offspring.” Thus,
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Marriage and proper sexual expression is intrinsically and ultimately linked to ‘kadosh’ meaning holiness. In Judaism holy things are set apart and made special and unique. When sex is reserved for marriage, it too is considered holy and a way of choosing life. Orthodox Jew Maurice Lamm in his book ‘The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage’, discusses how “sexual relations within the context of marriage have a value and life all of their own” allowing adherents to choose life that gives meaning and purpose. Further, the act of homosexuality in Judaism is believed to “diminish life”, and deny the root structure that Judaism wishes for all mankind, the family. Judaism affirms whatever enhances life, and it opposes or separates whatever represents death. God’s first act was the union of male and female and thus, male celibacy is a sin in Judaism. The consummation of their union is through sexual expression however, in the Torah, a man cannot have sexual
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