How Can We Make Intimacy More Holistic?

To My Dearest Soul Brothers,

This is a very hard letter to write.

But, here we are- in Tiferet sh’b’Yesod.

The truth about how we are partnering. The truth about where we are holding when it comes to physical intimacy. And how can we make it more whole, more truthful, more beautiful? How can we make it more integrated and whole?

It is hard to not cry as I write this.

We women are the Shechina. And we know that the way to heal all of the pain and suffering in the world is to reunite Kudsha Brich Hu with Shechinte. The Masculine with the Feminine.

We love you, men. We love you so much. We often see your potential long before you yourselves have seen it. We believe in you. So much. We want to support you in any way we can. Spiritually and materially and physically. So we are willing to hold and receive all of you. The healed parts. The not yet healed parts. The beautiful parts. And the not so beautiful. Broken and whole. We want to draw you into us. To comfort you, to build you, to encourage you, to be your home in the world. We want to show you your own light, as it is reflected back to you through us. We are your malchut– your mirror.

But we are so tired. Exhausted, really. Shechinta b’Galuta. If the final healing of the world, Moshiach, will come, because we learn and practice the secrets of unification, what unification can be holier/more whole than reuniting a man and a woman and creating an ADAM- a whole and integrated human being?

But our hearts…they are shattered. We don’t know anymore how to reach you- how to connect with you.

Just in these past few weeks…the stories I have gone through. The stories my friends have gone through:

You beautiful Jewish men. You ask us on shidduch dates. But then say you just want to sleep with us with no commitment. You ask us to date you and don’t want to speak about goals or visions of a future. You want to receive all we have to give- our softness, our admiration for you, our time, our company, our deep listening…but you choose to place your own comfort before ours, over and over again. Some of you even lie- promising love, commitment, and take your words back after you fulfill your taavot.

Giving feels to you like a burden. To put a woman’s needs above your own is seen as a bother. You don’t see the immense power you have to be a mashpia. To lift a woman from the ashes of despair by shining onto her the light of Torah and mitzvot. And by healing and loving this one woman who Hashem placed in your path, by way of hashgacha pratis, you will learn to open your heart to love Hashem, yourself, and all of creation.

Neediness makes you nervous.

But we need one another. We are meant to weave our souls, our hearts, our lives, our bodies, together- to become a merkavah, where shefa and bracha and light flow through us and out into the world.

I hear over and over again, men telling me what they want to get from the woman- from the relationship. And coming with a long list of desires. But they run away from any situations where they may be asked to expand their vessels to be shluchim– messengers of love and healing. Like helping a woman who is on her own with children.

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The desire to stay unchallenged and comfortable has put you to sleep. Growth is, as you say, a headache and a drey. Where is your ahavah and ratzon? How can we build a home for Hashem in this world, when men have lost the desire to build a home with one woman, in kedusha and tahara?

You, holy Jewish brothers….you ask us- single and divorced women- to go to the mikveh for you. So you can take your pleasure, and still feel you are keeping halacha. But where in halacha does it say we can use another human being?

Yesterday, one of you shared with me how he wants to sleep with almost every female friend of his he has. And thinks about that. While he is also dating somebody seriously. Another asked me to go behind his girlfriend’s back and set him up with a different friend of mine. One of you told me you would be happy to hang out and sleep with a certain woman, but don’t see yourself ever marrying her. A very young single mother shared today that she slept with a man who told her in the morning that he is in love with somebody else.

Do you understand, brothers, that the way you treat us, is the way you treat the Shechina? That you are leaving us in the dust?

The purpose of this post is not to call up shame. Chas v’shalom. But to let the pain surface. To hear the Shechina. To open our hearts, to how we may begin to see things, do things, differently. To heal holy partnering, because we are supposed to be the ones teaching the whole world the secrets of a bayit neeman.

You apologize away these behaviors…saying men and women view physical intimacy differently…even when we whisper to you, and cry to you, that we cannot separate, and that we are not SUPPOSED to separate our hearts and souls from our bodies.

Would you let your sisters and daughters be treated this way?

It’s true we are daatan kalot. Sometimes are in bitul too much. We give in to you, thinking our love can wake you up, give you a taste of what a whole zivug can look like and feel like. We are not always shomer on our own kavod. Because we feel compassion towards you when we should be steadfastly holding the lines of kedusha v’tahara. And because we are also hungry for love and warmth and affection. And so hungry for Hashem, we think if we flow with you…maybe you will get there.

It’s true that we women have our own fixings and tikkunim. But women talk about this all of the time-

We are here, in the week of yesod, because it is the secret of Yosef Hatzadik. It is the secret, that the way we show up in our most intimate relationships is the greatest reflection of where we are really at spiritually (and emotionally).

Har Sinai was all about unity. Ahavat Yisrael is beautiful, but true ahavat yisrael from the foundation up. Honoring the absolute mindblowing holiness of the one woman Hashem has brought to you.

May we mamash be zocheh to be a goy kadosh. To have relationships that are so whole- passionate, adventurous, free, while also being honoring, intimate, holy, committed, and deep.

May we learn to love Hashem deeply, through truly loving our soulmate.