JTA — As Jews, we tend to pride ourselves on our tradition’s values and how we pass them on to future generations; values such as education, tzedakah, loving the stranger, pursuing justice and tikkun olam, “repair of the world.” But if you were to start a conversation today with a teenager, would you be ready to articulate Jewish values related to dating and sexuality?
Several such values can be gleaned straight from the Book of Ruth customarily read during the holiday of Shavuot, which begins this year on the evening of June 11.
These include the importance of giving actions their right names; for instance, naming any form of coerced or non-consensual sexual activity as abuse.
Another is that every human act, even one that seems instinctive and often depicted as a purely physical transaction, deserves the dignity that comes from our being God’s partners.
Jewish teens, living in a complex world full of competing values, need to hear that the more they are able to connect sex to love and love to respect, the more deeply satisfied and whole both they and their partners will feel.
Jewish Women International recently produced “Dating Abuse: Tools for Talking to Teens,” an online video course for parents and teens about healthy relationships, prevention of abuse and proven interventions.
For example, here we read about Boaz, a wealthy kinsman of Ruth’s destitute, widowed mother-in-law, Naomi.
Boaz invites Ruth, along with other young women, to collect unharvested produce in his fields.The curriculum notes that teens, especially girls, are “bombarded with the glorification of idealized, romantic, obsessive love” and that many boys are “inundated with hyper-sexualized messages reducing relationships to degrading sex, glorifying control of women’s bodies, and promoting violence.” But it also reminds parents and other trusted adults that they can counteract these influences by sharing their own values with their children.Although the Book of Ruth is an ancient text told in only four chapters, it can be a source of Jewish values for teens entering the world of dating today. We love our members and want everyone to have the best experience possible. * Your payment will automatically renew and your i Tunes account will be charged for renewal 24-hours prior to the end of your current three/six/twelve month subscription period. Play mutual match to meet someone special No Fakes! If you don't want to talk to someone, you can block them with one click. Please note that for subscriptions:* Your payment will be charged to your i Tunes account.We have an admin team who work 24/7 to make sure our community clean and safe for all users.