Why Get Shtupped?
By: Rabbi Lori Shapiro
The opening psukim (verses) of Lamentations conjure images of a desolate young woman; curiously, the woman is identified as a princess, with language that alludes to Sarah the Matriarch. This woman is the personification of the City of Gold, Jerusalem, and in the wake of the terrors described in Lamentation, or Eicha (a word I think is best described by an image – that of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”), she lies vulnerable, ravaged, beaten.
This disturbing image is, indeed, a metaphor for the collective trauma of what might have happened in 587 BCE. Jeremiah’s words are an ancient PTSD lament describing the emotional trauma of the loss of the First Temple. What are we to make of this disconsolate dirge today, whose highly charged poetry spins subtle verses of sexual metaphors about the desecration of Jerusalem? Why the sexual innuendo?
These images are a hauntingly disturbing counterpoint to the conversations in our media this week. Perhaps it is time that we turn from prurient interests (and the unresolved traumas that underly them), to the holiness of lovemaking and the sanctity of intimacy. Perhaps, it is time to reclaim the idea that the act of physical intimacy is actually a Manifestation of Love, and an accessible portal for knowing and celebrating Godliness in our midst.
Thus, Get Shtupped Shabbat.
Get Shtupped Shabbat is Open Temple’s offering to reclaim healthy sexual language on the Hebrew calendar date that celebrates love – Tu b’Av. “Shtup” is the Yiddish word for “getting it on,” and we celebrate the Love-Positive notion that all of our ancestors were once young and in search of love, which led to creating us. Get Shtupped Shabbat celebrates the universality of sensuality and intimacy – with oneself, with a beloved or in community. It invites us to remember and reclaim the notion that the rabbis considered it “a mitzvah” to engage in sexual intimacy on the Sabbath as a way of knowing intimacy with God and Creation. It’s Open Temple’s way of acknowledging the beauty of human love in all forms, and it’s this Friday night at 6:30 pm on the beach.
Full Moon Rising. Ocean Waves Radiating Shechinah. Pure Soul.
It’s going to be Beautiful.
with Love and a Blessing to Love in All Forms,