I read your initial blogpost and I wanted to write to you. You see, you wrote the following:
- The Orthodox Jewish world does not encourage frank expression of sexual desire, except in marriage, and I am healthily skeptical that those conversations occur in very many marriages. The Orthodox Jewish world further portrays to (single) women the notion that (single) men are fairly filled with lust, and it is the responsibility of a woman to restrain not merely her own desires, but those of men as well.
There is no place for a non-anonymous confession: to openly admit that I long to lie in a man's arms at night, to desire and be desired, to stamp my name on such yearning, has no place in the public Orthodox sphere. Passion is the prize of marriage, nothing less.
Still, I believe that these things I want are the necessarily secret hope of many observant women, and I would like to believe that this blog will not merely be my voice, but the voice of those many women who long, as I do, to be valued through touch.
Regarding your point: Is there anyone human who doesn't long to be touched and loved? The two are synonymous. Touch is an expression of love. To touch another person is to convey how you feel about them. How sensitive and exquisite are the padded tips of our fingers! Soft and delicate and incredibly crafted through the kindness and precision of a wonderful God. Within these hands, so much exists. The artisan, the craftsman, the labourer and the worker- all of them are men and women of their hands. These hands can create worlds or destroy them. And yes, through touch, these hands that all of us share in common can awaken people to everything pure within themselves. Of course, it is the body as a whole that desires to be loved and touched, not merely our hands. But I choose to discuss hands specifically because of how much we accomplish with them.
To me your point is obvious. Who could live without passion? Everyone wants to desire and be desired, loved and appreciated. We long, as human beings, to give to others. We overflow with this desire. Judaism is a religion of self-restraint and thus it is very difficult. Sometimes it is impossible. So what I wanted to tell you is quite simple. Of course you are not alone! It should not even be a question. Everybody, man or woman, wants to be valued through touch and wants to be loved. So, my darling, the question is not what we want- but how we get there. What do we do with this passion? How do we channel it? Sanctify and uplift it? Your premise is absolutely right- there is no question that it is right! But what do we do with all that courses through us- who do we become- who are we as people? I believe that our mission in this world is to throw off light, to glitter so brilliantly that our souls shine through. Thus, passion is a tool in creating that person. The question is what you will do with all the longing, yearning, passion and desire that courses through you. They are powerful tools. I hope you are loved, entirely so! I would simply reframe your words. Rather than passion being the prize of marriage, I would say that the fulfillment of passion is the prize of marriage. But what do you do in the interim?
Ah, my friend- that is what we each get to figure out for ourselves! Tis our unique combination of talents, qualities and longing combined that makes us incredible. And one more point- it is not just the craving to be loved and touched that is important. It is the desire to give back- to love another. It is not enough to desire only on behalf of oneself. Yes, human beings are passionate and giving and divine. But all that longing builds up to enable you to do something aside from longing. You must create something or else you will go mad. So what is it that you shall do with these strong, strong feelings within yourself? I do not know. That's your magic to employ. But you shall do something- you must!