Confronting the Less Popular Sexual Sins: A Shovavim Plea


Sexual sins are possibly the most interesting of sins. There are few transgressions more titillating, more shamed, and more taboo than those having to do with succumbing to desires of the flesh.

During this time of the Jewish calendar, some communities have a custom to focus on atoning for sins in the realm of sexual immorality. Some examples I’ve heard are reviewing the marital sexual laws of niddah, and spreading awareness about the dangers of pornography.

One of the most damaging sexual sins doesn’t get enough press time, and every year, I like to mention it in some way during this Shovavim time period. That is our woefully inadequate education about sexuality. The traumas that could be avoided by better sexual education

For years, I've been writing and lecturing about the need for better sex education, particularly in many communities where it's not just a deficit but a matter of policy to deprive children and teens of this education. This is not a random soapbox, but one borne of first hand witness to hundreds of cases of preventable trauma.

I was recently invited by a popular kallah teacher, coach, and advocate, Bracha Bard Wigdor, to do a joint video talk on this topic. The feedback we've been getting, thousands of messages worth, has been everything from heartbreaking to heartwarming, (and predictably, a very small amount of pushback).

The most gratifying responses have been the many couples who are now seeking therapy based on what they've heard, and premarital educators who are consciously amending their curricula accordingly. Praying for a day when a talk like this will become unnecessary. Here is the link, if you'd like to listen:

Marital Pleasure, Consent and Rape


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Elisheva Liss, LMFT is a psychotherapist in private practice. Her book, Find Your Horizon of Healthy Thinking, is available on She can be reached for sessions or speaking engagements at More of her content can be found at