Jewish book has prayer for anonymous sex

Sept. 17, 2008 at 8:08 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A San Francisco synagogue's new prayer book contains a prayer for unexpected intimacy.

The prayer is included in Congregation Sha'ar Zaha's siddur to be released by San Francisco's main gay synagogue, the Jewish Telegraph Agency reported Tuesday.

The news service reported the prayer is meant to be said after engaging in anonymous sex.

"In the dark, in a strange place, our father Jacob encountered a stranger with whom he grappled all night," the prayer begins, referring to the biblical story of Jacob wrestling with the angel. "He never knew the stranger's name, yet their encounter was a blessing, which turned Jacob into Israel and made him realize, I have seen God face-to-face."

The prayer, titled "Kavannah for Unexpected Intimacy," asks God to permit the encounter to be a blessing "that allows us to both touch and see the divine."

Rabbi Steve Greenberg, an openly gay Orthodox rabbi, said anonymous sex is a form of "mutual objectification" and is the opposite of holiness.

"What is missing from this prayer is that holiness grows incrementally as we move beyond the momentary, the sensual and the strange."

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