I hope you all had a peaceful and restful Shabbat. I know I tried and it was mostly peaceful… except for the nightmarish images occassioned by my reading of this article in the Village Voice just before sunset yesterday. Titled The Unexpected Orgy: Spending Shabbat with six half-naked new friends—in one bed it details the activities of a New York-based group called kinkyjews and an underwear-only Shabbat dinner they had held recently in Manhattan.

Most Friday nights, I’m either home decompressing, writing, or at a comedy show. Same goes for the rest of the week; on the whole, my life is pretty boring. Sometimes, though, I have to laugh at the absurdity of running in the highly sexualized circles I do… I had no idea what to expect at dinner (all I was told was to bring a vegetarian item, and that undressing was mandatory), and knew only one person there. I was a little bit nervous, but when I was greeted by six very friendly, half-naked Jews and offered lasagna, I relaxed. I’d missed the candle-lighting, but was welcomed into the laid-back group.

Reading this I was of course offended on many different levels. I can’t help thinking that this was not what God intended when we were commanded to rest on the seventh day. Besides religious considerations, the whole orgy thing just never struck me as very… tasteful. I refer you to the wisdom of a great Jewish sage, Seinfeld in an episode titled The Switch, wherein he states:

Don’t you know what it means to become an orgy guy? It changes everything. I’d have to dress different. I’d have to act different. I’d have to grow a mustache and get all kinds of robes and lotions and I’d need a new bedspread and new curtains I’d have to get thick carpeting and weirdo lighting. I’d have to get new friends. I’d have to get orgy friends… Naw, I’m not ready for it.

Now if that weren’t enough and some of you are thinking this group of Hebrew Humpers sounds like they could be fun, let me get to the truly horrible part. You know how real life lesbians don’t at all look like the airbrushed gorgeous lesbians you see in Penthouse? Well, the same goes for orgy people. And even more so for New York Jew orgy people. Prior to writing this piece I called some of my edgier friends in the 212. I also did a bit of googling with the names they provided me with. Suffice it to say that one of my biggest issues with kinkyjews is one of esthetics. I don’t know how to say this gently so I won’t – these are some of the creepiest, leering, ugly-ass people I have ever seen, ever. And I’ve been to Frankfurt.

I’m not posting ANY pics. Be thankful. Next shabbat, light some candles, gather some friends, maybe go to shul, have a nice dinner, good conversation, revel in the rest, do whatever you like… but for pete’s sake, keep your God damned clothes on!

About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

16 Comments

  • If sex is double mitzvah on Friday night, just think of all the mitzvah points these people must be racking up!

  • Ah, can’t you just imagine this becoming a nice family tradition, with Auntie Ethel prancing in her flesh-toned stocking?

  • What’s with the judgement? not secure enough in your own self-image so you have the nerve to attack others. What do you care what other consenting people do?

    Here’s an idea: IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, DON’T DO IT!

    So what? So there are Jews who are into orgies – is that a surprise? No. And Jews often enjoy surrounding themselves with other Jews. This should surprise anyone.

    And even if it does, no one asked you.

  • ck, you are officially a crusty old Jew. Which is why I find myself agreeing with you more than logic would dictate. I am curious to know what bothered you more – the sacriligeous part or the aesthetic aspect? If it’s the former, I wonder if you’ve checked out a this photography exhibit yet:

    http://www.leonardnimoyphotography.com/2photo.htm

    Be curious to hear your thoughts on this. Even if you don’t dig it, or find it offensive, how are you gonna argue with Mr. Spock? He never loses an argument. And by the way, Canonist ran a post on the kinkyjews more than a week ago. You should read the comments. Good yucks.

  • Ramon: The only thing crusty about this post was those people’s sheets come Havdallah time. As for which bothered me more, the sacrilege or the offense against esthetics or the offense against discretion and good taste – well does it matter really? There’s ssomething there to offend everyone!

    As for Leonard Nimoy’s pedantic photography, in his shekhina series he has a nude woman wearing improperly tied teffilin. It would have been a far more powerful shot had they been properly tied. I really couldn’t get past that. Also look up Nimoy’s Bilbo video on YouTube. I really needn’t say more on that count.

    I don’t really read Canonist that often. Sorry I missed it. I was gonna read it this week to see at what point Stephen would stop possting before his wedding. Or whether he’d be posting during the honeymoon… ok I shouldn’t be such a dick. Stephen was very nice to us in New York, and his wife to be (hitching date is Aug. 21st, right? Mazel Tov!) is REALLY sweet! She even gave us $5 to giive to Tzedaka in Israel. Which we did!

  • I think its a very good idea. Shabbos has a huge boredom element to it, lets not beat around the bush, oops.

  • CK: Eeew.

    And btw, I must point out that this kind of dinner doesn’t sound like it was very Shabbosy. And I must mention that I’ve lived on the Upper West Side for many years, and never once been invited to a gathering like this one. I prefer to think of this lack of invitation as a badge of honor…

  • TJC: I’m quite secure with my self image, thank you. And I don’t care what other consenting adults do with each other. However, this article appeared in the Village Voice and, as a public service, I wanted to bring to light certain things that the article failed to mention. Those considering joining the kinkyjews group for naked shabbat can now do so with the full knowledge of what to expect – and like I said, it’s not like anything you’ll ever see in Penthouse, and it sure aint pretty.

  • woah, woah, woah…Ck, why the cheap shot at Frankfurt! 🙂

    Plus, to find the real unatractive Germans you have to head to the old DDR! Sheesh, i thought this was common knowledge.

  • I’m sorry that you do not approve of KinkyJews. Simply put, if you don’t like us, don’t come to our events and avoid posting stories about us. We understand that we are definately not for everyone.

    Our mission statement is:

    KinkyJews brings together hundreds of young Jewish kinksters from across the USA and around the world. We welcome from the curious to newbies to the experienced. Similarly we welcome all sexual orientations and all streams of Judaism. Hip, funky, open minded, interesting and otherwise different genres of Jews are encouraged to expand their horizons with us as well.

    As one of your other readers pointed out, there was heated debate on the canonist, so I’m not going to rehash the issues raised there.

    What I do want to say is that KinkyJews now has over 1300 members worldwide. We hold an array of events and Rachel just wrote about one of them. We’ve had social outings to kosher restaurants, a trip to the Museum of Sex and Purple Passion, attended a Kosher ChiXXX’s Purim burlesque show, wrote our own haggadah and held a fun alternatively themed third seder, had a film screening of The Believer, participated in a fashion show at the 14th Street Y, hosted a Jewish themed erotica reading night (cosponsored with the 14th Street Y, Novel Jews and the Forward), had a clothing optional pool party, and yes we’ve had a couple of play parties. This week we will be launching a group in Chicago and in NY we’re facilitating a discussion at the Gay and Lesbian Yeshiva and Day School Alumni Association about Kink, LGBT Identity and Judaism.

    I wanted to respond to one specific point you made. You wrote:

    “Now if that weren’t enough and some of you are thinking this group of Hebrew Humpers sounds like they could be fun, let me get to the truly horrible part. You know how real life lesbians don’t at all look like the airbrushed gorgeous lesbians you see in Penthouse? Well, the same goes for orgy people. And even more so for New York Jew orgy people. Prior to writing this piece I called some of my edgier friends in the 212. I also did a bit of googling with the names they provided me with. Suffice it to say that one of my biggest issues with kinkyjews is one of esthetics. I don’t know how to say this gently so I won’t – these are some of the creepiest, leering, ugly-ass people I have ever seen, ever. And I’ve been to Frankfurt.”

    First off, I’m sorry to hear of what I percieve as vaniety and insensativity. We are very much welcoming of all body types. I’m sorry to hear that you are not. However, everyone at our Shabbat dinner happened to be attractive, including people who have modelled and acted professionally (to give you an example). If you look through our blog at http://kinkyjews.blogspot.com you’ll get to see some pictures from some of our past events.

    I believe that the people you googled were readers at our erotica night. I’m sorry if you didn’t fancy them, but their material entertained a standing room only crowd of well over 100 people. They were asked to read for the power of their words, not for their abilities to turn heads. It was a hugely successful event and all reviews I’ve read, have raved about how good it was.

    To end, I just wanted to say, we are about creating a young, hip, open-minded, welcoming, Jewish kehillah of people who share similar values. Sounds like we are simply not your cup of tea. Fair enough. We are not looking to be mainstream and so if we are not for you or some of your readers, OK.

  • Hey Member of KinkyJews, thanks for responding in such a courteous manner. And while orgies, Jewish or otherwise, are not my thing, I was definitely being a bit of a dick. Sorry, try to take it in stride…

  • I’d like to apologize, also, to ck for calling him a “crusty old jew”. ck, you’re not old. And that was cool to apologize to Member of KinkyJews for being a “bit of a dick”.

    It does matter (to me) if you found the Kinkyjews’ Shabbat profane, or simply gross. Maybe when you were writing the post you just wanted to rant on homely Jews and gross group sex. But you brought up the problem of “religious considerations” (or as esther put it, it didn’t seem “Shabossy”). No offense, but I don’t care what turns you (or anyone) on or off or what you find attractive. And if that’s all it was about I wouldn’t have bothered commenting. A post about homely Jews having group sex is a rant. A rant about homely Jews having group sex and calling it a “Shabbat dinner” is grounds for discussion, whether you like it or not. I found it interesting that M.o. Kinkyjews felt the need to defend it’s members’ physical appearance. Maybe he/she was happy to do just that after spending too much time over at Canonist arguing with the loonies about religious morality. That debate (I should clarify Mr. Weiss’ post was simply a link to the same V.V. article and was itself opinionless) fell apart into stupid self-righteousness as blog debates tend to. That’s why I brought up the Shekhina thing – not to riff on the talents of (modern Jewish renaissance man) L. Nimoy, or so you can send me that great video (the two young gals were very cute), or to argue about whether the binding was properly done (an error that actually makes him un-pedantic). I just wanted to put the V.V. article and your post into a relevant (to me) context. I could also have brought this up:

    http://arts.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1691445,00.html

    but I won’t. Because it’s not Nimoy’s work.

  • Tsk…tsk…tsk… another Jew making a big deal because they found more Jews to complain about. If this was a group of Catholics, I doubt you’d have a strong opinion.

    That being said, some of the KJ people aren’t going to win beauty prizes but plenty of us are quite HOTT. 😉
    . . . Did you have to imagine us as ugly to feel vindicated? You poor thing! — I wonder what you look like and how happy you are in your romantic/sex life.

    I’m not into the “orgy thing” particularly and neither are pleanty of our members, I’m sure. However, we are open to whatever consenting adults decide to do amongst themselves. People become members for various reasons. Some have an “alternative” sex life, some don’t. Some just really love sex and join just for the fun of saying that they are a member.

    On the same note, there are some orthodox members who follow halacha scrupulously, others who are secular and everything in between. “Shabbat in our Undies” was attended by perhaps a dozen people, if not less. Kinky Jews can boast a membership roster in the hundreds. (ahem…. aren’t you ashamed of your “research”?)

    I figured what I wrote above might be more interesting for some readers but now, I’d like to deal with the whole SHABBAT and UNDIES aspect. Clearly the people who attended this event have a much different sentiment about what Shabbat is than your local Rebbe (or mine).

    Kinky Jews is NOT a religious organization. Unfortunately as Jews we don’t have different labels for being Jewish in an ethnic, cultural or religious sense. Buddhists from Jewish families are still “Jewish” as are Chinese chicks who convert to marry your buddy.

    I doubt this kind of Shabbat celebration will catch on in Boro Park or Kiryas Yoel or Lakewood, etc . . . but for people who are already living a fairly secular lifestyle and swinging and feel they’d be more content swinging with “the tribe” …. Well, as long as they’re all consenting and content, what have we really got to compain about?

    Growing up in a Modern Orthodox environment, my Tatti always complained about the reformed movement, saying that “they” weren’t really Jews and cared nothing for Judaism. Well, I think that reformed and conservative Jewish movments have held American Jewery stable and probably commited the most aid to Israel and other Jewish charities that benefited the most Jews. So maybe I still get wierded out that I know a reformed Rabbi that goes to non-kosher steakhouses on Pesach (but doesn’t eat the bread). But I still think that this guy did some wonderful things for Jews in MANY communities around the world. But if he was doing it in his “undies” with other people, you’d have something to kvetch about, right???? 😉

  • Does she need to cover her eyes and say a blessing before she blows me? hehehe 😉

  • Haish,
    um. . . that depends on if you are as ugly as CK thinks all Kinky Jews should be. — just kidding!!!!!!!!!!
    Have a good Shabbos everyone!
    Jezebel

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