Podcast: Mark Gottlieb on Jewish Life in the Shadow of the Sexual Revolution

The rabbi joins us to talk about the great theologian Eliezer Berkovits and his distinct vision of Jewish sexual ethics.

From the frontispiece of William Blake’s Visions of the Daughters of Albion. Alamy

From the frontispiece of William Blake’s Visions of the Daughters of AlbionAlamy

Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic and Mark Gottlieb
Feb. 27 2020
About the authors

A weekly podcast, produced in partnership with the Tikvah Fund, offering up the best thinking on Jewish thought and culture.

This Week’s Guest: Mark Gottlieb


Life in the year 2020 is lived in the shadow of the sexual revolution. The radical changes in sexual mores and family life that American society experienced in the 1960s and 1970s still reverberate today, having made their impact on everything from popular culture and public education to religious life and the most divisive political controversies.

What caused this massive social revolution? How should Jews think about what it has meant for their own way of life? And what vision of sex, romance, and family can Judaism offer the world? These are the questions the late theologian Eliezer Berkovits took up in “A Jewish Sexual Ethics,” an essay first published in 1976 and included in a posthumous 2002 volume of his Essential Essays on Judaism.

In this episode, Jonathan Silver is joined by Mark Gottlieb, senior director at the Tikvah Fund, for a discussion of this compellingly significant essay. Together the two examine Berkovits’s life and thought, his understanding of the causes of modern confusion about sexuality, and his distinct vision of Jewish sexual ethics.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble, as well as “Ulterior” by Swan Production.



For more on the Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic, which appears roughly every Thursday, check out its inaugural post here.

If you have thoughts about the podcast that you’d like to share, ideas for future guests and topics, or any other form of feedback, just send an email to [email protected].

More about: Politics & Current Affairs, Sexual revolution