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Playboy to Publish Excerpts of Orthodox Rabbi’s Book on Sex

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who has deployed his considerable gifts for self-promotion in his adoptive British home, has sold an extended extract from his latest book — Kosher Sex — to Playboy magazine for a reported $200,000.

Boteach, whose fellow Chabadniks in Britain found his brash, hard-sell style too rich for their taste after publication of his first book, The Jewish Guide to Adultery, was asked to resign as rabbi of an Orthodox synagogue in London following publication of Kosher Sex earlier this year.

Boteach eschews pornography, masturbation and premarital sex, but he counsels a liberal approach to sex, including oral sex, between consenting married adults.

“Every modern form of lingerie, mirror on the ceiling or plastic object that helps to break a pattern of monotony is kosher,” he writes.

Boteach is now anticipating a fresh outcry from Orthodox Jews over his deal with Playboy, which will publish the excerpts in its December issue. While reiterating his opposition to pornographic magazines, he said he was delighted to use the pages of the magazine to communicate his “serious message” that married couples should strive to become more sexually intimate in order to stay together.

Boteach, 32, said his contract with Playboy ruled out the publication of pornographic photographs near the 5,000-word excerpt from Kosher Sex.

“My American publishers Doubleday struck the deal and then informed me,” he said. “It was a fait accompli.”

Boteach, who has six children, insists that his approach to sex is deeply traditional and that he is motivated solely by a desire to strengthen marriage.

“There is no way anyone can misconstrue my appearance in Playboy as an endorsement of the magazine,” he said. “My views are conservative and this extract in Playboy is significant because it represents the infiltration of religious ideas, which were once dismissed as antiquated, into the popular culture.”

Although Boteach has been criticized by other rabbis here, his work was praised by the British chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, after some members of the Orthodox community urged him to ban the book.

In May, Sacks described Boteach as “one of the more creative and imaginative talents in our community [who] has been prepared to take risks in order to communicate an authentic Jewish message to a new generation.”

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