Yesterday I had occasion to google the term “double mitzvah.” Growing up going to Jewish day schools, we all knew the joke that having sex on Shabbat was a double mitzvah, because in theory you could be both fulfilling the commandment to be fruitful and multiply, and the commandment to enjoy the Sabbath. I googled because I was wondering if there was any actual halakhah about this, or if it was something that high school kids say because we liked talking about sex. I didn’t really get an answer to my question, but I did find out that there’s a romance novel called Double Mitzvah about having sex on Shabbat. It’s actually not so much a novel as it a long short story, and it only costs about $3 to buy it for your ereader.
Or you can download the PDF to your computer. But be warned, this story is definitely rated XXX. In this relatively tame section, the narrator, Annie, is getting ready for Shabbat:
I take out knives, cutting boards, and bowls and begin preparing carrots, celery, and potatoes for the meal, throwing them into a pan. But as I’m slicing, dicing, and chopping, my hands tremble slightly as I remember the brief exchange between my husband and myself that morning.
We were both standing at the front door, our ten-year-old son dancing impatiently on the sidewalk, waiting for his parents to say their goodbyes so he could get to school to see his friends. Ignoring the comments of our impetuous boy, Joel picked up my right hand and slowly licked my fingers one by one, his dark green eyes never leaving mine. I held my breath at the arousing impact of his warm tongue, and Joel flashed me a wicked grin. “Stay tuned,” he whispered before dropping my hand and joining our son.
The story is predictably filthy (the language in particular was much dirtier than I expected it to be) but actually kind of awesome because it tells the story of a Modern Orthodox family who keeps kosher and keep Shabbat, but the man doesn’t wear a kippah to work, but they do keep taharat hamishpacha, and evidently they eat vegetarian at non-kosher restaurants. There’s also the expected emphasis on how modestly the narrator dresses, but whoa is she hot under the collar. The sex scenes here are red hot. Technically the writing is pretty weak, but I love that the story provides a (slightly cheesy) model of a Modern Orthodox couple with a very spicy sex life, and a commitment to Jewish life. Also, the cover art is hilarious.
One more thing: my friend Andrea reminded me that in college we came up with an elaborate multi-mitzvah situation, wherein one was having sex for the first time, in a sukkah on Shabbat at a bris, creating a son. I have no real aspirations to kill quite that many birds with one stone, but my boyfriend is in town this Shabbat, so, um, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go prepare to fulfill some commandments…
Pronounced: KEE-pah or kee-PAH, Origin: Hebrew, a small hat or head covering that Orthodox Jewish men wear every day, and that other Jews wear when studying, praying or entering a sacred space. Also known as a yarmulke.
Pronounced: shuh-BAHT or shah-BAHT, Origin: Hebrew, the Sabbath, from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.
Pronounced: SOO-kah (oo as in book) or sue-KAH, Origin: Hebrew, the temporary hut built during the Harvest holiday of Sukkot.