Moshko the Jew and his gay friends: Same-sex sexual relations in Ottoman Jewish Society

Yaron Ben-Naeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article investigates homosexual relations and the discourse about them among Ottoman Jews. Jewish sources reveal a substantial gap between ethical and moral demands and the life of the general public. They also attest to the visibility and prevalence of sexual relations between males, despite the explicit biblical prohibition and later interdictions. In Ottoman urban society, gender and sexual preference were not naturally given but were determined by status and a complex of social behaviors. The Jewish and general public had no interest in the individual's sexual practices and showed a certain degree of tolerance to the point of de-facto legitimization, as long as social order and norms were kept.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)79-105
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Early Modern History
Volume9
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

RAMBI Publications

  • Rambi Publications
  • Homosexuality -- Religious aspects -- Judaism
  • Jews -- Turkey -- History

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