You have never liked shopping at this store because of its less-than-wonderful service. Usually you have to pick up your change off the counter, but today the cashier places it in your hand, and for a brief moment you feel the warmth of his or her hand on yours. For some reason, you’re feeling more warmly toward this store than before. Hope you enjoyed your meal, he says with a smile and a parting pat on the shoulder.
Today is no exception you have been waiting to pay for what seems like an eternity. Another scene: You have just finished dining at a restaurant. Watching him return to the kitchen, you suddenly feel a surge of generosity and leave a far bigger tip than you had intended. We don’t know how he does it, but he pulls in at least thirty percent more in tips than anyone else.” In each of the above incidents, both based on true stories, you have fallen prey to one of the most subtle yet powerful forces in human relations: touch.
The misguided speech occurred on July 12, the same day members of the New York Jewish Orthodox community were frantically searching for 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky, whose dismembered body was found the following day in a dumpster and in the apartment of Levi Aron, a suspected child predator.
The personal injury lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP are investigating the child sexual abuse epidemic within the Jewish Orthodox community, and we intend to make sure those community leaders who allowed such crimes to go unpunished are held accountable.
We are currently offering free and confidential lawsuit consultations to Jewish Orthodox sexual abuse victims.
In his “genealogy of sexuality” in the first volume of his History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault traces the unfolding in modernity of an incitement toward sexual discourse in which each of us takes on anew and heroically “the task of telling everything concerning his sex.” Foucault sees early expression of this compulsory task in (among other places) the tribunals of the Inquisition and the rituals of Christian confession; and this “duty” sees its ultimate expression in psychoanalysis.
“From the Christian penance to the present day,” writes Foucault, “sex was a privileged theme of confession.” The result has been a “singular imperialism that compels everyone to transform their sexuality into a perpetual discourse,” producing “an immense verbosity” in the areas of economy, pedagogy, medicine, and justice.
My project in this essay is to follow Foucault in attempting a genealogy, but one that runs somewhat counter to his, uncovering the Jewish story lurking in the interstices of Foucault’s history of modern sexuality.