DOI: 10.5325/jjewiethi.9.1.0001 ISSN: 2334-1777

Bounded Love: Hilchot Eruvin and Queer Theory in Conversation

Avigayil Halpern
  • Philosophy
  • Religious studies


This article argues that the rabbinic framework of Eruvin as a conceptual system simultaneously undermines rigid boundaries and creates new, more fluid ones, modeling a mode of halakhah that is “queer” and shares notable features with queer theory. The article examines three areas of interaction between Eruvin and queer theory: the challenge that both Eruvin and queer theory offer to an understanding of public and private as a rigid binary; the ways that texts in Hilchot Eruvin challenge us to move beyond the primacy of the nuclear family unit; and the idea that Eruvin, in its nuancing of “entry,” can model a sexuality beyond simply penetrative intercourse. This article develops greater understanding of the effects and contributions of the Rabbinic project of Hilchot Eruvin while simultaneously modeling a new way of thinking about queerness and halakhah: as a conversation in which queerness is generative rather than problematic.