What does Judaism say about polyamory?

(Photo by Boxflip/Wikimedia Commons)

What is polyamory? It’s the modern, glamorous, feminist version of non-monogamy that’s branded as distinct from the old, patriarchal polygamy—often a man having multiple wives. Polyamory essentially refers to open relationships, in which couples are free to have sex with anyone they like, but remain fundamentally committed to each other.

Co-host Phoebe Maltz Bovy recently read and reviewed a new memoir by Jewish author Molly Roden Winter, More: A Memoir of Open Marriage. And it got her thinking. What does Judaism say about all this? What does the Talmud say about threesomes? She quizzes resident rabbi Avi Finegold about what Jewish law says about marriage, commitment and the essence of love.

And before that, Avi debriefs Phoebe on his visit to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for their annual gala dinner, where he got to meet Debra Messing, Hillary Clinton and many others.


Bonjour Chai is hosted by Avi Finegold and Phoebe Maltz Bovy. Zachary Kauffman is the producer and editor. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Socalled. The show is a co-production from The Jewish Learning Lab and The CJN, and is distributed by The CJN Podcast Network. Support the show by subscribing to this podcast, donating to The CJN and subscribing to the podcast’s Substack.