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Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.
Cheshvan 9, 5768, 10/21/2007
The Covenant between G-d and the Jewish People isn’t stamped on our foreheads, nor on our arms, nor our mouths, nor our toes. The sign of the Covenant, the brit milah, is stamped where it is to emphasize that we are to guard the sexual purity of our lives. This holiness is the foundation of the Jewish Nation, distinguishing us from the other nations of the world.
I know that there are readers who are tired of hearing this message repeated over and over again, but since the Covenant, known as the Brit, between G-d and our forefather, Avraham, is central to this week’s Torah portion, we will go over a few points for any readers who are new to this blog.
After bringing Avraham to the Holy Land, G-d tells him that He will bequeath the Land of Israel to Avraham’s Jewish descendants on the condition that the Jewish People circumcise themselves and safeguard their sexual lives with the holiness appropriate to G-d’s chosen nation. In other words, it isn’t enough for a Jew to live in the Holy Land – he or she has to live here in a holy fashion. If not, the consequences can lead to exile from the Land, may G-d have mercy on us.
Not only is our national security and national wellbeing dependent on the barometer of our modesty and holiness in sexual matters, Kabbalists throughout the ages have emphasized that our personal lives as well, whether it be matters of health, livelihood, happiness, marital harmony, children, or spiritual advancement, all these depend on our behavior in the bedroom. This is what King David is speaking about when he says, “Be not as the horse, nor as the mule, which have no understanding” (See the Zohar, Vayikra 49B).
"Be not as the horse, nor as the mule."
Our website, jewishsexuality.com is devoted to this subject, and we encourage readers to benefit from the wealth of information presented there, including Torah guidelines on how to overcome an addiction to pornography on the Internet, and a reader Forum which offers an opportunity for people to exchange thoughts, experiences, and helpful advice on this intimate and cornerstone subject.
Also available on the site are large sections of the book I compiled on the subject, called “Secret of the Brit.” It is a reader friendly, how-to book, based on teachings of the Torah, the Zohar, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, and the elder Kabbalist, Rabbi Eliahu Leon Levi of Bnei Brak.
The Kabbalist, Rabbi Eliahu Leon Levi
I mention the website and the book, not to give myself publicity, but because I believe that many people can benefit from a deeper understanding of these crucial issues, matters that are often left unlearned in normative approaches to Torah study. Every Thursday, a long line of people crowd the lobby of Rabbi Levi’s yeshiva to personally meet with the Rabbi for help with their personal difficulties. Every week, there are people with severe medical problems, people in wheelchairs, hospital patients still dressed in hospital gowns, people with marital problems or problems with their children, and people with prolonged cases of depression, unemployment, and the like. In seven out of ten cases, the underlying source of the problem stems from mistakes in their sexual lives. Time and time again, I have seen the Rabbi zero in with his spiritual radar, and reveal the real cause of the problem in his sensitive yet straightforward manner. At first, stunned by the revelation, people often attempt to refute what the Rabbi has told them, but faced with the Rabbi’s x-ray vision, and with their genuine will to escape from the painful chains of their problems, they finally admit that the Rabbi was right and happily set forth on a path of tikun and renewal.
Beauty and the Beast
In the merit of our forefather, Avraham, who never gazed upon his wife in a lustful fashion, may we all merit to sanctify our lives, and thus be truly worthy to dwell in the Holy Land in prosperity, health, and peace.