The Number 1 threat to the Jewish People isn’t the missile arsenal of Iran, the Hizballah, and Hamas; or the increasing assimilation in the Diaspora; or the unwillingness of Western Jews to make aliyah. The Number 1 threat to the Jewish People is the Internet.
That’s right – the Internet. Sure there are lots of good things on the Internet like IsraelNationalNews.com, and Torah lessons, but there is a lot more poisonous trash. Every day, thousands, tens of thousands, maybe even a few hundred thousand Jews fall prey to pornography on the Internet.
When a person watches pornography, he severs his connection to G-d. Figuratively speaking, he pulls out the plug.
He pollutes his holy being and the Divine Presence leaves him. He looks the same as before, but he has short-circuited his Jewish spirituality. In effect he has turned himself into a zombie. If a person is a regular porn watcher (studies suggest that 60% of regular Internet users click on to porn), it won’t be long before his feeling for Judaism is dulled, and problems begin to arise with his health, his children, his marriage, his job.
The G-d of the Jewish People is a zealous G-d, and He hates promiscuity and whoredom. It doesn’t matter if a surfer is only flirting with “cybersex,” our Sages have told us that when it comes to sexual matters, forbidden thoughts and fantasies are worse than performing the forbidden deed (Yoma 29A).
The Jews knew it was a lot of bull
Let me give you an example. Recently, we read in the Torah about the sin of the Golden Calf. Outside of the sin of refusing to come on aliyah, this was the greatest sin of the Jews in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. Our Sages tell us that we are punished for the sin of the Golden Calf in every generation. But it was only the “Eruv Rav” (the non-Jews who left Egypt with the Israelites) who worshipped the Calf. The Jews didn’t believe that the silly statue was Divine. So what was their terrible sin?
The Torah says that “the people sat down to eat and to drink, and they rose up to make merry” (Shemot, 32:6). Rashi explains that “make merry” לצחק implies sexual transgression, and he cites the use of the same word by Potifar’s wife when she falsely accuses Yosef of sexually molesting her (Bereshit, 39:17).
This is further suggested by the verse stating, “thy people have dealt corruptly” where the same word for “dealing corruptly” שחת is used elsewhere in the Torah to describe the sexual sins in the time of Noach (Bereshit, 6:12), and the sexual infractions of Onan and Er (Bershit, 38:9).
We learn from this that the Jewish People participated vicariously in the sexual orgies of the Eruv Rav by watching and applauding from the sidelines. This “virtual sin” was the forerunner of the “virtual sex” of Internet pornography today, whether it be watching hard porn sites, or googling Google girls, or yahooing Yahoo yoo-hoos.
Bowing down to today's Golden Calf
The moral of the lesson? Install an anti-porn filter today. Make sure only the mother knows the code so Dad won’t be tempted. And if the yoo-hoos get the better of you, Rebbe Nachman’s famous “Tikun HaKlali” is now up on the web to help you do t’shuva, along with an explanatory Preface. If you’ve never said it, here’s your chance – without having to buy a ticket to Uman.