Tzvi FishmanBefore making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter....
This morning, as I was filling up my car with gas, a beautiful woman got of her car, causing me to take a second look. Now, most of the time when this happens, when an attractive woman enters my line of vision, I am pretty good about looking away. I work hard on this, because it is an important ingredient in maintaining one’s holiness as a Jew. But this morning, the yetzer hara got the best of me, and I did a double take. Immediately, a downpour of bird doo spattered over my head. It must have been a big bird because I got drenched, including my beard. I tried to get a glimpse of the bird, but the sky was empty, as if the bird doo was a sign straight out of Heaven.
When I got home, my wife took one look at me covered with bird doo and angrily yelled, “Have you been looking at women again?!”
Grabbing a hold of an umbrella that we had neglected to put away for next winter, she smashed me over the head with a couple of scolding blows. Deserving the punishment, I didn’t try to defend myself.
“You beast!” she accused. “You dog! You total phony!”
What could I do? She was right. A Jew who looks at women to enjoy their beauty is no better than a dog. He’s worse. A dog isn’t commanded not to look at women. But when a Jew sees a woman, and continues to gaze lustfully at her, rather than averting his gaze, he is violating a commandment of the Torah, “You shall not stray after your heart and your eyes that lead you astray” (Bamidbar, 15:39).
If he fantasizes about her, he is violated another commandment, “You shall guard yourself from every evil thing,” as the Talmud teaches: “This means a man should not gaze on an attractive woman, even an unmarried one, nor upon a married woman, even if she is ugly” (Avodah Zara 20A). This is because “a man shouldn’t have sexual thoughts in the day and come to impurity at night” (Ibid 20B).
Needless to say, these prohibitions apply to internet viewing as well. When a person looks at an erotic photo, he cuts himself off from G-d. Holiness and impurity cannot exist in the same place. He darkens his soul and all of the exalted spiritual worlds to which he is connected.
Viewing porn on the Internet ruins people’s lives. Running a site on the theme, I get emails that are heartbreaking and shocking. Men start out thinking they can control their flirtation with cyberspace lovers, but get hooked beyond their worst dreams. It is a plague that ruins more people than all of the swine and cattle flu’s combined.
While I am getting hit on the head with bird doo and umbrellas, I want to thank DACON9 for the dose he gave me in his last talkback. I don’t mean to get down on the Jews who choose to liiiiiinger in the Diaspora instead of hopping on a plane to live in Israel, but rather to criticize the philosophy that maintains that living in the exile is 100% kosher.
One thing should be clear. ALL RABBIS agree that living in Israel is a mitzvah. If he doesn’t, he is not a rabbi. The debate is whether coming on aliyah is a Torah mitzvah at this time, before the Mashiach’s arrival – may he come soon! Beyond this question, a basic tenet of Judaism is that all Jews should WANT to live in Israel. The yearning to live in Israel should pump strongly in every Jewish heart. “Next year in Jerusalem!” has been our national dream and longing for the last 2000 years.
Even the Jews in the Diaspora who find it impossible to move to Israel because of legitimate health, family, or financial problems, each and everyone should WANT to live in Israel and experience daily heartfelt regret that he or she can’t. Certainly all young people should be encouraged by parents and Jewish educators to make aliyah as soon as they can, and they should be taught from the earliest age that the true goal of Judaism is to rebuild our Torah nation in the Land of Israel – not in the exile. It is the “let’s make the exile a better, stronger place” philosophy that must be wiped out, in order to restore G-d’s fallen honor to where it belongs – something that can only be achieved through the establishment of Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel, as we will, G-d willing, endeavor to explain in an upcoming blog.