The Derech Eretz Show
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.
Do you think it coincidental that the Torah portion describing Israel’s whoring after the daughters of Midian fell during the week of the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz, which marks the beginning of Jerusalem’s destruction of yore?
The Torah portions of Balak and Pinchus which describe the calamity go something like this:
“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit harlotry with their filterless computers. And the anger of the L-rd was kindled against Israel. And the L-rd said to Moshe, Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up before the L-rd against the sun, that the burning anger of the L-rd be turned away from Israel. And behold one of the Children of Israel came and brought to his brethren a filterless computer filled with photos and videos of Midianite women in the sight of Moshe, and in the sight of all the congregation of the Children of Israel. And when Pinchus saw it, he rose up from among the congregation and took a spear in his hand, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel and the computer. So the plague was stayed from the Children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were 24,000.”
If you think I am exaggerating when I write about the dangers of immodesty and harlotry, the Torah informs us that G-d was about to “consume the children of Israel in its entirety” for this transgression, until Pinchus rose up and rectified their sin before the eyes of all of the nation (BaMidbar, 25:10).
Even though only Zimri openly committed the act, 24,000 Jews were slain for bringing the immodest gentile women into their homes. The situation is no different today when filterless computers are brought into Jewish homes with their galleries of Midianite strumpets. Looking at them is a sin. Fantasizing about them is a sin. And spilling semen in vain is considered the gravest transgression in the Torah (Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer, 23:1).
And if you want to say that the Torah isn’t talking about Internet pornography, and that immodesty had nothing to do with the destruction of Jerusalem, then take a look at the prophesy of destruction in the Book of Isaiah:
“Moreover the L-rd says, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with outstretched necks and ogling eyes, walking an mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet, therefore the L-rd will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the L-rd will lay bare their secret parts… and it shall come to pass that instead of the sweet smell of their perfumes, there shall be a stench… and thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war, and the gates of Jerusalem shall both lament and mourn….” (Isaiah, 3:16-4:5).
Once again, to be fair, our hapless Jewish men and wonderful women are not to blame. They have been duped by modern Bilaams, the evil cultures, fashions, and mores of western society that have swept through Jewish homes around the world like swine flu. Bilaam knew that the natural trait of the Jewish People was modesty, as it says, “How goodly are your tents, O Yaakov” (BaMidbar, 24:4, see Rashi). He also knew that the G-d of Israel hates licentiousness (Sanhedrin 106A). Unable to curse us with words, or defeat us on the battlefield, his plan to draw us away from, and pollute, our unique Torah culture by infiltrating the immorality of Midian into our midst so that we would no longer be “a people that shall dwell alone and not be reckoned among the nations” (BaMidbar, 23:9). We have been repeatedly warned against this in the Torah, as is written: “Do not walk in the ways of the nations” (Vayikra, 20:23), and “Do not walk in their ways” (Ibid, 18:3), and “Take heed lest you be ensnared after them” (Devarim, 12:30.) The Jewish People are to keep themselves separated from the gentile nations, by living in our own Land and by guarding our own language, customs, and laws, as it is written. “For I have set you apart from all peoples” (Vayikra, 20:26).
Each and every one of you can help in the battle against Bilaam and his followers of today by dressing modestly, by safeguarding the sexual laws of the Torah, and by downloading an anti-porn Internet filter today.
Aren’t you glad that I’m back from vacation?
[The photo of Tzvi in the jacuzzi was removed by popular request.]