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The World's First Pornographer

By Tzvi Fishman
10/3/2010, 12:00 AM

If you have trouble guarding your eyes, you are not the only one. The problem began a long long time ago with Eve in the Garden of Eden. Mankind has been suffering the consequences ever since.

The tree of knowledge of good and evil

The account of her tragic error is found in the very first portion of the Torah, “Bereishit,” as it says:

“And the woman SAW that the tree was good for eating, and that is was a DESIRE TO THE EYES….”   Just like with the temptations of the Internet.

Too bad that Eve didn’t have a filter on her computer. The world would be a lot better place today.

After Eve convinced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit with her, the Torah relates:

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized they were naked.”

The Torah commentator, the Sforno, explains that previous to their sin, the sexual act was performed to fulfill the Divine commandment to be fruitful and multiply. But now they felt shame in their sexuality and nakedness in that the primary function of their sexuality became the selfish satisfaction of sensual desire. They now displayed a desire for every base pleasure, despite its harmfulness.

Rabbi Shimson Raphael Hirsh writes that man need not be ashamed of his sexuality, as long as it stands in the service of the Almighty, as set down in the laws of marital relations. But when this condition is lacking, man feels ashamed in his nakedness, awakening the Divine voice within us, reminding us that we are not meant to be beasts.

Preceding their transgression was another example of the dangers of following after one’s eyes, in the wickedness of the serpent, the world’s very first pornographer. The Torah states that “the serpent was cunning beyond any beast of the field.” Rashi explains  the lust and jealousy of the serpent was aroused when he SAW Adam and Eve engaging in marital relations, unashamed and unconcealed, “in the eyes of all” (Bereishit, 3:1, Rashi).

The jealous lust of the serpent led to the downfall of mankind, just like the pornography on the Internet destroys thousands of lives today. Adam and Eve were subsequently expelled from the Garden, and man has been trying to return ever since.

So if you still haven’t installed an anti-porn filter on your computer – do so today. For your sake, and for the sake of your children.