Anyone who says that he doesn’t look at improper things on the Internet is either a genuine holy tzaddik, or not telling the truth. I’m not talking about INN readers, of course, but about your run-of-the-mill Internet surfer. You don’t have to have Divine Inspiration to realize the sad state of affairs. There are plenty of studies that show that from 70 to 90 percent of men on the Internet are spending regular portions of their computer sessions watching all kinds of erotic material.
This Shabbat’s Torah portion of “Kedoshim” begins: “And the L-rd spoke to Moshe, saying, Speak to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the L-rd your G-d am holy” (Varikra, 19:4).
Rashi explains that “you shall be holy” means “to be removed from sexual immorality and from sexual sin, for wherever you find a fence against sexual immorality, you find holiness.”
The commandment, “You shall not stray after your heart and your eyes,” includes not only hardcore porn, but also all those wholesome looking bikini girls, fashion models, Hollywood celebs, youtube babes, and all the other sugar-coated smut you can find all over the Internet.
Therefore, in order to help yourselves be holy and removed from sexual transgression, download a solid Internet filter and give someone else the code. Also, if you haven’t already downloaded the pamphlet “Shmirat HaBrit,” posted on the jewishsexuality.com site, then do it before Shabbat, and send the link to all of your friends.
The Torah’s warning, and Rashi’s explanation, holds true not only for Internet viewing, but also for marital relations.
Today marks eleven months since the death of the Torah giant, Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, may his memory be for a blessing. Special learning and prayers were held all last night in his synagogue in Kiryat Moshe. His halachic treatise, “Darkei Taharah,” explains the laws regarding marital relations (translated on the jewishsexuality.com site.) On the Torah’s injunction “Be holy!” he writes:
“This holiness is expressed not only by distancing yourselves from forbidden relationships, but also in distancing yourselves from things that are permitted. For the Torah has not come to grant those driven with lust the room to wallow in their lechery and to be degenerate with the permission of the Torah” (“Darkei Taharah,” Laws of Modesty, Pg. 178).
Rabbi Eliahu continues:
“However, someone who does not need to have relations in order to quiet an aroused sexual passion, since his urge is not pressing him, but rather purposefully arouses his desire and excitement just to fill himself with the lusts of this world, then his behavior is not a mitzvah. The opposite – this is the counseling of the evil inclination. From the permitted he comes to the forbidden, as it says, ‘Whoever purposefully arouses his sexual organ to excitement will be banished’ (Niddah 13A). This resembles a man who is satiated, but nevertheless eats and drinks in abundance until he is drunk and vomits up what he ate.... Thus a man must strengthen himself, and overcome his passions, and battle to save himself by subduing his lusts, so that his soul will reign over his animal nature which knows no limits in seeking to fulfill its lusts” (Ibid., Pg. 182).
Our holiness is what distinguishes the Jewish People from the rest of the world – precisely in these matters.