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35

This is a very controversial subject. However, a distinction must be made in terminology between "being gay" (which for the purposes here we could define as being sexually attracted to members of one's own gender) and engaging in homosexual acts (where Male-Male intercourse is an unambiguous violation of a Torah-level prohibition and Female-Female may be a ...


33

Here's a more cut and dry answer. Talmud Bavli, Chulin 92a--b: עולא אמר אלו שלשים מצות שקבלו עליהם בני נח ואין מקיימין אלא שלשה אחת שאין כותבין כתובה לזכרים ואחת שאין שוקלין בשר המת במקולין ואחת שמכבדין את התורה Said Ulla: There were thirty commandments that Noahides accepted, but they keep only three: not to write a ketuba for males; not to ...


27

And the other critical caveat here: this is only if she wants him to marry her. If she'd rather never see him again, then the Torah never forces her into such a marriage. Additionally, if she wants a divorce, she is still entitled to one whenever she wants even after they wed. (Shulchan Aruch Even HaEzer 177:3) All I can say -- if this is a situation where ...


24

Get married. This gives one the feeling of פת בסלו (bread in his basket) even when he is halachikaly forbidden to his wife. The Talmud says (Yevamos 63a) that a man should appreciate his wife simply for the fact that she saves him from sin. Also, another piece of practical advice given to me by my Chosson Teacher was to go outside for a walk. It works. ...


20

The Chinuch says (in 557) it's a deterrent. Knowing they'll have to marry their potential victims (and won't be allowed to divorce them, and have to support them, etc.), people won't rape. He adds (ibid.) that it's also a protection for the victim: once she's married she's unlikely to be raped again. (I guess people are more likely to rape someone already ...


18

I'd bet that sign was referencing the theoretical punishment that a Jewish court could have administered, during Temple times, under Jewish self-rule, when such events were exceedingly rare and shocking, and with overwhelming evidence: Male-to-male sex is punishable by death by stoning. Murder is punishable by decapitation. The Talmud states that of those ...


18

I have no idea if this is the rationale behind the people who are making the phone calls, but what about this: Midrash Rabbah (26:9) tells us that "The generation of the Flood was not wiped out until they wrote marriage documents for the union of a man to a male or to an animal." (here it is in English) [Note that Marcus Jastrow translates "גמומסיות" as ...


18

Although this is essentially a canard, it is possible that it is based on the Yerushalmi (Y'vamos 1:1): דרבי יוסי בן חלפתא ייבם את אשת אחיו חמש חרישות חרש וחמש נטיעות נטע ודרך סדין בעל The P'nei Moshe commentary (ad loc., s.v. ודרך סדין בעל) appears to interpret this as meaning that there was an opening in the sheet. The essential purpose of R' Yose ...


14

Halachically speaking, homosexual intercourse is all that is prohibited by the Torah. This applies to Jews as well as non-Jews. However, I believe your basic assumptions are correct. Halacha is not violated by a civil contract between two men, whatever it may be (barring such monetary prohibitions as ribbis, ona'ah, etc.) The only problem I can think of is ...


14

@Yaakov Ellis gave an excellent answer, but I would add just a single thought to explain to don't-ask-don't-tell attitude of many communities. As mentioned before, Judaism sees homosexual acts as a sin. (Perhaps different levels of prohibition depending on the gender.) However, Judaism does not generally consider predilection to a sin to be a sin itself. ...


14

The Rambam says (Issurei Biah 21:19): וכן אסור לאדם שיביא עצמו לידי הרהור, אלא אם יבא לו הרהור יסיע לבו מדברי הבאי לדברי תורה שהיא אילת אהבים ויעלת חן.‏ It is forbidden for a person to bring himself to [sexual] thoughts. If a [sexual] thought comes to his mind, he should divert his heart from profligate and destructive matters to the words of Torah ...


13

Masturbation per se does not change one's halachik status at all, although it does generate an obligation to repent. Ezra originally established that a man who is impure from any seminal emmision (not just masturbatory) cannot say shema, pray or say other blessings until he has gone to the mikva. However this decree was later rescended, and the law and the ...


12

Rambam, Laws of Prohibitions on Relations, 21:19 (or #20, depending on your edition): וכן אסור לאדם שיקשה עצמו לדעת, או יביא עצמו לידי הרהור ... ולא יסתכל בבהמה חיה ועוף, בשעה שמזדקקין זכר לנקבה; ומותר למרביעי בהמה להכניס כמכחול בשפופרת, מפני שהן עסקין במלאכתן ולא יבואו לידי הרהור.‏ A man should not bring himself to arousal ... [gives a few ...


12

Thank you and welcome to the site. We hope this is a theoretical question; however, Judaism covers the difficult cases too. First off, this isn't pleasant to bring up, but not all forms of rape would be of halachic consequence to the question at hand; but we'll assume here that this was conventional full penetration, which would present an issue. The Kohen ...


11

The Wikipedia passage you quoted is accurate but could do with some elaboration. Their use of the word "virtue" may have misled you because other religions see sex more negatively. While not encouraging promiscuity, Judaism also doesn't call for asceticism. Procreation is an outcome of sex but not the only motivation. Within marriage, a certain level of ...


11

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 280:1 תשמיש המטה מתענוגי שבת הוא, לפיכך עונת תלמידי חכמים הבריאים מליל שבת לליל שבת.‏ Marital relations are among the delights ("oneg") of Shabbat, and therefore the time for marital relations for a healthy Torah scholar is from Friday night to Friday night. (translation mine) So the two mitzvot are Oneg Shabat and ...


11

The Shulchan Aruch discusses this issue (Even HaEzer 76). In Seif 3, he comments regarding the standard onot as fixed by profession: בד"א, במי שגופו בריא ויכול לקיים העונה הקצובה לו, אבל מי שאינו בריא אינו חייב אלא לפי מה שאומדין אותו שיכול לקיים. ‏ In what situation do [the above times] apply? For someone who's body is healthy and is able to ...


11

When teaching Kodesh at Yeshivas Toras Emes (High School) in Johannesburg almost 30 years ago, the Menahel HaRav Gedalia Sternstein שליט"א told me that the Rov - Rabbi Salzer זצ"ל - told him that it's best if the students learn about these things from the Gemora - BiKedusha uVeTaharo. As relevant topics came up, we were to explain them is as much detail as ...


11

The source for this is Gittin 70a תנו רבנן הבא מבית הכםא אל ישמש מטתו עד שישהה שיעור חצי מיל מפני ששד בית הכםא מלוה עמו ואם שימש הוויין לו בנים נכפים Soncino Translation: The Rabbis taught: On coming from a privy a man should not have sexual intercourse till he has waited long enough to walk half a mil, because the demon of the privy is ...


10

The Talmud (Sanhedrin 22b) points out that a woman tends to be more emotionally involved with the man with whom she first had relations. (I think that there are modern studies that say much the same thing.) Furthermore, to a certain degree - this part is true of men as well - a person tends to at least subconsciously compare their current partner with ...


10

The premise of your question seems to be that ostensibly religious people never sin, which is obviously absurd. These men are sinners, who are acting in violation of Jewish law, and if their behavior ever became public knowledge, it would scandalize their communities. The simple reality is that sexual immorality is not, and never has been, exceptional or ...


10

I think you are misunderstanding what that opinion held. The text of Ibn Ezra is (to Lev 18:22): ויאמר רב חננאל ז"ל, כי יש מי שיחדש בגופו כצורת בשר אשה וזה לא יתכן בתולדה. וי"א אנדרוגינוס. וכל הצער הזה בעבור היות משכבי אשה לשון רבים. ודברי יחיד שני משכבים. והנכון בעיני, כי המצוה כפשוטה. גם אנשי התושיה חייבו מיתה עליה והכתוב אחז דרך כבוד לאמר כמו לא תקרב, ...


9

The Torah specifically states the prohibition against prostitution, in order to prevent the land to be filled with licentiousness: ולא תזנה הארץ ומלאה הארץ זמה. Rambam seems to be deducing the underlying reason for that concern of the Torah, in his statement: For [ultimately], a father will marry his daughter and a brother his sister, [for in a ...


9

There’s a plausible explanation for the origins of this myth (and it is purely a myth) at http://snopes.com/religion/sheet.asp. Snopes quotes the soc.culture.jewish FAQ: The myth derives from seeing Jews in religious neighborhoods hanging their “talitot katan” out to dry. This poncho-like garment is about two feet by four feet, has a fringe on each ...


9

Basically, it's prohibited. Deuteronomy states "there shall not be a prostitute among the sons or daughters of Israel"; so clearly there is a prohibition on prostitution. (For Jews. Jews expect non-Jews to follow some basics of ethical monotheism, known as the Seven Noahide Laws; this means we expect non-Jews to not commit adultery, however prostitution per ...


9

I feel a bit of sadness in writing this, because I think it's something that should be - but isn't at all - obvious. You can certainly seek out rabbis who can give general answers about Halachah without knowing you, perhaps without ever meeting you, but you shouldn't. You should, instead, seek out a rabbi with whom you can be comfortable asking these ...


8

The Torah contains prohibitions against many activities that Hashem assures us are spiritually harmful to us. These are mainly activities that we might otherwise want to do. On one hand, practicing homosexuality is one of these proscribed activities, on the other hand, Jews who are homosexual will find this prohibition far harder than any other. Certain ...


8

Judaism believes that while the complete set of commandments was given by Moses to the Jews, there are a few universal laws expected of non-Jews too (known as the Seven Noahide commandments). Genesis Ch. 2 says "therefore a man shall abandon his parents and stick to his wife"; our oral tradition (written down in the Talmud, Kiddushin 58a ) tells us that ...


8

Excellent question. Leviticus Ch. 12 says that it's 7 days if the baby is a boy, and 14 if a girl; (but she has to then immerse in mikvah, a ritual bath). (Then there's a lengthier stretch of time that she can't enter the Temple, but is permitted to her husband.) However: Skip ahead to Leviticus Chapter 15. If a woman has a normal period (15:19) then she ...


8

Rambam writes in Hilchos Melachim 8:10 that Moshe Rabeinu commanded us to force all humans to follow the 7 Mitzvos (and if they refuse, we must execute them). It is quite clear that in our times we don't have the power to enforce the penalty, but that doesn't mean that we are less obligated in trying to convince all people to follow the 7 Mitzvos ...



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