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A main part of Judaism is stuff like פרישות and guarding your eyes and thoughts from impurity or fantasies and the like. You’re basically supposed to stay away from any sexual thoughts or whatever until you get married. So how can Chazal tell us this one one hand, but on the other hand the Talmud is littered with stories about sexuality, sometimes even illicit relations committed by rabbis? These stories about taboo topics would clearly spark anyone to begin to fantasize about said topics. Plus, Aggada aside, even any halachic discussions that have to do with let’s say niddahs or all random cases involving women and sexual acts- these would obviously speak the imagination and desire of any Ben Torah.

In short, how can a main part of Judaism be straying away from inappropriate thoughts and desires if a big corpus of our law+stories in the Talmud are centered around sexuality and illicit relationships and whatnot?

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  • This question would be more compelling if you'd include more information about why you believe that guarding one's eyes is a "main part of Judaism." The answer could well be that the standards you describe for eye-guarding are different from those the Amoraim kept.
    – Isaac Moses
    Nov 11, 2023 at 23:52
  • How could you imagine a system where a topic is thoroughly regulated but not discussed in the regulations? It's meaningless things like sock colors that aren't discussed a bunch.
    – Double AA
    Nov 11, 2023 at 23:56
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    Generally speaking, these topics aren't taught to young unmarried men, for the reasons you've given, but for mature, married men, it's not a problem (although they should still be God fearing and careful). All of the stories in gemara are teaching us a very important lesson, e.g that even a very holy rabbi can't let his guard down as the yetzer hara for this sin is never truly conquered until the day we die
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Nov 12, 2023 at 1:25
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    Does this answer your question? A thought is considered a separate sin? Nov 12, 2023 at 3:17
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    @CuriousYid have you ever learned Shir Hashirim? :)
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Nov 12, 2023 at 17:17

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