Hot answers tagged

45

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 ...


34

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. ...


29

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 ...


23

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 ...


23

Halachically, you transgress a biblical commandment if you knowingly have relations with a niddah, and the punishment is karet. See this answer, which cites Rambam Laws of Prohibitions on Relations 4:3. According to Rambam Issurei Biah 1:1 (h/t DoubleAA), punishments for forbidden relations apply to both except in a special case not applicable here. By ...


20

Moses makes it clear that when the Jews enter the Promised Land, eventually one special place shall be chosen, and that will be the only place that animal sacrifices are authorized. That place is the Temple in Jerusalem. Today the Temple does not stand; it's unclear exactly where on the Temple Mount area the altar stood; there are numerous uncertainties ...


20

The Semak, in his list of the 613 Commandments, counts male masturbation as a Biblical prohibition in Negative Command #292.


19

In the Moreh Nevuchim, Rambam explains how God's attributes should be understood without compromising God's unchangingness. He compares God's mood to a fire. If you put ice in a fire, it melts, then evaporates. If you put clay in a fire, it hardens. If you put wood in a fire it burns... The fire causes many different and contrasting effects without changing ...


18

@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. ...


17

You didn't say which sin you're struggling to avoid. If it's masturbation: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch chapter 151 (available online in English and Hebrew) lists a whole slew of suggestions for avoiding masturbation. My favorite is from Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 151:6: "Be careful not to sleep alone in a room." Mishnah Berurah 239:9 and Sha'ar Ha'tziyun 239:17 ...


16

I am impressed by the gravity of your inquiry and your care in the matter in that you are seeking real answers to a complicated question. May Hashem help the two of you and anyone else in need of this post. First let's address some issues your question raised in this case, and then let's address the Halachic ramifications. The OP states that your wife is ...


15

Although one might think to conclude that homosexuality is worse than murder based on the specific punishments court can impose upon them (stoning for homosexuality and decapitation for murder), this simplistic understanding is not borne out upon further investigation. I know I shouldn't just quote on this site, but no one says it better than the Rambam ...


14

If you use pornography, see "How do you quit a pornography habit?". Otherwise: Guard Your Eyes puts out a 75-page-long book called The GYE Handbook. It discusses all sorts of ideas in depth. Different ideas from the book will be most useful for different people. It's targeted at pornography users, but it's useful even for people who have never used ...


13

Anyone can convert to Judaism. We find an example in Gittin 57:2 that Nevuzardan killed millions of jews and then converted.


13

No, it does not. "Cursing" someone in a Biblical sense means saying "may G-d strike you." Thus a person would only be liable for cursing their parent if they said "may G-d strike you" to their parent. When someone says "I hit my thumb with this G-ddamn hammer!", an English professor would tell you that means "may G-d damn this hammer because I am mad at it....


12

Yes. Rashi cites this in his commentary to Gen. 36:3 (explaining why the name of one of Eisav's wives is given as "Machalath" when earlier she was called Basemath; Machalath is related to mechilah, forgiveness), in the name of Aggadas Midrash Sefer Shmuel (ch. 17). (It's also in the Yerushalmi, Bikkurim 3:3.) This is in fact one of the reasons why a bride ...


12

I have never found anything that works to curb the desire. The only thing that actually works, is a stronger desire to not act on your desires. Being distracted by something else might help you avoid the desire, but it really depends on how you relate to those other things for how well they will work. I can study Torah and still feel sexual desires, I can ...


12

Premarital sexual intercourse is not a kinyan unless it is done with the intention of being koneh. Not only that, but the man must say as much. Rambam Hil Ishus 3:5 (my own translation): ואם קידש בביאה אומר לה הרי את מקודשת לי או הרי את מאורסת לי או הרי את לי לאשה בבעילה זו וכל כיוצא בזה. ומתייחד עמה בפני שני עדים ובועלה If he betroths (mekadesh) ...


11

Maris Ayin (literally "the vision of the eye") describes rabbinic enactments that were put into place to prevent a third-party viewing one's actions from arriving at the incorrect conclusion that a forbidden action is permitted. Examples: It is forbidden to eat the blood of fish (which itself is permitted according to Torah law) lest someone watching you ...


11

Some people were already being enticed to idolatry via their Moabite girlfriends (Num 25), so idolatry seems to sometimes be intertwined with relations. More specifically, Sanhedrin 82a brings the following (Soncino translation): And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one of his men that were joined unto Baal Peor. Thereupon the tribe of ...


11

If it's required, and you don't ask, then it remains required. You just won't know it. So, to avoid transgressing from lack of knowledge, ask your rabbi. But if you won't do the thing anyway, don't ask. Getting and ignoring a ruling is a very bad idea.


11

1) Rav Sternbuch in Tshuvos V'hanhagos chelek 1:368 answers a question very similar to this one. The questioner(a Bal Tshuvah) asks if he can damage his parents television. The Rav answers that this is a machlokes between The Ketzos and the Nesivos in Choshen Mishpat siman 3(which discusses forcing someone to keep mitzvos).The Ketzos holds that the power of ...


11

Rabbenu Avraham ben HaRambam writes: If God would forbid everyone to drink wine and alcohol as he forbade non-kosher animals and fowl, not all would be able to comply...such a prohibition would also interfere with the benefit of wine and the occasional need to drink it. And if our Torah would say "Drink but don't become intoxicated," it would not work ...


11

Kiddushin 39b: רמי רב טובי בר רב קיסנא לרבא תנן כל העושה מצוה אחת מטיבין לו עשה אין לא עשה לא ורמינהי ישב ולא עבר עבירה נותנים לו שכר כעושה מצוה אמר ליה התם כגון שבא דבר עבירה לידו וניצול הימנה Rav Tuvi bar Rav Kisna raises a contradiction to Rava and asked: We learned in the mishna that anyone who performs one mitzva has goodness bestowed upon ...


10

If all conditions are right for the Asei to override the Lo Sasei, then it is permitted. Otherwise, it is a Mitzva haBa bAveira. Among the conditions that must be met: Fulfillment of the mitzva must occur at the same time (or with the same action) as the Aveira (Beitza 8b: בעידנא דקא מעקר לאו קא מוקים לעשה) It isn't possible to avoid the conflict by ...


10

Rambam (Hil. Sotah 3:3), based on the Gemara (Sotah 7b), states that a sotah is told the story of Reuven in its literal sense, to induce her to confess: "Many great and honorable people before you were overpowered by their inclinations and stumbled [and yet they confessed, so you should do the same]." Which would seem to imply that there is indeed room to ...


9

Chazal would emphasize through exaggeration (דברו חכמים לשון הבאי). (Tamid 29a) One of the examples given there is that the Mishna says that they let the animal for the tamid sacrifice drink from a gold cup (so that it would be hydrated and the carcass would be easier to manipulate). In reality, Rava argues, a copper cup was used and the Mishna was merely ...


9

The Rambam writes that it is considered cruel to repeatedly refuse to forgive someone who asks sincerely for forgiveness. Under normal circumstances if they ask once, twice and then a third time you must forgive them, or else you become the one in the wrong. They however do need to appease the wronged party and make amends as far as possible, such as ...


9

First, as @Yirmeyahu commented above, there is no death penalty for "all sex outside marriage". There is a verse which states לֹא תִהְיֶה קְדֵשָׁה מִבְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא יִהְיֶה קָדֵשׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, but that does not specify a death penalty of stoning. The prostitutes profession was irrelevant to the case. And it would not be a good society if ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible