AlgART / Articles and Books / Tikkun ha-Berit

Part I. With a boy as an adult

Introduction to the secular reader

We came into this world which exists under certain laws. We are trying to find our own way and to identify some regularities through trial and error. My grandfather, may the memory of him be blessed, said, “To find your own, you should give everything a try.” But even he believed that it is better not to adhere to this in some situations. In reality, there are things that can forever knock a man from his life's path. After for these things, he may pay with ruined health, or destroyed destiny, or even by losing his life.

As a rule, people felt shy talking about sex in Europe. Those who were not shy usually uttered various dirty and vulgar things. And those words were especially imprinted in the minds of listeners and agitated their imagination. And then they broke out into the same filth, vulgarity, and sometimes even criminal activity. And all this did not go unpunished. This was repeated again and again. Impure thoughts led to the same impure deeds, for which there was escalating retribution. Sons learned from their fathers, repeating their fate. A kind of “romance of the impure” was formed. In a famous Russian movie “Gentlemen of Fortune,” the character played by E. Leonov says: “I stole. I got drunk. I was thrown in prison. I stole. I got drunk. I was thrown in prison. The romance.”

The present day can be characterized by two phenomena: 1) the removal of the taboo of discussing sex and sexuality, 2) the clear appearance of the new generation yearning for perfection. The modern man has gained the ability to look at this subject through the prisms of science, psychology, and Eastern teachings. Some elements of Truth exist in each of the approaches. Science describes the human interest in sex with help of hormones, psychology — with help of instincts and psychological complexes, the teachings of the East — with help of male and female energies. All these approaches operate with concrete facts, ignoring such concepts as “morality” (especially violations of moral laws, which can ruin a person's future and in most cases take lives) or ”love” (not everyone is satisfied by an explanation that it was ”an increased ejection of sexual hormones into the blood streams,” or “a basic instinct,” or “an exchange of energy”). This indicates the absence of a complex approach within these systems. In addition, the recommendations of scientists, psychologists, and the gurus of eastern practices can essentially differ, for example, on teenage masturbation or retention of semen.

A complex approach is impossible without the concept of God, because only God is simultaneously the author of the human body, of the soul and of morality. And if all these things come from the single Source, then at the level of pure information (“pure” in the sense of “cleaned” from subjective human impurities) they must not contradict each other, but should be packed into a single system. The Torah is such a system. Its teachings are the direct transfer of information from God to man. The Torah is the only worldview system, which, on the one hand, speaks about the loftiest sentiments and recurrent sex between husband and wife, and on the other hand, about the necessity of the strict control over their sexual desire.

To come to a more detailed study of the approach of the Torah, we must separate it from the approaches of the two religions that grew out from it. Let's start with Christianity. Christianity followed the way of limiting human sexual experience in order to achieve spiritual growth. Sexual desire was considered sinful, which greatly contributed by the concept of Original Sin. Islam went another way by permitting a man to take multiple wives and any free woman on the side, so that there is no continence required from men by the Quran.

Now let's talk about the approach of the Torah. Already in the second chapter the Torah tells how God has created a single man and from him made a man and a woman, and further states, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (the word-for-word translation of the last sentence: “...and they become to one flesh”). Thinking about the meaning of this story, it becomes obvious that the issue here is the unity of a man's and a woman's emotions and energies, available only to humans. Please note that it does not just say “one flesh,” but “to one flesh,” which emphasizes desire, yearning, and movement, and not a static physical unity of two bodies. This description of the Creation of Man differs from the story of the first chapter of the Torah, which states that the Almighty has created man as a biological species like all the other creatures of the earth, namely as a male and a female (in Hebrew “Zakhar” and “Nekeva”). Every person decides for himself what kind of relationship he builds with the opposite sex: a loving relationship between men and women or a relationship based on carnal desires.

Both the Written Torah and the Oral Torah give a lot of examples singing the love between a man and a woman. And the Torah raises prohibited sexual relationships to the category of the most serious sins before God and before men.

Also we can say that the Torah, on the one hand, is well known to people with a European mentality, and on the other hand, the secrets of the Torah, like the Kabbalah, only recently been revealed on a small scale to a wide range of people.

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