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Old 04-08-2005, 12:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Masturbation and God

I was thinking about the homosexuality post and I thought I'd create this one. I'm going to open with a quote from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's new book, Judaism with Feeling. This is from the chapter on Shabbat, the Sabbath, under a section that deals with the mitzvah (usually commandment) to make love with one's spouse on Shabbat in a way that came to be understood as deeply spiritual and meaningful and symbolic. He says:

"I once got into a conversation about masturbation with a bar-mitzvah boy I was teaching. Try waiting until Shabbos comes around, I suggested, and don't be a stranger from God; make sure to let God into it."

I have posted this in part because it is peculiarly jarring, I think, to read from an 80 year old rabbi with a traditional ordination, to have him tell a twelve or thirteen year old that he should connect masturbation with a holy day and make sure God is a part of it. But I agree with him that God should be a part of it. And it actually seems quite wise to tell the child to wait until Shabbat. This will make masturbation a sacred and holy activity. But I think all non-destructive sexual activity can become sacred, and perhaps "destructive" can be interpreted quite a bit.

I know many will disagree strongly based on scriptural evidence. As a source, I would dispute Onan as anti-masturbation but I'll state my reason why later. So what is your opinion?

Dauer
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Old 04-08-2005, 09:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

I don't really have a moral problem with masturbation...I just think it's kinda icky.

And I'm not sure there's really any Scripture on masturbation, so I think it is up to the individual whether he/she wants to do that.

Quote:
"I once got into a conversation about masturbation with a bar-mitzvah boy I was teaching. Try waiting until Shabbos comes around, I suggested, and don't be a stranger from God; make sure to let God into it."
I can only imagine what would happen if a Catholic priest suggested that, lol.
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Old 04-08-2005, 09:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

Quote:
I would dispute Onan as anti-masturbation
So would I--Onan's condemned action appears to have been coitus interruptis
instead of mastrubation, and the reason for the condemnation was that he was failing to do his duty according to the Law toward his widowed sister-in-law. Thus, nothing to do with wankery, or birth control method, either, really.

The rabbi's comment is interesting--I believe there is a tradition in Judaism that sexual activity on the Shabbat between husband and wife is a particulary holy manifestation of their love. Quite a healthy view of sex, I think.
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Old 04-08-2005, 05:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

I must say that I was shocked about the comment.

But letting God in on something like that has got to be out of this world. Love of oneself, sharing that private moment with God - whoa! That's heavy. No shame when you do it that way. After something like that, there are truly no secrets between you and God.
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Old 04-08-2005, 07:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

Re-reading what I said, I want to make sure I am not misleading anyone. The rabbi I quoted does have traditional smicha from Chabad, the Lubavitcher Hasidim. But he left Orthodoxy and is one of the most controversial Jews today due in part to statements like this, also his particular reinterpretations or reapplications of halachah or Jewish law and also of theology, and due to his deep interest in syncretism as a way of enriching Jewish living. He is the founder of Jewish Renewal and it seems like as he has aged he has only become more liberal and more controversial.

So this is not something you would hear from an Orthodox rabbi. Seed can't be spilled. There is only one place it should go. Although there is some debate that there might be some leeway here I haven't heard much of this playing out in modern times.

truthseeker,

that's the way it hit me. At first I was saying to myself, "No, that not what you're supposed to say." But it made me stop and think. And I thought about how something becomes a profane act when we leave God out of it. But if God's there it's sacred. It's an intimate moment with the Divine. I think it would also make it near impossible for someone to indulge in pornography. Pornography is exploitive. If a person lets God in, how can they at the same time encourage an industry that defiles many of those in the image of God?

It also makes it a moment in time. This relates to connecting it to the Sabbath too. But even if it's not the Sabbath. If it's a special time to connect to God, then it's not just about relieving a physical craving, which means it's not something happens in a rush. Perhaps some personal rituals develop around it, to mark the sacred time. Maybe a meditation or a prayer to God. But it elevates the activity from the profane to the sacred.

It also will encourage healthier sexuality as the child becomes older. Any experimentation might only happen in an environment that reciprocates those feelings of sacredness, if there is any experimentation at all. Sex never gets the chance to become purely about physical needs because the soul already knows to find its nourishment there too.

I guess thinking about it more I seem to be taking more from it.

Dauer

Oh, on Onanism what I was going to say is as bluejay said. He had a responsibility that he didn't fulfill.
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Old 04-15-2005, 07:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

Masterbation is an addiction like everything else. Now, how did i get to that point with out even explaining myself. I tell you, To have sex, is a gift from GOD, as long as its with your wife or husband. Read Hebrews 13:4, than read on. Yes, GOD, wants us to enjoy sex with your spouse, for that reason, but what do you think sex is mainly for. Did not the Lord say "Be fruitful" Just think, if everyone, from East to West, North and South, read Hebrews 13:4, how many abortions, spreading of AIDS, and what ever you want to think about that people suffer from sex, wouldnt we all live with a little more comfort. But no, for one thing, there is no GOD, we are from monkeys, or whatever excuse there is, just cause there body is stronger than there mind. Anyway, Masterbation, is just part of the whole struggle. Remember,what Jesus said "We live on GODS world alone, not bread" Most important thing. What does the word feed, the mind or body. Now, what do we need to survive for the body, food, water, health, work, and lots of love from friends and family. To be hugged eases the tension. Masterbation cause the mind to look for an excuse to see a woman or man with an unwanted eye. Than, it goes away after the person masterbates. What, do you think it gets better or worst? People say, i have control. No you dont, look at this world, WE dont have control. I know i was jumping to a lot of different stuff, but, we have a different way of understanding in the 21st century. Plus, i only write, cause i was the same way. Just cause a man or person might make sense of an idea or an excuse to believe what is write, doesnt mean it is. Why??? Check this out, Cause GOD sent his son, to teach us how to live, than to die for us. Because there is a heaven, and only one way to get there. So, you may believe or not, just like there is evil in this world who dont know the word peace, but for one moment, give yourself to him. Accept his son. Than you realize, the hardest thing to do is understand how easy it is to live...
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Old 04-15-2005, 09:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

It rose up again!

Jazzbummer, the objectification of the other and masturbation are two different things. If masturbation is done with this idea already of objectifying the other, then that is how it will happen. But if it is a moment of spiritual communion with God, then it cannot be about the objectification of the other because that is profane and the profane and the sacred cannot mix.

By teaching the future generation that masturbation is a holy act, we can teach them that sex should always be a sacred act and in this help to rid the world of so much of the guilt-born activity that goes on today.

Tell me, how can you challenge listening to a person who makes sense to me when in reality that is all you are doing? If you believe that your information if coming from above, that does not mean it is coming from above. You are relying on ancient books, looking to the past instead of the future. Granted, the past has much wisdom to pass forward, but we are living in today.

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Old 04-16-2005, 02:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

Quote:
It rose up again!
I'll let that stand without comment
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Old 04-16-2005, 03:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

Yeah it kinda sucks, I guess? God does see masterbation as a sin. In fact, Jesus said, "You heard it say that you shall not commit adultry, but I say to you that whoever looks at a woman with lust, has commited adultry with her in his heart."

God sees our thoughts, and judges us by them. He is truely HOLY!
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Old 04-16-2005, 07:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

that's an interesting response, surely. i'm trying to become more accepting of sex as something potentially spiritual, not just as a worldly distraction to be swept away. and really, i think the Rabbi's response was a healthier one for the boy to hear then "shame on you! put those dirty thoughts away and pray to be purified of them!" sexuality happens. why not let God into it?
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Old 04-16-2005, 07:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

Sex is not evil. It only becomes evil when we pervert it for our own lust. God made sex to be an enjoyable expereince for married people. He didnt make it to be used to statisfy our fleshy desiers.

That said, its really hard to do whats right when there is SO many great looking chicks out here. But, THANK GOD for Jesus, who changes our mind and desiers when we allow him to.
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

Quote:
Originally Posted by KnightoftheRose View Post
I don't really have a moral problem with masturbation...I just think it's kinda icky.

And I'm not sure there's really any Scripture on masturbation, so I think it is up to the individual whether he/she wants to do that.


I can only imagine what would happen if a Catholic priest suggested that, lol.

In the bible it says not to kill and life is prescious and BLAH! so masturbating is killing all those lil soldiers or eggs that have a chance to become mini me's...
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Old 10-31-2006, 06:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

Quote:
In the bible it says not to kill and life is prescious and BLAH! so masturbating is killing all those lil soldiers or eggs that have a chance to become mini me's...
That's a matter of interpretation. And it doesn't say not to kill. It says not to murder.
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Old 10-31-2006, 06:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

I think the problem is that masterbation is so connected to lust. But I suppose you could doin it without lusting, maybe just to get rid of the feeling of blue balls. I never really thought of masterbation as a sacred event. I would have a hard time (no pun intended) trying to approach it spiritually and somehow have God in it, though God ought to be in every aspect of our lives, even our sex life. Still.....a strange concept indeed.
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Old 10-31-2006, 09:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Masturbation and God

Every person on this planet, past and present has masturbated. It makes no difference what so ever. As the old saying goes:- your a fool if you say you have and a fool if you say you don't masturbate.
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