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The prohibition of masturbation for both men and women

Halachic Responsa from Rabbi Moshe Ariel HaCohen Roth, Head of the Beit Midrash “Bet Menachem”, Ben Gurion University in the Negev. (Translated by “Micha” from the Hebrew at this link:


the.guard Tuesday, 30 August 2016
Part 3/3 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

In conclusion, a story from the Or HaChayim:

The Lubavitcher Rabbi (Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson) told in one of his speeches that once someone asked the Rebbe Maharash about the issue of “guarding the Bris Milah” (sexual purity). He answered that the guarding should be like that of the “Or HaChayim”, as the following story shows:

Once the “Or HaChayim” was traveling with a caravan in the desert, and when Shabbos arrived they - the people from the caravan - didn’t want to wait for him until Shabbos end. So he remained alone in the desert. In Shabbos, a lion appeared and was going to attack him. He showed him his “Bris Milah”, and when the lion saw it, it (lion) not only didn’t touch him, but also protected the Rabbi from other animals. After Shabbos, he mounted on the lion and traveled this way until he achieved his caravan.

Explained the Lubavitcher Rabbi: “Our Sages said that “no wild animal dominates a person, only if he seems to be an animal”, thus when the lion saw the “signal of the pact” (the Bris Milah), that “Bris” (pact) means connection (with G-d), it was very recognizable in him the “Tzelem Elo-im” (“G-d’s image in man”), which is the very core of men, hence the lion couldn’t dominate him. Just the opposite, the purpose of the lion is to serve him.

May Hashem save us from any bad thing, and may we merit serve the Lord with holiness and purity and we won’t be ashamed nor fail forever. And may we merit the fulfillment of the Passuk: “וזרקתי עליכם מים טהורים וטהרתם וגו’” - I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean”, with the true and complete Redemption with the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days, Amen.

Best regards,

Rabbi Moshe Ariel HaCohen Roth

Head of the Beit Midrash “Baith Menachem”

Ben Gurion University in the Negev

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