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Intimacy and Morality

An excerpt from a chapter called Intimacy and Morality from Rabbi Akiva Tatz's book Worldmask.

obormottel Sunday, 17 May 2015
Intimacy and Morality

The great Reb Yerucham used to say that the honey is thick when it comes to intimacy because of the great importance of the purpose. The analogy he would give is that of the mother who smears honey on bread so that her child will eat. The mother is more interested in the bread than the honey- she wants the child to eat the bread, so she is prepared to make it attractive with honey. The child, however, is interested in the honey- bread alone would not tempt him- and he is prepared to eat the bread in order to taste the honey.

Hashem gives us the sweetness of honey here because He is interested in the real fruits of the male-female relationship- the bringing down of neshamos into the world, and the love and loyalty which should be built in human marriage. When the bread is coated with the honey, it is sweet and the purpose is achieved.

But a naughty child licks off the honey and discards the bread. A generation which defeats the purpose of this most sacred and purposeful designed area of human functioning, seeking to enjoy the honey while rejecting the responsibility, is no better (and perhaps alot worse) than an immature child who throws his mother's kindness and wisdom back at her face. Honey eaten alone is sweet only for a while; it soon becomes unbearable. Tampering with the sweetest dimension of the human experience in a selfish attempt to divest it of its wholesome purpose must lead to destruction; first, the destruction of itself, and later, the destruction of the fabric of self, family and society.

The Torah prescription is simply to eat the bread with the honey. Escape from obligation, escape from the deep and correct friendship which should exist between man and woman, is escape from the spiritual. The Jew's pathway is clear: to take that experience which naturally takes one out of obligation and instead to use it entirely in obligation. To take that experience of free and unbounded abandon, and to harness exactly that function to the deepest obligation possible. That is, to give this gift of Hashem back as a gift; that is the only way to earn it as the gift of eternal freedom in reality.