Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Biggest Nisayon - Does The Mishna Brura Demand That Women's Pictures Be Printed ?

The biggest nisayon of this generation is sexual purity. This includes shmiras einayim, machshava, peh etc. etc. It is a brutal-take-no-prisoners-all-out-free-for-all-war. Rebbe Tzadok Hakohen already prophesied over a hundred years ago that this would be the final test before Moshiach. 

There are certain people who are outspoken about the importance of printing pictures of women in magazines directed at a religious audience. In the meantime, every person I have found in favor of pictures also watches TV and movies, reads secular newspapers filled with pictures of half naked women and has unfiltered Internet. Meaning that they are not careful about guarding their eyes and are routinely transgressing איסורי דאורייתא. They present themselves as pious - "we only want modest pictures" - but the reality is that they look at immodest pictures as well. I have yet to meet anyone who is super careful about shmiras einayim, who walks with his head down on summer days, who banished all forms of forbidden entertainment from his home and life and at the same time is a forceful proponent of printing pictures of women. 

Such a person probably doesn't exist. Like I have written many times, we have a mechitza in shul for a reason. Looking at any and every woman will not sexually arouse every and any man [that sick we aren't Baruch Hashem:-)], but looking at certain women will arouse many men. The gemara forbids a man from looking at a woman's CLOTHING, even when she is not wearing it, lest he come to think of her. Chazal say אין אפוטרופוס לעריות which of course is means that it is very hard to stop a couple from being sexually intimate. It goes without saying that it is even harder to stop a man from thinking about it. Seeing a picture of an attractive woman is not helpful in this regard.

NONE of the outspoken proponents are coming from Torah sources. They are all products of their environment who speak the language, think the thoughts and espouse the philosophies of their society. I often think of all of the Jews who died on the mizbeach of .... Socialism and other silly "isms" which died a loooooong time ago. 

The world wasn't created yesterday [well " המחדש ביום יום תמיד מעשה בראשית" but you know what I mean]. I like to go back a little further and see what our tradition would say about such things. What would the Vilna Gaon say? What about the Baal Shem Tov? The Chofetz Chaim? It is laughable to thnk that they would demand that women's pictures be featured in magazines that men read. Can you imagine the Chofetz Chaim writing in the Mishna Brura "מצוה להדפיס תמונות נשים במגזינים ובעתונים ויש למחות במחמירים [כמו יתד נאמן והמודיע] לא להדפיס אותן"? He-he-he:-).  

I am NOT saying that it is strictly forbidden [if she is modestly dressed] but a mitzvah it is not. And it could very easily lead to איסורים and לב יודע מרת נפשו. Has it ever happened that you saw a good looking women and you had her image in your mind for days? If it hasn't happened to you then it happened to the guy sitting next to you in shul [who might even be thinking about it during davening]. 

Klal Yisrael [and the world] has MUCH BIGGER problems than the absence of women's pictures in Mishpacha Magazine so people would do better either trying to solve real problems or just doing chesed or learning Torah.