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By Rafi Eis, First Things, May 4, 2023
Rabbi Rafi Eis is the Executive Director at The Herzl Institute.
Jewish teaching is clear that sexual and erotic activity is permissible only within heterosexual marriage. Any other sexual pleasure is prohibited. Of course, it is difficult for human beings to live up to this principle in real life. The Hebrew Bible and Talmud therefore offer rules and teachings to help individuals live virtuously.
For instance, Jewish law prohibits non-marital erotic touch. It also forbids men from ogling women. The Code of Jewish Law declares that “a person must be exceedingly careful” regarding matters of sexuality, to the extent that one should avoid walking past a brothel. …