[Avodah] De-Chokifying Arayos (including MZ)

H Lampel via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Wed Jul 22 22:23:53 PDT 2015

On 7/22/2015 1:26 PM, H Lampel wrote:
> When Rambam says that Hashem wants to instill in us disgust for the 
> act, and the Torah (as per Chazal) says ''t'shakstu,'' they mean that 
> despite the fact that we should not deny or seek to eradicate the 
> physical inclination for such pleasures, we must maintain an aversion 
> to succumbing to it except for limited situations. (And the purpose of 
> that is to keep us from doing it in excess, which is the real flaw.) 
I should also note that the Rambam teaches that hand-in-hand with the 
flaw of excessive involvement in physical pleasures, and the ultimate 
problem with that, is the attitude behind it, of making physical 
pleasure an end in itself, rather than a side benefit of a means. The 
Rambam applies this objection to both sexual pleasure for its own sake 
and eating pleasure for its own sake:

    The prohibition of certain foods and what is connected therewith....
    The purpose of all this is, as we have explained in the Commentary
    on the Mishnah in the introduction to Aboth, to put an end to the
    lusts and licentiousness manifested in seeking what is most
    pleasurable and to taking the desire for food and drink /as an end/.

    ...The commandments concerned with the prohibition of certain sexual
    unions...  The purpose of this ... is to bring about a decrease of
    sexual intercourse and to diminish the desire for mating as far as
    possible, so that it should not be taken /as an end/, as is done by
    the ignorant, according to what we have explained in the Commentary
    on the Tractate Aboth.

Zvi Lampel

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