[Avodah] De-Chokifying Arayos (including MZ)

Micha Berger via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Mon Aug 3 07:43:33 PDT 2015

On Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 03:39:12AM +0000, Kenneth Miller via Avodah wrote:
: Sex is also an enjoyment of olam hazeh, but I've seen this expressed
: in only two areas: Oneg Shabbos and Chiyuv Onah...

... and priya verivya, no?

:                        Food has tremendous room for creativity even within
: the restrictions of hilchos kashrus and brachos. Sex could be similar,
: even within the bounds of hilchos nidda and arayos, but the restrictions
: set out in OC 240 go much farther than merely to insure that one does
: not become a menuval.

: I think that he is agreeing with me that food and sex are very different,
: but I disagree with his explanation of *why* they are so different.

I have the same assessment. I am saying that the same principle of when
perishus is appropriate is very different for food vs sex because food
and sex are different in nature.

Summarizing my point #1:
:                             But while casual eating is fine, casual sex is
: not. Casual sex involves people, and they must not be taken advantage of.
: My problem with this is on several levels. First, Chazal are pretty
: explicit that the purpose of Hilchos Nida is to restore a honeymoon-style
: atmosphere on a regular basis, and that alone might suffice to insure
: that spouses aren't objectified....

If your objection is based on the "might suffice", all one needs to
assert is or might not.

:                                  What is gained from the additional
: restrictions (such as various positions, or finishing quickly) which
: have no parallel in food?

I am not sure that prohibitions based on mood are sufficient, as it's
too easy to fool oneself about what the other person really wants.

In any case, you return to OC 240 again at the end of the post and ask:
: And yet, Orach Chayim 240 *IS* "black-letter halakhah and objective
: rules", is it not?

Perhaps not. Is OC 1 black-letter halakhah? Is hitting the snooze button,
or even lying around for a few seconds before getting up, actually assur?
For that matter, there is a mitzvah to remember right vs left when putting
on and tying shoes, but do you really think someone was oveir an issur if
they don't?

As the AhS OC often notes, the style of the SA is just to discuss do
vs don't, and it blurs the distinctions between levels of issur -- a
deOraisa can be next to an accepted minhag, and both may even be
written in parallel language.

: In RMB's second point, he contrasts survival without sex and survival
: without food. While it is true that sex is not required for physical life,
: psychologically it's a whole different story, and that's the approach
: the Torah uses for Onah.
: While men and women are pretty much identical in the halachos of food,
: Onah places the husband and wife in opposite situations...

Whereas moredes has no parallel because she cannot initiate a gett. And
for that matter, it has no parallel because he is obligated to support here.
For that matter, the assymetry in who supports who is quite possibly
why HQBH set up an assymetric process for gittin. The man who obligates
himself in support can get of it.

Onah is a protection against that objectification. Against turning that
whole support thing into near prostitution.

And with onah, the outcome is more symmetric -- he can end a marriage if
dissatisfied, and is obligated to keep her satisfied. Without which BD
can force him to willingly end the marriage. <grin> (Just paraphrasing
the din...)

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Life is a stage and we are the actors,
micha at aishdas.org        but only some of us have the script.
http://www.aishdas.org               - Rav Menachem Nissel
Fax: (270) 514-1507

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