Thursday, September 27, 2012
The Talmud Niddah 13 states "Whosoever emits semen in vain deserves death", "He is as though he shed blood", "He is like one who worships idols" "A man who wilfully causes erection should be placed under the ban" "He is called a renegade, because such is the art of the evil inclination: To-day it incites man to do one wrong thing, and to-morrow it incites him to worship idols and he proceeds to worship them." "He who excites himself by lustful thoughts will not be allowed to enter the division of the Holy One, blessed be He".
It should be noted however that Sefer Ḥasidim section 176 does permit masturbation if there is danger that otherwise one will have intercourse with a forbidden woman (meaning any woman except his wife who is not niddah). Consult a rabbi regarding this.
In any case, the Talmud considers masturbation to be an extremely negative behavior. However following this teaching can be very difficult, particularly in today's world were online pornography is so easily available.
The Steipler obm offered the following advice:
The only hope of a young unmarried man is to study Torah for the sake of Heaven and to pray that the Holy One will have compassion on him and save him from sinning. You should not expect the rescue to happen in one or two days, however. Yet , with time, if you persist in the deep analysis of Torah texts, as much as your ability will allow, together with a good study-partner, without wasting any time in conversation, you will see how your urge for evil becomes dimmer. You will thereby succeed in your Torah study, as well as in your observance of the Torah... When you finish praying the Amidah, before taking the three steps backward, pray that the Holy One will rescue you, as well as all your brothers among the people of Israel, from this most bitter of sins.
To one boy who had essentially given up trying he wrote : An essential requirement is not to despair, G-d forbid. We must always hope that the Holy One will help us, for as it is written: Is G-d’s power limited? Furthermore, one who comes to purify himself is sent help from Heaven. Another important principle is not to fall into sadness. One who is unmarried should not think of his past till after he gets married. He will then have time to repair.
Let us all pray for a good new year devoted to loving God and loving those who serve Him.
Posted by jewish philosopher at 5:37 PM