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Shemirat Enayim and movies

Question:

Hi Rabbi, in some movies we can see some short scenes where people from opposite gender hug each other or have physical contact in Derech ’Hiba. These kind of scenes are relatively short and don’t give Hirhurim, is it permitted to view them ?
(This also happens in real life)

Answer:

We should not be looking at these things. Let’s be honest, why is it that the movies are so full of such types of scenes? It is because it gives the audience sexual pleasure because they want to see sexually charged scenes. This is precisely what the torah forbids us to look at.

Regarding your point that it doesn’t give hirhurim- first of all hirhurim is not only if the person thinks about himself having a relationship, but any thoughts about arayos are forbidden, even if the person is not involved. Therefore seeing other people involved in arayos is actually being actively involved in having hirhurim. Secondly, one of the reasons why we cannot look at such things is not because it causes hirhurim at the actual time that we are seeing it, but because it will cause hirhurim later on, or at night.

As a side point, unfortunately in our society, where sexual promiscuity is so rampant, we are subject and have grown accustomed to seeing women immodestly clad and promiscuous behavior, especially in movies. If these things don’t stimulate us, then there is something really wrong! It means that we have been so overstimulated, that normal stimulation doesn’t do the job anymore. For example, a person that has gotten so used to eating in posh restaurants and hotels, that he can no longer enjoy eating an apple or a regularly cooked home meal. He has gotten so used to being pampered that he no longer enjoys regular life. The fact that our society is bombarded with immodest dress, and seeing promiscuous behavior, it has caused that people have to resort to all sort of crazy things in order to be satisfied, which is very sad and has very far reaching effects. One of them, is that it causes people to be unhappy in their marriages, because their marriage doesn’t offer that much more then what is readily available and what they are used to. Secondly, in order for their marriage to be fulfilling they need so much more, which is often not realistic. This causes many divorces, and the breakdown of the home and society.

Getting back to the original point, if these scenes don’t cause any hirhur, it doesn’t make it permitted, because these scenes do cause hirhurim, but it does unfortunately mean that we have

 

 

 

 

been overstimulated.

 

 

Sources:

 

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2 Comments

  1. I meant films like holocaust movies where you don’t see obscene scenes, only some short scenes where you see like two old people hugging, thus is it permitted to look a these scenes because it is Derech ‘Hiba and there is absolutely no Hirhurim ?

    1. If the two people are not hugging each other because of a man woman relationship, but because of closeness, such as two relatives, then I would assume that it is permitted.

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