Wednesday, March 8, 2023


A child begins from an early age to show interest in his own nature, his makeup and gender. First of all out of curiosity and sometimes by imitation; He begins to be interested in the human nature of his father and mother, and begins to compare himself to his parents and his siblings, depending on the case, or his friends. And in the mixed society he begins to find out about the other gender.

King Solomon says: “Oh, I wish you were like my brother: that you would come to comfort me as Joseph did with his brothers, as it is said of him in Genesis 50:21:“ and he comforted them ”.

In the moral norms of the Torah taught by the sages of Israel, they exhort us to be very careful not to fall into sexual promiscuity, and to avoid awakening in love at too early an age. As exhorted by the greatest of sages Shlomo Ha'Melech (King Solomon) in his words to the maidens of Jerusalem:

“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem; Why should you awaken and excite love before it be desirable?"

Promiscuity is something that the Torah condemns and even its smell for the wise is associated with something fetid and disgusting, while sexual purity in order, time and sanctity is manifested as something that projects a good, soft and pleasant odor.

Hence the Sages advise the youth to remember the teachings of his Creator in the days of his tender age:

“And remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years come, of which you will say, I have no desire in them (Kohelet 12).”


Men were created with a very keen appetite for the love that the opposite gender arouses in them, and after that appetite is aroused, if self-control is not constantly cultivated, it it will be almost impossible to attend to the wishes of its Creator. And to test their loyalty and obedience to their Creator; an angel was assigned to tempt human beings, to see if they will walk in the paths (Torah) of the Creator or not. And that temptation occurs in all areas of the life of a human being; in sexuality, acquisitions, greed, food, etc.

As it is written:

"And you must remember all the way that the Eternal your God led you these forty years in the desert, to afflict you, to test you, to know what was in your heart, to know if you would keep His Mitzvot or not (Deut 8: 2)."

And again it says: 

"and the Eternal afflicted you, and He made you starve, and then He fed you with manna, (food from heaven), a thing that you did not know, nor had your fathers known; all this to let you know that the human being does not live only on bread, but on everything that comes out of the mouth of the Eternal man has to live."

In other words, human beings should not concentrate on living or surviving only with physical things, such as food, sexual relations, and everything that makes them feel alive or that gives them pleasure. Although he has the obligation to fulfill the duty of feeding his body and providing him with all his needs, including the pleasures of sexual intimacy. But he must do so, only according to the Torah teachings of his Creator, and with the holy people and tools that have been given to us.


Two stories about Rabbi Akiva and his students and his tremendous self-control in the face of temptation and his sexual experiences; and about bad odors as a sign of sexual promiscuity.


Rabbi Akiva travels to Rome on an official visit as a representative of the Jewish people. It was a trip for official and political business; and for that reason, the governor decided to offer him the same treatment that is given to the officials of the provinces, in order to seduce him. However Rabbi Akiva was not seduced by the usual whores sent to the officials, he avoided them and kept his distance from them all night.

In the story of Avot de-Rabbi Nathan we find this surprising narrative that explains the strange behavior of Rabbi Akiva as perceived by the governor of Rome:

When Rabbi Akiva arrived in Rome, they informed the Roman governor about his arrival, and he immediately sent him two very beautiful women. The ladies had bathed, anointed and decorated themselves with bridal attire, and when they have reached the accommodation of Rabbi Akiva, they accosted him all night. One of them telling to him: come in to me, and the other: No, it would be better for you, if you come in to me; but he sat between them and spat at them and did not approach neither of them. In the morning, they returned to the governor and told him: We would rather die than to be handed over to that man. The governor sent for Rabbi Akiva. And interrogated and questioned him on the matter: 

"And why didn't you do with them as all men would do with these women? Aren't they beautiful enough for you? Or are they not human like you? Did not He who created you also created them?"

Rabbi Akiva only responded to him: What can I do? It's just that their smell reaches me like carrion meat, food not suitable for eating (Like Non - Kosher Meat).

Temptation is something we have to overcome; but of course, not all of us have the strength of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Akiva was one of the sages of the Tanaim era who lived at the end of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century and he belonged to the third generation of the Tanaim sages. One of his outstanding students was Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the author of the Mystical book of Zohar,

Rabbi Akiva was one of the most important Sages of the Jewish people, to such an extent that Moses asked God why he had not delivered the Torah to Israel through that man, the following dialogue comes to us from the conversation between God and Moses about the Rabbi Akiva:

"Show me this man's interpretation of the Torah"  – Moses asked. The Eternal took Moses to the future and put him in one of Rabbi Akiva's Torah classes. First Moses sees the greatness of Rabbi Akiva and his disciples. Then he watches as Rabbi Akiva exclaims "Shema Yisrael"  even as the Romans were skinning him alive with iron brushes.

That's where Moses questioned why the Torah was given through him, and not through that great man.

R. Yehudah explained this story thus, in the name of Rav, saying as it follows: When Moses ascended on high, he found the Holy God, placing crowns on each one of the letters of the Torah. Then Moses asked him: 

"Lord of the universe, why using crowns to hint at what you desire? Who can hinder Your hand from writing in full all the precepts of the Torah?" 

God replied: 

"At the end of many generations a man will arise , called Akiva ben Yosef, he will infer lots and lots of laws from each and every title in these crowns."


"Lord of the universe," 

said Moses, 

"let me see it." 

God replied: 

"Turn around." 

Moses went and sat behind eight rows of Rabbi Akiva's disciples and listened to his Torah discourses. Not being able to understand or follow what they were saying, he was so distraught that he almost fainted. But when they came to a certain topic and the disciples asked Rabbi Akiva:

"Teacher, where did you learn this?" 

and Rabbi Akiva replied, 

"It is a Torah law given to Moses on Mount Sinai," 

Then Moses calmed down and he returned to the Holy God and told him: 

"Lord of the Universe." In other words, you have such a man, but you did not give the Torah by his hand, instead you did it by mine?" God replied: "Shut up, that's how it came to my mind." 

Then Moses said: 

"Lord of the universe, I you have shown his Torah, now show me his reward."

 "Turn around," God said. 

Moses turned around and saw R. Akiva's meat being weighed in a meat market. 

"Lord of the universe," Moses shouted in protest, "such a Torah, and such a reward from him?" Shut up, for that's how it came to my mind." 141. 

Rabbi Akiva was a shepherd for forty years; he studied Torah for forty years; and he led Israel for forty years. The sages say that the fathers of this world are Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Ishmael .

Even Adam rejoiced when he was shown the generation of Rabbi Akiva. Resh Lakish explains:

What does the Torah mean in Genesis 5:1 when it says, "This is the book of the generations of Adam?

It means that the Holy God showed all the generations and all their wise men to Adam, and he rejoiced very much when he saw Rabbi Akiva and when he heard his Torah, but Adam was grieved and protested when he saw the atrocious death of Rabbi Akiva, and he recited the following in Psalm 139:17 

"How precious are all your friends to me, O God! How great are they all to me!"


Even if you are very strong and have the best control of yourself, in your own domain. One must be very careful not to look down on those who are weaker and who easily fall into the temptations that the Yetzer Ha'Ra offers them.

In most cases of sexual seduction, the woman is used as a seductive weapon to tempt man. Although both men and women have a Yetzer Ha'Ra (the instinct for evil) that cooperates with the angel in charge of tempting humans; men are the ones who have to fight the most against it; that is because, self-control is a component of the "male identity". The Yetzer itself is most closely associated with women because it is often characterized in feminine terms or even instigated by women.

And as some sages have shown, female sexuality is sometimes presented as very dangerous and threatening to men, God forbid, one can even lose their participation in the world to come because of it. There are many men who fall under the traps that the tempting angel sets for them; so it must be understood that what happened in the story of the two Roman harlots is not just an impression formed by the image and behavior of the seductive women who "accosted" Rabbi Akiva all night. Rabbi Akiva did not easily fall for traps with women; but according to the next story, he seems to be a merit that he had obtained through his intense study of the Torah.


There is another story brought to us in the Kiddushin Tractate 81a, it speaks of the seductive angel (the Satan) who disguised himself as a woman and tried to seduce both Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Meir, because both of them used to ridicule sinful men who easily fell into sexual sin. And in response to the strong attraction the angelic female imagery exerted on them, and being unable to resist one of them climbed a tree faster than a lion, in his desperate attempt to reach the seducing being offered to him, and Rabbi Meir tried to cross the river with the force of a Gibor to reach the woman who was on the other side.

The Gemara relates it like this:

"Rabbi Meir ridiculed transgressors, because they fell so easily into the trap. He used to say that it was easy to avoid female temptation. However, one day, the Satan appeared to him as an irresistible woman standing on the other side of the river. And given that there wasn't a ferry to cross the river, he desperately grabbed onto a rope bridge trying to cross over the river to get to her, but when he reached the middle of the rope bridge, the Yetzer Ha'Ra, the evil inclination with the overwhelming attraction let go of him and the Satan said: If had it not been for the fact that they proclaim over you in heaven: Beware of Rabbi Meir and for his Torah, I would have reduced your blood to a couple of Ma'a coins, that is, something completely worthless, since you would have completely fallen from your spiritual level.

The Gemara also explains:

In like manner, Rabbi Akiva who also used to ridicule sexual offenders. But one day, the Satan took upon himself to prove him wrong, and so appeared to him in the form of a very pretty and irresistible woman on top of a palm tree. In this case Rabbi Akiva grabbed the palm tree and began to climb it like no other creature can. But when he was halfway up the palm tree, the Yetzer Ha'Ra, the evil inclination let go of him and said: If it were not for what is being proclaimed about you in heaven: "Beware of Rabbi Akiva and his Torah, I would have reduced the value of your blood to two cents.

In this case, similar to our story with the two Roman harlots, Rabbi Akiva is portrayed as having strict sexual morality, ridiculing the weak ones; nevertheless, he responded just like the tempting angel wanted him to, under the tests to which he had been subjected in a decisive and even radical way. According to the story, Rabbi Akiva was subjected to this irresistible test after he made a joke laughing at transgressors who are unable to resist temptations, to which the Satan replied that he was capable of sending Rabbi Akiva temptations even greater than probably he wouldn't be able to resist. .

Satan's statement conveys the message that the intensity of the temptation changes according to the circumstances and that it also depends on the character of each one and that not all human beings are equal in this matter. Rabbi Akiva is portrayed as a role model and a moral person worthy of unlimited appreciation. But the claim of the tempting angel, however, places a limitation on this supremacy. 

Therefore, our source is not interested in portraying a figure devoid of human weaknesses. In fact, we know nothing of the women sent by the governor to Rabbi Akiva, apart from their natural beauty which was further enhanced by the cosmetic treatment they received in preparation for the seduction. The mission is planned out in detail, so that the prey supposedly had only a slim chance of escaping the trap set for it. The cheat planner does not settle for just one woman and uses an active and attractive method of seduction. Objectively, the scents of seductive women were intoxicating and provocative.

Their adornment as "brides" emphasizes that they used the best cosmetics available, the ones used in ancient times in preparation for the wedding night. The moral of the story is that a "pleasant smell" has a subjective meaning that is affected by one's morality. Due to Rabbi Akiva's religious devotion and strict sexual morality, he does not behave as expected of a person with regular urges. He perceives the smell of the forbidden perfume as the smell of carrion and non-kosher Trefa meat. Meat that is prohibited by Jewish dietary law is not necessarily different from meat that is permitted with respect to its physical qualities (or its smell, unless it is in a state of rottenness). The difference between them is the prohibition of the Torah, and this is also the attitude towards perfume and towards the smell of prostitution.

An acquaintance from the city of Ottawa, Canada told me that he knows of someone who used to believe that he was very strong and capable of resisting all female temptations; Although that person did not make fun of anyone, he lived with that certainty for many years, until suddenly everything began to change. First came a strong attraction to a female neighbor; and when he tried to approach her, she called the police to get him to leave her alone.

He then moved to another neighborhood and then went to another city, and the same thing repeated itself with several other women; Although it was only the first woman, the only one to react in such a radical way, none of the women with whom he was tempted felt anything for him, it was something supernatural that only he felt.

One must be very careful, one must not act with arrogance or pride, if one obtains the strength to escape temptations. Although we know for sure that Torah study is the only truly effective protection against temptation and the angel in charge of seduction, just as we saw in the two stories of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Meir, it was only their Torah studies that saved them from the hands of the tempting angel, as we read in the Kiddushin Tractate 30b:

So also the Holy God, Blessed Be He, said to Israel: My children, I created an evil inclination (the Yetzer Ha'Ra), which is the wound, and I created the Torah as the antidote to it. If you dedicate yourself to the study of Torah, you will not be handed over to the evil inclination, as it is said: 

“If you do good, will you not be raised? (Genesis 4:7). One who dedicates himself to the study of Torah rises above the evil inclination.

And if you do not dedicate yourself to the study of Torah, you will be handed over to his power, as it is said: 

“Sin lurks at the door” (Genesis 4: 7). Furthermore, all the deliberations of the evil inclination will be on you, as it is said in the same verse: “And for you is his wish”. And if you wish, you will rule over him, as stated in the conclusion of the verse: “But you can rule over him” (Kiddushin 30b).


Diversifique su portafolio con inversiones variadas