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Zohar: Sex and Sin

A man who guards his sexual purity in this world is guarded from the torments of Gehinom (Hell) in the world to come. - Zohar, Bereshit 8a


"Let us make man." Another and altogether different interpretation and meaning has been given of these words by the learned of former times, and is as follows: They apply them as spoken by ministering angels who, endowed with a knowledge both of the past, the present and future, foresaw that man would fall and therefore they opposed his creation. Furthermore, at the moment that the Schekina or creative Logos said to the Holy One: "Let us make man" the angels Aza and Azael objected and said: Why create man since thou foreseest that he will sin and break thy law, along with the woman who will be formed from the passive light called darkness, as the man from the active light? Then spoke the Schekina and said in reply to them: Through woman, against whom ye object, shall ye yourselves fall and lose your glory and state, as it is written: "And the sons of Alhim saw the daughters of man were fair and they took them wives of all which they chose" (Gen. vi. 2).

Said the students to Rabbi Simeon: Master! were not Aza and Azael correct in saying that man through the woman would sin and transgress?

To this remark Rabbi Simeon replied: It was on this account that the Schekina said unto them: "Before accusing them ye should see to it that ye are better and stronger and purer than they. Man will fall and sin by one woman alone; ye will fall and be seduced by many. He will repent, but ye will become obdurate and hardened in your sin."

Said the students again to Rabbi Simeon, since sexual desires and impulses were the cause of sin and transgression, wherefore do they exist?

Said Rabbi Simeon: If the Holy One had not created a spirit of good that emanates from the active light, and spirit of evil that emanates from the passive light or darkness, man would have been a neutral ignorant kind of being unable to distinguish and contrast things essential to mental growth and spiritual development and progress; therefore was he created dual in nature, endowed with sexual feelings and rational functions, from the right and orderly discharge of which, or otherwise, he enjoys or suffers, as it is written: "See I have set before thee this day, life and good, death and evil" (limiter. xxx. 15). - Zohar, Genesis Ch. IV


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