I Sometimes Look At Women With Lust

Not all women, God forbid, just the hotties.

It’s a struggle. I know it is against the Torah.

Here’s what I do to minimize my looking at women with lust:

* I take several cold showers a day
* I daven three times a day
* I say 100 blessings a day
* I study Torah
* I surround myself with Orthodox Jews
* I do yoga
* I keep busy
* I focus on my noble goals of Alexander Technique, investigative journalism, finding a wife, financial abundance
* I immerse myself in literature and think about its lofty ideas
* I don’t look at porn
* I try not to walk behind women or walk between them or shake their unclean hands
* I watch very little TV


OPINIONS: The Gemara quotes a Beraisa that relates that once, when Raban Shimon ben Gamliel saw an idolatrous woman who was beautiful, he exclaimed, “How abundant are Your works, Hashem!” (Tehilim 104:24). The Gemara later asks how was it permitted for him to look at her? The Torah commands, “v’Nishmarta mi’Kol Davar Ra” — “You shall guard yourself from any evil thing” (Devarim 23:10); this verse requires a person to protect himself from seeing things (“Mistakel”) which later might cause him to have forbidden thoughts. The Gemara answers that the case of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel was different, because it was a case of “Keren Zavis,” a corner. RASHI explains that when a person turns a corner, exiting one alley and entering another, he might suddenly cross paths with another person (who is turning the opposite way) and he will not have time to close his eyes. Raban Shimon ben Gamliel did not see the woman approaching and did not have a chance to close his eyes.

What are the parameters of the prohibition against looking at a woman? (See also Insights to Shabbos 149:2, Bava Basra 168:1.)

(a) The S’MA (CM 154:14) explains that there is also difference between the act of “Histaklus” and the act of “Re’iyah.” “Histaklus” refers to seeing by chance, without intention to look at the person or thing. “Re’iyah” refers to intentionally looking at a person or thing. According to the S’ma, it seems that it is prohibited even to briefly glance at a woman, and one should be careful to avoid situations in which he might need to glance at a woman.

(b) Many others dispute this view. The BEIS YOSEF (OC 229) writes that the definitions of “Histaklus” and “Re’iyah” are the opposite of what the S’ma writes. The Gemara in Chagigah (16a) explains, according to one opinion, that when the Mishnah there (11b) says that “anyone who does not have compassion for the honor of his Creator is better off having not been created,” it is referring to one who looks at a rainbow. The TUR (ibid.) rules that it is prohibited to “gaze profusely at a rainbow” (“Mistakel Bo Harbei”). The Beis Yosef quotes the AVUDRAHAM who writes that the ROSH was asked how is it permitted to look at a rainbow in order to recite the special blessing for a rainbow if one is not supposed to look at it? The Rosh replied that “Ro’eh” (seeing) is not the same as “Mistakel” (gazing, which is prohibited). He describes “Mistakel” as an act of continuously and intently looking at the object. According to this, the Gemara here, too, is prohibiting only gazing (“Mistakel”) at a woman, but not glancing or looking in passing.

The MAGEN AVRAHAM (OC 225:20) discusses a similar question regarding looking at an evildoer. The Gemara says that it is prohibited to gaze (“Mistakel”) at the face of a Rasha. What does this mean? The Magen Avraham explains that this means that one is not allowed to take a long look, concentrating on his image and figure. One is allowed to “look” (“Ro’eh”) in passing at a Rasha, though.

From my live cam:

Amy: Luke- question. i was pretty intrigued by your post from the real estate agent in jerusalem
Amy: Do you plan to do anything about that?
YourMoralLeader: if the guy does not get paid his commission, i will publish more
Amy: Looking forward. I feel bad for the fellow
Amy: I hope u find a place. im listening to the arutz 7 interview now. im waiting for someone to ask u what your view is of the issue of histaklus and how you were /are able to put that aside
Amy: or do you still struggle with that?
YourMoralLeader: I still struggle
YourMoralLeader: can you guys help me to stop looking at women with lust?
Amy: do you get looks of disgust while walking down pico robertson?
Beth: Luke, convert to Islam and move to Saudi Arabia. No more bare female flesh to stir your lust.
Amy: xxxwatch
Amy: my bf uses that
guest6: he went to tiger woods yeshiva gedolah
Amy: Luke- have u had anyhting to do with rabbi pillichowski?
Amy: Hows your reaching out to Rabbi topp?
Amy: you gotta give him more time
guest6: i hope he doesn’t slap his members
Amy: He is/was very well liked in Woodmere
Amy: luke- do u ever get invited out for shabbos meals by orthodox friends?
YourMoralLeader: yes
Amy: how often do you eat shabbos meals alone
YourMoralLeader: 98% of the time
Amy: Hes gotta get back on rabbi muskin’s good side
Amy: once that happens, hes kosher again
guest9: its only good to eat alone when you are having cholent
YourMoralLeader: To get in good with the rabbis, I’ll have to let them control my blog and publish nothing negative they don’t approve of, which would emasculate my blog

Amy: this guy is giving u some seriouis lashon hara mussar
Amy: do u think u say lashon hara?
guest6: lushan hara yummy
YourMoralLeader: hmm
Amy: yes or no?
YourMoralLeader: no
Beth: He does and he knows it but this is not the Rabbis’ problem with Luke.
Beth: Oh come off it Luke
Beth: How is it not?
YourMoralLeader: I’m exposing and preventing the desecration of God’s name and protecting the unwary
Beth: Ok, that is actually a valid argument
Amy: not really
Amy: but ok
Beth: If it is truly out of a place of helpfulness and not just to defame, it is not lason hara
Amy: its a rationalization
guest6: if luke were wealthy and donates lots of money to the shul they would leave you alone
Beth: Not if he really means it
Amy: but that is what he chooses to do
Beth: It depends whats in his heart
Beth: And thats not for anyone but Luke to say
Amy: i dont agree
Amy: the torah and its mitzvos are objective
YourMoralLeader: do you think I publish lots of lashon hara Amy?
guest6: juicy loshen hora …just the way i like it
Amy: Honestly, Im not sure
Amy: It could be
Amy: and its my problem for reading it
Amy: and you might be causing others to sin. but i dont know
guest6: this should be my biggest sin
YourMoralLeader: i’m ambivalent too
Amy: about sinning?
Amy: about causing other people to sin?
YourMoralLeader: about my blogging, causing others to sin etc
guest6: don’t flatter yourself

Amy: Do you blog mostly for the money or b.c you think that you are doing a good service to the world?
Amy: and have you ever thought about why comments never really took off in your blog as it has on other sensational blogs?
YourMoralLeader: not for the money
YourMoralLeader: I think I do good for the world
YourMoralLeader: it’s largely out of compulsion
Amy: maybe. have u hurt anyone greatly?
YourMoralLeader: I don’t want to spend time monitoring comments, time-suck
YourMoralLeader: an innocent person? rarely
guest6: he only hurts women emotionally
YourMoralLeader: 6, how do you know?
YourMoralLeader: you’ve never given me a chance
guest6: i know darling i know
YourMoralLeader: I love too much and too deeply
Amy: Why do you think that you are having a hard time getting married?
guest6: and then throw her to the curb
Beth: He’s got a Madonna/Whore complex
Beth: That’s my pop psychology contribution for the day
YourMoralLeader: lack of $$$, oy, my own weaknesses
Amy: Do you really have no money?
YourMoralLeader: I’m mad, bad and dangerous to know
Amy: how do afford your apt?
guest6: and he’s not that great in bed
YourMoralLeader: i work hard

Khunrum emails: Luke:

Although I don’t like to preach, this is a special time of the year for Christian and Jew alike. I am appalled at your insensitivity during these, the Holiest dates on the calendar. All we ever hear from you is ME! ME! ME!…What have you done to cheer up your fellow man this Holiday Season?. My dear wife, a Buddhist, spent a day wrapping presents at Covenant House for those less fortunate than ourselves. Friends will be carving turkeys for the homeless on Christmas day. I’ve been handing out a few bucks here and there to downtrodden guys I pass whilst riding my bike around town.

Frankly Luke, when I read “I am back in the spotlight!” I want to shout “WHO GIVES A %$#&.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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