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    The “f” word – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Is there any issue with watching TV shows or movies that contain the “F” word?

    A. Judaism is far from prudish. The Bible and Talmud are frank about sex – but they are also dignified. Jews are far from prudes; Jewish married life is an enjoyable experience, and the Hebrew marriage covenant requires a couple to live “according to the way of the world”.

    However, Judaism also says that since everybody knows why husband and wife enter the marriage chamber, to speak of it is to sully one’s lips (K’tubot 8b). Intimacy between husband and wife is part of the creative privilege granted us by the Almighty, and turning sexual love into inappropriate titillation is to reduce the dignity of the human being to the crude level of the farmyard animals.

    It is likewise with other “grob” terms. In Judaism the body is sacred and given by God. There is a b’rachah to say when leaving the toilet. It acknowledges that natural bodily operations are part of a normally functioning human being. Turning the functions of the body into material for coarse jokes is to cheapen, vulgarise and trivialise a great Divine gift.

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