Beautiful captive vs sex slave


In my recent message, ”I am peace ”, I mentioned the graphic example given by Rambam (R’ Moses Maimonides) in his Iggeret Teiman to illustrate the difference between the Torah and false religions. He compares the latter to man-made stuffed dolls (clones) crafted to resemble a real human from the outside, but without any of the bones, flesh, blood, nerves and vitality of a living person.

In terms of Torah thought, all fake religions, “the opiate of the masses”, are seen as rooted in what is termed the Sitra Achra, the “Other Side”, the source of all that is unholy in creation. Kabbalah teaches that the Sitra Achra was brought into being as part of God’s plan to conceal His godly presence in different ways on different levels, in order to give limited power to all the various kinds of evil that challenge us constantly. The purpose is to force us to earn our connection with God through the efforts we make to fight the evil around us and within ourselves for the sake of following the Torah path.

In recent weeks, newly released footage of the horrors of the brutal October 7 kidnappings, rape and murders of young Israeli women by the Hamas barbarians received revealing responses on social media from Hamas’ Moslem and left-wing apologists. They argue that these atrocities must be viewed sympathetically “in their cultural context”, the reference being to the centuries-old Islamic warrior custom of seeing any non-Moslem female kafir-(heretic) as inferior to a piece of dirt, who may be abused sexually and otherwise by her captors without regard to extremes of pain and shame she may suffer, and who, as soon as she can no long satisfy their lust, is liable to be ruthlessly slaughtered.

Such atrocities are indeed perpetrated daily against Christians in numerous African and Arab countries, against the Kurds in Turkey, against Hindus in Pakistan, and against other non-Moslem minorities in Moslem countries. Rapes and sexual grooming by Moslem migrants into America, Britain and Europe are also now everyday occurrences. Most of the above is willfully ignored by the mainstream media and the Palestinian solidarity protestors.

Nor is the sexual exploitation of girls and women a new phenomenon or confined to Moslems. Thousands of years ago, the mother of the Canaanite general Sisera was confident that her son and his fellow warriors would each have “a womb or two” (Judges 5:30). History is stained with the blood and tears of countless women violated by rapists, perverts and captors.

The beautiful captive

In the Torah, the rape of a defenseless girl is considered as grave as murdering her (Deuteronomy 22:26).

It is noteworthy that the Torah code explicitly forbids the warriors of Israel from taking female captives of other nations as permanent sex slaves under any circumstances. The Torah law for a Jewish warrior in the heat of battle is set forth by Rambam in his Mishneh Torah law code in “The Laws of Kings and their Wars” chapter 8:

When the troops enter the territory of pagans, conquering them and taking them captive, they are permitted to eat meat from animals that died without ritual slaughter (neveilah) or were treiffe (unkosher) and the flesh of pigs and similar animals if they are hungry and can only find these forbidden foods. Similarly, they may drink wine used in the worship of idols…

Rambam continues:

Similarly, a soldier may engage in sexual relations with a captured woman while she is still a gentile if his natural inclination overcomes him.

But there is a critical qualification:

He may not engage in sexual relations with her and then go on his way. Rather, he must bring her into his home, as Deuteronomy 21:11 states: ‘If you see a beautiful woman among the prisoners…You shall bring her into the midst of your home…’ It is forbidden for him to engage in sexual relations with her a second time until he marries her.

The full text of the Biblical source of these laws as adduced by Rambam is found in Deuteronomy 21:10-14:

When you go out in war against your enemies, and your God delivers them into your power and you take some of them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman and you desire her and would take her as your wife, you shall bring her into your household, and she shall trim her hair, pare her nails, and discard her captive’s garb. She shall spend a month in your household lamenting her father and mother; after that you may come to her and thus become her husband, and she shall be your wife.

Then, should you no longer want her, you must release her outright. You must not sell her for money: since you had your way with her, you must not enslave her.

In other words, the Torah permits and indeed obliges us to fight necessary wars, and also recognizes the natural human lusts of the warrior in the euphoria of conquest. The Torah does not forbid the warrior from lying carnally with a captive girl should he feel so impelled at that moment. However, the Torah permits him no more than that. If he wishes to have further relations with his captive, he must keep her in his home until she agrees to convert to the Torah of Israel. After all this, should she refuse, he is obliged to set her free and is forbidden to make any further use of her.

As the commentator Rashi explains (Deut. 21:11):

Scripture makes this concession only in view of man’s evil inclination (his carnal desires, Kiddushin 21b). For if the Holy One, blessed be He, would not permit her to him as a wife, he would nevertheless marry her even though she would then be forbidden to him. However, if he does marry her, in the end he will hate her, for Scripture writes immediately afterwards (v. 15): “If a man has two wives, one beloved, and another hated, etc.” and ultimately, he will beget a refractory and rebellious son by her (v. 18). It is for this reason that these sections are put in juxtaposition (Midrash Tanchuma, Ki Teitzei 1).

Yefat To’ar

In rabbinical parlance, the “beautiful captive” is known as Yefat To’ar, “she of beautiful appearance”. It is relevant to note that no less than King David himself performed the mitzvah of Yefat To’ar after he conquered Geshur, when he took the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur captive and lay with her. It was through this union that the ill-fated Tamar – subsequently raped by Amnon – was conceived (II Samuel chapter 13).

Tamar was thus King David’s biological daughter, but having been born to a non-Israelite woman prior to her conversion, Tamar was not a homeborn Israelite but Israelite only through conversion and was not considered David’s halakhic daughter. After Tamar’s mother Maakhah converted, she gave birth to Absalom, who was King David’s halakhic son and could have inherited him and become king had he not rebelled.

Amnon was David’s son from another wife and thus was not halakhically forbidden to marry Tamar (see Rashi on II Samuel 13:13). However, Amnon’s lust for her overcame him and he raped her, bringing upon himself Absalom’s murderous vengeance for the violation of his biological sister, which in turn eventually led to his rebellion against King David, when he was killed. David’s suffering from all this domestic strife was considered comparable to that of the War of Gog and Magog (see Psalms 3 and commentators), and this suffering was seen as the consequence of his having taken the “beautiful captive” Maakhah into his home

Woke leftist sex fantasies

It is thus clear that the Torah permitted the Israelite warrior to have relations with the “beautiful captive” one time only in the heat of war, after which he was absolutely forbidden to enslave or have further relations with her but had either to convert and marry her or send her on her way.

The one-time permissibility of relations with a Yefat To’ar and the strict conditions surrounding it – no abuse and no slavery – clearly contrast with the Arab concept of subiya or surriyya, euphemistically translated as “concubine” but actually denoting a sex slave, an object to be used or abused at her captor’s caprice without any regard whatever for her feelings.

I found an interesting clue to something that has been puzzling me greatly in recent weeks: What is the reason for the obsessive fascination that woke leftist Palestinian sympathizers have with the masked, machine-gun toting “resistance fighters” of Hamas, Hezbollah and the like, to the point where they are falling on their knees and faces and prostrating to the pagan deity invoked by the terrorists at the moment of their crimes.

Someone forwarded a post on Twitter-X by someone who calls him- or herself “Hamas leftist @SoloViolinist” showing a picture of one such young masked jihadi fighter with a message from @SoloViolinist: “I hope this fighter kidnaps me and keeps me in shape” followed by the emoji of a love-struck heart.

In other words, among the supporters and admirers of barbaric terrorists there can apparently be a deep, perverse erotic craving to be physically raped! Interestingly, many of those demonstrating on marches and on the campuses are women in their mid-twenties and older, many of whom can only be described as rather plain, if not ugly and obese. They very likely would not be identifying as Woke LGBTQ if they were happy in themselves and with their existing nexus of relationships. On the contrary, they seem to have a nihilistic craving for indiscriminate destruction of the totality of everything in the name of “resistance”. This may connect with a new fad reported among many such women, who are regularly going out to the woods to spend hours screaming wildly in primal rage, pounding the ground and venting total frustration, hatred and anger. Evidently their alternative lifestyle has left them desperately unfulfilled.

To anyone who has the slightest acquaintance with wicked underbelly of the Internet and its boundless realm of free and for-pay pornography – it will come as no surprise that there is a seemingly endless supply of enormously sophisticated and realistic pictures and videos catering precisely to people who secretly fantasize about being kidnapped, dominated and sexually abused in all kinds of ways by alpha masters and mistresses of every age, race and color. The very abundance of these materials testifies to the widespread presence of such cravings, conscious or unconscious, among all kinds of people at all levels across the world.

Themes of erotic domination and submission, “BDSM” (bondage, domination, sadism, masochism) are far from being restricted to “Adult Only” pornography sites (which can be instantly accessed by any child who clicks a button saying “I am over 18”. On the contrary, these themes today figure very prominently in much of mainstream entertainment, where celebrities in the scantiest of costumes perform blatantly erotic lyrics while are surrounded by teams of semi-naked, gesticulating male and female dancers, often in black leather bondage-slave costumes, animal masks and other satanic symbols. There is abundant evidence at actual Satan worship being practiced in our time by secret cults and networks that apparently include leading members of the world’s wealthiest elite.

Untrammeled sexual lust is seen in the Zohar and the writings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov as the “fiery furnace” of the Seventy Nations, the very opposite of the godly sanctity to which Israel are called through practice of the Torah. People who are truly civilized find the images of barbaric terrorist atrocities released since October 7 totally abhorrent. But contemporary mainstream culture can no longer be called “civilized” given the indifference displayed by overwhelming numbers of Palestinian sympathizers to the hard evidence of every kind of war crime that their heroes have perpetrated.

Could it be that in the murky depths of the collective consciousness of the seventy nations, there is now a perverse erotic craving to fall under the domination of satanic masters – a lust fanned willfully by the mainstream media and entertainment industry?

When post-World War II psychologists tried to explain the irrational embrace of authoritarian Nazism and Fascism by the supposedly enlightened populations of Europe in the 1930’s, they concluded that the mass of people are only too grateful to submit to charismatic leaders because this way they can escape the challenges and existential anguish of being free to choose their own way. Is the contemporary woke leftist infatuation with destroyers and their willingness to fall on their faces in submission to a pagan god likewise a mass flight from freedom?

Those today who are truly spiritually awake see the increasing restrictions and assaults on our freedoms as a concerted war against us by dark, malevolent globalist forces. It is ironic that precisely at this time, the attention of the hypnotized masses is being entirely diverted to satanic entertainment and infatuation with the barbaric terrorists whose declared intention is to destroy their very lives.

About the author

Avraham ben Yaakov

Avraham ben Yaakov is a Torah teacher based in Safed Israel & author of translations and commentaries on Bible, Hassidut, Kabbalah, Spiritual Growth, Health & Healing.

By Avraham ben Yaakov

Avraham Ben Yaakov

Avraham ben Yaakov Greenbaum is a Torah teacher in Tz’fat (Safed) in Israel’s Galilee, and author of translations and commentaries on Bible, Hassidut, Kabbalah, Spiritual Growth, Health, Healing and the Environment.

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