Permissible Adultery and Intercourse with the Dead

"None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord," says the Book (Lev. 18:6). Scripture references are also cited which denounce a married woman who lies "carnally" with a man not her husband. But say the sages: "That in connection with a married woman excludes intercourse with a relaxed membrum since no fertilization can possibly result. This is a satisfactory interpretation in accordance with the view of him who maintains that if one cohabited with forbidden relatives with relaxed membrum he is exonerated." And other Talmud sources are cited. "The exclusion is rather that of intercourse with a dead woman [Footnote 15] even though she died as a married woman." Thus one is "exonerated" for, or permitted, intercourse with dead relatives or with relatives, married or single, "with a relaxed membrum," because "no fertilization can possibly result." (Talmud, Yebamoth 55b, See Exhibit 163)

Intercourse with dead bodies was an old pagan practice. The above is echoed with some variation in "the chief repository of the criminal law of the Talmud," the book of Sanhedrin. (See Exhibit 89)

There the act of sodomy with one suffering with an incurable disease, hence regarded as already dead, or a "terefah," is held to be merely "as one who abuses a dead person, and hence exempt." The explanation, which continues on the next page (not reproduced) is: "Punishment is generally imposed because of the forbidden pleasure derived — [footnote] Whereas there is no sexual gratification in abusing the dead."

How apt it was when Christ called the Talmudic Pharisees "whited sepulchres ... full of all uncleanness." (Matt. 23) Yet some of His followers call these abominators of every decency "God's Chosen People" and "People of the Book"!

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