Commentary on the Torah
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פירוש על התורה
אשר ישכב את זכר משכבי אשה. מה שאסרה תורה לשכב את זכר ולשא לרבע את הבהמה הכל בעבור שישאו נשים ויקיימו פריה ורבייה, אף על פי שאילו איסור סקילה וזה רק עשה התורה הוצרכה לעשות סייג גדול.
Why did the Torah prohibit sexual intercourse between males or between humans animals? All this is in order that men marry women and fulfill the command to be fruitful and multiply. And even though [this prohibition of male intercourse] carries with it capital punishment and the duty to procreate is just a positive command, the Torah deemed it necessary to [prohibit male intercourse so strongly in order to] guard the law [of procreation] by erecting a [legal] fence around it. [Translation by Rabbi Steve Greenberg]
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

Why does R. Yehuda HaChasid choose to give a reason for this commandment?

What is the significance of giving a reason for a commandment?

Is R. Yehuda HaChasid's reasoning compelling?

Does Jewish law support R. Yehudah's argument that non-reproductive sexual relations are prohibited?

What counter examples might you suggest?

4 ד
Time Period: Medieval (Geonim through the 16th Century)