Question:Is there a difference between 'just words' and images in terms of suggestive Internet content in terms of being unfaithful?
This lends itself to TWO interpretations and so here is my first approach assuming the dichotomy is between internet vs. physical contact I since learned that this approach might be a misread of the question and so I am forced to add a second response.
Let's apply logic first Are thoughts or images of violence the same as physical violence?
Most of us would say NO!So are fantasies the same as actions re: being unfaithful?Seems obviously NOT!
Let's shift to the World of Jewish Philosophy. In one sense we speak of 3 dimensions of religion
Thoughts are difficult to control, and their impact is less severeSpeech is in the middle Physical Action trumps them all. Thus, Actions speak louder than words. Words speak louder than thoughts. As the Talmud says words in the heart [meaning mind] are not words when it comes to oaths, pledges commitments etc.
However, thoughts DO count! Thoughts of "idol worship" are considered full-fledged transgressions. Certain thoughts invalidate sacrifices. [The case of Piggul]
We are left with a gray area here. While thoughts and images fall short of actions, they are not innocent or free of impact.How to judge unfaithfulness on the Internet?One can certainly say such acts of unfaithfulness are "wrong" as to their consequences, I would suggest they must be dealt with on a case by case basis.
I would suggest such cases would be referred to a Rabbi or a Marriage Counselor who would be better quail fied to sort through the specifics.
Assuming the actual question is between Images [only] and Words [only] I must ask is this personal between two individuals or in the nature of voyeurism just peering at pornography?
To me peering at Words of pornography vs. Images of pornography are both about the same and would be completely dependent upon the individual. Such stimulation is clearly forbidden because contemplation of sex outside of permitted boundaries is forbidden. While such thought are inevitable for the average person, taking action to induce them is certainly out-of-bounds.
If the words or the images being shared is in the context of indiviuals cheating on their spouces, I cannot say which is worse. Both are off limits albeit not as bad as physical contact.
Again, I would suggest such cases would be referred to a Rabbi or a Marriage Counselor who would be better quafied to sort through the specifics.
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