Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer 24:1

 

שולחן ערוך, אבן העזר כ"ד:א'

Original Text:

לא נחשדו ישראל על משכב זכר ועל הבהמה לפיכך אין איסור להתייחד עמהן, ואם נתרחק אפילו מיחוד זכר ובהמה, הרי זה משובח. וגדולי החכמים היו מרחיקין הבהמה, כדי שלא יתייחדו עמה. ובדורות הללו שרבו הפריצים, יש להתרחק מלהתייחד עם הזכר.

Translation:

[Men of] Israel are not suspected of lying with men or with animals. Therefore, there is no prohibition of being alone with them. If one avoids being alone with another man or with an animal it is praiseworthy. The great sages would avoid being alone with animals. In these generations, now that there are many profligates, one aught avoid being alone with a man. [Translation by Rabbi Steven Greenberg]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Despite what the Shulchan Aruch knows is the Talmud's position, he takes a stringent position. Why might this be so? What does it say about his assessment of his own culture and its mores?
2. What do you think he mean by “these generations"?

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