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Written by Tzvi Fishman   
Wednesday, 10 October 2012

I have a big problem. At the moment I am looking to date. One girl was suggested and I looked her up on Facebook to see her profile and her pictures. The more I looked the more I began to see her in a much more sexual way. I gazed and gazed and then when I went to the bathroom, my underwear had semen in it. How do I do proper Teshuva? I have stopped porn and masturbating but this is still a big problem. Is this considered spilling seed like masturbating? If so, what do I do to rectify this and truly do shidduchim the proper way?

Yes, this is considered spilling semen in vain. It’s a good idea to go to a mikvah, recite the Tikun HaKlali, and do heartfelt t'shuva, which the tone of your letter indicates you already have, so don't let this mishap get you down. Everyone has setbacks. That's what t'shuva is for. Our Sages teach that a Tzaddik falls 7 times and gets up. That's what makes him a Tzaddik - getting up and continuing on with his efforts toward holiness.
In the future, it's best not to look too long at photos of potential shidduchim, and, of course, regarding general Internet viewing, a reliable filter is a must to limit the photos on the page. As you have learned, even the type of seductive profile photos that are posted on Facebook can bring about the spilling of semen in vain, even though no nudity is involved. Nevertheless, by gazing intently, a man transgresses the Torah prohibition not to go astray after one’s heart and one’s eyes – as your sexual response clearly demonstrates. And you may be surprised, but Jewish people have been dating successfully for 4000 years without Facebook! After your experience, maybe now you’ll appreciate blind dating!  
May Hashem lead you to a holy shidduch soon and to a happy and holy marriage in Israel.


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