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‘Sacred Sperm’ Investigates Orthodox-Jewish Views on Self Gratification

Is every Sperm truly sacred?

Ori Gruder

Is sperm sacred? That is the question that Israeli documentarian Ori Gruder asks in his new film “Sacred Sperm, ” where he investigates the orthodox Jewish position on masturbation.

“What is it about that little sperm that looks like a tadpole and has everyone so hot and bothered?” Gruder, a “repentant Jew” who is now a Hasid, asks during the film.

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Apparently, Judaism considers each little tadpole to be sacred. A man is forbidden to spill his seed or to waste it. That is considered a breaking of the covenant with God.

But why? That is what the movie tries to answer.

In the book of Genesis, God strikes down Onan, the son of Judah, for spilling his seed on the ground when making love to his wife. Except that was a specific case, where Onan refused his obligation to get his late and childless brother’s wife pregnant to honor his brother’s memory.

Birth control has been approved by many orthodox rabbis for individuals that cannot afford more children, as well as young couples not yet ready to start a family. So why is masturbation considered such an evil if it is, at times, OK to “waste” sperm?

Gruder only became orthodox himself 13 years ago and in the film explains what he did try to observe the rules, and then some, regarding sexual conduct.

“I immersed myself in a mikveh [ritual bath] full of ice cubes, fasted a great deal, gave a lot of money to charity, and there is one thing I still make a point to do – every year I go to Mount Hermon and roll in the snow, ” he related.

The 59-minute long“Sacred Sperm” was developed with the support of Israel’s documentary TV channel. It had its premiere last December, at the Jewish Film festival in Jerusalem.

It already has an American distributor but no release date has been set yet.

And now, a totally different point of view…



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