There is a restaurant just north of Tel Aviv near the beach that Elana and I like to visit. Just about 200 meters from the restaurant stand prostitutes on the side of the road. Prostitution is actually legal in the Holy Land. Their customers know where to find them. And amazingly many of their customers are the most religious among us.
While most orthodox Jews do not engage in prostitution, you might be shocked to know that the prostitution market in Israel is defined by three groups: Foreign workers, Arabs and Orthodox Jews. That’s right. An Orthodox Jew is not allowed to have relations with his wife for a minimum of 12 days after the beginning of her monthly cycle. He can receive a temporary divorce that somehow allows him to use a foreign prostitute.
Please don’t ask me to explain how that makes sense or is biblically justified. It is absolutely disgusting. He is forbidden to masturbate, but is allowed to temporarily divorce his wife and visit a prostitute. Often a prostitute is being held against her will or addicted to drugs that she can only get from her pimp. Sometimes she has been trafficked in from another country.
I am going to assume that this is just as disgusting to most orthodox Jews, as it is to me, but there are enough ‘customers’ out there that participate in this crime that the demand for more prostitutes remains steady. That includes those who willingly participate and those who do so against their will. The video below is about those who are seeking to make prostitution illegal here.