Rav Avigdor Miller on Reading Romance Novels

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Q:

Many young frum women, even women who wear sheitlen, regularly read paperback romance novels. What’s your comment on that?

A:

Women with sheitlen; that’s a sign of being frum I suppose. In general, the subject has already been treated in today’s talk – the more you cut loose from the ways of the nations, the better off you are.

I’ll give you an example of what it means a paperback or any other kind of romance novel. Even if it’s a romance that was written fifty years ago – it doesn’t have any indecent scenes and no immorality is described there – however, the material and physical things are elevated to such a status that it corrupts people’s attitudes in the world.

Now, love between a husband and wife in the old time romances was always the end of the story; they married and lived happily ever after.  Now, to a certain extent it’s good but the people who live on such fare, they eat that diet all the time, they get the idea that romantic love has to exist always. But actually it’s impossible! It’s unreal and the people are in for a very big disappointment.

The young princess that you married when she was eighteen; she was slim and beautiful, now she’s fat and she’s wrinkled maybe. It can’t be helped. And what are you anyway? You’re not the same Prince Charming.  It’s ridiculous!  It’s unreal to expect those feelings to exist forever!  

There’s a loyalty! There’s a bond of marriage! Certainly there’s a loyalty in marriage and it grows as the years pass by. But these imaginary ideas that the romances implant in the mind makes life impossible to live because we cannot conform to these pictures that the writers conjured up out of their minds.  And whatever they write is not true – it’s not true life.  And therefore, there’s no question that the mind becomes warped by reading any gentile novels.  

Of course, if you read the modern ones, then people are going to be completely ruined by them.

TAPE # 495

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