Over the long weekend in the USA, an Indian hacker released nude pics of A-List celebrities on 4Chan and on Reddit, large social networks. An uproar ensued over privacy, personal rights, and widespread prurient interest in examples of naked females. The hacker is fleeing incarceration and has promised more stills to anyone willing to pay in bitcoins.
Pictures of naked people are “naughty” as the Brits would say. Many artists would argue that eroticism of the human form is a severe and limiting use of the body. The nude body can express a universe of emotion and of ideas that have little to do with sex. This episode has no redeeming artistic value though. The release of these photos is exploitation and profit.
While human life is upheld as the utmost of sacredness, the human body is not treated the same. Judaism does not recognize shame for the naked form nor vanity of its presentation in a non-exploitative circumstance. God gave you this body and because it is God-given even with its flaws and imperfections, the body is inherently good.
The body is a tool. It holds hands and manipulates tools. The body acts out deeds of love and friendship and raises up to meet threats and adversity. This is how we were created.
Modesty is a much maligned virtue these days until someone’s nude pics are posted are the internet against their wishes. Celebrate your bodies with those you love and avoid sharing or even the possibility of sharing with the rest of the world. This advice does not rise to the level of a religious dictate, the suggestion is simple common sense.