I recently took a survey of many young couples my age in an effort to determine what exactly we had all been taught in our Chosson and Kallah classes. Were our lessons similar? Did they differ in any extreme way? I discovered something disturbing- namely, that nearly everyone was totally ignorant of two very important sources. To be completely blunt and very honest, I am going to discuss intimacy and sexuality here. If this troubles you, please don't read further.
The first source that people had not been taught is the Ri to Yevamos 34b.
The gemara is discussing various sexual practices and focuses specifically on Er and Onan and the fact that apparently they engaged in unnatural intercourse (shelo k'darkah). A question is raised by Tosfos: What of the gemara in Nedarim 20b? There it says:
R. Johanan said: The above is the view of R. Johanan b. Dahabai; but our Sages said: The halachah is not as R. Johanan b. Dahabai, but a man may do whatever he pleases with his wife [at intercourse]: A parable; Meat which comes from the abattoir, may be eaten salted, roasted, cooked or seethed; so with fish from the fishmonger.4 Amemar said: Who are the 'Ministering Angels'? The Rabbis. For should you maintain it literally, why did R. Johanan say that the halachah is not as R. Johanan b. Dahabai, seeing that the angels know more about the formation of the fetus than we? And why are they designated 'Ministering Angels'? — Because they are as distinguished as they.5The same way that a man may eat meat in whichever manner he pleases- whether it be salted, roasted, cooked or seered- so too may a man do with his wife whatever he pleases (as long as it is mutual and consensual). The question Tosfos raises is that there seems to be a contradiction- in Nedarim we say that a man can do whatever he wishes, yet here in Yevamos we are taking issue with Er and Onan and the fact that they engaged in "unnatural intercourse."
A woman once came before Rabbi and said, 'Rabbi! I set a table before my husband, but he overturned it.' Rabbi replied: 'My daughter! the Torah hath permitted thee to him — what then can I do for thee?'
The answer is that in fact we are not taking issue with the fact that Er and Onan engaged in unnatural intercourse. Wherefore were these two brothers punished? The explanation we can offer is because A) one brother practiced this spilling of seed as coitus interruptus in order to ensure that his wife would never become pregnant, and this form of birth control is forbidden B) the wife of one's brother is generally forbidden to a man and the only case in which he may take her is if he plans to build up his brother's family through her= Yibum; the fact that this brother was spilling his seed showed he had no interest in actually fulfilling the mitzvah of Yibum and thus was guilty of one of the forbidden relations.
This means that shelo k'darkah (insofar as it may mean coitus interruptus) is forbidden when it is used as a method of birth control. However, as the Ri explicitly states, "if a man's desire is for his wife in this particular way (shelo k'darkah inasmuch as it means spilling seed) and he only does this sometimes, but not every time (i.e. not as a method of birth control, for instance) then it is permitted."
But what's more, this issue is raised by none other than the great Gadol R' Moshe Feinstein himself.
This appears in Even Ha'Ezer Samach-Gimmel.
R' Moshe explains that when it speaks of "motzi zera l'vatalah" - wasting seed, this is referring to a true waste of seed where there is absolutely no need for that seed to have been spilled. However, it is permitted to spill seed outside of the woman for the fulfillment of the mitzvah of Onah and in order to cause his wife to be joyous/ fulfilled (because then it's not l'vatalah, but rather for a purpose)! Because when it comes to the matter of relations between a man and his wife, the Torah permitted a man to do that which his heart desires which is shelo k'darkah because he considers it his need and it is not considered l'vatalah and in fact it is completely permitted. The reason it is only permitted sometimes (and not always), is because it will not always be a need or desire as oftentimes he will be satisfied from the k'darkah intimacy.
R' Feinstein goes on to quote the Ri and cites both of his provisions. The Ri offers two different opinions, one more stringent and one less so. 1) That he who deliberately intends to spill seed - it is assur (but if he comes to spill seed and had not intended it, that is fine) 2) If he commonly spills seed outside of the woman/ this is a regular thing for him to do, it is also assur because one does not crave this regularly. R' Feinstein follows the second approach of the Ri and explains that if someone sometimes desires to do this, it is muttar even if he does not have in mind that it should be for the sake of the mitzvah but rather only because it is a need between himself and his wife. That's pretty radical!
Now, why am I telling you this? Because Heshy's chosson teacher (if you want to learn with our teachers/ get their info, email me), who showed him these sources, explained that there are many couples who harbor desires to act with one another in a loving way that might also arouse the man to a point where he does not spill seed within the woman, but rather outside of her, and they believe they are bad people because of this. Alternatively, there are those who simply do as they wish and believe that they are breaking Torah law and halakha and thus struggle with a lot of guilt because they were never taught accurately.
What it comes down to is: Be intimate with your wife and make her happy and glad, and should you wish to sometimes (derech akrai) engage in behavior that is shelo k'darkah and which includes spilling seed outside of her rather than within her, that is perfectly muttar and fine. Just beware because if you do this every time or regularly it becomes a problem.
ADDENDUM: I thought this was obvious, but in case it wasn't: what I am presenting here are merely sources. Obviously you should ask your own rabbi, posek or halakhic decisor before following them, which is true of all my posts. Rock on.
Keep educating the masses!
wow! this is amazing!!!
I happen to believe the concern about zera lvatala is detrimental to the sexual satisfaction of many couples.
A guy who can not/ will not independently satisfy himself is gonna be always looking to the wife to satisfy him and this places undue pressure on the wife, as well as makes it less likely that her fulfillment will be addressed.
Also I'm not a guy but i think its good for a guy to go into a relationship with some control, stopping and starting himself, speeding up and slowing down.
And as I said I'm not a guy but i kinda think that takes practice.
Are you now giving halachik psak? That's what it sounds like!
This is an incredibly complicated machlokes rishonim, acharonim, etc and many (even MO/YU poskim) are machmir for the first understanding of the RI.
I was also taught something along these lines. I would suspect that there is widespread misunderstanding of these halachos. IMO this is one of those areas where personal guidance is of the utmost importance - from a posek who is truly qualified in this area. The devil is in the details.
I don't think that making information and sources available for people to peruse is the same as giving psak. Obviously (at least I thought it was obvious), people should consult with their own poskim and rabbis before adopting this or any other halakhic approach.
It just disturbed me that people had never even heard of these sources before. It's one thing to hear the sources and disagree with them and choose to be machmir; it's another thing to hide the sources and/or simply be unaware of them.
Hopefully we agree (whether machmir or maikel on this topic) on the value of a pleasurable and guilt-free spousal relationship.
Hopefully we also agree on the vital role of informing the masses on important halachik issues (whether l'kula or l'chumra).
Where we seem to disagree is...whether it's responsible for someone to present half of a halachik discussion to the masses and to do so in a way that implies it's the normative psak (which, if you are 'counting' poskim, it's probably not).
In all truth and honesty, I was unaware that it was half of a halakhic discussion. What's the other half? I'd be thrilled if you could provide it (either by listing sources or explaining it in your notes).
Seeing as R' Moshe Feinstein is pretty "up there" as sources go, and it's he who is quoted to me when it comes to tefachim and hair-covering and platonic relationships, it seems to me that he holds weight when it comes to this issue, too. Or do we flee ship when R' Feinstein permits something that seems not to to be so stringent?
It's my understanding that almost nobody is even *aware* of this topic or these issues and it isn't taught to people, not that people *are* aware and chose to dismiss it. I presented this as normative psak because it's pretty clearly stated to be so by R' Feinstein- if there's more to this discussion that you can fill me in on, I'd be happy to hear it.
Perhaps this is not widely known because these issues are supposed to be kept TZANUA and not discussed in such a public forum!!!
Majority of married couples do know about this because they were taught it ONLY WHEN IT WAS NEEDED! Just as you and your chasan were!
Just because you warn people not to read something doesnt mean it is ok to then go on to say whatever you want. Its not just about what people are or arent reading. It is also about how we are treating the kedusha of the Torah. Discussing these issues in such a public forum would be completely condemned by the very poskim you seem to be championing in this post.
We live in an age where sex blares from every bulletin board, magazine and TV show. Do you really believe that putting up halakhic Jewish sources on a blog qualifies as problematic given our current society?
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I specifically polled a number of young people to find out whether they had been taught or learned about the existence of these sources. They had not. They had absolutely no idea. So clearly people were not being taught what they should know at the appropriate time.
My choice becomes: keep quiet and leave people in the dark or do the best I can to explain this in a clear way. There are plenty of "Intimacy" shiurim available online, so this surely isn't the first time someone has placed this topic in a public forum. For the record, Igros Moshe is also a pretty public book. Most people own it. There's online copies of it. I don't think what I've done is problematic, but of course you're entitled to your own opinion on the matter.
Since a man can have sex with his pregnant wife, or his post-menopausal wife, the issue of wasting seed never made sense to me anyway. I'd think that if the concern was to waste seed, certainly situations such as these would have been prohibited.
While I understand you are not giving a psak, I think there are some omissions from the information you are presenting two salient ones are:
1. Nedarim 20a - "Why do crippled (infants) arise? Because they "overturn their table" (a euphemism for anal intercourse)
2. There are some rishonim who interpret the euphemism of "inverting the table" to refer not to anal intercourse but rather to alternative positions of vaginal intercourse. Rabbi El'azar Azikri (Safed, 16th century) quotes RaSHI, Nedarim that it refers to the so-called "missionary position," i.e. female above and male below. This interpretation is not contained in the printed version of RaSHI. See Azikri, Sefer Haredim (Venice, 1601), mizvat ha-teshuvah, chap. 3 (chap. 64). Shitah Mekubezet, Nedarim, attributes this interpretation to the Spanish Rabbi Yom Tov ben Abraham (RITBA). (Not found in the RITBA to Nahmanides' Hilkhot Nedarim printed at the end of Tractate Nedarim in the Vilna edition of the Talmud.) Rabbi Abraham ben David (RABaD) of Posquieres (Provence, 12th century) interpreted "inverting the table" to mean "performing the (sex) act of animals," known in the colloquial as "dog style." See Rabbi Abraham ben David, Ba'alei ha-Nefesh, Kafah ed. (Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1982), p. 122. According to the Haredim (ibid.), this definition of "inverting the table" was included by Rabbi Jacob ben Asher in his code Tur, Even ha-Ezer, chap. 25, but nowhere does it occur in the printed version of the Tur. The Tur does quote RABaD to the effect that "inverting the table" would be permitted only with the wife's consent. See Rabbi Abraham David (Wahrman) of Buczacz, 'Ezer Mi-Kodesh to Shulhan 'Arukh, Even ha-'Ezer 25:2 (sources from orot.com).
If you're going to publish this kind of sensitive information I think you should try to be exhaustive (or expressly state why not) otherwise your presentation is fatuous and misleading.
first, to echo what others says is that these issues are very complex and sensitive. It is worthwhile to make people more aware of the issues, but not sure that this is the best forum.
Second, there is another (what I have always understood to be theclassic and more straightforward) understanding of both the Ri and R'Moshe -- which would not allow ejaculation outside the woman under any circumstance. The two answers of the Ri are 1) biah shelo kedarka is mutar without hashchasas zera -- which means there and 2) shelo kedarka is mutar but only akra'i.
You had assumed (if I understand correctly) that shelo kedarka may allow ejaculation outside of the woman. The standard understanding of shelo kedarka is non-vaginal intercourse (i.e., anal intercourse). Then the two answers of the Ri are 1) anal intercourse is only mutar if there is no ejaculation or 2) anal intercourse is mutar even with ejaculation if it is only be-derech akrai.
Neither approach, however, would allow ejaculation outside of the woman.
Again -- ask your own posek/orthodox rabbi but I don't think these sources that you quote really necessarily suggest that this would be mutar according to the Ri or R'Moshe
To anonymous 12:34 - the Gemara Nedarim 20b concludes against the teaching of Yochanan ben Dahabai - so telling us pshat in what he says is not terribly relevant, Chana cited a rishon (RI) found in Tosfos - which made its way to the Rema in Shulchan Oruch, that is pretty normative, for some reason she and many people had never heard this before - and hence her post.
There is a certainly a tension between the teachings in Oruch Chaim 240 and Even Haezer, one possible reconciliation is that OH deals with bein adam l'Makom, while EH deals with bein adam l'chavero.
There is much more to say on this topic, but I agree that certain things are best taught in smaller quorums as per the Mishna in the second chapter of Chagiga, if this post will spur people to ask their LOR - then it is positive, if this post will cause certain people who had thought that they were "sinners" - that Judaism may condone their behavior - even better.
This post is worthwhile discussing with my posek. So thanks Chana. And thanks to Rabbi Kahn for clarifying things.
Reading it again, I am a bit confused. When you say "unnatural intercourse" are you talking about oral and anal sex, where the seed is "wasted"? Or are you talking about ejaculation outside the woman, i.e. coitus interruptus. Sounds like you started with one and went to the other. Seems to me that the first case is a lot more interesting to couples as opposed to coitus interruptus which other than a primitive form of birth control seems like a non-issue for most married people.
I think it would be worthwhile for people to learn the Tosafos (especially the 2 terutzim/answers of the Ri), and the teshuva by Reb Moshe textually/inside.
Reb Moshe comes to answer a question posed by Beis Yosef (or maybe it was Tos' Ri"d, I don't remember). How can something sometimes be muttar and sometimes be assur? It's either kosher or treife!
Reb Moshe beautifully explains that it's only muttar if done for "ishus" or to satisfy his/their desire. There is no such thing as desire between man and woman to be expressed ONLY shelo kedarka, so it's only muttar if it's "b'ekrai b'alma" (only sometimes).
What's clear from R' Moshe (and he says so explictly in this teshuva) is that what matters is not the act, only the intention. If the intention is, like by Er and Onan, to destroy seed in order to never have children then it is assur. If the intention is "Leta'avas yitzro" then it is muttar if done only once in awhile. This is the halacha according to R' Moshe and I would love to know which YU/MO Rabbi would argue with this.
What should also be noted, is the fascinating distinction R' Moshe makes between "Hashchosas zera" and "hashchosas zera levatala." Perhaps the Shulchan Aruch can be understood differently in this light.
Also, I don't think people know about this psak by Reb Moshe because it is in the middle of a long, obscure teshuva on birth-control written in 1935 (thus not very up-to-date/relevant in terms of the science of birth control). I'm happy we chose our chosson teacher to be a man so learned and yet so halachik.
I read this blog every so often, and usually find it interesting. But this is just shocking to me!
Do all of you REALLY not understand how completely and totally inappropriate it is to be discussing this in a co-ed forum like this!?!?!?!?
It is a total breach of tznius, the very foundation upon which our homes are built, and it really should stop right now! Anyone who has any questions should speak to his or her chassan/kallah teacher ONLY WHEN IT BECOMES RELEVANT!
Until then, leave the pritzus (and yes, in this public forum even discussing halachic topics like this is considered pritzus) to the rest of the internet!
your point is correct (and there are a number of places in shas where the Ri in Tosafos is consistent with this view) -- the main point of a number of the commenters is that it is important to define "shelo kedarka" correctly from the outset -- in that the pashtus is that it means anal intercourse, and not ejaculating outside of the woman. That also makes R'Moshe's pshat much more understandable. Ve-ein kan mekomo le-haarich.
Even if it does mean anal intercourse, of course it is referring to ejaculating outside of the vagina (which is the same as outside the woman). Look at the gemara. Shelo k'darkah is being spoken of regarding Er and Onan. What do you think, they just had anal intercourse and didn't finish there? The Torah is clear that they literally spilled seed on the ground. Shelo K'Darkah in context of the Ri there is definitely talking about spilling seed which is clear from the example used (Er and Onan). I don't know why you think that calling it "anal intercourse" gets rid of the motzi zera aspect.
Hey Anon November 09, 2010 9:42 AM,
No one is forcing you to read this blog.Don't read it if the content is offensive to you. I find the content educational.
Just be careful, some of these things can lead to mixed dancing, chas v'shalom! ;)
"of course it is referring to ejaculating outside of the vagina (which is the same as outside the woman)"
Sounds like someone needs to go back to the kallah teacher and do some more studying :)
Its not about my own personal sensitivities, this is OBJECTIVELY wrong. It is NOT a grey area that depends on your background or hashkafa or whatever. It is a breach of tznius for the TORAH itself! There is no question here!
Its amazing how you are all quoting all these rishonim and poskim and think you know how to understand them and apply them, while blatantly ignoring their overall hashkafas hachaim!
So its ok for you to rely on Rav Moshe's heterim. But when it comes to his frumkeit and derech hachaim, that you choose to ignore???
V'Hatzne'a leches im Hashem Elokecha!
The whole shitah of the Ri is based on the idea that there is an important distinction between anal intercourse and ejaculation not in the context of any intercourse. The reason for the distinction that anal intercourse is not considered motzi zera levatalah whereas ejaculation completely outside would be is based on the fact that anal intercourse has the halachic status of intercourse for the purposes of a number of other halachos (whereas indepednent ejaculation does not). This opinion of the Ri is reflected in others sugyos in at least three places in shas, including with issues not relating to birth control (e.g., yibum). (By the way, if that is not the case, what did the Ri in his first answer that there was biah shelo kedarkah but there was no hotzaas zera levatalah -- what he means is that there was anal penetration but no ejaculation).
Again, I do not believe I am presenting anything novel -- just the standard understanding of the Ri (and by extension R'Moshe's shitah). This sugya is complicated and complex and there are a lot of shitos out there and of course everyone is entitled and should rely on his/her own posek. But I think the reason you may not have heard about this being talked about by other chosson/kallah teachers is that even within the Ri and R'Moshe, the view you are presenting is not mainstream (assuming I am understanding you correctly - maybe I am totally misunderstanding you, but I don't think so).
Ok - I will really try to stop here because I share some of the sentiment of certain commenters that this may not be the best forum to discuss this.
One other thing -- though I don't comment much, I am a long time reader and I think your blog is great and you are a great writer. Mazal tov on your upcoming wedding and may you have much simcha and nachas and build a bayis neeman be-Yisrael!
Chana - I would second the concerns echoed by the other commenters, both regarding the tznius of discussing these issues on a blog, and your interpretation of R. Moshe & the Ri. For another interesting teshuva on the subject (without going into details) from Rav Henkin, see here:
I didn't comment upon first seeing the post due to the same feelings as the other commenters:
1) This is really not the forum for such a discussion.
2) These are very minority opinions with specific qualifications.
3) Even within that minority, it seems you've very much misunderstood the Ri.
3a) Shelo k'darkah is almost exclusively understood (and clearly here, particularly if you read R' Moshe in full) to be referring to anal intercourse.
4) Within all of that, you then seem to have jumped on this narrow exception to the rule which not all agree to as something that should be broadcast and that is was "disturbing" that others seemed "ignorant" of. This seems more agenda-driven than honest halachic discussion, which brings us back to:
5) See number one.
From the unusual higher comment count I would like to note that sex does sell.
"Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into."
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
I don't understand your explanation of the Ri's shitah. Could you please clarify? (I can give you my email if you don't want to be ma'arich in public.) Also, look at the image of the Iggeros Moshe, the page on the right. The Tosfos Ri"d is underlined, and it says that the Chachamim allowed hotza'as zera just like by Er and Onan. I don't see any distinction being made, it's clearly referring to spilling seed and says that the act of Er and Onan is okay, as long as it's not done always and also not with the same intentions.
J., Thanks so much for the link, it's very interesting and I will learn it more in-depth when I have time. I also think it's important to have the teshuva read in its entirety. (Just click to see following pages.)Because 2 pages later seems particularly interesting.
happy to talk more offline. Just to note -- I had not seen the teshuva from R'Henkin before and including the pages you linked to, but if you read his teshuvah, I believe that I am explaining the Ri exactly the way R'Henkin understood it.
Hey all, here is a link to more sources:
Like i said, its not about my own personal sensitivities. This is about standing up for the kedusha of the Torah!
How about we settle this is an objective and fair way...why not ask someone with a little more life experience and torah knowledge than everyone reading this blog? Or does everyone here, including the author, feel they just know better?
Bottom line is, anyone who can objectively say that there is nothing wrong with having these discussions in an open forum, ESPECIALLY between the chassan and kallah themselves, is just flat out not following a torah mindset and therefore non of this is relevant anyway.
Im just not sure who gave you all the depth of wisdom it takes to go against real daas Torah?
Do you all really think Rav Moshe would be ok with this discussion??
Heshy - The Tosfos Ri"d is underlined, and it says that the Chachamim allowed hotza'as zera just like by Er and Onan. I don't see any distinction being made, it's clearly referring to spilling seed and says that the act of Er and Onan is okay, as long as it's not done always and also not with the same intentions.
I believe you are not reading that paragraph correctly. That entire paragraph seems to be explaining that the Ri'd was taking as a given that the chachamim cannot be being mattir to such an extent, and then he goes on to explain just how it is limited and why the exception is made, though his heter seems more expansive than others.
(I am the anon with 4 points above.)
Please note: I still do not believe this should be discussed in a public forum; I think that people can easily misunderstand (whether you have or have not here is not the point) concepts especially detailed ones such as these and that there are many other opinions on the subject are merely additional reasons why this is the case.
I went to buy a yevamot gemara today, the clerk scratched his head and looked at askew.
Clerk: You too?
Me: Huh you too what?
Clerk: What's up with all the yevamot buying lately?
Me: You mean lots of people have been asking for this gemara?
Clerk: Yep, some with red faces and funny smirks too.
Clerk: Some can't even wait to get out of the store, they just take the sefer to a corner and furiously start turning pages as if they're looking for something.
Clerk: There was this seedy looking fella who had a real funny grin on his face as he walked out.
Me: Oh, would you look at the time, I gotta catch the bus, bye.
Clerk: Don't you want the yevamos?
Me: Uhh yea um, I'll be back later.
Anonymous 8:42 PM
Grow up. A Halachik discussion on a blog about something that most people don't know about is the least of the things you should you be worrying about. Assuming you're living in Boro Park or one of those areas, you should be much more concerned about Rebbe touching Shmuli where he's not supposed to be. Or about the dozens of Jews who have been jailed for various white color crimes. Those people are much more destructive than Chana is by initiating a torah discussion.
In addition, trying to silence people means there is some merit to the opinion and also reeks of the "Don't question the Gedolim" attitude that I get all the time from people who have no knowledge of Halacha outside of what the Frummy world knows to be true. Asking questions is part of Judaism. While its true that some questions may be considered inappropriate for certain forums, they still must be asked and Rabbanim must answer these questions and not sweep them under the rug. In this day and age where sex in everyone's faces, it's even more important that such issues be discussed. I don't consider this to be an inappropriate forum for this discussion; there are plenty of blogs and websites that have Halachik discussions.
Power to you Chana, for being brave enough to write what you did and initiate this discussion.
The fact that people find this inappropriate only shows how desperately it was needed. Also, if this is deemed inappropriate, frankly, neither the gemara nor tanakh is appropriate. Have they read them recently?
When are we going to discuss the gemara in chagiga that notes different positions? That too is Torah.
How about the gemara that talks about voyeurs?
Maybe some subjects are better left to learn in private?
Are kallah/chattan classes given in a lecture hall?
From the unusual increase of comments you can see why this is not the proper forum.
This was stolen from harry's blog:
שו"ת אגרות משה אבן העזר חלק ד סימן סו
אלו שמטבען נקל להוציא זרע כשהכינו דעתם לבעול יראו למעט ואולי לגמרי שלא לעשות החבוקין והנשיקין קודם הביאה אלא יעשה תיכף הביאה ואחר הביאה ירבה בחבוק ונשוק ויאמר לה קודם התשמיש שכן מוכרח לעשות כדי שלא תצא הזרע ממנו לבטלה שלא בגופה וזה גופא יהיה הפיוס ואף בלא פיוס מוכרח לעשות כן עד שיתרגל ויוכל לבעול כראוי וכדין לפייס תחלה. ואף שלא רציתי להאריך בדברים וגם יותר היה ראוי שלא לכתוב אבל מכיון שיש טועין בין להקל בין להחמיר שגורם ח"ו לחסרון שלום והאהבה הנחוצה ביותר אמרתי שתורה היא ומוכרח אני לכתוב בזה
I would like to note once more the line
ואף שלא רציתי להאריך בדברים
RMF would NOT approve of this topic.
I notice no one has mentioned the argument between the Satmar rebbe and R Moshe when someone has to have his sperm count checked. The satmar rebbe held that he had to take his wife to hospital and put it in his wife and then have it taken out of her and checked. R Moshe considered this prizus. The satmar rebbe countered since it would be done in a private room it wasnt.
I'll be happy to discuss this with you offline since we seem not to be understanding each other, but the problem is I have no idea who you are.
Reb Moshe is clearly taking there about people who have problems EVER ejaculating inside the woman. If there is always premature ejaculation then it is not "be'ekroi" because it happens EVERY time and thus the proper measures must be taken. But when the spilling of seed happens only SOMETIMES (which, it seems, you haven't read in the actual text scanned above), then it's okay. At least according to the Rema and Reb Moshe.
Everyone else, I'm happy you're so willing to stick up for the honor of the Torah. I just wish you would do so in a kinder- less accusatory- way, and without hiding behind anonymity (since you're so sure you're right). Btw, I did ask an accepted posek/Rabbi and he said that if there's a halachic misconception then it is definitely permitted to discuss in a public forum if that's the only way to reach certain people. Even when on the topic of sex. Happy now?
P.S. Admittedly, I have yet to do more research on whether there is in fact a different understanding of the Ri.
I'm as much of a prude as you'd ever want to meet, and I don't see what the tznius problem is. Chana told anyone who might be offended not to read it. Besides, there wasn't anything in her discussion that most people would consider disrespectful to the kedusha of the Torah, or to the nature of an intimate relationship. Nor was there anything that's likely to turn anyone into a frothing at the mouth sex maniac.
As for the anon who said that Chana's discussion was incomplete because she didn't cite the Gemorrah that talks about deformed infants resuting from anal sex, are you serious? You mean all the money people have given to the March of Dimes was wasted?
As for the commenter who asked about oral sex, it's not easy to for a man to ejaculate purely from oral sex, and if he were getting close he could let the woman know in plenty of time to avoid the problem.
But really, does anyone actually think that your Torah values fly out the window because of what you and your spouse do in the privacy of your bedroom, or that when it's time to appear before the True Judge, you're going to be asked why you gave your life partner oral sex?
I reiterated the line about RMF saying that he feel its inappropriate to discuss these matters in general.
אף שלא רציתי להאריך בדברים וגם יותר היה ראוי שלא לכתוב
very simply he says its not a proper issue to discuss much less write about.
This is not the proper forum or adult matters.
RMF would NOT approve of this discussion.
This "Jewish halacha" discussion is one of the reasons I would not have Internet in my own home when I, be'ezrat Hashem, get married.
Anon 11:02 and Squeaky:
I don't understand the point raised by those who say this discussion is improper in a public forum. What's the reason for it not to be discussed in public? Maybe that reason doesn't apply to blogs that people read in private, and where they're warned in advance of the topic so there's no danger of someone being exposed to something he feels is inappropriate.
A gemorrah is publicly available. So why is reading something on a blog any more public than if you were learning it in the gemorrah? One is electrons and the other is ink, but that doesn't seem much of reason to distinguish between them.
Maybe Chana doesn't control who visits her blog, but then a rabbi doesn't control who picks up a gemorrah. Anyone who feels it's inappropriate has been warned at the beginning.
If there are gemorrahs on this and people learn about it in Kallah and Chosson classes, then what's wrong with discussing it on a blog? Are you sure RMF didn't mean that it shouldn't be discussed unless there's a bona fide reason to discuss it? Otherwise how are people supposed to know the halacha?
(Same anon as 11/23 4:04)
The ironic hilarity of self-righteous pomposity! Who are these fools that complain about the tznius of this blog post, yet are reading it! Ridiculous.
Why do people insist on verbacide?
Stop twisting RMF words he says he doesn't think talking about these issue are appropriate much less writing (more permanence) about them.
If we start with the variances of possible intent we often end up skewing the original. 'Ah faristance' maybe RMF meant only that its not appropriate in a kindergarten full of hot pepper eaters?
"But really, does anyone actually think that your Torah values fly out the window because of what you and your spouse do in the privacy of your bedroom, or that when it's time to appear before the True Judge, you're going to be asked why you gave your life partner oral sex?"
How wrong you are. Yes you will be asked even what you talk about with your wife see perek. Yes and your Torah values will fly away.
I notice replies are from unmarried boys. I certainly dont think they should be discussing this or anything to do with sex. There is a misconception. We are not here to enjoy ourselves on this world. Spilling seed is I think the main difference between the sexes. What I mean is that a man has a much harder life. Only Yaakov is mentioned as never having spilled seed. This is the hardest mitsva for a man to keep and maybe that is why it is not included in the 613 but exist it does. This affects the whole person his parnassa everything! The helmets rebbe among others wrote extensively about it. Yosef in Egypt this weeks sidra is a case in point. The whole discussion here seems to treat the matter very lightly. Why do you think the chasidim dont mix the sexes? Its because it will bring to spilling seed. One has to do ones utmost about it. The gemoro says that one is a rosho if one goes past women washing clothes in a river even with ones eyes closed. Unless he has no choice. This is really the main difference between the MO and authentic Judaism who dont take this issur lightly. I know one will say that today one is already 'immune' to it. But is that really true. Having boys coming to stern to 'look over' the girls for shabbos is against all Yidishkeit for this reason alone.
It wasn't Moshe, it was me who said what you are attributing to Moshe.
BTW I don't see where unmarried boys on this thread are talking about sex. Many of the commenters are anons and haven't disclosed their marital status. Besides there's not much discussion in the comments about sex-the discussion is about halacha.
If what you're saying is true about what you're going to be asked then it would seem appropriate that people be informed about the halacha.
The reason we commit "verbacide" is that if you take the words literally then you can't discuss these things in a chosson or kallah class and you can't discuss the gemorrahs that mention these things.
As you must know, there are plenty of times when the gemorrah tells us that words in the Mishneh or the Torah that appear to be literal don't always apply under certain conditions.
Meaning I am moshe speaking. Josh seems to be unmarried. Yes you are right one should learn about it. But a bochur learning about it on a blog like this, is likely to 'spill seed' at the same time since he has no other outlet. That is a reason for getting married and the gemoro says as early as possible. And that is really what is wrong with the mo even the right wing of it, they dont realise the great issur involved. I can only repeat this is the hardest mitsva in the Torah and only for men which makes them 'higher' than women.
The Gemarah says that I can have a blowjob if it makes my girlfriend happy!
But not everytime, after all only derech arai.
There is no such gemoro period.
There's no such girlfriend either.
To the Anonymous person who wrote "Having boys coming to stern to 'look over' the girls for shabbos is against all Yidishkeit", all I can say is that TU'B'Av was considered a very auspicious day because the women would go out in the fields and dance before the young men so that they could select their brides !!!!
I cannot believe how much of Christian prudishness has crept into Judaism over the centuries !
Quite a few of the prior-comments concern not discussing this kind of topic in this kind of forum; that it should rather be done with a Chosson or Kallah teacher.
The problem with that is that it ignores Ba'alei Teshuva people who become Ba'al Teshuva after marriage and never have these lessons. And forums like this are the only place to learn. Which includes the debates afterwards on all perspectives.
So thank you Chana, and thank you all.
But my wife and I always spill the seed!
Your disclaimer at the top of this post troubles me terribly. Rav Moshe's teshuvah (Even HaEzer Chelek Alef, Samech Gimmel) clearly discusses the two approaches in the Rishonim regarding bi'ah she-lo ke-darkah; the one approach being that one may not spill seed at all, and the second being that even when spilling seed if one is not exclusively engaged in bi'ah she-lo ke'darkah then it is still permitted.
I do not know who told you what Rav Moshe "meant" - the text of his teshuvah is quite clear (and he is discussing Rishonim who themselves are quite clear).
Bli neder I will go over that teshuvah properly and post the relevant passages. (I welcome others to do so too.)
As Josh quoted from Rav Moshe - ideally these are not things that one would want to write about, the resulting incorrect leniencies and/or stringencies that may affect the love between husband and wife as a result of not explaining this issue, together with the fact that
שתורה היא ומוכרח אני לכתוב בזה
"this is Torah and I am obliged to write on this (topic)"
means that this post is essential Torah.
A big Yasher Ko'ach on the post and the ensuing discussion!
It is quite clear that the reason that anal intercourse is halachically considered "biahh" in certain forbiden relations parts of the halacha is what has gotten the permission to spill seed, any other sexual act, where seed is spilled has never halachicially been considered "biahh" and therefore is never permitted, this does not conflict the gemureh about any body part or position that a couple ejoyes is permitted, that is menaing that it is not against halacha and tznious to be pleasureble and playful in any fashion, but ejacualation is NEVER permitted except either "normal" or as mentioned above
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Please no one listen to this psak without learning the teshuva of r' moshe or speaking to a competant rabbi. If u want to learn the teshuva yourself pls bear in mind that anal sex might be better off than a straight waste of seed which is never okay.
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