Saturday, April 2, 2011

A few remarks on Sex


Some people seem to be quite interested in “Sex in Israel” and love to google the subject. Especially some of my German readers. Traveling to Israel and having sex with a Jew / Jewess ? Is this becoming a kind of fashion ?

Our Halacha doesn’t allow sex between Jews and Gentiles and the Torah prohibits intermarriage between Jews and Gentiles.

The Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) commands a Jew who wants to have sex and is not married or wants to go to a prostitute for whatever reason, to change his clothes and travel to another city. Nevertheless, sex between Jews and Gentiles is a complicated matter and I know quite a few secular Jews in Tel Aviv who would not want to have a relationship with a Gentile.

The whole issue always reminds me of an acquaintance of mine who once had sex with a British Gentile but regretted it afterwards. She wanted to marry a Cohen and asked me if I could ask a Rabbi whether this is still possible. I did and the answer was that a Jewish woman who has sex with a Gentile cannot marry a Cohen.


  1. What you are referring from the SA and the Gemarah concerning changing clothes and one's city to be intimate with women whom you are not married with is not be taken litteraly.

    It comes from the Massekhtas Moed Kattan 17a. What the Gemoro is saying by advising him to wear black clothes and go to another city where he is not known is that he shoudl first try to DELAY the evil act he intends to commit by going to a city he is not known in. This trip will serve a a cooling off period. It is known that the most efficient way not to commit a sin you intended to commit is to occupy yourself with something else. And in delaying the act, most probably your yetzer hara will be calmed down. When it says that he should change his clothes to wear black clithes, it means that he should dress humbly, so he can be remembered what Hashem asked of him as a Jew compared to what he intended to do. Once, the Rebbe said that wearing Chassidic clothes is useful in many difficult situations. He brought as an example a Chosid in a book shop. being that he is a chosid wearing chasidic clothes, he knows that they are some books his eyes cannot look at, adn he knows that if he looks at them, even goyim will be amazed by seeing a chosid looking at immoral books. If he wasn't in chasidic garbs, maybe he would have easily transgressed. This is what the gemoro says here. These are ways to calm down the Yetzer hara and delay the performance of an Aveirah.

  2. One of the reasons why we refer to goyim in the Tenach and the Gemarah as being animals is to point out that there is nothing in common with non-Jews. So the same way intimacy with an animal is forbidden, intimacy with non-Jews is also forbidden.

  3. B"H

    Wearing chassidic clothes doesn't always help, as there are many incidents where Chassidim just react as ordinary humans. As a female I have to say it: Too many men react according to their lower part of the body instead of using their brain.:-)

    By the way, doesn't it also say somewhere (Halacha ?) that, as soon as a man is feeling the Yetzer HaRah coming up, he should go into the Beit Midrash ?

    Jews have a different task in life than Gentiles and by intermarrying, the Jews involved mess up their actual Jewish Shidduch (Besheret).

  4. 1) "Wearing chassidic clothes doesn't always help" I know Chasidic garb don't always help, but if it cannot help, you are seriously in trouble.

    2) " As a female I have to say it..." I don't think women are different. We know what some are able to do to have a good job. I don't think it's a question of being male or female. It's all about never forgetting who you are and what moral values and conduct are expected from a Jew.

    3) " as soon as a man is feeling the Yetzer HaRah coming up, he should go into the Beit Midrash" Maybe you're referring to Gemora in Brachos 5a (it's a summary): R' Levi Bar Chames said in the name of R'Shimon Ben Lakish : ... If he vanquish it ( the Yetzer Hara), fine. 1) But if not , he should engage in Torah study...If he vanquish it fine. 2) But if not , he should recite the Shema...If he vanquish it fine. 3) But if not , he shoudl remind himself of the day of death ...

  5. B"H

    Sometimes I think that people are just people; no matter what clothes they wear.:-)

  6. A long time has passed since this posting, but as I read it now, I wonder if I have been misinformed: "what I have heard is that a Cohen should marry a virgin" (?)

  7. Thank you so much for the link. I know your posting was about inter-sex, but your comment about your acquaintance's experience intrigued me. I knew about the prohibition of a Cohen marrying a convert, divorcée or chalala, and I think somewhere on there was a quizz about sex&Torah,and there it was stated that the Cohen's bride should be a virgin. Of course it would become a bit harder for an aging Cohen to always find an unmarried older woman, so I was a bit unsure of how correct that source was.