SECTION 280 The Laws Pertaining to Marital Intimacy on [Shabbos] (1-3)

סימן רפ דִּין תַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה וּבוֹ ג׳ סְעִיפִים׃

1 Marital intimacy is one of the expressions of Shabbos pleasure. Accordingly, [our Sages] determined that healthy1 Torah scholars, who are obligated to fulfill their conjugal duties once a week,2 should do so each Friday night,3 as explained in sec. 240.4

א תַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה מִתַּעֲנוּגֵי שַׁבָּת הוּא.א לְפִיכָךְ עוֹנַת תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים הַבְּרִיאִים,ב,1 שֶׁהִיא פַּעַם אַחַת בְּשָׁבוּעַ,ג,2 קְבָעוּהָ מִלֵּיל שַׁבָּת לְלֵיל שַׁבָּת,ד,3 כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן ר"מ:ה,4

2 One of the ordinances of Ezra [the Scribe] was to eat garlic or other foods that increase male seed5 on Friday or on Friday night6 so that one will be able to fulfill his conjugal duties.

One must be very careful not to neglect his conjugal duties, for that constitutes a Scriptural prohibition,7 unless his wife waives [her rights].8 Even so, it is preferable to perform them,9 as explained in that source.

ב מִתַּקָּנַת עֶזְרָא לֶאֱכוֹל שׁוּםו אוֹ שְׁאָר דְּבָרִים הַמַּרְבִּים זֶרַעז,5 בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּתח אוֹ בְּלֵיל שַׁבָּת,ט,6 בִּשְׁבִיל קִיּוּם הָעוֹנָה.י

וְצָרִיךְ לִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא לְבַטֵּל הָעוֹנָה,יא שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲבוֹר עַל לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁל תּוֹרָהיב,7 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָאִשָּׁה מוֹחֶלֶת.8 וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן טוֹב לְקַיְּמָהּ,9 כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר שָׁם:יג,3

3 It is permitted to engage in marital intimacy with a virgin for the first time on Shabbos.10There is no prohibition because of causing pain on Shabbos as a result of her initial intimate experience, nor is there a prohibition because of inflicting a wound in causing her [hymeneal] bleeding.11 The rationale is that the hymeneal blood is not absorbed in the walls of the private parts,12 but rather collects there;13 it is as if it is set aside in a container. [When the husband is intimate,] it is as if he is opening the container and allowing the blood to flow from it.

There is also no prohibition because he is making an opening in the woman’s body, since doing so involves a melachah she’einah tzorichah legufah, a forbidden labor performed for a purpose that does not involve the object itself. For he has no need for this opening; on the contrary, a virgin is more desirous for him.

Even according to the authorities who maintain that one is liable for a melachah she’einah tzorichah legufah,14 nevertheless, [in this instance, the person would in any case be exempt because] he is despoiling her, for a virgin is more cherished than a woman who has lost her virginity, and anyone who performs a forbidden labor that impairs is exempt.15 Although the performance of such a labor is forbidden initially by Rabbinic decree even if it is [both] a melachah she’einah tzorichah legufah and impairing, nevertheless, our Sages did not impose their decree when a mitzvah is involved.16 Moreover, the prohibition against creating an opening is because one is improving an article, as will be explained in sec. 328[:32].17 When, [as in the present instance,] the person has no need of the opening, it is not considered an improvement at all. Thus he will not have performed any activity [of consequence], as will be explained in that source.

ג מֻתָּר לִבְעוֹל בְּתוּלָה לְכַתְּחִלָּה בְּשַׁבָּת,יד,10 וְאֵין בָּזֶה אִסּוּר מִשּׁוּם הַצַּעַרטו שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ בְּשַׁבָּת בִּבְעִילָה רִאשׁוֹנָה.

וְגַם אֵין אִסּוּר מִשּׁוּם חוֹבֵלטז בְּמַה שֶּׁמּוֹצִיא דָם,11 לְפִי שֶׁדַּם הַבְּתוּלִים אֵינוֹ מֻבְלָע בְּכָתְלֵי בֵּית הָרֶחֶם,12 אֶלָּא כָּנוּס הוּא שָׁםיז,13 כְּמֻפְקָד וּמֻצְנָע בְּתוֹךְ הַכְּלִי,יח וְזֶה אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא כְּפוֹתֵחַ הַכְּלִי שֶׁיֵּצֵא הַדָּם מִתּוֹכוֹ.יט

וְגַם אֵין אִסּוּר בְּמַה שֶּׁעָשָׂה פֶּתַח בְּגוּף הָאִשָּׁה, לְפִי שֶׁהִיא מְלָאכָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לְגוּפָהּ,כ שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ לְפֶתַח זֶה כְּלָל שֶׁיְּהֵא פָּתוּחַ, לְפִי שֶׁהַבְּתוּלָה נוֹחָה לוֹ יוֹתֵר.

וְאַף לְהָאוֹמְרִיםכא שֶׁמְּלָאכָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לְגוּפָהּ חַיָּב עָלֶיהָ,14 מִכָּל מָקוֹם זֶה מְקַלְקֵל הוּא, שֶׁהַבְּתוּלָה חֲשׁוּבָה מִן הַבְּעוּלָה,כב וְכָל הַמְקַלְקְלִים פְּטוּרִים.כג,15

וְאַף שֶׁלְּכַתְּחִלָּה אָסוּר מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים אַף אִם הִיא מְלָאכָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לְגוּפָהּ וּמְקַלְקֵל, מִכָּל מָקוֹם בִּמְקוֹם מִצְוָה לֹא גָזְרוּ חֲכָמִים.כד,16

וְעוֹד, שֶׁאִסּוּר לִפְתּוֹחַ פֶּתַח הוּא מִשּׁוּם [מְ]תַקֵּן כְּלִי, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן שכ"ח,כה,17 וּכְשֶׁאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְפֶתַח זֶה – אֵין זֶה תִּקּוּן כְּלָל,כו וְלֹא עָשָׂה כְּלוּם,כז כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר שָׁם:כח