Since maintaining a healthy and sound body is among the ways of God - for one cannot understand or have any knowledge of the Creator, if he is ill - therefore, he must avoid that which harms the body and accustom himself to that which is healthful and helps the body become stronger.

They are as follows: a person should never eat unless he is hungry, nor drink unless thirsty. He should never put off relieving himself, even for an instant. Rather, whenever he [feels the] need to urinate or move his bowels, he should do so immediately.


הוֹאִיל וֶהֱיוֹת הַגּוּף בָּרִיא וְשָׁלֵם מִדַּרְכֵי הַשֵּׁם הוּא. שֶׁהֲרֵי אִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיָּבִין אוֹ יֵדַע דָּבָר מִידִיעַת הַבּוֹרֵא וְהוּא חוֹלֶה. לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ לְהַרְחִיק אָדָם עַצְמוֹ מִדְּבָרִים הַמְאַבְּדִין אֶת הַגּוּף. וּלְהַנְהִיג עַצְמוֹ בִּדְבָרִים הַמַּבְרִין וְהַמַּחֲלִימִים. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן: לְעוֹלָם לֹא יֹאכַל אָדָם אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁהוּא רָעֵב. וְלֹא יִשְׁתֶּה אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁהוּא צָמֵא. וְאַל יַשְׁהֵא נְקָבָיו אֲפִלּוּ רֶגַע אֶחָד. אֶלָּא כָּל זְמַן שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לְהַשְׁתִּין אוֹ לְהָסֵךְ אֶת רַגְלָיו יַעֲמֹד מִיָּד:


One should not eat until his stomach is full. Rather, [he should stop when] he has eaten to close to three quarter's of full satisfaction.

One should drink only a small amount of water during the meal, and mix that with wine. When the food begins to be digested in his intestines, he may drink what is necessary. However, he should not drink much water, even when the food has been digested.

One should not eat until he has checked himself thoroughly that he does not need to relieve himself. He should not eat until he has taken a stroll which is sufficient to raise his body temperature.

Alternatively, he should work or exert himself in some other way. The rule is that he should engage his body and exert himself in a sweat-producing task each morning. Afterwards, he should rest slightly until he regains composure and [then, he should] eat. If he were to bathe in hot water after exerting himself, it would be beneficial. Afterwards, he should wait a short while and eat.


לֹא יֹאכַל אָדָם עַד שֶׁתִּתְמַלֵּא כְּרֵסוֹ אֶלָּא יִפְחֹת כְּמוֹ רְבִיעַ מִשָּׂבְעָתוֹ. וְלֹא יִשְׁתֶּה מַיִם בְּתוֹךְ הַמָּזוֹן אֶלָּא מְעַט וּמָזוּג בְּיַיִן. וּכְשֶׁיַּתְחִיל הַמָּזוֹן לְהִתְעַכֵּל בְּמֵעָיו שׁוֹתֶה מַה שֶּׁהוּא צָרִיךְ לִשְׁתּוֹת. וְלֹא יַרְבֶּה לִשְׁתּוֹת מַיִם וַאֲפִלּוּ כְּשֶׁיִּתְעַכֵּל הַמָּזוֹן. וְלֹא יֹאכַל עַד שֶׁיִּבְדֹּק עַצְמוֹ יָפֶה יָפֶה שֶׁמָּא יִהְיֶה צָרִיךְ לִנְקָבָיו. לֹא יֹאכַל אָדָם עַד שֶׁיֵּלֵךְ קדֶם אֲכִילָה עַד שֶׁיַּתְחִיל גּוּפוֹ לָחֹם. אוֹ יַעֲשֶׂה מְלַאכְתּוֹ אוֹ יִתְיַגֵּעַ בְּיֶגַע אַחֵר. כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר יְעַנֶּה גּוּפוֹ וְיִיגַע כָּל יוֹם בַּבֹּקֶר עַד שֶׁיַּתְחִיל גּוּפוֹ לָחֹם וְיִשְׁקֹט מְעַט עַד שֶׁתִּתְיַשֵּׁב נַפְשׁוֹ וְאוֹכֵל. וְאִם רָחַץ בְּחַמִּין אַחַר שֶׁיָּגַע הֲרֵי זֶה טוֹב וְאַחַר כָּךְ שׁוֹהֶה מְעַט וְאוֹכֵל:


One should always eat while seated or reclining on his left side. He should not walk about, ride, exert himself, subject his body to startling influence, nor take a stroll until the food has been digested in his intestines. Anyone who takes a stroll or exerts himself after eating brings serious and harmful illnesses upon himself.


לְעוֹלָם כְּשֶׁיֹּאכַל אָדָם יֵשֵׁב בִּמְקוֹמוֹ אוֹ יִטֶּה עַל שְׂמֹאל. וְלֹא יְהַלֵּךְ וְלֹא יִרְכַּב וְלֹא יִיגַע וְלֹא יְזַעֲזֵעַ גּוּפוֹ וְלֹא יְטַיֵּל עַד שֶׁיִּתְעַכֵּל הַמָּזוֹן שֶׁבְּמֵעָיו. וְכָל הַמְטַיֵּל אַחַר אֲכִילָתוֹ אוֹ שֶׁיָּגֵעַ הֲרֵי זֶה מֵבִיא עַל עַצְמוֹ חֳלָאִים רָעִים וְקָשִׁים:


Together, day and night make up [a period of] twenty four hours. It is sufficient for a man to sleep a third of this period; i.e., eight hours. These should be towards the end of the night, so that there be eight hours from the beginning of his sleep until sunrise. Thus, he should rise from his bed before sunrise.


הַיּוֹם וְהַלַּיְלָה כ''ד שָׁעוֹת. דַּי לוֹ לָאָדָם לִישֹׁן שְׁלִישָׁן שֶׁהוּא שְׁמוֹנֶה שָׁעוֹת. וְיִהְיוּ בְּסוֹף הַלַּיְלָה כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּהְיֶה מִתְּחִלַּת שְׁנָתוֹ עַד שֶׁתַּעֲלֶה הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ שְׁמוֹנֶה שָׁעוֹת. וְנִמְצָא עוֹמֵד מִמִּטָּתוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁתַּעֲלֶה הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ:


One should not sleep face down or on his back, but on his side - on his left side at the beginning of the night and on the right side at the end of the night. He should not retire shortly after eating, but should wait some three or four hours.

One should not sleep during the day.


לֹא יִישַׁן אָדָם לֹא עַל פָּנָיו וְלֹא עַל עָרְפּוֹ אֶלָּא עַל צִדּוֹ. בִּתְחִלַּת הַלַּיְלָה עַל צַד שְׂמֹאל. וּבְסוֹף הַלַּיְלָה עַל צַד יָמִין. וְלֹא יִישַׁן סָמוּךְ לַאֲכִילָה אֶלָּא יַמְתִּין אַחַר אֲכִילָה כְּמוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ אוֹ אַרְבַּע שָׁעוֹת. וְלֹא יִישַׁן בַּיּוֹם:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


Laxative foods such as grapes, figs, mulberries, pears, melons, certain types of cucumbers and certain types of zucchini should be eaten first, before the meal. One should not eat them together with his main meal. Rather, he should wait until they have descended from the upper stomach and [then] eat his meal.

Foods which are constipating, such as pomegranates, quinces, apples, and crustumenian pears should be eaten immediately after the meal and not in quantity.


דְּבָרִים הַמְשַׁלְשְׁלִין אֶת בְּנֵי מֵעַיִם כְּגוֹן עֲנָבִים וּתְאֵנִים וְתוּתִים וַאֲגַסִּים וַאֲבַטִּיחִים וּמִינֵי הַקִּשּׁוּאִים וּמִינֵי מְלָפְפוֹנוֹת אוֹכֵל אוֹתָם הָאָדָם בַּתְּחִלָּה קֹדֶם אֲכִילָה. וְלֹא יְעָרְבֵם עִם הַמָּזוֹן. אֶלָּא שׁוֹהֶה מְעַט עַד שֶׁיֵּצְאוּ מִבֶּטֶן הָעֶלְיוֹן וְאוֹכֵל מְזוֹנוֹ. וּדְבָרִים שֶׁמְּאַמְּצִין אֶת בְּנֵי מֵעַיִם כְּגוֹן רִמּוֹנִים וּפְרִישִׁים וְתַפּוּחִים וּקְרוֹסְטוֹמוֹלִין אוֹכֵל אוֹתָן תֵּכֶף לִמְזוֹנוֹ. וְלֹא יַרְבֶּה לֶאֱכל מֵהֶן:


A person who desires to eat poultry and meat in one sitting, should eat the poultry first. Similarly, if he desires to eat both eggs and poultry, he should eat the eggs first. If [he desires to eat] both meat of large cattle and that of small cattle, he should eat the meat of small cattle first; [i.e.,] he should always eat the lighter fare first and the heavier fare afterwards.


כְּשֶׁיִּרְצֶה אָדָם לֶאֱכל בְּשַׂר עוֹף וּבְשַׂר בְּהֵמָה כְּאֶחָד. אוֹכֵל בַּתְּחִלָּה בְּשַׂר הָעוֹף. וְכֵן בֵּיצִים וּבְשַׂר עוֹף אוֹכֵל בַּתְּחִלָּה בֵּיצִים. בְּשַׂר בְּהֵמָה דַּקָּה וּבְשַׂר בְּהֵמָה גַּסָּה אוֹכֵל בַּתְּחִלָּה בְּשַׂר דַּקָּה. לְעוֹלָם יַקְדִּים אָדָם דָּבָר הַקַּל וּמְאַחֵר הַכָּבֵד:


In the summer, one should eat unseasoned foods without many spices and use vinegar. In the rainy season, one should eat seasoned foods, use many spices, and eat some mustard and chiltit.

One should follow these principles in regard to cold climates and hot climates, [choosing the food] appropriate to each and every one of them.


בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה אוֹכֵל מַאֲכָלִים הַקָּרִים וְלֹא יַרְבֶּה בִּתְבָלִים וְאוֹכֵל אֶת הַחֹמֶץ. וּבִימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים אוֹכֵל מַאֲכָלִים הַחַמִּים וּמַרְבֶּה בִּתְבָלִים וְאוֹכֵל מְעַט מִן הַחַרְדָּל וּמִן הַחִלְתִּית. וְעַל דֶּרֶךְ זוֹ הוֹלֵךְ וְעוֹשֶׂה בַּמְּקוֹמוֹת הַקָּרִים וּבַמְּקוֹמוֹת הַחַמִּים בְּכָל מָקוֹם וּמָקוֹם הָרָאוּי לוֹ:


There are foods which are extremely harmful and it is proper that one should never eat them, for example: large fish that are aged and salted, cheese which is aged and salted, truffles and mushrooms, meat which is aged and salted, wine from the press, cooked food which has been left over until it produces an odor, and any food with a bad smell or a very bitter taste. These are like poison to the body.

There are [other] foods which are harmful, but their harmful effects do not compare to those first [mentioned]. Therefore, a person ought to eat them only sparingly and after intervals of many days. He should not eat them regularly as his main fare or constantly as a sidedish with his food.

[They are] large fish, cheese and milk which has been left over for more than twenty-four hours after the milking, the meat of large oxen or he-goats, horse-beans, lentils, chickpeas, barley bread, matzot, cabbage, leeks, onions, garlic, mustard and radishes. All of these are harmful foods. It is fitting that he should eat them very sparingly and only in the rainy season, abstaining entirely in the summer. [Of these], horse-beans and lentils alone, should not be eaten either in the summer or winter. Squash may be eaten in the summer season.


יֵשׁ מַאֲכָלוֹת שֶׁהֵם רָעִים בְּיוֹתֵר עַד מְאֹד וְרָאוּי לָאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא לְאָכְלָן לְעוֹלָם. כְּגוֹן הַדָּגִים הַגְּדוֹלִים הַמְּלוּחִים הַיְשָׁנִים. וְהַגְּבִינָה הַמְּלוּחָה הַיְשָׁנָה. וְהַכְּמֵהִין וּפִטְרִיּוֹת וְהַבָּשָׂר הַמָּלִיחַ הַיָּשָׁן. וְיַיִן מִגִּתּוֹ. וְתַבְשִׁיל שֶׁשָּׁהָא עַד שֶׁנָּדַף רֵיחוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל מַאֲכָל שֶׁרֵיחוֹ רַע אוֹ מַר בְּיוֹתֵר. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ לַגּוּף כְּמוֹ סַם הַמָּוֶת. וְיֵשׁ מַאֲכָלוֹת שֶׁהֵן רָעִים אֲבָל אֵינָן כְּמוֹ הָרִאשׁוֹנִים לְרֹעַ. לְפִיכָךְ רָאוּי לָאָדָם שֶׁלֹּא לֶאֱכל מֵהֶן אֶלָּא מְעַט וְאַחַר יָמִים הַרְבֵּה. וְלֹא יַרְגִּיל עַצְמוֹ לִהְיוֹת מְזוֹנוֹ מֵהֶם אוֹ לְאָכְלָן עִם מְזוֹנוֹ תָּמִיד. כְּגוֹן דָּגִים גְּדוֹלִים וּגְבִינָה וְחָלָב שֶׁשָּׁהָא אַחַר שֶׁנֶּחְלַב כ''ד שָׁעוֹת. וּבְשַׂר שְׁוָרִים גְּדוֹלִים וּתְיָשִׁים גְּדוֹלִים וְהַפּוֹל וְהָעֲדָשִׁים וְהַסַּפִּיר וְלֶחֶם שְׂעוֹרִים וְלֶחֶם מַצּוֹת וְהַכְּרוּב וְהֶחָצִיר וְהַבְּצָלִים וְהַשּׁוּמִים וְהַחַרְדָּל וְהַצְּנוֹן. כָּל אֵלּוּ מַאֲכָלִים רָעִים הֵם אֵין רָאוּי לָאָדָם לֶאֱכל מֵאֵלּוּ אֶלָּא מְעַט עַד מְאֹד וּבִימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים. אֲבָל בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה לֹא יֹאכַל מֵהֶן כְּלָל. וְהַפּוֹל וְהָעֲדָשִׁים בִּלְבַד אֵין רָאוּי לְאָכְלָן לֹא בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה וְלֹא בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים. וְהַדְּלוּעִין אוֹכְלִין מֵהֶן בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה:


There are foods which are harmful, but less so than these. They are water fowl, young pigeons, dates, bread roasted in oil or kneaded in oil, flour which has been sifted so well that no bran is left, fish brine and pickled fish oil. They ought not to be eaten in quantity.

A man who is wise, overcomes his desires, is not drawn by his appetites and eats nothing of the aforementioned unless he needs them for a medical reason, is [indeed] heroic.


וְיֵשׁ מַאֲכָלוֹת שֶׁהֵם רָעִים וְאֵינָן כְּמוֹ אֵלּוּ. וְהֵם עוֹף הַמַּיִם וּבְנֵי יוֹנָה הַקְּטַנִּים וְהַתְּמָרִים וְלֶחֶם קָלוּי בְּשֶׁמֶן אוֹ לֶחֶם שֶׁנִּלּוֹשׁ בְּשֶׁמֶן וְהַסּלֶת שֶׁנִּפּוּ אוֹתָהּ כָּל צָרְכָּהּ עַד שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁאֲרָה בָּהּ רֵיחַ מוּרְסָן. וְהַצִּיר וְהַמּוּרְיָיס. אֵין רָאוּי לְהַרְבּוֹת מַאֲכָלוֹת אֵלּוּ. וְאָדָם שֶׁהוּא חָכָם וְכוֹבֵשׁ אֶת יִצְרוֹ וְלֹא יִמָּשֵׁךְ אַחַר תַּאֲוָתוֹ וְלֹא יֹאכַל מִן הַנִּזְכָּרִים כְּלוּם אֶלָּא אִם נִצְרָךְ לָהֶם לִרְפוּאָה הֲרֵי זֶה גִּבּוֹר:


One should always avoid fruits. He should not eat of them in quantity even [when] dried and, it goes without saying [when they are] fresh. When they are not sufficiently ripe, they are like swords to the body. Carobs, too, are always harmful.

All pickled fruits are harmful and should be eaten only sparingly in summer weather and in hot climates. Figs, grapes and almonds are always beneficial, both fresh and dried. One may eat of them as much as he requires. However, he should not eat them constantly even though they are the most beneficial of fruits.


לְעוֹלָם יִמְנַע אָדָם עַצְמוֹ מִפֵּרוֹת הָאִילָנוֹת. וְלֹא יַרְבֶּה מֵהֶן וַאֲפִלּוּ יְבֵשִׁין וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר רְטֻבִּים. אֲבָל קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּתְבַּשְּׁלוּ כָּל צָרְכָּן הֲרֵי הֵן כַּחֲרָבוֹת לַגּוּף. וְכֵן הַחֲרוּבִים רָעִים לְעוֹלָם. וְכָל הַפֵּרוֹת הַחֲמוּצִין רָעִים וְאֵין אוֹכְלִין מֵהֶן אֶלָּא מְעַט בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה וּבַמְּקוֹמוֹת הַחַמִּים. וְהַתְּאֵנִים וְהָעֲנָבִים וְהַשְּׁקֵדִים לְעוֹלָם טוֹבִים בֵּין רְטֻבִּין בֵּין יְבֵשִׁין וְאוֹכֵל אָדָם מֵהֶם כָּל צָרְכּוֹ. וְלֹא יַתְמִיד אֲכִילָתָם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן טוֹבִים מִכָּל פְּרִי הָאִילָנוֹת:


Honey and wine are harmful to the young and wholesome for the old. Certainly, this applies in the rainy season. In summer, one should eat two-thirds of what he eats in the winter.


הַדְּבַשׁ וְהַיַּיִן רַע לַקְּטַנִּים וְיָפֶה לַזְּקֵנִים וְכָל שֶׁכֵּן בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים. וְצָרִיךְ אָדָם לֶאֱכל בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה שְׁנֵי שְׁלִישִׁים מַה שֶּׁהוּא אוֹכֵל בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים:


A person should always try to have loose movements throughout his life, tending slightly towards diarrhea. This is a cardinal principle in medicine: Whenever one suffers from constipation or has difficulty moving his bowels, serious diseases will beset him.

How can he induce loose movements if he has mild constipation? If he is a young man, each morning, he should eat well-cooked halimi which have been seasoned in olive-oil, pickled fish oil, and salt without bread daily; or drink the boiled water of [cooked] spinach or cabbage, [seasoned] with olive oil, pickled fish oil and salt.

If he is an old man, he should drink honey diluted with hot water, in the morning, wait approximately four hours and then eat his meal.

He should do this for one day, or three, or four, if necessary, until he has loose bowels.


לְעוֹלָם יִשְׁתַּדֵּל אָדָם שֶׁיִּהְיוּ מֵעָיו רָפִין כָּל יָמָיו וְיִהְיֶה קָרוֹב לְשִׁלְשׁוּל מְעַט. וְזֶה כְּלָל גָּדוֹל בָּרְפוּאָה כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהָרְעִי נִמְנָע אוֹ יוֹצֵא בְּקֹשִׁי חֳלָאִים רָעִים בָּאִים. וּבַמֶּה יַרְפֶּה אָדָם מֵעָיו אִם יִתְאַמְּצוּ מְעַט. אִם הָיָה בָּחוּר יֹאכַל בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר מְלוּחִים שְׁלוּקִים מְתֻבָּלִין בְּשֶׁמֶן זַיִת וּבְמוּרְיָיס וּבְמֶלַח בְּלֹא פַּת. אוֹ יִשְׁתֶּה מֵי שֶׁלֶק שֶׁל תְּרָדִין אוֹ כְּרוּב בְּשֶׁמֶן זַיִת וּמוּרְיָיס וּמֶלַח. וְאִם הָיָה זָקֵן יִשְׁתֶּה דְּבַשׁ מָזוּג בְּמַיִם חַמִּים בַּבֹּקֶר וְיִשְׁהֵא כְּמוֹ אַרְבַּע שָׁעוֹת וְאַחַר כָּךְ יֹאכַל סְעֻדָּתוֹ. וְיַעֲשֶׂה כֵן יוֹם אֶחָד אוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה אוֹ אַרְבָּעָה יָמִים אִם צָרִיךְ לְכָךְ עַד שֶׁיִּרְפּוּ מֵעָיו:


They have given another principle with regard to physical well-being: As long as one exercises, exerts himself greatly, does not eat to the point of satiation and has loose bowels, he will not suffer sickness and he will grow in strength. [This applies] even if he eats harmful foods.


וְעוֹד כְּלָל אַחֵר אָמְרוּ בִּבְרִיאוּת הַגּוּף. כָּל זְמַן שֶׁאָדָם מִתְעַמֵּל וְיָגֵעַ הַרְבֵּה וְאֵינוֹ שָׂבֵעַ וּמֵעָיו רָפִין אֵין חלִי בָּא עָלָיו וְכֹחוֹ מִתְחַזֵּק. וַאֲפִלּוּ אוֹכֵל מַאֲכָלוֹת הָרָעִים:


[Conversely,] whoever is idle and does not exercise, or does not move his bowels when he has the need, or is constipated, even if he eats the proper foods and takes care to follow the rules of medicine, will be full of pain for all his days and his strength will fade away.

Overeating is like poison to anyone's body. It is the main source of all illness. Most illnesses which afflict a man are caused by harmful foods or by his filling his belly and overeating, even of healthful foods.

This was implied by Solomon in his wisdom: "Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from distress" (Proverbs 21:23); i.e., "guards his mouth" from eating harmful food or eating his fill and "his tongue" from speaking [about things] other than his needs.


וְכָל מִי שֶׁהוּא יוֹשֵׁב לָבֶטַח וְאֵינוֹ מִתְעַמֵּל. אוֹ מִי שֶׁמַּשְׁהֵא נְקָבָיו. אוֹ מִי שֶׁמֵּעָיו קָשִׁין. אֲפִלּוּ אָכַל מַאֲכָלוֹת טוֹבִים וְשָׁמַר עַצְמוֹ עַל פִּי הָרְפוּאָה. כָּל יָמָיו יִהְיוּ מַכְאוֹבִים וְכֹחוֹ תָּשֵׁשׁ. וַאֲכִילָה גַּסָּה לְגוּף כָּל אָדָם כְּמוֹ סַם הַמָּוֶת. וְהוּא עִקָּר לְכָל הֶחֳלָאִים. וְרֹב הֶחֳלָאִים שֶׁבָּאִים עַל הָאָדָם אֵינָם אֶלָּא אוֹ מִפְּנֵי מַאֲכָלִים רָעִים. אוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְמַלֵּא בִּטְנוֹ וְאוֹכֵל אֲכִילָה גַּסָּה אֲפִלּוּ מִמַּאֲכָלִים טוֹבִים. הוּא שֶׁשְּׁלֹמֹה אָמַר בְּחָכְמָתוֹ (משלי כא כג) "שֹׁמֵר פִּיו וּלְשׁוֹנוֹ שֹׁמֵר מִצָּרוֹת נַפְשׁוֹ". כְּלוֹמַר שׁוֹמֵר פִּיו מִלֶּאֱכל מַאֲכָל רַע אוֹ מִלִּשְׂבֹּעַ וּלְשׁוֹנוֹ מִלְּדַבֵּר אֶלָּא בִּצְרָכָיו:


The [proper] manner of bathing is that a person should go to the baths once every seven days. He should not enter [the bath soon after mealtime; nor when he is hungry, but when his food has begun to be digested.

He should bathe the entire body in hot - but not scalding water - and his head, only, in scalding water. Then, he should bathe his body in tepid water, followed by bathings in successively cooler water, until he has bathed in cold water. [However,] he should not use tepid or cold water for his head, nor should he bathe in cold water in the winter.

He should not bathe until after he is in a sweat and his whole body has been massaged. He should not linger in the bath. Rather, as soon as he is in a sweat and been massaged, he should rinse off and leave.

He should examine himself to see if he needs to move his bowels before entering the bath and after leaving it. Similarly, he should always examine himself before and after eating, before and after sexual intercourse, before and after exertion and exercise, before and after sleeping, all in all, on ten [different occasions].


דֶּרֶךְ הָרְחִיצָה. שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס אָדָם לַמֶּרְחָץ מִשִּׁבְעָה יָמִים לְשִׁבְעָה יָמִים. וְלֹא יִכָּנֵס סָמוּךְ לַאֲכִילָה. וְלֹא כְּשֶׁהוּא רָעֵב. אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיַּתְחִיל הַמָּזוֹן לְהִתְעַכֵּל. וְרוֹחֵץ כָּל גּוּפוֹ בְּחַמִּין שֶׁאֵין הַגּוּף נִכְוֶה בָּהֶן. וְרֹאשׁוֹ בִּלְבַד בְּחַמִּין שֶׁהַגּוּף נִכְוֶה בָּהֶן. וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִרְחַץ גּוּפוֹ בְּפוֹשְׁרִין וְאַחַר כָּךְ בְּפוֹשְׁרִין מִן הַפּוֹשְׁרִין עַד שֶׁיִּרְחַץ בְּצוֹנֵן. וְלֹא יַעֲבֹר עַל רֹאשׁוֹ מַיִם לֹא פּוֹשְׁרִין וְלֹא צוֹנֵן. וְלֹא יִרְחַץ בְּצוֹנֵן בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים. וְלֹא יִרְחַץ עַד שֶׁיַּזִּיעַ וִיפָרֵךְ כָּל גּוּפוֹ. וְלֹא יַאֲרִיךְ בַּמֶּרְחָץ אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיַּזִּיעַ וִיפָרֵךְ גּוּפוֹ יִשְׁתַּטֵּף וְיֵצֵא. וּבוֹדֵק עַצְמוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס לַמֶּרְחָץ וְאַחַר שֶׁיֵּצֵא שֶׁמָּא יְהֵא צָרִיךְ לִנְקָבָיו. וְכֵן בּוֹדֵק אָדָם עַצְמוֹ תָּמִיד קֹדֶם אֲכִילָה וְאַחַר אֲכִילָה. וְקֹדֶם בְּעִילָה וְאַחַר בְּעִילָה. וְקֹדֶם שֶׁיִּיגַע וְיִתְעַמֵּל וְאַחַר שֶׁיִּיגַע וְיִתְעַמֵּל. וְקֹדֶם שֶׁיִּישַׁן וְאַחַר שֶׁיִּישַׁן. וּבְשִׁעוּר הַכּל עֲשָׂרָה:


When one leaves the bath, he should dress and cover his head in the outer room [of the bathhouse], so that he not catch a chill. He should take this precaution even in the summer.

After leaving [the baths], he should wait until he regains his composure, and the warmth [from bathing] has receded, and then eat.

A nap before eating, after the bath, is very beneficial. One should not drink cold water on leaving the baths and it goes without saying, that he should not drink while bathing. If he should be thirsty upon leaving the bath and cannot refrain, he should mix the water with wine or honey, and drink.

It is beneficial for one to rub himself with oil at the baths, during the winter, after he has rinsed off.


כְּשֶׁיֵּצֵא אָדָם מִן הַמֶּרְחָץ יִלְבַּשׁ בְּגָדָיו וִיכַסֶּה רֹאשׁוֹ בַּבַּיִת הַחִיצוֹן כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּשְׁלֹט בּוֹ רוּחַ קָרָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה צָרִיךְ לְהִזָּהֵר. וְיִשְׁהֵא אַחַר שֶׁיֵּצֵא עַד שֶׁתִּתְיַשֵּׁב נַפְשׁוֹ וְיָנוּחַ גּוּפוֹ וְתָסוּר הַחֲמִימוּת וְאַחַר כָּךְ יֹאכַל. וְאִם יָשֵׁן מְעַט כְּשֶׁיֵּצֵא מִן הַמֶּרְחָץ קֹדֶם אֲכִילָה הֲרֵי זֶה יָפֶה מְאֹד. וְלֹא יִשְׁתֶּה מַיִם קָרִים בְּצֵאתוֹ מִן הַמֶּרְחָץ וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁתֶּה בַּמֶּרְחָץ. וְאִם צָמֵא כְּשֶׁיָּצָא מִן הַמֶּרְחָץ וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִמְנֹעַ עַצְמוֹ יְעָרֵב הַמַּיִם בְּיַיִן אוֹ בִּדְבַשׁ וְיִשְׁתֶּה. וְאִם סָךְ בְּשֶׁמֶן בַּמֶּרְחָץ בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים אַחַר שֶׁיִּשְׁתַּטֵּף הֲרֵי זֶה טוֹב:


One should not accustom himself to constant bloodletting. He should not be bled unless there is an extreme necessity. He should not be bled in the summer or winter, but slightly in Nisan and slightly in Tishrei.

After the age of fifty, he should not be bled at all. He should not be bled and go to the baths on the same day, or leave on a journey after being bled; nor should he be bled on the day on which he returns from a trip.

He should eat less than usual on the day of a bloodletting. He should rest on that day, not exert himself, nor exercise, nor stroll.


לֹא יַרְגִּיל אָדָם לְהַקִּיז דָּם תָּמִיד. וְלֹא יַקִּיז אֶלָּא אִם יִהְיֶה צָרִיךְ לוֹ בְּיוֹתֵר. וְלֹא יַקִּיז לֹא בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה וְלֹא בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים אֶלָּא מְעַט בִּימֵי נִיסָן וּמְעַט בִּימֵי תִּשְׁרֵי. וּמֵאַחַר חֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה לֹא יַקִּיז כְּלָל. וְלֹא יַקִּיז אָדָם דָּם וְיִכָּנֵס לַמֶּרְחָץ בּוֹ בַּיּוֹם. וְלֹא יַקִּיז וְיֵצֵא לַדֶּרֶךְ. וְלֹא בְּיוֹם שֶׁיָּבוֹא מִן הַדֶּרֶךְ. וְיֹאכַל וְיִשְׁתֶּה בְּיוֹם הַהַקָּזָה פָּחוֹת מִמַּה שֶּׁהוּא רָגִיל. וְיָנוּחַ בְּיוֹם הַהַקָּזָה וְלֹא יִיגַע וְלֹא יִתְעַמֵּל וְלֹא יְטַיֵּל:


Semen is the strength of the body, its life [force], and the light of the eyes; the greater the emission [of sperm], [the greater] the damage to the body, to its strength and the greater the loss to one's life [span]. This was implied by Solomon in his wisdom: "Do not give your strength to women" (Proverbs 31:3).

Whoever is steeped in sexual relations, old age springs upon him [before its time], his strength is depleted, his eyes become dim, a foul odor emanates from his mouth and his armpits, the hair of his head, his eyebrows, and eyelashes fall out, the hair of his beard, armpits, and legs grows in abundance, his teeth fall out and he suffers many pains beyond these. The wise of the doctors have said: One of a thousand dies from other illnesses and a thousand from excessive intercourse.

Therefore, a person must take care in this matter if he wishes to live in good [health]. He should not engage in intercourse except when the body is healthy and particularly strong, when he has many involuntary erections, the erection is still present even when he makes an effort to think of something else, he finds a heaviness from the loins and below, the tendons of the testicles seem to be stretched, and his flesh is warm. Such a person needs to engage in intercourse and it is medically advisable.

He should not engage in intercourse on a full or empty stomach, but after the food has been digested. He should examine himself to see if he needs to move his bowels before and after intercourse. He should not engage in intercourse while standing or sitting, nor in the bathhouse, nor on a day on which he goes to the bathhouse, nor on a day on which he lets blood, nor on the day he departs on a journey or arrives from a journey, nor [on the day] before or afterwards.


שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע הִיא כֹּחַ הַגּוּף וְחַיָּיו וּמְאוֹר הָעֵינַיִם וְכָל שֶׁתֵּצֵא בְּיוֹתֵר הַגּוּף כָּלֶה וְכֹחוֹ כָּלֶה וְחַיָּיו אוֹבְדִים. הוּא שֶׁאָמַר שְׁלֹמֹה בְּחָכְמָתוֹ (משלי לא ג) "אַל תִּתֵּן לַנָּשִׁים חֵילֶךָ". כָּל הַשָּׁטוּף בִּבְעִילָה זִקְנָה קוֹפֶצֶת עָלָיו. וְכֹחוֹ תָּשֵׁשׁ. וְעֵינָיו כֵּהוֹת. וְרֵיחַ רַע נוֹדֵף מִפִּיו וּמִשֶּׁחְיוֹ. וּשְׂעַר רֹאשׁוֹ וְגַבּוֹת עֵינָיו וְרִיסֵי עֵינָיו נוֹשְׁרוֹת. וּשְׂעַר זְקָנוֹ וְשֶׁחְיוֹ וּשְׂעַר רַגְלָיו רַבֶּה. שִׁנָּיו נוֹפְלוֹת. וְהַרְבֵּה כְּאֵבִים חוּץ מֵאֵלּוּ בָּאִים עָלָיו. אָמְרוּ חַכְמֵי הָרוֹפְאִים אֶחָד מֵאֶלֶף מֵת בִּשְׁאָר חֳלָאִים וְהָאֶלֶף מֵרֹב הַתַּשְׁמִישׁ. לְפִיכָךְ צָרִיךְ אָדָם לְהִזָּהֵר בְּדָבָר זֶה אִם רָצָה לִחְיוֹת בְּטוֹבָה. וְלֹא יִבְעל אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיִּמָּצֵא גּוּפוֹ בָּרִיא וְחָזָק בְּיוֹתֵר וְהוּא מִתְקַשֶּׁה הַרְבֵּה שֶׁלֹּא לְדַעְתּוֹ. וּמַסִּיחַ עַצְמוֹ לְדָבָר אַחֵר וְהַקִּשּׁוּי בּוֹ כְּשֶׁהָיָה. וְיִמָּצֵא כֹּבֶד מִמָּתְנָיו וּלְמַטָּה וּכְאִלּוּ חוּטֵי הַבֵּיצִים נִמְשָׁכִים וּבְשָׂרוֹ חַם. זֶה צָרִיךְ לִבְעל וּרְפוּאָה לוֹ שֶׁיִּבְעל. לֹא יִבְעל אָדָם וְהוּא שָׂבֵעַ וְלֹא רָעֵב אֶלָּא אַחַר שֶׁיִּתְעַכֵּל הַמָּזוֹן שֶׁבְּמֵעָיו. וְיִבְדֹק נְקָבָיו קֹדֶם בְּעִילָה וּלְאַחַר בְּעִילָה. וְלֹא יִבְעל מְעֻמָּד וְלֹא מְיֻשָּׁב. וְלֹא בְּבֵית הַמֶּרְחָץ וְלֹא בְּיוֹם שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס לַמֶּרְחָץ. וְלֹא בְּיוֹם הַקָּזָה. וְלֹא בְּיוֹם יְצִיאָה לַדֶּרֶךְ אוֹ בִּיאָה מִן הַדֶּרֶךְ לֹא לִפְנֵיהֶם וְלֹא לְאַחֲרֵיהֶם:


Whoever conducts himself in the ways which we have drawn up, I will guarantee that he will not become ill throughout his life, until he reaches advanced age and dies. He will not need a doctor. His body will remain intact and healthy throughout his life.

[One may rely on this guarantee] unless [his body] was impaired from the birth, he was accustomed to one of the harmful habits from birth, or should there be a plague or a drought in the world.


כָּל הַמַּנְהִיג עַצְמוֹ בִּדְרָכִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁהוֹרֵינוּ אֲנִי עָרֵב לוֹ שֶׁאֵינוֹ בָּא לִידֵי חלִי כָּל יָמָיו עַד שֶׁיַּזְקִין הַרְבֵּה וְיָמוּת וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְרוֹפֵא. וְיִהְיֶה גּוּפוֹ שָׁלֵם וְעוֹמֵד עַל בֻּרְיוֹ כָּל יָמָיו. אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה גּוּפוֹ רַע מִתְּחִלַּת בְּרִיָּתוֹ. אוֹ אִם הָיָה רָגִיל בְּמִנְהָג מִן הַמִּנְהָגוֹת הָרָעִים מִתְּחִלַּת מוֹלַדְתּוֹ. אוֹ אִם תָּבוֹא מַכַּת דֶּבֶר אוֹ מַכַּת בַּצֹּרֶת לָעוֹלָם:


All of these beneficial habits which we have stated apply only to a healthy man. In contrast, a sick person, or one who has a single organ which is not healthy, or one who has followed a harmful way of life for many years, each of these must choose different patterns of behavior in accordance with his [particular] illness as it is explained in the medical literature.

Any change from the conduct which one normally follows is the beginning of sickness.


וְכָל הַמִּנְהָגוֹת הַטּוֹבִים הָאֵלּוּ שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ אֵין רָאוּי לִנְהֹג בָּהֶן אֶלָּא הַבָּרִיא. אֲבָל הַחוֹלֶה אוֹ מִי שֶׁאֶחָד מֵאֵיבָרָיו חוֹלֶה אוֹ מִי שֶׁנָּהַג מִנְהָג רַע שָׁנִים רַבּוֹת. יֵשׁ לְכָל אֶחָד מֵהֶם דְּרָכִים אֲחֵרִים וְהַנְהָגוֹת כְּפִי חָלְיוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסֵפֶר הָרְפוּאוֹת. וְשִׁנּוּי וֶסֶת תְּחִלַּת חלִי:


Where there is no doctor available, neither the healthy nor the sick man should budge from all the directions given in this chapter for each of them ultimately brings to a beneficial result.


כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ רוֹפֵא. אֶחָד הַבָּרִיא וְאֶחָד הַחוֹלֶה אֵין רָאוּי לוֹ לָזוּז מִכָּל הַדְּרָכִים הָאֵלּוּ שֶׁנֶּאֶמְרוּ בְּפֶרֶק זֶה. שֶׁכָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן לְאַחֲרִית טוֹבָה מֵבִיא:


A Torah Sage is not permitted to live in a community which does not have the following: a doctor, a bloodletter, a bathhouse, a latrine, an available source of water such as a river or a spring, a synagogue, a teacher of children, a scribe, a charity supervisor, a rabbinical court empowered to impose corporal punishment and jail sentences.


כָּל עִיר שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ עֲשָׂרָה דְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ אֵין תַּלְמִיד חָכָם רַשַּׁאי לָדוּר בְּתוֹכָהּ. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן: רוֹפֵא. וְאֻמָּן. וּבֵית הַמֶּרְחָץ. וּבֵית הַכִּסֵּא. וּמַיִם מְצוּיִין כְּגוֹן נָהָר וּמַעְיָן. וּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת. וּמְלַמֵּד תִּינוֹקוֹת. וְלַבְלָר. וְגַבַּאי צְדָקָה. וּבֵית דִּין מַכִּים וְחוֹבְשִׁים: