1

Whoever shares physical intimacy with one of the ariyot without actually becoming involved in sexual relations or embraces and kisses [one of them] out of desire1 and derives pleasure from the physical contact should be lashed2 according to Scriptural Law. [This is derived from Leviticus 18:30 which] states: "To refrain from perform any of these abominable practices," and [ibid.:6 which] states: "Do not draw close to reveal nakedness." Implied is that we are forbidden to draw close to acts that lead to revealing nakedness.3

א

כָּל הַבָּא עַל עֶרְוָה מִן הָעֲרָיוֹת דֶּרֶךְ אֵיבָרִים אוֹ שֶׁחִבֵּק וְנִשֵּׁק דֶּרֶךְ תַּאֲוָה וְנֶהֱנָה בְּקֵרוּב בָּשָׂר הֲרֵי זֶה לוֹקֶה מִן הַתּוֹרָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יח ל) "לְבִלְתִּי עֲשׂוֹת מֵחֻקּוֹת הַתּוֹעֵבֹת" וְגוֹ'. וְנֶאֱמַר (ויקרא יח ו) "לֹא תִקְרְבוּ לְגַלּוֹת עֶרְוָה". כְּלוֹמַר לֹא תִּקְרְבוּ לִדְבָרִים הַמְּבִיאִין לִידֵי גִּלּוּי עֶרְוָה:

2

A person who engages in any of the abovementioned practices is considered likely to engage in forbidden sexual relations.

It is forbidden4 for a person to make motions with his hands or feet or wink with his eyes to one of the ariyot, to share mirth with her or to act frivolously with her.5 It is even forbidden to smell her perfume6 or gaze at her beauty. A person who performs any of these actions intentionally should be given stripes for rebellious conduct.

A person who looks at even a small finger of a woman with the intent of deriving pleasure is considered as if he looked at her genitalia. It is even forbidden to hear the voice of a woman forbidden as an ervah or to look at her hair.

ב

הָעוֹשֶׂה דָּבָר מֵחֻקּוֹת אֵלּוּ הֲרֵי הוּא חָשׁוּד עַל הָעֲרָיוֹת. וְאָסוּר לָאָדָם לִקְרֹץ בְּיָדָיו וּבְרַגְלָיו אוֹ לִרְמֹז בְּעֵינָיו לְאַחַת מִן הָעֲרָיוֹת אוֹ לִשְׂחֹק עִמָּהּ אוֹ לְהָקֵל רֹאשׁ. וַאֲפִלּוּ לְהָרִיחַ בְּשָׂמִים שֶׁעָלֶיהָ אוֹ לְהַבִּיט בְּיָפְיָהּ אָסוּר. וּמַכִּין לַמִּתְכַּוֵּן לְדָבָר זֶה מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת. וְהַמִּסְתַּכֵּל אֲפִלּוּ בְּאֶצְבַּע קְטַנָּה שֶׁל אִשָּׁה וְנִתְכַּוֵּן לֵהָנוֹת כְּמִי שֶׁנִּסְתַּכֵּל בִּמְקוֹם הַתֹּרֶף. וַאֲפִלּוּ לִשְׁמֹעַ קוֹל הָעֶרְוָה אוֹ לִרְאוֹת שְׂעָרָהּ אָסוּר:

3

These matters are [also] forbidden with regard to women with whom relations are forbidden on the basis of [merely] a negative commandment.

It is permitted to look at the face of an unmarried woman and examine [her features] whether she is a virgin or has engaged in relations previously to whether she is attractive in his eyes so that he may marry her. There is no prohibition in doing this. On the contrary, it is proper to do this.7 One should not, however, look in a licentious manner. Behold [Job 31:1] states: "I established a covenant with my eyes; I would not gaze at a maiden."

ג

וְהַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ אֲסוּרִין בְּחַיָּבֵי לָאוִין. וּמֻתָּר לְהִסְתַּכֵּל בִּפְנֵי הַפְּנוּיָה וּלְבָדְקָהּ בֵּין בְּתוּלָה בֵּין בְּעוּלָה כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּרְאֶה אִם הִיא נָאָה בְּעֵינָיו יִשָּׂאֶנָּה וְאֵין בָּזֶה צַד אִסּוּר וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא שֶׁרָאוּי לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן. אֲבָל לֹא יִסְתַּכֵּל דֶּרֶךְ זְנוּת. הֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (איוב לא א) "בְּרִית כָּרַתִּי לְעֵינַי וּמָה אֶתְבּוֹנֵן עַל בְּתוּלָה":

4

It is permitted for a person to gaze at his wife8 when she is in the niddah state9 although she is an ervah [at that time]. Although his heart derives satisfaction from seeing her, since she will be permitted to him afterwards, he will not suffer a lapse. He should not, however, share mirth with her or act frivolously with her lest this lead to sin.

ד

וּמֻתָּר לָאָדָם לְהַבִּיט בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ כְּשֶׁהִיא נִדָּה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא עֶרְוָה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ הֲנָאַת לֵב מִמֶּנָּה בִּרְאִיָּה הוֹאִיל וְהִיא מֻתֶּרֶת לוֹ לְאַחַר זְמַן אֵינוֹ בָּא בָּזֶה לִדְבַר מִכְשׁוֹל. אֲבָל לֹא יִשְׂחֹק וְלֹא יָקֵל רֹאשׁ עִמָּהּ שֶׁמָּא יַרְגִּיל לַעֲבֵרָה:

5

It is forbidden for a man to have any woman - whether a minor or an adult, whether a servant or a freed woman - perform personal tasks for him, lest he come to lewd thoughts.

Which tasks are referred to? Washing his face, his hands, or his feet,10 spreading his bed in his presence,11 and pouring him a cup. For these tasks are performed for a man only by his wife.12

[A man] should not send greetings to a woman at all, not even via a messenger.13

ה

אָסוּר לְהִשְׁתַּמֵשׁ בְּאִשָּׁה כְּלָל בֵּין גְּדוֹלָה בֵּין קְטַנָּה בֵּין שִׁפְחָה בֵּין מְשֻׁחְרֶרֶת שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא לִידֵי הִרְהוּר. בְּאֵי זֶה שִׁמּוּשׁ אָמְרוּ רְחִיצַת פָּנָיו יָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו וְהַצָּעַת מִטָּה לְפָנָיו וּמְזִיגַת הַכּוֹס. שֶׁאֵין עוֹשָׂה לְאִישׁ דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ אֶלָּא אִשְׁתּוֹ בִּלְבַד. וְאֵין שׁוֹאֲלִין בִּשְׁלוֹם אִשָּׁה כְּלָל וַאֲפִלּוּ עַל יְדֵי שָׁלִיחַ:

6

When a man embraces or kisses any of the women forbidden to him as ariyot despite the fact that his heart does not disturb him concerning the matter,14 e.g., his adult sister, his mother's sister, or the like, it is very shameful. It is forbidden15 and it is foolish conduct. [This applies] even if he has no desire or pleasure at all. For one should not show closeness to a woman forbidden as an ervah at all, whether an adult or a minor, except a woman to her son and a father to his daughter.16

ו

הַמְחַבֵּק אַחַת מִן הָעֲרָיוֹת שֶׁאֵין לִבּוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם נוֹקְפוֹ עֲלֵיהֶן אוֹ שֶׁנִּשֵּׁק לְאַחַת מֵהֶן כְּגוֹן אֲחוֹתוֹ הַגְּדוֹלָה וַאֲחוֹת אִמּוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם תַּאֲוָה וְלֹא הֲנָאָה כְּלָל הֲרֵי זֶה מְגֻנֶּה בְּיוֹתֵר וְדָבָר אָסוּר הוּא וּמַעֲשֵׂה טִפְּשִׁים הוּא. שֶׁאֵין קְרֵבִין לְעֶרְוָה כְּלָל בֵּין גְּדוֹלָה בֵּין קְטַנָּה חוּץ מֵהָאֵם לִבְנָהּ וְהָאָב לְבִתּוֹ:

7

What is implied? A father is permitted to embrace his daughter, kiss her, and sleep with her with their bodies touching17 and a mother may do the same with her son as long as they are young. When they grow and become mature18 with the girl's body becoming developed,19 they should each sleep in clothing.

If the daughter is embarrassed to stand before her father naked or she married,20 and similarly, if the mother was embarrassed to stand before her son naked, even if [the children] are minors, when one reaches the point when one is ashamed [of being naked] in their presence, they should sleep together only when clothed.21

ז

כֵּיצַד. מֻתָּר הָאָב לְחַבֵּק בִּתּוֹ וּלְנַשְּׁקָהּ וְתִישַׁן עִמּוֹ בְּקֵרוּב בָּשָׂר. וְכֵן הָאֵם עִם בְּנָהּ כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהֵם קְטַנִּים. הִגְדִּילוּ וְנַעֲשָׂה הַבֵּן גָּדוֹל וְהַבַּת גְּדוֹלָה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שָׁדַיִם נָכֹנוּ וּשְׂעָרֵךְ צָמַח זֶה יָשֵׁן בִּכְסוּתוֹ וְהִיא יְשֵׁנָה בִּכְסוּתָהּ. וְאִם הָיְתָה הַבַּת בּוֹשָׁה לַעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי אָבִיהָ עֲרֻמָּה אוֹ שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת. וְכֵן אִם הָאֵם בּוֹשָׁה לַעֲמֹד בִּפְנֵי בְּנָהּ עֲרֻמָּה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן קְטַנִּים מִשֶּׁהִגִּיעוּ לְהִכָּלֵם מֵהֶן אֵין יְשֵׁנִים עִמָּהֶם אֶלָּא בִּכְסוּתָן:

8

Lesbian relations are forbidden. This is "the conduct of Egypt" which we were warned against, as [Leviticus 18:3] states: "Do not follow the conduct of Egypt." Our Sages said:22 What would they do? A man would marry a man, a woman would marry a woman, and a woman would marry two men.

Although this conduct is forbidden,23 lashes are not given for it, for it is not a specific prohibition24 and there is no intercourse at all. Therefore such women are not forbidden to marry into the priesthood as zonot, nor does a woman become prohibited to her husband because of this,25 for this is not considered harlotry. It is, however, appropriate to give them stripes for rebellious conduct26 because they performed a transgression. A man should take precautions with his wife with regard to this matter and should prevent women who are known to engage in such practices from visiting her and her from visiting them.

ח

נָשִׁים הַמְסוֹלָלוֹת זוֹ בָּזוֹ אָסוּר וּמִמַּעֲשֵׂה מִצְרַיִם הוּא שֶׁהֻזְהַרְנוּ עָלָיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יח ג) "כְּמַעֲשֵׂה אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ". אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים מֶה הָיוּ עוֹשִׂים אִישׁ נוֹשֵׂא אִישׁ וְאִשָּׁה נוֹשֵׂא אִשָּׁה. וְאִשָּׁה נִשֵּׂאת לִשְׁנֵי אֲנָשִׁים. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמַּעֲשֶׂה זֶה אָסוּר אֵין מַלְקִין עָלָיו. שֶׁאֵין לוֹ לָאו מְיֻחָד וַהֲרֵי אֵין שָׁם בִּיאָה כְּלָל. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין נֶאֱסָרוֹת לִכְהֻנָּה מִשּׁוּם זְנוּת וְלֹא תֵּאָסֵר אִשָּׁה עַל בַּעְלָהּ בָּזֶה שֶׁאֵין כָּאן זְנוּת. וְרָאוּי לְהַכּוֹתָן מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת הוֹאִיל וְעָשׂוּ אִסּוּר. וְיֵשׁ לָאִישׁ לְהַקְפִּיד עַל אִשְׁתּוֹ מִדָּבָר זֶה וּמוֹנֵעַ הַנָּשִׁים הַיְדוּעוֹת בְּכָךְ מִלְּהִכָּנֵס לָהּ וּמִלָּצֵאת הִיא אֲלֵיהֶן:

9

A man's wife is permitted to him. Therefore a man may do whatever he desires with his wife. He may engage in relations whenever he desires, kiss any organ he desires,27 engage in vaginal or anal intercourse or engage in physical intimacy without relations, provided he does not release seed in vain.28

Nevertheless, it is pious conduct for a person not to act frivolously concerning such matters and to sanctify himself at the time of relations, as explained in Hilchot Deot.29 He should not depart from the ordinary pattern of the world. For this act was [given to us] solely for the sake of procreation.30

ט

אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם מֻתֶּרֶת הִיא לוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ כָּל מַה שֶּׁאָדָם רוֹצֶה לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ עוֹשֶׂה. בּוֹעֵל בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה וּמְנַשֵּׁק בְּכָל אֵיבָר וְאֵיבָר שֶׁיִּרְצֶה. [וּבָא עָלֶיהָ כְּדַרְכָּהּ וְשֶׁלֹּא כְּדַרְכָּהּ ] וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יוֹצִיא שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע לְבַטָּלָה. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן מִדַּת חֲסִידוּת שֶׁלֹּא יָקֵל אָדָם אֶת רֹאשׁוֹ לְכָךְ וְשֶׁיְּקַדֵּשׁ עַצְמוֹ בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת דֵּעוֹת. וְלֹא יָסוּר מִדֶּרֶךְ הָעוֹלָם וּמִנְהָגוֹ שֶׁאֵין דָּבָר זֶה אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לִפְרוֹת וְלִרְבּוֹת:

10

A man is forbidden to engage in relations by candlelight.31 If, on the Sabbath,32 he did not have another room and there is a light burning, he should not engage in relations at all.33

Similarly, it is forbidden for a Jew to engage in relations during the day, for this is brazen conduct. If he is a Torah scholar, who will not be drawn after this, he may create darkness with his garment and engage in relations. One should not, however, adopt this measure unless there is a great need.34 It is the course of holy conduct to engage in relations in the middle of the night35

י

אָסוּר לָאָדָם לְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִטָּתוֹ לְאוֹר הַנֵּר. הֲרֵי שֶׁהָיְתָה שַׁבָּת וְלֹא הָיָה לוֹ בַּיִת אַחֵר וְהָיָה הַנֵּר דָּלוּק הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יְשַׁמֵּשׁ כְּלָל. וְכֵן אָסוּר לְיִשְׂרְאֵלִי לְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִטָּתוֹ בַּיּוֹם. שֶׁעַזּוּת פָּנִים הִיא לוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה תַּלְמִיד חָכָם שֶׁאֵינוֹ בָּא לְהִמָּשֵׁךְ בְּכָךְ הֲרֵי זֶה מַאֲפִיל בְּטַלִּיתוֹ וּמְשַׁמֵּשׁ. וְאֵין נִזְקָקִין לְדָבָר זֶה אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי צֹרֶךְ גָּדוֹל. וְדֶרֶךְ קְדֻשָּׁה לְשַׁמֵּשׁ בְּאֶמְצַע הַלַּיְלָה:

11

Our Sages do not derive satisfaction from a person who engages in sexual relations excessively and frequents his wife like a rooster. This reflects a very blemished [character]; it is the way underdeveloped people conduct themselves. Instead, everyone who minimizes his sexual conduct is praiseworthy, provided he does not neglect his conjugal duties36 without the consent of his wife. The sole reason while originally it was ordained that a person who had a seminal emission should not read from the Torah until they immerse themselves37 was to minimize sexual conduct.

יא

אֵין דַּעַת חֲכָמִים נוֹחָה לְמִי שֶׁהוּא מַרְבֶּה בַּתַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה וְיִהְיֶה מָצוּי אֵצֶל אִשְׁתּוֹ כְּתַרְנְגוֹל. וּפָגוּם הוּא עַד מְאֹד וּמַעֲשֵׂה בּוּרִים הוּא. אֶלָּא כָּל הַמְמַעֵט בַּתַּשְׁמִישׁ הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יְבַטֵּל עוֹנָה [אֶלָּא] מִדַּעַת אִשְׁתּוֹ. וְלֹא תִּקְּנוּ בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה לְבַעֲלֵי קְרָיִין שֶׁלֹּא יִקְרְאוּ בַּתּוֹרָה עַד שֶׁיִּטְבְּלוּ אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לְמַעֵט בַּתַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה:

12

Similarly, our Sages38 forbade a person from engaging in relations with his wife while his heart is focused on another woman. He should not engage in relations while intoxicated, nor while quarreling, nor out of hatred. He should not engage in relations with her against her will when she is afraid of him.39 Nor when one of them is placed under a ban of ostracism. He should not engage in relations [with his wife] after he made the decision to divorce her. If he does so,40the children will not be of proper character. There will be those who are brazen and others who are rebellious and sinful.

יב

וְכֵן אָסְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁלֹּא יְשַׁמֵּשׁ אָדָם מִטָּתוֹ וְלִבּוֹ מְחַשֵּׁב בְּאִשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת. וְלֹא יִבְעל מִתּוֹךְ שִׁכְרוּת וְלֹא מִתּוֹךְ מְרִיבָה וְלֹא מִתּוֹךְ שִׂנְאָה וְלֹא יָבוֹא עָלֶיהָ עַל כָּרְחָהּ וְהִיא יְרֵאָה מִמֶּנּוּ. וְלֹא כְּשֶׁיִּהְיֶה אֶחָד מֵהֶן מְנֻדֶּה. וְלֹא יָבוֹא עָלֶיהָ אַחַר שֶׁגָּמַר בְּלִבּוֹ לְגָרְשָׁהּ. וְאִם עָשָׂה כֵּן הַבָּנִים אֵינָן הֲגוּנִים אֶלָּא מֵהֶן עַזֵּי פָּנִים וּמֵהֶן מוֹרְדִים וּפוֹשְׁעִים:

13

Similarly, our Sages said41 that whenever an audacious woman demands relations verbally, a man seduces a woman for the sake of marriage, he had the intent of having relations with his wife Rachel and instead, engages in relations with his wife Leah, or a woman does not wait three months after the death of her husband and gives birth to a son whose identity is questionable,42 all of the children born in these situations will be rebellious and sinful who will be purified by the sufferings of exile.

יג

וְכֵן אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁכָּל אִשָּׁה חֲצוּפָה שֶׁהִיא תּוֹבַעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה בְּפִיהָ. אוֹ הַמְפַתֶּה אִשָּׁהּ לְשֵׁם נִשּׂוּאִין. אוֹ הַמִּתְכַּוֵּן לָבוֹא עַל רָחֵל אִשְׁתּוֹ וּבָא עַל לֵאָה אִשְׁתּוֹ. וּמִי שֶׁלֹּא שָׁהֲתָה אַחַר מִיתַת בַּעְלָהּ שְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים וַהֲרֵי הַבֵּן סָפֵק. כָּל אֵלּוּ הַבָּנִים הַיִּלּוֹדִים מֵהֶם הֵם הַמּוֹרְדִים וְהַפּוֹשְׁעִים שֶׁיִּסּוּרֵי הַגָּלוּת בּוֹרְרִין אוֹתָן:

14

It is forbidden for a man to engage in relations with his wife in the marketplaces, streets, gardens, or orchards. Instead, [a couple should be physically intimate] only in a home, so that they will not appear as licentious relations and will not habituate themselves to licentious relations.43 When a man engages in relations with his wife in such places, he should be given stripes for rebellious conduct. Similarly, when a man consecrates a woman via sexual relations,44 consecrates her in the market place or consecrates her without there being an engagement beforehand, he is given stripes for rebellious conduct.45

יד

וְאָסוּר לְאָדָם לָבֹא עַל אִשְׁתּוֹ בַּשְּׁוָקִים וּבָרְחוֹבוֹת אוֹ בַּגַּנּוֹת וּבַפַּרְדֵּסִין אֶלָּא בְּבֵית דִּירָה. שֶׁלֹּא יֵרָאֶה כִּזְנוּת וְיַרְגִּילוּ עַצְמָם לִידֵי זְנוּת. וְהַבּוֹעֵל אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ בִּמְקוֹמוֹת אֵלּוּ מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת. וְכֵן הַמְקַדֵּשׁ בְּבִיאָה וְהַמְקַדֵּשׁ בַּשּׁוּק וְהַמְקַדֵּשׁ בְּלֹא שִׁדּוּךְ מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

15

A visitor is forbidden to engage in relations until he returns home. Our Sages46 forbade a man from dwelling in his father-in-law's home,47 for this is brazen conduct. Nor should he enter a bathhouse with him.

טו

וְאַכְסְנַאי אָסוּר בַּתַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה עַד שֶׁיַּחְזֹר לְבֵיתוֹ. וְכֵן אָסְרוּ חֲכָמִים עַל הָאִישׁ שֶׁיָּדוּר בְּבֵית חָמִיו שֶׁזּוֹ עַזּוּת פָּנִים הִיא. וְלֹא יִכָּנֵס עִמּוֹ לְמֶרְחָץ:

16

A person should not enter a bathhouse with his father, his sister's husband, nor with his student.48 If he needs his student [to assist him], it is permitted. There are places where people followed the custom that two brothers would not enter a bathhouse at the same time.

טז

וְלֹא יִכָּנֵס אָדָם עִם אָבִיו לַמֶּרְחָץ. וְלֹא עִם בַּעַל אֲחוֹתוֹ. וְלֹא עִם תַּלְמִידוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה צָרִיךְ לְתַלְמִידוֹ מֻתָּר. וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא יִכָּנְסוּ שְׁנֵי אַחִים כְּאֶחָד לַמֶּרְחָץ:

17

Jewish women should not walk in the marketplace with uncovered hair. [This applies to] both unmarried49 and married women. Similarly, a woman should not walk in the street with her son following her. [This is] a decree, [enacted so that] her son not be abducted and she follow after him to bring him back and she be molested by wicked people who took hold of him as a caprice.

יז

לֹא יְהַלְּכוּ בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל פְּרוּעֵי רֹאשׁ בַּשּׁוּק. אַחַת פְּנוּיָה וְאַחַת אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ. וְלֹא תֵּלֵךְ אִשָּׁה בַּשּׁוּק וּבְנָהּ אַחֲרֶיהָ גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יִתְפְּשׂוּ בְּנָהּ וְתֵלֵךְ אַחֲרָיו לְהַחֲזִירוֹ וְיִתְעַלְּלוּ בָּהּ הָרְשָׁעִים שֶׁתְּפָסוּהוּ דֶּרֶךְ שְׂחוֹק:

18

It is forbidden to release sperm wastefully.50 Therefore a person should not enter his wife and ejaculate outside of her.51 A man should not marry a minor who is not fit to give birth.52

Those who, however, release sperm with their hands, beyond the fact that they commit a great transgression, a person who does this will abide under a ban of ostracism. Concerning them, it is said: "Your hands are filled with blood." It is as if they killed a person.

יח

אָסוּר לְהוֹצִיא שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע לְבַטָּלָה. לְפִיכָךְ לֹא יִהְיֶה אָדָם דָּשׁ מִבִּפְנִים וְזוֹרֶה מִבַּחוּץ. וְלֹא יִשָּׂא קְטַנָּה שֶׁאֵינָהּ רְאוּיָה לֵילֵד. אֲבָל אֵלּוּ שֶׁמְּנָאֲפִין בַּיָּד וּמוֹצִיאִין שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע לֹא דַּי לָהֶם שֶׁאִסּוּר גָּדוֹל הוּא אֶלָּא שֶׁהָעוֹשֶׂה זֶה בְּנִדּוּי הוּא יוֹשֵׁב וַעֲלֵיהֶם נֶאֱמַר (ישעיה א טו) "יְדֵיכֶם דָּמִים מָלֵאוּ" וּכְאִלּוּ הָרַג הַנֶּפֶשׁ:

19

It is forbidden for a person to intentionally cause himself to have an erection or to bring himself to [sexual] thoughts. If a [sexual] thought comes to his mind, he should divert his heart from profligate and destructive matters to the words of Torah53 which are "a beloved hind, arousing favor."54 For this reason, it is forbidden for a person to sleep on his back with his face upward,55 Instead, he should turn to the side slightly so that he will not develop an erection.

יט

וְכֵן אָסוּר לְאָדָם שֶׁיַּקְשֶׁה עַצְמוֹ לְדַעַת אוֹ יָבִיא עַצְמוֹ לִידֵי הִרְהוּר. אֶלָּא אִם יָבוֹא לוֹ הִרְהוּר יַסִּיעַ לִבּוֹ מִדִּבְרֵי הֲבַאי (וְהַשְׁחָתָה) לְדִבְרֵי תּוֹרָה. שֶׁהִיא (משלי ה יט) "אַיֶּלֶת אֲהָבִים וְיַעֲלַת חֵן". לְפִיכָךְ אָסוּר לְאָדָם לִישֹׁן עַל עָרְפּוֹ וּפָנָיו לְמַעְלָה עַד שֶׁיִּטֶּה מְעַט כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא לִידֵי קִשּׁוּי:

20

One should not look at animals, beasts, and fowls at the time the males and females are coupling. It is, however, permitted for a breeder of livestock to insert a male animal's organ in a female's. Since he is working in his profession, he will not be motivated to [sexual] thoughts.

כ

וְלֹא יִסְתַּכֵּל בִּבְהֵמָה וּבְחַיָּה וְעוֹף בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמִּזְדַּקְקִין זָכָר לִנְקֵבָה. ומֻתָּר לְמַרְבִּיעֵי בְּהֵמָה לְהַכְנִיס כְּמִכְחוֹל בִּשְׁפוֹפֶרֶת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן עֲסוּקִין בִּמְלַאכְתָּן לֹא יָבוֹאוּ לִידֵי הִרְהוּר:

21

Similarly, it is forbidden for a man to look at woman while they do laundry. It is even forbidden to look at the colored56 garments of a woman one knows,57 lest one be motivated to [sexual] thoughts.

כא

וְכֵן אָסוּר לְאָדָם לְהִסְתַּכֵּל בְּנָשִׁים בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהֵן עוֹמְדוֹת עַל הַכְּבִיסָה. אֲפִלּוּ לְהִסְתַּכֵּל בְּבִגְדֵי צֶמֶר שֶׁל אִשָּׁה שֶׁהוּא מַכִּירָהּ אָסוּר. שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא לִידֵי הִרְהוּר:

22

When a person encounters a woman in the street, it is forbidden for him to walk behind her.58 Instead, he should hurry and [position himself so that] she is at his side or behind him. Whoever walks behind a woman in the marketplace is one of the frivolous of the common people.

It is forbidden to pass the entrance of a harlot without distancing oneself four cubits, as [Proverbs 5:8] states: "Do not come close to the entrance of her home."

כב

מִי שֶׁפָּגַע בְּאִשָּׁה בַּשּׁוּק אָסוּר לוֹ לְהַלֵּךְ אַחֲרֶיהָ אֶלָּא רָץ וּמְסַלְּקָהּ לַצְּדָדִין אוֹ לְאַחֲרָיו. וְכָל הַמְהַלֵּךְ בַּשּׁוּק אַחֲרֵי אִשָּׁה הֲרֵי זֶה מִקַּלֵּי עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ. וְאָסוּר לַעֲבֹר עַל פֶּתַח אִשָּׁה זוֹנָה עַד שֶׁיַּרְחִיק אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (משלי ה ח) "וְאַל תִּקְרַב אֶל פֶּתַח בֵּיתָהּ":

23

It is forbidden for an unmarried man to extend his hand to his testicles, lest he be stimulated to [sexual] thoughts. Indeed, he should not extend his hand below his navel, lest he be stimulated to [sexual] thoughts. If he urinates, he should not hold the shaft of his organ while urinating. If he is married,59 this is permitted. Whether he is married or not, he should not extend his hand to his organ at all, except when he has to urinate.60

כג

וְאָסוּר לְאָדָם שֶׁאֵינוֹ נָשׂוּי לִשְׁלֹחַ יָדוֹ בִּמְבוּשָׁיו שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא לִידֵי הִרְהוּר. וַאֲפִלּוּ מִתַּחַת טִבּוּרוֹ לֹא יַכְנִיס יָדוֹ שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא לִידֵי הִרְהוּר. וְאִם הִשְׁתִּין מַיִם לֹא יֶאֱחֹז בָּאַמָּה וְיַשְׁתִּין. וְאִם הָיָה נָשׂוּי מֻתָּר. וּבֵין נָשׂוּי וּבֵין שֶׁאֵינוֹ נָשׂוּי לֹא יוֹשִׁיט יָדוֹ לָאַמָּה כְּלָל אֶלָּא בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהוּא צָרִיךְ לִנְקָבָיו:

24

One of the pious men of the early eras and the wise men of stature prided himself in that he never looked at his male organ. Another said with pride that he had never contemplated his wife's physical form.61 For their hearts would be diverted from profligate matters to the words of truth which take hold of the hearts of the holy.

כד

חֲסִידִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים וּגְדוֹלֵי הַחֲכָמִים הִתְפָּאֵר אֶחָד מֵהֶם שֶׁמֵּעוֹלָם לֹא נִסְתַּכֵּל בַּמִּילָה שֶׁלּוֹ. וּמֵהֶן מִי שֶּׁהִתְפָּאֵר שֶׁלֹּא הִתְבּוֹנֵן מֵעוֹלָם בְּצוּרַת אִשְׁתּוֹ. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלִּבּוֹ פּוֹנֶה מִדִּבְרֵי הֲבַאי לְדִבְרֵי הָאֱמֶת שֶׁהֵן אוֹחֲזוֹת לְבַב הַקְּדוֹשִׁים:

25

Among our Sages' commands is that a person should marry off his sons and daughters close to the time they reach physical maturity.62 For were he to leave them [unmarried], they may be motivated to promiscuity or sexual thoughts. Concerning this was applied the verse [Job 5:24]: "Scrutinize your dwelling and you shall not sin."63

It is forbidden to marry a woman to a minor, for this is comparable to promiscuity.64

כה

מִצְוַת חֲכָמִים שֶׁיַּשִּׂיא אָדָם בָּנָיו וּבְנוֹתָיו סָמוּךְ לְפִרְקָן. שֶׁאִם יַנִּיחָן יָבוֹאוּ לִידֵי זְנוּת אוֹ לִידֵי הִרְהוּר. וְעַל זֶה נֶאֱמַר (איוב ה כד) "וּפָקַדְתָּ נָוְךָ וְלֹא תֶחֱטָא". וְאָסוּר לְהַשִּׂיא אִשָּׁה לְקָטָן שֶׁזֶּה כְּמוֹ זְנוּת הִיא:

26

A man is not permitted to abide without a wife.65 He should not marry a barren woman or an elderly woman who is not fit to bear children.66

A woman is permitted not to marry at all or to marry a eunuch. 67 A young man should not marry an elderly woman, nor an elderly man, a young woman, for such conduct leads to promiscuity.68

כו

וְאֵין הָאִישׁ רַשַּׁאי לֵישֵׁב בְּלֹא אִשָּׁה. וְלֹא יִשָּׂא עֲקָרָה וּזְקֵנָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ רְאוּיָה לֵילֵד. וּרְשׁוּת לָאִשָּׁה שֶׁלֹּא תִּנָּשֵׂא לְעוֹלָם אוֹ תִּנָּשֵׂא לְסָרִיס. וְלֹא יִשָּׂא בָּחוּר זְקֵנָה וְלֹא יִשָּׂא זָקֵן יַלְדָּה שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה גּוֹרֵם לִזְנוּת:

27

Similarly, a person who divorced his wife after they were married69should not live in the same courtyard as she, lest this lead to promiscuity.70If he was a priest, he should not dwell in the same lane as she.71 A small village is considered as a lane.

If he owes her a debt, she should appoint an agent to demand payment from him.72 When a divorcee and her ex-husband come [to court] for a judgment, we place them under a ban of ostracism or subject them to stripes for rebellious conduct.73

If, however, a woman was divorced [merely] after consecration, she may summon him to court and dwell near him.74 If they shared extensive familiarity, this is forbidden even if [they were divorced merely] after consecration.

Who is forced to move? She is forced to move because of him.75 If the courtyard belongs to her, he is forced to move because of her.

כז

וְכֵן מִי שֶׁגֵּרֵשׁ אֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ מִן הַנִּשּׂוּאִין לֹא תָּדוּר עִמּוֹ בֶּחָצֵר שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹאוּ לִידֵי זְנוּת. וְאִם הָיָה כֹּהֵן לֹא תָּדוּר עִמּוֹ בְּמָבוֹי. וּכְפָר קָטָן נִדּוֹן כְּמָבוֹי. הָיָה לָהּ מִלְוֶה אֶצְלוֹ עוֹשָׂה שָׁלִיחַ לְתָבְעוֹ. וּגְרוּשָׁה שֶׁבָּאָה עִם הַמְגָרֵשׁ לַדִּין מְנַדִּין אוֹתָן אוֹ מַכִּין אוֹתָן מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת. וְאִם נִתְגָּרְשָׁה מִן הָאֵרוּסִין מֻתֶּרֶת לְתָבְעוֹ בַּדִּין וְלָדוּר עִמּוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה לִבּוֹ גַּס בָּהּ אַף מִן הָאֵרוּסִין אָסוּר. וּמִי נִדְחֶה מִפְּנֵי מִי הִיא נִדְּחֵת מִפָּנָיו. וְאִם הָיְתָה הֶחָצֵר שֶׁלָּהּ הוּא יִדָּחֶה מִפָּנֶיהָ:

28

A person should not marry a woman with the intent to divorce her, [as alluded to by Proverbs 3:29]: "Do not devise evil against your loved one, one who dwells securely with you." If he notifies her at the outset that he is marrying her only for a limited time, it is permitted.76

כח

אָסוּר לְאָדָם לִשָּׂא אִשָּׁה וְדַעְתּוֹ לְגָרְשָׁהּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (משלי ג כט) "אַל תַּחֲרשׁ עַל רֵעֲךָ רָעָה וְהוּא יוֹשֵׁב לָבֶטַח אִתָּךְ". וְאִם הוֹדִיעָה בַּתְּחִלָּה שֶׁהוּא נוֹשֵׂא אוֹתָהּ לְיָמִים מֻתָּר:

29

A person should not marry one woman in one country and another woman in another country, lest this situation continue for a long time and [ultimately,] a brother may marry his sister, the sister of his mother, or the sister of his father and the like without knowing.77 If [the man with two wives] is a person of stature whose name is known and whose descendants are well known and celebrated, it is permitted.78

כט

וְלֹא יִשָּׂא אָדָם אִשָּׁה בִּמְדִינָה זוֹ וְאִשָּׁה בִּמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת שֶׁמָּא יַאֲרִיכוּ הַיָּמִים וְנִמְצָא אָח נוֹשֵׂא אֲחוֹתוֹ וַאֲחוֹת אִמּוֹ וַאֲחוֹת אָבִיו וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְאֵינוֹ יָדוּעַ. וְאִם הָיָה אָדָם גָּדוֹל שֶׁשְּׁמוֹ יָדוּעַ וַהֲרֵי זַרְעוֹ מְפֻרְסָמִין וִידוּעִין הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר:

30

A man should not marry a woman from a family of lepers, nor from a family of epileptics, i.e., that it has been established on three occasions that the descendants of this family have this malady.

ל

לֹא יִשָּׂא אָדָם אִשָּׁה מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת מְצֹרָעִים וְלֹא מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת נִכְפִּין. וְהוּא שֶׁהֻחְזְקוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה פְּעָמִים שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ בְּנֵיהֶם כָּךְ:

31

When a woman was married to two husbands and they both died, she should not marry a third [man].79 If she did marry, she need not be divorced.80 Indeed, even if he merely consecrated her, he may consummate the marriage.

An unlearned81 Israelite should not marry the daughter of a priest. For this is comparable to the desecration of Aaron's seed. If they marry, our Sages said82that their marriage will not be propitious. Instead, they will die without children, either he or she will die in the near future, or there will be strife between them.83When, by contrast, a Torah scholar marries the daughter of a priest, this is attractive and praiseworthy, [joining] the Torah and the priesthood as one.

לא

אִשָּׁה שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת לִשְׁנֵי אֲנָשִׁים וָמֵתוּ. לִשְׁלִישִׁי לֹא תִּנָּשֵׂא וְאִם נִשֵּׂאת לֹא תֵּצֵא. וַאֲפִלּוּ נִתְקַדְּשָׁה יִכְנֹס. וְלֹא יִשָּׂא יִשְׂרָאֵל עַם הָאָרֶץ כֹּהֶנֶת שֶׁזֶּה כְּמוֹ חִלּוּל לְזַרְעוֹ שֶׁל אַהֲרֹן. וְאִם נָשָׂא אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים אֵין זִוּוּגָן עוֹלֶה יָפֶה אֶלָּא מֵת בְּלֹא בָּנִים אוֹ מֵת הוּא אוֹ הִיא בִּמְהֵרָה אוֹ קְטָטָה תִּהְיֶה בֵּינֵיהֶם. אֲבָל תַּלְמִיד חָכָם שֶׁנָּשָׂא כֹּהֶנֶת הֲרֵי זֶה נָאֶה וּמְשֻׁבָּח. הֲרֵי תּוֹרָה וּכְהֻנָּה כְּאֶחָד:

32

A person should not marry the daughter of an unlearned person. For if he dies or is exiled, his children will grow up unlearned, since their mother is not knowledgeable regarding the crown of Torah.84 Nor should he give his daughter to an unlearned person in marriage. For anyone who gives his daughter to an unlearned person is like one who bound her and placed her before a lion. He will strike her and engage in relations and has no shame.

A person should sell everything that he has [so that] he can marry the daughter of a Torah scholar. For if he dies or is exiled, his children will grow up as Torah scholars. And he should marry his daughter to a Torah scholar for there is no shameful conduct or strife in the home of a Torah scholar.

לב

לֹא יִשָּׂא אָדָם בַּת עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ שֶׁאִם מֵת אוֹ גּוֹלֶה בָּנָיו עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ יִהְיוּ שֶׁאֵין אִמָּן יוֹדַעַת כֶּתֶר הַתּוֹרָה. וְלֹא יַשִּׂיא בִּתּוֹ לְעַם הָאָרֶץ שֶׁכָּל הַנּוֹתֵן בִּתּוֹ לְעַם הָאָרֶץ כְּמִיִ שֶׁכְּפָתָהּ וּנְתָנָהּ לִפְנֵי הָאֲרִי מַכֶּה וּבוֹעֵל וְאֵין לוֹ בּשֶׁת פָּנִים. וּלְעוֹלָם יִמְכֹּר אָדָם כָּל מַה שֶּׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ וְיִשָּׂא בַּת תַּלְמִיד חָכָם שֶׁאִם מֵת אוֹ גּוֹלֶה בָּנָיו תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים. וְכֵן יַשִּׂיא בִּתּוֹ לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם שֶׁאֵין דָּבָר מְגֻנֶּה וְלֹא מְרִיבָה בְּבֵיתוֹ שֶׁל תַּלְמִיד חָכָם: