Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Intimacy on Shabbat

7 May, 2006

Question:

I have a question regarding Relations on Shabbos (night):
1) Why is it special to have relations Davkah on Shabbos (night)?
2) I'm used to taking a shower after having relations, am I allowed to do so on Shabbos? and how?


Answer:

1) According to the Torah, one of the obligations of a husband to his wife is having marital relations.  The discussion in the halachic literature about the minimum frequency of relations includes the talmid chacham, a paradigmatic man who does not work in physical labor and lives at home.  His minimum is once a week.  Once a weekly requirement is designated, Shabbat becomes a natural preferred choice because of its surpassing holiness.  Having relations on Shabbat is a preference, not a requirement.

2) No, a shower is not normally permitted on Shabbat.  As in the case of a woman cleaning herself on Shabbat for a hefsek taharah, you may wash the inside of your thighs and genital area with cool water or with water warmed prior to Shabbat and pat yourself dry with a towel, taking care not to wring it.  You may also wipe yourself off with a dry cloth.


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