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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais

Wedding night Hamapil & Shema

24 June, 2006


What are the halachot regarding a chatan and kallah reciting shema and hamapil on their wedding night?


The chatan and kallah's keriat shema and hamapil on their wedding night should not differ from other nights.

There are two possible times to recite them.  Ideally, after intercourse one could wash one's hands and then recite shema and hamapil (or hamapil and shema, depending on one's custom) prior to sleep.  On the wedding night, the couple usually gets up anyway to separate.

In general, it is also permissible to recite them before having relations, particularly if you might fall asleep and forget to say them afterwards.  Hamapil is considered a birkat hashevach (a blessing of praise to Hashem),and some interpret the line "utehi mitati shlemah lefanecha" as referring to the intercourse which follows and not just to sleep. Even though the usual custom is to not speak after hamapil, in this case you should not hesitate to communicate naturally with each other.

This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.

Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under