Men touching the pubic area

Men touching the pubic area:[1]
It is forbidden for an unmarried man to place his hands by his private area[2], lest he bring himself to evil thoughts. [This prohibition refers to the actual Eiver and not to the entire pubic area.[3]] He should not place his hand even below his naval due to this reason [lest he come to touch his Eiver[4]]. [However from the letter of the law, it is permitted to place one’s hands below the naval, in the pubic area, so long as he does not touch the Eiver, and majority of people are not careful in this matter. It is a mere act of piety and extra holiness to be stringent.[5] Some Poskim[6] however rule it is forbidden from the letter of the law to place one’s hand even by the pubic area.]

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[1] Michaber Even Haezer 23/4

[2] Literally “Mabushav”

[3] Taz Y.D. 182/3; M”A 3/14 and P”M 3 A”A 14 based on Tosafus Nida 13a, brought in Biur Halacha 3/16 “Lo Hutar”

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is forbidden to place one’s hand even by the pubic area. [Bach Y.D. 182, brought in Taz ibid, based on Tur, Rashi and Rabbeinu Tarfon in Gemara Nida 13a that “Whoever places his hand below his naval should have his hand cut off”; See also Shach 182/6 who argues on the Bach in his explanation of Rashi but seems to agree in principal to his ruling; See however M”A and P”M ibid that explain Rebbe Tarfon to be refering to the actual Eiver; See Biur Halacha 3/16 “Lo Hutar” who gives room for this ruling of the Bach]

[4] Taz ibid

[5] Taz ibid; M”A ibid as explained in P”M ibid, brought in Biur Halacha 3/16 “Lo Hutar”; [Taz ibid that so is proven from the fact Rabbeinu Hakadosh was praised for being careful in this, thus proving it is not an actual prohibition but an act of piety and that so is implied from Michaber 182/3 and E.H. 23/4 and the wording of the Rambam; M”A ibid as explained in P”M ibid [brought in Rav Akiva Eiger 182] to be his own opinion that below the naval means the Eivar and above it is merely a Midas Chassidus that not even the other Tanaim were careful in, however the M”A negates the Taz ibid’s proof from Rabbeinu Hakadosh based on Tosafus who explains the novelty of Rabbeinu Hakadosh was the fact that he avoided doing so despite being married. Likewise, the M”A and P”M ibid negates the Taz’s explanation of the Michaber/Rambam and hold that according to the Michaber it is forbidden.]

[6] Bach Y.D. 182 based on Tur, Rashi and Rabbeinu Tarfon in Gemara that “Whoever places his hand below his naval should have his hand cut off”; See also Shach 182/6 who argues on the Bach in his explanation of Rashi but seems to agree in principal to his ruling; See however M”A and P”M ibid that explain Rebbe Tarfon to be reefing to the actual Eiver; The M”A ibid and P”M ibid conclude that the Michaber ruled like the Rambam that under the naval is forbidden from letter of the law for all people, as they learn Rebbe Tarfon litteraly. Thus, while the Taz ibid learns that even the Michaber agrees it is permitted, the M”A ibid learns him to rule ikt is forbidden; See Biur Halacha 3/16 “Lo Hutar” who gives room for this ruling of the Bach

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