11. Marital relations on Rosh Hashanah

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11. Marital Relations on Rosh Hashanah [1]

One is to avoid marital relations on both nights of Rosh Hashanah, in order not to enter into a state of Keri.

Mikveh Night: If the 1st or 2nd night of Rosh Hashanah is the night of Mikvah then one is obligated to have intercourse that night. [One who refrains from doing so is considered as if he is performing a Mitzvah as a result of an Aveira.[2] If a woman delayed going to Mikveh prior to Rosh Hashanah some Poskim[3] rule she is not to immerse on the night of Rosh Hashanah.[4] However many Poskim[5] rule that she is to immerse.]

Strong desire:[6] Those who feel a strong desire which may prove difficult to withhold are better to have intercourse than to come to doing a sin.

Immersing in a Mikveh the next morning:[7] A man who had marital relations on the night of Rosh Hashanah, such as in the event of Mikveh night or a strong desire, is to immerse in a Mikveh the next morning prior to Shacharis. [In the event that one knows he will be unable to immerse in a Mikveh the next morning he is nevertheless obligated in marital relations if his wife went to Mikveh that night.[8]]


[1] M”A 581/16; M”B 581/26; based on Seder Hayom; Shlah p. 213 brought in Kaf Hachaim 581/86

[2] Shlah p. 213 brought in Kaf Hachaim 581/86; Nevertheless one is to do so with fear and trepidation and diminish in his physical enjoyment. [ibid; Beir Heiytiv 581/16]

[3] Kneses Hagedola brought in M”A 581/15; Elya Raba 581/38; Chayeh Adam 139/7

[4] The reason: As it is not considered a Tevilas Mitzvah. [ibid] and therefore due to the holiness of Rosh Hashanah it is not allowed. [So is implied from above Poskim that it is not prohibited due to the prohibition of immersing on Shabbos but rather due to the holiness of Rosh Hashanah.]

[5] Peri Chadash 581; Birkeiy Yosef 18; Shaareiy Teshuvah 581/16; Machatzis Hashekel 581/15 [that so is implied from Shlah]; M”E 581/53; Kaf Hachaim 581/87

Why is this not forbidden due to the prohibition of a woman immersing on Shabbos if she could have immerses before hand? The custom to prohibit a woman to immerse on Shabbos if she could have done so before hand [see Admur 326/8; Rama Yoreh Deah 197/2] does not apply on Yom Tov. [Toras Hashelamim 197/3; Sidrei Taharah 197/2; Chochmas Adam 118/8; Lechem Vesimla 197/10; Levushei Mordechai 93; Shaareiy Tohar 17/4; Divrei Yatziv 104; Nitei Gavriel 31/13]

[6] M”B 581/26; See Seder Hayom brought in Kaf Hachaim 581/86; Machazik Bracha 581/4; Ben Ish Chai Netzavim 9; Chayeh Adam 139/7; Kaf Hachaim 581/88.

[7] Seder Hayom, brought in Shlah p. 213; Kaf Hachaim 581/86;  M”B 581/26

[8] Kerem Shlomo, brought in Kaf Hachaim 581/89; Chayeh Adam 139/7


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