Intimacy after leaving the bathroom

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3. After leaving the bathroom:[1]

One who leaves a bathroom is not to have marital relations [for a certain period of time, as explained next].[2] [While this adherence especially applies if one can become pregnant from the intimacy, or is already pregnant, nonetheless, it should be followed at all times even if the wife cannot become pregnant and is past menopause.[3] This adherence applies to both the husband and the wife, and thus, if either one used the bathroom, the  wait time listed below is to be observed prior to intercourse.[4] This adherence applies even if one did not use the bathroom at all, but simply entered it.[5] This, however, only applies to an actual bathroom, and hence if one went to the bathroom in an open area, such as a field, it does not apply, and no delay is required.[6]]

How much time to wait: Some Poskim[7] write that intercourse is to be avoided for that entire hour. Others,[8] however, rule that one only needs to wait the period of half a Mil, which is 12 or even 9 minutes.[9] Practically, one is to wait 12, and at the very least 9, minutes after using the bathroom prior to intercourse. [This refers to actual intercourse. However, there is no need at all to delay engaging in hugging, kissing and the like until the passing of this time period.]



After a shower, must one wait a minimum of nine minutes prior to intercourse?[10]

No. The above adherence applies specifically to a bathroom. Nonetheless, if one’s shower is found in the same room as one’s toilet, as is common in many homes, then one is to wait nine minutes, as stated above.

Is one to wait a minimum of nine minutes prior to intercourse if only his hand entered into the bathroom, such as to close the door?

Some Poskim[11] rule one is to do so. However, other Poskim[12] rule that regarding today’s bathrooms one may be lenient.



[1] M”A 240:29; Seder Hayom p. 2 in name of Zohar; Gittin 70a, “One who leaves a bathroom is not to have relations.; Menoras Hama’or Ner Gimel K’lal Vav 5:3; See Kaf Hachaim 240:27; Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:28; Sheyikadesh Atzmo [Nachmonson-2015] p.  379-382; Vetzaruch Iyun if this adherence is viewed as an actual obligation, or a voluntary, or encouraged adherence due to Sakana.

[2] The reason: This is due to the bathroom demon that escorts the person when he leaves the bathroom and blemishes the intimacy, causing the child to be physically defected. [Gittin ibid; Seder Hayom ibid in name of Zohar; Beir Heiytiv ibid; Yad Ephraim 240; Sefer Zechira Zivug that the demon can cause the wife to become baron]

[3] Setimas Kol Haposkim ibid who do not mention the damage of the child as a reason for the restriction, and make no mention that it only applies to intimacy which can lead to pregnancy; See previous footnote that although the main reason is due to damage to the children, nonetheless, in truth, even if pregnancy is not an issue, it should still be avoided due to the “blemish of the intimacy” that the demon can cause, irrelevant of pregnancy.

[4] Beir Moshe 5:1; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[5] Darkei Chayim Veshalom 346; Beir Moshe 5:1; Shraga Hameir 4:84; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 34:2; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid that perhaps one may be lenient with today’s bathrooms that also contain a shower and the like.

So rule regarding the requirement to wash hands after using a bathroom, that it applies even if one did not actually use it: See Peri Megadim 227 A.A. 2; M”B 4:40 in name of Artzos Hachaim and other Teshuvos; Ketzos Hashulchan 2 footnote 29; Chida in Bris Olam 8:23; Kesem Paz on Zohar; Kaf Hachaim [Falagi] 8:18; Amudei Hashulchan 2:14; Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 16; Soles Belula 7:1; brought in Kaf Hachaim 4:65

The reason: Upon entering a bathroom, the spirit of impurity resides, irrelevant of whether he used it to relieve himself. [Chida in Bris Olam 8:23; Kesem Paz on Zohar; Soles Belula ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid]

[6] M”A ibid “Beis Hakisei Kavua”; Seder Hayom ibid; Elya Raba 240:1; K’neses Hagedola 240; M”B 240:54; Kaf Hachaim ibid; Beir Moshe ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

Other opinions: Some are stringent even in such a case. [Darkei Chaim Veshalom ibid]

[7] Seder Hayom ibid in name of Zohar in unknown source]; Beir Heiytiv 240:24; Elya Raba 240:1; Olas Tamid 240:7; Or Tzadikim 27:10; Aruch Hashulchan 240:18; Kitzur SHU”A 150:16; Opinion in M”B 240:54 and Taharas Yisrael 240:20; See Yad Ephraim 240 that it does not refer to a literal hour of 60 minutes but rather to that session, and thus even after two Mil [36-48 minutes] it is permitted; See Kitzur Sh’lah Inyanei Zivug which writes that the Shiur is 30 minutes; See Gittin ibid and Poskim in next footnote who seemingly argue and rule that the Shiur is half a Mil, which is 9-12 minutes.

[8] Gittin ibid; Birkeiy Yosef 240:12; Siddur Ya’avetz Mosach Hashabbos Mitos Kesef 7 Chulya Beis 5; Shulchan Hatahor 240:11; M”B 240:54 in name of Yad Efraim ibid; Misgeres Hashulchan 150:12; Kaf Hachaim 240:27; Divrei Yatziv 1:104; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; See Menoras Hama’or Ner 6 K’lal 1 1:1 that one is to wait a full Shiur Mil

[9] How much is a Mil? Some Poskim rule that a Mil is 18 minutes [1st opinion in Admur 459:10; Michaber ibid and in Yoreh Deah 69:6; Rama 261:1; Maryu 193; Terumos Hadeshen 123], and hence the total time to wait after using the bathroom is 9 minutes. [Misgeres Hashulchan 150:16] Other Poskim rule that a Mil is 24 minutes [2nd opinion in Admur 459:10; Rambam in Pirush Hamishnayos Pesachim 3:2], and hence the total time to wait after using the bathroom is 12 minutes. [Shulchan Hatahor 240:11; Taharas Yisrael 240:20; Misgeres Hashulchan 150:16 concludes to wait 9 and at best 112 minutes] Practically, Admur mainly rules like the opinion of 24 minutes. [Admur ibid; See Ketzos Hashulchan 3 Seder Hachnasas Shabbos 5]

[10] Sheyikadesh Atzmo 34:2

[11] So rule regarding the requirement to wash hands in such a case: Kaf Hachaim 3:3 and 4:66; Mishneh Yosef 5:6; Torah Leshma 23; Lev Chaim 4:2; Ruach Chaim 3:3; Yabia Omer 9:108

[12] So rule regarding the requirement to wash hands in such a case: Lehoros Nasan 7:1; Tzitz Eliezer 7:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:20 footnote 200; See Da’as Torah 4

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