Regulations for men

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Urinating regulations applicable to men: [1]

Above the crown/Glans:[2] One [must be very careful[3]] not to hold on to his Eiver[4] [from the beginning of the limb up to the crown[5]] while urinating [and certainly not during other times]. Doing so is considered as if one has brought a flood to the world as it[6] can bring one towards [stimulation[7] which can cause] spilling of seed[8].

Using a cloth:[9] It is permitted to hold onto the Eiver using a thick cloth which does not cause stimulation in order to help one urinate, [or verify whether he had an emission[10], or itch oneself[11]].

The crown/Glans:[12] It is permitted to hold on to the crown[13] [in order to direct the urine[14]] as this area does not stimulate a person [at all[15]]. [Furthermore, even if the Eiver is erect it is permitted to hold on to the crown.[16] However the above allowance is only with regards to holding the crown in order to urinate properly without dirtying oneself in the process. However one is to be stringent not to touch the crown, even in order to itch it or check for an emission.[17]]

The testis:[18] It is permitted to lift up the testis from below to help one properly urinate without becoming dirty in the process.[19] [However it is forbidden to touch the area for other purposes.[20]]

The pubic area:[21] It is forbidden for an unmarried man to place his hands near his pubic area[22], lest he bring himself to evil thoughts. He should not place his hand even below his naval due to this reason.

One who is married:[23] All the above is referring to one who is single, or is married but his wife is impure or is not in the same city[24]. If however one is married and his wife is pure and is with him in the same city, then from the letter of the law he may hold onto any part of his Eiver, even above the crown, when urinating, in order to prevent the urine from dirtying him.[25] Nevertheless it is an act of piety for even one whose wife is available to be stringent [not to hold on to the area above the crown even when urinating].[26] However it is forbidden from the letter of the law for even a married man whose wife is with him to hold on to the Erva [for other reasons, such as] to itch it [or to check if he had an emission[27], unless he is doing so using a thick cloth[28]].[29] It is proper to be stringent to avoid holding even the crown [for purposes other than urinating, such as to itch].[30]

 

Summary:

One may never hold on to his Eiver from the area that is above the crown even when urinating. If one is married and his wife is pure and is with him in the same city then when urinating [as opposed to other times], he may hold onto this area in order to prevent the urine from getting on his feet. Nevertheless even by such a person it is an attribute of piety to be stringent. One is allowed to hold onto this area with a thick cloth that will not bring to stimulation. One may hold on to the crown to help one urinate, however not for other purposes. One may lift his testis to help him urinate.


Q&A

May one wash the area during a shower?[31]

One may do so casually just like the other parts of his body. One may not spend extra time on the area.[32] It is forbidden to look at the area while washing it.[33]

 

May one comb the pubic hair?[34]

Yes.

 

May one’s testis be touched for a medical checkup?

Some Poskim[35] negate this practice, and accordingly encourage one to prevent a doctor from doing so.

 

May one look at the area?

Some Poskim[36] write one may not look at ones Erva, and certainly not at the Erva of another person. One who does so is severely punished.[37]

 


[1] Kama 3/21-23; Basra 3/10; Michaber 3/14; Michaber Even Haezer 23/4

Discussion of these matters: See Igros Kodesh 8 p. 24 that although in previous generations these topics were avoided, in today’s generation it is a Mitzvah to publicize these matters.

[2] Kama 3/21; Basra 3/10

[3] Kama 3/21; Lit. “Yizaher Meoad”

[4] This refers to the male reproductive organ.

[5] In Admur [Kama and Basra ibid] this is referred to as the crown and above. Practically it refers to the entire organ up until the crown.

[6] Basra 3/10; Kama 3/22; In Kama ibid Admur writes that spilling of seed is like bringing a flood to the world, while in Basra it is implied that even the mere touching of the limb is like brining a flood being that through doing so one can come to spill seed.

[7] Basra 3/10

[8] To note that in Basra ibid Admur states “zera levatala”. However in Kama ibid he writes “Shichvas zera levatala”. To note that according to Kabala the prohibition of “Zera Levatala” applies equally to women, and those that do so increase evil spirits and Kelipos. [See Shaar Hakavanos Inyan Drush Layla; Yifei Laleiv 239’ Kaf Hachaim 239/3] It is also forbidden according to Halacha based on the prohibition against entertaining forbidden thoughts. [See Igros Moshe Even Haezer 1/69]

[9] Basra 3/10; Kama 3/22; based on Gemara Niddah 13; M”A 3/15 and so rules: Elya Raba 3/12; Shach Yoreh Deah 182/6; Chayeh Adam 3/3

Other Opinions: Some Poskim [Kerem Shlomo Niddah ibid; Bechor Shur; Birkeiy Yosef 3/9] are stringent even by a thick cloth [due to it never being permitted by urinating and only by Teruma was it permitted] and so concludes Kaf Hachaim 3/39; Piskeiy Teshuvos 3/8. The M”B 3/29 records a stringent opinion that argues on the allowance due to us not knowing the measurement of a thick cloth.

[10] Kama ibid

[11] Basra ibid; Seder Hayom “Seder Halayla”

[12] Kama 3/21, Basra 3/10; simple implication of Michaber 3/14 and so rules Nivei Shalom 3/16; Shev Yaakov 4; Kaf Hachaim 3/41

Other Opinions: The Olas Tamid questions whether a single man may touch the crown while urinating. The Pela Hayoetz [Machshava] concludes that due to the severity of the matter it is proper for every person to be stringent in this regard to not even hold on to the crown while urinating and rather he is to either lift his testis or use a thick cloth when urinating.

[13] In Admur [Kama and Basra ibid] this is referred to as the crown and below towards the ground. Practically it refers to the entire crown area. In anatomy this area is referred to as the glans.

[14] Kama ibid

[15] Kama ibid, and so is evident from Basra

[16] Kama ibid; Perisha 3/13; Olas Tamid 3/14; Elya Raba 3/13; Kaf Hachaim 3/40

Other Opinions: The Kisei Eliyahu 3/6 rules one may not touch the crown area while the organ is erect.

[17] Kama 3/23; Shev Yaakov 4 brought in P”M 3 A”A 1; Kaf Hachaim 3/44; Biur Halacha 3 “Lo Hutar” writes in name of Malbim that it is forbidden.

[18] Basra 3/10; Kama 3/21; Michaber 3/15

Other Opinions: The Bechor Shur Niddah 4/13 rules it is forbidden to touch the testis even for urination purposes.

[19] The Reason: As touching the testis does not stimulate a person [and hence will not lead to spilling of seed]. [Kama 3/21 omitted in Basra ibid]

[20] May one hold onto the testis during other times? It is strongly implied from the wording in Basra ibid that one may only touch the testis in order to avoid getting a lot of urine on oneself. However for other reasons it would be forbidden. So also rules Gr”a in Even Hazer 23/4; Peri Megadim 3 A”A 14; Tzitz Eliezer 19/4 and so concludes Piskeiy Teshuvos 3/8. However this is unclear from Michaber and Kama ibid.

[21] Even Haezer 23/4

[22] Some write that this refers to the Eiver and not to the entire area. [See Biur Halacha 3 “Lo Hutar”]

[23] Kama 3/22; Basra 3/10 with slight differences of wording; Michaber 3/14 and 16; Halacha Berurah 3/5; Yad Aaron; Mamar Mordechai 3/11; Nivei Shalom 3/15; Kitzur SH”A 151/3; Kaf Hachaim 3/43

Other Opinions: The Taz 3/13 learns that the Tur forbids even a married person from holding on to the Eiver. The Pela Hayoetz [Machshava] concludes that due to the severity of the matter it is proper for even a married person to be stringent in this regard, to not even hold on to the crown while urinating, and rather he is to either lift his testis or use a thick cloth when urinating.

[24] Admur ibid based on Taz 3/13; M”A 3/14 and so rules: Mamar Mordechai 3/11; Birkeiy Yosef 3/11

Other Opinions: The Beis Shmuel 23/4 learns from the Michaber 23/4 that it is permitted even if the wife is not in town. So rules also Yeshuos Yaakov 3/7

[25] The reason for this is because since his wife is available to him [his inclination will not be so powerful-Kama ibid] and will [not bring him towards immoral thoughts and stimulation-Basra ibid]. [Kama ibid and Basra ibid]

[26] As since spilling seed is such a great sin that it is considered as if it brings a flood to the world, it is therefore proper for one to distance and sanctify himself [from touching his limb] even when allowed [Kama ibid]

[27] Kama 3/23

[28] Basra ibid

[29] The reason for this is because only when urinating is there a need to hold it in order to prevent the urine from falling on ones clothing. [Kama ibid]

[30] Kama ibid; omitted in Basra, not brought in Michaber ibid; so rules also Chayeh Olam 3

Using a cloth: One may be lenient even initially to scratch the crown area using a cloth. [Shev Yaakov 4; Kaf Hachaim 3/44] However by the area above the crown only a thick cloth may be used to itch, as rules Admur in Basra ibid.

[31] Beir Heiytiv Even Haezer 23/5

[32] Seder Hayom “Seder Halayla”

[33] Kneses Hagedola

[34] M”B 3/30

[35] Tzitz Eliezer 19/4

[36] Sefer Chareidim 45/4; Yifei Laleiv 3/20 in name of Minchas Tosef and Sefer Chareidim ibid; Gemara Sanhedrin 52a; Shabbos 118b regarding Rebbe Yehuda Hanassi; However see Gemara Menachos 43b that David looked at his Mila, although the Yifei Laleiv explains this means “thought”.

[37] One who does so will not have children. [Chareidim and Yifei Laleiv ibid]

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