This article is an excerpt from our Sefer
6. Times of famine/war/natural disaster/pandemics:
It is forbidden to have relations with one’s wife during years of famine [even if one is wealthy and personally has food]. [The mystical reason for this is because during a time of suffering, the Shechina is not found in its place and thus there is no Zivug in the upper worlds. Accordingly, there should be no Zivug in the lower worlds as well.]
One who does not yet have children: One who does not yet have children [neither from his current wife nor a previous wife] may have relations with his wife during years of famine. [Some Poskim rule that this refers to one who does not have any children at all. Other Poskim, however, rule that this means he has yet to fulfill the Mitzvah of Peru Urevu, which is to have one male child and one female child. Thus, if he only has two male children, he may continue to have relations for the sake of procreation. One may only have relations until his wife becomes pregnant. There is no Midas Chassidus involved in abstinence if one does not yet have any children.]
The law by other calamities: The same law of abstinence applies for all other calamities and times of suffering. [Some Poskim rule that this includes all types of suffering, such as war, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other man-made or natural disasters. Other Poskim, however, rule that it only applies in times of famine, or calamities that cause drought or loss of food, and not in times of war or plague, during which intimacy remains permitted. Practically, it is permitted to be lenient in a time of suffering that does not relate to famine. There is no need to avoid marital relations during times of either chicken pox or measles epidemics.]
Night of Mikveh: Some Poskim rule that it is permitted to have relations on the night of Mikveh. Other Poskim, however, rule that in years of famine or tragedy, it is forbidden to have intercourse even on the night of Mikveh.
One who is overcome with desire: Some Poskim rule that one who is overcome with desire may have intercourse, in order to relieve himself and not come to sin. Practically, one who is young, and abstinence can lead to Zera Levatala, is to have relations with his wife even during years of famine and even if he has already fulfilled the Mitzvah of Peru Urevu, if he is otherwise overcome with desire to sin.
May one have marital relations in times that sections of Israel are under missile attack by terrorist organizations?
Yes, as stated above, one may be lenient at a time of suffering that does not relate to famine.
May one have marital relations in times of economic depression, inflation, and high food prices?
Yes, so long as food is still available for purchase and people are not starving, relations remain permitted.
 Michaber 240:12; 574:4; E.H. 25:6; Tur 240:12 and E.H. 25:6; Ta’anis 11a based on Scripture regarding Yosef; Menoras Hama’or Ner Gimel K’lal Vav 5:3; Sh’lah Hakadosh Sha’ar Ha’osyos Erech Kedusha 425; See Siddur Ya’avetz Mosach Hashabbos Mitos Kesef 7 Chulya 3:10; Kitzur SHU”A 150:12; Taharas Yisrael 240:76-77
The reason that Levi had Yocheved during the years of famine: Several answers are offered in the Mefarshim, including: 1) Levi did not yet have a daughter and thus was intimate to perform the Mitzvah of Peru Urevu [Reim, brought in Taz 574:2]; 2) It was the night of Mikveh [Suggested and negated in M”A 574:5]; 3) It is a mere Midas Chassidus to avoid relations during years of famine [See Tosafos Ta’anis ibid and explanation of Taz ibid] Bach 574; Beis Yosef 574; Kaf Hachaim 574:13
 Michaber ibid and so is final ruling; However, see Tosafos Ta’anis ibid and Sha’areiy Teshuvah 574 which learns that according to Tosafos it is mere Midas Chassidus; See Taz ibid for his explanation
 Beis Yehuda 40; Kaf Hachaim 240:81
 Sh’lah Hakadosh Sha’ar Ha’osyos Erech Kedusha 426
 Michaber 240:12; 574:4; E.H. 25:6; Tur O.C. 240:12 and E.H. 25:3; Ta’anis 11a; Sh’lah ibid
During pregnancy: Some Poskim question whether or not one who does not have children yet may have intercourse during the last trimester of pregnancy. [Iyey Hayam Ta’anis 11, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah E.H. 25:3]
 Birkeiy Yosef 574:4, in name of his father, that if he had both boy and girl children with a previous wife, then he may not have relations with the current wife, even if they have not yet had children; Sha’areiy Teshuvah 574; Kaf Hachaim 240:84
 Taz 574:2 in implication of wording of Michaber ibid and Talmud ibid, unlike his commentary Divrei David on Parshas Mikeitz, brought in Sha’areiy Teshuvah 574
 Reim Parshas Mikeitz, brought in Taz ibid; Poskim in Sha’areiy Teshuvah 574; M”B 240:47; Taharas Yisrael 240:76; Kaf Hachaim 240:83
 Beis Yosef 574; Levush 574; P”M 574 A”A 5; M”B 574:12; Kaf Hachaim 240:83; 574:15; See M”A 574:5 for Poskim who rule that one may only have relations on the night of Mikveh, when there is a chance that his wife will conceive. The M”A ibid concludes unlike this opinion.
Relations during last trimester of pregnancy: Some Poskim question whether or not one who does not have children yet may have intercourse during the last trimester of pregnancy. [Iyey Hayam Ta’anis 11, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah E.H. 25:3]
 Taz ibid regarding one who has no children at all; See Levushei Serud 574 and Taharas Yisrael 240:76-77 for approach that Midas Chassidus applies even if one has yet to fulfill the Mitzvah of Peru Urevu
 Rama 240:12; Taz E.H. 25:2; Chelkas Mechokeik 25:5; Beis Shmuel 25:6; Siddur Ya’avetz ibid; See Taharas Yisrael 240:77
 Olas Tamid 240:6 who refers to tragedies listed in Michaber 576:1; Beis David 95; Elya Zuta 240:11 in name of Sh’lah
 K’neses Hagedola 240:5; Tzitz Eliezer 13:21; See 2nd opinion in Elya Zuta 240:11
 Conclusion of K’neses Hagedola ibid that so is custom; Beis David ibid; Kaf Hachaim 240:85; Tzitz Eliezer ibid; Sheyikadesh Atzmo [Nachmonson] 50 footnote 6
 Taharas Yisrael 240:77
 Michaber 574:4; Chelkas Mechokeik 25:5 and 76:4; Beis Shmuel 25:6; 76:6; Sha’areiy Teshuvah 574 and Pischeiy Teshuvah E.H. 25:2 “One who rules leniently is not to be protested”; Sh’lah Hakadosh Sha’ar Ha’osyos Erech Kedusha 425; M”B 240:48; Taharas Yisrael 240:76
 M”A 574:5 at length strongly negates and disproves any allowance to have relations on Mikveh night; Elya Raba 574; See Pischeiy Teshuvah 25:2
 Beis Meir, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah E.H. 25:2; Elya Raba 240:8 in name of Divrei David Parshas Mikeitz 574, brought in Kaf Hachaim 240:82-83; M”B 240:46; Taharas Yisrael 240:76
 Kaf Hachaim 240:83
 Birkeiy Yosef 574:20 in name of his father and Rabbanei Yerushalayim; Kaf Hachaim 240:81
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